Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Media

2020 update for the Ursa Major Awards and The Good Furry Award for Ash Coyote

by Patch O'Furr

Something cool just came in the mail. It’s better than a Christmas present. It’s the Ursa Major Award for the year’s best anthropomorphic magazine!

The Ursa Major Awards are for public voting for the best furry movies, books, comics, art and more from the previous year. If you know of good 2020 works to share, the Recommended Anthropomorphics List is open NOW. Tell them what you love: recommended@ursamajorawards.org. Check out the list if you’re looking for good stuff to watch and read. Nominations for the next awards will start later in January 2021.

The most recent winners were decided a while ago, but it took time for everyone to get awards in the mail just recently. The awards depend on volunteer work by Rod O’Riley, the co-founder of ConFurence (with Mark Merlino). Rod and Mark run the Prancing Skiltaire house in Southern California and have been together for 40 years.

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Despite COVID-19, hamster mascot back for Christmas

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Welcome to Dutch furry guest writer Jack Newhorse.

Albert Heijn is the biggest supermarket chain in The Netherlands, a country of 17 million people in northwestern Europe. Its hamster mascot is often seen in video ads and in the weekly circular. And for those who don’t mind seeing a (toy) hamster being ripped to shreds, it’s even available as a squeaky dog toy.

The Dutch word for hoarding is hamstering (“hamsteren”): The mascots were created for promotions that encourage consumers to stock up. You don’t “squirrel it away” there, you hamster it away!

But the “AH” hamsters were forced back into their burrows when the wordplay that brought them to life became grim. As hoarding led to depleted shelves in the first weeks of COVID-19, the grocery’s “hamsterweken” (hamster week) sales seemed inappropriate. Within a few days, the hamsters were gone.

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Music review: the fantasy soundtracks of Baumarius Remastered

by Patch O'Furr

A review request came in from Lucas Masoch:

My new album Baumarius Remastered is an 85-track, 5-hour-long compilation of my work over the years, featuring music that falls within the realm of avant-garde, psychedelic, orchestral soundtrack, epic trailer, post-rock, and world music; often a combination of these. You can listen to the album here on Youtube.

As a confirmed night owl, most of my work happens between midnight and dawn. This is the chilly season for Northern California fog, so I work with a lit fireplace and dogs lounging on fluffy covers nearby. When I put Baumarius on, the cozy level was off the charts.

5 hours of music is great for immersion, but a lot to review. So I used it as background for working with occasional extra attention.

Baumarius Remastered is packed with arboreal, pagan, and fairytale vibes to summon furry creativity. For more than personal listening, it would also be good for a chillout or cuddle space at a party, an art exhibit, a moody video game, or a group art making session. Another Youtube mix of it is labeled: Calming Fantasy & Adventure Music for Writing, Sleep, & Emotional Inspiration.

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Buddy the Subway Rat says ‘cheese’ for the media.

by Joe Strike

Welcome to guest Joe Strike, journalist and author of Furry Nation, the furry fandom history book. (- Patch)

In New York City it’s hard to get peoples’ attention if you’re a struggling artist, or even if you’re not particularly struggling…unless you dress up as a rat and gambol around NYC subway platforms dragging a giant prop pizza slice, while making sure you’re videoed as much as possible for your social media platforms.

Jonothon Lyons

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They Are Smol: creating a fan community — guest post by TPH.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

The genesis of a community is today’s furry news. TPH (TinyPrancingHorse) asked if I could cover his humorous science fiction series that features several anthropomorphic species. I sent back an offer: Let’s see your own story that covers — (1) The content that makes the community’s backbone — (2) Proof of how it gets support like money or views —  (3) Nuts and bolts of how it got going — (4) Earned experience from doing it. I hope this inspires YOUR creation. (- Patch)

They are Smol has a main page here, and the first chapter can be found here.

What’s it about?

When people think of their favorite series – be it Star Wars to Tolkien, Discworld to Dune – there’s always a sense of mystery and nobility to how those series began. It starts with Men and Women, taking their life experiences, war stories, deep thoughts and desperate hopes, and pulling from that mysterious aether of the “could be” and bringing it into the real world.

Then there’s my series, Smol.

They are Smol was not created out of the desperation of homelessness, the pain of war, the desire to preserve culture, or any other number of excellent and moving reasons. They are Smol was created during a mental breakdown at work, where the author – on a throwaway reddit account – ended up tapping into something interesting in the human psyche.

All too often, in popular media – games, movies, books – humanity is depicted as this ascendant demigod given form, and they often have a cute sidekick character to play off of and highlight these traits. Think Rocket Raccoon, or if you’re in the Monster Hunter universe, the Palicoes. Something cute to headpat, something small to protect, yet noble in their own right.

Make our species that cute.

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#DisneyMustPay Alan Dean Foster — A fight with furry fandom influence.

by Patch O'Furr

I LOVE THAT SONG

First published in 1983-1987, Alan Dean Foster’s Spellsinger fantasy series struck a chord for a burgeoning fandom. It features a law student, Jon-Tom, with janitor work and rock and roll dreams. He wakes up in a strange land after smoking something weird to escape mundanity, where he meets a rabble-rousing otter (Mudge) and turtle wizard (Clothahump). His new talking-animal world sets a stage for learning to channel magic with music… but only once per song. Playing Pink Floyd’s Money on his “Duar” guitar can solve a problem once… if he even gets it right.

Loaded with epic fantasy, humor, cartoonish characters, and even moments to make an imaginative reader read extra hard (hot tiger-women and gay unicorns!) — It was the right kind of story that reached the right fans at the right time. The animals weren’t just for kids; they drank, stabbed, screwed, and swore! It made me a 90’s furry before I knew there was a fandom for it.

Foster’s writing was pure fun, spiked with a threat of apocalyptic invasion and a race to defeat it in classic quest mode. I’d assume this was mid-list bookstore fare; not bestselling but solid original work for a productive author. Bigger pay would come with franchise adaptations — his novels for Star Wars, the Aliens movies, and Star Trek.

Making canon work for such big properties should earn secure income for a challenging career of genre writing. That is, if Disney would honor what Lucasfilm agreed to owe, after they acquired the company in 2012 for several billion dollars.

SOUR NOTES FROM DISNEY

Disney isn’t paying Alan Dean Foster his due. Foster shouldn’t have to sing a magic spell to get what he’s owed. It sounds like plain power abuse because they can afford to run up expenses in court (we’re all familiar with Trumpian bullying now, right?) It’s a story with a roots creator as David vs. a corporate Goliath for the fandom today. This should hit a nerve for anyone deeply in tune with the Furry Thing. (I wish fandom founder Fred Patten was around to comment.)

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Miss shows and music? Melt your face with Algerian Furry Death Metal from GLÒZÓNE.

by Patch O'Furr

In March I had tickets to see Lords of Acid. They’re the industrial-rave act known for their 90’s banger I Sit On Acid. Furries with special taste may know it from the eye-popping video “Sexy male bunny fursuit striptease” from Albany Anthrocon 1997.  (Thank you Silfur Bunny for making furry weird. I love the video so much, and it deserves the fame that John Oliver gave to 90’s rat porn. r/industrialmusic thinks “it should just be the official video at this point.”)

Covid killed my plan to go fursuiting at the Lords Of Acid show. It killed the whole club. That was Slim’s in San Francisco, which hosted some of my favorite events. It was in the city’s night life hot spot with DNA Lounge, where furries, raves, drag, and goth all melted together for some of the best times I’ve had. Missing good shows is frustrating, and watching their venues die is a tragedy!

This made me think about hungry musicians needing work. I realized if you aren’t spending money on shows… you can make your own band. Yes, there are musicians who can work with you to infest other people’s eardrums. You can bring the rock like you can be your fursona. That’s how the world has this:

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Protests in Poland “a premonition for what will happen” if LGBT rights are lost in the USA — Q&A with furry artist Jeanwoof who does charity for rights in Poland.

by Patch O'Furr

The 2020 U.S. election is in progress, the future is at stake, and a tipper sent me this story. “It may be a premonition of what will happen here if abortion and LGBTQ rights are suspended by the supreme court.”

Maybe you’re sick of relentless gushing doom about politics. Sorry I can’t make it stop with the fabulous power of furry news reporting. But I can make a story for furries in and out of the U.S., and help you think about protecting rights everywhere. This won’t just tell you to vote, it’s about using fandom power!

Soatok Dhole explains why it matters.

Politics? In My Fandom? 

Soatok says “The furry fandom – which you can think of as the largely queer sector of geek culture – has a problem with negative peace”; and it’s hurt by the Trump administration’s effort to overturn marriage equality plus 33 more steps to push anti-LGBT hate worldwide.

The problem is not just about Trump — it’s about ultraconservative attacks on rights everywhere. You can’t get peace from it by turning off the news, so to make better news, let’s meet a furry who does art charity to advance people’s rights in Poland.

Hi Jeanwoof, can you give a brief bio about yourself?

Hi, I’m a 26 year old woman living in Northern Poland. I’m very active in the fandom — drawing furry art for 6 years, and for 3 years I’ve been doing a small furry convention (Kungfur) with friends. I attend local conventions and sometimes you can see me at Eurofurence in the Dealers Den or Artist Alley. I’m a fursuiter too, but I don’t wear my suit as often as I want to.

by Jeanwoof

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How the furry fandom gained a new artist — Lux Operon, weaver of light

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Welcome to Lux, with a guest post about what she does when not hosting furry movie pizza parties. – Patch 

On a beautiful fall morning in Reno, the edge of sunrise starts to paint the desert mountains. The color in the sky is just right. I rush to my balcony and put on my glowing pup hood for photos, which I will share to a majority audience of people with fuzzy wolf characters. I am profoundly happy.

Electroluminescent wire is a sister material to LEDs. They look similar, but they’re functionally quite different. An LED is a diode that emits a single point of light, but EL wire works like a capacitor. Since it has no resistance within, it doesn’t heat up when lit. An exposed end might give a small shock if it touches your skin (but it won’t kill you, or I’d be dead). It’s flexible, continuously lit throughout its length, and has many applications to create an amazing glowing costume.

Like any wearable electronics, EL wire has limitations and can be finicky. Its battery packs (drivers) are each rated for a different length of wire. Knowing how to troubleshoot your costume is integral to being a fiber artist with this material. It’s easy to learn but very hard to master.

The technology has been around for some time, but it wasn’t until the late 90s and early aughts when the folks at FunHouse productions in Oakland, California decided to really develop the platform. EL wire is the unofficial signage of the Burning Man event, where you can often find people in these costumes wandering around the playa as strobing neon silhouettes in the dark.

This art was largely contained to their scene in Black Rock City until dance troupes started popping up on America’s Got Talent. For the 2012 season, Team Illuminate put together dance routines and nearly went all the way. By weaving EL wire and using the interplay of darkness to create floating shapes and coordinated blinking, they made the world aware of wearable neon, including me.

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Monster Force Zero: loads of fun and furries in a movie out just in time for Halloween.

by Patch O'Furr

You’ll want to show Monster Force Zero at any furry party night if you love midnight movies. This new release went through a few years of production with crowdfunding and shooting in Colorado at Galaxyfest. Furries are included briefly, but with love. Catch it on Amazon or other services above.

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