Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Category: Conventions

A financial fuss about FurFlight – can it fend off a fandom fiasco?

by Patch O'Furr

Distressing news has come out about a furry-organized travel service, which appears to be in trouble with some big financial obligations at the moment. The fur is flying, and not in a good way.

FurFlight bundles furries together for group air travel from highly-active fandom regions to highly-attended conventions, most notably from Seattle and San Francisco to Midwest FurFest. The idea is to improve the boring parts and the endpoint arrangements. It happened successfully in 2017. (As far as I know, no fellow travelers complained about fur allergy flareups or the plane smelling like a zoo – score for fandom image!)

FurFlight isn’t affiliated with Midwest FurFest. One of the con staffers told me about previously advising people not to buy in because of no accountability for an independent operation. Trusting other fans comes with risks known to anyone who’s been burned by bad art commissions.

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Furries You Meet at Camp Tiny Paws (August 2018)

by Patch O'Furr

When you’re tiny, less is more. When you’re a real-life 4-legged guinea pig named Tiny, having a convention named for you is a big honor. And for a moderately sized community, a smaller con can bring outsized fun.

That’s the vibe I got from my trip to this 2nd-year convention in Danbury, Connecticut. It drew around 300 attendees. Where I am in the San Francisco Bay Area, “the world’s greatest concentration of furries per square mile” (wikifur) has casual monthly meets that bring hundreds. It can be too much to keep up with. Do you ever get that feeling? Try events where furries are less dense. It’s like a throwback to a fresher, younger fandom.

Organizers K’gra and Nobody bring lots of positive energy for that. It cuts through negativity of current events like a rainbow laserbeam. They laughed about me being a mild, laid-back California dog person, and said “I can’t believe you came all the way here for this!” I said, “I can’t believe you invited me!”

Being a Guest of Honor came with a duty to support the con. The panel I did on self-employment (and DIY power of fandom) was well attended.  Other well-known furry names gave support too. Meeting Uncle Kage and Boozy Badger made me appreciate them for bringing their mix of long experience and newer yet super vocal membership. And not just themselves, but their family and friends.

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One con, three predators – what this says about furry fandom

by Patch O'Furr

Want some scorekeeping about Dogpatch Press? The site is getting close to 1,000 stories in 4 years, with quadruple readership since 2017 and tons of positive news about fun and cool accomplishments furries keep doing.

Then there’s stories that expose hate and abuse from the fringes. People who don’t follow what the site does like to misrepresent it as nothing more than a source for “drama”, muckraking, “fake news” or angry mob “witch hunts”. These attacks often come from a vested interest in keeping things nice and quiet.

Here’s an example of such a story. (This one started before Dogpatch Press existed, so attacking the messenger is pointless.) This sheds light on the motivation of a former fandom celebrity who fell into disgrace:

(Links in here): Why doesn’t 2 Gryphon tell the truth about how his partner went to prison? Why does he attack abuse victims just like he Protests Too Hard against “SJW’s” and “witch hunts”? Why is he no longer welcome on convention stages?

An honest look at the links will find the answer. It’s complicity by a Quisling who doesn’t give a shit about this fandom. Complicity is a theme for this article, and solutions too.

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Wat ‘n Wolhaarstorie! – A South African Article on Furries – and a radio show.

by Duncan R. Piasecki

Submitted by guest Duncan R. Piasecki – don’t miss his articles The Forgotten History of the Furry Musical – and Talking Animal Films In South Africa (Part 1) and (Part 2.)

As some of you might know, South Afrifur happened quite recently, the biggest one yet. Unusually for furries from this part of the world, however, was the media coverage: the convention was featured in an article in the Afrikaans magazine Huisgenoot, in their July 26th issue. Of course, being Afrikaans (quite an obscure language outside of this country) means the readership potential is limited internationally, but it’s a pretty big deal for local furries: the magazine is one of the most popular in the country.

So, for all the international furries out there, I present to you a reproduction of the print article, and then my own translation. Please keep in mind that Afrikaans and I don’t agree (it was my worst subject in high school), I’m very far from fluent in it, so this was done with Google Translate, a dictionary, and my own extrapolation. The results might not be exactly accurate, but I feel they give the general idea if not the exact translation. As you will see, some things just don’t cross-translate.

But first, a new development: furries on the radio.

A couple of the people covered in the Afrikaans article went on to one of Pretoria’s biggest radio stations to talk about being a furry (it sounded like it was because of the article, in fact), and I thought the interview went quite well (if ticking off a few of the usual boxes of annoying “but it’s a fetish, right?” questions the media loves to ask). Quite weird, this sudden boost in interest, considering everyone’s ignored this community in this country before now.

Article: https://www.jacarandafm.com/shows/scenic-drive-rian/furries-take-over-scenic-drive/

Videos of the interview:

I ripped an audio recording of the whole interview. It comes to about 24 minutes and has quite a bit more than the videos (a lot is not in English). Here’s a Google Drive folder of it, including videos from Facebook: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Rkcm6dNAIxfe0p-lMj9WdtcwzY3AuNU5

Tweets:

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The Good Furry Award, The Furry Book, and Joe Strike’s Furry Nation News from Anthrocon

by Patch O'Furr

Grubbs Grizzly of “Ask Papabear” has quite an established presence with many followers. Now he’s emerged from his cave to announce an award for other furries who demonstrate Outstanding Community Spirit.

Good furries are everywhere. But sometimes when fandom takes a look at itself and how it can be better, bad furries get attention. From circa-2000 Burned Furs, to Nazi Furs who have ruined furry conventions, troublemakers get more attention than they deserve. (None might be a fair amount.)

The Good Furry Award is coming to reward a fandom member each year for their community spirit. On top of benefit to one, the process of looking at nominees and their work is meant to promote much more conversation about good things that the vast majority of furries do for each other and outsiders alike.

The “Ask Papabear” website is now taking nominations for Good Furries: https://www.askpapabear.com/good-furry-award.html

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Tiny Paws Con is coming to Connecticut and I’m so excited to be there!

by Patch O'Furr

REGISTER NOW AND THROUGH THE WEEKEND!

 

I’ve enjoyed many kinds of furry conventions with different themes, size, and pacing.

There’s the small local relax-a-con near me, Pacific Anthropomorphics Weekend (November 2018) – an underrated gem in the San Francisco Bay Area, where the party floor is one long open balcony and the whole con can be friends at the same time.  Then there’s the extravagance of Anthrocon, where it feels like a whole neighborhood of Pittsburgh gets in theme without being asked. The playful storefronts and sidewalk signs make it feel like Furry Christmas, and there’s nothing like it anywhere else I’ve been. When the fursuit parade fills the city street, and you’re there with thousands of ordinary citizens cheering for it, it’s one of the 7 Wonders of the Furry World. (Mine, anyways. Make your own list – that’s the beauty of what furries do.)

But I’ve always gone as an ordinary fan like any other. Tiny Paws changed that by inviting me to be a Guest of Honor. Wow! I don’t care whether they stuff 7 hotels like that thing in that other place (who needs elevator lines?) – it makes me wag my tail like a propeller.

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Meet Robert Hill: Artist, performer, and history’s first sexy fursuiter.

by Patch O'Furr

Come my pelted pals, gather around… and look back to the distant, dusty past Before Furry Cons.  A time when seeing a sexy “fursuit crush” in public was as unimaginable as looking at them on a phone in your pocket. (A phone with the brightness dialed all the way down, of course.)

It was the 1980’s, when apparently everything was written by eye-blasting lasers with no dial-down button, so wear your raddest shades:

Let’s meet a pioneer. It’s not a label anyone chooses, but what else do you call the first fursuiter at the first furry convention? (ConFurence 0… actually a test before the first one). And they weren’t just a generic cute thing you could see at Disneyland, but a *look away kids!* pleather-clad dominatrix deer. Schwing!

Astonishing vintage VHS footage of this Bigfoot-like creature was unearthed by Changa Lion, archivist for the Prancing Skiltaire (the furry house run by the founders of ConFurence in Southern California.) When Changa posted Hilda’s 1989 con video to Youtube, it went viral outside of fandom (with over 75,000 views to date). Then he found an even earlier one that few have seen until now.

In a way, these are like the Declaration of Sex-Positive Furry Independence. (Obligatory disclaimer for subscribers to the squeaky-clean side of fandom: that’s just one kind of furry, not all of them.)

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Art for Tiny Paws con, and tail wags for graphic journalism.

by Patch O'Furr

What got me into furries was classic and TV cartoons and underground animation, and adventure and fantasy novels (Redwall, Spellsinger). I’d buy them by the armload at the used book store. It was all cool to me whether it came with critical approval or not. I just craved more. A good way to get more is DIY-style and from fandom. I found that in small doses with zines in the 1990’s.

Superhero comics were never my thing (I think the 90’s was a bad time for those). Then I found some indies where muscle-people were as seldom seen as they were for a real bookworm. Indies were a step closer to animation and fantasy stuff I loved. It still didn’t exactly register that there was a divide between supposed lowbrow and highbrow comics. I didn’t care that Art Spiegelman’s Maus got a Pulitzer prize and helped turn “graphic novels” into a regular section in book stores. I did get interested by their connection to that energy of zines.

Now I’d say “graphic journalism” (Maus, Joe Sacco’s Palestine) is a bit of an inspiration. It turned many heads this year when the New York Times got a Pulitzer for a nontraditional graphic story, instead of editorial cartooning.

Would you be into seeing illustrated stories like that here? I’d love to gradually give it a try. Not yet, but if a story really demands it. Up to now this site has been almost exclusively text writing. The visuals are really important and those usually aren’t custom made. But I have the power to give it to you!

Tiny Paws con is getting a little of it. They asked me to make some art, so here it is. If you’re near the con, you should come say hi in August!

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Meet Emma the Tiger – A Showcase of Fandom Love from BLFC 2018

by Pup Matthias

Thanks to Matthias and Rune of Rune’s Furry Blog. Her guest article about the story was submitted at the same time, so some of her info is included too. – Patch

This was the sixth year for Biggest Little Fur Con (BLFC), one of the biggest and fastest growing furry conventions in the fandom. Last year it had over 3,500 attendees and raised $36,000 for charity. This con has been The Con on many Furries lips… (or is that maws?) Many furs will travel far and wide to attend for a weekend of anthropomorphic fun. It’s attended by many fandom favorite suiters and seems to have good control of its public image.

However, with cons as big as BLFC, news and drama from within can spread like wildfire on social media, for better or worse, becoming the “face” of the convention for that year. Things were going smoothly at first, but during the con it was reported that a 10 year old girl was a target of verbal bullying.

The story of Emma the Tiger and how she almost left the fandom emerged on Twitter.  A user posted a screen grab from Instagram by Krysta Kennedy (xrainbowdawnx) explaining what happened. Emma was there for the fursuit photo shoot that takes place at every con’s massive fursuit gathering. She was approached by two mice who started to mock her fursuit. Emma was so embarrassed that she ran out without her father, saying that she hated being a furry and didn’t want to be in the fandom anymore.

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A pup’s response to the lobby incident at FWA – Guest post from Jones.

by Patch O'Furr

Following Part 1 and Part 2 here’s one more take. (Sorry if it’s beating a dead horse, or pup, but it has to post week-of). Thanks to Jones for submitting. Good boy!

Many puppy players ARE furries. @Pup_Leo: “mixing my pup gear with my fursona”

Hello. I’m Devin Jones, your friendly local furry hermit. I’ve been in the fandom for 16 years, both active and periphery, and I’ve been a pup for seven years. This recent incident at FWA has called me to bring my expertise in both spaces to bear on making a decision on how I, personally, should react and handle the overlap between the pup and furry communities.

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