Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Conventions

With conventions closed for COVID-19, how will furries get their kink on?

by Patch O'Furr

Yesterday’s story: With conventions closed for COVID-19, what happens to furries as a community?

Ow My Balls!

The COVID-19 pandemic has postponed Sin City Murr Con. It’s planned to be the furry fandom’s first explicitly adult kink-themed convention.

SCMC also stands out as a con from Corgi Events, who organize GSFC, Aquatifur, DenFur, and PDFC. It’s furry fandom’s first multi-event managing company, with the idea of a paycheck letting the CEO do this full-time. Despite fear that paying someone is the tip of a Bad Dragon-sized capitalist intrusion, advancing a grab-bag of cons could be the foot in the door for the kink one.

This is a hit to fandom expression AND business. Several furries had a group chat about the postponing.

Lux, a furry artist in California, didn’t see such a big issue. She felt like SCMC might not have gone over well due to being “neither part of the kink scene or the local Las Vegas scene. Las Vegas seems like an all right place for a furry convention without the gimmick you know? And a furry track could be slotted into another kink event that happens in Las Vegas, rather than the other way around. Las Vegas hosts adult films expo and sex toy conventions if I’m not mistaken.”

I felt like explicit kink friendliness is a big deal, many furry people ARE kink scene people, and Las Vegas local furries haven’t made the effort for their own con. (They had Elliott’s Live Events, but that was more of a private party.) I saw a bigger issue.

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With conventions closed for COVID-19, what happens to furries as a community?

by Patch O'Furr

Depression of the furry economy.

Real life cons and meets are glue for internet fandom. Closing them will make a ripple effect.

Furry fandom has had decades of rising activity, and it’s between members without depending on corporations. Up to now, their cons bring tens of thousands of people with tens of millions of dollars spent per year around the world. That’s hard to just pause and restart.

It’s tourism/live show business that makes a foundation for other businesses. Take fursuit-making. It has millions a year in activity. Shutdowns and unemployment could make commissioners less eager for fursuits they can’t use in person or afford.

Some makers have long queues for promised work. That can mean holding a lot of deposits (even near an average household’s debt — thousands per suit x dozens of suits.) Imagine the queue stopping. That’s the ripple effect.

Could that kind of problem bankrupt cons? Or are they safe if they can cancel hotel contracts by force majeure? How hard will the hangover be if it takes a year or more to restart? (Reopening too soon can hurt too, without concerted solutions everywhere.)

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A brief history of the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization, America’s first anime fan club — by Sy Sable

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Courtesy of Changa Lion and the Confurence Archive, cover art by Ken Sample. 5 years after it was founded, the club newsletter covered news from 9 American club chapters and the 1982 release of Don Bluth’s Secret of NIMH.

Sy Sable co-founded the first furry con and helped grow a new worldwide furry fandom, with 1970’s roots in a small clubhouse in Los Angeles.

On 4/4/2020, Sy Sable (Mark Merlino) sent this brief history of the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization, founded in 1977. His story comes from recent message trading with someone interested in the C/FO and those involved. He couldn’t connect her to people out of contact for over 20 years, but he could tell how the club started. 

Today, there’s a worldwide network we could call capital-F Furry fandom, but some key founders were “proto-furries” who met at the C/FO. The club introduced new and unusual imported Japanese anime that was starting to reach America through rare home video tech. Club members loved anime for featuring adult, science fiction and action themes unlike 1970’s American animation aimed at kids (then dominated by studios like Hanna-Barbera.) There was a lot of “giant robot” anime, but certain fans preferred to combine adult themes plus traditional “funny animal” comics and animation that eventually spun off their own, new hybrid fandom.

Sy was a founder who went on with partner Rod O’Riley to host 1980’s science fiction convention room parties, then ConFurence in 1989, and longstanding monthly parties at The Prancing Skiltaire in Southern California (when not under quarantine in 2020). The C/FO had other chapters and there were other fan groups, but this is a major root. Another founder, Fred Patten, wrote about the C/FO in How Home Video Created Anime Fandom — or check Fred’s review of Joe Strike’s Furry Nation history book that covers this. (Fred was also a writer with Jerry Beck, East Coast C/FO chapter founder and animation historian, tying in much more history.) Sy says: “This is from my perspective and drops names something fierce… but it IS my personal take on things.” ( – Patch)

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Terror, Teens, and Furaffinity — How a chain of violent hate incidents links to furry fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

The biggest furry art site FurAffinity is hosting promotion for a neo-nazi mass shooter. Brenton Tarrant shot 100 people in Christchurch, New Zealand in March 2019. Tarrant came from internet radicalizing. He used 8chan to broadcast hate, and is now a far-right extremist hero for copycats around the world. FurAffinity has been closing many reports about it, including mine and others that tipped off this story. Furaffinity’s Code of Conduct (2.7) says: “Do not identify with or promote real hate or terrorist organizations and their ideologies.” They refuse to enforce it.

In Furaffinity’s policy, “organizations” may be a weasel-word to dismiss this as an isolated thing. Treating this as “just art” helps the goal of radicalizing — to worm inside with lying that hate isn’t tied to violence, and violence comes from “lone wolves”. (A goal to provoke, but deny it.)

Single data points make a much bigger chain. When insiders refuse to recognize it or do anything to help, they pass off responsibility to outside sources. This story will be one of those sources, along with FBI docs and current mainstream news that link a fringe of furry fandom to violent hate.

From top left: (1) Furaffinity post promoting the New Zealand shooter. (2) Vice explains hate symbols in it. (3) Furaffinity refuses to enforce their policy.

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Conventions Cancelled By Corona Contagion — On March 20-22, Log On For KeepCalmCon

by Arrkay

Welcome to Arrkay from Culturally F’d. See their tag for more.

Furry con status updates via furrycons.com:

Cancelled: Furnal Equinox (Canada), Gateway Furmeet (Missouri), FurDu (Australia), Furry Weekend Atlanta (Georgia).

Postponed: Biggest Little Fur Con (Nevada), Otterdance (Netherlands), Golden State Fur Con (California), Fauntastic (France), Thaitails (Thailand).

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY 

Conventions the world over are cancelling or postponing in every fandom. The COVID-19 (Corona virus) preparation has many in isolation the world over. Travel is becoming more restricted between countries, and preppers are bulk-buying all the toilet paper. These quarantines and lock downs being so wide spread, it’s actually kind of an impressive feat of social engineering that hasn’t caused this much panic since Y2K. The purpose of isolation is to take the place of herd immunity that doesn’t exist for a new virus. Yes, healthy young furs probably won’t get very sick if they catch it, but these proactive measures are to protect the more vulnerable, elderly, and immune-compromised. It’s drastic, but the virus would spread alarmingly fast if we continued attending concerts and conventions.

You can help these conventions by:

  1. Donating your registration to the organization
  2. Sharing the information, store fronts, and art streams of artists and dealers affected by closures and postponements
  3. Donate to the charity of the event
  4. Be patient with event organizers, venue and hotel staff, and workers who cannot take the time off to self-isolate.

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Good news! Doggos won’t make you vom-o — and more to know about a zoonotic pandemic.

by Patch O'Furr

Need something wholesome for a time like this?  Investigation found no reason to fear that people might catch COVID-19 from dogs. That’s good for me and my chihuahua child. No more worry about going “aww” for little sneezes!

Plague Bats and Furry Vets

It’s rare for a new disease to jump from one species to another — they’re usually incompatible. But COVID-19 came from zoonotic transmission with no herd immunity or treatment. It’s NOT the common flu. The CDC info page calls it an evolving situation. Brace yourself! Learn key terms that the experts use.

Zoonotic: A virus is considered zoonotic when its origins can be traced to animals. These diseases are known as zoonoses, meaning they are naturally transmissible from vertebrate animals to humans. It’s believed the virus that causes COVID-19 may have originated in bats and spread through a number of species before it was contracted by humans.

I reached out to veterinarian furries for professional comments or a message to the fandom. Zarafa Giraffe works as fill-in staff at many vet clinics. He says:

Obviously, the Covid19 pandemic, and the social distancing it requires, has been devastating to the conventions and furmeets we love so well. The good news is that as far as we know, your dogs and cats are safe, and cannot transfer infection to you. Veterinary clinics are considered essential services, and will continue to operate. Even here in the San Francisco Bay Area, which currently has the strictest social distancing requirements in the US, you’re allowed to go to your local veterinary clinic. If your dog or cat needs medical attention, contact your local veterinarian.

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40th anniversary of Animalympics: The “Rocky Horror Show” of furry fandom – by Sy Sable

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Here’s a guest article from Sy Sable, AKA Mark Merlino, a founder of furry fandom and its first convention ConFurence. Sy, Rod O’Riley and Changa Lion host monthly parties at their house (The Prancing Skiltaire) in Southern California. The parties screen animation like Animalympics. It became popular at 1980’s fan parties, where furries adopted it as their own cult favorite like Rocky Horror and kept it alive when it might be forgotten. Last week I hosted a furry movie party where the furry-made version (C/FO Cut with rare lost scenes) got a fresh look as an original fandom root. The Youtube video is at end of article. – Patch

To go with the story, Changa Lion provided his scans of a vintage TV Guide from when Animalympics first aired (Jan 26 – Feb 1, 1980). “NBC was at the time in the dumps in ratings and very desperate. It had been this way for some time. They would not dig themselves out until the Cosby Show.” (full issue on Archive.org.)

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The Furry Karate Hero who stopped an assault at Fur Con

by Patch O'Furr

“I threw my paws to the ground and took my head and collar off” — The last thing they see before the furpile.

In San Jose on January 17, fursuiters were cooling off outside Further Confusion‘s main hotel. That’s when a car stopped short, and they heard the driver screaming “Get out!” She was being beaten. Onlookers ran to the car and pulled a male passenger off of her.

“Among the first on scene was the pink dinosaur, who wrested the suspect by the head and shoulders while a massive tail bobbed in his wake” – The Mercury News

Kin Z. Shiratsuki is the furry they quoted: “This guy was just walloping a lady,” Shiratsuki said. “He had to have hit her 10 times.” But wait, pink dinosaur? She’s a KOBOLD/ROO (also sometimes a purple gryphon). Get it right… read furry news!

The group of helpers show that not all heroes wear capes — some wear fursuits. They can join the ranks with furries in a past story who helped crash victims escape a car on fire.

Kin is often at local SF Bay Area meets and responded to a Q&A.

Hi Kin. Did you see the video of the incident went around a lot? It even made CNN’s front page.

Oh gosh it did, meep meep I did not see. I just saw one Twitter post and a Facebook post. I’m just glad that the cops came and arrested the guy.

What’s the story from being on the scene? 

I was walking around the corner in suit with a friend. I heard some people talking, and focused on two in the car. As soon as I saw what was happening I yelled at the group of people, “get the car door open, get him out of there!” and they acted. I told people to call 911, and called myself.

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Help Make a Parents and Kids Programming Track at Further Confusion

by Patch O'Furr

UPDATE: The person running programming has had to drop out. Anyone interested in helping take their place should contact the con.

Who brings kids to a furry con? Check out Furscience.com: Resources for parents, or Moms of Furries. Vice has a report: How the Furry Community Became a Safe Space for Youth. Sometimes kids bring their parents, and sometimes furries have their own kids. Of course they do, this fandom started in the late 1970’s. Multiple generations is what makes it grow.

BunBun, a mom and furry near San Francisco, proposed kid-friendly programming to Further Confusion in January. She said the board really wants to make it happen. She’s now working to make special events for kids. There’s a schedule including guided story writing/mad libs (maybe with a writer guest?) and having the kids design a space ship, matching the sci-fi theme of the con.

It will be the best time ever for them. You can help!

  • WANTED: STAFF. Bunbun needs people willing to volunteer.
  • WANTED: ART SUPPLIES. Including hands-on craft or sewing supplies, like scrap fur, needles and thread to help them start furry costuming of their own.
  • Is anyone willing to put on a fun panel for kids, or be a DJ for kid friendly music?

Contact the con if you want to help make it happen.

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At Furry Weekend Atlanta, an academic philosopher wins a job by the power of fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

The human species is diverse, but anywhere you go, there’s job-seekers hungry to start careers. At least one of them is a tennis-playing philosopher with a FurAffinity account, a raccoon fursona and a cool story: WildeCard. (Here’s his personal site.)

In human form, he’s a Postdoc researcher and ethics course instructor at Ohio State University’s Center for Ethics and Human Values. He’s working on a book titled The Environmental Impact of Overpopulation: The Ethics of Procreation, which explores the ethics of slowing population growth. (For humans — no word about raccoons, bunnies or others with prodigious proliferation.)

How did he get there? WildeCard writes in:

“I recently documented how my experience on the academic job market (in philosophy) overlapped with attending Furry Weekend Atlanta 2019. And by overlapped, I mean that I was literally doing job interviews from my hotel room while attending this convention. That part of the story comes near the tail-end of an 8-month search for academic employment, which was ultimately successful.

The relevant (and lengthy) blog post is here.”

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