Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Conventions

A 1990’s fax to troll Confurence shows how long there’s been culture war with furry fandom

by Patch O'Furr

Hairy Horny Freedom

Media was different in the 1980’s. There was a TV channel just for music videos. Furry fans got their fix from Saturday morning cartoons or cult films on VHS. Smartphones, Twitter and Facebook didn’t exist. Sharing a meme could need paper mail or a fax.

On MTV, there were lots of metal videos with men who acted macho but looked like hot women. Think: bikers in mascara who switched meth for hairspray. They sang about love over widdly-diddly guitar wizard pyrotechnics. (They were rockin’ like Dokken.) There was an arms race to be the most Glam until Grunge bands stole their place. But first, they were challenged by disco DJ music, minus the hair farming and augmented by rapping and controversy.

In Miami, a club scene rose up that thrilled crowds with rappers doing porn lyrics. Horny young people loved it. The rappers were a few young guys in the Air Force with a music hobby named 2 Live Crew. A recent rap history podcast (Mogul) tells the story of how their song “Me So Horny” went huge even without MTV. It helped rap cross from black to white people, and also pissed off a lot of them.

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Harvest Moon FurFest: New BIPOC-led furry convention comes to Maryland in 2022.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Written by @Mac_TheWolf

There will be a live Q&A about the event on YouTube from 3 PM EST on Saturday, July 11.

In light of recent events regarding the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the police, activist movements have tried to raise awareness of the racial injustices which are still happening in today’s society. The issue of racial inequality has once again been brought to light by these events, and many people believe we have a long way to go until people of color feel safe in our communities.

Fandoms from science fiction to furry haven’t always been as diverse as they could be. As fandoms grow, previously overlooked members see each other and want to be seen. Now one group of furry fans from Maryland are aiming to take things into their own hands by running a convention mainly with the help of those from BIPOC communities.

Harvest Moon FurFest, which is set to take place on a 200-acre campground in Maryland, is the newest of a plethora of furry conventions that take place around the globe. However, unlike most, Harvest Moon FurFest’s main goal is to build the convention from its original foundation by people of color and of other marginalized groups. The board is mainly run by those from black communities, but the CEO of the con has assured those with concerns that people of all backgrounds are free to attend, volunteer, or apply for staff at the event.

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The Fandom movie: Furry paws seize the media

by Patch O'Furr

Premiering JULY 3, 2020 at thefandomfilm.com.

When the media shows furries, do they get it right?

It’s a constant furry worry. In 2017 it was announced that CNN was making a show about them. Backlash rose about sensationalism, but few critics gave a fair shake to the producers of This Is Life with Lisa Ling. Then it came out and it was a flat-out advocacy piece on behalf of Furry“, said Joe Strike, a fan since the 1980’s who wrote a book that covers the subculture’s run-ins with bad media.

Joe Strike’s Furry Nation is the essential fandom history book.

Positive response didn’t satisfy every critic. Some asked why the 3 fans featured by CNN didn’t include more diverse people. But the show (with an asian-american woman journalist) got backlash while asking volunteers to raise their paws and be counted. That seems like damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

In answer to this, The Fandom is a documentary made by the fans. It features outstanding writers (like Joe), artists, animators, musicians, costume designers, event organizers and founders. It celebrates the roots with pro quality and appeal for outsiders who might not have given a fair look before.

For decades this subculture has thrived despite adversity. Bad media is one kind, but not the only kind. Some is internal. Some is homophobic. Some is happening right now with this screwy year. There’s even a villain to tell you about.

$10 million worth of trouble

Anthrocon is the 2nd largest furry convention, led by Uncle Kage (Dr. Sam Conway), the longstanding CEO and fandom public relations figure. It was due to bring $9.9 million to Pittsburgh’s economy in 2020. Now it’s among 70 furry cons canceled by COVID-19. The movie is launching anyways on the con’s dates, without opportunities that could have won distribution. (No film fests either.)

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Capital City Fur Con’s Nitro-powered crash and burn

by Patch O'Furr

Contact-starved furries are having a bad year. Only a few conventions opened before COVID-19 made so many cancel and cut off the hug supply. (Quick, send emergency plushies before the furries go rabid for hugging anything that moves! Or set them loose in riot zones and tell them the cops need hugs.)

Capital City Fur Con was among the few that happened successfully, and it was a first-year con… so months later, it’s extra noticeable to see it blow up with a mushroom cloud of absurd drama. At least it makes a show. It also makes a lesson about a fandom full of DIY power. Uncritical nerdy love is good for starting your own art, stories, or even a sexy furry news site — but not just any dummy should start a con.

The dummy of this story is CCFC’s (ex-) chair, Nitro. He may now be hiding out in a luxury yiff bunker, with hopes to be forgotten in the furor about a pandemic/recession/uprising, because he allegedly took thousands of dollars for charity but failed to give it to them. That’s illegal.

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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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