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Category: Interviews

Corgi Events Is the Fandom’s First Convention Management Company – By Grubbs Grizzly

by Patch O'Furr

Grubbs Grizzly is known for his “Ask Papabear” advice column, and Greymuzzles group popular among the original generation of fandom. He’s at work on The Furry Book and made The Good Furry Award for furs who demonstrate outstanding community spirit. Nominate one for a $1000 prize! Thanks to Grubbs for this guest article.

Corgi Events appeared here for their con Aquatifur. They made the fandom applaud in August 2018 when Denfur filled the vacancy left by RMFC. All eyes were on them when Denfur’s first year beat attendance estimates by double, as high as RMFC would have grown if it still existed. More than a mere numbers success, it represented fans rejecting bad behavior that ruined its predecessor, and embracing the ideal of a community. For that I would give Corgi Events all the support I can.

(Update: a twist in the story shortly after publishing makes me modify this to say I support fandom and its members, volunteers and community that makes cons happen for the love of it.) – Patch 

Corgi Events Is the Fandom’s First Convention Management Company
By Grubbs Grizzly

The history of furry conventions is an interesting one indeed, one that was recently written about by the late, great furry historian and book critic Fred Patten in his Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989-2015. As anyone who has read that book or is familiar with convention history knows, it all started with Confurence 0 in Costa Mesa, California, in 1989. After a couple years, new conventions started opening their doors. The phenomenon has snowballed until now there are nearly 100 conventions worldwide.

Up until recently, one thing fur cons had in common was that they were operated independently of one another. Often these would be organized by local fans, perhaps sharing crew with other events, but based in one community. Each would be organized by—typically—a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the United States.

But the other day my attention was drawn to a company called Corgi Events LLC, when I heard its announcement of a new fur con in Irvine, California, to be called Golden State Fur Con. GSFC is debuting next year, along with another Corgi-created con, the Painted Desert Fur Con in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Reading this, bells started ringing in my fuzzy bear ears. Was Corgi trying to replace Califur, which failed to hold a convention this year, and may or may not in 2019? And Phoenix (Scottsdale is a suburb) already has the young Arizona Fur Con. Next, I saw that Corgi also runs DenFur, which has effectively replaced the failed Rocky Mountain Fur Con. The chosen locations look strategic, and multi-con management over distance is a departure from the furry norm.

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Jello Biafra’s Incredibly Strange Interview and dance party with furries: San Francisco, 12/1/18

by Patch O'Furr

Info: Frolicparty.com or Facebook – Frolic with Jello Biafra

Are you a man or are you a mouse?
If you love your fun, die for it!
The Power of Lard by Lard

Man or mouse: why pick just one? Furries can have their cake and eat it too. (It’s cheese cake, of course!)

That line jumped out of my car music on a drive to San Jose’s PAWcon, on the day after Halloween. Besides rocking my giant ears, I was geeking out about just doing a 45 minute phone call with Jello Biafra.

Jello is a punk legend, the singer for Lard and the Dead Kennedys, the founder of Alternative Tentacles (one of the longest running indie record labels)… and he’s friendly to this fluffy fandom. Is that punk? Well, will it annoy purists and/or make you laugh? Then it just might be. And will the average furry care? I’d say it’s cooler than the times when furries infested the White House and assimilated Insane Clown Posse. If you could put all those things together, and let the mayhem commence with cute animals and crazy clowns doing a coup on the Capitol lawn, it would only be half as outrageous as this amazing event.

Speaking of Halloween, that wasn’t just a date on the calendar. Halloween is a classic Dead Kennedys song, and Jello referenced it when I asked for his thoughts on furries. The song rages against social regulations and asks why people don’t express themselves like that day, every day? So, furries, you got compared to a classic punk rager by the legend who wrote it. (He also wrote Nazi Punks Fuck Off. By the way, Nazi Furs Fuck Off!)

See why I was so stoked? Getting in that spirit also reminds me of Ministry’s Every Day is Halloween; Jello’s band Lard is a metal/industrial collab with the guys from Ministry. And when I asked what his fursona could be, he gave the punkest answer:

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“Last Mutt Standing”: Dogbomb inspires the world through his courageous battle against ALS

by Patch O'Furr

Dogbomb: Not your ordinary canine is a 2011 profile of a fandom-loved personality written by Kijani Lion. Kijani himself gets love here for bringing excellence to furry news (see his 2016 interview). By request, his Dogbomb article was reprinted with a plan for a fresh 2018 update. It was delivered with this note. (Your fluffy editor – Patch) 

In my 6+ years of journalism this was the most challenging, emotional yet inspiring piece I’ve ever written and I’m very happy at how it turned out. At the bottom I added an additional Q&A with Dogbomb and his friends and also some links. I chose the headline “Last Mutt Standing” as a homage to his favorite artist Jimmy Buffett and his single “Last Man Standing,” I know Dogbomb will appreciate that. I really look forward to seeing this online and it was my honor and pleasure to share the uplifting story of a true inspiration to many in the fandom and beyond! (- Kijani)

Dogbomb (Tony Barrett) and Trip E. Collie share a laugh at Biggest Little Fur Con (BLFC) in Reno last May. Barrett was diagnosed with ALS two months prior and said this would be his last appearance at BLFC. Photo courtesy of AoLun

“Last Mutt Standing”: Dogbomb inspires the world through his courageous battle against ALS

 By Kijani Lion

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but sometimes you also can’t tell a mutt to lie down, even in the face of the most grim diagnosis. For Tony Barrett – affectionately known as “Dogbomb” in the furry fandom – giving up was, and never will be, an option.

After experiencing gradual loss of muscular function about two and a half years ago starting with his feet and lower legs, then progressing into his hands, neck, back and throat, Barrett was officially diagnosed with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) in early 2018. The disease kills motor neurons, effectively blocking the nerve path to the brain that makes muscles work, rendering them weak and eventually unresponsive.

“Walking is becoming extremely difficult, and my swallowing and speech are rapidly worsening,” Barrett said. “With ALS, each day is slightly worse, and it becomes difficult to plan for the future. What is easy today may be impossible in a week or a month, and that’s just frustrating.” 

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Dogbomb: Not your ordinary canine – by Kijani Lion

by Patch O'Furr

Welcome back to Kijani Lion, who I previously interviewed in 2016. Kijani’s bio includes being a con Guest of Honor and organizer for FurLifeNW and their bowling meet that set a world record for attendance. And he’s been a journalist who contributed to Furry News Network, writing profile articles about outstanding fursuiters in 2011-2013. FNN’s articles seem to have fallen off the web in 2015, but I asked to bring this back.

FNN Fursuiter of the Month (August 2011) was Dogbomb. In 2018, Dogbomb has gotten a lot of love from the fandom with a serious story that you should know before moving on to this reprint. I asked Kijani to write a new update, and that’s in the works. Look forward to it soon. – Patch

Dogbomb: Not your ordinary canine (2011)

By Kijani Lion 

As long as he can remember, dogs have always been a big part of Tony Barrett’s life.

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“Don’t dream it – be it!” Interview with Robert Hill about early fursuiting and fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

Art of Robert Hill

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

Furry fandom has many members who were born after Robert Hill’s ahead-of-its-time (but perhaps underrated) role in its late 1970’s-1980’s formation. My previous introduction promised an interview. That involved some convincing to start it (so maybe others wouldn’t have gotten it?) That makes me extra happy to share it now.

For a little more background, you could browse his (very fetishy and hot) Fur Affinity gallery, or his Wiki that mentions successes in getting media notice. Some was for costuming, and some for art (like in the badly intentioned, but well exposed) MTV Sex2K documentary “Plushies and Furries.

When I say “ahead of its time” and mention MTV, the 90’s were a different time than now. Drama raged between furry fans about whether sexy stuff was acceptable, especially in reaction to media exploitation that overemphasized the fringes. A lot of the bad attention came with a nasty streak of homophobia.  In 2018, I think we know who won. It’s not about furries being indecent, it’s about radical self-expression with all kinds of supportive benefits. I’d say change didn’t come from pleading with outsiders to be nicer, but from the power of building a great community within. And the media followed along with some change from exploitation to a gentler view of loveable eccentricity.

All along, there were members who dared to explore what they wanted to express without taming it for outside recognition, but who were fiercely talented enough to get some of that too.

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Interview with Adler the Eagle, who helps you smile with furry animation.

by Patch O'Furr

Adler caught my eye with his animation. It got a lot of sharing on Twitter and helped him build a following of 6K+ (and rising fast) because of how fun it is. Thanks to Adler for taking time for this interview. (If you like this, you might also like How furry animator Jib Kodi found his art or the interview series with many other furries.) – Patch 

Patch O’Furr:

Hi Adler! I really love your vids you have been posting, and your fursona is super memorable. That’s why I got in touch. There’s tons of furs who have cute suits, but it’s easy to lean on the suit or just one talent like good dancing. I like how you round things out like a multi dimensional character who has good stories to tell. The voice acting and performance timing are big ingredients to make things so rad and fun. You kind of remind me of a mascot who hasn’t had a cereal made just for you yet.

If someone made a cereal just for Adler what kind would it be?

Adler Eagle:

Wheat based with little hard sugar bits mixed in. Probably Called Eagle Bites. They would be good, wholesome, and contain low amount of sugar, but a high amount of family fun and value.

Patch O’Furr:

I get the idea you’re into professional animation, maybe with a few years of experience prior to doing furry stuff. And is there any pro performing experience there too? Read the rest of this entry »

“If an idea resonates with you, there’s absolutely an audience for it”- the furry world of Lobst

by Bessie

Welcome to Bessie, of Marfedblog, a comics review and criticism site. There’s furry stuff there, and much more, with devoted curation by a fan doing exactly what they love. If you like this, give it a follow. And expect more syndicated content from Marfedblog reposted here. (-Patch)

Growing up on a diet of sci-fi and fantasy, transformation stories were the ones I loved and could always rely on the writers of most shows to fall back on one of it’s most loved tropes. For me they were always the most frustrating though, as characters spent their time trying either freaking or trying to change back, usually both. Frustratingly they almost never explored a person staying that way, gaining a new perspective on the world. It’s something I’d find renewed interest in when encountering the Furry Fandom and finally found quite literally in the works of Lobst, a furry comics artist who uses their anthropomorphic characters and an individual take on magical realism to express their unique experiences as a trans person.

As with the bulk of their work two of my favourites, both adult comics, prominently feature transgender characters and story lines. A Slightly Different Role follows the exploits of two huskies, Connor and Alex, the latter of which with the aid of a suitably gothic book of curses, magically endows the other with a vagina. The second, more science-fiction orientated That Curious Sensation takes the subject in an entirely different, rarely explored direction. Distracted from work by unwanted erections red panda Clover strikes upon the idea of nullification, quickly achieving his goal with an easily obtainable injection. In both instances the initial transformation is dealt with quickly and often humorously, instead shifting the focus onto how characters react and adapt to the changes, rather than the change itself as a way to explore other parts of a trans individuals experiences and struggles beyond the post surgery aspects that a lot of mainstream representations fixate upon.

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The Complexities of Problematic Kinks

by Patch O'Furr

The Complexities of Problematic Kinks – guest post by Maybelle Redmond  is now moved to the archive with this editor note.

“Say THING BAD, there are no complexities” … “If you talk about the bad thing then you must support it” … “Screw you for supporting the bad thing”

Of course cub porn is a bad thing (but describing it isn’t).

It’s also deeply rooted in the community. It’s been here since the beginning.  In the 1990’s Warner Bros was threatening to sue furries for Tiny Toons porn. It isn’t coming from outside or incongruent like racist stuff. It is furry. Anyone with a pencil can make it and anyone with a smartphone can share it. Some furries draw their art before they know there’s a fandom.

Self-generating porn is one reason why furry thrives without corporations that don’t make that stuff. It makes a potentially infinite problem. When they have websites for it like Inkbunny, condemning users at the bottom doesn’t stop distribution at the top. They will just keep coming to the art sites.

If we take it for granted that cub porn is bad but part of the community, it’s like when drugs are illegal but people keep using them. If you put small drug users in prison they still need humane treatment and a plan to do something about distributors. Saying THING BAD and “screw you” isn’t a plan. That’s why people can talk about complexities.

When you condemn the cub stuff you can still include consideration about how it can be self-generated and users might get habituated at young ages or include victims of abuse who need help instead of getting attacked. Attacking someone who posts cub porn they made of themselves isn’t unlike making kids face jail for sexting pictures of themselves. (Read the news story. Sorry this is such a squicky topic but how is that fair? There are better options.)

Cubs are already condemned with a bad reputation, and bringing this up will cost yours with a bunch of harassment. Even in an appropriate place with a history of speaking about community things. The article was originally meant for [Adjective][Species] but their site went inactive so the author submitted it here instead. It can’t be denied that it’s an ongoing topic that didn’t start here. Unlike here, they have articles that offer uncomplicated promotion for that stuff. But their site and Inkbunny, whose ownership aren’t close with this site, enjoy no real challenges for it.

Expecting consideration is risky with an audience who don’t have time to read a long article about Heavy Stuff. That leads to knee-jerk reactions and a communication breakdown. But apologize-and-delete-it doesn’t fix the problem and it keeps the communication broken.

Ironically, people bashed this site way harder than a “low level user” who actually posted the offending art. That was carrying out the different levels of concern that were suggested in a few comments that set off the harassment.

It’s sad to see no difference allowed between describing bad stuff and causing it. When reporters report about murder they don’t have to say they don’t support murder. Of course it’s risky to even host a discussion about problematic kinks because it can look like encouraging abuse instead of looking for understanding to reduce it. But a great deal of other work done by this site shows that this site isn’t for that.

There was no understanding. Many people didn’t read the article before lashing out. It was hosted to let the author and the comments hash it out. But nobody bothered for seven months until suddenly deciding to harass the site to absurd extremes. Since the article was seen enough, and the engagement was so disappointing, it’s now moved and you can find it archived or the author may host it.

___________________

Now here’s some feedback about the article that was stopped by knee-jerk harassment. We should have been able to discuss this.

People using kink for coping is part of BDSM where it helps them take control over bad things that happened to them. BDSM isn’t abuse, just like furry art isn’t bestiality. Cub porn can be created by people who seek that kind of coping too. That isn’t an excuse, it’s a description. Of course it’s different because the art has a danger of being an abuse tool. It was a mistake to host the article without calling it unacceptable strongly enough. But nobody bothered bringing it up when it published.

That’s how the article is liable to be criticized for too much weaving between condemning abuse, but giving victims a grey area with the idea of a “walled garden” with “policing” inside. In someone’s ideal world perhaps that could be a solution, but the less than ideal reality is that policing can be done by a group to ingratiate or excuse or show a good side while 2-facedly carrying out abuse.

The article talks about a “step forward” like that for an imperfect world, with a need for more education in society. You can say a step forward isn’t enough but at least the article recognizes a problem. Perhaps it’s the wrong solution when expecting education from general society leaves things too far out of our hands, but at least it gives something to discuss. And perhaps it’s better to have an ideal of eliminating the porn with a plan for distributors.

There is no plan. Those who attacked this site for hosting discussion will see history repeat when the problematic porn keeps coming up, and they attack people instead of causes. That’s like putting a pin in a voodoo doll and thinking it solved the problem.

For many who sent private support for accommodating discussion, but were too afraid to speak openly, good luck with it.

– Patch

 

SonicFox, world record Esports champion: fursuit “a peak thing in life for me”

by Patch O'Furr

It’s not every day that a POC furry pro gamer with 4 Guinness World Records wins a tournament in a fursuit. When I talked to a friend about interviewing SonicFox, I heard he was cool and didn’t have a big head about it. It was true, but the question lots of people are asking is how does he do it in a fursuit head? The best thing I do in mine is fit a beer through the muzzle. And SonicFox isn’t even quite drinking age while earning more than enough to pay for college.

Pro gaming is getting huge, and it has a juggernaut representing furries – but to SonicFox, it seems like the representing and hugeness is no big deal compared to the furry part. It’s like whether he was a rock star or just a guy next door with a cool hobby to share, he’d give it the same attitude. It’s about being friendly and as sincere as you can be in being who you want to be, especially if that’s a cute blue fox. He should win all the hugs.

Thanks to SonicFox for being so prompt and enthusiastic about an interview from a tiny furry blog – it was fast and good like his gaming. (And thanks for question suggestions from Chip, Summer, Matthias, Tempe, Codex and Tex.) Here’s some further reference, then the interview.

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Furry Fashion (part 2): Interview with the Furry Fashion Collective.

by Patch O'Furr

Cyan:
Hi Patch. We invited a few members of the F/F Collective board into this chat. Thanks for considering our project newsworthy.

Patch:
Totally cool. I got the impression there’s a physical book happening with it?

Sol:
Yessir!

Patch:
I dig it – is it about furries-who-like-fashion, or fashion-for-furries? Like clothes + furries, or more specifically anthro costuming?

Steezy:
Furries who like fashion. Sometimes fursuit fashion.

Yazoo:
It’s an amalgam of both the fashion savvy and those interested in fashion, whether it’s fandom inspired or otherwise.  So there’s a very nice intersection of people looking for fashion who are in the fandom and creators that provide for the fandom.

Sol:
Its also about giving insight for furries who might want to get into fashion.

Patch:
Oh yay, inspiration. Honestly that would even help me, I love making cool outfits but know nothing about the kind of stuff that people who go to school for the design know.

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