Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Interviews

Q&A with Christopher Polt PhD., who teaches a Talking Animals course at Boston College (Part 1)

by Patch O'Furr

It wasn’t long ago that Furry Twitter found Christopher Polt, PhD. and his threads full of art and animation history that whole-heartedly welcome furries.

His content isn’t just catering to fandom — it goes deep into history in a fun and engaging way. But the parts with furry interest reminded me of another account profiled here before, Ancient Furries. I asked him if he wanted a brief “Great Accounts To Follow” article, and it led to a much more involved Q&A. It’s special to get such effort from a professor who handles lots of students and curriculum! Here’s Part 1, with Part 2 posting tomorrow.

(Dogpatch Press): I see you’re a Classicist and Assistant Professor at Boston College. That looks like a super active place (with beautiful architecture!) Can you talk about what it’s like to work there and what the job involves?

(Christopher Polt:) If you like Collegiate Gothic, we’ve got you covered! It’s a nice place to work — supportive colleagues, friendly and bright students, freedom to teach mostly what and how I want. Each semester I teach two or three courses, which are a mix of intro/intermediate ancient Greek or Latin, advanced seminars on Latin literature (esp. Roman poetry), and courses on ancient culture that don’t require knowing ancient languages (some examples: Roman spectacles; art and resistance under the early Empire; and “Beast Literature,” which is about talking animals in ancient and modern literature and film).

I also spend a lot of time on research and writing. My first book, which is coming out from Cambridge soon, is about how Romans in the 1st century BCE used theatrical comedy to think and talk about their everyday lives and relationships.

I’ll bet Covid has really affected everyone at colleges everywhere, what’s your story for that? You mentioned starting to tweet about Disney history a few months ago, is that using social media to maintain energy with your work that got disrupted by the pandemic?

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“Very surprised and very grateful”: fursuit maker Beauty of the Bass talks about a $14,000 sale.

by Patch O'Furr

Previously: Furries support independent art with $14,000 and $15,600 fursuit auctions at The Dealers Den.

A creepy-cute aesthetic

“I prefer to work on scary, creepy, odd, gory and crazy designs,” said UK-based fursuit maker Beauty of the Bass in her recent Dealers Den auction.

Ghatz, the suit shown here, doesn’t belong to the lucky winner — theirs is waiting to start — but this completed work can show why her talent earns a price as high as $14,000.

The Krampus-like aesthetic stands out in a crowd of technicolor fluff. Imagine basking in the spookiness in person, then being chased by this creature through delightfully twisted nightmares. The maker’s vision is detailed in her FAQ that pairs her with compatible clients.

(BotB) — Things I look for in a design and application:

  • A well written and thought out application form.
  • A clear reference of the character in question with a strong idea of concept and direction the client wishes me to go in.
  • On the other hand, I am looking for artistic liberty suits. These will be done on an ‘offer me a price’ basis.
  • Interesting, scary, gory, unique, tricky and extravagant designs will have more of a chance to go through.
  • I am wanting to do a belly suit, so will be looking for that opportunity!
  • WEREWOLVES. MYTHICAL CREATURES. DEMONS.
  • Silicone drool, skin and gore effects. This does not require lots of mold making, therefore I am more than happy to do this.
  • Willingness to go the extra mile for the extra effects and will be happy to push the boat out with me, as i’m wanting to push myself.
  • Unique species, uncommon species and hybrids.
  • Mutations, extra parts, double jaws, double faces, scars.
  • Long fur accents, manes and mohawks with the NFT fur upgrade.

It’s another example of unique vision seen in a 2017 story: Q&A with Kazul of Kazplay, first place winner for cosplay at Blizzcon. Kazul wanted to create a living illusion for her Hogger suit — to hide the human form and “look like he smelt like a wet, dirty dog” — and be more than a person wearing a rug.

(Kazul) — With all my work I strive to make convincing characters. When I hear people ask “how is it moving like that?” “How is a person inside that?” when I know that I’ve tricked their brain well enough that they can only see what is in front of them as a real creature, that’s when I win.

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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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Meet the artist behind the site banner — Roku Doggo

by Patch O'Furr

From time to time, Dogpatch Press commissions new banner art — check out a gallery from past months. Past artists have come from Mexico, Argentina, Chile, the Philippines, England, Quebec, North Carolina, California, and Texas. Get in touch if you want pay and a feature article. Today it’s for Roku Doggo.

Hi Roku, love your banner art! Especially the way you made it a funny action moment.

Thank you so much.

Where are you from and how much furry activity do you do?

I’m from Texas, and the only furry activity I do is, well drawing furries and I do it almost every day.

What’s your favorite part about being a furry artist?

My favorite part will have to be the interactions I have with my followers. It makes my day just to see them happy about any of the work I make.

Can you link your social media profiles?

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Meet the artists behind the site banners: Meteor05 and Azure Paragon

by Patch O'Furr

Dogpatch Press is commissioning regular new banner art — check out a gallery from past months. Each artist gets an article, with a goal to promote ones outside the USA. Last artist was Glasses Gator from Mexico. It’s a little behind schedule, so here’s catchup with both Azure Paragon (December) and Meteor05 (January.)

Hi Meteor, so you’re in Mexico and have a wolf fursona — why wolf? And you teach — ever teach cartoon art?

I choose a wolf as my fursona because something funny happened to me as kid, when I entered primary school. I was kind of a hyperactive/playful kid, so, in my first class, instead of doing stuff for class, I just wanted to play with the other kids, I started to shout “hey, there’s a wolf at the window!” and ran around, but none of the other kids wanted to play and later they started to call me “Wolf”, something that I hated at the time (and hated for years LOL). I eventually started to accept it, and even liked it, until it became part of myself.

About my work as a teacher, I really don’t teach anything relative to cartoons or art (that would be really nice though). I’m an elementary/primary school teacher, I work at the computer lab from the school, teaching kids how to use the computer (basic stuff of course). But even though my job is not fully related to art, I use it sometimes on school stuff, like the cover of my class planning book.

Can you say a little about fandom activity where you are? Do you go to meets or cons?

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What’s life like for a teenage LGBT furry fan in Iran?

by Patch O'Furr

Fursona of Rastin, a furry in Tehran

Governments are supposed to represent their people. Instead they often end up representing a few haves against many have-nots. It might put oligarchy and corporate greed first, or theocracy and military power. You can read between the lines of headlines about the USA vs. Iran.

But how often do people in both places talk to each other directly without borders, filters, propaganda, stereotyping, and forced conflict? And when they’re pitted against each other, what could these different societies possibly share in common?

Like pizza, you don’t need to speak the same language to love art. So furry fandom builds bridges around the world. That’s how Croc (@Microdile), a California furry, first made friends with Rastin (@Rastin_woof). Rastin is a 16 year old member of a generation living after the 1979 Iranian revolution, which put religion and laws together, unlike the USA which separates church and state (at least in theory.)

In the following Q&A, Rastin uses forbidden internet contact to discuss forbidden topics — criticizing authority, oppressed LGBT identity, parents who don’t understand, and fandom that isn’t shared by anybody near him. His fursona species isn’t even tolerated (dogs aren’t loved pets in Iran.) What stands out more than differences is the universal stuff in common: creativity and self expression, and wishes to escape to a more peaceful world.

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SCADfurs: These furry animation students will make shows you love one day

by Patch O'Furr

Continuing from Furry college clubs — a place for artists and animators with dreams and fears.

Fall Fest 2019

Yesterday’s article looked at college clubs for furries being a new movement in a growing fandom. It covered clubs at art and animation schools being a special place for people who haven’t always been in synch with the mainstream. It could involve stigma with jobs, but the upside is pro artists making good ties to fandom, and indie artists finding opportunity.

Georgia’s Savannah College of Art and Design is a top rated school near Furry Weekend Atlanta, and a place to find furry talent. SCADfurs is a club for them you can see on Furaffinity or Twitter. SCAD furs president Bucky is a Sequential Art major, and here’s our Q&A.

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Meet Glasses Gator, the artist behind this month’s Frozen parody banner.

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Dogpatch Press is commissioning regular new banners — check out a gallery from past months. Along with the art, each artist gets an article with a goal to promote ones outside the USA. Last month, Magferret from the UK was featured with a spooky Halloween banner. Now, Mexican cartoonist Glasses Gator is here with an homage to Disney’s Frozen 2 to coincide with the movie’s wide release later in November. (We could have an American Thanksgiving theme, but this is for fandom. The only colonizing here is by love for talking animals that has no borders.)

(Staff:) Hi Glasses, can you give a little intro about yourself, where you live, and where to find you on social media?

Hi, I’m GlassesGator, I’m 25 years old, I’m Mexican but also 1/4 Chinese. I live around Sonora, and normally you can find me on Twitter as @Glasses Gator. I also have a DeviantArt and FA account but I kind of stopped using those for a while, been wanting to update but it will take me lots of posts.

On your personal profile, I found at least four different alligators* that look like your fursonas or original characters (OC). Do you consider yourself a scalie or a furry?

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Meet Magferret, artist for October’s site banner.

by Patch O'Furr

(Patch:) Hi Mag. Very nice art and it’s a pleasure to host it. The site is commissioning regular new banners and featuring the artists, with a goal to give attention to ones outside the US. The last one was Alf Doggo from Chile. Can you give a little intro about yourself, where you live, and where to find you on social media?

Hi! My name is Mag, I’m from England and I draw cartoons and make music! I’m most active on Twitter where I post a bunch of my art!

Do you mostly do art in furry fandom, or somewhere else like for non furries? Do you do it for a living or just sometimes for money or for fun?

I’ve been taking commissions for over 10 years now, but went full-time with my art around 2 years ago. I’ve done some art for indie game projects, but the majority of my art is commissioned from within from the fandom which has honestly been such a pleasure! The fandom has some of the kindest, most supportive people ever and I’m really lucky to have such an amazing community of followers to interact with, I’m nothing without those guys!

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Rukus film maker Brett Hanover: “Furry is a collective art project”

by Patch O'Furr

Watch free online! Public release was announced yesterday with links to reviews and more. Now the director tells how it grew.

See Rukus now at www.rukusmovie.com, or NoBudge on October 17th. “A hybrid of documentary and fiction, ‘Rukus’ is a queer coming of age story set in the liminal spaces of furry conventions, southern punk houses, and virtual worlds”. The person named Rukus was a furry artist who committed suicide, but left many memories and mysteries. His friendship with film maker Brett Hanover (bretthanover.com) inspired this movie. Please share it to other fans and indie movie lovers to support it like the way it was made.

Brett Hanover is a filmmaker and youth media educator from Memphis, TN, whose work explores outsider art, mental health, and queer fan communities. His documentaries and collaborative narrative film projects have been exhibited at venues including the SXSW Film Festival, the Chicago Underground Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, and the Cinémathèque Française. Brett received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MFA from the University of Illinois.

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