Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Personalities

Great accounts to follow: Unintentional Furries

by Patch O'Furr

Announcement – until March 31, vote for the Ursa Major Awards to support the best works of furry fandom!

If you’re a talking animal on social media, Furry Twitter is the place to be. And if you aren’t on there yet, or if you’re new, it may seem like a perplexing jungle of stunning art, cute fursuits, drama, social commentary, memes, nature videos, hitting on corporate mascots, and crazy happenings with a huge fandom of friends who have fun like nobody else. Finding the good stuff could use a guide to bushwhack through the wilderness. Wouldn’t it be cool to get an article series about entertaining and well curated accounts?

These will ask the account owners a few short questions about what they do. Enjoy whether they’re new, or you like learning more about stuff you already love.

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Second Life’s philosophy of genuine expression for Furries.

by Patch O'Furr

Announcement – until March 31, vote for the Ursa Major Awards to support the best works of furry fandom!

Luca is a long time Second Life user who recently sniffed her way to my inbox with a news tip: many furries in that world want to show this one what they’re all about. (I noticed that she’s pretty good at this – having appeared on Vice’s Motherboard with a video about the huge size of the world. It tells me that while it may not be as big as it was a while ago, it’s still very active.)

Luca believes that Second Life’s philosophy of Virtual Existentialism / Embodiment allows furries to genuinely, fully express who they are without physical limits. So she made a video to promote their wish to transcend the inner self on the virtual plane of existence.

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Interview with LyricWulf, a top furry Youtuber who shares the positive power of music.

by Patch O'Furr

“If you’re someone who’s got something to share with the world, there’s no better time than now”

See more at LyricWulf.com

LyricWulf is one of the top furry Youtubers with over 100K subscribers. What’s special about his music?

Art, fiction and costuming are full of furriness. Music isn’t always recognized as a fandom thing, but a lot of other stuff depends on it. Dance and music videos are a big gateway for newcomers. Con dances are a crossroads for goers and might get the lion’s share of production budgets. Live events are glue that makes fandom stronger than just internet relationships, and furry dance parties are some of the biggest local meets where they happen.

Unlike other things in fandom, a lot of the music comes from outside (although that’s changing). But back in the 1970’s and 80’s, nerdy conventions featured “filk” music – folk songs with fandom inspired lyrics. That’s rare now, and dances are more like a hybrid with separate subcultures (like rave and DJ party culture), which makes “furry music” hard to define.

A recent series at Dogpatch Press asked 10 furry musicians “what is furry music?” It’s hard to say more than “it’s made by or for us”, but think about how it can evoke feeling by using visual aesthetic, being a soundtrack, or even representing animal sounds like Peter and the Wolf does.

A great response came from indie-pop artist ABSRDST.  His cartoon aesthetic (gay ducks with romance lyrics) wasn’t made for fandom, it was just welcomed after he got started (and that was mutual). He put it on a shirt that was especially popular. One of the team for a certain cartoon duck show even wore it to work. That seems like pure furriness, coming from inside rather than intentionally made for a certain target.

Some of the biggest mainstream names who have associated with furries are in music. Many pro musicians use fursuiters in music videos. Jello Biafra (ex Dead Kennedys) and Margaret Cho (from The Masked Singer) did the biggest interviews on Dogpatch Press. For unusual genre crossover, Ronan Harris of cult band VNV Nation gives special appreciation to furry fans, and metal band Periphery let a fursuiter fan sing for them. The biggest names who have used fursonas may be Violent J of ICP and Andrew WK (a wolf). Heavy metal can go well with wolves.

Today’s guest isn’t a metal wolf, he’s the cute and cuddly kind! Let’s look into why music matters with him.

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Margaret Cho barks about furries, pride, and costuming on The Masked Singer

by Patch O'Furr

Dogged persistence seems necessary to win success as a standup comedian. In school, the class clown might not be who you expect to become a household name. That’s why one like Margaret Cho can be extra fascinating among mainstream celebrities. She’s got layers. Fabulous, fluffy layers. 

Live touring, TV, movies, fashion and music are all part of her creative canvas, with a palette of adult humor colored by mentors like Robin Williams, 1970’s San Francisco childhood, 1990’s alternative culture, Korean-American experience, female and LGBT identity, and enduring love for non-conformists. Her bio includes Grammy and Emmy nominations, accolades from the New York Times, and awards for representing the LBGT community among other activism for social progress. With such an arsenal of badassery at her disposal, she still graciously got on the phone with a little furry blog. 

Research for our chat turned up a few interesting facts: The show format (guessing the hidden performer) originally came from Korean TV, and she was tuned in to it before being cast. Despite the comedy label, her background includes burlesque and serious study to create comedy music on the level of pros like Weird Al or Flight of the Conchords. You can watch her on Season 1, Episode 4 of The Masked Singer on Fox.comEnjoy – Patch

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Representing furries in 2018: Good news on CNN, Sonicfox, and a tiger on Jeopardy. (Part 1)

by Patch O'Furr

In 2018, fandom had so much going on that this needs two parts. Part 1 has the media, and Part 2 is for conventions, charity, art, celebrities, awards, spending, and more. 

Pic: Cecil Shepherd (center) with Mr. Disko and Patch

Ever been on an aircraft carrier? The USS Hornet, in Alameda CA, is docked across the bay from San Francisco. It’s a fearsome wedge of rust-flecked metal bigger than most city blocks, and bristling with guns, planes and artifacts from WWII to the Apollo Space Program. Now it’s a national historic landmark and museum, but if you walk down the cavernous hangar deck and look at photos of Pearl Harbor in flames, it almost tingles with the smells and sounds of a global struggle against the evil of fascism. It made me think of my grandpa in the South Pacific, taking islands from Japan. It could make the world’s biggest hippie feel a sense of pride and humbleness from the history there.

Look ahead a few months, when this ship will be full of furry animals throwing a rave. That’s the cutting edge of turning swords into plowshares!

The second Space Camp Party is coming. On 12/9/18 it started with a photoshoot on the ship that drew a whopping 130 fursuiters just for a pre-planning meet. Previously in March 2018, over 500 went to the first party at Faction Brewing (a converted aircraft hanger on the same navy base). From early demand, the followup is likely to reach the size of a single-day con.

While I was doing silly poses in my rat suit against a giant ship anchor (does Bad Dragon make one of those?) – I thought of furries taking over the ship and conquering the nation. Next, the world. Then the blue skies above, and then the moon.

2018 is an intense year with many furry news stories topping ones that just happened. It’s too much to easily keep up with, and Fred Patten’s death affects publishing here, but on the plus side, I’m now paying for articles. Get in touch about submitting your story. And check out how much cool furry stuff there is to share.

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Sonicfox Just Won Best Esports Player – and the Future of Furry is Bright – by Tempe O’Kun

by Pup Matthias

Welcome to Tempe O’Kun, author of Paranormal Furry Romanceanthropomorphic-animal Westerns, and a frequent guest of the site.

You might not be into pro gaming. Maybe your interest in gaming is limited to what you play yourself and the occasional piece of fan art. That’s cool.

But let me tell you why you should care.

  • Furries are visible.

You might not have noticed, but we’re rainbow animal-people. Midwest Fur Fest just passed 10,000 in attendance, a world record for furry cons. In some ways, the fandom will always be our weird little club, but we’re not some unknown niche anymore. Not when one of us breaks into the trending topics on Twitter.

So somebody is going to be the face of the fandom—or rather, various people are at different times. And we’re lucky that our two recent high-profile furries (SonicFox at the Game Awards and Bucktown Tiger on Jeopardy) have been really upstanding guys.

And it’s not just a public persona. As it happens, I talked to SonicFox at MFF last weekend. I ducked away from my book launch for a few minutes to say hey. And, even in suit, he made a little time to stop and chat with me. Just as you see in the video, he comes off as a sweet and sincere person. He’s absolutely someone we want as a go-to example of a furry.

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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 1: 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. UPDATE 2: the issue is resolved.) – 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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A tribute to Fred Patten, 1940-2018

by Patch O'Furr

Fred in 1993 at a furry party at San Diego Comic Con. Lizard unknown. Photo by William Earl Haskell.

Fred Patten passed away on November 12, 2018 at age 78, leaving a legacy as historian and founder for the anime and furry fandoms. He was the star guest poster here. It’s hard to think of having no more Fred posts, but easy to say how much he influenced everyone. I’m really going to miss him sending in news tidbits or emails from curious fans, and asking if I can use them, then working out collaboration posts from his prompts. This was one of many, showing how he was sought out as an authority on anime and furry by people as far away as Malaysia.

Fred is remembered by many outside of furry. A memorial post on File770 highlights author David Gerrold calling Fred a “classic old-school fan”.  The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society’s memorial page has Melissa Conway saying: “He was, without a doubt, the dean of Furry Fandom.”

From fellow furry fans, Dronon posted a rememberence of Fred at Flayrah news.  So did Mark Merlino, cofounder of the first furry convention (ConFurence) and organizer of science fiction con parties that paved the way. Shortly before Fred’s passing, I ran into Mark and Rod of The Prancing Skiltaire (the long-running fan house in southern California) at PAWcon in San Jose. They had a table set up to remember gone but not forgotten fans. I think Fred deserves a place of honor in the middle of them all.

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Dogbomb Leads Furry Fandom To Highest Fundraising For ALS Cure Event

by Tuck Tucker

Inspirational furry, Vet Tech, and champion of ALS awareness Dogbomb (Tony Barrett) has led the fandom with a notable achievement for charity.  In the second weekend of November, a small army of furry supporters came out for his Walk To Defeat ALS event in Southern California. Their goal was to raise awareness and research funds for this fatal disease with no cure (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease).

Patch O’Furr spoke to San Francisco Bay Area furry Zarafa Giraffe, after his return from the weekend in SoCal. It drew furries who drove from Northern California and even flew in from other states. Zarafa gave a rough estimate of 75-100 furries at the walk that he estimated as mid to high hundreds – making them a significant chunk of the whole event, as well as a third of the entire donations.

The walk synched with a FurBQ where Zarafa estimated 300 in attendance (perhaps the high end of size for local furmeets less formal than cons). Meeting many new members encouraged him to make more trips to participate. That’s the kind of snowball effect that builds up to bigger things, and gives them power to reach out and make the world better.

That fandom power propelled both Dogbomb and the furry team all the way to the top of the fundraising leaderboard on the alsa.org webpage.

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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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