Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Category: Subculture

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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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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Looney Tunes gets a reboot (Part 3): How an iconic cartoon forged a wacky and lovable side of the furry fandom — By Rocky Coyote

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Meet “Toon Furs” in Part 3: Charlie Tinn, Zen Fetcher, and Toothpick the Woodpecker. This story features the side of fandom where you can watch NEW cartoons with classic animal characters, and even turn into one! HBO Max has 80 eleven-minute episodes of fresh-but-faithful animation from WarnerMedia. Furries discuss their influence in this 3-part story by Rocky Coyote. (Rocky previously covered fandom in America’s biggest city on his tag here.)

Charlie Tinn is a monochromatic mustachioed mutt, self-proclaimed hat enthusiast and classic cartoon lover. He discusses how the toon side of the furry fandom drew him into it.

I grew up watching them a lot as a kid, they were on basic satellite TV during certain hours of the day usually in the middle of the day or late at night. The theme song was always memorable, you can always tell what kind of cartoon is about to play even if most of the ones I watched were Tweety and Sylvester. Anytime it was a heavy emphasis on Bugs and Daffy it was a delight.

I enjoyed the unique ways of slapstick and visual humor like with Wile E. Coyote and his signs along with the word trickery that Bugs would do to Daffy, just so Elmer would shoot him in the face. Duck Amuck is a really good episode, I loved how they broke the fourth wall and they did a lot of elements like that.

I wasn’t really fully interested in the fandom until I discovered there was a toon side to it. Definitely made me interact with more people and got more friends from it and all while getting to enjoy just the wacky and zaniness that is Looney Tunes.

Honestly so far it’s a perfect successor from what I can see from the two episodes. I was able to watch the Porky and Daffy cement short, and Bugs running away from Elmer Fudd. They seem like great honorary successors; they got the right slapstick comedy, and the pacing and timing of the gags are all great from what I’ve seen.

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Looney Tunes gets a reboot (Part 2): How an iconic cartoon forged a wacky and lovable side of the furry fandom — By Rocky Coyote

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Meet “Toon Furs” in Part 2: Billy the Collie, Clawy the Cat, Chaos Coyote, and Dunhall the Dingo. This story features the side of fandom where you can watch NEW cartoons with classic animal characters, and even turn into one! HBO Max has 80 eleven-minute episodes of fresh-but-faithful animation from WarnerMedia. Furries discuss their influence in this 3-part story by Rocky Coyote. (Rocky previously covered fandom in America’s biggest city on his tag here.)

Billy the Collie is an artist who grew up watching Looney Tunes with his younger brothers. He talks about the flexibility the toon world gives him when depicting his characters in various scenarios.

I do have strong nostagic feelings towards Looney Tunes, and as a result the show has played a significant part in developing my toon persona and toon art as a whole.

Looney Tunes is definitely the king when it comes to executing that classic ‘toon gag.’ The show wasn’t entertaining because it had silly slapstick, it was entertaining because it set-up a comical scene with wit and personality that concluded with silly and creative slapstick. That’s what I enjoyed about the show, and is a big reason why I do enjoy cartoon stuff to this day.

Considering my fursona is a toon border collie, I’d say that it’s had a pretty big influence on me! The creativity that toon-stuff lends me in playing around with the toon physics, effects and logic is highly entertaining as an artist. The toon concepts pioneered by shows like Looney Tunes has also been a fantastic way for me to connect with other furries in the community, as the majority of furries are familiar with a lot of these ideas and concepts so it’s been fun engaging with them on this innocent but silly level.

Despite very clearly being computer-drawn, I do appreciate that the reboot keeps the original character designs rather than going down the current animation trend of using a “Cal-Art” inspired art-style. I do worry that the show will overly-focus on slapstick and cheap throwaway jokes, rather that the wit and personality which made the silly slapstick far more entertaining. But, I think the show is worthy of a chance to prove itself.

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Looney Tunes gets a reboot (Part 1): How an iconic cartoon forged a wacky and lovable side of the furry fandom — By Rocky Coyote

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Meet “Toon Furs” in Part 1: Duino Duck, RomeTwin, and James the Duck. This story features the side of fandom where you can watch NEW cartoons with classic animal characters, and even turn into one! HBO Max has 80 eleven-minute episodes of fresh-but-faithful animation from WarnerMedia. Furries discuss their influence in this 3-part story by Rocky Coyote. (Rocky previously covered fandom in America’s biggest city on his tag here.)

Looney Tunes gets a reboot: How an iconic cartoon forged a wacky and lovable side of the furry fandom.

Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang found a new home on May 27 as WarnerMedia launches its newest streaming service HBO Max.

Looney Tunes Cartoons is the latest show to marquee the iconic characters that have entertained viewers around the globe for over 80 years. Unlike recent reboots such as The Looney Tunes Show (2011) and Wabbit (2016), HBO’s series will closely resemble the format and art style of the original shorts crafted by the likes of Tex Avery, Bob Clampett, Chuck Jones, Friz Freleng and Robert McKimson.

Naturally, the show’s wacky yet lovable characters have had an influence on the furry fandom, but this goes beyond the cartoon’s anthropomorphic nature. Shows like Looney Tunes paved the way for a subculture within the subculture, where furries create their own characters in the ‘toon mold.’ This includes big eyes and exaggerated body proportions, personalities that range from goofy to outright insane, and a penchant for slapstick comedy aided by an endless supply of mallets, dynamite and anvils.

To get a better idea of Looney Tunes’ impact on the furry fandom, Dogpatch Press reached out to a number of self-identified toon furs and let them describe how the series influenced their love of cartoons and helped them find a place within the fandom.

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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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Unearthing a cool fossil — A 1980’s letter shows furry fandom before the net.

by Patch O'Furr

Ursa Major Awards voting is open through March, vote now for the best creators.

News tips from non-furries are often worthy. They won’t suck you into fandom-gossip, and they’re more likely to use the Dogpatch Press Facebook page than Telegram or Twitter. That’s how I heard from a New Jersey estate liquidator (someone contracted to sell off goods when someone dies or can’t do it themselves). They had binders of furry art, and I had experience in brokerage (my other fursona is a pack rat.) Was there worth in them?

They didn’t smell like money, but I knew they might have at least curiosity value for a handful of sources like Confurence.com, so I broadcast it and tagged them.

Indeed it was just sentimental-value stuff — not even original art, just photocopies — but Jerry Collins tied this to old guard furry fandom. I thought about how scrapbooks of gay culture from pre-1960’s had high curatorial value, and was reminded of a contact with an archive for 8mm home movies that were picked up this way and sometimes licensed for documentaries. I smelled news!

I asked about reaching the family to find out more about the collector, or make sure it was OK to share:

The house had Manga stuff and role play games. Owner was in his 50’s. Unfortunately the estate was handled by an attorney who had no personal knowledge. I do not see any issue with sharing the binder contents. Enjoy.

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