Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week Day

Furries You Meet at Camp Tiny Paws (August 2018)

by Patch O'Furr

When you’re tiny, less is more. When you’re a real-life 4-legged guinea pig named Tiny, having a convention named for you is a big honor. And for a moderately sized community, a smaller con can bring outsized fun.

That’s the vibe I got from my trip to this 2nd-year convention in Danbury, Connecticut. It drew around 300 attendees. Where I am in the San Francisco Bay Area, “the world’s greatest concentration of furries per square mile” (wikifur) has casual monthly meets that bring hundreds. It can be too much to keep up with. Do you ever get that feeling? Try events where furries are less dense. It’s like a throwback to a fresher, younger fandom.

Organizers K’gra and Nobody bring lots of positive energy for that. It cuts through negativity of current events like a rainbow laserbeam. They laughed about me being a mild, laid-back California dog person, and said “I can’t believe you came all the way here for this!” I said, “I can’t believe you invited me!”

Being a Guest of Honor came with a duty to support the con. The panel I did on self-employment (and DIY power of fandom) was well attended.  Other well-known furry names gave support too. Meeting Uncle Kage and Boozy Badger made me appreciate them for bringing their mix of long experience and newer yet super vocal membership. And not just themselves, but their family and friends.

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Explore “The Depths” adult furry webcomic – interview with the creators.

by Patch O'Furr

Meet webcomic writer Leilani. She’s interested in discussing furry webcomics, experience working with them, and how furry artists can be more successful with them. We chatted together with artists ABlueDeer and Kino Jaggernov about their project.

What is “The Depths”?

The Depths is an adults-only webcomic featuring anthropomorphic creatures in a historical alternate-Earth setting from the 1920s through the 1930s. The narrator is Leilani Perierre, a beautiful, brave, and savage sea otter. The webcomic focuses not only on Leilani’s origins growing up on a remote paradisaical island, but also her tales of romance, mystery, and epic adventure – above and below the deep blue sea. “The Depths” doesn’t just relate to the sea, it also relates to the soul. The cast includes Leilani, daughter of a tribal chieftain in the South Pacific, David (Leilani’s main love interest), Malana (Leilani’s foil), Kalea (Leilani’s BFF), Jamie (antagonist and foil to David), and Thierry as a French detective whose story is mostly unknown.

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Cottons [1] The Secret of the Wind, by Jim Pascoe – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Cottons [1] The Secret of the Wind, by Jim Pascoe. Maps, illustrations by Heidi Arnhold.
NYC, First Second, July 2018, hardcover, $19.99 (242 [+ 22] pages), Kindle $9.99.

Watership Down is known for its creation of a language and religion for its rabbits. Cottons, a deluxe hardcover graphic novel trilogy, has a rabbit history, religion, geography, industry, currency, and “magic”. This is mostly presented as background information in the unpaged epilogue to this first of three volumes.

The story takes place in the Vale of Industry, one of two vales in the World of Lavender (which is much less realistic for rabbits than the rabbit world in Watership Down). The Vale has two main species of inhabitants, the prey rabbits (called cottons) and the predator foxes.

The main protagonist is Bridgebelle, an apparently ordinary doe working in Wampu’s carrot factory. The Industry page explains:

“Sometime during the Tooth Age, an industrious rabbit named Rekra had a wild idea: if rabbits eat carrots for energy, then there should be a way to extract the energy out of carrots in a more pure form. After many failed experiments, he discovered a method of refining carrots into a light orange powder called cha.” (p. [255])

“Wampu Industries”, where most rabbits work, refines carrots into the cha that powers all rabbit materialism. Also rabbit art, but creating art is considered a waste of needed cha. Due to the need for more and more cha, there are less and less carrots for food, leading to a growing hunger problem. Bridgebelle would rather be free to use cha to create objects of art (called thokchas), but this gets her a reputation of being lazy, frivolous, and wasteful of cha.

In addition, the foxes (all shown as evil villains) are trying to force the rabbits to turn the carrot factory over to them. They want the factory and the cha for different reasons: Marrow Winterborne to kill the rabbits and gain a supply of endless power; Sylvan to enslave the rabbits and use the cha to lead the foxes to the Black Sun and summon the Broken Feather King, the ruler of Empyrean, the cottons’ Hell (but it is in the sky); and Vor for the cha as an opium-like drug to which he is addicted.

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Update about the Good Furry Award, and The Furry Book from Grubbs Grizzly

by Patch O'Furr

The Good Furry Award is here to spread good news! Without speaking for the award or anyone involved, here’s a message with an exclusive book excerpt.

Regular readers who come here for the pulse of the fandom know that negative news can have a lot of impact. Obviously, there’s good reasons to spread important issues and stand for the truth.

But do you ever get fed up with hearing about bad behavior by ignoramuses who can barely care for a potted plant, let alone maintain good relations with other fans? Would you rather not devote too much mental real estate to occasional stories here about: Read the rest of this entry »

Tales of the Firebirds, by Kyell Gold – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Tales of the Firebirds, by Kyell Gold. Illustrated by Tess Garman.
Mountain View, CA, 24 Carat Words, June 2018, trade paperback, $14.95 (167 [+ 1] pages), eBook $6.99.

Kyell Gold is the author of the five mega-popular “Dev and Lee” novels, published by Sofawolf Press between 2009 and 2016, featuring the homosexual lovers Devlin Miski (tiger), a football star for the Chevali Firebirds, and Wiley Farrel (fox), a gay rights activist and football talent scout: Out of Position, Isolation Play, Divisions, Uncovered, and Over Time. Tales of the Firebirds is Gold’s own collection of twelve short stories about Dev, Lee, and their friends (mostly Dev’s Firebirds teammates), written to answer readers’ questions and to fill out their personalities.

Gold says in his Introduction, “Spending a decade in the Out of Position world inevitably led to me thinking about things that might have happened off the stage of the novels, first to the main characters Lee and Dev, and later to a number of the side characters. Many of the stories in this collection were published elsewhere; some were written just to explore certain characters, and one was written to round out the collection about a character who won a Twitter poll.” (p. [1]) Most were published somewhere, some appeared only on Gold’s website, and a couple is original.

Three of the stories feature Dev or Lee, mostly before they met each other. The other nine focus upon one of their friends, enemies, Lee’s father, or Coach Samuelson: Jay Cornwall (stag football player), Colin Smith (fox religious bigot), Gerrard Marvell (older coyote football player), and so on.

Since the Dev and Lee novels are about both gay relationships and football, those are the main themes of these stories. From “Halftime Entertainment” featuring Jay Cornwell:

“Later, after the game, there’ll be a quiet dinner in Crystal City’s gay neighborhood, where a big coyote and stag blend in pretty well with the rest of the gym rats from the beach. There’ll be a few drinks in a bar, maybe dancing in a club where the lights stay low and we can bump and shove without football pads between us. There’ll be time to undress slowly at his apartment, to look at each other and touch each other, to make comments on workouts and the injuries of the season, my sore shoulders, his sore knee. And there’ll be, maybe, a little time tomorrow morning before my team’s plane leaves. This moment here is all about the game and the sex, the need and the release, the here and the now, but it doesn’t stop me thinkin’ about the other stuff while I’m getting’ my hands on him.” (p. 24)

From “Heart” with Hal Kinnel (fox sports reporter):

“Chevali’s quarterback – Aston, the wolf – is not top-five. But he doesn’t turn the ball over a lot and he’s got a good arm. He’s not accurate, but his misses are usually low or out of bounds, not the kind of misses that turn into picks. The wolverine at running back gets compared unfairly to Gateway’s wolverine (Bixon, the one Lee was talking about), which is kind of like comparing me to the star of that new vampire movie because we’re both swift foxes. But Jaws is better than average, and when you factor in his durability, he’s probably top-five in the league. Maybe number six, depending on if you count Yerba’s tandem as one.

Aston marches them down the field and then the drive stalls. But they punt with good field position and pin the Pilots back inside their ten, and it’s on that series that Miski gets to make a play.

It’s second and four, and the quarterback zips the ball to the tight end. The rabbit grabs it cleanly and turns to run upfield –

–and Miski is right there, wraps him up and drives him down to the ground. There’s a hiss from near the front; I look up and see Lee at the end of a fist-pump, and realize that the hiss was the end of him saying ‘Yes!’

He catches my eye and grins, and I can’t help but grin back. His eyes sparkle and he walks over. ‘If you want to make another easy twenty,’ he says in a fox-whisper, ‘go lay some more money on the Firebirds. We’re gonna win.’” (p. 106)

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ROAR Vol. 9, Resistance, Edited by Mary E. Lowd – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

ROAR Volume 9, Resistance, Edited by Mary E. Lowd.
Dallas, TX, Bad Dog Books, July 2018, trade paperback, $19.95 (297 pages), eBook $7.95.

ROAR volume 9, Bad Dog Books’ annual anthology of non-erotic furry adventure short fiction, is the fourth edited by Mary E. Lowd. It follows last year’s vol. 8 devoted to Paradise, and 2016’s vol. 7 devoted to Legends. This year’s theme is Resistance; “[…] the vision of resistance […] expressed through the voices of fifteen amazing authors.”

I suspect that Lowd accepted stories based on their quality rather than their relevance to the theme. The stories are all very good, and an excellent mix of types, although I don’t see what connection some of them have to “resistance”.

“Saguaros” by Watts Martin features Hanai, a coyote aristocrat, and Tamiisi, her shy rabbit maid, in a desert world of magic:

“Tamiisi stepped toward the wall. The neighborhood lanterns were first to meet her eyes, fixed lamps glittering from lawns and porches and thorn-trees, floating lamps trailing behind or in front of unseen travelers. As her eyes adjusted, she could trace the lines of sidewalks and carriageways, see the pennants atop the highest tents of the Great Market. Sky-fish flitted through the air, over and under the stone bridges, leaping to touch the rare flying sled. If she remained perfectly still, listened ever so closely, she could hear the clockwork birds twittering in faint harmonies as they returned to the park to roost for the night.” (p. 19)

But is the magic the coyotes’ or the rabbits’ – or someone else’s? The rabbits are unhappy with their lot, but what happens doesn’t seem to be due to anyone’s “resistance”.

In “Ghosts” by Searska GreyRaven, the resistance is that Cal, an Angora neko-form, is lesbian and rejects the straight heterosexual life her domineering father demands that she lead. Cal’s partner after he dies is Deanne, a black cat neko-form scientist trying to prove the existence of ghosts. When Cal’s father’s ghost continues to try to force her to “return to God”, the story becomes like a dramatic Ghostbusters:

“I squinted my eyes shut, and suddenly felt a burst of heat along the side of my face. My father snarled and let go, dropping me to the floor. I lay, gasping for air and opened one eye.

Deanne stood in the doorway, a heavy contraption slung over one shoulder. She held what looked like a gun from a game of laser tag in her paws.

‘What … the hell?’ I coughed. ‘Is that?’ I couldn’t think of the word.

‘Nope. It’s a spectral inverter. And it’ll scorch your retinas if you look at it!’

The ghost of my father roared and flew at Deanne, who roared right back and hit him again with a beam of red-black energy. My father dodged and laughed.” (p. 47)

Calling Cal and Denise “neko-forms” instead of just cats is necessary because there’s also a non-anthro pet cat in the story.   Also a rat-form, corvine-forms, and a lupine-form for anthro animals, plus humans. The ROAR vol. 9 cover by Kadath illustrates “Ghosts”.

In “Froggy Stews” by Humphrey Lanham, Uri, a frog, and Clyde, a sea lion, are roommates despite the disparity in their sizes:

“The [drunken] frog nodded. Clyde offered up a flipper for Uri to climb onto. On a normal day, Uri would never allow himself to be carried about by a larger animal like that. Today, however, he didn’t think he could successfully move from the sink to the couch without looking more ridiculous than he would in the arms of a sea lion.” (p. 57)

After six months, one of the two decides that the Odd Couple relationship isn’t working out. I’m not sure where the “resistance” is here. In fact, I’m not sure why a normal-sized frog and sea lion would ever decide to become roommates in a normal human house in the first place. All anthro fiction requires some acceptance of fantasy, but “Peeling off his grey turtleneck and $100 jeans” (p. 53) – this is a normal-sized, normal-physique frog? And a normal-physique sea lion doesn’t have legs. “Froggy Stews” reads smoothly, but the constant description of the frog’s physical normality (a small, hopping, cold-blooded reptile) made it impossible for me to envision him dressing in clothes, getting drunk, and living in a house-sharing relationship (a two-story house, at that) with a much-larger mammal who doesn’t have legs.

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Cold Blood: Fatal Fables, by Bill Kieffer – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Cold Blood: Fatal Fables, by Bill Kieffer.
Capalaba, Queensland, Australia, Jaffa Books, May 2018, trade paperback, $17.00 (323 pages), Kindle $5.50.

Readers had better consider Cold Blood an adult book for all the graphic M/M sex in the original stories.

This is Kieffer’s collection of six anthro “furry noir” novelettes set in his Aesop’s World universe. Five of them feature his Brooklyn Blackie wolfdog private investigator. The sixth features Frosty Pine, a Bearded Dragon roadie of another Bearded Dragon who is a rock star. Two of them are reprints; “Brooklyn Blackie and the Unappetizing Menu” from the anthology Inhuman Acts: An Anthology of Noir, edited by Ocean Tigrox, and “Unbalanced Scales” from ROAR vol. 7, edited by Mary E. Lowd. If you liked those samples of Kieffer’s furry crime noir stories, here are more of them.

Cold Blood does not have a Table of Contents. Allow me to add one:

“Welcome to Aesop’s World”, a four–page Introduction, p. [5]

“Shepard”, p. 11

“Brooklyn Blackie and the Dude-Less Dude Ranch”, p. 61

“Brooklyn Blackie and the Rainbow in the Dark”, p. 110

“Brooklyn Blackie and the Unappetizing Menu”, p. 177

“Brooklyn Blackie and the Reverse Badger Game”, p. 233

“Unbalanced Scales”, p. 272

Kieffer’s “Aesop’s World” furry stories are set in the city of New Amsterdam, in the nation of the United and Independent States. It’s our world with differences, from barely-changed names to real supernatural forces. There are languages like Aenglish and Gallish; states like Tejas; religious figures like Xrist. The species names are the same (Dogs, Cats, Rhinos, Anoles, Roadrunner), but they’re divided into Warms, Colds (or Repts), and Avis.

Blackie is a minor character in “Shepard”. Police detective Andrew Shepard, an Alsatian, is not corrupt, but he is a sadist who gleefully beats up suspects and anyone he doesn’t like. But he’s loyal to his friends. Young Blake Black, the son of Waldo “Big Blackie” Black and his wife Lynne (wolves) is the seventh son of a seventh son, and is believed by the superstitious to be cursed. When little Blackie is kidnapped by the Illuminati Arcana cult to be sacrificed to their god, Shepard bursts into their church to rescue him. (He is really Shepard’s and Lynne’s illegitimate child.) But things aren’t what they seem:

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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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Hairy heist: Have you seen this fursuit? Truckload of Furry Burning Man gear stolen in Oakland

by Patch O'Furr

MISSING: Animosulo’s fursuit. Can you help? Ask these news sources for attention, and link this article on Twitter (or use their other contacts):

Nacho’s suit was mistakenly mentioned as stolen (relying on info referencing multiple suits.)

(You might add  @burningman, and do send suggestions.)

Last time this happened…

A few years ago, Zarafa Giraffe’s beloved purple giraffe suit was stolen. He became furry-internet-famous (and a San Francisco celebri-fur, even to average people on the street.) There were stories by SFist and Broke-Ass Stuart and a journalist flew in from New York. The theft was sad but the outcome was happy.

Zarafa had been at Frolic Party, a legendary monthly furry dance party at The Eagle in San Francisco (which helped spark a whole movement of them across North America.) His fursuit bin was a tempting target for car break-in thieves. Neonbunny, founder and organizer of Frolic, personally hit the pavement to post flyers, along with some help. Thanks to his tireless work not just to promote the party, but care for it’s goers, there was an answer and the giraffe rejoined Zarafa.

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One con, three predators – what this says about furry fandom

by Patch O'Furr

Want some scorekeeping about Dogpatch Press? The site is getting close to 1,000 stories in 4 years, with quadruple readership since 2017 and tons of positive news about fun and cool accomplishments furries keep doing.

Then there’s stories that expose hate and abuse from the fringes. People who don’t follow what the site does like to misrepresent it as nothing more than a source for “drama”, muckraking, “fake news” or angry mob “witch hunts”. These attacks often come from a vested interest in keeping things nice and quiet.

Here’s an example of such a story. (This one started before Dogpatch Press existed, so attacking the messenger is pointless.) This sheds light on the motivation of a former fandom celebrity who fell into disgrace:

(Links in here): Why doesn’t 2 Gryphon tell the truth about how his partner went to prison? Why does he attack abuse victims just like he Protests Too Hard against “SJW’s” and “witch hunts”? Why is he no longer welcome on convention stages?

An honest look at the links will find the answer. It’s complicity by a Quisling who doesn’t give a shit about this fandom. Complicity is a theme for this article, and solutions too.

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