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Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: anthrocon

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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DJ UltraPup barks about what it’s like to be on stage the first time at Anthrocon.

by Patch O'Furr

(Patch:) It sounds like you had a blast at Anthrocon! I wanted to ask you about your first time DJing a big con. What’s your story and how did you end up there? Was it your first furry con, or just first time on stage at one?

(DJ UltraPup:) I’m a member of the pup community and I have been for quite some time. I am also however a member of the furry community, and one of my big goals is to try and bridge the divide between furries and pups. When a friend of mine suggested I apply to DJ at Anthrocon, I thought why not. I’m well known in the DC area as a circuit DJ and I have 3 club residencies, so I applied, and sure enough they picked me to play Saturday night at 11pm. AC was my first major con. I had gone to FurTheMore earlier this year just to check it out, but this was my first time DJing a furcon, and it won’t be my last.

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Going to Anthrocon? All aboard for a party on rails with Anthrotracks.

by Patch O'Furr

From New York City, get transport and lodging together – not just a ride, but a furmeet with sleeper cars staying blocks from Anthrocon.

Info: www.anthrotracks.com

I have a delightful memory of talking with a retired driver for the San Francisco Bay area’s BART system. He would watch videos of trains in Poland for fun, and talk about the wobbly tracks and the persistence of maintaining a rural system with little money and lots of engineuity. I told him about visiting Prague and taking a train to Munich, and how the shaky Iron Curtain system got smooth and fast at the border. He was so into trains, that he made a forge in his backyard and built his own engine. That’s rail fandom.

Railfans (AKA rail buffs, or train buffs) have loveable personalities. Compared to those who chase cars (woof), they have a different love than the freedom of racing or being a lone wolf on an open road. I think it has more of the beauty of coordinating a system to reliably serve many people and places. Can you imagine “train rage” instead of road rage? Instead, you get people into solving problems like this: Japan Built These Adorable Tunnels to Help Turtles Cross Train Tracks. Some notable railfans included Walt Disney, and it’s part of how he made a magic kingdom with talking animals.

Of course furry fandom crosses with EVERY fandom, so there are furry railfans. One was mascot for a train museum, and there’s this super-photogenic fursuiter in the Czech Republic. (They even do a furry train ride there.)

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The Good Furry Award, The Furry Book, and Joe Strike’s Furry Nation News from Anthrocon

by Patch O'Furr

Grubbs Grizzly of “Ask Papabear” has quite an established presence with many followers. Now he’s emerged from his cave to announce an award for other furries who demonstrate Outstanding Community Spirit.

Good furries are everywhere. But sometimes when fandom takes a look at itself and how it can be better, bad furries get attention. From circa-2000 Burned Furs, to Nazi Furs who have ruined furry conventions, troublemakers get more attention than they deserve. (None might be a fair amount.)

The Good Furry Award is coming to reward a fandom member each year for their community spirit. On top of benefit to one, the process of looking at nominees and their work is meant to promote much more conversation about good things that the vast majority of furries do for each other and outsiders alike.

The “Ask Papabear” website is now taking nominations for Good Furries: https://www.askpapabear.com/good-furry-award.html

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“ISN’T IT EXCITING!”- COMICS AND DEFACED VINYL FROM ERYSHÉ FALAFE

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 reposted here. (- Patch)

Even in a room full of people wearing cartoon animal costumes, a guy lugging a box of old vinyl to his table is going to stand out, especially when he starts drawing and painting on them. This is what caught my eye the first time I saw Eryshé Falafe, also known as Joe Meyer, at Pittsburgh’s Anthrocon around 2011. I ended up getting one myself that still takes up pride of place in my office, and eventually ended up carting a not insubstantial pile of vinyl across the pond for him to deface on my latest pilgrimage to Pittsburgh. One of them was the bawdily British  “Sinful Rugby Songs” which was quickly snapped up by a commissioner who also saw it’s parody potential.

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Ursa Major Awards get matching donations from Anthrocon, help wanted from other cons.

by Patch O'Furr

For 15 years, the Ursa Major Awards lacked resources. Costs came from organizer pockets.  This year they tried a GoFundMe, and it’s getting close to the goal!

Here’s some good news courtesy of Fred Patten.

At a recent Anthrocon Board of Directors meeting, it was approved for Anthrocon to match up to $350 in donations received in the UMA’s GoFundMe campaign to cover trophy manufacturing and costs.

The donation is viewed as a way to support writers. Many publishers release new works at Anthrocon, and the con has a substantial writing track which doesn’t cost much to run. Anthrocon spends a lot to support fursuiters (they can get special souvenir tags, for example), but the writing track has never asked for more.

During the discussion, it was noticed that the ALAA hasn’t gotten other cons to donate yet. It was suggested the ALAA use this opportunity to ask other cons to match a portion of GoFundMe donations too.

There was discussion of making Anthrocon’s donation regular annually – if other cons donate regularly Anthrocon is likely to join in, probably matching their amounts. Now is the time to step up and help.

AnthrOhio has agreed to host the 2019 UMA presentations, and Biggest Little Fur Con the 2020 presentations.

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

How furry conventions fail (or please) their vendors – Critical discussion.

by Patch O'Furr

Crazdude looks like one of those multi-talented artists that are one of the secret weapons of furry subculture – bright and devoted people with a buffet of skills like making art, writing, or performing all at once.  For the blog she started in 2016, I got a professional impression from a first glance. (I look out for blogs that seem to vibe with Dogpatch, so I liked finding this.)

The Crazblog bears out a good impression by sharing her selection as Guest of Honor at Fur-Xoticon. It lets you in on a personal detail:“As just a first-year newbie to the Artist Alley and Dealer’s Den experience at furry conventions, this came as quite an exciting surprise!”  Highlighting the newbie disclosure and small/local con size isn’t too critical, if you take it for granted that Furry is full of DIY power – it’s just good to keep in mind while reading the below post with an open mind. It mentions 3 years of experience at other cons.

Crazdude’s post – “Top 5 ways conventions let their vendors down (+ Cons doing things that artists love!)” – led me to a point/counterpoint peer discussion that I wanted to share in response. I considered breaking down salient points for a formal article, but I liked the natural flow of a casual chat here. The chat is between me (plus a few stray watcher comments) and ScalieStaffer (name redacted to keep opinions apart from their position). They’re a fur with 8 years of con staffing experience in multiple departments, with roles both minor and major.

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Furry Drama(tic Arts) – The Forgotten History of the Furry Musical, Part 2: Furry Tales

by Patch O'Furr

Patch here, with Part 2 of the story submitted by guest writer Duncan R. Piasecki.

In Part 1, we mentioned the theatrical nature of anthropomorphism: how fursuiting is related to a world-wide love for humans performing as animals. In the mainstream, it’s in musicals like the stage version of The Lion King or Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats. Then, as we discovered, there was even a small, overlooked chapter of fandom history with not one, but at least two musicals focusing on the furry subculture.

One of these unique projects was Yiff!/<furReality>, which was fading from memory until we rescued documentation from the director.  It can make you wonder… while the mainstream celebrates anthropomorphic performance, why haven’t such ambitions carried forward as fandom has grown?

Perhaps the ideas may get tried again, with bigger and better resources, stages and audiences this time. Looking into that may get you excited for a certain con in 2018.  More on that at the end. (-Patch)

Duncan R. Piasecki continues with the story of the other musical:

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How furry fandom is rejecting neo-nazis, “Altfurs” and Furry Raiders who target kids for hate.

by Patch O'Furr

Get ready for a big topic about toxic behavior, the cult-like groups doing it, how they’re targeting kids, and how the fandom is cutting ties with it for positive progress.  This is a followup to last week’s article: “The Confederate fursuit incident shows how you can’t be a troll and a victim at the same time“. It focuses on the source of the problem:

  • At Anthrocon 2017, a troll provoked drama with defenders who claimed he was being unfairly censored.
  • The defense missed a basic point – he was an antagonistic outsider who was banned and didn’t register or support the con.
  • It showed how trolls twist facts about consequences for bad behavior, so they can pretend to be the victims.
  • Posing as victims requires a scapegoat (“SJW’s”). The misinformation is being spread like cult propaganda.

Anthrocon’s letter recognizes how the troll was pushing a “political message” on others.  It’s an example of recent fandom activity by alt-right altfurs and their enablers.  They do it with a twofaced pose that they want freedom, want politics out of fandom, and are just giving their side. But their side relies on false middle ground. (In other words, saying the earth is round doesn’t require Flat Earthers to give their side.  Newspapers don’t interview vandals to get their side.) The real goal is to exploit and undermine the fandom behind a false front of “freedom”.  That includes grooming and recruiting kids, trolling and harassing, dodging accountability, and worse things like welcoming literal neo-nazis (see below.)

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What’s Yiffin’? – July 2017 edition of syndicated furry news.

by André Kon

2017 is officially halfway over, and boy has it been one hell of a year for the fandom. We’ve covered the official demise of Rainfurrest, 2’s fall from grace and subsequent cancellation at Anthrocon, and more than one fake bomb threat being called into a convention… and we still have six months left to go! Fret not, because while we’ve collected four more of the top stories in the fandom to present to you today most of them aren’t that soul crushing. Most.

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