Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: cats

Most Embarrassing Google Search, and Furries on Seeker Network – NEWSDUMP (9/7/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Guest posts welcome. Tips:

SFGate looked at a map of the “most embarrassing Google searches” in the USA and found me.

(Appeared in photo #9.)  “Furries” is supposedly searched a lot in Wyoming. The map also shows who searched for: Bronies, Nickelback Lyrics, Dog Clothes, Meth Recipe… Who knows if it’s really real data, but you can tell they had fun.  But not as much as I did in the pic. Sorry guys, not embarassed in the slightest!

Playwright fictionalizes the 2014 MWFF chlorine attack, for a story exploring identity.

The sixth Chicago Fringe Festival, opening tonight, brings zombies, victims, and furries to town.”  Here’s the festival page dedicated to the play.  I confess I only had a minute to look into this and the play’s Indiegogo page. I have a rule – I assume that any “furry” story that uses cheap halloween costumes is probably bad storytelling. Misinformed exploitation pieces often aim for humor at our expense, and they fail because they lack authenticity. Well, in this case, I may be proven wrong.  I think this festival is prestigious, and: ‘He’s worked to keep it balanced—”not other-ing the community”‘ – says Corbeau at Furstarter.  (It’s so great to have more than one eye on this stuff – please furries, make more blogs!)

Furry Migration gets a nice feature.

“…Where being weird is a good thing.”  The article’s just a standard introduction, but the video lets several fursuiters speak and dance in a charming way.

Furries at Bubonicon in New Mexico.

A nice exploration by a columnist who investigates the con and meets a lot of different sci fi fan characters, including a few extra fuzzy ones.

A film maker was commissioned to make a documentary for Seeker network- and he started at reddit’s r/furry.

In March 2015, Discovery launched a new network, Seeker. Their programming goes for the mysterious and wonderful fringes of nature and culture.  Now that means Furries.  Their piece is called “Furries Aren’t As Weird As You Think.”

Here was the film maker’s overture to the community on reddit.  Seeker posted it, and then the film maker came back to ask what we think. Getting a well-made, paid for documentary seems yet another sign of rising subculture. Don’t mind the one mistake of the title.

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Swat Kats creator gives an interview about the show, with a few days left on Kickstarter!

by Patch O'Furr

Enjoy Christian Tremblay’s interview with Dogpatch Press below, and help make a cool show happen here:



Demand from devoted fans is bringing back the Swat Kats TV series for the first time in 20 years.  Fandom kept the show alive since it was canceled in 1994 with only two seasons.  If you missed it, here’s the lowdown from

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The Vimana Incident, by Rose LaCroix – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Vimana Incident, by Rose LaCroix.the_vimana_incident_by_nightphaser-d89nndt
Dallas, TX, FuPlanet Productions, February 2015, trade paperback $9.95 (205 pages), epub $7.95.

This title is a work of anthropomorphic fiction for adult readers only.

Rose LaCroix is proud to present her most anticipated novel, where psychedelic science fiction, historical fiction, and alternate timelines come together in a suspenseful, mind-bending masterpiece.” (back-cover blurb) Well, it’s certainly her most ambitious novel.

Edward “Red Ned” Arrowsmith is a red fox British aerospace engineer in an anthropomorphic 1939, where the world is not preparing for World War II but is engaged in a race to establish the first permanent Lunar colony. Ned is the chief engineer at Bristol Lunar, the firm that supplies the hardware for the British space program. A manned Lunar landing has already been accomplished; now the race is on to build a permanent base. The Americans, the British, the Germans, the Japanese, and the Soviets are all in peacetime competition, but they don’t pretend that it’s friendly.

One day the commander of the Royal Air Force Lunar Expeditionary Force pays a surprise visit to Red Ned’s office. He’s needed to go on a secret mission to the moon. Does he accept? Ned guesses so, but when? Right now – the commander (an otter in a RAF officer’s uniform) will drive Ned to the dirigible airfield to get a flight to the launch site immediately. “‘We’ll have time to stop by your house so you can bring a change of clothes but we have to be on the RAS Empress of India by no later than four o’clock pip-emma. That is, if you choose to accept this mission.’” (p. 15)

I suppose that if you can accept talking anthropomorphized animals, a secret mission where one is called upon to become a member of a Lunar mission at a moment’s notice with no training is no problem. But it fatally weakened any aura of believability for me. After that, The Vimana Incident became for me just a fast-moving amateur secret-agent/science-fiction adventure with a funny-animal cast. Until about halfway through, where it becomes very much more than that … Read the rest of this entry »

Five juvenile novelizations of anthro animated features – book reviews by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Minions CoverMinions: The Deluxe Junior Novel, Adapted by Sadie Chesterfield, Based on the Motion Picture Screenplay Written by Brian Lynch. Illustrated.
NYC, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, May 2015, hardcover $9.99 (131 pages), paperback $6.99.

Paddington: The Junior Novel, Adapted by Jeanne Willis, Based on the screenplay written by Paul King, Based on the Paddington Bear novels written and created by Michael Bond. Illustrated.
NYC, HarperCollinsBooks/HarperFestival, October 2014, trade paperback $5.99 (142 pages, Kindle $5.99.

Penguins of Madagascar: Movie Novelization, adapted by Tracey West. Illustrated.
NYC, Simon and Schuster/Simon Spotlight, October 2014, trade paperback $6.99 (142 pages), Kindle $6.49.

Planes: Fire & Rescue: The Junior Novelization, Adapted by Suzanne Francis. Illustrated.
NYC, Random House, June 2014, trade paperback $5.99 (122 pages).

Rio 2: The Junior Novel, Adapted by Christa Roberts. Illustrated.
NYC, HarperCollinsBooks/HarperFestival, February 2014, hardcover $14.40 (144 pages), trade PB $5.99, Kindle $5.99.

None of these juvenile novelizations would be worth reviewing alone, but they make a point for furry fandom: for about the last five years, there have been practically no anthropomorphic theatrical animated features, and a lot of animated features starring mostly real or fantasy humans like Pixar’s Brave and Inside Out, from major animation studios that have not had authorized juvenile novelizations of about 140 pages. (If it’s from Simon Spotlight, you can count on it having exactly 144 pages; a tipoff that all of its juvenile novelizations are written to a formula. But, in the case of Minions, those 144 pages include 131 pages of novel, plus 13 pages of color plates, black-&-white illustrations, and advertising.) Many VFX-heavy live-action features like Avengers: Age of Ultron and Guardians of the Galaxy and Tomorrowland have novelizations, too. I could have picked Blue Sky Studios’ Ice Age: Continental Drift or Epic; Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph or Tangled or Frozen or Big Hero 6; DreamWorks Animation’s Turbo or Mr. Peabody and Sherman or Home (despite Home being already based on a “real” book, Adam Rex’s The True Meaning of Smekday); LAIKA’s ParaNorman or The Boxtrolls; Sony Pictures Animation’s Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs or Hotel Transylvania 2; Warner Animation Group’s The Lego Movie (144 pages from Scholastic, Inc.) – almost any animated feature. Read the rest of this entry »

The Painted Cat, by Austen Crowder – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

The Painted Cat, by Austen Crowder.Painted-Cat-Thumbnail
Dallas, TX, Argyll Productions, April 2015, trade paperback $19.95 (273 pages), e-book $9.95.

“I started painting myself up to look like a toon for two reasons. First, I was bored and needed a new hobby during my summer break as a teacher. Second – and far more important, in my opinion – was that my friend Valerie thought I’d look good as a cat, and I had always wondered what could have been if I had turned toon like she did. That she brought all the supplies, prosthetics, and paint we could possibly have needed sort of sealed the deal.” (p. 9)

The Painted Cat is more like Gary K. Wolf’s 1981 novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, or Disney’s 1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit movie based upon it, than the average anthropomorphic novel. It omits the Disney crazy comedy, but in this world, the toons – and they are called toons — are live cartoon animals, not anthropomorphized “real” animals, who are socially lower-class living among humans; plus those humans who turn themselves into toons with special paint and prosthetics – see the deleted “pig head” sequence from the Roger Rabbit movie. Janet Perch, the protagonist, straps on a cat tail very like the artificial fox tails on sale at every furry convention, and within moments it attaches itself to her spine and she can move it like any cat can do with its tail.

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Mort(e), by Robert Repino – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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


Mort(e), by Robert Repino. Illustrated by Sam Chung.
NYC, Soho Press, January 2015, hardcover $26.95 (358 [+ 1] pages), Kindle $12.99.

31jpc4qtJoL“Before he took his new name, before the animals rose up and overthrew their oppressors, before there was talk of prophecies and saviors, the great warrior Mort(e) was just a house cat known to his human masters as Sebastian. It was a time that now returned to him only in dreams and random moments of nostalgia that disappeared as quickly as they arose. All of it except for Sheba. The memory of her was always digging at him like a splinter under a nail.” (p. 3)

The first dozen pages of Mort(e) are Sebastian’s early life as a housecat, and his meeting Sheba, the large, slobbery dog of the man next door. It’s not until page 14 that Sebastian first learns of the war to exterminate humans, when he observes one of “his masters” watching the TV news:

“It was always the same: a river of text flowed beneath explosions, people running, buildings on fire, green trucks rolling along highways, men and women with helmets marching, building bridges, demolishing things, using flamethrowers to burn massive hills of dirt. And in between all the images were videos of creatures that Sebastian had seen crawling in the grass outside the window: ants. They were always on the television, always marching in a line, sometimes covering entire fields and picking apart dead farm animals. Sebastian saw people running away from ants the size of the Martinis’ car. The monsters could walk on their hind legs, and their jaws were strong enough to lift a human at the waist. […] All the channels were playing the same thing now. Nothing buts ants and fires. But this time, there was footage of a new creature. A pack of wolves, walking on their hind legs, approaching the camera. One of them carried a club in his hands the same way Daniel would hold a hammer. This was followed by a choppy clip of a group of animals marching alongside the giant ants. Sebastian could hear people screaming.” (pgs. 14-15)

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Cat Out of Hell, by Lynne Truss – book review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Cat Out of Hell, by Lynne Truss.
London, Hammer Books, March 2014, hardcover £9.99 (233 pages), Kindle £4.31.

British cover

British cover

As usual, this review lists the first, British, edition. American readers will find it easier to get one of the American editions (Melville House, March 2015).

An unnamed narrator is writing from an isolated English seaside vacation cottage. His wife of many years has died; despondent, he quits his dead-end Cambridge librarian’s job and rents this cottage in an off-season winter month to wallow in grief. But it is too lonely, and he becomes bored.   He has his laptop computer, and when a Cambridge ex-colleague e-mails him some lengthy mysterious text and audio files named “Roger”, he opens them.

The files, from Roger and a man identified only as “Wiggy”, make it clear that Roger is supposedly a talking cat. Although incredulous at first, the narrator gradually comes to believe that the files are genuine. Roger really is a talking cat. What most convinces the narrator is Wiggy’s unmistakable denseness. The witty, sarcastic Roger constantly makes references and comments that go over Wiggy’s head, which the narrator gets. (Wiggy also tells enough about himself in bits and pieces to identify himself as a youngish amateur actor in Coventry named Will Caton-Pines.)

The first files relate to a screenplay about a talking cat that Wiggy is writing and is enthusiastic about selling. Roger is bored out of his mind. He doesn’t want to reveal himself to the public, and he is sure that Wiggy’s screenplay will be unsaleably bad. Different parts of the files explain how Wiggy acquired Roger (he was the pet of Wiggy’s sister, who has disappeared), and give Roger’s life story at length.

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Catalyst and Catacombs – book review by Fred Patten.

by kiwiztiger

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

Catalyst; A Tale of the Barque Cats, by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
NYC, Ballantine Books, January 2010, hardcover $26.00 (256 [+ 5] pages), Kindle $7.99.

Catacombs; A Tale of the Barque Cats, by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Ann Scarborough
NYC, Ballantine Books, December 2010, hardcover $26.00 (236 [+ 3] pages), Kindle $9.99.

9780345513762_p0_v1_s600 McCaffrey and Scarborough, two well-known cat-lovers, focus upon cats of the interstellar future in this two-volume series. “Hood Station, where they had just docked, was a backwater facility providing the interface between the agro-based planet Sherwood and the rest of the universe.” (Catalyst, p. 3) The opening lead characters are Janina Mauer, a human Cat Person, and her charge, Chessie, the Barque Cat of the interstellar freighter Molly Daise. They have just arrived at Hood Station. Janina’s exact age is not given, but clues make her a rather naïve young woman. Barque Cats “are highly prized, as [they] are not only superbly bred but have all grown into the best ships’ cats in the universe.” They “save lives […] patrol the tight areas of our spaceships, keeping rodents from eating the coating on cables, smelling hazardous gases and even escaping oxygen”. (p. 4) They are extremely valuable, leading to Chessie being bred as often as is safe.

It is obvious in the first chapter that, although Catalyst is packaged and priced as an adult book, this is really an adventure for teenagers. Janina has a chaste crush on Dr. Jared Vlast, Sherwood’s handsome young veterinarian, which he reciprocates. As important as the humans seem, it is Chessie who is the focus of the opening of the story. The writing is “cozy”: “Chessie was surprised her human friends couldn’t hear each other’s chests pounding. Or maybe they could and just wouldn’t admit it. Humans were so strange about mating matters.” (p. 10)
And although Barque Cats are already highly intelligent cats, clues tell the reader that something in their diet on the frontier planet Sherwood is making both them and other Earth animals mutate or evolve into real sentience.

“As Jared then moved on to a quick, competent feel of her [Chessie’s] fecund belly, he asked Jenina what was concerning her.

‘Well, she’s been regurgitating a lot, and it’s strange looking.’ Janina showed him the vial that contained the latest of her spit-up. Humans collected the strangest things! Janina turned it in the light. ‘You see it’s got these sparkly bits that I can’t account for at all.’” (p. 12)

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Godsfire, by Cynthia Felice – Book Review by Fred Patten.

by kiwiztiger

Godsfire, by Cynthia Felice. Map.
NYC, Pocket Books, June 1978, paperback 0-671-81472-9 $1.75 (264 pages).

downloadI am surprised by how many people have included this book’s cover by Boris Vallejo on their lists of “Only the worst Sci-fi/Fantasy book covers”, or “25 Worst Book Covers of All Time”, or “I Am Judging You By Your Cover” (16 book covers with snarky feminine hygiene comments). I could come up with at least twenty-five covers worse than this with no trouble. And to wax sexist for a moment, can any cover with a shapely naked cat-woman be really bad?

But this is a review of the novel, not its cover art. Planet of the Apes notwithstanding, 1978 was still before intelligent non-humans were common in science-fiction, judging from the book’s blurb: “Feline creatures in charge and humans as their slaves!”

Godsfire is narrated by Heao, the sixteen-year-old protégé of Academician Master Rellar on a planet inhabited by anthropomorphic felinoids. The opening pages make frequent mention of the characters’ sinuous tails, sharp claws, and other feline characteristics.

“I was prepared to leave, but the man had the most mischievous twinkle in his eyes that I’d ever seen. Then the tip of his tail began to twitch. Without the smiling eyes, that twitch would have warned of battle, but now I realized it was an invitation to play. I laughed.” “His boldness was nearly frightening, yet there was no malice in his eyes and his tail was coiled casually around his ice-laden coat.” “Baltsar delicately slit the belly of the choicest fish with his index claw, and, after a slave took away the entrails, he slivered the tender flesh for me.” “I speared a sliver with my eating claw and chewed gratefully.” “His tail was twitching again and he was smiling. Why had he ignored my shaking tail while we ate?” “I smiled, coiled my tail demurely about my waist, and said, ‘Thank you, Baltsar.’” (pgs. 4-8)

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Housepets! Don’t Criticize Your Lovelife – comic review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Housepets! Don’t Criticize Your Lovelife (Book 5), by Rick Griffin
North Charleston, SC, CreateSpace, November 2014, trade paperback $13.95 (52 pages).

Does Book 5 have a real title page? After five volumes!? (Gasp! Choke!)

THUMBNAIL_IMAGEYes, Book 5 has a real title page! However – well, my reviews of the first four books have all recommended that unless you have them all, you should start with an earlier volume to get to know the cast. That is particularly true of Book 5. It begins with the dogs and cats of Babylon Gardens “imaginating” their own version of Guys and Dolls by Loesser, Swerling & Burrows. If you’re familiar with the Broadway musical and with Peanut, Grape, Tarot, Max, Sabrina, and the other housepets of Housepets!, fine. If not, Book 5 is a really confusing one to start with.

Fortunately, practically all readers of Dogpatch Press already follow Housepets! regularly don’t you? Housepets! is an online Monday-Wednesday-Friday comic strip that began on June 2, 2008. It has won the Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip for every year since 2009. The four previous collections are Housepets! Are Naked All the Time, Housepets! Hope They Don’t Get Eaten, Housepets! Can Be Real Ladykillers, and Housepets! Are Gonna Sniff Everybody; all previously reviewed on Flayrah. Housepets! Don’t Criticize Your Lovelife (Book 5) starts with the online strip from June 6, 2012 and ends with that from June 3, 2013. These are the story-arcs #56, “Let’s Imaginate Guys and Dolls” to #69, “The King and I”, plus one-off gag strips between those.

Housepets! is the story of the dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits, and other pets of Babylon Gardens, a typical residential suburban neighborhood – in an alternate universe. The animals are larger than in our universe (but not human-sized), can talk, are usually bipedal, and address their human owners as “Mom” and “Dad”. Their status is somewhere between pets and children. Points established over the years are that humans can bequeath their belongings to their pets, who do not need a human guardian; human storekeepers are not allowed to sell catnip to cats; human police forces have an auxiliary of Police Dogs who are not all police dogs; the pets comment sardonically on how they can go naked in public but their human “parents” can’t; and – lots of other stuff. Read the rest of this entry »