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Tag: conventions

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, higher than 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: 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.) – 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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Culturally F’d: More Foxes Please

by Arrkay

Guest post by Arrkay from Culturally F’d, the furry youtube channel. See their tag on Dogpatch Press for more.

Finally, the YouTube channel for the furry fandom has enough videos about foxes to make a whole playlist. Our latest episode is all to do with the classic 1973 Disney film Robin Hood. This timeless classic surely set many young minds onward to furrydom. Our guest writer Tempe O’Kun has Arrkay squawking all about the stable relationship between Robin and Maid Marian.

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The Diversity of the Latin American Furry Fandom – by Rama and Patch.

by Patch O'Furr

This started with a guest submission by Rama the Golden Liger, a fur in Honduras. I collaborated with a lot of editing to smooth out the language and add extra info and another point of view. Fred Patten helped connect with even more furries who sent info at his request. Thanks Rama and Fred! – Patch

The Diversity of the Latin American Furry Fandom

We know how furry fandom started in the U.S.  As it grew there, the mainstream media, the internet, its memes and popular YouTubers, and other influences put the fandom within a stone’s throw for many young people. Now across borders, different cultures are experiencing a growth of furry fandom among many international influences they already have.

Latin American furries are a result of all this exposure.  The internet helped many young people get interested in the art, behavior, and culture of the furry creatures they see on the screen.  Many Hispanic furry fans are males mostly from around age 15 to their 20’s.  They came across fandom through friends, memes, anime, manga, and fan art.  There are popular YouTubers like Khazoo, who spread the term “furry” through his videos.  Of course, there was also Zootopia spreading popularity of anthropomorphic animals around the world.

(Patch): International reach reminds me of studying animation under an “old master” who in 1989, helped lead a nonprofit mission to Latin American countries to reduce AIDs among street children. They traveled around to test screen educational cartoons on the side of a van. The audience was poor kids who were vulnerable to exploitation and had low access to schools. The films they were shown were life saving, and most importantly to this story, the language of cartoons was universal across borders to all levels of literacy. Of course internet users in 2018 are the main topic here.

Khazoo is an example of how furryness spreads now. This teenage Spanish-language Youtuber from Mexico may not be known to English speakers. He was born in 1999 and only uploaded his first video in 2016, but soared to 31.5K followers on Twitter and nearly 600,000 youtube subscribers so far – much more than any specifically furry internet celebrity! How did he start? According to a wiki about him (use Chrome/Google Translate), Khazoo started with general teen audience content like gaming and cartoons. While he joked about being in love with Judy Hopps, fans called him “furry” but he denied it, until finally admitting it to everyone – a story I’m sure we can all laugh about in any language! 

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Prepping for a Furry Convention – guest post by Rune.

by Rune AngelDragon

Rune’s Furry Blog showcases “people within the Furry Community… their characters, life, thoughts, and beliefs”. It also covers furry issues and media. Welcome Rune! – Patch

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This week I will be attending Texas Furry Fiesta 2018. This is my 3rd convention that I have been to, and while I wrote about going to the conventions, fursuiting, and things to do at a convention (etc), I never got around to talking about the ‘prepping’.

Going to a convention takes a lot of planning and preparation. It’s crazy how much time gets dedicated to planning what panels you want to attend, figuring out the stuff you need to bring, and how much money you will need to survive for 4 days. And because I have found myself in several situations that were not exactly ‘ideal’, I figured this is the best time to reflect on the things I have learned so that others might better prepare for their Furry Conventions.

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  • A Furry Convention is NOT a necessity! 

I hate that this is something that needs to be said, but it’s best to get it out of the way first. A Furry Convention is a fun break from our day-to-day lives where we can feel free to express ourselves. It’s full of hugs, fun, friends, and fur (literally everywhere), but it’s not a necessity. Things like food, a water bill, a car payment… all of those things come before a Furry Convention. So please be responsible! Do not let the ‘want’ of going to a Furry Convention hurt other areas of your life. We all need to be adults sometimes and that can mean missing out on something fun. But remember… there is another Furry Convention the next year (and maybe another local one later the same year). Save your money, budget, and go to one that you can comfortably afford later. You will have a lot more fun if you don’t have to worry about the consequences of bad spending the minute you get home!

  • Figure out where you are staying & reserve your rooms.

Hotel rooms where the convention is being held go FAST! They are usually sold out within the first week or sooner. So, once you find out about a convention, you need to start researching where you are going to stay. Start planning who you are going with, how many beds you would need… and if the con-hotel is too expensive, then browse hotels within the area. Remember to take into account the distance from the con hotel, the way in which you will get in-between the two, and possible parking costs. Reserve your rooms ASAP!

Remember that some hotels make you pay a small ‘holding’ cost upfront, and also that some hotels do not take out payment until AFTER your stay! So make sure you are budgeting your money accordingly so that you do not get over-drafted. If a friend has reserved the room, make sure that your name gets put somewhere on that room. This way you can not be kicked from the room and/or you avoid any issues if your friend failed to mention more people staying in the room than what is allowed. Telling the person behind the counter that you only have 2 people in your room and then having 2 other people sleeping on an air mattress is a legal issue and an overall safety risk/hazard! So please do not do it.

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Furry Nation: The True Story of America’s Most Misunderstood Subculture, by Joe Strike – review by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

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

Furry Nation: The True Story of America’s Most Misunderstood Subculture, by Joe Strike. Illustrated.
Jersey City, NJ, Cleis Press, October 2017. Trade paperback, $17.95 ([ix +] 342 pages), Kindle $10.99.

Yes!

Here it is! What we’ve all been waiting for! The book about furry fandom!

Full disclosure: I’m quoted by name on a back-cover blurb, and cited as “a founding father of furry fandom”.

Is it perfect? No, but it’s probably better than any of us could have written. I gave up writing a book “all about” furry fandom long ago. If I may be permitted a moment of “I told you so”, I told those who asked me to write such a book in the late 1990s that it would take me around ten years to fully research and write such a book. They turned from me to find someone else who could do it right away. They couldn’t.

Joe Strike has been in furry fandom since the 1980s. He has been working on Furry Nation for at least fifteen years. It’s full of both his own knowledge and the interviews that he conducted. He has interviewed not only all the earliest furry fans, and the current leaders of furry fandom – Mark Merlino, Rod O’Riley, Jim Groat, Mitch Marmel, Dr. Sam Conway, Boomer the Dog, leading furry artists like Heather Bruton and Kjartan Arnórsson, fursuit makers like Lance Ikegawa and Denali, academics like Dr. Kathy Gerbasi, and so on – but those outside the furry community who have impacted it. The writers of newspaper and TV news stories about furry fandom? He interviewed them. The executives of Pittsburgh’s tourist bureau? He interviewed them. The directors of TV programs and theatrical animation features that have used furry themes? He interviewed them.

What Furry Nation covers: a definition of furry fandom, the influences that gave rise to it back to prehistoric times, the history of how it started, profiles of the earliest furry fans, how the rise of the Internet affected it, a description of furry fandom in North America today, with emphasis on its conventions and a profile of Anthrocon in depth, its artists and furry art, its fursuits, its public perception, an acknowledgement of its seedier side, and how it has grown from a tiny, unnoticed subgroup to an important influence on popular culture today. The book has 189 footnotes throughout it. There are over two dozen photographs and samples of furry illustrations from the 1980s (early fanzines and Furry Party flyers) to the present.

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Making History at the Alamo City Furry Invasion 2017!

by Rune AngelDragon

Rune’s Furry Blog showcases people within the furry community, issues and media plus personal blogging. Rune joins other guest posters here – Welcome Rune! – Patch

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“It’s a sleepy day in the sleepy town of Fur City Bluff…” begins the narrative of ‘The Furry, Furry West’ within the ACFI con-book. It sets the tone, bringing us to a dusty town under the watchful eye of the Sheriff and his team, to a place where there is a fair coming up, and the looming threat of the Red-Mask-Gang.

Boots, badges, masks, and moneybags…this was the stage for San Antonio’s first-ever Furry Convention.

As someone living in Texas, I first heard of the San Antonio community back in 2016. I had just gone to a comic-con in Alamo City to meet the Power Rangers and I took my fursuit head with me. I thought this would be a great opportunity to suit for a little while, and get used to wearing my character in a crowded place…Needless to say that there were not as many furries there as I thought, and I quickly became intimidated. Long-story-short, this got me noticed (after the con) by a local who mentioned the furmeets happening within the area, and she asked me to add her on facebook so that she might invite me to said-events so I could attend.

While I was never really in the area to go to any of the meets (as I live over 2 hours away) I did research on them. This lead me to videos, and photos, to chatting with Adam King occasionally, and it really gave me an idea of what a Furry Community really looked like. Never did I think that such a tight-knit community could evolve into something so much greater…but after this weekend, I realized that myself along with 737 other people made history as we celebrated and experienced San Antonio’s new Furry Convention!

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Furries resist hate, Altfurry Discord logs go public, Casey Hoerth removed by employers.

by Patch O'Furr

Last week, Dogpatch Press linked the alt-right of furry fandom with a violent neo-nazi rally in Charlottesville. It came on a wave of fandom news, synched with the even bigger one in the mainstream.  There’s too much for one update (more is coming.)

Open neo-nazi marching led to nationwide pushback.  It included hate groups being kicked off of many services, from Paypal to Discord. The Altfurries saw it coming in their own Discord group, and soon their group was gone. (Keep in mind that’s not a government act, it’s a company choosing to refuse service.)

That was a signal for inside leaks to be exposed.  I had access to their secret chats for months but couldn’t talk about it before.  Months of altfurry private communications are now here for anyone to see; what we’ve been saying all along wasn’t exaggeration.  Altfurry really does represent neo-nazi activism and recruiting they are trying to push into the fandom. It’s a huge blow to their pretense of just having different opinions.  The dust will be settling for a long time.

Altfurrydiscord logs get viral sharing and media coverage.

Flayrah covered some of the happenings: ‘Alt-Furry’ suffers blowback after Alt-Right rally leads to death of citizen.

Newsweek interviewed some involved people including Deo, and from the altfurries, Casey Hoerth and Nathan Gate. The journalist is a freelancer who did a previous piece on the alt-right, whose previous experience was writing for Heat Street (a conservative site that recently shut down). I spoke to his editor about reporting with false equivalency. And I spoke to another media source for coverage that isn’t open to talk about yet. Articles are forthcoming. (Update: Newsweek published theirs.)

Work begins for sorting info.

Confidential volunteers are tracing connections and identities in the altfurry logs. A few sample contents include:

“Echoes” ((())) is a code used to target jews for hate.

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Get buzzed for Tiny Paws Con, coming to Connecticut in September.

by Patch O'Furr

This con’s theme is “Summer Camp.” Yay for summer camp! How about sweaty, un-air-conditioned bunkhouses? Poison ivy? MOSQUITOS?  Get ready to celebrate NONE of those things at the new Tiny Paws Con. They just have the parts that don’t suck: fun and games, getting together with old friends, and making new ones. If you’re itching for that in September, Tiny Paws has the cure.

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Harassment in fandom needs to be taken seriously – guest post by Lamar.

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks to Lamar for submitting. His articles on Flayrah include this recommended one: “Furry, not an obscure little fandom any more” – it’s as relevant today as in 2011.

A couple of weeks ago I put out a call via Twitter, helpfully reposted by some high profile people, to see if I could get any first hand reports of how Convention and Security staff handled issues at Conventions.

I had exactly three replies in total. One saying that they had once reported someone vaping inside the convention space. One security staffer who was unable to discuss any details but expressed that incidents of harassment do happen, and have to be handled correctly and with care. And finally, another con staffer who accused me of being on a “fishing expedition” and using rumours to ascribe bad faith.

And outside of twitter I talked to a young member of the fandom, who continues to receive targeted convention related harassment. I’m going to call him Adrian, but that’s not his real name. Adrian shared copies of the messages. They include slurs and rants, including for instance “You ATTENTION seeking c***”. Adrian received this harassment, for speaking out about what happened to him at a convention some years ago. I ask him to talk about it.

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