Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: conventions

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

by André Kon

Good afternoon, Dogpatch Press readers. Last month was pretty big for us – it had our news satire show What’s Yiffin’? debut on this website. Nobody tried to kill us or call us mean names or whatever, so I guess that means it was well received. If that’s the case, then today ought to be a great day for some of you, because we’ve got the March edition of the series ready to go. Thank you for making What’s Yiffin’? a part of your entertainment routine.

AND NOW THE NEWS

More details and some additional insight from the show’s writers:

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Fred Patten’s new book is a first for fandom: Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989-2015.

by Patch O'Furr

51561577Fred Patten‘s Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989-2015 is out.

Until now, if you looked up “furry” at a mainstream book store, you might find a tiny handful of drawing, costume making or novelty books, but little about the fans themselves. You would have to sift the sands of the internet. This kind of recognition has been a long time coming. (We had TV specials in the early 90’s!)

Fred says:

“This is the first study of furry fandom published by a publisher outside of the furry specialty press itself. It indicates that furry fandom is becoming an accepted subject for academic study. Dr. Kathy Gerbasi of the IARP introduces it (she wanted to write a Furword rather than a Foreword.) I worked on this for more than three years.”

Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989-2015 is from McFarland, a well-known publisher of histories and academic reference books.  It’s $39.95, with 242 pages, illustrated in black-&-white and 8 pages in color, with an index and over 50 illustrations of furry con graphics.  It covers all furry fandom conventions around the world, from the first in January 1989 to the end of 2015.

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NEWSDUMP: Four cons for Pacific Northwest, history and scandal in the fandom – (9/15/16)

by Patch O'Furr

Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.comHere’s headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  

FOUR cons for the US Pacific Northwest? (Tip – Fuzzwolf.)

apkjwqsxFurvana (2018). Anthro Northwest (November 9-12, 2017). Pacific Northwest Fur Con (Spring 2017). And a rebirth for Rainfurrest (under parent organization RAIN, who actively runs other events year-round.)  All of these are intended for one region.  Amazingly they seem cooperative, with none replacing another.

On Reddit’s r/furry, a con staffer explains more about all the activity.

In late 2015 Dogpatch Press looked at five regions for “One Town, Two Cons: Let’s compare and ask organizers about Furry community growth.” It was about fan support, competition and cooperation, with questions about how to sustain more than one central event. But four is unprecedented ambition.

It could only come with 2016’s amazing Year of Furry.  From Zootopia’s billion-dollar success, to Fursonas (the first movie about furries with mainstream distribution), to the continued explosion of cons, there’s much more to come.

Furry party posters from the 1980’s. 

In the 1980’s, sci-fi cons gathered fans of funny-animal cartoons for room parties. Mark Merlino and Rod O’Riley have the Prancing Skiltaire furry house in So Cal that has posted some of their party flyer collection.  There was drama about the “furries” being weird, because that stuff isn’t for grown-ups is it?  So in 1989 they got their own con, ConFurence.  Look at how they multiplied like bunnies. Now it’s too late to stop them. Just don’t let anyone with a time machine go back and change the flyers to send them to Floor 13.

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One Town, Two Cons: Let’s compare and ask organizers about Furry community growth.

by Patch O'Furr

Thanks for help from Poppa Bookworm, and tips from Arrkay (Culturally F’ed) and Fuzzwolf (FurPlanet.) 

The newly established PAWcon is coming up on October 30 – in the same place as Further Confusion.  It made me raise a topic

In the 90’s, ConFurence was THE convention for all furries worldwide.  26 years after ConFurence 0 broke ground, the subculture has gained enough steam for some local populations to get multiple cons.  It’s a sign of a healthy community.  Areas or cities like that make great examples to learn from.  Do they succeed?  What does it say about fan support, and competition or cooperation to grow our awesome fandom?

Five places came to mind:

  • San Jose, CA (Further Confusion and PAWcon, since 2014)
  • Columbus, OH (Morphicon and Furlaxation, in 2012-2014)
  • Toronto (Camp Feral! and Furnal Equinox, since 2010)
  • Boston, MA (Maltese Fur Con and Anthro New England, in 2014)
  • Pittsburgh, PA (Anthrocon and Western Pennsylvania Furry Weekend)

Healthy growth can bring a downside.  Cons are growing large and well-attended enough to have critical security concerns.  This month, Oklacon and Rainfurrest both announced dramatic cancelations due to misbehavior.  Bad faith can get between organizers and their venues, and that gets bigger than internal fandom drama.  However, it’s also natural for problems to grow when a population does.  Be optimistic with a con every week, some place in the world.

Consider the hard work it takes to organize a con, and draw people to fly in from far away.  Organizing could be a paid profession.  Furries are lucky and loveable because theirs come from volunteering.  This brings a risk of burnout and decline.  It’s important to understand how and why.  The decline of ConFurence coincided with the start of Further Confusion, which may have unintentionally divided the pool of supporters.  16 years after ConFurence 10 ended, multi-con locations can show examples for how to sustain what we love.

There’s much more than conventions in the hard-to-measure Furry subculture.  They can only draw some members.  But they can be considered to lead it’s growth.  Con-goers, fursuiters, and fursuiting con-goers may be the most committed members of furry social life.  They spend the tourist dollars that float Furry’s best public profile.  Anthrocon’s $7 million tourism draw has earned more and more enthusiastic coverage.  In 2015, it achieved a new benchmark, with their first public parade that was cheered on by 5,000 regular people of Pittsburgh.  This is what the public sees.

Let’s look for insight from organizers.  Dogpatch Press sent questions to ten cons in five locations:

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Camp Feral!: Fifteen Years, 1998 – 2012 (Part 3) – by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Article with Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.  Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Camp Feral! An all-inclusive furry summer camp where the registration fee covers your food, lodging and activities for the most unique and memorable furry experience of your life! Your fee covers all the coffee you can drink, [and] all the breakfast lunch or dinner you can eat.” (from the Camp Feral! 2012 website)

Camp Feral! is the oldest of the recorded outdoor furry conventions, going back to 1998. It is also Canada’s oldest furry event, and the fourth oldest continuing furry convention (after EuroFurence in 1995 and Anthrocon and Mephit FurMeet in 1997). It was started after the oldest furry annual convention, ConFurence in Southern California (1989), gave rise to U.S. East Coast furry conventions in 1995 to 1997 (Furtasticon, Confurence East, Albany Anthrocon), inspiring Canadian furry fans to start their own convention – but with a difference.

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Camp Feral!:  Fifteen Years, 1998 – 2012, Part 3

Camp Feral! X, at Camp Arowhon, was August 27 – 31, 2007. The U.S. financial crisis affected attendance adversely, dropping it back to about 80 campers. It focused upon the Camp’s tenth anniversary. The Feral! Survival Guide featured a retrospective by Terry Wessner titled “It’s Like Herding Cats, Only Moreso”. Registration was now C$325 for regular campers, C$375 for Sponsors, and C$495 for patrons, plus the C$45 bus fee.

Guests of Honour were three Canadian furry artists; Ferris (Chuck Davies), Gideon Hoss (of Club Stripes), and Max Blackrabbit (Malcolm Earle). The FeralCom staff was mostly the same: Potoroo and Patchouli (co-chairs), Verec (registration and logistics), Grex (finances), WilyKat and Growler (security), Dralen (workshop coordiator), Crono (activities coordinator), Cobalt (conbook and activities editor), and Blake, Desertwolf, Khaki Wolf, and Srice (gofurs).

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Camp Feral!: Fifteen Years, 1998 – 2012 (Part 2) – by Fred Patten.

by Patch O'Furr

Article with Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.  Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Camp Feral! An all-inclusive furry summer camp where the registration fee covers your food, lodging and activities for the most unique and memorable furry experience of your life! Your fee covers all the coffee you can drink, [and] all the breakfast lunch or dinner you can eat.” (from the Camp Feral! 2012 website)

Camp Feral! is the oldest of the recorded outdoor furry conventions, going back to 1998. It is also Canada’s oldest furry event, and the fourth oldest continuing furry convention (after EuroFurence in 1995 and Anthrocon and Mephit FurMeet in 1997). It was started after the oldest furry annual convention, ConFurence in Southern California (1989), gave rise to U.S. East Coast furry conventions in 1995 to 1997 (Furtasticon, Confurence East, Albany Anthrocon), inspiring Canadian furry fans to start their own convention – but with a difference.

300px-Feral

Camp Feral!:  Fifteen Years, 1998 – 2012, Part 2

“The park had brought in a naturalist to lead a Wolf Howl.  Apparently this is a regular event in Algonquin Park.  First there was a very informative slide show and presentation, then the naturalist took us outside and tried to get the wolves to howl.  What he does is that he howls three times, then waits to see if the wolves respond.  If after a few rounds they do not, then several naturalists howl together as though it was a pack howling, sometimes that will get the wolves to howl back. Unfortunately, on this night they didn’t howl.  Might have been the rain. I could imagine them sheltering themselves from the rain and laughing at the stupid humans out getting soaked and howling.

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Furry documentary gold, and a Sex Drama Explosion – NEWSDUMP (8/25/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Guest posts welcome. Tips: patch.ofurr@gmail.com

Ursa art by Foxenawolf.

Anthropomorphics Reading List wants Dogpatch Press reader recommendations!  (via Fred Patten:)

“The Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association (ALAA) has just updated the 2015 Anthropomorphics Reading List.  It now includes all the 2015 anthro titles that anyone has recommended through August 8 as worth reading, seeing, or playing. The ALAA would love to get some recommendations from Dogpatch Press readers for the next update.” (- Fred).  If you know of any 2015 Furry books, comics, movies, etc. to recommend, send them here:  recommended@ursamajorawards.org

Houston Press – Furries in the Arts and Culture section.

“6 Modern Subcultures That Might Shock the Mainstream.” Clickbait with nothing new, except we get to be on the same list as Juggalos.

Culturally F’d on Furry gatherings: Why do we go to conventions, and why do we move in together?

Arrkey writes: “Hey Patch! The next episode is all lined up and it’s a doozy. All about con-culture, furry gatherings and all-furry housing situations:”

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Camp Feral!: Fifteen Years, 1998 – 2012 (Part 1) by Fred Patten

by kiwiztiger

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

200px-Feral

Camp Feral! An all-inclusive furry summer camp where the registration fee covers your food, lodging and activities for the most unique and memorable furry experience of your life! Your fee covers all the coffee you can drink, [and] all the breakfast lunch or dinner you can eat.” (from the Camp Feral! 2012 website)

Camp Feral! is the oldest of the recorded outdoor furry conventions, going back to 1998. (There may have been earlier informal furry camping trips that made no claim of being conventions.) It is also Canada’s oldest furry event, and the fourth oldest continuing furry convention (after EuroFurence in 1995 and Anthrocon and Mephit FurMeet in 1997). It was started after the oldest furry annual convention, ConFurence in Southern California (1989), gave rise to U.S. East Coast furry conventions in 1995 to 1997 (Furtasticon, Confurence East, Albany Anthrocon), inspiring Canadian furry fans to start their own convention – but with a difference.

Camp Feral! was conceived by several Toronto-area Furry fans. P. Pardus said in the Feral! 99! Survival Guide that it got started by him and Terry Wessner asking each other “what if” questions during Albany Anthrocon ’97. Other furs remember the planning as starting just after the first Albany Anthrocon in July 1997, while still others remember it as preceding the first Anthrocon but inspired by Anthrocon’s pre-con publicity. In any case, everyone agrees that Albany Anthrocon gave them the idea. The original plan, to have an outdoor summer camping retreat with furry workshops instead of a traditional hotel-style convention (it is often called the “uncon” because it is so different from other furry conventions), is credited to P. (Panthera) Pardus (Ken Suzuki) of Mississauga, and Silfur (Dan Markey) and Terry Wessner of Toronto. They held several organizational meetings from summer 1997 through early 1998, led by Pardus in Wessner’s 22nd floor Toronto apartment. The Camp Feral! name is credited to MelSkunk (Melissa Drake), in response to a call for a name that was “evocative without being too open to ridicule”. The initial committee consisted of Pardus (chairman), Wessner (facilitator), and Silfur (activities coordinator), plus Simba (Benjamin Eren Robinson, also known as Benjamin; advertising director and web site developer) and Wilykat (Colin Bolton; safety and security), all of Toronto-area furry fandom. The committee and workshop instructor posts for this and future years have not always had the formal titles that they do today – Pardus and Wessner were known at FeralCom meetings as “president-for-life” and “facilitator” — but these are the furs and the jobs that they were responsible for. Wessner bankrolled the first Camp Feral!, which operated at a steep loss because the committee seriously underestimated expenses. (He was reimbursed over several years.) Read the rest of this entry »

“New concept for furry events” brings enthusiastic response in San Francisco.

by Patch O'Furr

Last week, San Francisco had a series of back to back events: a street fursuiting “crawl”, a furry photo gallery opening, a fetish party, (a private special interest thing not representing others), and Frolic dance party.  The series drew more furries than my butt attracts fleas.

It was first-time fursuiting for Sketchywolf.  He attended all of the events, and posted about it:

I’ve never seen so much love for furries from random strangers! So many photos! So many smiling faces! … Fursuiting turned out to be even more fun than I imagined it to be! I love the reaction of others when they see a suit. Walking over to Frolic suited, and back to the hotel and the end of the night, I was stopped by people wanting to take pictures!  I danced, I partied, I hugged EVERYBODY. Oh! I had SO MUCH fun!

Before the events, I posted: “Independent shows and festivals offer new concept for furry events”.  Each was organized separately, but with loose ties.  They used special venues and locations to add character beyond the “sterile/consumer” vibe of a hotel (like one comment said).  I called it a model for growing beyond cons, and proposed a new, free-range fair or festival concept.  Judging by the enthusiastic response, the idea was more than hype.  It’s a sign of a burgeoning subculture.  Let’s look at how things went.

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This week in San Francisco: Independent shows and festivals offer new concept for furry events

by Patch O'Furr

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Four events are back to back in San Francisco:  Fursuit crawl – Furry portrait show gallery opening – Wild Things fetish party – Frolic dance party.  

On Friday 11/7/14 is the “Embarcadero Fursuit Crawl“.  The street fursuiting fun will move downtown, to a grand entrance at the gallery opening for Ron Lussier’s Furry portrait show.   Ron’s creative partner, Bobby Pin, shares:  More Press for the upcoming ‘Furries & Despair Photography Show’!

Saturday has the “art and sex” party – Wild Things.  This furry fetish and petplay party has gotten tremendous response. (It’s for a special interest and adult activity doesn’t represent furries in general.)  Afterwards is Frolic dance party: the monthly “mini-con” that attracts several hundred attendees, and helped influence spin-off parties across the USA.

The San Francisco Bay Area has so much activity, that furries often have multiple events to choose from at the same time.  On Halloween there was a cosplay dance party, a house party, and a street costuming meetup.  Consider what it says about developing subculture.

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