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Tag: drama

The Raccoon’s Den – The First Docudramedy Series in the Furry Fandom.

by Pup Matthias

See The Raccoon’s Den on Youtube. Thanks to Bandit and Pup Matthias for collaborating on this special guest article.  

When I say the word ‘creator’ in the furry fandom, what do you think of?  Mostly likely TRD_2016 Poster (sml)you would think of artist, writers, musicians, animators, game developers, fursuit makers, etc.  One type that doesn’t cross most people’s minds are video creators.  There are examples like EZ Wolf and Duke the Dog with their shorts and music videos, Culturally F’d with their educational videos, and this year has brought us Dominic Rodriguez and Eric Risher with their respected documentaries exploring the fandom. But it’s a relatively small pool compared to the others.

Part of that lies with platform. Most furry sites don’t offer a way for video creators to showcase their work and build a presence like the others. They’re always having to link to YouTube or Vimeo and hope someone will click the link. Furry Network looks to be the only one working on offering video creators a player to support them.  Time will only tell on that front.

(Note from Patch: the medium also brings challenges.  That’s why our ‘Special Features and Top Articles’ just added a section about THE NASCENT FURRY MOVIE SCENE.)

What’s truly sad about this is the way video creators have the best opportunity to explain and showcase what our fandom is.  Capturing the moments of celebration, joy, hardship, misunderstanding, and exploring what makes the furry fandom what it is.

There’s a series for that already. It’s been going on for over seven years, with almost one hundred episodes that explore what the fandom is. That show is The Raccoon’s Den.

Christopher Parque-Johnson, creator of the Raccoon’s Den, is better known as Bandit in the fandom. He was introduced to the fandom from a fan-made forum for the film ‘Over the Hedge’, which inspired him to have a raccoon fursona after the title character of the film.

I got into the furry fandom after seeing “Over the Hedge” in 2006, joined a fan-made forum and a friend on there made an RP account for RJ the Raccoon on MySpace (back when people used it). I joined the fandom on July 20th and up until 2009, I was just another person on the internet who liked being part of the community. I felt welcomed and accepted for being myself here and that was something I wasn’t able to feel outside of it.

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Black Angel, by Kyell Gold – Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

BlackAngelFrontCoverBlack Angel, by Kyell Gold. Illustrated by Rukis.
St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, March 2016, trade paperback $19.95 (vii + 379 pages).

Black Angel is the conclusion of Kyell Gold’s Dangerous Spirits trilogy that began with Green Fairy (March 2012) and continued with Red Devil (January 2014). The three novels are a powerful mixture of spiritualism, drugs, and adolescent angst, shifting between centuries and societies. They are also set in Gold’s larger Forester University anthropomorphic-animal alternate universe, with clear parallels to our own. Each of these three is complete, but assuming you will like Black Angel enough to want to read the others, readers are recommended to start all three from the first.

Solomon Wrightson (black wolf), Alexei Tsarev (red fox), and Meg Kinnick (otter) are three very troubled seniors at Vidalia’s Richfield High School. All three have left home. Sol, who has just realized that he is gay, is constantly nagged at home by his father to excel at sports. Alexei, who has come from Siberia on a student visa, is concerned by the silence of his sister back home; he is sure that their parents are intercepting their mail. The mannish Meg has gotten her parents to let her move into a decrepit apartment to be an artist. Her apartment has become a social center for the three. Sol’s traveling into the past in Green Fairy, and Alexei’s being haunted by a ghost in Red Devil, may be due to external causes in those novels, or – as the rational Meg scoffs – it’s all in their imagination.

“Hi. I’m Meg. I’m nineteen, and I’m fucked up.

That’s not a big secret, by the way. Pretty much anyone who knew me from about fifteen to now would tell you the same thing. Only back then I thought it was a good kind of fucked up.” (p. 1)

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Claw the Way to Victory, Edited by AnthroAquatic – Book Review by Fred Patten.

by Pup Matthias

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

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Cover by Jenn ‘Pac’ Rodriguez

Claw the Way to Victory, edited by AnthroAquatic
Capalaba, Queensland, Australia, Jaffa Books, January 2016, trade paperback $17.50 (285 pages), Kindle $5.00.

Claw the Way to Victory is an original-fiction anthology of eleven short stories by nine authors, “each showcasing a different sport and [showing] just how the instincts of an animal matched with the intelligence of a human can help or hurt a player. Scratching? Biting? Against the rules? Not this time.” (blurb) It is published by Jaffa Books in Australia, but printed and also sold by editor AnthroAquatic in the U.S., and was released by him at Anthro New England 2016 in Cambridge, MA on January 21-24; hence the price in U.S. dollars and the Amazon Kindle edition.

In “Descent” by TrianglePascal (gliding), Anthony, a mallard TV reporter, interviews Lacy Gallant, a golden eagle who is about to attempt the first unassisted thousand-foot descent off a cliff into a sheer gorge in history – without a parachute.

“With the camera off, Anthony let himself slouch back into his camp chair, then eyed Lacy again. The eagle was watching the bear and the squirrel [Anthony’s camera crew] with curiosity while she sipped her coffee. She looked impossibly relaxed considering what she was going to be attempting that day. She was dressed in a tank top and a tight pair of shorts, both of them specifically designed to reveal as much of her plumage as possible. It showed off the impressive musculature that stretched from her shoulders down to her powerful arms. Despite how dirty and ragtag the rest of her looked, the flight feathers hanging down from those arms were more immaculately cared for than the claws of most supermodels. There was a healthy sheen about them that bespoke hours of daily care.” (p. 11)

The mammals in the sports camera crew think she’s crazy. Anthony, as a bird but not a hunter-diver, can dimly appreciate what she feels when she’s gliding.

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Fledger by Nicholas Barrett, Book Review by Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

fledgerFledger: a Novel, by Nicholas Barrett.
NYC, Macmillan Publishing Co., September 1985, hardcover $13.95 (207 pages).

Ever since Adams’ Watership Down was published in 1972, just about any “realistic” nature fantasy centered upon one particular species has been “high profiled” as a “Watership Down for” (whatever species is featured). Fledger is certainly a Watership Down for puffins.

A flock of puffins is returning to Land (specifically a bleak, rocky shoreline) to dig burrows and lay eggs after three years of living at sea upon ice floes. Rock Samphire, a hen, is distraught and insulted because her mate, Sorrel, will not listen seriously to her dreams of impending disaster if they continue to build their rookery as puffins always have; on the Land and upon a small island just offshore. Ringleader, the flock leader, dismisses her dreams because the Golden Lord only sends true dreams to flock leaders like himself, and he has not had any nightmares. Rock Samphire stops protesting, but she builds a secret burrow for her egg on the other side of the island, apart from the other puffins. This just removes her from their protection, and she is eaten by the swaabies (great black-backed seagulls) just after laying their egg. Ringleader orders Sorrel to raise the chick, Goldie (Golden Samphire), in secrecy.

Goldie is predisposed from birth to believe in the puffins’ doctrine as revealed by Ringleader:

“‘And you must be Ringleader, sir,’ chirped the little bird. [No, it’s Sandpiper.] ‘And you have come to give me the Faith that I shall need to leave this strange burrow on the day when the Golden Lord calls me and the other fledger puffins down to the sea together to swim away from the Land.” (p. 33) Read the rest of this entry »

Typewriter Emergencies, Edited By Weasel – Book Review By Fred Patten

by Pup Matthias

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

Typewriter EmergenciesTypewriter Emergencies, 2015 Edition [edited by Weasel]
Manvel, TX, Weasel Press, October 2015, trade paperback $16.95 (179 pages), Kindle $3.99.

The blurb says, “Welcome to the first release of Typewriter Emergencies, a collection of psychologically damaging and hard hitting furry literature.” The implication is that this is the first of an ongoing series of furry stories that the blurb goes on to describe as “gut-wrenching”. “Weasel Press is proud to have our first furry collection on the books and we hope you will enjoy every moment this intense anthology has to offer.”

The 13 stories, with a cover by Kala “Miryhis” Quinn, are a quality mixed-bag of tales by furry veteran authors, non-furry writers who are nonetheless experienced authors, and at least one new writer. Several are examples of experimental writing.

“The Dying Game” by Amethyst Mare shows this in its second line. “Great Britain crawled into December like a raindrop tricking down glass.” (p. 9) Heather Rees, a “young, two-legged palomino equine”, seems determined to be miserable. “The bridge was crusty with moss and lichen, the green and yellow reminding her of disease ridden flesh, something that ate away at the outside of a fur while the inside lost the will to live.” The writing emphasizes a “gut-wrenching” vocabulary. “Cars on the road to her right snarled past, lifting her straightened mane up from her neck and into her face in a rush of angry air.” (p. 10) Heather is on her way to see Mikey, a young cat lover who has been horribly maimed by a passing train. “Michael had done no wrong. He had only been spraying graffiti. Where was the harm in that?” Well … “Michael had to be all right for her. He could live without an arm or a leg. He had to.” Notice that Michael has to be all right for her. The story is a blend of poetic wordplay (“Outside, the sky dipped its paintbrush into the grey-blue that was twilight, drawing a fresh scene across its daily canvas.”) and “psychologically damaging” descriptions, such as Michael’s hospital bed’s “sickly green curtain”, his husky nurse’s “clinical smile permanently fixed on her face [that] never reached her eyes”, and Heather’s mare mother screaming at her (ignoring the hospital’s rule for quiet) for wasting her time at Michael’s bedside instead of earning money at her job. Read the rest of this entry »

Disney goes Full Furry, and All The Drama – Newsdump (6/12/15)

by Patch O'Furr

Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag.  Tips are always welcome. 

Zootopia: Disney goes full furry, and this stuff is going to explode in 2016.  

How excited are you for the next furriest movie ever? “Anthropomorphic” isn’t quite an everyday household word, and it’s use in this trailer spells out an open secret.  Before they made this, they did market research up the wazoo about us. Of course, it’s still a regular Disney movie, but they KNOW.

I watched the trailer when it had less than 300 views – while I write it’s over 1,300,000. The first comments on it said “furries”, and a lot of the top comments on it still say “furries”. There’s no way they didn’t anticipate that.

My reaction: Furry is the opposite of exclusive to me, but this cool thing makes me fear a deluge of commercially shallow influence.  I’m scared, hold me! … NAHH, it will be awesome. I can’t wait for the day this movie comes out, with all the fursuit meets there will be to see it. Fan participation is a big deal. I’ll bet we’ll see tons of actual furries on the news because of this.

Queerty‘s article about sex at Califur has important message between the lines. (Via Greenreaper:) Read the rest of this entry »