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Tag: furries

How furries resist a commercialized fandom (Part 3)

by Patch O'Furr

Furry fandom often has DIY ethics (intentional or not). That can mean nonprofit volunteer-led events, and directly supporting each other’s art instead of just consuming corporate products. A Daily Beast reporter asked about it and I shared lots of info that didn’t all make the news — so here’s a followup in 3 parts.

Part 1 looked at the roots of fandom, with fans being “fans of each other”. Stigma and undermining showed how the fandom didn’t just follow the path of least resistance, it broke out under pressure. A sense of outsiderness and self determination has stayed ever since.

Part 2 looked at conventions making a platform for industry and expression that keeps the group untamed. Relations with the media got better while making a certain fandom identity (instead of letting others make it). It can even connect to deeper identity of members, because it lets them be who they want to be.

Furries care about fandom identity with a kind of tribalism. When members say they’re prone to “furry drama,” it can come from conflict about who defines it or benefits from it. That’s how The Daily Beast noticed conflict about a luxury “designer fursuit” brand, which usually wouldn’t matter to anyone except furries.

I told the reporter: “I think it really struck a nerve. It really got to the root of this possessiveness that the subculture has about itself and what it built for itself.”

It’s a case for looking at resistance to commercialism. Backlash at the brand was provoked by tone-deaf marketing, where bringing a mainstream approach wasn’t workable with art based on unique personal identity. Also, luxury brands don’t get made from scratch when others go back 100 years. (Fans in-the-know could compare this with furry brand Hyena Agenda, whose stuff speaks for itself without rubbing the wrong way against a certain fandom identity.)

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How furries resist a commercialized fandom (Part 2)

by Patch O'Furr

Furry fandom often has DIY ethics (intentional or not). That can mean nonprofit volunteer-led events, and directly supporting each other’s art instead of just consuming corporate products. A Daily Beast reporter asked about it and I shared lots of info that didn’t all make the news — so here’s a followup in 3 parts.

Fandom is big business in the mainstream – but furries have their own place apart. Why does this fandom grow independently? Let’s look at unique expression at the heart of it. Of course furries do a lot more things than this story can look at, but one aspect brings insight about decentralized structure.

Some subcultures rise and fall with media they consume. But the influences seen in Part 1 didn’t make one property in common for every furry. They didn’t rise with a movie like Zootopia. Instead, this fandom is fans of each other.

Part 1 looked at the roots and growth of their conventions. Furry cons make a platform for the specialized craft of fursuiting, with bespoke, full-body mascot costumes that cost thousands. They’re uniquely original expressions of identity. They’re tangible, huggable products of imagination. They put the fur in furry.

A lot of the fandom’s rock stars are fursuiters, who give it a photogenic face. Unlike stars of other fandoms, their original characters usually aren’t promoting something else — and fursuits can’t be downloaded or easily pirated — they’re for live experiences. It matters because online community can be temporary, but live events glue it together. They can show why this fandom is independent, here to stay, and not tied to certain media.

Rather than naming great works tied to their activity, you could say that the group is its own greatest creation. And if writing, art, or other creativity in the fandom didn’t rise out of a certain type of event, fursuiting did.

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How furries resist a commercialized fandom (Part 1)

by Patch O'Furr

Furry fandom often has DIY ethics (intentional or not). That can mean nonprofit volunteer-led events, and directly supporting each other’s art instead of just consuming corporate products. A Daily Beast reporter asked about it and I shared lots of info that didn’t all make the news — so here’s a followup in 3 parts.

Why is commercialism a topic for an often disparaged subculture? Compare furry fandom today to its roots. Times change, and hindsight can help to see why. Let’s look at how industry and media influenced the American roots in the 1970’s, how it grew, and changes that come with bigger scale than ever.

The 1970’s could be a hungry time for fans with a taste for comics and animation of the 1940’s-50’s Golden Age. As it faded, funny-animal comics died off while the business suffered under the Comics Code. In movies, the fall of the studio system contributed to a dark age of animation. Hanna-Barbera reigned on TV with cheap formulaic product. Disney’s feature studio almost went bankrupt with barely any new artists hired for a generation. Robin Hood (1973) spread the furry virus before it had a name, but the movie wasn’t well loved by the studio. Then a new wave of artists (such as Tim Burton and Don Bluth) came out of Disney while it had a rebirth, peaking with The Lion King (1994), which launched a thousand furry projects. But by the early 90’s the furry fandom was already fully fledged to take off on its own. It happened under the influence of the ups and downs of industry, but also in spite of it.

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5 STAR VISIT: Furry gets Airbnb room in San Francisco, finds furry yiff art on the wall

by Patch O'Furr

When you travel, they say if you want real experiences, go where the locals go and do what they do. But you probably don’t expect to pack a black light.

One lucky traveler went to San Francisco, and got surprised by extra special hospitality with their stay. They had a rented Airbnb room. That can be a crapshoot. Airbnb (the service that lets people rent rooms out of their own houses) has had its share of horror stories. They’ve had orgies, pigsty conditions, con artists, and  hidden cameras; but this time the result was loads of customer satisfaction.

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Voting for The Good Furry Award has commenced!

by Patch O'Furr

Nominations for the premier Good Furry Award are finalized, and voting has commenced at the Ask Papabear website (www.askpapabear.com/vote-now).

What is The Good Furry Award? It is a prize given to furries who have demonstrated exemplary behavior within the fandom by giving back to the community and by serving as a fine example of what furries are supposed to be about: fun, playfulness, imagination, creativity, and, above all, community.

The Good Furry Award was created by Grubbs Grizzly (Kevin Hile), who runs the Ask Papabear website, which is an advice column for furries and the furry curious. Grubbs (53) began the column in 2012 as a reaction to all the emails he had already been getting from younger furries asking about the fandom and seeking advice. He also runs the Greymuzzle, Outcast Furries, and Bear Furries groups on Facebook. In addition, he is still working on a guidebook called The Furry Book: The Who, What, When, Where, Why and How of the Furry Fandom. For those of you who have heard of this project, yes, it has been delayed a long time due to several setbacks in Grubbs’ life, including the unexpected death of his husband and recent death of his mother, but he hopes to finish it soon. The Furry Book will also launch his new publishing venture, Uncle Bear Publishing, which will offer nonfiction titles specializing in the furry community (Grubbs has 30 years of experience in reference publishing and is currently a freelance managing editor).

The winner of the 2019 Good Furry Award will receive $1,000 and a shiny in the form of a handsome trophy. Three runners-up will receive honorable mention certificates, as well. The current nominees are: Aleshka Alejandra, LeighAnn Baca, Troj Bruegel, Damien Coquelle (Timduru), Dai Cymru, Tony Barret (Dogbomb), Courtney Dunn (Dr. Wildlife), Jeff Edwards (Ramseys the Bull), Kat the Leopardess, Shelly McCaw, Courtney Plante, Murphy Slaugh, Rodney O’Riley, Tycho Aussie, Matt VanNest, Noelle White (Wyld), Andrew Willis, and Zorrore.

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Avian Invasion – Children Of The Stars – Album Review by Enjy

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Matthew Ebel is a well-known fandom musician who has begun a new project that sees him shifting from his roots of piano-based lyrical works to what he has dubbed “progressive (bird)house” with hints of trance peppered throughout. Performing under the name “Bird One,” Ebel dons a masquerade-like beak and colorful outfits as he crafts melodies that have been played at such important venues as The Roxy and even the Grand Ole Opry. How well does Bird One’s musical prowess transfer from Elton John to EDM? We are going to take a look at his 6-song EP titled Children Of The Stars to find out.

We Looked Up is the first song on the EP. It sets the tone for the rest of the album, explaining in a narrative form over a pulsing, dark, bass driven beat that the world has transformed into a dystopian society of people who do not trust each other. “Now the people built only walls. The shadow whispered in their ears, told the people that only darkness could defeat darkness,” the narrator states, his voice tinged with flanges and pitch shifts that give it an eerie quality, as if maybe you cannot trust him, either. For those of you who wonder about Ebel’s piano work, it is front and center here, clean keys tapping out a spacey melody over the grimy bass and drums in the background, evoking images of a clean galaxy over a dirty megacity. Indeed that is where the narrative goes next, as the narrator explains that one man said he saw light, and the people looked up, hence the track’s title. The song breaks into a happy tone after a rise, painting the picture of the land being flooded with light as they break down the walls. This track is a master class in how to use texture and tone to create a soundscape, and Bird One did an extremely good job at telling the story with more than words. “Only the light can defeat darkness, and there is always light,” the line the song is closed with, is particularly powerful and important to remember in trying times such as these. Absolutely a 10 out of 10.

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Interview with Ash Coyote, Chip Fox, and Eric (Ash) Risher on The Fandom and Kickstarter

by Pup Matthias

Can you believe it’s been nearly six months since This is Life with Lisa Ling: Furry Nation premiered? It’s hard to believe it’s been that long already since Furries had such a positive piece done on us. As good as that hour of television was, it could only cover so much when presenting a community with over fortyish years of history to those with no personal connection. If we want to showcase just how diverse and vibrant our community is, we will have to do it ourselves.

That’s what inspired Youtuber/Filmmaker Ash Coyote, her husband Chip Fox, and Filmmaker Eric (Ash) Risher (who also directed the Doc Furries) to create The Fandom. It’s a documentary series for furries, by furries, that just wrapped up their first season. Below is a Q&A with all three of them.

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RIP to Downers Grove FurBowl organizer killed in Illinois road accident

by Patch O'Furr

Patch.com, a news source focusing on local communities, reported the death of Jimmy Harbin, AKA Scorch Dragon (not the same as another who uses the name.) The news was noticed with recent filing of a lawsuit to compensate his family. The 49-year old New Lenox, IL resident was the victim of a fatal accident with a semi-truck and trailer that crossed into oncoming traffic in the early morning of Feb. 19, 2019.

Harbin’s obituary page named him as father to a son and daughter and the devoted manager of his small farm. It asked for donations in lieu of flowers to a wildlife rehab nonprofit. It also has a video tribute showing his love of bowling and costuming. He was a volunteer with the Downers Grove Furbowl, an event of the Chicago area L.A.F.F. (Lake Area Fur Friends.)

Scorch’s last tweet was a wish for a sick friend to get better, and years of tweets from his friend Odie (head of the D.G. Furbowl) shows how he is remembered. Read the rest of this entry »

Dogbomb: praise for a furry hero – from the ALS Association, Orange County Chapter.

by Patch O'Furr

ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is a fatal disease that needs a cure. In a call with the Executive Director of the ALS Association of Orange County (California), I asked if they would like to join furries in the San Francisco Pride parade in June to represent their cause. Plans are in progress, but so far the answer was an enthusiastic “count us in!” This is the ongoing legacy of one inspiring man.

Dogbomb (Tony Barrett) was the reason for our call. He was a furry fan who some called “Mister Rogers with a beer,” and an ALS patient represented by the ALSAOC. Thousands of fandom members united for his cause, bringing six figures in charity donations — (another story for another article this week.)

After Dogbomb passed away, Furry Twitter was filled with profile pics gone black with a rainbow lei to represent him. Hashtags, toasts, memories and plans were shared in his honor. There was hardly anywhere in the fandom where his presence wasn’t felt. But because his work directed this positive energy far outside of the group, here’s a story about effects that may not have been seen, as told by ALS patient advocates.

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Furry Film Festival (F3) welcomes guest judges Jib Kodi, Jesse Cox, Freddie Wong of RocketJump

by Patch O'Furr

Here at Dogpatch, if there wasn’t a Furry Film Festival to report about, we’d start one. Not even kidding. It’s been discussed. I’ve organized furry screenings and shaken my fuzzy tail as a performer in them. So seeing this long-overdue idea come to life means news about it will get shared with great fan love.

New guest judges are being announced since Freddie Wong – now, a fandom animation star is adding support. (Previously seen on Dogpatch: How furry animator Jib Kodi found his art: “When I saw that tail move, I was instantly hooked.”)

FROM THE FURRY FILM FESTIVAL (F3): Jib Kodi Announced As Special Guest Judge

The Furry Film Festival (F3) has announced their second guest judge: Jib Kodi! Even though he only became active in the fandom in 2017, he’s become one of the most well-known animators in it, thanks to his short 10-20 second animations released on Twitter to great popularity. These represent some of the most prevalent themes and subjects in the fandom, from quirky humor or beautiful tributes that bring tears to the eyes (like honoring the late DogBomb).

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