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Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: FWA

SCADfurs: These furry animation students will make shows you love one day

by Patch O'Furr

Continuing from Furry college clubs — a place for artists and animators with dreams and fears.

Fall Fest 2019

Yesterday’s article looked at college clubs for furries being a new movement in a growing fandom. It covered clubs at art and animation schools being a special place for people who haven’t always been in synch with the mainstream. It could involve stigma with jobs, but the upside is pro artists making good ties to fandom, and indie artists finding opportunity.

Georgia’s Savannah College of Art and Design is a top rated school near Furry Weekend Atlanta, and a place to find furry talent. SCADfurs is a club for them you can see on Furaffinity or Twitter. SCAD furs president Bucky is a Sequential Art major, and here’s our Q&A.

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Furry college clubs — a place for artists and animators with dreams and fears

by Patch O'Furr

A staple comic, 1998-2000

Furry College Clubs are a new movement

Furscience, the group researching furry fandom data, say the majority of members are around college age. By law, they can only track ages 18+, so this growing subculture may have an army of new lurkers just finding their whiskers and tails.

Looking back, furries at colleges are nothing new (check big furry comics of the 90’s) — but having enough members at the same schools to start official clubs is a new chapter in fandom.

A 2005-era Livejournal-connected list has a few dozen college furries — in the world, not the same place. A 2008 forum topic mentions handfuls finding each other (but more likely at anime clubs.) Then during a watershed time of mainstream media turning from mockery to fascination with the fandom (between MFF 2014 and Zootopia), a USA Today headline says: Growing community of ‘furries’ finds acceptance on campus.

Student newspapers love the topic now. It’s a common reason for alerts about furries in the media. And in big online forums, college location lists get hundreds of responses. Looking into it gives an impression that many are majoring in tech, science, or arts. But one subject stands out the most.

Pro animator dreams

Furry fandom overflows with art talent. And the animation industry is a hoped-for destination for many. For a guiding light, they can look at artists like Joaquin Baldwin (Disney’s Zootopia) joining furries as a popular convention guest.

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When Fursuiting and Charity Radiates Positive Difference – Dogbomb, Furry Weekend Atlanta & The 2019 ALS Walk

by Dogpatch Press Staff

GUEST POST BY JOE GORIA (JOE G. BEAR)

Joe Bear in suit

As a young kid growing up in 1970’s Los Angeles, I was always fascinated by seeing costumed performers at events like circuses, or Disneyland and the now defunct Hanna-Barbera’s Marineland in Palos Verdes, CA. To see tall cartoon characters come to life as Baloo, Yogi Bear, and Scooby Doo let me escape into a virtual fantasy life of myself living in a world alongside Anthropomorphic Animals.

Though I grew up and went to college, graduated and attended grad school — and recently celebrated 19 years employed for a major telecommunications company with a Pension and 401k — I’m still that kid that refused to grow up. The ‘Hooman’ in me was not enough. I wanted to be my own ‘Bear.’ It led to my amazement that there’s a fan base just for this.

I discovered ‘The Furry Fandom’ in late 2013 by another Furry who had a German Shepherd fursuit stored in the trunk of his ol’ jalopy. His name was ‘Kaz,’ and he was picking me up at San Diego’s Santa Fe train station. When he popped open his trunk to put my bags in, I noticed his fursuit and asked him “is that a dog costume?”  I thought he was working at an amusement park or something. Instead he was a Furry, and I got my 15 minute crash course in ‘The Fandom’.

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At Furry Weekend Atlanta, an academic philosopher wins a job by the power of fandom.

by Patch O'Furr

The human species is diverse, but anywhere you go, there’s job-seekers hungry to start careers. At least one of them is a tennis-playing philosopher with a FurAffinity account, a raccoon fursona and a cool story: WildeCard. (Here’s his personal site.)

In human form, he’s a Postdoc researcher and ethics course instructor at Ohio State University’s Center for Ethics and Human Values. He’s working on a book titled The Environmental Impact of Overpopulation: The Ethics of Procreation, which explores the ethics of slowing population growth. (For humans — no word about raccoons, bunnies or others with prodigious proliferation.)

How did he get there? WildeCard writes in:

“I recently documented how my experience on the academic job market (in philosophy) overlapped with attending Furry Weekend Atlanta 2019. And by overlapped, I mean that I was literally doing job interviews from my hotel room while attending this convention. That part of the story comes near the tail-end of an 8-month search for academic employment, which was ultimately successful.

The relevant (and lengthy) blog post is here.”

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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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Rukus, the indie furry movie, is coming to Furry Weekend Atlanta

by Patch O'Furr

On April 6, catch the convention debut of an Official Selection from SF IndieFest and the SXSW Film Festival. 

FWA just updated their schedule with all the details. Director Brett Hanover and collaborators will be in attendance. It will be an “After Dark Panel.” FWA is part of the story of the movie – it’s a local con for the film makers who come from Memphis.

Rukus (2018, 87 min):

In January I helped bring a large furry group to SF Indiefest. It was an awesome experience, and cinema lovers who appreciate the art form should get a thrill from it. Rukus is punk influenced storytelling between queer coming-of-age story, experimental fiction, and a love letter to fandom. This isn’t a sunny movie but it has joy and passion in it. There’s suicide, sex, and finding identity. It rewards multiple watches where you can peel up the rough edges to find a lot going on underneath. My favorite part is how it takes chances with a shoestring budget, and it’s something a community can count as a DIY product from itself. (I’d love to see that become a scene.) Plus, screening at SXSW is a big deal in the larger scheme of things.

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