Dogpatch Press

Fluff Pieces Every Week

Tag: ren & stimpy

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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A furry look at an abuse story about John Kricfalusi, creator of Ren & Stimpy.

by Patch O'Furr

The animation business joins the  movement, a campaign for awareness of sexual harassment that started with powerful people in Hollywood.

John Kricfalusi, creator of the Ren & Stimpy show that gained a cult and influenced many 1990’s TV cartoons, is subject of a report about grooming and sexual abuse of young girls. They were taken under his wing as aspiring artists.

These aren’t just allegations; when he was around 40 he had an underage girlfriend, as mentioned in a book about him, and his attorney admits it was true.

Ren & Stimpy played at the Spike & Mike Animation fest in the 1990’s. I remember getting my mind blown when the fest toured to my town. It inspired me to do indie stuff (like this news site.) There’s more of a furry connection than just fandom, though.

There’s a general industry connection. Since the #metoo campaign came out in October 2017, I’ve been holding on to an animation story by request due to sensitivity about the climate (nothing more than that). Pro talk on a furry site can be a bit tricky because of general stigma.

There’s a personal story too. I didn’t expect this in 2018, because I hadn’t thought about John K. in a while – but I’m not surprised. In the early 2000’s, I saw blog commenters joke about him being a Svengali to pretty young girl artists (I had no idea about the underage part). 15 years ago, give or take, I went to a party at his house in Ontario and saw something myself there.

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