The cancelation of San Jose’s Further Confusion, among the world’s largest furry cons, was sad for everyone involved. Hopefully they will weather this and return next year. It must have been maximum difficulty at last minute during an unprecedented spike of the Covid pandemic.
The stakes are laid as soon as a furry convention signs a contract to fill a hotel. They get a block of rooms and are on the hook to deliver hundreds of rentals. It takes special circumstances to get released from the contract. If the terms don’t specify a zombie invasion, expect a bill while sharpening your machete! The pandemic must have given them a dilemma: Face a six figure debt or be a spreader event?
It was a multi-headed monster of a year of disasters. But here you are. Have a review of last year’s news from Dogpatch Press. These are highlights for this site and they’re not listed by biggest or most-viewed, it’s a mixed bag of big stories plus inside stuff only a fandom knows.
“I threw my paws to the ground and took my head and collar off” — The last thing they see before the furpile.
In San Jose on January 17, fursuiters were cooling off outside Further Confusion‘s main hotel. That’s when a car stopped short, and they heard the driver screaming “Get out!” She was being beaten. Onlookers ran to the car and pulled a male passenger off of her.
“Among the first on scene was the pink dinosaur, who wrested the suspect by the head and shoulders while a massive tail bobbed in his wake” – The Mercury News
Kin Z. Shiratsuki is the furry they quoted: “This guy was just walloping a lady,” Shiratsuki said. “He had to have hit her 10 times.” But wait, pink dinosaur? She’s a KOBOLD/ROO (also sometimes a purple gryphon). Get it right… read furry news!
Kin is often at local SF Bay Area meets and responded to a Q&A.
Hi Kin. Did you see the video of the incident went around a lot? It even made CNN’s front page.
Oh gosh it did, meep meep I did not see. I just saw one Twitter post and a Facebook post. I’m just glad that the cops came and arrested the guy.
What’s the story from being on the scene?
I was walking around the corner in suit with a friend. I heard some people talking, and focused on two in the car. As soon as I saw what was happening I yelled at the group of people, “get the car door open, get him out of there!” and they acted. I told people to call 911, and called myself.
San Jose, CA has two furry cons. Look at special places like that for ideas about how the fandom is growing. (See my article: One Town, Two Cons.) Do two cons show healthy demand and raise the bar for both? Do they split the community? Or are they just on different paths with one trying an out-of-the-box concept? Well, it looks like win-win positivity in San Jose. The cons are so friendly that they share staff.
Pacific Anthropomorphics Weekend (PAWcon) is the upstart “relax-a-con” at the DoubleTree, previous home of Further Confusion. 400 or so furs went last year, making a just-right sized party on the shared balcony connecting the whole party floor. (You can bounce from room to room without traffic jams, and spend time with everyone – it’s the best party ever.) The con has grown by 100 furs-per-year, so expect more and better for 2017, their fourth year.
The Billy DeFrank LGBTQ Community Center
938 The Alameda, San Jose, CA 95126
Art show 1 to 5 PM
Masquerade 5 to 7 PM
Dance 7 to 9 PM ($10 suggested donation)
Calling all Bay Area Queer Artists! • Musicians • Zinesters • Independent game devs • Painters • Crafters • Illustrators • Digital Artists • Photographers •
Come join us for the seventh #Artsplosion. Hurry, Signups close May 9th! Sign up here, and find out more here. The Artsplosion is a bi-monthly local arts and crafts exhibition intended to serve the Bay Area Queer arts community.
I was asked to tell you about my upcoming art event that’s furry focused. It’s called #Artsplosion, this is the 7th event, and this time we’re collaborating with San Jose Further Confusion (FurCon).
It’s going to be an art show, costume masquerade, and evening dance! It’s free to attend (though we have a $10 suggested donation at the door for the dance), and free to show work at (though we ask 20% of sales go back to the center as a donation).
So join us on May 13th, starting at 1 PM. We have a great community center in San Jose, easy to get to from public transportation and lots of parking, so I’d love it if everyone came and checked it out!
Site goes down with high traffic for #tonytigergate – and the hits keep coming.
The Twitter joke of #tonytigergate drew enough mainstream curiosity to overload this site. (An upgrade may hopefully prevent that next time.)After the story about it was posted here, it kept getting mainstream traction – highlighting a cheeky dichotomy. On one hand, there’s reputation concern – on the other hand, tickling an audience is kind of validating. It’s two sides to the coin of furry subculture and I don’t think that will ever change.
Dear Patch; I vaguely remember that during all the news and publicity in 1987 for Who Framed Roger Rabbit, there was a report that Charles Fleischer, the voice actor for Roger, got many NSFW erotic invitations from women, addressed specifically to Roger, not to him.
For National Hugging Day, the new episode of Culturally F’d is based on a Dogpatch Press article.
National Hugging Day is every January 21 for normal people. (It’s every day for furries.) I propose making a special occasion of it next year. And it was like a big fuzzy hug to get surprised with an entire video based on my article – “Hugs are the handshake of furries.” Wow thanks Arrkay and crew, nice to see you used it! Anyone can freely use any content on this site that way.
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:
Last year was their inaugural event. It snuck in under the radar of many. About 200 furries showed up for low-key fun. Fine-tuning of publicity and planning has brought great pawgress. PAWcon is following in the pawprints of the other well-established Furry con in San Jose, Further Confusion.(How many places are lucky enough to get two great cons?) Now they’re stepping up to stage it at Fur Con’s original venue, the Doubletree. Many people have missed the unique magic of that venue after outgrowing it. Those who remember (or missed it) can have it again!
Whoa, hang on. @pacanthro is at the San Jose Double Tree? Are you effing joking me?! 😀
Headlines, links and little stories to make your tail wag. Tips are always welcome.
Mainstream sightings and fandom news
VICE parties hard at Fur-eh!
The article gets super friendly, and stays refreshingly non-judgemental. It can be hard to broadly cover an event with immersion in a tight circle of friends, so it’s only a small slice of the experience. Not all furries are way into parties. Some feel like it ruins think-heavy sci-fi focus. However, sci-fi cons with no parties are a world I don’t want to live in. You can make a furry con anything you want it to be. When they do party, nobody does it better!
Impressions from Biggest Little Fur Con.
I confess to partying too hard to cover this with it’s own article. (Thanks Vox for a great vid!)
It’s really amusing to see someone get covered head to toe in shaving cream. (It takes about 4 cans.)
Favorite shirt I saw: “I’M FAT – LET’S PARTY”
Thank-you’s for blogging? You might as well thank me for eating! Someone joked that it must take drugs to pound these out. Nope. Fursuiting is my drug.
Attendance of 2400+ makes BLFC the 6th largest con. (AKA “Biggest Medium Fur Con.”) That’s impressive to build in 3 years. The subculture is rising!
More interaction I loved were the unofficial “Hug Permit” officers. They were funny, engaging… and helpful with secret wing-man encouragement. (See “code 90944?”) Come on… with 2400 adults together for a once a year celebration, how could that NOT happen? No judging. Further proof that “Hugs are the handshake of furries.”
On November 15-16, 2014, Pacific Anthropomorphics Weekend brought a second Furry convention to the San Francisco Bay Area. PAW’s official attendance was 213. It was the result of much hard work behind the scenes.
If only con organizing was always as serene as the palm trees on the website.
I’m sorry not to post pure sunshine here: I think it’s an OK time for honesty, shortly after the con. Next year offers a clean slate.
Conflict came even before a con plan, in early 2014. Staff changes with January’s Further Confusion con caused discord among watchers close to the action. Like most things in life, it was complicated. Sides were taken for private debates not qualified to air. (It wasn’t all personal: a long-standing supporter was left frustrated by hotel union regulations, that couldn’t allow some volunteers to “work” for the event.)
A faction of former Fur Con supporters and friends acted to start a new convention. It would compete to take Fur Con’s place. Watchers knocked the “revenge con” plan, noting that a negative reason was a weak draw, diminishing positive reasons to persist. It was ultimately resolved by abandoning a conflicting date, to simply offer a welcome new option at a harmless time.