Dogpatch Press

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A brief history of the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization, America’s first anime fan club — by Sy Sable

by Dogpatch Press Staff

Courtesy of Changa Lion and the Confurence Archive, cover art by Ken Sample. 5 years after it was founded, the club newsletter covered news from 9 American club chapters and the 1982 release of Don Bluth’s Secret of NIMH.

Sy Sable co-founded the first furry con and helped grow a new worldwide furry fandom, with 1970’s roots in a small clubhouse in Los Angeles.

On 4/4/2020, Sy Sable (Mark Merlino) sent this brief history of the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization, founded in 1977. His story comes from recent message trading with someone interested in the C/FO and those involved. He couldn’t connect her to people out of contact for over 20 years, but he could tell how the club started. 

Today, there’s a worldwide network we could call capital-F Furry fandom, but some key founders were “proto-furries” who met at the C/FO. The club introduced new and unusual imported Japanese anime that was starting to reach America through rare home video tech. Club members loved anime for featuring adult, science fiction and action themes unlike 1970’s American animation aimed at kids (then dominated by studios like Hanna-Barbera.) There was a lot of “giant robot” anime, but certain fans preferred to combine adult themes plus traditional “funny animal” comics and animation that eventually spun off their own, new hybrid fandom.

Sy was a founder who went on with partner Rod O’Riley to host 1980’s science fiction convention room parties, then ConFurence in 1989, and longstanding monthly parties at The Prancing Skiltaire in Southern California (when not under quarantine in 2020). The C/FO had other chapters and there were other fan groups, but this is a major root. Another founder, Fred Patten, wrote about the C/FO in How Home Video Created Anime Fandom — or check Fred’s review of Joe Strike’s Furry Nation history book that covers this. (Fred was also a writer with Jerry Beck, East Coast C/FO chapter founder and animation historian, tying in much more history.) Sy says: “This is from my perspective and drops names something fierce… but it IS my personal take on things.” ( – Patch)

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R.C. Fox arrested for child pornography, furries question fandom connections.

by Patch O'Furr

High profile fur R.C. Fox is in legal trouble. When interviewed by police outside his home, “he admitted there ‘might be some’ child pornography on his computer” and “he has ‘a very small interest in’ pornography depicting children and admitted to having about 50 videos containing it on his computer.”  R.C. was known for meet organizing and media appearances that bring a spotlight now. Here’s a long video about it by Ragehound. The case is in court.

It brought in a reader tip – (thanks Meow Mix):

Recently there’s been some furries involved in meets and cons popping up in the news for pedophilia and child porn. There’s the RebelWolf/LupineFox ring, and more recently R.C. Fox has been charged with child porn possession. (Location/photo/birthdate in the news matches R.C. Fox).

These sorts of charges have come down on furries before, and the fandom has in the past welcomed such people back, only for them to offend again. One of the more well known cases is Growly, convicted in 2001 of having sex with a 14 year old, and after release was banned from furaffinity for a conversation with a 16 year old. Despite this, he still is allowed to volunteer for conventions and furmeets.

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