New Zealand researcher probes furry mental health impact

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New Zealand Furry research poster From time to time, furries face mental health problems. But does fandom involvement hurt - as professionals sometimes suggest - or help? One man aims to find out.

This research is seeking to investigate how members of the furry community cope with stressors and mental health issues and whether being a member of the furry community can be a protective factor against stress. We also want to investigate how a person’s fursona/furry identity and their actual identity interact and any differences/similarities between them.

The research is being conducted by Moses Simpson, a Master's student at the University of Waikato.

While questions about fursonas are included, any resulting discussions are to be limited to general trends due to concern over identifiability. The survey should take less than an hour. As a bonus, participants (16+ only) may enter a drawing for one of three US$25 Amazon vouchers.

Preceding research: Survey suggests furries 'think differently', but aren't crazy (by the ARP).

Sonic Forces: The Sonic "Original Character" is now canon

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On May 16, a trailer for the upcoming Sonic Forces revealed a surprising direction for the hedgehog’s latest 3D venture. The new character that will be joining the blue blur in his adventure would not be just another Sonic Team-crafted sidekick. Instead, it will be a character you yourself develop that will team up to take down the meddling Eggman.

That’s right, the infamous Sonic "Original Character" is now canon. But how much can you customize to bring your dream character to life? Let's take a look at what's known so far.

Review: 'Lagrange' by Phil Guesz

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The book cover, showing the fragmentary remains of something floating in space.They called Marvin a chicken. And he was. (But only 5%.) He also plays the piano.

In the far-flung, space-traveling future, genetic manipulation has created a small subculture of modified humans that aren't exactly well-respected, but people will at least have sex with them and pay for the privilege. Marvin is pilot of the Pussy Pod, a small ship that safely transports people to and from the Henhouse, a brothel that sits just outside the limits of a space station's jurisdiction.

Legion Printing, May 2012, 78 pages. Available in eBook from Amazon.

Marvin's not a sex worker, but he respects them and cares about them. If he's a trifle ambivalent about his cattle car full of Johns, who can blame him? He's an excellent pilot and deserves more in his life. He shouldn't need to be covered in feathers, but his boss insisted because of the Henhouse's name. For Marvin, every day is a struggle to do his job well and not be bitter. He simply doesn't have the connections to find better work. But a man's got to make a living, even if it's just chicken feed.

Editorial: Hypocrisy! Censorship! The 'Furry Times' we live in

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Tantroo protesting alleged 'Furry Times' censorshipLast week, a Neswbyte was posted linking to an opinion article by Perri Rhodes on a site named Furry Times, covering the controversial Furry Raiders. It ended with with the following indictment of Flayrah from Ahmar Wolf:

Editor’s Commentary
It has always been a policy of mine no matter who you are, and if you have something to say and I would say Perri Rhoades, (who did an excellent job). That you should be allowed to speak, that no one has the right to shut you down…period. Like some tried to do on Flayrah.

Ahmar may have been referring to those who disagree with Perri using our comment karma system to rate down her scores of comments. No one on Flayrah staff had censored Perri. In fact people can still comment there if they wish, including Perri. However, in a fit of irony, Furry Times closed comments on their article which had shamed other sites of censorship.

Let’s take a look at why a site preaching for free speech cut the conversation short on their own controversial article.

'Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2': I am the fox you've been waiting for

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guardiansofthegalaxyvol2.jpgSeeing as how the the last time I reviewed a Guardians of the Galaxy movie, I spent an inordinate amount of time talking about biases, it's only fair that I cope with the fact that I might have had a bit of a bias against this movie.

I don't know if people are aware of this fact, but I really like foxes. Like, a lot. Just letting you know.

Now, the thing is, Guardians of the Galaxy features the character of Rocket, who is a raccoon, and not a fox. So, you see where I might have a problem. It's not a big deal; raccoons are cool and all, but they're not, well, foxes. This is a personal hangup, I try not to let it affect things too much, but full disclosure here. I mean, science has proven foxes are magic. Just saying. I watched a YouTube video and everything, so you can take that to the bank.

But the thing is, this movie features a running gag in which the character Nebula (Karen Gillan) keeps mistakenly referring to Rocket as a fox, which is funny, I guess, if you're not a vulpephiliac who is constantly being reminded how much more awesome this movie would be if featured Rocket the fox instead of Rocket the raccoon. I mean, this is a deep ditch the movie has to dig itself out of for this reviewer.

After that revelation, if you feel you can't take this reviewer's opinions on this movie seriously, well, I understand. But, if you're willing to give me the benefit of the doubt, by all means, please enjoy the following review of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. II.

The full story of the lawsuit involving Peter S. Beagle, author of 'The Last Unicorn'

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At the end of April, I posted a Newsbyte regarding a charity art drive to benefit “lifelong furry” and renowned fantasy author Peter S. Beagle, in order to fund his legal costs and living expenses as he litigates a suit against his former agent.

That was the first I had heard of the troubles of The Last Unicorn’s author. Upon seeing that Uncle Kage had tweeted about this situation in 2016, however, I learned this suit had been going on for longer than I realized, and I took the time to look deeply into the situation.

What I found was horrifying, and the rabbit hole seemed to go deeper the more I looked. Today I'm going to go into more detail about this shameful situation, bringing it to light in the hopes that the more people who know, the more help Beagle will receive.

Get ready, this is gonna be a long ride. If you don't want to read every single detail, I implore you to scroll down to the "How you can help" section, or at least spread this message as far as you can. Beagle needs as many friends as he can get right now.

Peter S. Beagle is suing his former agent for elder abuse, fraud, defamation, and breach of fiduciary duty, among other related allegations, which you can read in full here [PDF].

The History of nWave's Furry Features

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Since Dronon recently posted the trailer for “Bigfoot Junior” on Newsbytes, it seems like a good time to take a deeper look into nWave Pictures. Their main animation studio is located in Brussels, Belgium, while their regional office in Burbank, California has been working diligently to get its pictures distributed theatrically in English in North America for the past decade. They do get theatrical releases in much of the rest of the world-- but usually have to settle for them going direct-to-DVD as "kid’s cartoons" in the United States. Despite being “family” movies, they’re good ones, and they do feature talking animals. Let's take a look at their history in the animated featured film business to date.

nWave was founded by director Ben Stassen in 1994. Its first animation projects were for amusement park attractions and video games. Their first theatrical feature, “Fly Me to the Moon”, which was about housefly astronauts, was released in January 2008.

Newsbytes archive for April 2017

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Contributors this month include Ahmar Wolf, dronon, Equivamp, Fred, GreenReaper, Greyflank, InkyCrow, RingtailedFox, and Sonious.

Wes Anderson's 'Isle of Dogs' gets poster and release date

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C-RwcEaUIAAKuiu_0.jpgWes Anderson, the writer/director best known in the furry fandom for his 2009 movie Fantastic Mr. Fox, will be returning to the stop-motion talking animal genre for his next movie Isle of Dogs, whose poster and release date (of April 20, 2018) was announced via Twitter on April 25.

The bare bones premise announced so far is that the movie will feature a Japanese boy searching for his lost dog. Though this premise isn't necessarily anthropomorphic, an earlier video posted by Anderson confirmed the dogs will have speaking roles. Though hard to make out, it has also been pointed out that some of the dog characters on the poster also appear to be wearing clothes.

The cast for the movie, listed on the poster, has been previously confirmed. It includes many recurring actors in Anderson's movies. Newcomers include Bryan Cranston and Scarlett Johansson, as well as multiple Japanese actors, including Yoko Ono.

Isle of Dogs will be Anderson's ninth feature, and only his second animated feature, after Fantastic Mr. Fox, which was nominated for an Ursa Major award as well as an Oscar for Best Animated Feature. In addition to the Best Animated Feature Oscar nomination, Anderson has been personally nominated three times for Best Original Screenplay and once for Best Director at the Oscars. All but the latest of his movies have also been added to the prestigious Criterion Collection, and his film Rushmore was added to the National Film Registry last year.

Rock Dog- Not Norm Of The North 2017, but not Zootopia 2017

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This has been a long time coming.

The movie? No, not the movie itself, but my review of it. To people who are only reading this review to get to my thoughts on the movie, I suggest skipping my little prologue. For those that would like some context, then read on.

Rock Dog has been on my radar for well over a year, potentially two years, though it's kind of hard to pin down the exact date. I saw the original trailer when it leaked at around the end of 2015 and was immediately interested.

The film was directed by Ash Brannon, a co-director of Toy Story 2 and the underrated masterpiece that is Surf's Up. I grew up with the latter film and was curious of this new project since Ash hasn't done a ton in the animation field since 2007.

I was so hyped for the film that I felt that it would surpass Zootopia. This belief had caused debates with many of the avid fans the film had garnered in the fandom. While my stance has softened on the Disney film, I still stand by some of the grievances I had with it. That being said I have decided that despite my desire to compare the two films, I decided to purely look at Rock Dog as it's own film and judge it on its own merits.

MFF co-founder Takaza J. Wolf passes away (1976-2017)

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A little over two weeks ago, the fandom received some very sad news:
A photo of Takaza cuddling a dog.

Rocky Mountain Fur Con canceled following neo-Nazi associations, tax irregularities

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Colorado furry convention Rocky Mountain Fur Con has been canceled. Funds collected in advance of this August's event are to be spent on existing liabilities, and refunding attendees and dealers where possible; any remainder will go to the convention charity.

While their official statement cites rising security costs, the closure follows the controversial issues surrounding CEO Kendal Emery (Kahuki Liaru), and the "Furry Raiders" group. It has also been discovered by Flayrah that the convention's parent company's Federal tax-exempt status, obtained in 2009, had lapsed, and it had not filed taxes for a period of seven years, while still claiming to be a registered 501(c) non-profit. In this investigative report we can identify the issues that have contributed to the end of Denver's furry convention.

Furry Network's commission system - bringing the dealer's den home

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FurryNetwork.jpgBack in November 2015, Fur Affinity lost control of its forums. The dramatic departure of forum moderators caused an exodus of users to the up-and-coming Furry Network. This furry art site is owned by Varka, an entrepreneur better-known for his business of adult toy manufacture, Bad Dragon, then for online endeavors.

But coming into the furry art site operation with real world business experience, the toy maker and the staff of Furry Network have the potential to make a marketplace unlike anything currently offered by the slew of social art sites. In December 2015, they put forth their idea: a site that would help alleviate the fraud and hassle that furry artists run into when taking commissions from strangers on the Internet, by acting as the intermediary between artist and consumer.

This March, Furry Network made its big first step in the direction toward this goal. Their site’s commission system opened, to a handful of pre-selected artists, to test out the features. Users could request commissions directly on the page, and all status and interaction would then take place on the site. This story reviews my experience with the new system, and how it could change everything about the furry economy as we know it.

Update (Apr 10): The site will now be identified as "Furry Network" rather than "Bad Dragon" on billing statements.

Newsbytes archive for March 2017

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Contributors this month include dronon, Equivamp, Fred, GreenReaper, InkyCrow, RingtailedFox, and TyphonDog.

Fledgling furry communities spread their wings at Eurofurence

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With so many of the furry fandom's largest conventions originating in the USA, it tends to dominate global discussions of furry culture. In Europe, Germany stands as a major centre of the furry fandom with multiple conventions and events being held within its borders. But, for many other countries, the furry fandom is much smaller, or may just be starting out and is consequentially less visible.

Zik wrote a series on "foreign" furry fandoms for [adjective][species] in 2012 and 2013, covering Japan, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia, but many others were not discussed.

Last August, furs from all over Europe and beyond gathered in Berlin for Eurofurence, the largest furry convention outside of North America. Between all the furpiles and yiffing fursuit walks, art shows and other activities, some furs took the opportunity to speak about their own furry communities and the challenges faced with starting up the furry fandom in a country where it previously didn't exist.

From the Yerf Archive