Early in July (at AnthroCon, in fact), FurPlanet will release a new full-color furry portfolio/magazine simply titled Women of Fur, edited by Marilyn Cole (also known as Sheppymomma). Here’s the idea: “Women of Fur is an collaboration between 12 different artists. Each artist chose to illustrate an empowering word that any woman can stand for. This collection of work is out to showcase the female form, anthro art as fine art, and the problem solving process involved in illustration.” Got that? Various of the artists involved have put up links to their pieces on their Fur Affinity pages, and the portfolio is available for pre-order at FurPlanet’s shop site.
This should come as no surprise, but Roger Ebert was a personal hero of mine. The man lost his voice years ago, but he was still able to speak clearly as ever in his writing, especially the movie reviews that were his main job. He died earlier this year.
I was reminded of a line he occasionally used during Blue Sky Studios’ Epic during a scene where the villain has captured the comedy relief sidekicks and is telling them stories of his son. One of them exclaims, “Your stories are boring and torturous!” As Ebert would point out (as he did for Jason X), the movie just reviewed itself. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
Epic features some really wonderful animation, great special effects and what I’m sure would have been remarkable use of 3D technology if I’d bothered to watch the movie that way, but none of it really matters, because the story is, well, boring and torturous.
Entries should incorporate AAE's trademark, "FurCon", and must be "clean and easy to understand", look good in color and black and white, and be PG-rated. They should not use "specific critters or characters", and must be available in vector format.
Multiple entries may be submitted by 12AM PT, July 4; the winner will be picked by the end of July. The selected designer will receive a FC2014 patron membership and merchandise; there will also be five runner-up sponsor prizes. All six will be featured online and in the conbook.
Ernest et Célestine (Ernest & Celestine) is a 2012 children's animated film from Europe about a friendship between a mouse and a bear. It hasn't had a widespread English-language release in North America yet, but when it does, I recommend it. It's charming! (Trailer, with English subtitles.)
The two main characters exist in different worlds, and are both victims of circumstance. Ernest, the bear, is a musician who lives alone in a cabin in the forest outside a large town, an outsider. If not for the cabin, he'd be homeless; he runs out of food during the winter and must resort to busking and begging, and eventually theft, because busking is forbidden and his musical instruments are taken away.
Flayrah reported in May on Misora Rae's loss of her home in the Moore, OK tornado. In subsequent days, furs have sent an outpouring of support, helping her with supplies and funds. They gathered for the clean-up, helping her sort through the rubble of what was once her home; she found her fursuit, which had survived the storm but was covered in insulation, and was getting a musty odor from the rains that came with the tornado. The team also found one of her cats, crushed to death by a fallen wall. The stress of this is a hardening factor for Misora.
Support for Misora and her mother continues, with several Furry conventions joining together to raise funds for her family. Central Plains Fur Con, Fangcon, F3con and Wild Nights will be auctioning supersponsor and higher levels of membership, with proceeds going to Misora. The first is for a membership for CPFC, to be held October 2013 in Wichita, Kansas with Rukis as the guest of honor. Other auctions will be posted after the initial auction concludes.
There's a new blog about music by furries, that follows an ongoing podcast: Fuzzy Notes, run by Potoroo. This article led to an invite to contribute, so expect more there soon. (Can anyone suggest fun puns that cross furry animals and music? - like "fuzzbox".)
Unico, the talking baby unicorn, was the last major character created by Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989). He was inspired to design an adorably cute character by Sanrio Ltd, the merchandiser of girl’s products, in 1976. Sanrio had just created “Hello Kitty” in 1974 as an idol to sell handbags, earrings, etc. to young girls. Unico was to be a companion to appear in serialized adventures in Lyrica, Sanrio’s monthly girl’s manga magazine, as well as a series of animated theatrical features that Sanrio was planning at the time. Even minor Tezuka is worth reading, and Unico is full of the magic and color of the world of the imagination, with enough talking animals to please any Furry fan.
Unico was conceived in the U.S.; Tezuka was visiting Sanrio’s Los Angeles animation studio in 1976, where the animated feature Metamorphoses (Hoshi no Orufeusu) was in production. Metamorphoses was designed to look “cute” (if you never heard of it, it’s because the feature bombed so badly that it was pulled from theaters one day after its release), and Tezuka was inspired to draw a cute baby unicorn. Sanrio was planning to publish Lyrica, and the company quickly commissioned him to write and draw Unico’s adventures for serialization. This became a typical example of Tezuka’s prolific output; Unico appeared in chapters of over 30 pages per monthly issue for most issues of Lyrica, from its first issue in November 1976 to its final issue in March 1979.
My brother (an artist himself) texted me a while back: “Hey! I think the fandom should have a dose of fine art maybe? Check out Beth Cavener Stichter. Art reviews may not be your thing, but art exposure could be fun.”
He’s right; art reviews are not (usually) my thing, but art exposure can be fun. Especially when the art in question features anthropomorphism of this quality. As my brother’s follow up text put it, “And she is just that @#$%ing good.”
According to quotes from Stichter’s Wikipedia article (I told you I was bad at art reviews), her sculptures:
… are simply feral animals suspended in a moment of tension. Beneath the surface, they embody the consequences of human fear, apathy, aggression, and misunderstanding.
Basically, she is using the term “feral” in exactly the same way furries use it, though completely incidentally. Probably. However, her sculptures are made in such a way that we can’t help but anthropomorphize them – just like “feral” characters drawn by furries.
Nickson: Soo, Lemurr, hi!
Lemurr: Hi-hi, hello.
Nickson: OK, so, who wants to start?
Pillgrim: Lemurr, please, introduce yourself to our listeners and tell us what you do in normal life. When did you become a furry, how did you get to know about this sub-culture and so on?
Lemurr: I am a professional web designer and a programmer. I've been furry for, like, five years. I came upon the fandom from browsing some YouTube channels; then I saw the keyword, googled it and came up with some Polish forums. Nothing really special, I guess.
Nickson: Can you tell us more about your fursona?
Lemurr: I don't think it will be a surprise. My fursona is an anthro lemur. Nothing special or fancy like colored fur, just a plain lemur.
Nickson: It's interesting that you are a lemur because sometimes people choose different species.
Hi-jera: What's more interesting is that he pronounces it like l'amour.
Lemurr: I am sorry about the pronunciation, I just pronounce it this way - lee-murr. What's pretty annoying is that everyone thinks I chose this fursona because of Madagascar, but it's not so. I just like the stripy tail and stuff.
Virtual Costumer magazine, published for members of The Silicon Web Costumers' Guild (SiW), has reviews of the fursuit-making manual Critter Costuming in its May 2013 issue. Latest issues are members-only, but editor Phil Gust gave me permission to re-post the article here.
Phil found me as a professional dealer who helps distribute the book, and asked me to review it. I don't make costumes, just wear them, so I put out a request to the Furry community for their reviews. I selected two to share, by Schrix and Kellan Meig’h.
Critter Costuming: Making Mascots and Fabricating Fursuits, by Adam Riggs (Nicodemus), is the first published book about fursuit making. Shameless plug: I sell it at the lowest cost on the net to help spread the hobby ($32 with free U.S. shipping). You can buy it via Furbuy, or with payment by Paypal to email@example.com.
Daryn Collie (aka Darraby) had just dropped off a relative on the way back from the airport. He let them know he was heading straight to his Oklahoma home, as he had to work the next day. He never made it.
Local furs made calls, but his cell phone was not receiving them. Family gained access to his email and contacted the email addresses on that list. As of this date no-one has heard anything of him.
Daryn's orange 2007 Dodge Nitro with Oklahoma plates 038KCM was found in the Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon. He may have planned this, but police are treating it as an abduction.
“Necrophilia is more erotic than that [censored!].”
-SWfan, Flayrah commenter
The ABCs of Death is the brainchild of producer Ant Timpson (an end credit suggests the whole thing was inspired by a nightmare of his): take 26 horror directors from around the world and give them a letter of the alphabet. They then pick a word with that letter, and direct a short film for $5,000 that depicts a death involving that word.
Pretty simple, and a great concept for a horror anthology, but why the review on a furry site? Well, there’s Thomas Malling’s “H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion,” which is basically a live action Tex Avery cartoon. And there are plenty of animal-related shorts available, as well; some of the best shorts on the roster, including “D is for Dogfight,” “N is for Nuptials,” “P is for Pressure” and “Q is for Quack,” involve animals, if not always anthropomorphic.
But are these highlights worth the time for furries?
Andre Norton (Alice Mary Norton, 1912-2005), “the Grand Dame of science-fiction”, was one of the first authors of Young Adult s-f, and of anthro s-f. At a time when most s-f featured teenage or adult human heroes fighting alien adversaries, her novels often starred humans working with sympathetic anthro aliens against human villains, anthro protagonists, or humans transformed into anthro aliens.
Today, Baen Books is reprinting many of her out-of-print s-f titles, two novels in each book. The Iron Breed reprints two of her anthro classics together for the first time: Iron Cage (Viking Press, September 1974; original cover by Bruce Waldman) and Breed to Come (Viking Press, June 1972; original cover by László Gál). If you have not read them before, read them now.
Industrial music is aggressive, exciting and ominous, with futuristic themes of dystopia and urban decay. As art, you might call it the cold, metal shadow to the light side of nature, animals and furry things. It's a big contrast to the sunny electronic pop that furry con-goers may expect. (Does music have anything to do with animals, anyways? Well, heavy metal gets associated with Wolves...)
It's a challenge to make this weird connection and wonder who wants to read about it. (Not coming soon: my article about Furries and Juggalos.) It might be oil and water to many, but let's shake it up and see if anything mixes. In Part 2, I'll be posting interviews with DJs.
It is always difficult to ask for help, but due to current circumstances, we have incurred over $70,000 in debt and costs from returns.
Antarctic Press expanded into the mass retailer market, but got a bit "hosed" by returns of unsold comics from stores. Contributor perks include wallpaper, comics – some signed – an Indiegogo-only print signed by five artists, and subscriptions of new AP comics.
There are 40 days left in the fundraiser, with $4,667 already pledged; enough to eliminate one of the company's smaller loans.