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July 2012

June 2012 Newsbytes archive

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This month’s contributors include Rakuen Growlithe, RingtailedFox, crossaffliction, Kakurady, dronon, GreenReaper, Higgs Raccoon, Equivamp, Fred and Sonious.

Review: 'The Man With Two Shadows', by Tristan Black Wolf

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (3 votes)

The Man With Two Shadows; cover by Selina VannTristan Black Wolf, a resident of Syracuse, NY, is a member of the Furry Writers’ Guild and of North American Fur, and has stories in both volumes to date of Allasso, the “publication dedicated to finding new experiences within anthropomorphic writing and art.” The Man With Two Shadows is his first novel.

Jeremiah Pym is a modern private investigator, not the stereotypical hard-boiled, trench-coated PI of fiction. He has a modern office and undertakes typical p.i. tasks, such as getting evidence on unfaithful spouses.

There are days when being a private investigator can feel a little awkward. When a woman comes to you, convinced that her husband is throwing away money on some other woman, you expect her to refer to the other woman as a ‘bitch.’ What would make this interview particularly interesting is that the bitch in question happened to be a greyhound. (p. 1)

Mrs. Lindenbaum is so happy that her husband has been spending his money on dog-racing gambling instead of a floozy that she pays Pym’s bill cheerfully. Pym’s next client is another matter, and where things start to become a little strange.

AuthorHouse, March 2012, trade paperback $19.95 (viii + 244 [+ 2] pages; on Amazon).

Interview with Rukis on her new release; 'Red Lantern, Vol. 1: The Crimson Divine'

Your rating: None Average: 3.6 (9 votes)

At Anthrocon this year, I was able to get a brief time with Rukis (while she was busy manning her dealer’s booth) to discuss her most recent publication; Red Lantern, Vol. 1: The Crimson Divine, out now as a graphic novel for $29.95 from Sofawolf. Among plot and time zone complications, we were able to discuss Bollywood, slavery and chance meetings.

Red Lantern: The Crimson DivineEarl: Again, thanks for this.

Rukis: No problem.

Earl: Appreciate it; we’ll start with a simple one. Where did the idea for Red Lantern come from? What was the idea for that story?

Rukis: Um, I am really fond of documentaries and NatGeo programming and History channel programming and stuff like that. And, um, I was actually watching a documentary on a slum, in India, that’s on an island where this sort of prostitution ring actually exists, today. And it’s the type of ring that’s been around for a really long time and people don’t actually realize this still exists in the world, now. And a lot of the time, the reason they have them on islands is because escape is, uh, very difficult that way.

So, I’d seen this and knew I wanted to do a comic with really, with a really serious storyline. And I’ve always had, I guess, kind of a morbid fascination with the sex trade, so it just kind of spoke to me...and it’s kind of how the whole idea came about.

Review: ‘Brave’ illustrates my problem with Pixar

Your rating: None Average: 1.9 (19 votes)

BravePixar’s newest movie, Brave, is about a princess who turns her mother into a bear. I have a problem with Pixar, and in reviewing Brave, I would like to get up on a soapbox for a bit and explain that problem.

Many people really like Pixar movies, and think they are the best thing to happen to animation since Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, but I still have my problem.

That said, Brave deserves to be judged on its merits as a movie first, an animated movie second, and as a Pixar movie last of all.

Review: 'Forest Tales', by Bernard Doove

Your rating: None Average: 3 (8 votes)

Before Transformations and More Terrible Than Chains, so much more happened. Learn about one chakat family’s lives and customs, loves and hates, friends and foes. Join with us as Chakat Forestwalker recounts tales of hir experiences and those of hir family and friends. (back-cover blurb)

Melbourne Furry fan Bernard Doove has been writing his chakat stories on his website “The Chakat’s Den” since 1995. Beginning in 2006 he began compiling his short stories into books, starting with Transformations, Jazmyn, and More Terrible Than Chains, which were story arcs that made separate novels. Now Doove has returned to his earliest stories, which did not.

'Forest Tales'; cover by Kacey Miyagami

Forest Tales contains the first twenty-seven stories in that series, redubbed “episodes”, written between 1995 and 2002. There are many more, but the series breaks easily at this point. Doove is the primary author, although four of the twenty-seven were written in collaboration with other authors, and one is written by Christian Neumann.

CreateSpace, May 2010, trade paperback $25.95 (466 pages; illustrated); e-book $16.99.

Review: ‘Ted’ was bearable, if you are into that sort of thing

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

TedTed is the first movie directed by Seth MacFarlane, most known for his role in creating the hit animated sitcom, Family Guy. I am not a fan.

The sad fact is that a lot of people are in fact fans, and yes, I believe that that is a sad fact. To be clear, I am not down on gross-out humor, and can enjoy it as well as anyone else. Heck, I have done standup comedy, and such gags were a standard part of my sets. Gross-out humor is not my problem with this movie.

The problem is it is pretty much exactly what I expected. It is probably exactly what you expected, too. So, if you expect to like this movie, go on and get your ticket. If not, you can pretend to be a snob with me and the other cool kids, okay?

'Swami Ayyappan' rides tigers, fights demons, unites with idol

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (20 votes)

Swami AyyappanAnthropomorphic? Noooo … But how can you not like an animated TV movie about “‘Swami Ayyappan’, based on the life story of a boy ‘Manikandan’ who became one with God worshipped by millions”?

That is on Indian TV, of course. Animation Xpress for 2 July reports that,

Swami Ayyappan is slated to premier on national TV channels and subsequently distributed as DVDs during the upcoming Sabarimala season in various languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu & Kannada. [What, no Hindi?]

Sabarimala is a place of pilgrimage that welcomes devotees irrespective of religion, caste or creed. [Not many Christians, I’ll bet.]

Opinion: Supreme Court decision a good deal for U.S. furs

Your rating: None Average: 1.5 (44 votes)

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Many laws have little practical impact on furry fans one way or another. But this is one we should pay attention to, because it applies especially to us.

What's the 'Fast and Furious' scandal? Why should furs care?

Your rating: None Average: 1.9 (38 votes)

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives voted to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The charge? Illegally withholding documents that the House had lawfully subpoenaed regarding an ATF program gone berserk.

Pretty much everyone agrees that the Fast and Furious operation itself – which began under the Obama presidency and thus was ultimately overseen by Eric Holder and which involved supplying Mexican drug cartels with weapons without so much as consulting the Mexican government – was an ill-conceived failure, so poorly planned as to border upon the absurd. This much, the administration has acknowledged. But what they seem to want to cover up is, who knew what and when did they know it?

Media reports on alcohol and 'simulated sex' at NJ FurBQ

Your rating: None Average: 4 (9 votes)

The New Jersey FurBQ, which has run since 2005, has been 'permanently' cancelled after allegations of 'simulated sex' between fursuiters and the presence of alcohol were raised at a town-hall meeting. Reports of the events have since appeared in local media.

The event, typically held bi-annually on the weekends of Memorial Day and Labor Day, was a fundraiser for the Twin “W” First Aid Squad, and was held May 26 on the grounds outside their premises, attracting "almost 200", including over thirty fursuiters. A few weeks later, organizers announced that there would be no further instances of the event.

An article in the Times of Trenton relates the allegations; those concerning alcohol were commented on by the major of West Windsor Township. The matter has also been raised by a local Fox affiliate, using footage appropriated from a furry fan.

80 donors have since given almost $3000 to the squad – ten times the amount reportedly raised at the FurBQ itself. However, this is a small fraction of the funds formerly donated by the township, and now at risk.

Emphasis: No evidence has been provided to substantiate the claim of inappropriate activity; the media reports are based on claims by town officials, and now-withdrawn FA journals.

Counterpoint: Health care law threatens U.S. furs

Your rating: None Average: 2.2 (26 votes)

We are young and strange. By tendency, at least, furries are non-conformists with many years ahead of them. That's why the new health care law is a poison pill for our community.

Right now there are people dangling "free" drugs and other medical care in front of us and promising there's no cost; it'll all be paid for by some rich guy. Just let this law stand, they say, and help elect the people who will protect it.

But what are we actually signing away? Our freedom. All of it.

[Ed.: This will be the last story on this topic. A separate piece addresses topic suitability.]

Editorial: For the love of Flayrah; please keep it furry!

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (25 votes)

Yesterday, Flayrah published the first article tagged as opinion where the topic's relation to the furry fandom was particularly light. Many might even say non-existent. It was a topic of personal interest to the author, who happens to be the main editor at this site.

In the past, when other furry sites made major decisions or policy changes, Flayrah would report on them, and people would give their opinions. In this tradition, I feel it necessary to examine these articles and why they could have been so poorly received, and consider Flayrah's future.