Furries are pretty creative. Where conventional companies will pay advertising companies, we find new way to promote our products and selves to others. Independent artists in the fandom have to use less conventional means of promotion. Two such staples that have become popular in the fandom over the past year are "Your Character Here" auctions and "Repost a Link" schemes. However, with their increased popularity, users began to criticize abuse of these methods and expressed annoyance at their side effects.
On November 21, after a link-reposting "giveaway" promising the winner $1,111 had saturated the site, Fur Affinity staff decided that what once started as a small advertising scheme had entered the realm of the intolerable, calling the methodology "Spam to Win". They also re-addressed an issue where artists would repost YCH auction template pictures, annoying watches and browsers alike.
In this Flayrah exclusive we will focus on the new journal rules, explain their implications to average furs and furry organizations, and how these type of prize giveaways could evolve under these new regulations and maintain a level of effectiveness.
Felix the Cat, the creation of Pat Sullivan and Otto Messmer, is perhaps one of the most famous and long-lived cartoon animals ever — pre-dating even Mickey Mouse. In the 1950′s, Joe Oriolo created a well-known series of cartoon shorts for Trans Lux Productions, which helped to bring Felix and his friends (and enemies!) to a new generation. Since the 1980′s, control of the “Felix Empire” has belonged to Joe’s son, Don Oriolo. Don has overseen the creation and distribution of Felix’s image on numerous products and in numerous media. Many of the images of Felix used for these were drawn and painted by Don himself. Now, IDW Publishing have collected Don Oriolo’s works together in a new full-color hardcover book, Felix the Cat Paintings. Check it out at Amazon, before it hits the shelves early next year. The book features a forward by comic book historian Craig Yoe, as well as essays from cartoon aficionados like Jerry Beck, Mark Evanier, David Gerstein, and Paul Castiglia.
The Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association, which administers the annual Ursa Major Awards, has updated the 2013 Anthropomorphic Reading List to include the titles recommended by furry fans through November 17. This list is often used by fans to nominate in the next year's Awards.
There are two months left to add your favorites of the year to the List. All fans are invited to recommend worthwhile anthropomorphic works in eleven categories (motion pictures, dramatic short films or broadcasts, novels, short fiction, other literary works, graphic stories, comic strips, magazines, published illustrations, websites, and games) first published during 2013, if they are not already on the list.
Send in your recommendations. Read the List to see what other fans have recommended. Have you seen all nine published illustrations, for example? What have you been missing?
In celebration of the 25th anniversary (!) of Hayao Miyazaki’s popular animated fantasy My Neighbor Totoro, Viz Media have released a new hardcover edition of the My Neighbor Totoro Picture Book, written and illustrated by Mr. Miyazaki himself. You can order it now at Barnes & Noble. “The companion book to the beloved animation classic My Neighbor Totoro by legendary Studio Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki. Featuring artwork taken directly from the movie, this updated edition will allow parents and children to relive Totoro’s magical adventures with scene-by-scene illustrations and character dialogue. Eleven-year-old Satsuki and her sassy little sister Mei have moved to the country to be closer to their ailing mother. While their father is working, the girls explore their sprawling old house and the forest and fields that surround it. Soon, Satsuki and Mei discover Totoro, a magical forest spirit who takes them on fantastic adventures through the trees and the clouds — and teaches them a lesson about trusting one another.”
Sixth Leaf Clover (also known as the artist Christina Yen) has made quite a name for herself with her paintings of fantastically-colored dragons. She’s even written a book about her coloring techniques. Her latest project is a calendar for 2014 — full color of course, featuring a new and different dragon design for each sign of the Western Zodiac. She’s taking pre-orders (and showing samples) at her web site right now.
Have you noticed a trend of mainstream music videos that some call "pseudo-furry"? It might be a stretch to connect every video that has animal mascot costumes, but their frequency seems like no coincidence. They've been around for years but I seem to notice more and more. Newsbytes posted by GreenReaper and Sonious sparked my notice, and Flayrah's music tag has many more examples. What does this say about marketing? What does "pseudo-furry" imply?
What does the Fox Say?
Anthropomorphic art has been around for much longer than a dedicated fandom for it. Furry fandom didn't spring from an original concept in the 1980's- it's specific inspirations include golden age post-WWII animation, Disney movies and much more. Popular culture and it's gateways are an undeniably important influence. But identifying a trend for pop culture to re-absorb the Furry subculture that it helped spin off could make a good discussion about interplay. Is this happening because Furry is being accepted as a legitimate subculture, beyond a bastard child of the movies, shows, games and comics that furries enjoy?
RedSilver: Nature’s Evolutions is a new anthropomorphic fantasy novel written by Steve Alford. It’s available now at Lulu.com. “When Red Sunset, an ordinary vixen from Devon, is chosen by Mother Gaia to defend the Heart Forest from attack, she can hardly believe what is happening to her. As one of the legendary Animentals, she can command powers she could only ever have dreamed of. But this is a far from idyllic situation. The Heart Forest is under attack by strange creatures unlike anything she has ever seen before. And if the Animentals fail, the consequences run far further than she could ever imagine…” The book is illustrated in black & white by the artist known as Silent Ravyn, who has also uploaded a collage of illustrations to their Fur Affinity page.
Flayrah has published announcements of several art exhibitions at the WWA gallery in Culver City, California. The exhibition “The Happiest Show on Earth” will be on display there from September 7th through October 5th, with an opening reception on Saturday, September 7th from 7–10 p.m.
“The Happiest Show on Earth” consists of 89 paintings by 54 artists, showing their interpretations of famous Walt Disney characters including many anthropomorphic ones – Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, Robin Hood and Little John, Goofy, Bambi, and more. You can guess the general artistic approach by some of the artists’ pseudonyms: Beast Brothers, GORElla, Kill the Giant, and Super Ugly. Would you pay three and four figures for these? Here they all are; you can buy them online at the link above.
Two popular and well-known anthropomorphic art calendars are completed again, and taking orders for 2014. The Rare Calendar is dedicated to anthropomorphic species that are less usually drawn. This year, the theme is “festivities”, which each of 13 artists drawing anthro characters celebrating various holidays from around the globe. Artists like: Ashalind, Bloodhound Omega, Heather Bruton, Centradragon, Alector Fencer, Firefeathers, Golden Druid, Katmomma, Nimrais, Donna Quinn, Rhyu, ShinigamiGirl, and Windfalcon. The Rare Calendar web site has more details and order information. Meanwhile the Werewolf Calendar (which speaks for itself!) includes lycanthropic art from the likes of Maria Anisimova, Balaa, Blotch, Dark Natasha, Sarah Finnigan, Goldenwolf, Katie Hofgard, Kyndir, Nambroth, Nimrais, Synnabar, Tachit, and Vantid. Check out their web site to order a copy, or to order last year’s calendar if you missed it.
All 33 entries were anonymized and identified as numbers through the board's selection process.
Kigai Holt is an artist whose works include anthro art. Although not considering himself a furry, and not being deeply involved in the furry fandon, Kigai attended last weekend's IndyFurCon 2013 to sell commissions in the Artists' Alley.
According to journals posted on deviantART and Fur Affinity, Kigai enjoyed the convention and was able to sell several commissions; but the experience was soured when his car was broken into, and his original artwork and art supplies stolen.
Bill Robinson is an animator and illustrator living in the Bay Area in California. He’s currently a lead artist at Kabam, where he helps to create social massively multi-player online games like Dragons of Atlantis. At his personal web site. FlimFlammery.com, you’ll find other examples of Mr. Robinson’s illustration projects, including several children’s books and fantasy works. Turns out he even illustrated a tie-in book for the animated film HOP.
After working for years in the gaming industry (as an illustrator on such games as Legend of the Five Rings and World of Darkness), the artist Heather V. Kreiter has created her own line of rather scary-looking pony-themed merchandise under the moniker of My Little Demon. Featuring ponies with such names as Satana, Wretched Rainbow, and Velvet Decay, these mouse pads, blankets, aprons, and other products will keep you up at night with a weird combination of cuteness and chills. Check out her sales page at Cafe press to find out just how many products in how many designs she offers!
Debi Winger is another artist and illustrator who was showing her works at San Diego Comic Con this year. She specializes in funny animal art and Latin American-style illustrations, which she has available on a series of prints from various media. Interestingly, she also travels to various events employing her talents as a face-painter. Check out her Facebook page, Debi’s Doodles, to see some of her latest works — on paper and on people!
Jungle Boy Productions describe themselves as ”concept development company specializing in character design & franchise development”. To that end they have created a series of t-shirts, art prints, and other tie-in items, all based around original chibi character designs — several of which are furry. Check them out at their Facebook page [scroll down] to see the latest designs they’re working on, or how to get your paws on what they’ve done so far.