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Doug Winger loses battle with COPD

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Doug Winger, 1955-2015Legendary furry artist Doug Winger, is expected to last only a few hours, according to local friend Bob Guthrie, after doctors removed the ventilator keeping his failing body alive per his DNR order.

Update (13:20 PT): Doug Winger has passed away at the Western Medical Center in Tustin, California.

One of the greats, one of the true giants of the furry fandom, has lost his battle with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or emphysema, brought about by smoking and other ailments.

Furries at the Art Gallery

Less than a year after the very first Art of Furry Fandom display opened at the Avant Garden Art Gallery in Santa Ana, California, the furries are back with a new exhibit — open now through the month of April. Once again curated by your own humble ed-otter and Mark Merlino, this year’s display features artwork by Steven Martin, Rivercoon, and Sherwood, as well as photography by Changa Lion. The art went up in time for the monthly Santa Ana Art Walk (every first Saturday), one of the biggest in Orange County, and the place was packed. The Avant Garden is located downstairs in the historic Santora Building (Ground Zero for the Santa Ana Artist Colony area) at 207 North Broadway Santa Ana, CA 92701. Call them at (714) 558-8843 or visit their web site for the gallery hours.

"The Happiest Show on Earth" art exhibition opens Saturday in Culver City

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Nouar - Oswald's Weiners 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.

Furs invited to GaymerX, the first gaming con with a gay twist

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GaymerX is the first gaming convention focused on LGBTQ themes for "gaymers", their allies, and geek culture. On August 3–4 GaymerX will bring contests, parties, panels and more to Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco's Japantown.

Panels at the con include Natural Allies: Furries and Gaymers, by Vulpinfox, and a bear drawing panel hosted by Grisser.

Founder and Director of Technology, Andrew Evans, told me:

Creating a safe space for queer geeks and their allies to come together, discuss their geekiness, hang out and feel safe is super important to the community. We felt like the gaming community wasn't doing enough to bring together queer geeks, which is why we're doing GaymerX and built out GaymerConnect. ["A service that allows you to find queer gamers and allies of every identity who play the same games you do."]

Update: Use code GX13FUR by July 26 for a $10 registration discount. [Latte]

Fred Patten's CaliFur IX con report

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Califur IX intro screenSorry, but my CaliFur report this year is even skimpier than last year’s. That’s just the way it is.

Like every year since CaliFur V, CaliFur IX took place at the Irvine Marriott Hotel in Irvine, California, on May 31–June 2, 2013. This year’s theme was “FURtual Reality”. There were two guests-of-honor: Maxwell Alexander Drake, the Author GoH, author of the Moonbeam Young Adult Fantasy Award-winning novels in 2009 and 2011 (the first two novels in his Genesis of Oblivion Saga), and their publisher, Imagined Interprises, Inc. in Las Vegas; and NecroDrone, the Artist GoH, “BDSM Illustrator and Dominatrix extradiordinaire!” Official attendance was 1,178; an increase of over two hundred. Due to my continuing poor health, I was in a wheelchair, with my sister Sherrill pushing me. We could only attend for Saturday the 2nd.

First look: Furry play 'Fursona Non Grata' is the real deal

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It's hard enough getting to know your fiancée's family at the best of times, let alone when they're a bunch of animals. Such is the premise of Fursona Non Grata, a two-act play read at Califur IX.

A woman raised by furries, brings her fiance home for Thanksgiving to meet the family for the first time. Fur-larity ensures.

The play was first read in June 2012, and was presented as a radio play at Wild Nights in April. In contrast to Furry Tales – which held a reading at Anthrocon 2007, and left furs amused, but with reservations about the show's groundingFursona Non Grata has actual research behind it.

Playwright Jeff Goode created Disney's American Dragon: Jake Long and wrote The Eight: Reindeer Monologues. While demurring to identify as a furry himself, he attended Califur I, and was guest of honor at Rocket City FurMeet 2007 and Oklacon 2008; from this, he's put together a story which is, if fanciful, at least more of an exaggeration of reality than an apologetic for CSI's fursuit fetishists.

A Furry Play Needs Funding

Hello again! Back from CaliFur in Southern California. And speaking of that…

We’ve mentioned before Fursona Non Grata, the new furry-themed play written by Jeff Goode (creator of American Dragon: Jake Long and The Eight: Reindeer Monologues). In case you need a recap: A young woman has been raised by furry fans. One day, she brings home her fiancee’ to meet the family… As it turns out, Jeff and the Sky Pilot Theater Company staged a readers’ theater version of Fursona Non Grata at CaliFur this year — to laughter, thunderous applause, and a standing ovation. The producers of Fursona announced that for the actual on-stage production of the play (scheduled for next year) they are looking to have some actual high-quality fur-suits constructed… and that costs money. So, they have started up an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds. Check it out here to find out more about what they need. And keep your eyes on InFurNation to find out when the play will premier!


image c. 2013 Jeff Goode

Santa Ana gallery's 'Art of Furry Fandom' connects public with Furry past and future

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Mark Merlino and his friend Rod O'Riley might be called "first wave" furries from original geek culture, when that meant underground comics, fanzines and pen-pals. They held the first parties that turned into conventions, and WikiFur calls them "founding members of organized furry fandom." Mark owns The Prancing Skiltaire.

Rod's most recent accomplishment is The Art of Furry Fandom, at Avantgarden art gallery in Santa Ana, CA. It opens concurrently with this year's Califur, this weekend. In his journal, Mark calls it a dream he's had for over 30 years.

According to the gallery:

AVANTGARDEN is proud to present "Women Desperately Seeking Escape...a Series" photographically captured on film and digitally by ELLEN SEEFELDT. We also welcome JAY RIGGIO'S hand cut pasted collage work, SHARLYNORA WILKINSON's paintings, and The Art of Furry Fandom, curated by RODNEY STANSFIELD. This exhibit runs June 1–29, opening reception June 1, 7–10pm.

Mark reminded me of a similar show in 2012 in San Jose during Further Confusion, with "more artists, more art, same kind of independent gallery". Actually, there were two: a Slave Labor Graphics show, and "People-Shaped Animals" at Kaleid Gallery.

"Gag Me With a Toon 5" art exhibition to open in Culver City

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Back in March 2012, Flayrah had a post about the “Gag Me With a Toon 4” art exhibition at the WWA art gallery in Culver City, California.
Gag Me With a Toon 5
Now the WWA gallery has “Gag Me With a Toon 5” coming up, on May 4–June 1, 2013. Over fifty artists will be represented with their tributes to the cartoon stars of their youths.

Past paintings have included Scooby-Doo with a gun to his head, Smurf orgies, Mickey Mouse defying the universe, Garfield and Odie on an Indiana Jonesish rollercoaster, Chip ‘n Dale as two realistic chipmunks in a Rescue Rangers situation, and more.

As always, the anthropomorphic animals will be outnumbered by the human cartoon pop-cultural stars like Superman, the Flintstones, G.I. Joe, Wonder Woman, Jem, etc., but there will be enough cartoon animals to satisfy Flayrah’s readers.

Animation: New Hanna-Barbera character art on display

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This is extremely short notice, but this Saturday (6-10PM) the Van Eaton Galleries in the Sherman Oaks suburb of Los Angeles are holding the opening reception for The HB Show, “a group art show tribute to Hanna-Barbera” of paintings by numerous artists including some of HB’s former staff. The paintings are mostly of HB’s human characters such as the Flintstones and Penelope Pitstop, but there are some of Yakky Doodle, Scooby-Doo, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, and H-B's other anthropomorphic animal characters.

More importantly, the whole art show/auction is online. You can still see it all and bid on unsold paintings.

The HB Show will be up at the Van Eaton Galleries, 13613 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, Calif. 91423, (800) 599-3693, until April 20 (Adolf Hitler’s birthday! Is this significant?), so if you can get there, you can still see it all even after the art auction. And, of course, the Van Eaton Galleries have other animation goodies on display.

New MC Crumbsnatcher rap video gathers many subcultures

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… takes them to the dungeon, and does bad, bad things to them. If you thought VancouFur had an offensive theme, watch out! This one is truly NSFW, and best for those who appreciate wanton displays of licentious content.

The queer furry rapper's video, "Why the Boys All Love Me", follows an announcement for the making of a "nightmarish gay goth animal S&M" video at Halloween in San Francisco. It flaunts his mission to "put Satan back into hip-hop", and makes a sequel to a previous video featuring fursuiters. This time, Furry content is minimal, and indirectly limited to a few cameos and participation by dedicated furries who cross over between that group and others (such as the S&M fetish scene). Please consider it labeled that way up front, and view accordingly.

The Dinosaurs Want Their Say!

Taking a break from matter of Further Confusion for something a bit more unique: A new entry in the slowly-growing pantheon of anthropomorphic live theater. Triassic Parq recently won the Best Musical Award at the Fringe NYC theater festival. Written and directed by Marshall Pailet (with help from Bryce Norbitz and Stephen Wargo), it’s described like this: “… a hilariously inventive and decidedly adult take on the Spielberg blockbuster — as told from the point-of-view of the captive dinosaurs. With plenty of goats around to eat, this tribe of non-breeders is pretty satisfied with life. But when a T. rex suddenly sprouts the male sex organ and falls in love, the dinos’ entire belief system comes into question, evolving into a battle between the Velociraptors of Faith and Science. Narrated by none other than Morgan Freeman (played by Camryn Zelinger), Triassic Parq is a true thrill ride 200 million years in the making, filled with singing, dancing and a wide variety of reptilian hook-ups.” You heard it here. Keep an eye out for a traveling company performing Triassic Parq near  you. If you’re currently near Southern California, Chance Theater in Anaheim Hills is performing the play from now until late February. Check out their web site .

Art exhibit: 'Creepy Cute' at the WWA Gallery

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Dee Chavez's 'Mister Carrot'The WWA Gallery, which featured the “Gag Me With a Toon 4” art exhibition last March & April, has a new exhibition: “Creepy Cute”, from January 12th through February 9th, 2013, featuring seven artists and sixty-six paintings.

All the paintings are shown on and may be purchased from the gallery's website. The majority are not anthropomorphic, but check out Dee Chavez’s “Buttercup Farm” showing a giant buttercup strangling a whale ($625), her “Mister Carrot” showing a hat-wearing raccoon holding a large carrot ($575), her “Nightwatchmen” showing anthropomorphized somethings ($500), or her “The Haul” showing insects driving a loaded wagon ($475); or Desiree Fessler’s dapper ferrets; or Larkin’s “Johann the Story Tailor” showing an Edwardian-dressed fox ($450), and others. Some of the non-anthro paintings may also be to your taste, such as Jonathan Bergeron’s “Skull Anamoly 6” showing a three-eyed, horned, red human skull ($550).

Anthro animation airs at Aero Theatre, Santa Monica, Dec. 7

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For fans of Robert McKimson’s Leon Schlesinger/Warner Bros. 1940s-1950s theatrical cartoons, there will be a screening of 35 mm. prints of eleven of them on Friday, December 7, 2012 at 7:30 p.m. at the Aero Theatre, 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403; (310) 260-1528. The eleven, which McKimson was the director of, include Hillbilly Hare, Devil May Hare, Rabbit’s Kin, Hot Cross Bunny, The Foghorn Leghorn, Bedevilled Rabbit, Bill of Hare, Tabasco Road, The High and the Flighty, Falling Hare, and Walky Talky Hawky; featuring Bugs Bunny and Foghorn Leghorn & Henery Hawk.

This event is in celebration of publication of the brand-new biography I Say, I Say….Son! A Tribute to Legendary Animators Bob, Chuck, and Tom McKimson, by Robert McKimson Jr., with a foreword by John Kricfalusi (the creator of Ren & Stimpy) and an introduction by Darrell Van Citters. McKimson Jr., Kricfalusi, and Van Citters will sign copies of the book in the lobby beginning at 6:00 p.m., and hold a discussion following the screening.

(And don’t miss my review of the book.)

Raccoons after dark: their haters, and their lovers

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Urban raccoons are known as cute, smart, yet sometimes destructive pests that cause headaches for homeowners. Their mischief can range from raiding trash, to sensational headlines about terrorized neighborhoods that call for traps and controls.

According to the PBS nature show Raccoon Nation:

In an effort to outwit raccoons, we may be pushing their brain development and perhaps even sending them down a new evolutionary path. One biologist who has been studying raccoons for 25 years believes the city life is in fact cultivating “über-raccoons,” ready to take over the world.

While PBS jokes about "über-raccoons", Germany has somber, no-nonsense, bedenklich news about their Nazi raccoon occupation.Cooners

Some people worry about repelling them, but other people have a much more welcoming point of view... although they might keep their unsavory interests on the down-low. Mauricio Baiocchi, a distinguished San Francisco Bay area animator with credits from Industrial Light and Magic, lets us in on their sordid secrets in his 2011 short film, Cooners.