Word came out recently that one of the originals of Furry Fandom, Mark E. Rogers, passed away this past weekend while out hiking with his family. Some might even call him a patron spirit of anthropomorphics. In 1984 (back when a certain group of Ninja Turtles were making their very first appearance) mark published his first book chronicling the adventures of Miaowara Tomokato, the Samurai Cat. Almost every other page of Rogers’ Samurai Cat books featured a black and white or full-color illustration by the author, connected with the action on the previous page. Through a series of five such books of historical satire, Mark was one of the first to take anthropomorphics away from “funny animal” silliness and into something completely new, in a big way. Ron Miller has a detailed obituary of Rogers which he posted up on I09. Sayonara, Mark-san.
Brian Griffin, the martini-drinking anthropomorphic dog from the animated series Family Guy, has been killed off. In the episode which aired on November 24, Brian was hit by a car and subsequently died from his injuries.
In the same episode (entitled Life of Brian), Stewie Griffin had dismantled his oft-used time machine, and was unable to reconstruct it to go back and save Brian. A month after Brian's funeral, the family get a new dog, Vinny, voiced by Tony Sirico.
Family Guy writer Steve Callaghan explained why they decided to kill off Brian:
Well, this was an idea that got pitched in the writers room and it sort of caught fire, and we thought it could be a fun way to shake things up. As soon as this idea came up, we started talking about what the next couple episodes could be and we got very excited about the way this change will affect the family dynamics and the characters.
Update: Some fans were, predictably, not happy with Brian's fate. The effectiveness of online petitions is debatable, but one has been set calling for Brian's return. As of now (Nov 26), it has just under 42,000 signatures.
One of the most talked-about furry phenomena from a decade ago was a silly little series of animated shorts called Happy Tree Friends. Here’s how the distributors describe it: “Happy Tree Friends is the cult cartoon sensation with over 1 billion views. The cartoon is drawn in simple appearance and combines cute forest animals with extreme graphic violence. Each episode revolves around the characters enduring accidental events of bloodshed, pain, dismemberment and/or death.” Got that? Well now Flatiron Entertainment have released Happy Tree Friends: Complete Disaster, a 4-DVD box set which includes 13 half-hour TV episodes and 75 short cartoons. Amazon has it for sale, of course. Ouch!
“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?
The loss of fursuiter Lemonade Coyote was met with widespread grief among members of furry fandom, including this remembrance from his friend Silver Wolf. Lemonade Coyote's coworker Cody Medley also sustained fatal injuries, after a car drove through an intersection and crashed into their ambulance while they were on the job as medics.
Police said the ambulance was not on an emergency run, but had the right of way when the car ran a flashing red light. An early report that "both medics were wearing seatbelts" is contradicted by a later report that neither wore seatbelts and both vehicles were speeding.
[Prosecutor Curry said] Hammer was driving 5 to 10 mph over the speed limit, while the ambulance was driving 15 to 20 mph over. The posted speed limit was 30 mph.
The driver whose traffic violation caused the crash had a blood alcohol level of 0.038, less than half the legal limit. According to the prosecutor, the traffic violation "does not rise to the level of criminal recklessness", and there will be no criminal charges for the fatal crash.
While not on duty, Lemonade enjoyed fursuiting. His suit's bright and vibrant pink and yellow was true to the name. He was passionate for sticking up for what was right; once saying his dream job was to be a homicide detective.
The ABCs of Death is a horror anthology film which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Released as Video-on-Demand on January 31, it will screen in theatres from March 8 in the U.S.
The film is comprised of twenty-six different shorts – all themed around death – one for each letter of the alphabet. Spanning A is for Apocalypse to Z is for Zetsumetsu, each short has its own director and style.
H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion (by Thomas Cappelen Malling) features two anthropomorphic animal characters. A World War 2 British fighter pilot depicted as a jowly British Bulldog is shown watching a striptease performed by a sultry red fox who is concealing a deadly secret.
A short clip of the anthro characters can be found here - viewer discretion is advised.
Dennis Avner, better known under his Native American name Stalking Cat, died November 5. He was 54.
OggyWolf and BlueCanary confirmed Stalking Cat's death with local officials. His body is being held in Tonopah morgue for his brother [tip: STrRedWolf]. No cause of death was stated, but some claim suicide.
A former U.S. Navy sonar technician, and programmer, Stalking Cat was famous for having had extensive cosmetic surgery to adopt the likeness of his totem animal, the tiger, in accordance with Huron traditions. His body modifications included a split lip, labret-based whisker-holding implants, dental surgery, and silicone injections. He was also extensively tattooed.
Joe, also known as Josey Pearl on Second Life, lived in the San Francisco Bay Area where he attended Los Medanos College as an animation student. He had previously attended Diablo Valley College, and De La Salle High School in Concord, California.
Muppet fans around the world were recently saddened by another loss: Jerry Nelson, who had one of the longest careers of anyone in the world of Jim Henson’s Muppets, passed away on Thursday the 23rd at the age of 78. He was best known by legions of children around the world — including many who are now adults — as the voice and puppeteer of Count von Count, the beloved Sesame Street character who loved to count things as much as he loved to laugh maniacally. He was also the voice of the seldom-seen mammoth-like Mr. Snuffleupagus, Herry Monster, and Robin — Kermit the Frog’s young nephew. More recently he was the voice and hands behind Floyd Pepper, bass player for The Electric Mayhem on The Muppet Show and subsequent movies. And after that, he brought to life Gobo Fraggle, the leader of the band of colorful characters on Fraggle Rock. So far, there’s no word on how Mr. Nelson’s passing might affect any plans that Jim Henson Productions (or their current owner, the Walt Disney Company) might have for a Fraggle Rock movie. As for Mr. Nelson… as Floyd Pepper might say, Rest in Peace my man.
Harison Long-Randall, known as "Elden" in the furry fandom, passed away at 3.02am this morning from complications from injuries sustained in a hit-and-run on July 16, according to family. Eyewitnesses said he heroically put himself in front of his girlfriend, Gemily (known as "Wolfgem" in the fandom) to shield her from the oncoming car. Their four Australian Cattle Dogs were also killed in the crash.
Long-Randall, 21, was a college student at American River College studying improv, an avid fursuiter and cosplayer, and was loved by many both in the fandom as well as out.
His last day in the hospital, Harrison said he remained puzzled that he was being called a hero.
"He said he had just done what he had been taught to do," his father said.
Donations for help with Harison and Geminy's medical bills are still being accepted through a fund set up by the Sacramento Bee, and more information on donating can be found here at the bottom of the article.
Just after nightfall on Monday, July 16, Gemily West (Wolfgem) and her boyfriend Harison Long-Randall (Elden) were walking their four Australian Cattle dogs home from a visit to their local park in the Carmichael neighborhood of Sacremento, California, when they were struck by a drunk driver. Witnesses reported that the light-brown Nissan Maxima was driving with no lights on (including tail lights), when the accident occurred. Police could find no evidence of skidmarks or any other sign that the perpetrator attempted to slow down, and estimated that the driver was going around 80 miles per hour when he struck the victims and fled the scene.
As reported in the Sacramento Bee, 21-year-old Hari saw the car coming just a moment before it struck and threw himself in front of his girlfriend, Gemily. He took the force of the impact, which severed one of his legs just below the knee and left him with extensive internal damage as well as other broken bones. Gemily sustained a compound fracture in her lower right leg. All four of their beloved dogs, Zury, Winry, Evie and Bindie, were slain.
Update (29 July): Hari has now died of his injuries, two weeks after the crash
After thirty years, it turns out, yes, dingoes really did eat that baby. At least that was the finding of Australian coroner Elizabeth Morris today, as quoted by the New York Times: "The cause of her death was a result of being taken by a dingo."
The bizarre disappearance from Ayer’s Rock of infant Azaria Chamberlain in 1980 led to her mother, Lindy, being convicted of murder in 1982, despite Lindy’s claims that dingoes had killed the baby. When Azaria’s jacket was found four years later near dingo dens, however, Lindy was released. Finally, this year, a fourth inquest was taken.
Your ever-lovin’ ed-otter was taking a work-related trip to Nashville, TN for a few days. Now it’s time to get caught up…