San Francisco hosted the 14th annual How Weird Street Faire last weekend, with the theme "WEIRDI GRAS: Carnival of Peace." An informal fursuiter outing was organized through Meetup.com and its active Bay Area Furries group (independent from the mailing list), which runs many local events each month. I offered changing space at a nearby apartment, and scored a pair of "Disco Pants" for costuming, direct from the office of local web-based fashion startup company Betabrand. Afterwards, Betabrand was cool enough to post photos of modeling the pants on their "Model Citizen" section. (There's more photos on Reddit.)
Any news media story that covers furries is likely to focus heavily on fursuiters, and their striking visual appeal and fuzzy glamor. Fursuiters can't represent the whole of furry fandom, when "furry" is a vague and broadly defined umbrella over anything related to anthropomorphic animals- but I think it's OK to consider fursuiters the expressive, theatrical soul of furrydom. There is an element of "ambassador" role to their hobby. Without the 15-20% of furries who wear fursuits and costumes for role-playing, you'd just have regular unglamorous nerds saying "meow! I'm a cat". That's what crazy people do.
For those who missed out on the news over the last three months, here's a quick roundup.
Further Confusion 2013 garnered some coverage, including a Kotaku contributor's weekend at a furry convention – which started out with party-hopping, followed by a fursuit parade (admittedly, the experience for many FC attendees). The author reached the [adjective][species] statistics panel before returning to the party floor . . . and then, the dance floor.
SanJose.com also provided coverage of FC, albeit limited to an apparently remote Q&A session with the con's media representative, Chairo. The brief piece was fact-filled, yet in comparison with Kotaku did not venture deeply into the motivations of those attending.
Sneaking in at the end of the month was a cover piece in Nashville LGBT monthly Out & About (subtitled "It's not all about sex in fur suits"), and a photo-heavy article of the "everyday lives of furries at home", featuring the furry photography of Tom Broadbent. [tip: HappyWulf]
The Furry Drama Show (FDS) completed its first season 2012-13, visiting six conventions: Wild Nights, RCFM, Oklacon, Fangcon, F3 and Furry Fiesta. As we start our new season, we continue to look for new performers to join us at these cons. If you cannot, we are also accepting videos of skits and music videos.
I haven't seen this shared around until I noticed it on the Bay Area Furries mailing list.
According to their website:
What's your Fursona? Thats [sic] the million dollar question asked in this fast paced black comedy web series about the adventures of Virginia Blake - a successful investigative journalist - who is writing an expose on the FURRY underworld to save her tarnished career!
This issue, IDW sweeps the board, with My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic #3 and the first two installments of the latest Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles mini-series, “The Secret History of the Foot Clan,” which tells the secret history of the Foot Clan. Turns out they were a parody of Marvel’s Hand ninjas all along!
The A cover for this issue of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic looks like a really, really rejected Marvel Secret Invastion crossover cover from a few years back. At least it gives you some kind of warning; heaven help you if you got the B cover, featuring Twilight Sparkle and Pinkie Pie happily ice skating. I may have juxtaposed Hack/Slash with this series last time, but I’m just kidding around. Apparently some like their ponies like their coffee; black and bitter.
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.
On Friday, however, RCFM board member Bunny Halberd announced that the convention was being postponed to 2014. According to the explanation posted on RCFM's website, late in 2012 the RCFM Board agreed to host the convention at the Huntsville Airport Sheraton in 2013. Unfortunately, the hotel did not fully understand what type of convention RCFM is — and the Board did not realise that the entire hotel is under the control of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
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.
I did not vote for Bitter Lake, but I will for this 2’54” December 2012 video Christmas card! An intelligent film, designed for the limitations of fursuits, by Reeve, EZwolf, and Shay, with music by Fox Amoore. It is already on the UMA's 2012 Recommended Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work or Series list.
The term furries refers to the lifestyle of a youth culture that likes to dress as life-sized animals. They are called "fursuiter" meaning "fur wearer". Most of them sew their own elaborate costumes, and from time to time emerge to confuse the general public.
The footage focussed on fursuiters, but was very positive about the hobby:
They don't see themselves as crazy, just adults who like to have fun & try new things. It doesn't harm anyone and they believe that it makes the world a more colorful place.
BREMEN 130, a furry video production studio has released its first short film.
Draw of the Beast chronicles the ordeal of a frontiersman from a few centuries ago. A bestial call from the forest haunts him in his dreams and in the real world. Will he answer?
Update (2 Dec): Now available in shorter, music video form as "Welcome to the Werewolf":
Mind blowing visuals with the haunting techno music of TeknoAxe are incorporated into this visual feast of video production. (submission)
Brazilians cast almost 1.7 million votes in choosing Fuleco, an anthropomorphic three-banded armadillo, as the mascot for the 2014 FIFA World Cup games (soccer). A fursuited mascot is featured in the BBC's TV coverage.
As one of the most high-profile ambassadors of the event and a member of a vulnerable species, the Official Mascot can play a key role in driving environmental awareness. The name Fuleco™ is a fusion of the words “futebol” and “ecologia”. This seamlessly represents the way in which the FIFA World Cup™ can combine the two to encourage people to behave in an environmentally friendly way. In voting for the name Fuleco™, the Brazilian population has clearly demonstrated an affinity for both themes that the name epitomises. (press release)
But while Brazilians approve of the armadillo as a mascot, the way the name was chosen – a three-way online poll – is less popular. Over 23,000 signed a petition requesting a "more democratic" process, with some asking for a name featuring the vulnerable species itself.
Wildlife/fantasy artist Nambroth (Jennifer Miller), artist, costumer and sculptress Miss Monster (Melita Curphy), and fursuit builder and artist FirestormSix (Den Barrett) were interviewed last weekend at Midwest FurFest's "Meet the Guests of Honor" panel, hosted by Takaza and Perro.
First, they were asked to identify themselves, and the name of their microphones . . .
FirestormSix: I'm FirestormSix. My microphone is Spike.
Miss Monster: I make stuff in my basement, and it's awesome. My microphone is Applejack.
Nambroth: Nambroth, Jennifer Miller, I'm cool with either. I draw fantasy and wildlife professionally full time. I have Rainbow Dash.
Takaza: What brought you into the fandom?
FirestormSix: Basically the artwork, I started seeing the costumes a few years later; my first commission was six years ago, then I started getting a interest in building things, 4/1 2 years ago did a Dakota Wolf.
The film, covered previously on Flayrah, is described as a "lurid tale of animal-costumed sex and private dicks", and tells the tale of a "washed-up detective who gets hired to track down a missing executive and turns up all sorts of high weirdness".
Writer-director Ryan Demers will be in attendance at the premier, along with most of the cast and crew. Admission is free.