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Fursuits and the costumers who wear them. Check out the Fursuit Wiki for more feeds.

Furry convention history project - can you help?

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Anthrocon 2007 Fred Patten says,

I am writing a history of all Furry conventions from the first, in January 1989, to the end of 2010, when there were 42 of them around the world. This is 182 pages; almost 45,000 words. Most fans think that it is already too long, so I have stopped with 2010. There were 43 in 2011, and over 60 today.

Here are some sample entries and illustrations:

Albany AnthroCon 1998 – Here Be Dragons The Omni Albany Hotel, Albany, New York July 3-5, 1998 (Attendance: 600)
GoH: Jeffrey A. Carver (s-f author), Jim Groat (Furry cartoonist); Fandom GoH: Dr. Samuel Conway
Charity: Whiskers, a cat rescue group ($3,092) Chair: Roger Wilbur (Aloyen Youngblood)

The activities of the first AnthroCon were repeated and expanded upon. There were special interest group meetings; panels on such subjects as anthropomorphic-animal advertising mascots and “Cleaning Up Our Past”; a puppet show by Steve Plunkett and a Story Hour by Uncle Kage; and a Saturday-night performance by Purple Nurple Live! The previous year’s Moreau Awards were not repeated; the committee considered them a failure since only about twenty members out of 500 had bothered to attend and vote. The 44-page Program Book had a cover by Jim Groat. The AnthroCon had over forty staff members; Roger Wilbur was the official Chairman (CEO), but most of the convention was coordinated by Jonah E. Safar as Organizational Director. The T-shirt was by Jim Groat. There was general agreement that a larger hotel was needed for next year.

Furries sought to appear on 'Dr. Phil'

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Okay, so an anon here totally called it, but CBS Television Distribution is calling for stories from people who are "Furry And Proud":

Are you interested in fictional animal characters with human personalities and proud of it? Do you like to dress up as your favorite animal character and go to Anthrocon, Further Confusion, or the ConFurence conventions? Do you have other friends in the furry world? Are there people in your life who don’t accept your furry side? Do you feel society should have a better understanding on what the furry world is all about? ONLY SUBMIT YOUR STORY IF YOU'RE WILLING TO APPEAR ON TV WITH DR. PHIL. Thanks for contacting the show!

My guess is that this will go the way of other such shows to feature furries.

Photographer Carmen Dobre seeks insights into furries via 360° home panoramas

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If you were waiting for a coffee-table book mixing fursuiting and cultural research, Furries: Enacting Animal Anthropomorphism might be it. It was created by Romanian Carmen Dobre, a Master in both cultural studies (Univ. of Bucharest) and photographic studies (Leiden), who is pursuing a PhD at the Bucharest National University of Arts. [tip: Dr. Kathy Gerbasi]
'Furries', by CarmenDobre
The 152 page hardback contains 49 photographs, 13 of which can be previewed online (scroll in for a full view). Produced by the University of Plymouth, it's also available from eBay UK or Australia, Amazon U.S. or Canada, Albris, and Fishpond.

Carmen's furry photography began in Holland as a university project, and spread to France, Romania, Germany, and the UK (assisted by Fotonow CIC). Her work was exhibited September-October 2011 (video) at the Rue de l'Exposition gallery. One photo was a finalist for the 2013 Celeste Prize. She has also created a brief study of furry fandom (PDF).

Fursuiting and copyright: an important issue for fandom

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New powers to patent animals (including unrealized hybrids that populate furry fiction) burst into the news on 11/13/13, when activist organization Wikileaks revealed a draft of the secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement. Analysts have called it "a major power grab for large patent and copyright industries," with powerful implications for the future of intellectual property.

With a lead like that, I have to apologize for faking you out. I couldn't resist. Now let's do a 180, and turn back to the furry level of life, where copyright concerns are much more personal. Consider this scenario that happened to fursuiters Sakura Fox and Mercury on their trip to New York City:

You're walking through Central Park, and see some panhandlers begging for change. They're wearing badly made, unsightly costumes of Sesame Street characters. You shouldn't hang around them in fursuit, because a pimp Elmo might come smack you off his corner!

Elmo waving a gun and knife It's an unauthorized misuse of trademark for profit. It could make the copyright owners look bad, and they wouldn't like it. It's probably too trivial for them to hear about, or hire lawyers to stop it- but you never know. In a famous 1989 action, Disney forced the removal of murals featuring their characters from three Florida day care centers. It helped earn their "reputation as an extreme copyright hawk -- there's a reason 'Disney lawyer' is a term all its own". (On the more friendly side, consider Hasbro's relationship with Bronies.)

Fangcon circus coming to Knoxville in November

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This promotional newsletter was provided by Fangcon. Story written by Nightwolf.

Welcome one and all, to the furriest show on Earth! Come to a convention unlike any you've seen before!

What makes Fangcon stand out from the rest? We've packed this weekend full of activities to enjoy all weekend long by all ages. Test your skill and luck at our carnival corner, with games provided by furries from all over Tennessee. Enjoy the fursuit parade and watch the suiters compete in the fursuit games. For a more refined feel, take a seat in the poker tournament. Relax in the hotel's heated pool before the late night dances.

Where are the plant-based fursuiters?

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Audrey II Botanical furries? Hello? Show yourselves! I'd love to see some Triffids...

My first casual search turned up this carnivorous beauty. Can you name more? Or could this be a new frontier for novelty anthropomorphic performing?

My original submission was very brief, but apparently made a psychic link to provoke the same question on Tumblr a day later.

GaymerX convention a hit for furries, gamers, gay and "geek culture"

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Fursuiters with 'free hugs' signs at GaymerX
Corron, Patch, Harley, Fry, and Gravy take a furry message to the street

Acceptance between cultures makes them thrive. At the GaymerX convention on August 3-4, acceptance was a basic idea for a popular panel- "Natural Allies: Gaymers and Furries".

GaymerX, the first gaming convention focused on LGBT themes, won media buzz and crowds through active inclusion. Inviting allies in "geek culture" to an "arms-open party for anyone who wants to join", it drew over 2,000 to San Francisco's Japantown (a heavy turnout for a first con, compared to established furry conventions.) Founder Matt Conn called it "just the start".

Furries at San Francisco Pride 2013

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A historic U.S. Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage created intense emotions and record crowds at San Francisco's 2013 Pride celebration. I was informally told the parade drew 1.5 million. Imagine pushing through them in the hot sun with inch thick fur on!

Video by Mallius
For dozens of local furs, the great fun and positive vibes of Pride 2012 were small compared to this year's enthusiastic turnout. If it grows as much in 2014, it'll be awesome to see.

Fans answer call for fursuit-maker reviews, but room for improvement remains

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Image from Jillcostumes

A new resource for fursuit commissioners has been shared on Reddit's r/furry subreddit: a Google spreadsheet of makers maintained by open collaboration, to the surprise of the original sharer (who created it for personal use). The r/furry moderators have been asked to add it as a key resource on their sidebar.

Several fan-maintained lists exist to help find and review fursuit makers and commissioned artists. Earlier this year, an important Fur Affinity review account, fursuitmakerreviews, closed unexpectedly to the disappointment of many. As one Redditor explained:

… [it's] a bit of a long story (so I'm told). But basically involved a fursuit maker getting less than good marks and complaining to the admins, who promptly removed the "offending" account. They're trying to rebuild themselves on Tumblr.

Their new Tumblr account and a new, separate Fur Affinity account seem to be starting over from scratch, after losing much important data. It calls attention to the challenges they face. A list is a great resource, but a list isn't a system. Let's consider organizing a better system.

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.

Fans, conventions step forth to help furry tornado victim

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Heroes of Moore TornadoFlayrah reported in May on Misora Rae's loss of her home in the Moore, OK tornado. In subsequent days, furs have sent an outpouring of support, helping her with supplies and funds. They gathered for the clean-up, helping her sort through the rubble of what was once her home; she found her fursuit, which had survived the storm but was covered in insulation, and was getting a musty odor from the rains that came with the tornado. The team also found one of her cats, crushed to death by a fallen wall. The stress of this is a hardening factor for Misora.

Support for Misora and her mother continues, with several Furry conventions joining together to raise funds for her family. Central Plains Fur Con, Fangcon, F3con and Wild Nights will be auctioning supersponsor and higher levels of membership, with proceeds going to Misora. The first is for a membership for CPFC, to be held October 2013 in Wichita, Kansas with Rukis as the guest of honor. Other auctions will be posted after the initial auction concludes.

Reviews: 'Critter Costuming: Making Mascots and Fabricating Fursuits', by Adam Riggs

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Critter CostumingVirtual Costumer magazine, published for members of The Silicon Web Costumers' Guild (SiW), has reviews of the fursuit-making manual Critter Costuming in its May 2013 issue. Latest issues are members-only, but editor Phil Gust gave me permission to re-post the article here.

Phil found me as a professional dealer who helps distribute the book, and asked me to review it. I don't make costumes, just wear them, so I put out a request to the Furry community for their reviews. I selected two to share, by Schrix and Kellan Meig’h.

Critter Costuming: Making Mascots and Fabricating Fursuits, by Adam Riggs (Nicodemus), is the first published book about fursuit making. Shameless plug: I sell it at the lowest cost on the net to help spread the hobby ($32 with free U.S. shipping). You can buy it via Furbuy, or with payment by Paypal to patch.ofurr(at)gmail.com.

'Here Come the Furries!' is theme for May 2013 issue of Virtual Costumer magazine

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Torve The TrogTorve The Trog, a proto-Furry costume from 1985's Costume-Con 3, is just one of the cool things you can learn about in the May 2013 issue of Virtual Costumer. It's titled "Here Come the Furries!"

Readers can expect 49 pages of thoroughly educational info, including the feature, "Running an Animal Mascot Business" by Eric Stevens (Snap E. Tiger), owner of ByCats4Cats.com.

The magazine also includes my updated article about street fursuiting, and fursuit-making book reviews. It offers a respectful, "gentle introduction to the Furry fandom and fursuit costuming" to other realms of geekdom, going against this tongue-in-cheek pecking order.

Furry loses home to Moore, Oklahoma tornado

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Misoura RayMisora Rae lost her home in the recent Oklahoma tornado. It was one of many structures destroyed in the EF5 storm. She was fortunate to be at work with her mother at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Many local furs are gathering near a local Walmart to assist Misora in removal of what can be salvaged from the remains of the house.

If you are in the area and can assist, please contact Holly Fox who is coming up from Lawton to help on Friday and Saturday (May 24-25). Donations of items such as dog and cat food would be appreciated; most of her pets were found. An auction for a partial fursuit is also being held in her benefit. Contributions can also be made directly to misorarae @ yahoo.com via PayPal.

Opinion: Street fursuiting is the most fun furry experience

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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.)


Left to right: Kitten, Meerk, Patch. Background: Ty Cougar.

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.

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