Deep in the fuzzy heart of Texas in February 2018, Furry Fiesta had convened at a brand new facility in Dallas to compensate for their continued growth in attendance. When the festivities came to a close, it was announced that 3,866 were in attendance. This number ups its ranking in the list of most populous furry conventions, it now being the fifth largest.
It replaces Further Confusion, one of the original large furry conventions from the early years of furry. The convention from San Jose, California has always had a strong following. It’s pilot year in 1999 saw it as the third largest furry convention behind the first major gathering of Confurence, another Californian convention, and the soon to be leader of the pack Anthrocon, which was in the Philadelphia area at that time.
Further Confusion is currently in a creepingly slow decline since peaking in 2014 at 3560. As of 2018 they are now at 3415, which is still higher than they were the year before they reached their peak. This stagnation in growth can be more likely contributed to factors of seasonal competition from other growing conventions rather than the Californian convention’s own actions. Furry Fiesta, being among them, which occurs only a month after it. But also Biggest Little Fur Con (Reno, Nevada) which is geographically within 4 hours San Jose, both contribute to some stiff competition for the long running event.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office declined to register the New York state furry convention's name as a mark in August 2013, after identifying the terms 'furry' and 'con' as "merely descriptive":
“Furry” refers to “fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics.” - “Con” is a “common abbreviation for convention”.
At that time, a "furry" was also cited by the examiner as:
someone who is part of a subculture interested in fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics
Various Wikipedia and WikiFur articles were used as references, as well as George Gurley's "Pleasures of the Fur" in Vanity Fair, the Anthrocon, Furry 4 Life, Furry Fandom Infocenter, Furry Connection North and Georgia Furs websites, and a con report on SoFurry.
Fred Patten will have a new anthology, Five Fortunes, on sale at Further Confusion 2014. The 415-page tome, published by FurPlanet, presents five brand-new novellas by fan-favorite Furry authors, four of them featuring their popular characters or settings:
- “Chosen People” by Phil Geusz, set in his Book of Lapism world.
- “Going Concerns” by Watts Martin, set in his Ranea world.
- “When a Cat Loves a Dog” by Mary E. Lowd, set in her Otters in Space world.
- “Piece of Mind” by Bernard Doove, set in his Chakat Universe.
- The fifth story is “Huntress” by Renee Carter Hall, in a new setting of tribal anthropomorphic African lions.
All 33 entries were anonymized and identified as numbers through the board's selection process.
Entries should incorporate AAE's service mark, "FurCon", and must be "clean and easy to understand", look good in color and black and white, and be PG-rated. They should not use "specific critters or characters", and must be available in vector format.
Multiple entries may be submitted by 12AM PT, July 4; the winner will be picked by the end of July. The selected designer will receive a FC2014 patron membership and merchandise; there will also be five runner-up sponsor prizes. All six will be featured online and in the conbook.
Update (14 Jul): The selection and announcement of winners has been pushed back to the next FC staff meeting (August 17).
Q: Could you give us a brief introduction?
Chris: [...rattles off storyboarding, animation, writing and directing credits for shows noted in his Wikipedia article, including Rocko's Modern Life, Ren & Stimpy, Dexter's Lab and The Powerpuff Girls...], written a few episodes of My Little Pony, which is probably what some of you care about - it's so cool to see people who appreciate what you've done; we're so sheltered by TV, we never get to see you, so for all of you, the full house.
Ursula: Ursula Vernon, artist and author; did finally finish the webcomic Digger, which won the Hugo Award for Best Graphic Series . . . I do a series for children called Dragonbreath, 8-12ish, I also do a lot of art, I do furry art, I go to furry conventions, I love you people man . . . *applause* . . . and that's sot of what I do.
Sprout: So Chris, you've done a lot of awesome TV shows, so what exactly have you done for each of those throughout your career?
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]
We're at the point where Further Confusion will start to come together very quickly. It's an exciting time for us, but also a busy time. This is some of what we will be working on for you!
So with that in mind, lets get this party started!
We had a great time putting together the piece during the convention. Finally, 16 months later on May 2, the results. The piece followed the show's format, highlighting the fun and wacky side of our con with primary focus on the most obvious visual aspect, fursuits.
While I would have hoped for a bit more information as to why we exist and what we have done for the community, the segment portrays FurCon in a fun and positive light.
It was totally worth it! Love the work of Blotch and love Skyrim!!
Update (29 Jan): Videl says he was bidding on behalf of his roommates as well as himself.
The stated objective of these shows is to get high-quality furry art out in the public, and to introduce San Jose's downtown gallery scene to the wealth of furry artwork. Local news media representatives will be invited to visit.
There is an open call for artwork, including con-badges, which will be printed by the show; the submission deadline is December 31. The shows are being organized independently of Further Confusion by its Art Track events lead, B. Root, creator of webcomic The Dawn Chapel.
The December edition of the newsletter includes holiday wishes from the chair, special guests and events, the end of pre-registration on December 30, an updated pet policy, notice of changing hotel room rates, a call for submissions to FC: Unleashed, updated dealer information and instructions, a request for volunteers, and notice of the next staff meeting on January 7.
In this issue:
1. Further Confusion Picnic and Campout
2. Calling potential panelists!
3. Convention book call out to artists and writers
4. Furry Market Place spaces still available
5. Next Staff Meeting
The Further Confusion campout will be held September 9-11, with the picnic on the 10th. FC: Unleashed! is looking for acts and now has a YouTube channel. Several staff programming lead positions are available, and there are openings in the species-track and ops departments. Art show and Furry Market Place applications are now being accepted. The dealers' room remains full. Con book submissions are open. The next staff meeting is October 15, at 1PM.
Open staff and panelist positions are advertised, with a $50 FC:Unleashed logo contest and a request for con book material. The Dealers Room and its associated waiting list are now closed, but applications for the Furry Market Place will open on or shortly after August 1st.