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New Zealand researcher probes furry mental health impact

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New Zealand Furry research poster From time to time, furries face mental health problems. But does fandom involvement hurt - as professionals sometimes suggest - or help? One man aims to find out.

This research is seeking to investigate how members of the furry community cope with stressors and mental health issues and whether being a member of the furry community can be a protective factor against stress. We also want to investigate how a person’s fursona/furry identity and their actual identity interact and any differences/similarities between them.

The research is being conducted by Moses Simpson, a Master's student at the University of Waikato.

While questions about fursonas are included, any resulting discussions are to be limited to general trends due to concern over identifiability. The survey should take less than an hour. As a bonus, participants (16+ only) may enter a drawing for one of three US$25 Amazon vouchers.

Preceding research: Survey suggests furries 'think differently', but aren't crazy (by the ARP).

Help for the Creator of Rocket Raccoon

With all of the attention that Rocket Raccoon and his fellow Guardians of the Galaxy have been getting, some attention has also begun to shine on a nearly forgotten name: Bill Mantlo. Back in 1976, Bill teamed up with Keith Giffen to introduce the original Rocket Raccoon in the pages of Marvel Preview #7. Not long after Rocket would team up with the Incredible Hulk, of all things, before moving on to his own comic book miniseries. In 1992, Bill Mantlo was struck by a car while he was out roller-blading, and he remained in a coma for many years after the accident. He has since regained consciousness, but he suffered brain damage from the accident and now requires full-time medical attention. Many Marvel fans and comic book professionals are urging Marvel (and Disney, Marvel’s parent company now) to contribute part of the likely sky-high profits from the upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy movie towards Bill’s medical needs. Comic book writer Greg Pak has a web-site devoted to the cause of raising money for Bill’s care. Meanwhile, if you haven’t seen it: Marvel has released a new mini-preview of Guardians that includes a bit of Rocket’s voice, Bradley Cooper. It’s interesting to hear the film’s director James Gunn describe Rocket as “the heart of the movie in a lot of ways”.

Sharon & Stan Sakai fundraising & call for submissions: hardcover to be published by Dark Horse Comics

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'Famous Bunnies', by Morrison As reported a few months ago, Sharon Sakai has been battling illness. The Cartoon Arts Professional Society (CAPS) have been fundraising for Sharon & Stan Sakai (creator of Usagi Yojimbo) to help with medical bills.

Dark Horse will be publishing a hardcover benefit book The Sakai Project: Artists Celebrate Thirty Years of "Usagi Yojimbo" in association with CAPS. On January 31 the participation of 47 creators was announced with a call for art submissions from industry professionals with a deadline of February 20. The Sakai Project will be released on July 23.

Participating artists include:

Help for a Famous Furry (Creator)

Stan Sakai is world-famous as the creator, writer, and artist of Usagi Yojimbo, a multiple-award-winning funny animal comic. He has given a lot to our furry fan community, not only from his creation but from his appearances at furry conventions around the country. Now, Stan needs some real help. His wife Sharon has been battling cancer, and she has been in and out of hospitals for some time — basically needing 24-hour care even when she is at home. The couple have insurance, but the bills have been piling up far past what their insurance will cover. The Cartoon Arts Professional Society have set up a site asking for donations to help Stan and Sharon cover their medical expenses.  Please visit and contribute this holiday season if you can. Give back to someone who’s given us great characters and great art!


image c. 2013 by Stan Sakai

Counterpoint: Health care law threatens U.S. furs

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We are young and strange. By tendency, at least, furries are non-conformists with many years ahead of them. That's why the new health care law is a poison pill for our community.

Right now there are people dangling "free" drugs and other medical care in front of us and promising there's no cost; it'll all be paid for by some rich guy. Just let this law stand, they say, and help elect the people who will protect it.

But what are we actually signing away? Our freedom. All of it.

[Ed.: This will be the last story on this topic. A separate piece addresses topic suitability.]

Opinion: Supreme Court decision a good deal for U.S. furs

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Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Many laws have little practical impact on furry fans one way or another. But this is one we should pay attention to, because it applies especially to us.