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Demand for Anthrocon "City Shirt" shows love for Furries… and their money

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Anthrocon city shirt logo"You must be the 17th person who asked today", said Tim at Hudson News in Pittsburgh International Airport. "There's not a shirt left in this airport."

I was hunting for the "City Shirt", a special shirt made for the public as well as Furries, only for sale outside of Anthrocon by request from local merchants. Most wearers I asked told me they got it first thing on arrival, before it sold out. On my way out of the city, I held out hope to ask in case any were stashed away. One place showed me a shirt stashed under the counter, the last one from "boxes and boxes" of 30+ per size, but it was a tease, because it was reserved for an employee.

Siddy, a commenter on Anthrocon's post, reports:

When I picked up one of the shirts at the airport. The cashier never seen something sell so fast, she told me she had to restock the rack three times just that morning.

Thoughts on measuring the "furry economy”

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Fuchston the fox and Mochi in the CaliFur Dealers Den, by OmiSurveying furries for psych and demographic research is a well established interest. Canada recently gave out a $75,000 grant for it. But has anyone ever tried to measure the "furry economy"? I'm talking about spending by fans, companies and creators that serve them, and markets for their work.

I think the data could make interesting news, help creators and professionals, and it already has notable indicators calling for attention. Consider the strong growth in con attendance for over a decade, and the Furry interest that brought surprise success to adult crowdfunding site Offbeatr. I'm drawn to furry by fursuiting, and I've noticed a leap in quality over time that shows development of that specialized craft. On the other hand, some have seen a big decline in spending at con art shows that points to changing times. In the interest of informing the "Furrysphere" (is it a hairball?), here's a few thoughts on measuring the "furry economy".

Fur-Opoly?

Well sort of… and face it, you knew it was coming! First up is Monopoly: The My Little Pony edition — by which they mean My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic of course. It’s available for pre-order at Comics Infinity. “Welcome to Ponyville! A big adventure and tons of fun await you in this playful My Little Pony edition of Monopoly! Favorite locations in Ponyville are up for grabs including Cutie Mark Clubhouse, Sweet Apple Acres, Manehattan, and the Crystal Empire. ” The six game tokens are, of course, the “mane six” characters from the series.  What, not into the MLP phenomenon? All right, head on over to Coin-Op.TV and check out the Monopoly: Skylanders edition, also in pre-orders now. They’ve got just about everyone covered!


image c. 2013 Hasbro / The Hub

What's most surprising about Canada's $75,000 grant to the ARP to study furries?

Antarctic Press seeks funding to 'keep the AC on' after returns

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Comic book publisher Antarctic Press, the first publisher of furry anthologies Furrlough and Genus, is running an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise cash to remain in business.

It is always difficult to ask for help, but due to current circumstances, we have incurred over $70,000 in debt and costs from returns.

Antarctic Press expanded into the mass retailer market, but got a bit "hosed" by returns of unsold comics from stores. Contributor perks include wallpaper, comics – some signed – an Indiegogo-only print signed by five artists, and subscriptions of new AP comics.

There are 40 days left in the fundraiser, with $4,667 already pledged; enough to eliminate one of the company's smaller loans.

Help save Radio Comix from the IRS!

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Radio ComixRadio Comix, long-standing publisher of furry comics like Furrlough and Ebin & May, is running an Indiegogo campaign to raise cash to remain in business after discovering a massive tax shortfall:

Due to a horrible oversight on the part of our (now former) accountant, we now owe a staggering amount of back taxes. The total is truly shocking, and when I first discovered it, I was ill for days. I've been working for three months with a new accountant to get everything that wasn't filed taken care of, but filing does not equal paying and now not only do these freshly filed taxes have to be paid, but there are penalties due to the late filing. I'm a firm believer in filing and paying all my taxes, and finding out I was behind was my worst nightmare come true.

I have been working with the IRS to come up with a payment plan, but if we could get a large lump sum together to pay in at one time, it would be an enormous help!

Contributor perks available include wallpapers, comics, graphic novels, and lifetime subscriptions to future Radio Comix comic book releases.

Update: Four hours in, $1500 had been pledged; by the end of the evening it was $5364.

Update 2 (March 26): The lifetime subscriptions sold out this morning. Commissions by Stan Sakai were added; within hours, six of the five on offer were somehow claimed.

All systems . . . no! Rocket City FurMeet 11 postponed to 2014 over TSA mask rules

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RCFM 11 banner with facemask crossed outRocket City FurMeet, Huntsville, Alabama's annual furry convention, was scheduled to be held this year over June 14-16, at the Four Points by Sheraton at Huntsville Airport.

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).

Furry porn sweeps Offbeatr; their CEO, project leads explain

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Some say there's no money in porn. But furry porn? That's a different story.

Crowdfunding has proven very popular, funding projects from digital aardvarks, roleplaying rats and space-abducted foxes, to fluffy ears, Furcadia's 'Second Dreaming' and seemingly every other work by M.C.A. Hogarth. Twokinds raised enough to buy a good-sized house.

Furotica is largely a no-go for industry leaders Kickstarter and Indiegogo. But it's become a lifeline for Ben Tao, Eric Lai, and Barry C, whose adult crowdfunding site Offbeatr (covered in August) lists five successful projects to date — all furry. [tip: Ripner Cabbit/EarthFurst]

So how can you raise $4000 (or $40,000) for your dream project? We asked those who've done it, while taking a closer look at this new funding platform and talking to its CEO.

Furcadia's 'Second Dreaming' meets first funding target

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Furcadia's AngelCat avatarDragon's Eye Productions, creators of long-running social MMORPG Furcadia, have set up a Kickstarter project to fund a web-based overhaul of the service, entitled The Second Dreaming.

On the morning of 28 November, the project met its its base funding goal - $55,000 - for which DEP and spinoff Catnip Studios pledge a web-based client (to be offered on Facebook and elsewhere), and a new Furcadia website. All backers may choose a new feature and avatar from a list: the winning choices will also be added to Furcadia.

Upgrades are sorely needed; the current Windows client was designed in 1996 and lacks support for modern platforms.

While the sale of virtual items (or digos) provides sufficient funds to keep the service running, development has slowed to a crawl; according to DEP, core team members have not been paid in two years, and most have found other jobs. *

Furcadia's creative director Dr. Cat (Felorin) is to host an "Ask Me Anything" for potential backers on Reddit at 2PM CST on Wednesday November 28, and will be a guest on Twitch TV's TopWizard channel on Saturday December 1 at 3PM CST. Funding ends December 14.

Fluffy ear startup Emoki faces stiff competition

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Emoki logoEmoki hopes to make a splash with custom ears for the Necomimi EKG-triggered headsets first sold this May.

The Californian startup's foam ear fittings come in bear, fox and rabbit forms, while the faux-fur sleeves come in a variety of colours – including a limited-edition "pika" variety for those willing to throw in an extra $10.

But at $12,416, the Kickstarter project meant to raise initial orders is only a third of the way to its goal, with less than ten days to go. [tip: Nathaniel Hahn]

Update (3 Nov): Emoki cancelled their Kickstarter project and restarted it on Indiegogo with a $3500 goal.

Book into animated film: 'The Saga of Rex'

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The Saga of RexIn August 2011, Flayrah published a favorable review of The Saga of Rex by animator Michel Gagné.

The Saga of Rex is a surrealistic whimsical science fiction tale that is really just an excuse for Gagné’s incredible imaginative graphics. The plot, if you want to call it that, is that the Guardian-Shepherd of the planet Edernia (a godlike being) summons a fleet of Gathering Ships to fly throughout the galaxy and harvest (kidnap) “specimens” to transport into Dream Globes (alternate worlds) where they will serve as hero-champions for Edernia’s metamorphic sentient Blossoms. (Readers who want to find meaning in this are told, “Those secrets have been lost in the catacombs of time.”) Rex, “the adorable little fox” from Earth, becomes the specimen of Aven, a Blossom who comes to love Rex and transforms herself into a sometimes-winged blue foxlike mate for him. I think.

As I said, just forget about plot and lose yourself in Gagné’s scintillating artwork. Rex’s Dream Globe is a wondrous, mysterious world that encompasses whole galaxies. It is full of strange, flowing, usually amorphous life forms, both benign and hostile. Rex rescues and is rescued by alien beings; he passes through trials of water and fire; he dies and is transmogrified into a savior. Basically, The Saga of Rex is 200 pages of mind-blowingly gorgeous semi-abstract s-f artistry. It is not to be missed.

Now, Gagné has launched a Kickstarter project to raise $15,000 to start an animation studio and turn his book into a classically animated film. He has already gotten $12,152 in pledges, with 26 days to go. See his four-minute video explaining the project.

Pennsylvanian students seek funds for fursuiter documentary

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A small team of Pittsburgh filmmakers is raising money for a documentary about fursuiters.

The group from Point Park University intends to visit several destinations, and seeks funds for "transportation, feeding our crew, [and] going from place to place". Despite drumming up support on Facebook, they have only raised $1,735 of their $5,000 goal, with 60 hours to go.

According to a short piece on the Steel Cinema film blog:

... will focus on the unusual hobby by following a diverse group of several fursuiters in the U.S. The students hope to honestly examine this colorful sub-culture by taking a humanistic approach and getting to know the people inside the costumes.

The project is directed by Dominic Rodriguez and produced by Olivia Vaughn. [tip: PeterCat]

Four furry projects at adult crowdfunding website Offbeatr

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OffbeatrOffbeatr is a new crowdfunding website which allows erotic projects. (Pornographic material is prohibited on Kickstarter and Indiegogo.)

From Offbeatr's FAQ:

Offbeatr is a site that enables people to raise money for adult creative projects. [...] something tangible like a movie, book, game, or physical product.

Forbes magazine has a nice introductory article, and furries are already using the site.

M.C.A. Hogarth's 'Black Blossom' tops $4600 on Kickstarter

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Nesthae, the Exception of the Ai-NaidarM.C.A. Hogarth is raising money on Kickstarter for print, e-book and audiobook editions of her fantasy of manners serial Black Blossom, sequel to The Aphorisms of Kherishdar and The Admonishments of Kherishdar (review), featuring the Ai-Naidar – a race of feline aliens.

Money raised is to go towards "cover art, layout; all the things that make a physical book great." Backer rewards include the book, e-book or audiobooks, calligraphy bookmarks, and related short fiction.

A week from conclusion, the fundraiser has passed several stretch goals, and stands at $4646 of its initial $1500 goal (with 95 backers).

Update (30 Aug): There are now 100 backers, for a total of $4770.

'My Little Pony' fan erotica magazine tops $1000 at auction

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Hoof BeatA copy of My Little Pony-themed erotica magazine Hoof Beat created by "popular furry artists" has been bid up to four figures at auction, with one day to go.

Two regular FurBuy users ran the price up to $826 over two days before new bidders joined in.

Another copy was recently sold for $150 on eBay, where the creators are listed as Sunshy, Wind Driven, Leche, Flanks and Don't Ask Spike.

The 58-page 10 5/8"x7 3/4" softcover colour work, produced in a print run of 200, was originally sold for $25 at Anthrocon 2012 via the Club Stripes table.

Three comics are included, plus a number of pin-ups.

The demand has caused other fans to put their copies up on FurBuy, with one selling for $305.

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