Fans of furry web comics mourned at news of the passing of Albert Temple arrived this month. This prolific creator maintained a consistently-updated web comic for over 16 years, from July 2000 all the way up to his death in March. This web serial comic, Gene Catlow, delved into the lives of a pair of experienced and respected computer technicians and their many strange adventures.
The two main characters were Gene Catalow (the author's fursona) and his rabbit friend Cotton. The first story arc revolved around Cotton finding a special coffee that unlocked superpowers within him. He's torn away from his normal life as a technician to begin thwarting assassination attempts against an ambassador being held in safe harbor in their anthropomorphic city.
Through the interactions of these characters you learn of a world of political intrigue, where human beings and anthro animals had their own cultural boundaries. Albert did a great job in making it so that you were never fed this in exposition dumps, but instead were purely arrived at through the interaction of the comic's characters.
On Janurary 13, Equino Faukland, a friend of Spike Niko, posted about the passing of the founder of Rainbow Tiger to the club's group:
Hello my friends from Rainbow Tiger. I wish I was coming to you with something other than bad news, but with a heavy heart I must inform you that yesterday Spike Nico, the Boss Pony of the Rainbow Tiger passed away. Some of you might know that Spike was sick back in June with some lung issues and was in pretty bad shape. However, always the fighter Spike pulled through and was in full recovery. However his illness resurfaced this winter with a vengeance. He died in his bed yesterday from complications of his illness.
There have been many articles speaking to the harshness and cruelty of the year 2016. This time in history has been seen in such a negative light that people have gone so far as to make horror trailer parodies of the year itself. Barring the turbulent political results in countries such as the United States and United Kingdom, many of the celebrities that brought forth stories of endearment and inspired a generation passed on this year.
But just like you this year the furry fandom has been filled with reminders of our own mortality and that while some may try and use the fandom as an escape from these very realities, death and political strife caused by general interactions have made themselves apparent this year more than any in recent memory.
Brian Bedford, an English-born actor best known to furs as the voice of the titular character in Disney's Robin Hood, passed away January 13, 2016, due to cancer in Santa Barbera, California. He was 80.
Bedford was born in Morley, UK on February 16, 1935. Primarily a stage actor, known for his work on Broadway, he made his Broadway debut in 1959, in the play Five Finger Exercise, directed by John Gielgud. In 1971, he won a Tony Award for his role in The School for Wives. He would gain an additional six Tony nominations; the most recent coming for his last stage role, Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest. He also appeared in many TV and film roles, though his vocal role as the vulpine Robin Hood is his best known.
Bedford is survived by his husband, Tim MacDonald.
Update (13:20 PT): Doug Winger has passed away at the Western Medical Center in Tustin, California.
One of the greats, one of the true giants of the furry fandom, has lost his battle with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or emphysema, brought about by smoking and other ailments.
Over the past few days two gentlemen passed away. Two gentlemen with very different but both very interesting connections to furry fandom. Stan Freberg, 88, was a man who “wore so many different hats throughout his career that he may as well have been a hat-maker. Satirist, songwriter, comedian, commercial producer, recording artist, actor, puppeteer, and voice artist only scratch the surface.” Among the myriad of voices he created some of the most memorable might be Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent (in both the puppet and animated versions of Beany & Cecil), the beaver in Disney’s Lady & the Tramp, and (from a very young age) Junior Bear, the lunk-headed young son of short-tempered Papa Bear in a series of cartoons by Chuck Jones. (“C-A-T, dog… D-O-G, Rhode Island…”). Meanwhile Bob Walker also passed away, at the age of 54, apparently from a heart condition. Mr. Walker will best be remembered as co-director (with Aaron Blaise) of Disney’s 2003 2D animated film Brother Bear, but prior to that he had worked as a layout artist on numerous Disney animated projects including Rescuers Down Under (1990), Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994), Mulan (1998), and Lilo & Stitch (2002). A native of Canada, Mr. Walker started his career working for Nelvana Animation on TV shows like The Raccoons. [Thanks to Cartoon Brew for providing this info.]
It is with great sadness that I must report on the passing of one of the giants of the voice-acting world.
Christine Cavanaugh passed away on December 22, 2014 at the young age of 51. She is perhaps best-remembered as the voice actress of (in no particular order) Babe, Dexter (Dexter's Lab), Bunnie Rabbot (Sonic the Hedgehog), Chuckie Finster (Rugrats), Oblina (Aaahh!!! Real Monsters) and Goslyn Mallard (Darkwing Duck, Raw Toonage).
While her voiceography is not as long as other veteran voice actors and actresses, she more than made up for it with quality acting and defining fan-favourite characters, bringing them memorable personalities that lasted long after their shows completed their runs.
Colin maintained several furry websites, including furry.org.nz and the NZfurry mailing list, and (as Nicol Firefox) furry image and story archive Cub Central. He featured prominently in media coverage as a New Zealand fursuiter, provided hosting and IT support for FurcoNZ, and participated in the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras.
Colin received a BSc in Computer Science from the Victoria University of Wellington in 1997, and worked for over twelve years as a systems programmer and Linux server administrator for the University of Waikato; in March 2013 he moved to Mako Networks.
Colin's funeral will be at 3PM on Thursday 27 November at the chapel of Morrison Funeral Directors at 220 Universal Drive, Henderson, Auckland. A memorial for friends and family will be held 29 November in the Wellington area.
Update (21 Mar): The website Colin founded, Cub Central, is set to close after his death.
Furry artist FilthyRotten Jackalope (Tangela Parten, née Harris) has been reported dead following complications from emergency surgery at the age of 35.
A long-time resident of Atlanta, Georgia, and a long-time participant in the local furry community, FilthyRotten served as Volunteer Coordinator at Furry Weekend Atlanta from 2008 to 2013. She moved in June 2013 to Vancouver, Washington, with her husband DarkPatu (Paul Parten) and their three children.
On April 1, 2014, FilthyRotten posted pictures to her Twitter account from her stay at the Peace Health Services Hospital for a blood transfusion (due to a history of chronic internal bleeding), but by April 4, she posted that she would be heading to emergency surgery the next day. According to DarkPatu, "Complications after an emergency hysterectomy led to an infection in her brain and cranial bleeding."
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.
Fyodor Khitruk died today. He was the leading Soviet animator from about the 1960s to until the Soviet Union ended in 1991. I met him briefly at the 1989 International Festival of Animation here in Los Angeles. He had brought the leading animators from each of the 15 Soviet republics to L.A. with him. They stood around muttering something like, "What are we doing in America?" "I don't know, but Fyodor said that we had to come."
I remember that he was an extremely imposing personality, probably the most dynamic person at the festival even though he was a dumpy old man. He was the sort of man who dominated a crowd even when he was just standing around doing nothing.
Khitruk was born just before the Russian Revolution, so he lived through the entire Soviet era. His animation tended to be the "arty" style that won awards but lost money because it was too intellectual. The Soviet government subsidized that sort of thing in the name of "we are not profit-oriented capitalists", but when the Soviet Union ended and the new Russian government was profit oriented, Khitruk could not get his films funded any more because they were not commercial. He mostly taught animation at the Moscow Academy since then.
He was not known for anthropomorphic characters, but he made very cute films of three Winnie the Pooh stories in the 1960s and 1970s that are nothing like Disney's, and are good enough to justify his obituary on Flayrah. Here is the second of them.
Dennis Avner, better known under his Native American name Stalking Cat, died November 5. He was 54.
OggyWolf and BlueCanary confirmed Stalking Cat's death with local officials. His body is being held in Tonopah morgue for his brother [tip: STrRedWolf]. No cause of death was stated, but some claim suicide.
A former U.S. Navy sonar technician, and programmer, Stalking Cat was famous for having had extensive cosmetic surgery to adopt the likeness of his totem animal, the tiger, in accordance with Huron traditions. His body modifications included a split lip, labret-based whisker-holding implants, dental surgery, and silicone injections. He was also extensively tattooed.
Joe, also known as Josey Pearl on Second Life, lived in the San Francisco Bay Area where he attended Los Medanos College as an animation student. He had previously attended Diablo Valley College, and De La Salle High School in Concord, California.
Muppet fans around the world were recently saddened by another loss: Jerry Nelson, who had one of the longest careers of anyone in the world of Jim Henson’s Muppets, passed away on Thursday the 23rd at the age of 78. He was best known by legions of children around the world — including many who are now adults — as the voice and puppeteer of Count von Count, the beloved Sesame Street character who loved to count things as much as he loved to laugh maniacally. He was also the voice of the seldom-seen mammoth-like Mr. Snuffleupagus, Herry Monster, and Robin — Kermit the Frog’s young nephew. More recently he was the voice and hands behind Floyd Pepper, bass player for The Electric Mayhem on The Muppet Show and subsequent movies. And after that, he brought to life Gobo Fraggle, the leader of the band of colorful characters on Fraggle Rock. So far, there’s no word on how Mr. Nelson’s passing might affect any plans that Jim Henson Productions (or their current owner, the Walt Disney Company) might have for a Fraggle Rock movie. As for Mr. Nelson… as Floyd Pepper might say, Rest in Peace my man.