So what was popular, well-rated, or highly-commented? The answers may surprise you . . .
During the early eighties, the FCC began to back off on restrictions on advertisements in children’s television, despite pressure from parents’ groups to apply more. The upshot was a series of Saturday morning cartoons (as well as other children’s shows) that were nothing but glorified commercials for various toy lines.
Hasbro was one of the companies involved in selling chunks of plastic to kids who could then nag their parents via the magic of animation. To be entirely fair, their products were probably the most artistically valid at the time, which I should stress was not saying much. Most of their shows have had a remarkable shelf life, long after the need to sell toys have gone.
In 1986, Hasbro had two movies hitting theaters based on their toylines; Transformers: The Movie and My Little Pony: The Movie, with a G.I. Joe: The Movie planned for 1987. However, both became massive box office flops, and G.I. Joe was sent direct to video. While Transformers quietly went on to become an animated cult hit, My Little Pony, well, didn’t.
The reason for this is simple; it’s not a very good movie. But looking at it today, it offers insights into why the newest incarnation of the property, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, has followed in Transformers: The Movie footsteps to become its own animated cult hit, as well as why bad movies are bad in general.
Jeremy Bernal: Thanks for the opportunity of the interview.
Isiah Jacobs: For the very few furries out there who have never heard of you before, you are the owner of two of the most well know furry porn pay sites, SexyFur and Tail Heat. SexyFur has been around for pretty much ten years now, and you just recently came out with your first official publication; a decade's worth of retrospective pin ups.
Jeremy Bernal: I'm not sure if it's the first official publication. We've done some other artist books and comics before the retrospective book. But it's probably the first "new book-like thing" I've put together in a few years.
After years of comics, cartoons and movies, they’re still a lean, green fighting machine.
Born in 1984 as an underground comics parody of various martial arts and mutant comic books, the reptilian superhero team known as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles turned 28 last May, making them a bit old to still be considered teenagers.
From 1905 for about the next twenty years, Seymour Eaton's anthropomorphic bears were the subject of some of the most popular children’s books in America. Their topical popularity was due to the tie-in between the bears and Teddy Roosevelt during the 1900s when TR was President of the U.S., and the 1910s when there was widespread speculation whether he would try to run for a third term.
But Eaton died in 1916 and Roosevelt died just two months after World War I ended. The publisher tried to keep the series alive with reprints in 1921, but by the Roaring ‘20s American pop culture had moved on, and TR and the Roosevelt Bears became quickly passé.
This article is enlarged from a chronology originally printed for an exhibition at L.A.con III, the fifty-fourth annual World Science Fiction Convention, 29 August–2 September 1996, at the Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, California. It was originally published in Yarf! #46, January 1997. Yarf! published it separately online, where it has been a valuable Furry historical reference for fifteen years, with links to it from Wikipedia, WikiFur, the Furry News Network, and many other websites.
In February 2012, Yarf! disappeared without warning from the Internet, and all the links to this chronology stopped working. To restore it to the Internet, Flayrah has agreed to reprint it, slightly revised and with illustrations.
There is no single specific date or event that can lay claim to being the birth of furry fandom. However, there is general agreement that it was around late 1983 or early 1984 that furry fans coalesced out of SF fandom and comics fandom and began an independent identity.
Long articles could be (and have been) written on the adventures of Donald and Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Gandy Goose and Homer Pigeon. In the last decade, most American propaganda cartoons have been re-released on DVD, so we can see them for ourselves; they are also on YouTube.
Volumes could also be written of the wartime funny-animal comic book and newspaper comic strip characters who fought the Axis, usually on the Home Front against saboteurs and hoarders. World War II's talking-animal propaganda novels are less well-known. In fact, they are forgotten today except in movie-adaptation credits. That’s too bad, as the books are still enjoyable reading.
2011 was a busy year for Flayrah, with over 80,000 front-page visitors. More than half went on to read a story; others jumped directly to them. But which of our 350 stories did they like, and what might occasional readers have missed?