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]
Canadian convention VancouFur has a theme for 2014: "Gateway to the Pacific", described by staff as a "celebration of Pacific Rim multiculturalism in Vancouver."
An announcement on VancouFur's official Twitter account stated: "We will be celebrating a country on the Pacific Rim and its cultural influence on our city each month leading up to #VF2014!" On March 7, when a member asked about wearing a kimono, VancouFur replied: "You most definitely can! :D Themed costumes are always such fun! :D"
On March 8, the VancouFur website was updated with a splash screen for 2014, shown as of March 10 with a "chop suey"-style font. (Wall Street Journal blogger Jeff Yang called a similar font "a cliche fake-brushstroke “oriental” typeface" when used in a grocer's flyer last year.)
By March 12, the VancouFur website had been quietly updated to use a different font.
This month saw several furry appearances in North American news media, with coverage from newspapers, magazines, and a Canadian TV news outlet. What did they have to say?
While L Magazine's brief (and largely paraphrased) interview with New York City furry writer and artist Joe Strike veers towards adult babies and "mascot costumes getting sweaty", the conversation eventually gets around to "the core of furrydom—the fursona", with Joe distinguishing furs from other fans: "furs create their own characters". Anthrocon gets a mention, while Joe puts in recommendations for WikiFur and Fur Affinity.
VancouFur gained a fair amount of coverage. As previously mentioned, the Burnaby News Leader gave a positive but relatively shallow article on "people who like to dress in colourful, furry mascot costumes," published before the event began, while CTV had video footage (Pixie: "It frees up a lot of inhibitions, like I don't feel so constrained or shy - I'm allowed to be a little more outgoing - because it's not me, it's the character.").
Conversely, BG News (the student paper of Bowling Green State University) talks to several north-west Ohio furs, who refute the assertions made by Burnaby News ("Fur suits aren’t even really required."). The local Black Swamp Furs talk about their bowling escapades, while slipping in FCN's charity fund-raising. Sex comes up, but the furs hang firm to their position ("We’re not sex based at all. [..] TV shows sometimes show us like that, but we’re not. It’s the complete opposite of what we’re trying to do. We’re just people who like to hang out.")
A more detailed analysis of VancouFur, and of furry fandom as a whole, is provided by The Dependent Magazine [tip: reddit], whose representatives are first "grilled" by con media representatives, then mobbed by furs wanting to tell their story.
Last weekend saw the debut of VancouFur, a Canadian furry convention held in Vancouver. The event attracted 347 attendees, an article in the Burnaby News Leader, and video coverage on CTV News (mirrored by the Globe and Mail). [Higgs Raccoon]
The event's first guest of honor was fursuiter and musician Thumper. In addition to regular furry convention fare, its varied programming included a session on hacking, lockpicking and cheese, introductions to AD&D and LARP, and a theatre/film audition workshop.