New from Ablaze Publishing is Wild Thing, Or: My Life as a Wolf, a full-color graphic novel written and illustrated by Clayton Junior. “Wild Thing Or: My Life as a Wolf tells the story of an affectionate and inquisitive Labrador named Silver, who grew up on a farm with his master and his hundreds of sheep. But Silver dreams of adventure, bored by the monotony of his farm life… What is beyond the hills? Where does the river flow? Which animals live in the forest? So many questions without answers… One night, Silver meets a trio of hungry wolves. Attracted by their unhindered life-as enticing as it is dangerous-he decides to follow them, and learns to live the wild life with the pack, which is rough and exhilarating at the same time. Along the way he discovers love, and the ravages of human civilization that are reducing the living space of animals, threatening their very existence.” Find out more at the creator’s web site.
The internet was seen as a major catalyst for the furry fandom finding one another during the times before we held conventions. During that earlier period in the 1990s, conventions and meets were rare, and finding one another was done mostly through the chat rooms and message boards of the past. There was no bandwidth for video or sharing major animation projects, therefore most of our intimate conversations were textual.
For many younger furries, it was a time that was lost in the annals of a distant history. Instead they found themselves joining in amongst a wave of growing conventions being held in various places around the world on any given weekend. Ones where those in custom fursuits march out in the streets openly rather than feeling a stifling isolation of being cooped up in hotel spaces, with a handful of home made creations, being wary of a hostile media looking for a freak show.
Coming out of 2019, it seemed that the time where furry was just an internet thing was fully behind it. However a series of unfortunate events were in line for 2020, a year that has led humanity to be forced into their rooms by an irate Mother Nature as an easily spread virus has forced governments around the globe to take drastic measures to slow its spread and put strict limits on social gatherings. A situation which has forced both the furry fandom, and the internet that brought it together, back to their roots.
As governments restrict gatherings of people, furry conventions are being postponed or canceled. Here's a quick run down of events in March and April and their status as of March 31 08:00 EDT (UTC-4) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic - updates to come.
Dan Avidan, after years of dancing around topic of being a furry and which he would be, seems to have settled on his fursona of a cyberpunk wolf in a recently released music video. The video features animal characters with trans-humanist enhancements. The coloration has a signature bleed of 80s style animation.
The story portrays a pack of wolves seeking vengeance against a stag mogul after having their kin slaughtered at his hand. The style of animation and situation has some striking similarities to that of Caravan Palace's music video for Lone Digger.
This was brought to my attention by Majira Strawberry who asked why know one was talking about it. The answer to that in my case is object pertinence.
For those who are fans of cyberpunk and animation this is certainly worth the watch.
The Ursa Majors are ready for votes and the nominees have been revealed. Voting can be found at their website and is open throughout the month of March. Two categories, however, received no nominees due to being an insufficient number of nominations and will not be put up to vote for a winner. Those two categories being Fursuits and Non-Fiction.
If you enjoy film, fiction, art, or any other of the many items that are up for selection as the best of the best for the year of 2019 be sure to vote this month. If you like non-fiction or fursuits, well, you can always be sure to nominate next year.
The nominees are:
Video from Thabo Meerkat, transcribed
Welcome to another edition of Digging Up Positivity! This episode is dedicated to the many volunteers that make all those amazing conventions and charities possible. But besides them, we are covering some animation news and other (maybe otter?) tidbits!
On Wednesday, May 1, 2019, Flayrah contributor 2cross2affliction wrote in the article 'Sonic the Hedgehog' ... the movie ... the trailer:
Fun fact: no movie directly adapted from a video game has ever scored as "fresh" on the review aggregate site Rotten Tomatoes. [...] But, a new challenger approaches! [...] The question of whether this movie is going to be any good, perhaps unfairly, has mostly already been answered by the Internet. The answer so far has been no. No. Just no. Okay, maybe Jim Carrey? But otherwise, why? Why the human teeth? Why ten times?
A furry fan drew an inflated skunk embroidered with the emblem for the Industrial Workers of the World union squishing a hamster in a top hat with the caption of “squash the boss”. Such a piece is not anything too unusual. The oddity that caught the eye of the Daily Dot was that the union itself posted the piece to their Facebook page.
Soon thereafter, the IWW's Twitter account joined in. Though, for some reason, they quietly back out later, as the original Tweet referenced in the Daily Dot article appears to be deleted. (Its text remains in the article despite this – a feature of the standard embedding code for other sites. Tweeters, be wary of this.)
But has furry reached a point where we need to squash the boss and organize? Or are unions barking up the wrong tree? The answer, like the fandom, may be complex.
The furry online video content community, lead by Marks Barks, is reaching the final stretch of a fundraiser for the ALS foundation. They have reached over $12,000 dollars, and have gotten over 4/5 to their goal of $15,000 by Feburary 15th.
Nominations for the 2019 Ursa Major Awards are now open and will close at midnight on February 15th.
To submit your nominations in any of thirteen categories, everyone must first go to the nominations page to enroll for a key.
The categories are:
- Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture
- Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work or Series
- Best Anthropomorphic Novel
- Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction
- Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work
- Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction Work
- Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story
- Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip
- Best Anthropomorphic Magazine
- Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration
- Best Anthropomorphic Game
- Best Anthropomorphic Website
- Best Anthropomorphic Costume (Fursuit)
Please note that the Fursuit category requires all of the following: a link to a good photo taken in 2019, where it was taken, and who made it.
If a nominee in the other categories is not listed in the Recommended List, please supply a link to it. It never hurts to supply a link if you are unsure if it is in the list.
Be sure to get have your voice heard prior to the deadline before February 15th and nominate your favorite items today!
Underdog (언더독, trailer) is a South Korean animated film from 2018, written and directed by Oh Sung-yoon at Odoltogi Studio, and co-directed by Lee Chun-baek who previously directed Leafie, A Hen into the Wild.
The main character is Moongchi, a dog who loves and trusts his owners, so he's understandably confused when he's deliberately left behind in the woods. Luckily he soon meets a group of other abandoned dogs who take him in, surviving in an empty slum on the edge of the nearby town.
While his fellow strays beg and scrounge to survive, Moongchi is still figuring things out. Wandering up the mountain into the forest, he meets a small group of wild dogs and wants to impress one of them, a female named Bami. Trouble is brewing for both groups, and soon they must unite and find a new place to live.
I was browsing my Google news feed, as people who read non-fiction writing tend to, and low and behold, a news article from Rolling Stone came up entitled Will Furries Ever Go Mainstream? The reporter reviews his experiences while attending Midwest FurFest last December.
It’s a good piece that poses the question of whether our fan club, that has grown to the size it has in Rosemont, will garner mainstream attention - or acceptance. It's also long, and coming from me you know that’s saying something.
Like most coverage deemed “positive”, they do seem to marginalize the adult aspects of sexual expression in the fandom pretty quickly by saying that it was not the “main aspect of the fandom”. However, like most clever furs they snuck in a risqué quote about foxes:
dozens of six-foot alligators, snakes, lizards, and other assorted reptiles scramble to pose for a group photo.
On the floor, about three dozen foxes lie on top of each other in a “fur pile,” orange-and-white limbs and bellies knotted together on the ground.
I see what you did there Rolling Stone. You should be proudly ashamed.
But back to the concept of going mainstream. It isn’t a new question within the fandom which can bring excitement or concern depending on who you ask. We claimed it was happening when Disney used the word “anthropomorphic” to describe the world of Zootopia.
However, I would like to claim that, yes, we are entering the mainstream, whether we like it or not. I even have evidence that we may already be there.
The winners of the 2019 Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards have been announced! There are too many wonderful pieces to show here, so if you have the time, check out the complete list in their Google doc. (Some mild NSFW content.)
The other two finalists were "Wildflower" by Neonhorns, and "Adventure awaits!" by Hitmore. There were four runners-up to this category, and over twenty contenders on top of those! A special merit award was given to "Courage on Two Wheels", in honor of Dogbomb.