'Rolling Stone' asks if Furries will go mainstream, but are they already?

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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.

Winners of the 2019 Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards

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Commission for SammyTheTanuki, by Ira-ArnThe 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 judge's choice winner for 2019 is "Commission for SammyTheTanuki" by Ira-Arn!

And the people's choice winner, which beat the other contenders by a wide margin, is
"Painters" by BubbleWolf.

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.

Opinion: The top ten furry movies of the 2010s

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They say hindsight is 20/20, and its 2020, so that must mean a look back is in order. In lieu of the usual top ten best movies of the year, let's actually, for once, do a furry list on the furry site and countdown the ten best furry movies (or at least the ones I liked the most) from the last decade.

Review: 'Cats'

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cats.jpgCats is such a bizarre phenomenon, I don't really know where to even start.

It's not just the movie. That a stage play based on a series of children's nonsense poems would not only be made, period, but that it would go on to be one of the most popular plays in some of the biggest venues is one of those things that make people say things like "well, it was the 80s" and "cocaine is a hell of a drug". Heck, there isn't even a lot of anecdotal evidence that drugs were involved any more than usual, if at all.

But, of all the inexplicable things, I'd like to point out the original tagline of the movie, which is so generic for such a weird property, stood out to me. "You Will Believe".

I will believe what, exactly? Neither the poems, play nor, it turns out, this feature length film has much in the way of thematic content, other than maybe "cats". Certainly, questions of faith or belief are not addressed. You could say the "jellicle cats" are a sort of feline cult to the moon, but there is no interest in the philosophy or theology of this possible cult. Certainly, I didn't come away believing there is some "Heaviside Layer" that would grant cats an extra life if they sing a song really good. Furthermore, I don't think the movie was trying very hard to make me a "believer".

So let's actually talk about the movie. The very first shots are set at a human level, as a canvas bag with a cat inside that we will learn is named Victoria (Francesca Hayward) is thrown out the window of a moving vehicle, apparently abandoned by her human owners, who we never see. This departure from the stage play, where we are given a point of view character who is new to the world of movie to have stuff explained to, is a welcome addition.

It's also the only thing the opening scene gets right.

Furries donated over a million dollars to charities in 2019

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Midwest Furfest 2019 had a pleasant surprise for its charity. An anonymous donor had decided to match the generosity of those that had gathered, which was $110,000. This doubling to $220,000 was a major push that had set up the fandom to make it past a milestone last year of raising over a million dollars to charitable causes cumulatively. The final total coming to $1,109,974.51.

The reference for this was not Wikifur as one might expect, but instead was released via a Youtube video, put together by Thabo Meerkat and Dixie Lioness. While it may seem to be a simple feature with just a bunch of numbers, these figures actually tell us a lot about the future of fundraising in the furry fandom.

Newsbytes archive for December 2019

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Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction, dronon, earthfurst, GreenReaper, mwalimu, Rakuen Growlithe, and Sonious.

It's almost time for the 2019 Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards!

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Art by Ilya Royz.When it comes to furry artwork, I love to see creativity in detail, mood, backgrounds, world-building and species. I don't follow specific artists, and the high-quality stuff is scattered all over the place, so most of the time I rely on stumbling across artwork I like by accident. Or I find an artist on Fur Affinity who's very good, look at their favorites, and explore sideways. So it's a nice surprise at this time of year to be reminded of the Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards, which gives me a fresh starting-point from which to discover new works!

2020 Good Furry Award Accepting Nominations

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Editor's Note: The author of this article runs the Good Furry Award.

As Christmas comes around sometimes its good to reflect on the nice furries on our lists. Here you can reward those furries with an annual award designed to promote individuals in our community that have improved lives for others.

The 2020 Good Furry Award is open for nominations! The award is a prize for furries (or groups of furries) who have shown themselves to be good citizens of the furry community.

It debuted last year, hosted on the Ask Papabear advice column website, and the winner was Tony "Dogbomb" Barrett.

Furry Writers' Guild establishes new forum after technical difficulties

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FWG_IMAGE.jpgOn 26 June, the Furry Writers' Guild (FWG) announced that the FWG forums were no longer functional due to technical issues. The problem appears to have been that anyone who accessed the FWG forum main page and saw the shoutbox had their IPs blocked by the host firewall. This disturbance, coupled with the age of the forums and the question of its future hosting, led to the closure of the forums.

However, the loss of the forum had negative repercussions. While some functions were able to be transferred to a Google Calendar, Slack or Telegram, many members had come to rely on the forum. The various stories about how the forum had helped FWG members led current FWG president Dwale, to comment on Telegram:

As time goes by, it becomes more and more apparent how much utility the forums had. I really hope we're able to get them up and running. Sooner the better.

Decolonizing the anthro-animal: Furry fandom, speculative fiction, and the need for newer directions

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The taxidermy of Walter Potter (1835-1918).Anthropomorphic animals have been a means through which we can think about and examine queerness, abject bodies and forms. However, it can be argued that furry fandom has relied on animals under the meanings that western, white culture imagines them to have. This essay offers a critique on how furry fandom, at this current point in time, needs to look for newer directions, inclusive of rupturing the animal concept as we know and think of it right now. Some possible directions include ideas from Indigenous literature and post-colonial identities.

'Barkham Horror' expansion is for the dogs – and their fans

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Arkham Horror card game developer Fantasy Flight Games has turned an April Fools suggestion into reality with new scenario Barkham Horror: The Meddling of Meowlathotep. [tip: Shazardek]

'Barkham Horror' investigators Bark Harrigan, Jacqueline Canine, Kate Winthpup, 'Skidds' O'Drool and Duke

New investigators Kate Winthpup, Bark Harrigan, Jacqueline Canine, 'Skidds' O'Drool and Duke have "picked up the scent of something big" and "must stop Meowlathotep, the Prowling Chaos, Meowsenger of the Outer Feline Gods, who is terrorizing the city of Barkham".

The dog-vs-cat-themed product, first teased on April 1 (of course) as The Dogwitch Legacy was encouraged by support in the game's forums, especially after cats became allies in The Dream-Eaters expansion pack. Like all expansions, the core Arkham Horror set is required to play.

Newsbytes archive for November 2019

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Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction (not crossaffliction), BlindWolf8, dronon, earthfurst, GreenReaper, Rakuen Growlithe, and Sonious.

ArtWorkTee's T-Shirt Campaign and the Selling of Identity

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34,000.jpgArtWorkTee has been quite busy this year when it comes to their charity drives and other Kickstarter campaigns. At this time they are working on their third KickStarter for the year. The first was a calendar drive where fursuiters were pictured for each month. These calendars were sold with proceeds going to a shelter for young horses called Last Chance Corral, which was covered by Flayrah. The second was not covered by Flayrah and was a for helping a feline shelter, Flatbush Cats.

Using charitibility is always a good way to achieve positive marketing and brand recognition, particularly in the furry fandom. In fact, it was a suggestion I had made in regards to the failed ‘designer fursuit’ experiment Zweitesich that if they made those custom designer fursuits a few thousand dollars more expensive and donated those thousands of dollars toward a charity it would have made the fursuit a badge of honor instead of one of purely being a gloating of wealth, which tends to be seen as reprehensible in the fandom.

Now that ArtWorkTee had done these charity kickstarts, the third appears to be using a month drive as an opportunity to introduce a new line of T-Shirts from them. This time it looks like there is no organization that is being supported. Instead, ArtWorkTee is using the same marketing strategy in order to introduce a line of pride shirts based on promotion of individual sexual and gender expression. It mixes a furry character brought to life by LuhBraz Art, mixing the characters with the particular representative flag's color schemes.

There are only a few days left to secure a t-shirt from this initial printing. But they will be available for sale after the campaign at their website and at Midwest Furfest's Dealer's den this year. So what is the incentive for doing this Kickstarter Campaign? It seems mostly to gauge interest, and they will expand their line based on this interest. That's what we will be going over in this article.

What is your favorite Fox type Pokémon? (2019 edition)

Vulpix/Ninetales
35% (42 votes)
Zorua/Zoroark
28% (34 votes)
Fennekin/Braixen/Delphox
27% (32 votes)
Alolan Vulpix/Alolan Ninetales
6% (7 votes)
Nickit/Thievul
4% (5 votes)
Votes: 120

Reminder: 'Zootopia' is 'Zootropolis', and has always been 'Zootropolis'

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Disney launched its new streaming service, Disney+, earlier this week, though not without its share of hiccups (fortunately, the Pirates of the Caribbean did not eat the tourists). However, one strange glitch involving the popular furry movie Zootopia has people believing they've found proof of an alternate dimension where the movie is known as Zootropolis.

Could it be a "Mandela effect", where people remember history in a way that doesn't quite match up with our current universe? Named after Nelson Mandela, who apparently did not die in a South African prison the way some people seem to remember. Mandela effects are taken by believers to be signs of alternative realities, and that people with these kinds of memories are somehow sliding between different realities. Non-believers tend to think that they're caused by people inventing imaginary superpowers and pop sci-fi quantum realms rather than just admitting they don't know as much about South African history as they thought they did.

From the Yerf Archive