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Doug Winger loses battle with COPD

Edited by GreenReaper as of Tue 12 Apr 2016 - 21:40
Your rating: None Average: 4.9 (14 votes)

Doug Winger, 1955-2015Legendary furry artist Doug Winger, is expected to last only a few hours, according to local friend Bob Guthrie, after doctors removed the ventilator keeping his failing body alive per his DNR order.

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.

Winger was well-known, even notorious, regarding his trademarked art style involving (nearly always) hyper-endowed hermaphrodite characters, and has been an online member of the fandom since the early 1990s. Like it or hate it, his art changed the furry fandom in ways that would render the fandom almost unrecognizable without it.

Born in 1953, his media credits as a freelance animation background artist include Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer and Angry Beavers and as a graphic artist for toy companies Playmates Toys, Hasbro, Fisher-Price, Mattel, Applause Inc., Jakks Pacific, MGA Entertainment, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Wham-O as well as for media company Radio AAHS, among others.

In addition to the fandom and media, Winger was a former Engineer for Republic Aviation Corporation where he was the Acting System Engineer for the Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II AN/AAS-35(V) Pave Penny laser spot tracker. Winger also held an array of technical jobs (computer programmer, IT, software development, data management).

Mark Schirmeister has volunteered to act as a snail-mail correspondent between well-wishing fans and Winger's family during this tragic time, and is accepting PayPal donations to help cover funeral expenses.

In addition to his family, he will be missed by his fans, and his close friends, Bob Guthrie, Mark "Schirm" Schirmeister, Steve Martin and Dustmeat.

While one might think of the ancient Japanese proverb "the candle that burns twice as bright burns for half as long," his longevity with the fandom might instead invoke the western proverb "it's better to burn out, than fade away."


Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (7 votes)

Doug was one of the first artists i had found the work of back when i was much younger, his art was some of the first that got me to love hyper endowed characters when i used to see it in a different light. He will deeply be missed by everyone his art had inspired to become artists as well and here's to hoping that his art that remains among the ether of the internet shall continue to inspire future artists to follow in his footsteps

Your rating: None Average: 5 (6 votes)

I was never his biggest fan, but the (furry) world is poorer without such a personality.

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (6 votes)

I talked to Doug a lot in the 90s. I ended up knowing him more for his personality than his art. And yes, even if you weren't big on his art, it's not just a pleasantry now to say his personality overrode it. I often said to others, "Yeah, you can criticize what he draws, but try meeting the guy, it'll change your mind."

We drifted out of contact in the early 2000s as things got "busy", and then I find out this is what happened... I think it's natural to feel that you wish you got in that one last message to someone like this. They're a fixture and a fact - You don't expect them to be gone - until they are.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)

I met Doug back in ye olden days, when myself and Zeze Sharis used to do the convention circuit - so the CF9-10 era.

Doug was always just the nicest guy in person. Soft spoken and quietly witty, and bright - you could tell he was a fellow who thought a lot about a lot of things. I recall his tall, gangly frame as always wearing a slightly rumpled suit - that was like his convention uniform I think. And the simple name-tag of "Just Doug".

Godspeed Doug. It was a pleasure and an honor.

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (8 votes) Ha.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)

Whatever it is, we cannot see it.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

Dog's art has always been incredible. I Remer finding hit work on FTP servers even BEFORE I was on AOL.

It is awesome to see how much he accomplished in his life! Most furry artists nowadays just simply start an FA account and live off commissions. This guy worked all over the place!

It really is inspiring, because most people only think of him as "the guy who draws hyper stuff," but he's done so much more in his time that it honestly should make the rest of us feel like we could do much more with our own lives. We should remember him fondly, and be happy we got to experience his work --in several more ways than one-- while he was still living.

Live bigger, everyone!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)

I had the pleasure of spending an hour or two with Doug at one of the later Confurence Conventions, he was a funny, witty, and all around awesome guy.

I know it's been said already and will be said many more times, but he will be very deeply missed.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

I never got to meet Doug, but I've chatted with my online before and I'm incredibly honored that he drew my character for me a few times. A very talented man that I wish I'd gotten to know better. He was a great inspiration to help steer my mind in directions that I never thought it could go. I'll miss you and your creative vision, Doug.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)

There is no doubt that Doug's work was remarkable and stuck out in people's minds (whether or not any given person was keen on hyper art). I have already been asked by other (newer furs) on "who is Doug Winger?" but, I see his influence in many of the new artists' work. Its such a surreal idea, to know that he is gone, and his remaining undrawn visions are lost in time.

I did meet Doug, albiet very briefly. As much as might have wanted to sit and talk with him, the circumstances did not allow for it. During that time, it seemed like Doug was someone who valued his privacy (maybe he always did) and was very soft spoken. I only hope his spirit is somewhere that is peaceful, no longer hampered by a failing body.

Rest in Peace, Doug.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)


Yet another great inspiration for art has left us.

Rest In Peace.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (5 votes)

He will be missed. He was a true legend and will always be that legend in all of our hearts. Doug was an amazing artist and from what those have said an amazing guy. I'm just happy he is in a better place. Doug will never be forgotten by those he touched. He was a pillar of the community and it is very sad to lose him like this. May you rest in Piece Doug we will miss you.

Signed lovingly and respectfully,

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

I remember ConFurences during the 1990s where I would arrive to see Winger pacing back & forth in front of the hotel, smoking like a chimney. The hotels wouldn't let him inside as long as he was chain-smoking, and he wouldn't -- or couldn't -- stop smoking.

Kate Worley was a non-stop smoker, too. She would smoke outside a panel in the hallway until it was time for her to participate on a panel about anthropomorphic art or Omaha the Cat Dancer, then put out the cigarette, come in and say what she had to say with the other panelists, then go back into the hall to smoke another cigarette until she had to speak again.

Fred Patten

Your rating: None Average: 4.9 (8 votes)

I am Douglas's sister and would like to thank everyone for their wonderful comments/thoughts on my brother. He was an extremely talented man and a great person. His love for his art and his humor shone though his life. Even though we had not been in touch for years I knew he was happy in what he was doing. I would like to thank the people he looked to for his comfort. I wish that we had been in touch, but knowing that he was happy in what he did and brought pleasure to the people who followed his art, brings me happiness. Doug was not much for religion, so I will not say God Speed, but I will say...I will look forward to the tussle in the future. I love you Just Doug!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

I'm one of the 'old school' furry artists. Back when there were 50 of us on Furnation at most... dating myself, but 20 some years ago. I met the guy more than once. I knew the guy. He was brilliant. Just sharp, and funny and - wrong in all the right ways. God rest him.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I remember seeing Doug Winger's art on VCL way back when I first got into the fandom. I was never really a fan of herm or hyper art but I usually found myself laughing at the jokes in much of his artwork.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I have been one of the few who have gotten artwork of their characters done by Doug. I'm one of the rare ones to have multiple pictures done.

You've influenced us all, Doug. Good work. Rest easy now. We'll take over from here.

GNU Doug Winger

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

I can't say I ever met him, but back in the early 90s when I was looking around at the different artists in the fandom, I noticed there were artistic "clumps" - people who tried to draw like Terrie Smith, people who tried to draw like Ken Sample, etc. - but Doug Winger's style was his own. I didn't like his subject matter, but it was nice to see someone going their own way. I also got a chuckle years later when his work was mentioned in an online comedy piece about sleazy computer game producers: Whamadoodle Online. Rest in piece, Doug.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Thank you, Doug. It was an honor.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

We were set up on a blind date and were boyfriend and girlfriend but realized we were better as friends I have been a friend of the family for over 40 years and through you met one for my closest friends your sister Allison we still in contact to this day. I will miss your sense of humor and kindness I will always be thankful for our friendship. As for our inside joke where ever you are live long and prosper. Love Linda

Your rating: None Average: 4 (6 votes)

I was young when I first saw Doug's art - probably too young, but you know the internet. He was always great, and he had this great sense of humor that was always apparent in his work.

Liking Doug was formative for me; my first real furry art, my first exposure to all the weird, and funny, and sexy, and dumb that can be a part of that world. It's odd, saying this for a guy who drew cartoon dicks to which I got off, but the world is worse without him.

Godspeed, you crazy pervert. You're missed.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

miss you . never the same now

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)

Doug was a gentleman, a good man, and a talented artist. I made that Whamadoodles Online parody mentioned a few posts ago, using some of his art, and he was gracious about it. Said he would hold back his killer jaguar lawyers just that once.

Time to open up the pearly gates, Saint Peter. No, a little wider. No, wider than *that*...

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Doug and I used to share tons of stories together and characters that interacted in those stories around the early 90's . We used to have fun times coming up with fascinating things all the time on muds and a few characters I have were born from furrymuck.

I'm going to miss him allot as we stopped talking to one another partially about 10 years ago due to busy lives and health problems but still met in person from time to time. The last time I saw him in person was around 2011 before I moved out of California and to Ohio

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

All the best to the family.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

Dam.... Another one of the greats lost. RIP Doug

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I've had the pleasure of occasionally chilling and chatting with Doug back at the old Haven in FM.
He's always been pleasant to talk to, witty and an incorrigable punster.

It turns out I was a fan of his art (found unfortunately uncredited from various location) before I even knew he was the one who made it all.

I daresay he shaped a lot of the people and artists I know, if not just by the enthusiasm and fun he seemed to pour into his work.

I wish all the best to those who remain, and strength in the coming days.
And to Doug, wherever he may be, I hope he stays boggled at the world around him.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

OMG after all these years of wondering if he would ever be able to draw for us all again. See you in FM heaven Dougie' we all will so much miss you!

????????????? Put This On
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Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

My first love in arts were creations from his gifted mind. I will miss you and today the world is a duller place. Come back to us as another artist. world needs souls like yours. love you.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)

You know someone was good when even the people who had absolutely no interests in their fetishes still loved their art. I too remember seeing Winger's art over a decade ago, and even if I wasn't 'into' it I still loved his humour, his totally unashamed style, his ability to poke fun at himself and how much he stuck to his guns even as the furry community grew more mainstream and his work began to be derided. There is no other pornographic artist who I would always look up their work if I wasn't aroused by it; Winger just had that much personality.

I'm sure many would say I was silly for feeling so sad at the loss of what is 'just' a pornographer but Doug honestly was an amazing force of good. He didn't mute his extreme fetishes at all and made everyone who saw his work feel less like a freak, while mainstream media continues to portray anyone into so much as anal sex as a social deviant. He was so casual about it, he helped take away some of the stigma of sex in general. His work helped me to relax about my 'bizarre' fetishes, it helped me accept them instead of stuffing them into a closet like so many do. Some might argue this just turned me into a freak but I can't see it as anything but helping to encourage people to be real and honest with themselves.

Some might see him as some porn guy. I'll remember Winger for his humour and the good he did for my mental state. Being able to help someone with social anxiety be that bit more at peace with themselves is something amazing.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Wow, several notable people have been kicking the bucket the last few weeks. :( First there was Christoper Lee, then composer James Horner, then Dick Van Patten, then finally we got Doug Winger who made a big contribution to the furry fandom (my own Grandmother passed on last week as well to add to that list). RIP to all those and my support to all the fans out there.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Passed the greatest of the greatests ...

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I remember seeing his work back when I first became a furry, and I wasn't a huge fan of his, but respected his legacy. May he rest in peace.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (4 votes)

I first saw Doug's work around 1998. I loved it, and I was very impressed by the man himself. I never could nail him down for a commissioned work. He will be missed. We miss him already. RIP

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I never much liked Winger's work, but I understand and respect how much it means to other people. Rest In Peace, sir.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

Oh wow, I used to hang out with him and others who were inspired by the gentleman. Always had fun chatting publicly and privately, though I never had the pleasure of meeting him in person, but my experiences with him in FM are remembered, and he will be missed.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (5 votes)

Taral Wayne wrote the best... thing... on his DA. Go and read it, like now:

Well, I'll be...

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

I'm SOOOOOOOOOO sad Doug has passed on.
Truly a wicked artist, coupling outstanding art with sensuality and humour.
A loss to the world that is capable of actually appreciating what he gave it.
RIP my friend.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I've never met Doug but I've followed his art since I discovered it in the mid 90s. His work made me laugh and it made me feel more comfortable about pushing boundaries in my own work. He seemed like a cool guy and I'm really sad that I'll never get to meet him now.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

What a sad day.

Doug was one of my favourite furry artists.....and as others have said, always made me laugh with his crazy sense of humour.

You will be missed. RIP.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

My #1 favorite TF/Furry/Herm artist of ALL time. His livelihood and identity was largely private just like the rest of us keep ours. Which is why this news is even more of a surprise and more sorrowful.

I remember being inspired by his art across so many websites: VCL, Bloobunni, macrophile (his first site?), and all the present day platforms too.

COUNTLESS artists use Doug's macro influence and cartoonish technique in the development of their own character design, male, female, or otherwise!

Gah! Gord, and now Doug.. the fantasy greats of my teenage years are all expiring. I hope to do them justice by taking art, porn, and fantasy to the next level some day.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

I can't believe I didn't find out sooner. I was just a fan, but I'll miss him.

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a freelance editor & writer and Fox-raccoon hybrid from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, interested in bicycle riding, reading and video games