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2017 Ursa Major Award winners announced at FurDU 2018

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Ursa Major Awards banner by EosFoxx The results of the 2017 Ursa Major Awards were presented at an awards ceremony at FurDU 2018 in Surfer’s Paradise, Queensland on Saturday May 5 at 6 PM AEST [UTC+10].

Winners were selected by the public from nominations made earlier in the year. Each voter could choose three items in each category, providing three, two and one votes.

The winners and runners-up (in descending preference) are…

Best Motion Picture

Live-action or animated feature-length movies.

Best Dramatic Series or Short Work

TV series or one-shots, advertisements or short videos.

The Wayward Astronomer

Best Novel

Written works of 40,000 words or more. Serialized novels qualify only for the year that the final chapter is published.

Best Short Fiction

Stories less than 40,000 words, poetry, and other short written works.

Dogs of War

Best Other Literary Work

Story collections, comic collections, graphic novels, and serialized online stories.

Best Non-Fiction Work

Includes art books, documentaries, opinion pieces, and news articles.

Best Graphic Story

Includes comic books, and serialized online stories.

Best Comic Strip

Newspaper-style strips, including those with ongoing arcs.

2015 Ursa Major Award for 'Housepets!'
Housepets! has had success in previous years

  • Housepets!, by Rick Griffin (Internet; January 2 to December 29)
  • DreamKeepers Prelude, by David & Liz Lillie (Internet; January 6 [#350] to December 28 [#393])
  • Freefall, by Mark Stanley (Internet; January 2 to December 29)
  • Carry On, by Kathy Garrison Kellogg (Internet; January 1 to December 29)
  • Doc Rat, by Jenner (Internet; January 4 to December 29)

Best Magazine

Edited collections of creative and/or informational works by various people, professional or amateur, published in print or online in written, pictorial or audio-visual form.

Best Published Illustration

Illustrations for books, magazines, convention program books, cover art for such, coffee-table portfolios.

Best Game

Computer or console games, role-playing games, board games.Night in the Woods

  • Night in the Woods (Developer: Infinite Fall, Publisher: Finji; February 21)
  • Cuphead (Developer and Publisher: StudioMDHR Entertainment; September 29)
  • Star Fox 2 (Developer: Nintendo and Argonaut Games, Publisher: Nintendo; September 29)
  • Sonic Mania (Developer: PagodaWest Games and Headcannon, Publisher: Sega; August 15)
  • Yooka-Laylee (Developers: Playtonic Games; April 11)

Best Website

Online collections of art, stories, and other creative and/or informational works. Includes galleries, story archives, directories, blogs, and personal sites. Inkbunny

  • Inkbunny (furry art community)
  • e621.net (art, discussions, etc.)
  • WikiFur (furry fandom encyclopedia)
  • Furry Writers' Guild (Supporting, informing, elevating, and promoting quality anthropomorphic fiction and its creators)
  • The Cross Time Cafe (forum for comic discussions, including many on the Recommended List)

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees - as well as those who took the time to nominate and vote!


Those who have something to recommend for this year are welcome to submit entries to the 2018 Recommended Anthropomorphics List.

Such submissions are especially important for 2018's new category, Best Fursuit, as only those previously suggested to this list will be eligible for nomination in the next year's Awards. This award will be credited to the maker; performances are considered separately under Best Short Work.

The Ursa Major Awards are supported by fans; its organizers are seeking funding to upgrade its trophies and cover its running costs.
As of publication this year's GoFundMe campaign has raised $1,028 of its $1,100 goal. Donations are also accepted via PayPal.

Comments

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

That nonfiction category got interesting! (I was happy to have a piece in the #2.) Congrats Joe Strike for well earned recognition.

Also the Best Dramatic Series or Short had a mainstream production made by furries, a cool story behind the scenes.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (4 votes)

That's OK KO!, right? Has that vibe. Don't know if their creators had any involvement in the fandom, but I thought Here's the Plan and Kouka and Bibi had their charms, though I can see why the latter isn't to everyone's taste; it feels like it's from a bygone era. His recent work is pretty cheesy, too!

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

I can't confirm or deny sitting on a really good interview because of sensitivity about multiple alleged furries...

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (14 votes)

wow, inkbunny with all the cub and disgusting art won? that's a travesty.

Congrats to dogpress though!

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

For many that would be a positive factor! But I imagine the variety of features Inkbunny offers was the clincher.
The award is for best website, not best content, and even Inkbunny's detractors admit the site is technically sound.

What many don't realise is that some features (e.g. keyword/artist blocks) exist specifically to allow controversial topics.
Banning content that some find uncomfortable is the easy option, compared to finding ways to accommodate it.
And perhaps some voters thought that effort to maintain freedom of expression is worth some recognition, too.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (8 votes)

For many that would be a positive factor!

yes, we have words for those people.

I mean I only have an account because as you said on twitter, if i didn't then someone else could sign up in my name nad become 'me' effectively. I rarely use it and i do use the keybowrd block yet stuff does leak through.

I also forgot you own it.

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

So when is Inkbunny going to accommodate humans and humanoid animal people in serial situations?

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

*sexual situations. Unfortunately I got autocorrected, but as far as I can tell Inkbunny still does not allow humans or even humans with animal features to be shown sexually on the site, which basically means I can't post anything there.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (5 votes)

Well, Inkbunny is about to become the home of the Alt-furries, so...

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

We're not, at least for humans, and those close enough for a reasonable person to consider them legally human.
I see what you're getting at, but here's two key issues with it:

* Inkbunny was established and is run specifically for furry content. It's what the volunteer staff signed up for, and it's why our donors fund the site. Humans are off-topic, just as non-transformation content would be on TransFur. Some artists tell stories which involve humans to a limited extent, and we try to accommodate them. But if your work is purely human-based, Inkbunny's service is not intended for you. (You might try Hentai-Foundry.)

* Laws in our jurisdiction (and those of many users) specifically restrict certain depictions of "people" - by which they mean humans, as well as humans with trivial additions/modifications. It is our intent to operate inside the law within our jurisdiction. We believe these laws don't impact depictions of furry characters, as they're legally animals - even if they have some human characteristics.

I appreciate that "humans with animal characteristics" vs. "animals with human characteristics" sounds like splitting hairs, but it is a hair that has been split by governments [see 6(b)]. While we feel confident saying "this is furry" or not, we do not consider ourself able to reasonably determine whether a human character is, e.g. 18 vs. 17; so we don't allow any of them to be depicted sexually.

There are similar issues with art which may be seen as bestiality in various jurisdictions, even ones such as Germany; as well as art and stories concerning non-consensual acts involving "people" (i.e. humans) in the UK. We don't like such laws, but they do exist. We see no reason to impose them on purely furry artwork for the sake of allowing content we weren't even established to host.

We don't host general photography of people, either, with a similar same dual reason - it'd be off-topic (soaking up our resources), and there are many legal issues relating to depictions of real people that we cannot reasonably address as a fan site.

Your rating: None

I noticed you never brought up the possibility of art depicting sexual activity between a furry and a human. Shouldn't you put some effort to accommodate controversial topics such as that? I imagine that you would probably go above and beyond to ensure people can still post cub art on Inkbunny even if laws changed to restrict creating and distributing that kind of art.

Your rating: None

Yes, I did - if you're consistent with furries being legally treated as animals, that's bestiality. It has all the issues with depicting humans plus that. Inkbunny does, however, allow depictions which might be sexual and involve humans as long as it is plausible that one of these is not the case - so, a cropped image may be shown which happens to have a link in the description to a version we do not host; this is more than Fur Affinity permits.

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (5 votes)

Basically, InkBunny in a nutshell; fighting the good fight for free speech ... with the most labrynthine and confusing censorship rules of any major furry site leading to the ultimate straight up banning of something nobody actually objects to all for some vague, untested legal loophole.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

Also we have candy!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Well, duh, how else you gonna get the children in the van.

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

Of those nominated I think the non-fiction section was in the proper order.

I'm surprised e621 didn't get the website one.

Other than that, no big surprises.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Unlike last year, it seems e621 didn't notice the nomination or see fit to get out the vote.
Inkbunny did, albeit to a de minimis level - one tweet, one FB post, and one day of site banner promotion.
The result: e6's vote halved, and IB won. If you want to win, you have to act like you want to win, at least a little.

Oh, and ALAA put e621.com on the voting form, rather than e621.net. That probably didn't help…
Still, I doubt many would've voted first or second preference for a site they don't already know.

This was Inkbunny's fifth nomination, and it's been growing all this time, so it shouldn't be a huge surprise that it won eventually.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (2 votes)

If you want to win, you have to act like you want to win, at least a little.

Well, for that category, anyway ...

Meanwhile, I'm gonna go @ James Gunn that he's just won his second Ursa Major because he's apparently unaware if his Twitter account is anything to go by.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Or in the Non-Fiction catagory where I told my base not to vote for me since compared to the other furry works there, it wasn't up to par and took far less efforts.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Yeah, there's a reason I didn't take the time to dig up pictures of Rocket Raccoon or Scrooge McDuck while editing.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

To be fair, I think if James Gunn knew, he'd get a kick out of it (if you ever listened to one of his movie commentaries, I mean, he can't not be aware of furry; just hearing him answer, correctly, Hack/Slash to a facetious question from his producer on the Super commentary was better than the movie ... which is probably my least favorite of his, admittedly); I believe Fred has said they do try to contact them, but the guy's kind of one of the executive producers on a little movie that recently hit theaters, and he's probably busy promoting that right now. Remember, he wrote an R-rated Scooby-Doo script once (accidentally, but still).

(And, I don't know much about the DuckTales people except they got David Tennant to voice Scrooge McDuck, but that alone is enough evidence to make me think they'd probably get a kick out of this sort of thing, too.)

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

Oooh, oooh, trivia time!

Five directors have movies that have won the Ursa Major twice (though technically, not all "won" it personally, the award going to the studio early on apparently). Only one has won 3.

Andrew Adamson - Shrek (2001), Shrek 2 2004, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
Dean DeBlois - Lilo & Stitch (2002), How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
James Gunn - Guardians of the Galaxy (2014), Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017)
Byron Howard - Bolt (2008), Zootopia (2016)
Chris Sanders - Lilo & Stitch (2002), How to Train Your Dragon 2010

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

It's just… are we trying to recognize popularity? Or the best independent work within a restricted budget? I get that it's hard to draw the line, and UMA also exists to say "see these things, they're good", but corporate projects are almost always going to be on different levels of recognition and I think that merits separate awards. The only exception which springs to mind is There She Is!!, which was a phenomenon.

If something truly significant came up it could get an ALAA's Choice award, but we haven't seen it recently.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (4 votes)

It's more that category; I mean, is there some independent film you feel like we missed? I don't think The Shape of Water needed the help ... and even it had a budget of millions.

Until (or if) the furry fandom ever develops a true independent film circuit that consistently produces anything (never mind quality), well, then you have a valid complaint. Otherwise, I mean, we did nominate Bitter Lake ... and it was, you know, Bitter Lake. And in the categories where you could legitimately see furry/corporate competition, furries are consistently winning. The writing categories are all furry, all the time, the comics are mostly furry, and even the video games have recently shifted towards furries, or at least smaller independents. And, I'm sorry, Fursona getting absolutely thrashed last year by basically a Zootopia coffee book was pretty much THE BEST THING EVER.

What rumors I hear about someone wanting to do another movie is someone wanting to do another FUCKING documentary or some fucking mumble-core crap set at a furry convention. When your cartoon animal fandom can't figure out to even dream about making a cartoon animal movie, I'm not holding my fucking breath.

When somebody who actually has the disposable income and talent to do it and do it well finally figures it out, you know what, it'll probably win the Ursa Major. But, that hasn't happened yet, so at least we're semi-consistently picking out the movies that actually feature anthromporphic animals! You know what, that's progress!

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

And, in the meantime, recognizing a guy who just got Rocket fucking Raccoon to feature heavily in a movie about Captain America and Iron Man and nobody even questioning his right to be there is okay with me!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Well, doing a furry movie is a ton of work, even in the most modest approach. If you're looking for something that can compete with a 150 million dollar thing like Zootopia, then you may be in for a wait. So, a movie produced within the fandom will never be 1:1 with a major Hollywood production.

But then, it may be possible to get production running for a less resource consuming effort. Technically, the tools are all there - I'm thinking about CGI animation here; naturally, a pencil for hand drawn animation has been here for quite a while ;-) - and I believe the talent is here as well, even in some of the specialized areas. The possibility of CGI furry shorts or even movies has been open since Kaze, Ghost Warrior in 2004(!!). Question is whether it's possible to drum up the necessary continuous support within the fandom, as mainstream may not offer the desired creative freedom and independence.

Now here's my offer: I have worked with CGI for some years, and I am now in the situation to dedicate some time on an animated movie project (well, let's start with a short, then progress from there). I'm going to make the attempt and work towards that elusive movie goal. There'll be an introduction on Eurofurence this year; if you're interested, don't miss it.

(And no, it won't be another documentary. I swears.)

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

Well, good luck with your endeavor.

Though I don't think Eurofurence is exactly in my cards.

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (5 votes)

Okay, with a little bit more time to think about this, a longer, more ramble-y, more, you know, crossie-y comment appears.

It's not about competing with Zootopia, and that's not even budgetary (though, Jesus Christ, duh, that ain't happening for a while), it's just, you know, Disney has a brand, and that brand is not furry's "brand" (not that furry has or even arguably needs a "brand", hence the square quotes). Of course the whole "mainstream" versus "us" thing is just fraught with peril, but it's less a case of furry needing the mainstream than the mainstream needing furry. And I think, if need might be selling it a bit strong, I'm starting to see a desire; the success (keeping it to just movies; we could find non-movie examples) of everything from Rocket Raccoon being an above the title name in the biggest movie franchise ever to The Shape of Water winning Best Picture tells me something is different.

Because there are things that, even with their giant budgets, Disney can't do that we could. Disney can't do gay characters, outside of glorified Easter eggs; China would freak, and there goes that market. Even Laika, relatively far down the food chain, when it did it's gay character, didn't reveal his sexuality until the movie was basically over. And you don't think there's a fucking market for gay characters? And gay characters, is like, our thing, man. Oh, no, are unsavory types on the Internet going to protest us and be mean to us on the Internet? We're furries! We invented getting mean reactions from unvsavory types on the Internet!

Disney can't do R! We can! Disney can't show any kind of nudity! We can! Disney can't even meaningfully acknowledge the existence of sex! We can't stop! Disney can't do real violence! We can! And we can do it cheaper! And that's the important thing; furries need to stop worrying about what they aren't (i.e. Disney, or for that matter any other animation company out there) and start worrying about what we are.

Cheap, quick, dirty, and very good at making people nervous.

Which are very good words to describe any sort of pop culture movement that has actually managed to fucking matter in the history of, well, pop culture.

And, okay, if I have to get kind of personal with one thing about your proposition, Cairyn, I'd say ditch the CGI and go traditional; CGI is family entertainment (and needs a large budget to look good, therefore necessitating it appeal to everyone), and stop-motion is kind of the, uh, arty-er end of indy animation. Since Disney and most big budget (family oriented studios) have basically abandoned traditional animation (at least in the West, though Asian animation brings it's own, eh, let's say "baggage" with it), traditional animation doesn't really have a niche, right now. It can finally be that thing animation fans have been talking about since the dawn of the medium; adult entertainment.

And the great thing about it is it can be done cheaper than CGI and still look fucking great because stylization is not just allowed, but encouraged!

And furry is right fucking there. There are problems with "mainstreaming" furry, but that's not really what I'm talking about. I mean, it's already mainstream (not to beat a dead horse, but we live in a world where gun-wielding raccoon equals "$$$" while fish fucking equals "Oscars"). We're already being exploited. Maybe get some recognition with this exploitation.

And I think that's my other piece of advice; why are you selling yourself to furries and only furries when you can probably sell it to other people too? We live in a world where, if you look hard enough, artistic freedom and a mainstream audience are not incompatible.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Well, while I would agree that sex, gay characters, and violence are possible - and independence from any "big bozos" in content and expression is clearly the advantage of filmmaking beyond Hollywood -, I also have the feeling that one shouldn't write themselves into a corner early on. It is good to have the option to do all these things, but I wouldn't want to do an R-rated movie just because it is R-rated. Sure, it would scream "It's not Disney" and definitely avoid brand complications other movies ran into (ask people who did "Balto"; half of them will claim it's Disney). There is also the temptation to create a brand like Ralph Bakshi; clearly no one would confuse those movies with Disney. But it is a niche, and it will create an expectation for everything you do later on.

It would not even be new: Ronal the Barbarian and Sausage Party both venture far into adult territory, for example. There are CGI animations for Starship Troopers and Resident Evil which have a great deal of violence and are not made for a kid audience. Thus, there are no novelty points to be gained by steering the boat into those waters.

The first steps will be greatly influenced by what's technically possible anyway. A lot of good attempts (in everything) fail because the author tries to be epic about the endeavour. I'd like to start with self-contained stories that serve as proof of concept and stepping stones towards any larger project. We will see whether any of those will offer the opportunity for adult themes. It just needs to be supported by the story. Time will tell whether there is a place for an animated furry equivalent of Psycho, The Evil Dead, or Gangreen I: Black Venus.

As for the idea of traditional animation: I love traditional animation. But I just don't have the needed skillset. My admiration is with people who can draw a good scene by hand, and I regret that this form of art is practically lost nowadays. It's just not what I can do. Know your limits.

I doubt that it would be cheaper than CGI, either. You'd need a lot of stylization for that, and simplifying too much is just not my vision. It's definitely necessary to employ all tricks in the books of CGI to make it faster, cheaper, and easier - that is one of the challenges. Those tricks just don't exist for traditional animation (unless you are rotoscoping CGI again). I'd say that the price point for traditional animation would be way up these days; inflation is something that doesn't only happen to CGI.

Your idea of "taking" the style of traditional animation and filling it with new context is very interesting though. I wish someone would be up to the challenge. Sadly, animation is even more challenging than comics, and we know what those take out of the artist already.

Lastly, about selling only to furries: Yes, you are right, and I should elaborate. It is certainly a disadvantage to limit one's audience on purpose, and I do aim to market outside of the fandom as well. But the first steps will be humble and small, and the best waters to test the acceptance will indeed be the fandom as such.

Put it this way: If these first steps are not garnering any interest and support even within the fandom, although being made by furries for furries with furry characters, how would the chances be that they'd succeed outside, where furry is just one genre among many, and where you cannot count on the initial benevolence towards the idea? I believe in my stuff, but the world is a crazy place, and merciless. And belief is not going to float the boat on its own.

If the non-furry world is interested, they are welcome to join. And there will be a point where the project will outgrow those baby clothes and will need to be shown to the world, and be sold to the world (provided that it survives so long). I am fairly sure that there is a vast potential audience waiting to be discovered. I'd just like to let the thing grow organically and keep an exit strategy at hand. Just, like, for the case I'm really just an idiot with delusions of grandeur. You never know.

Your rating: None

Correction:
people who saw Balto

...naturally.

Your rating: None Average: 1.8 (4 votes)

As far as CGI versus traditional is concerned, well, in this case, it sounds more like you do you because you know you, and random Internet commenters' theories are just that, and obviously should be taken with a grain of salt or two.

As for your "if furries don't like, why would not non-furries like it?" Have you ever considered that furries might be bored with furry? It's not "novel" for furries to see cartoon animals; we have e621 with it's millions and millions of tags which allow us to find the very, very, very, very, very, very specific version furry we want. But, actually, go to e621 and look at it; and, to preface, I'm not even talking about weird ass fetishes, here (though, yes, once again, furries are so bored with furry sex that they can't even get it up unless someone's eating someone or being blown up like a balloon or made of slime or something anymore).

Furries like foxes, right? Except, actually, type in fox and find just an anthro-red fox with naturalistic fur coloring and is non-hybridized with some other animal or isn't a vampire or angel or demon or I don't know what, and, okay, you can probably still do it (even if you also eliminated furry fan-art of mainstream characters) but it's harder than you'd realize. Furries are people, and they like novelty just like anyone else, and right now you've got hot pink/sky blue/neon green polka dots with fuchsia stripes on a neon purple base red fox/wolf/sabre-tooth tiger/iguana/koala/tiger shark/king cobra/husky dog/dragon hybrid with angel wings, demon horns, seventeen tails, tribal tattoos, a facial scar, five dicks, two vaginas, and, what the hell, let's throw a cloaca in there as well, who's counting, and also wears glasses, and that's the baseline necessary to even sort of get some sense of novelty.

The really interesting thing is, you look at something like Sabrina Online from 19-freaking-96, and maybe it looks well-worn if you're a furry, but it's a cartoon animal world with adult themes with a female protagonist struggling with real world problems like paying the fucking rent while working at a job she doesn't actually like with a boss who makes the already shitty job that much more of a nightmare and that's twenty years before Zootopia had the exact same starting point and 22 years before Japan (fucking Japan, guys) got adventurous enough to do the exact same plot with Aggretsuko, except somehow less risque. The mainstream has taken two decades to get to our so old, it's literally fucking retired.

There was that guy, a couple years back, he claimed DreamWorks had stolen the idea for Kung Fu Panda from him, and he produced this artwork that ended up being traced from a Lion King coloring book as "evidence", and everybody laughed and he ended up getting the shit fined out of him. And I submitted a news piece about it to a non-furry, but obviously aware of furry (and that I was furry), site, and I was taken aback when some guy actually asked me, oh, yeah, this guy must be well known in furry, what's his story, cross? And I was all like, are you kidding me? Furries don't give a shit about mainstream animation studios; if some furry got caught in a scam involving tracing coloring books, it would be to scam other furries out of fifty dollar "fursona commissions" on Twitter or some shit. Not a multi-million dollar copyright scam with a major corporation. It never even occurred to me that the story about cartoon fucking animals might have a cartoon fucking animal fandom connection.

Because furries just kind of gave up on the mainstream a while back; I mean, to be fair, you read about stuff like Gamergate and the Pepe-er side of the alt-right, and every fucking thing they're doing are techniques they learned and perfected in the two decades before against furries. And people are realizing this, and are both starting to get both genuinely interested in what we create, and also, hey, realizing we kind of took a lot of shit for things we either didn't do, period, things we did that everyone else did too or even things we did that we were right for doing the entire time, and maybe there's a little guilt there they want to make up for.

I've been told time and again that the future is furry, and it's not furries telling me this. Because the other consequence of being getting old beside just getting bored is that you get complacent. I guess that's the rambling point I'm trying to get with the last couple paragraphs; don't let the freaking weird shit going down on e621 fool you (that's just boredom), but a lot of furries are comfortable, risk averse and not looking to rock the boat. And making a movie for the mainstream with a furry sensibility is a risk. Not just for the maker of the movie, or the possible mainstream backers; but for the fandom. Because it will change the fandom, and some people don't want the fandom to change.

tl;dr - Furries are bored and complacent, so they might not actually be that interested in a furry-by-furries movie.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Well, fatigue sets in once things get repetitive, that is a given. But I think you are generalizing a lot if you really assume furries are bored with furry*. "Furry" as a genre is just too broadly defined; there are too many possibilities within the premise -- if only these possibilities are realized.

It's more that there is a necessity to realize the potential of the genre to overcome the fatigue and to infuse the fandom with meaning and context. Like, tell stories. And I mean that in a very broad term.

Like, porn is getting extremely repetitive if it's just all "guy presenting dick" or "gaping bodily orifices in extreme closeup". There is very little story behind that, and therefore very little personal connection, emotion, and investment. That is both the reason why porn gets more extreme -- to invoke the novelty feeling, as you already concluded - and why much of the successful porn abuses characters from movies and series -- because these characters are already carrying the needed backstory and personality, and therefore connect to the viewer.

Similar argument applies to fursuits. The best fursuiters don't just put their character out there, they perform it. They apply story. However, there is a limit to what you can do in a fursuit, there is a limit on the expressivity, and there is a limit to the stage. Now take two thousand people in fursuits, and the attention of the audience gets very distributed. You are just one among many, and playing a simple standard model red fox is not getting you noticed. It is only logical that fursuiters' characters get more elaborate, more flashy, and/or more sparkledog-y to garner that desired attention. You are at the limit of what fursuits are capable of -- short of making a movie like "Bitter Lake", which again infuses story.

Now, furry fandom is more than just porn and fursuits, I hope. There are comics, written stories, puppet shows, and naturally there are movies (which are produced by the so-called mainstream but are adopted within the fandom). Here, the story is an integral part of the work and allows the creator to reap the full potential of the genre. This is also where you escape fatigue by infusing greater variance, deeper characters, and meaningful plots.

It is obvious that the fandom has changed over the years; distribution issues have killed the printed comic; the internet has killed the photocopied fanzine; the flashiness of the fursuit has determined the perception of the fandom within the mainstream. That does not mean though that the storytelling side of the fandom is dead: comics and fanzines have moved to the internet, stories are now published in anthologies, special-interest books are even making it to markets outside of the fandom. There is a hunger for story; a need for deeper involvement than just the surface fur.

Furries don't give a shit about mainstream animation studios, really? The fandom ignored Zootopia? The fandom shrugs at Balto and Robin Hood and Kung Fu Panda and Spirit and all the mainstream movies? Come on. Even small things like Here's the plan are getting noticed.

Yes, there is an ambivalence in the relationship between mainstream animation and furry fandom. The mainstream is driven by money and the dictate of "family friendly entertainment", which leads to compromises in storytelling, topics, and depth. Clearly, it's not just the fandom which is aware of these limitations; the mainstream can see it just as well, but I believe it is difficult to overcome the glass walls from within the mainstream. That's why I would start from the fandom, which is already aware of the limitations and possibilities, and hopefully interested enough in the idea to push the project.

Don't get me wrong though. I'm not going for something that is specifically targeted to the fandom and loaded to the brim with the idiosyncrasies of the genre, digestible for only the hardened veterans of furry. Furry fandom, mainstream; in the end we are all humans and understand stories in the same way, and I wish my stories to be noticed outside of the fandom as well. The goal is independence from the needs of the industry and therefore freedom in storytelling. Where that all may end, I can't fathom at the moment. It's a journey.

-----

* I'd say that if a furry is bored with the fandom, they'd just move on and disappear...?

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I will say in my defense I am just a little talking from experience, and setting aside "boredom" (which I admit is a bit hyperbolic; boredom with vanilla, entry-level furry may be fairer) and "complacency" (which I admit is not nice and has apparently pissed someone off), it might just be that furries are so hyper-individualized that you kind of can't appeal to them as a group; maybe that's the nicer way to put it. What I'm saying is if furries end up not giving a shit, it might not be you, it might just be them, and my experiences say you won't get a very excited reaction, but don't let that discourage you. Furthermore, if anything, in my experience, non-furries are more excited about a furry-by-furry movie, if for no other reason than some combination of reasons we've both gone over is lacking in non-furries.

However, once again, the whole thing is theoretical on my end, so if you've got a plan already changing it for a couple of Internet comments isn't exactly a great strategy either, so if it works, it works, if it doesn't, it doesn't.

I think I also need to make clear, when you're talking to me, I am almost never talking about furry "the fandom", or group of people; I'm talking about a genre of fiction using talking animals. So I'm not saying they're bored of each other; they're just kind of bored of generic cartoon animals, unless they have some sort of, well "novelty" factor, and I think being mainstream, like was the case with Zootopia, can be a "novelty" factor for furry fans. And, of course, a lot of the older movies/things/whatever have "nostalgia" factor, which is kind of the opposite of novelty, but whatever works.

Also, speaking of the mainstream, well, I don't know your neck of the furry woods, but Flayrah tends to collect furries of a certain political bent, and that bent is very anti-capitalist socialism, so "mainstream" is kinda a dirty word automatically with them, so I've kinda been hemming and hawing around that part, but I'm getting a lot of one-stars anyway, so I'll just say that may be a thing, too. Once again, that could just be a Flayrah thing and not really a problem for you.

But my point is, there are reasons furries might not want to go "mainstream" that have nothing to do with whatever you're selling, so rejection from them does not automatically entail rejection from the mainstream, though I guess ideally you want approval from both, so don't take this as argument but in fact encouragement, okay?

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do you think it could also be entered in the Cannes Film Festival or other independent Film Festivals local or otherwise?

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That already happens, even in this set of Ursa Major nominees.

Mascot Fur Life was entered in several independent film festivals and, looking at their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/mascotfurlife/) won an award at IndieFest Film Awards and 40. Grenzlandfilmtage Selb. The frustrating thing is that the Ursa Majors have shown that the furry community doesn't actually care that much about furry films and supporting them.

Mascot Fur Life and Bitter Lake were both produced within the fandom with a mostly or entirely fursuited cast and have served to push furry film making forward. Both of them failed to win Ursa Major Awards because most furs cared more about mainstream, commercialised products than rewarding furry efforts.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Perhaps there's a need for a (virtual?) furry film festival?

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I was wondering why there is no virtual convention myself.

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Isn't that just Second Life, Furcadia, and various furry MUCKs?

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For the "zoo" aspect yeah. Was thinking more "panel/dealer's den/event" type deals.

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Well, we already have The Dealer's Den! Panels tend to be replaced by articles and forums such as the Fursuit LiveJournal (OK, so LJ is in decline, but you get the point). As for events . . . eh, I never really go to them, anyway.

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Cannes is kind of a big leap, there; I think it's pretty much invitational only. There are tiers, here. It's like Cannes at the top, then Venice/Toronto/Telluride, then maybe Sundance (which is the first one that's really even features truly "independent" movies), then you've got lot's of smaller, regional film festivals.

A "furry" independent movie would probably want to start at either the local level, or at one of the more "genre" focused festivals (obviously the point of this subthread is there isn't a "furry" film fest, but sci-fi/fantasy film fest and/or one for animation might be appropriate).

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One other point about different film festivals. Let's not forget that Fursonas, the furry documentary, done by a furry, won an award at Slamdance Film Festival. As we can expect from before, it was in the 2016 Ursa Major Awards and lost out to a book on the art of Zootopia. Anon should probably worry more about getting furs to care; non-furs already appreciate furry films more.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Heh, that was awesome.

Let's not forget that Fursonas ... it was in the 2016 Ursa Major Awards and lost out to a book on the art of Zootopia.

If you look at the voting statistics, it didn't lose; it got fucking creamed.

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Ponies got shut the hell down.

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Not ponytails or cottontails, no
DuckTales! Woo-hoo!

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A shame. but the show's on its decline...they're going to reboot it and say goodbye to G4 anyway.

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What a surprise, Housepets! won again. I've said it before and I'll say it again, Rick needs to voluntarily withdraw from the nominations for a year or two to give other webcomics a chance. I really respect Kyell Gold for making that call this year.

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If you look at the Comic Strip results, it was close; DreamKeepers Prelude actually ended up with more first-preference votes than Housepets! - it just doesn't (yet?) attract such a broad base. The runners-up there also won awards in other categories. It's not the same situation as 2015 or 2016 where Housepets! was leading with ~50-150 first preferences.

I seldom think of Kyell's work, now, and a big part of that is that it's not being put up for the Ursas (although I guess Fred's reviews being on Dogpatch is part of it as well). In fairness, I'm not exactly in the target market for most of it, though I'm sure some readers are. But I don't want to repeat myself. so…

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We actually spoke to Rick about this when we had him on our podcast and he's actually said, if people want to win they'll have to beat him. It's not about the aplomb so much I think. It's about the idea that, people like his comic. So they'll vote for it. We can wait to see what happens.

Beyond this the director for "Here's the Plan" is incorrectly placed? "Directed by Fernanda Frick" it says on the page?

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As it should be.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

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Here's The Plan was missing a " on a link (ironically, added to credit her better) which caused truncation - thanks for noticing!

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CHEATED again, Furry Times always has the latest news but why does the little guy always geg looked over?

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why does your profile information contain your home address

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Why doesn't yours? What are you trying to hide? And why do so many of our American contributors come from Kansas?!

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Oh, you mean my my sockpuppet army?

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Nice try, Green Reaper, we all know we're actually all alt-accounts of you. This Kansas thing is a distraction!

JUST LIKE THIS COMMENT

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Deny it all you want - but I know where you picked up the rabies, Liberal!
It would be nice if I had time to run alts; alas, that's not how things work.

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*insert tasteless 'crisis actor' joke here*

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go cry to foxler or perri.

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Traffic, most likely. Furry fandom doesn't have a top-down structure, and what "furry" means to everyone is so divergent, we're all scattered across websites and social media without a reliable way to communicate to large groups. Flayrah doesn't advertize much (as far as I know) so we've got a small pool of regulars, our content is kind of dry, and that's about it... plus Sonious and I are pretty busy with day-to-day stuff. Dogpatch Press, in comparison, is a much more active, dynamic site with a higher frequency of contributors, plus he's confronting a lot of ongoing issues within the fandom, so it's no surprise that site is fairly popular! They had a voting score of 450 in comparison to Flayrah's 301, so that's quite the gap!

To be honest, I don't think the concept of "furry news" registers with most of the fandom. When I do a Google search for "furry news sites" (without the quotes), there's lots of irrelevant stuff - "Furry Raiders" is 9th on my search results - and neither FurryTimes nor InFurNation shows up in my top 50 hits. :-(

So the first challenge is to get the site to become more well-known, which admittedly is difficult to do in the first place. The second challenge is keeping your audience. Your site has a kind of scattershot approach. Flayrah's more in-depth stuff takes the form of articles, and then the random-link-of-the-day stuff goes into the Newsbytes section. Yours tends to mix it all together.

And with frequent posting! You made something like 139 posts this last April, which works out to about 4.6 posts a day. That's a lot for this fandom! Who's the intended audience? When you have a really wide range of content, individual furry fans who're interested in specific things have to sift through to find things they're interested in. But how do they do that? On my browser, I have to click on "About", then scroll all the way down to the bottom to search, or to view the site by previous months. Most of your articles are in the "Uncategorized" category, and although you've been adding tags, it doesn't feel consistent and there's no list of the tags anywhere. (Also, one of the first things your About page says is that "This is a blog, not a furry news site".)

For easier navigation there either has to be a major visual redesign, or better navigation for tags, or a focus on a narrower part of the fandom. You have a lot of good video links that shows off our fursuiters! (I should also that say Flayrah's navigation is kind of enh as well - the active podcasts could use some updating, as well as the links to related sites at the bottom - We've kept our attention keeping the stuff at the top half of the page working.) But then, even after all that work, the problem is getting the word out and keeping the audience coming back. :-(

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450 to 301 isn't too insurmountable, just have to adjust things so that I'm doing as much writing content as video content for my Youtube channel. I think trying to keep up frequency could help, more than my current one a month for sure.

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