MFF co-founder Takaza J. Wolf passes away (1976-2017)

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A little over two weeks ago, the fandom received some very sad news:
A photo of Takaza cuddling a dog.

Rocky Mountain Fur Con canceled following neo-Nazi associations, tax irregularities

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Colorado furry convention Rocky Mountain Fur Con has been canceled. Funds collected in advance of this August's event are to be spent on existing liabilities, and refunding attendees and dealers where possible; any remainder will go to the convention charity.

While their official statement cites rising security costs, the closure follows the controversial issues surrounding CEO Kendal Emery (Kahuki Liaru), and the "Furry Raiders" group. It has also been discovered by Flayrah that the convention's parent company's Federal tax-exempt status, obtained in 2009, had lapsed, and it had not filed taxes for a period of seven years, while still claiming to be a registered 501(c) non-profit. In this investigative report we can identify the issues that have contributed to the end of Denver's furry convention.

Furry Network's commission system - bringing the dealer's den home

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FurryNetwork.jpgBack in November 2015, Fur Affinity lost control of its forums. The dramatic departure of forum moderators caused an exodus of users to the up-and-coming Furry Network. This furry art site is owned by Varka, an entrepreneur better-known for his business of adult toy manufacture, Bad Dragon, then for online endeavors.

But coming into the furry art site operation with real world business experience, the toy maker and the staff of Furry Network have the potential to make a marketplace unlike anything currently offered by the slew of social art sites. In December 2015, they put forth their idea: a site that would help alleviate the fraud and hassle that furry artists run into when taking commissions from strangers on the Internet, by acting as the intermediary between artist and consumer.

This March, Furry Network made its big first step in the direction toward this goal. Their site’s commission system opened, to a handful of pre-selected artists, to test out the features. Users could request commissions directly on the page, and all status and interaction would then take place on the site. This story reviews my experience with the new system, and how it could change everything about the furry economy as we know it.

Update (Apr 10): The site will now be identified as "Furry Network" rather than "Bad Dragon" on billing statements.

Newsbytes archive for March 2017

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Contributors this month include dronon, Equivamp, Fred, GreenReaper, InkyCrow, RingtailedFox, and TyphonDog.

Fledgling furry communities spread their wings at Eurofurence

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With so many of the furry fandom's largest conventions originating in the USA, it tends to dominate global discussions of furry culture. In Europe, Germany stands as a major centre of the furry fandom with multiple conventions and events being held within its borders. But, for many other countries, the furry fandom is much smaller, or may just be starting out and is consequentially less visible.

Zik wrote a series on "foreign" furry fandoms for [adjective][species] in 2012 and 2013, covering Japan, Brazil, New Zealand and Australia, but many others were not discussed.

Last August, furs from all over Europe and beyond gathered in Berlin for Eurofurence, the largest furry convention outside of North America. Between all the furpiles and yiffing fursuit walks, art shows and other activities, some furs took the opportunity to speak about their own furry communities and the challenges faced with starting up the furry fandom in a country where it previously didn't exist.

A week from Furry Weekend Atlanta - highway collapse could impact travel

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Collapse.jpgConvention attendees to Atlanta, Georgia's furry gathering are advised to keep a look out for any updates on traveling conditions as news reports of a major highway failure have surfaced. The infrastructure failure due to an intense fire has made national headlines and has occurred near a main road artery near where interstate 85 and 400 conjoin.

The loss of such a major road for the city could exacerbate traffic conditions in the region for the foreseeable future. It is advised if any attendees are traveling to the convention by automobile, particularly from a Northern direction, that they take additional time and make sure to keep abreast of any detours and delays that may result.

Furry Weekend Atlanta is only six days away, starting on April 6th. Its main hotel is located at 265 Peachtree Center in downtown. The infrastructure failure is located approximately nine miles north from there. The image on this article is a screenshot as of publication. Clicking on it will link to a more current map view of the area.

Gene Catlow comic series creator Albert Temple dies at 59

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Gene Image by Hopkins
Art by David Hopkins - used with permission
Fans of furry web comics mourned at news of the passing of Albert Temple arrived this month. This prolific creator maintained a consistently-updated web comic for over 16 years, from July 2000 all the way up to his death in March. This web serial comic, Gene Catlow, delved into the lives of a pair of experienced and respected computer technicians and their many strange adventures.

The two main characters were Gene Catalow (the author's fursona) and his rabbit friend Cotton. The first story arc revolved around Cotton finding a special coffee that unlocked superpowers within him. He's torn away from his normal life as a technician to begin thwarting assassination attempts against an ambassador being held in safe harbor in their anthropomorphic city.

Through the interactions of these characters you learn of a world of political intrigue, where human beings and anthro animals had their own cultural boundaries. Albert did a great job in making it so that you were never fed this in exposition dumps, but instead were purely arrived at through the interaction of the comic's characters.

2016 Ursa Major Awards vote is now open

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The 2016 Ursa Majors Awards logo. The 2016 Ursa Major Awards vote has been opened! Send them your e-mail address, and you can vote for any of the nominations in 12 categories. Voting closes on Sunday, April 30. Please pass on this annoucement if you're on a furry message forum or social media site!

The winners will be announced at Anthrocon 2017 (June 29–July 2). And if you have the time to vote, why not also suggest furry creations for the 2017 Recommended Anthropomorphics List?

This year's nominees are...

Review: 'Five Fortunes'

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Five Fortunes Five Fortunes, edited by Fred Patten (FurPlanet), is a collection of five novellas from some of the best writers who write for general audiences in the Furry Fandom. The five stories provided in this anthology are as follows:

  • Chosen People by Phil Geusz
  • Huntress by Renee Carter Hall
  • Going Concerns by Watts Martin
  • When a Cat Loves a Dog by Mary E. Lowd
  • Piece of Mind by Bernard Doove

I am not sure how well the the term "fortune" applies to the five works, so on that level the collection doesn't feel as if it is all that well tied together as a theme. However, with five long works here it's not too problematic to have them each be their own thing. It's not like there's a lot of "destiny" fans out there. Each story approaches the nugget of self-determination from a different angle: from being mindful of doing the right thing (Geusz), to the finding one's self (Hall), to finding a way to survive the week (Martin) or the condition of one's life overall(Doove).

It's a furry sampler of novel sized works. This size is perfect for people who don't always like short stories because the story's over just as they get to know a character, but also don't wish to invest in story cover to cover. If, somehow, you don't know these writers or their universes, then this is a good place to start learning.

"Monkey is Back" - The rise of an Eastern legend

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Monkey_King_Hero_is_Back_Chinese_film_poster.jpgIf you were around in 1961, you may have seen an obscure animated feature titled Alakazam the Great, about three friendly monsters – Son Goku (monkey), Sir Quigley Brokenbottom (Pigsy), and Sandy – escorting Prince Amat from China to India.

This was part of the first wave of Japanese animated films, known as anime, to enter the United States. The other two features in that wave were Panda and the Magic Serpent and Magic Boy. They were box-office failures at the time, and because of this the anime film genre is still fighting to enter the American theatrical market.

Alakazam the Great was also America’s first cinematic introduction to the ancient Chinese story Journey to the West or Monkey King, as it is better know in America. This legend is over a thousand years old in the oral form. It was written into a novel, probably by the scholar Wu Cheng’en in the 16th century. The first Oriental animated feature, the Chinese Princess Iron Fan (1940), is an adaptation of part of Journey to the West. Alakazam the Great, more specifically, is a movie adaptation of Osamu Tezuka’s 1952-59 My Son Goku manga version of Journey to the West.

Furry fans celebrate Zootopia's Oscar victory

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Ritwell's Zootopia Oscar picture
Art by Ritwells - Click Image for link to tweet
One year ago, Zootopia, a story about anthropomorphic animals in a modern setting dealing with the issue of prejudices in society, hit theaters. It was the most highly anticipated film for furries in the last decade, some having even rented out theaters for personal furry gatherings. In the days following Flayrah had a reviewing bonanza in which multiple prominent article writers gave their own reviews of the piece.

Heck, the Fur Affinity banner changed to a Zootopia theme when the movie came out and hasn’t changed since.

But on February 27th, the love for the film was continued to be shown well beyond the borders of furry fandom, as the academy elected it to receive the Oscar for Best Animated feature. It beat out nominees Moana, My Life as a Zucchini, The Red Turtle, and the one that most had thought could take it away from Disney, Kubo and the Two Strings.

Newsbytes archive for February 2017

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Contributors this month include Acton, Ahmar Wolf, dronon, Equivamp, Fred, GreenReaper, InkyCrow, Kakurady, and RingtailedFox.

Review: 'A Left-Handed Sword', by Phil Geusz

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A Left-Handed Sword is a novella by Phil Geusz in which the characters used to be human beings. All of them have contracted a singular disease called the Lokiskur virus (Lokie for short), which has transformed them into animals. Lokie not only leaves its victims dehumanized and physically handicapped in their new forms, but often brain-damaged and depressed. They are also highly contagious; Lokie is an affliction that never lets go.

Legion Printing, September 2011, 80 pages. Available in eBook and printed versions from Legion, Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

'The Nut Job 2' is coming

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The Nut Job 2 poster We covered animated feature The Nut Job thoroughly upon its release in January 2014. If you enjoyed it, I have good news: a sequel is coming August 18, entitled The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature.

The Nut Job was about a group of anthropomorphized city wildlife led by Surly Squirrel raiding an out-of-business nut shop while a gang of bank robbers are using it as a cover for their heist. The movie is semi-famous for having been almost universally reviled by the critics before its release – it got a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes – then getting a very favorable audience when it came out.

It was produced by ToonBox Entertainment in Toronto, and mostly financed by South Korean investors. The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of the Republic of Korea got a credit. They even threw some love by having the animal cast plus an animated Psy, the popular South Korean singer-dancer, break into “Gangnam Style” over the closing credits.

Review: 'Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989-2015', by Fred Patten

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Cover to Fred Patten's 'Furry Fandom Conventions'. Cover art by Yamavu.

First off, let me engage in an act of self-disclosure: I recently finished writing Furry Nation, a personal history of the birth and growth of our community and its treatment at the hands of entertainment and news media that will be published in the fall by Cleis Press. I interviewed numerous furs for the book, unknown and well-known, Fred included.

I found myself concerned it would be a conflict of interest for me to opine on Fred’s work, with the temptation to belittle it in comparison to my own. However I was happy to find Fred’s book unique in its own right. It is a work of scholarship I could never hope to duplicate. In fact, I wish it had been published a year or two earlier; it would have been an immense help to me in writing about furry conventions worldwide, a topic not covered in great detail in my own non-fiction work.

Furry conventions from A to Z

Furry Fandom Conventions begins with a brief overview of the various kinds of furry gatherings and a succinct timeline of the fandom’s origin and spread. Even though the timespan covered is in the book’s title, the conventions themselves are described not chronologically but alphabetically, from the first “Abando” convention in Brazil in 2008 (with 15 attendees), to the last “ZonieCon”, held in in Tucson, Arizona in 2001 (57). The decision to alphabetize makes perfect sense: if you’re curious about say, Further Confusion, it makes it a lot easier to trace its history in one place rather than flip through the entire book looking for each year’s summary.

From the Yerf Archive