More illustrated books for young folks, this time from a well-known writer in Hollywood. Toy Academy is a new series from Scholastic Books, written by Brian Lynch and illustrated by Edwardian Taylor. “Welcome to Toy Academy: Where toys learn to play. This is where action figures train to battle, stuffed animals study the art of the hug, and collectibles practice standing very, very still. Though Grumbolt isn’t really any of those things, he’s determined to fit in. But when the Evil Toy Academy threatens to bring down his school, it’s up to Grumbolt to go where no good toy has gone before and prove he’s truly a great toy after all. This laugh-out-loud chapter book by the writer of Minions and a writer of The Secret Life of Pets is a classic in the making.” You heard it here!
As previously covered, furry author Peter S. Beagle has been in the throes of the American court system for nearly two years now, fighting his former publishing agent Connor Cochran for damages and restitution for 15 causes of action including fraud, defamation, and elder abuse. I won't rehash all the details, but Cochran's history of sharp practice is long and appalling. Mr. Beagle deserves an end to these proceedings as quickly as due diligence will allow, but Cochran would rather drag things out in a war of attrition.
One example of the Conlan Press founder's meandering through convoluted legal roadblocks was his filing of a Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings, on the basis there were no issues of fact to support the allegations in not just one, or a few, but in all 15 causes of action. Initially given a tentative ruling on October 24, this was contested by Cochran. After arguing the matter, the tentative ruling was affirmed. The result? All but one of Mr. Beagle's causes of action were sustained.
The La Jolla Playhouse, in La Jolla, California, a suburb of San Diego, will present the world premiere of a new play, “The Squirrels”, during its 2018-2019 season. The dates and casting have not been set yet.
“The Squirrels” by Robert Askins, directed by Christopher Ashley.
Winter is on its way, and the squirrels are restless. Mistrust is growing between the Grey Squirrels, who enjoy a rich cache of nuts, and the outcast, hungry Fox Squirrels. When a wily outsider ignites a savage war, the consequences are catastrophic. This epic play reveals the animal instincts driving us all.
The choice of species is fitting for the local given the squirrels in Southern California are primarily fox squirrels and gray squirrels.
An article on November 8 in the San Diego Union-Tribune says that Director Ashely calls the new work "playful and super-funny and unexpected in every possible way," and says that as with good sci-fi, the fantastical setup allows the piece "to explore our society with just enough remove that you can make bold, interesting statements. It’s squirrels in a tree, but you would recognize lots of things in this cultural moment."
Ashley noted that the costumes were not going to look like 'Disneyland', but they will convey an essential ‘squirrel-ness,’ to coin a term.
Tickets to the Playhouse’s 2018-2019 season are available only via subscription at the moment: (858) 550-1010 or lajollaplayhouse.org.
Keep tuned in as more news will be added here when it is available. It will be interesting to see how much the play’s costuming looks like fursuits.
Washington state has had a rough time with furry conventions in recent history. Rainfurrest had to shut down after they gained a sour reputation with hosting hotels due to reports of vandalism. So local furries were elated to hear of a new organization starting up by the name of Anthro Northwest. This convention, while a bit more stringent on their rules (particularly around adult material), was a welcome possible restart in relations with hotels in the region with furries.
But as activities started word leaked onto the internet of on camera release forms being deseminated for a show called "This is Life with Lisa Ling", a property of the channel CNN. Instantly locals had recollections of another incident that had occurred at another pilot convention one state south, Furlandia.
Update 11/15/17: Attendance has been announced and Anthro Northwest has been noted as being the largest attendance for a first year furry convention at 809, article updated to reflect this.
The Species of Blessing Avenue is a collection of short stories by Graveyard Greg, published in 2012.
Even before I got past the introduction, I liked two things about this book. First, it's got a were-lion in its leading role. Second, it was inspired by characters created for the Buffy The Vampire Slayer RPG.
I was warned that I shouldn't have tried to read this as a novella instead of three short stories. I'll try to correct that mistake as I go along with this review.
Guardians (English trailer) is a Russian superhero film released in February 2017. The early trailers looked promising - fights, explosions, and a bear-guy! It's the Russian Avengers! Expectations were high, and it did well on its opening weekend... and was so disappointing that by its second weekend, it only took in 10% of its previous box office revenue.
It's a very formulaic movie. This isn't necessarily bad - Sing was formulaic too. But if you're going to use a formula, you have to do it well. You have to add a couple of entertaining surprises, mix it up a little, and maybe throw in some humor that mocks the very structure you're relying on. Guardians fails on all these counts.
A gay western centaur romance isn't the kind of story I encounter enough, even in furry fandom. Hotblood! A Centaur In the Old West is a webcomic by Toril Orlesky that ran from 2013-2016. The color artwork is as stark as the landscape, but the story is a bit more complicated than the black-and-white world that the western genre is known for.
The art is lovely enough that I was mostly able to put aside the sometimes uneven pacing. As the story circles around the action, it digs deeper into its characters' pasts - and their hearts. The two main characters are not morally whole men, and therefore they caught my interest.
Rook is a centaur. In the story universe, centaurs are an integrated part of American society. There's some social stigma, but not as much as you might think for someone who looks half-animal. There's at least one centaur in the U.S. Senate, for example. Rook is employed by Asa, a human steel tycoon. We don't get to see much of the world outside of their relationship, and it's only by the second half of the story that we really start seeing the two of them bond, sexually and romantically.
The end of last month saw the finale of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 7. To celebrate the conclusion of another season, I will look back and rank all the episodes from worst to best. There are some spoilers.
25. Fluttershy Leans In
Although I know this episode has its supporters, it was undoubtedly the worst episode in season 7 for me and one of the worst in the show. It's nice that Fluttershy is becoming more assertive but I found almost nothing funny in the episode, I thought the plot was pointless and the lesson, while not totally wrong, seemed to conflict with previous lessons. All around, it was awful.
24. A Health of Information
Another Fluttershy episode and another disappointment. I really expected to like this episode. I like the characters involved and the seriousness of Zecora's condition was a big change of pace from an average episode. Despite that, it never caught my attention. The characters behave in some very strange ways and there's a lack of any logic behind the plot. DWK though his parody review of the episode, does an excellent job (w/ some strong language) pointing out the unusual callousness of almost all the ponies involved.
23. Forever Filly
This one, and the next few, are on the lower end of average. They are not bad episodes but they don't try to be anything more than filler. Here, it's nice to see how Sweetie Belle has matured but nothing in this episode is particularly memorable. Finally, I would've preferred if the ending had been Rarity sharing one of Sweetie Belle's newer interests rather than just eating ice-cream like children.
The main cast for the live action remake of The Lion King has been announced by Disney. Donald Glover will play the lead role of Simba, while Beyoncé has been confirmed to play the role of Nala, finally settling rumors that Disney was trying to cast the pop star in the role.
Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction, dronon, Equivamp, Fred, GreenReaper, InkyCrow, Rakuen Growlithe, RingtailedFox, and Sonious. (Also added an amusing link from our Twitter feed that didn't get posted here.)
This article was written by someone who worked on the game described.
Update (23 Dec): Crimestrikers has been released.
Crimestrikers, a furry role playing game supplement, is scheduled to be published in November by Spectrum Games.
The game is set on Creaturia, a world of anthropomorphic animals with futuristic technology. The colorful, highly skilled heroes are the best agents of CIPO (Creaturian International Police Organization), who are called into action after the world's most dangerous super-villains escape from the Quarry, a maximum security prison. The Crimestrikers pursue the escapees, including several cunning evildoers who work for the a variety of nefarious groups.
- Outrage - An international crime syndicate whose leader, Vance Coffin, is the Crimestrikers' major enemy.
- PARCH - A terrorist organization that wants to destroy the amphibious humanoid species known as the Hydrerans.
- Emperor Rasavanto - A Hydreran "Warlord of the Seas" who seeks to conquer the surface world.
- The Time Terror Team - Three legendary criminals from Creaturian history brought into the present.
- The Righteous One - A costumed vigilante with sinister motives.
- Steelwing - A bat with cyborg wings who seeks to retake the nation he once ruled as a dictator.
For our final foray into lycanthropic cinema, comes— a movie I saw as a Sci Fi Channel original movie. It never even had a theatrical release in America. I will point out that it is by far the greatest Sci Fi Channel original movie ever produced, but I need hardly point out that is not a big accomplishment.
But, sometimes, hidden in the terrible filler, something emerges from the shadows. Perhaps I waste my time watching bad Sci Fi movies, but they provided a baseline. It's harder to know when you've got a good werewolf movie if you've never seen a bad or even just indifferent werewolf movie. Of course, if you don't have the patience to sit through the bad (with or without the MST3K patter), you can just take my word for it.
Dog Soldiers is a gory blast.
I Am Dragon (trailer) is a Russian fantasy/drama film that came out in 2015 and yes I know it's technically a wyvern. When I showed clips of it to dragon furries, that's the first thing they said, in a tone of voice like I'd gotten their hopes up and then betrayed them.
For a live-action film, it uses a lot of computer graphics (around 85%), and looks pretty good! The setting felt very real to me. Production costs were about $18 million, and it flopped at the box office. As movies go, it's... ok. I say this with some reluctance. If you're a fan of dragons, you're not missing much.
Back-story: A line of dragons lives on a secluded island, and in a medieval town, the people perform a ceremony and song with which they offer their maidens as sacrifices. This summons the dragon who flies off with one of them, until one day a warrior decides he's going to rescue the woman he loves. He finds the island (too late to save the maiden), slays the beast, and the sacrificial rite is turned into a local wedding ritual, minus the dragon.
A recent video has popped up on Youtube and was sent to me by a corgi friend of mine. Apparently someone by the name of Stefan Molyneux had interviewed a furry in a video named: The Shocking Furry Fandom Conversation. Yes, Really!. Given the thumbnail containing the mugs of the leaders of the Furry Raiders I thought this person was interviewing them, but as it turns out the content of the video didn’t seem to have anything to do with the controversial alt-furry group.
Or at least that is what I thought coming away from the video. As I did more investigation into this Mr. Molyneux and the methods in which he is infamous I started to come to a bit of a more darker conclusions and questioning the intent of the video. Could this seemingly innocent interview with a random YouTuber actually be a propaganda piece crafted to fulfill as a recruitment tool aimed at furries? A way to take aim at those in the furry fandom and have them join the Freedomain fandom, a group which seems to have been noted as having cult-like qualities by some press releases?
Well I don’t know about all that. In fact, the reason I put the word cult in the headline is simply because Stephan put the word sex next to furry on his video’s thumbnail. And like me seeing those two words together for the purpose of click-bait made me eye-roll, I’m sure seeing his organization being called a cult all the time earns similar expression from Mr. Molyneux. Also, inquiring to Patch, he seemed to indicate that Leon was an actual person and the conversation was legitimate. So, with that in mind, I gave it a second watch and highlighted items of interest, both good and bad in the conversation.
Occasionally, there comes a pair of movies that share remarkably similar themes that come out together. Sometimes, as in Antz versus A Bug's Life, there's evidence that one of the movies was designed as a direct competitor to the other. More often than not, however, there's just something in the water. Just last year, Disney went out of its way to advertise how unique a movie Zootopia was for featuring a fully anthropomorphic animal world in the one year in the history of American feature animation where that was not a unique quality. These things just happen.
1981 was one of those years, featuring not one, but two werewolf movies utilizing cutting edge (for the time) makeup effects that also happened to be horror comedies as opposed to straight horror movies. The Howling came out first, but it was the scrappy underdog that went up against the real Hollywood juggernaut, An American Werewolf in London, written and directed by John Landis, an up and coming director who hung out with the likes of Steven Spielberg.
Though An American Werewolf in London is an acknowledged classic of the horror genre and features a ghoulish sense of humor (Landis was, and still is, best known for Animal House, early poster taglines noted this movie featured "a different kind of animal"), it is, like The Wolf Man, very much a tragedy. And not all the tragedy is on screen.
News out of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania from September announced that one Carl R. Rickwood was charged with 20 counts of dissemination of child pornography. It has recently been revealed that this perpetrator was actually a furry by the fandom name of R.C. Fox. A full breakdown of the documentation can be found on a video by Ragehound.
R.C has been a prolific member of the fandom, having his own fursuit since 2014, and also attending and volunteering for multiple conventions. They were also slated to run a disc jockey session at the upcoming Furpocalypse until this news was brought to staff's attention and they indicated they would not be in attendance. They were also featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette piece 'Meet the Furries'.
Since the news emerged, R.C.'s social media accounts on Twitter, Fur Affinity, and even YouTube have been removed, renamed, or disabled. As of now no arrest can be confirmed.