Even in non-writing communities in the furry fandom, many furries are aware of the Ursa Major Awards. They’ve been around for about 17 years, have presence at cons, and each year they receive many voters. However, for all their legacy, Thurston Howl – (a furry publisher who assisted with social media and marketing for the UMAs in 2017) – has come forward with concerns involving the UMAs’ recent soliciting for donations and GoFundMe campaign.
A transparency concern.
Until now, there has been no formal budget or accounting for funding. Fred Patten, Secretary of the ALAA (Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association, which runs the UMAs), told Howl on 5/30/17: “I cannot remember that the Treasurer for the ALAA has ever submitted a formal treasury report.” Fred confirmed there were no records for 17 years, and later added:
I don’t know how much it costs to print UMA award certificates, buy frames for them, ship them to the recipients, make and ship powerpoint presentations, etc., and I don’t know how much total in donations we’ve gotten over the years…
There have been complaints in email discussion by associates. ALAA member Bernard Doove said: “I would like a report on the finances that is more than ‘we’re broke.'” And on 5/4/17, a donor reported that they considered their donation “an unwise decision that could have been put to much better use elsewhere.” There were even fears of misappropriation, but Bernard Doove found no evidence when he looked in the bank accounts. The explanation seems to be fees of $156/year to maintain a Checking and Savings account if they have under a $300 minimum balance each.
It honestly seems like an issue of mixing small fan efforts with more formal organization, like how fandom started. ALAA Treasurer Rod O’Riley was a fandom founder who helped start Confurence in 1989. He responded to a request for comment:
The problem is not transparency — the problem is a lack of funds to be transparent about.
All donations have made their way into our bank account, and have been spent on either what they were supposed to be spent on — making and mailing out our trophies and plaques — or else were swallowed by the bank fees. ALL donations. Sometimes they took a while to get where they were going — as recently, when PayPal and our bank’s on-line system had difficulties talking to each other, for reasons I still do not understand. But eventually, they got where there were going.
Good faith is evident when many operation costs have been paid out of pocket by Rod and other ALAA members. However, when public contribution is wanted, more formal fiduciary duty should be expected. Can we see a budget for expenses? Will there be accounting for what is received and spent, and a report? Without such efforts, donations could be received under mistaken expectations. There should be clarity for donors reached by public appeals.
The understaffed committee.
When Howl consulted ALAA members in 2017, Fred Patten explained:
The ALAA has always been an understaffed volunteer organization. We have had to take who we can get. Rod is literally the only person who has shown any interest in handling the ALAA’s assets. We can’t afford to fire him; who would we replace him with?
Let me emphasize that the ALAA does have some real expenses, and with all donations going into Rod’s pockets and him paying for those expenses personally, we are basically trusting that his financial contributions outweigh the amount of the donations we get from other people.
On top of all of this, for con presentations of the UMAs, Rod apparently charges the ALAA for some services, such as assembling “and delivering” a Powerpoint presentation. Volunteering is work, but isn’t every con run without compensation? It seems that Rod puts in a great deal of work into both the ALAA and the UMAs, and the ALAA board allows respect for his long experience and devotion. A clear budget could help assure that to the public.
Here’s some steps for proper accounting to solicit more and better help:
- A finance 101 book for indie business could solve some issues such as what the IRS expects.
- Start a basic bookkeeping system – such as with Quickbooks or free Google Sheets.
- Optionally, set up a Chart of Accounts for income and spending categories.
- Make sure all income and expense transactions are tracked.
- Post a clear budget and promise annual reports.
- THEN crowdfund for expenses with full transparency.
I’m actually very appreciative of the system you laid out. Other than the paperwork to fill out for the US of A (which is new now that we have a Tax ID number), much of it is things we’ve already been doing — again, when asked. We simply have to make them habitual even even not asked. Can do.
CAN YOU HELP? PLEASE COMMENT.
Let’s solve this to raise donations and make the Ursas what they always promise to be – a fandom institution to rely on, be proud of, discover with and enjoy!
Are you willing and able to volunteer skill for the understaffed needs? How about donations to offer, contingent on progress? Specifically, there’s a wish for small, stable, solid yearly contributions out of the budgets of big cons to sustain the awards. Can any con organizers assist?
Soon, the UMA GoFundMe campaign will be reposted on Dogpatch Press and promoted with a reminder about needs that generous people can help address. Solving these problems would be a good way to help repay what Rod and associates have done for fandom since the beginning.
Additional comments from ALAA members, February 2018.
The ALAA has needed volunteers for years, but we have lost members rather than gained, and we are all doing as much as possible to keep the Ursa Major Awards running. I’ll be donating money from my personal funds once again for the 2017 Award trophies, and I will be flying up to Queensland where the awards ceremony will be held at FurDU this year in order to run the event. The cost of that comes out of my own pocket too. I’m willing to do my bit for the cause, but we desperately need more people with the skills required to improve it.
Fred Patten adds:
Often it isn’t as much the money as the time & effort to cover the bureaucratic details. Rod has also been handling all the correspondence and financing to have our trophies made and mailed to the recipients. I don’t know exactly how much labor and money is involved, but Rod has been taking care of it alone for over 15 years now.
Since 2015, we have replaced the first UMA trophies — the framed certificates — with the lucite trophies, which are more expensive.
I have told McFarland & Co., the publisher of my Furry Fandom Conventions, 1989-2015, to donate all my royalties directly to the ALAA, but so far this has been less than $200. Something else that I have been trying to get is some of the better-established furry conventions to regularly donate $100 a year to the ALAA. Is there any way to arrange for a regular small donation from, for example, Anthrocon or Further Confusion or Midwest FurFest or Megaplex or Biggest Little Fur Con or Furry Fiesta or Anthro Weekend Atlanta? If we could get just $100 each from some conventions, we should meet our annual budget.
Visit the Ursa Major Awards site to learn more about what they do.
Atlas & Axis is a well-known and award-nominated funny-animal adventure graphic novel from Europe, written and illustrated by Pau. Now Titan Comics have brought us the first English-language edition, and they’re releasing it as a 4-issue comic miniseries through their Statix imprint. The publishers describe it like this: “In the fantastical world of Pangea, all the animals talk and walk on two paws. Warriors Atlas and Axis are mutts of very different pedigrees: Atlas is intelligent and rational, a calculating hero, while Axis is more likely to take a wild swing when his blood runs hot. When our roaming adventurers return home to find Viking raiders – brutes from the North who pillage and kill all who fall under their claws – have destroyed their village, they set off on a perilous quest across land and sea to save what remains of their friends and family!” Comicon.com have a more detailed look that includes several preview pages. And don’t be fooled: This is not a cute all-ages comic book!
I need a fursuit head, but how do I make/get one for cheap??
Kye (age 11)
* * *
That depends on what you mean by "cheap." You have to be be willing to spend a couple bills to get anything decent. If you wish to buy a fursuit head, you can find used ones on a couple of websites, including www.thedealersden.com and www.furbuy.com. Since you are 11 and most of these partials are made for people older, you might have a bit of a problem with the size being too large. You could also, if you are not picky, simply look for animal masks at Halloween costume stores (werewolves, Beast from Beauty and the Beast, and various wild animal heads can be found for less than $100). Or, if you have a friend who is into crafting and sewing, perhaps you could ask them to make one for you. Again, because of your age, I think you are smart to start off cheap as you become familiar with fursuiting.
As for making one? Well, if you are gifted enough to make costumes and can sew and sculpt, then sure, make one yourself. That way, you only pay for materials. You can find video tutorials on YouTube or there are a couple of sites such as www.matrices.net/tutorials.htm that can be helpful.
Good Luck and Happy Fursuiting,
Furry Ambassadors – a recognition program
“Furries ruin everything.” “F#$king Furries.” “Yiff in H$!!.” The furry community can face stigmatization from the mainstream – and for some, fursecution is real. That being said, there are good people who put a lot of effort into the furry community. Between helping people financially, educationally, or by going out of their way to help keep the peace, there are good furs out there who deserve to be recognized for their efforts.
On June 1st, 2017, the Furry Ambassadors Program was initiated on Fur Affinity: http://www.furaffinity.net/user/furryambassadors. An ambassador is someone who protects people, promotes prosperity, or works for peace. Meeting one of those three duties has become a requirement for someone to be recognized a Furry Ambassador as well, as this is not a popularity contest. Being a Furry, however, is optional.
The list of Furry Ambassadors to date are as follows.
- June 2017: The chairman of Anthrocon, Dr. Samuel Conway aka Uncle Kage aka kagemushi
- July 2017: Doctor Courtney “Nuka” Plante aka Nuka-kitty
- August 2017: Aberguine from the YouTube channel Furries in the Media
- September 2017: Arrkay and UnderbiteDragon of the YouTube Channel CulturallyFD
- October 2017: Founder of the International Anthropomorphic Research Project, Dr. Kathy Gerbasi
- November 2017: Civil litigation lawyer Boozy Barrister Badger
- December 2017: DogPatch.Press, founded by Patch O’Furr/Patch_Packrat, with Furry Historian Fred Patten, and contributing editor Pup Matthias.
- January 2018: (skipped due to holidays). More is coming soon… please get in touch with them to nominate furries who deserve recognition!
Want to nominate your own FurryAmbassador or learn more?
Please visit our FurAffinity page for more info!https://t.co/vD8rwja1FS
How are they selected and what’s the goal?
Anyone can be nominated to be a Furry Ambassador. We have a list of everyone nominated, and pick someone to be reviewed. A vetting process then occurs for the nominee. We research the person to see if they have met the ambassador requirements, as well we reach out to people who have had contact with the nominee to get any additional background and or perspective. If the nominee passes the vetting process, then a recognition is written and privately provided to the nominee to review. If the nominee consents, then at the beginning of the next month, the recognition is posted on the Fur Affinity account and posted to be shared across various art blogs and social media outlets. If however the nominee does not meet the ambassador requirement upon review, then the recognition is shelved. A shelved recognition can be reviewed at a later time when evidence of the nominee’s meeting the ambassador requirements can be identified.
So what is the benefit of being recognized as a Furry Ambassador? Does it make the person into a super fur, or do they win an award? Absolutely not. Being a Furry Ambassador is just the ability to have a title, plain and simple. Obviously, a title would not change a single thing about these members of the furry community. That being said, giving someone the prestigious Furry Ambassador title is a way to give a big shout out to highlight the positive things that furries are doing to make the fandom a better place. Help is always appreciated in the way of nominations.
As far as future plans are concerned, the number 1 goal is to simply strive for consistency, plain and simple. Ideally, with enough participation, the Furry Ambassadors program will hopefully continue with minimal to no interruptions for a very long time, as we do not see an end of good furries to review any time soon! Also, we have a few ideas on how to give rewards to those recognized as Furry Ambassadors. A Ko-fi tip jar has been set up, and funds permitting, we are looking to make buttons, or if funds permit, challenge coins to give to those recognized! http://ko-fi.com/X8X17Y8J
Who is involved?
In the spring of 2017, a Texas furry artist by the name Pez Wolf got bit by the fur suiting bug, and started working on his own fursuit design. Having a shoe string budget and being in close proximity to fur bashers, Pez shelved the fur suiting and redirected his energy into researching the furry fandom. Pez repeatedly ran across furs who have been making great steps toward reducing the stigmatization of the furry fandom, and making the furry community more acceptable to the mainstream. Pez’s day job is working at a major financial institution that has a culture of recognition. Pez took the values he learned at work and applied them to the furry community by recognizing furs who have made contributions to the Furry Fandom. Thus the Furry Ambassador program was created.
Azarion has been a part of the furry fandom since 2013, where the kitsune has found the warm and fuzzy welcome of many new friends. Ever since Azarion discovered the negative press media coverage from main stream media sources, he has been determined to bust the typical myths about the furry fandom. In the fall of 2017, Azarion stumbled upon the Furry Ambassador program, and knew immediately that he wanted to be a part of the writing and administrating processes. Azarion is currently studying humanities with a focus on the European Continent, and learning about other peoples and cultures has always been a big interest. Being able to promote and give exposure to people that are making a positive impact on the fandom has provided him with a new field of research that’s also given him plenty of warmth and fuzz.
Note from Patch:
This is a great idea worth supporting! And what an awesome honor to even have them notice me before I noticed them. If you think other furries deserve it, that’s why you should send them YOUR nomination to spread the love.
It reminds me of this excellent thread I noticed, and one key point I’m highlighting that shows why I think Furry Ambassadors is a great idea.
Just realized I've seen the furry fandom go from a recreational clique to a legit counter-culture.— La Renarde Écrivaine (@threetails) February 17, 2018
Sooner or later, the furry fandom will have to show a clear preference for its own art, music, costuming, etc.— La Renarde Écrivaine (@threetails) February 17, 2018
Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon. You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward. They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.
Bobby Timony (art) and his twin brother Peter Timony (writing) are the creators of Night Owls, an award-winning series from DC Comics that’s been available in print and on line since 2009. This Roaring-20’s-style adventure tells the story of two humans and a gargoyle who team up to solve supernatural mysteries. It features more than its fair share of non-human characters too, mind you. If you visit their web site (called, appropriately enough, Twin Comics) you’ll see much more of Bobby’s art and the brothers’ work on other comic series they offer on-line now. Among them Goblin Hood, Widdershins Wilderness Scouts, and (furriest of them all) McCool: Sheriff of Dogwood.
I wonder what they were on when they made this commercial? Thanks to Sysable for this one.
Rune’s Furry Blog showcases “people within the Furry Community… their characters, life, thoughts, and beliefs”. It also covers furry issues and media. Welcome Rune! – Patch
“We’re all mad here…”
This year at Texas Furry Fiesta, 3866 fuzzbutts fell asleep and found themselves in Wonderland! This number bumped up the convention to being on the top 5 conventions list, falling just under Furry Weekend Atlanta (FWA).
This was my 2nd time going to TFF and it has always held a special place in my heart for being my first-ever con. This year was an adventure as the convention had grown so much that it was in a new venue for a brand-new experience! Because it was so fresh and so new, I decided that a type of review was in order. So, taking from my personal experiences and the comments from others, I compiled a list of things that set the convention apart, and maybe the not-so favorable things about the convention that can hopefully be fixed in the future.
So buckle up and take this trip down the rabbit-hole with me as we explore the brand-new Texas Furry Fiesta (Lonestar Wonderland)!
(Right-Left): Radar & Owen
- Growing Numbers!
I have made a habit of reading through the con-books because they always offer the most interesting information. As someone that is still new to TFF, I could not believe how small they started in comparison to other conventions. In ten years their numbers have grown so drastically when their first con only had 542 people in attendance! Crazy, right? Now here we are in 2018 and we almost broke 4,000 people… it really just blows me away!
But a growing number means a demand for a larger space… and this year the convention took place at the Hyatt Regency, right next to the Reunion Tower in Dallas Texas. Already I noticed an improvement from last-year’s space (which I will go into detail about down below)- and it made for a much more comfortable con-experience than the previous year.Because of the larger space, I found that I had more time to actually notice what was around me. I saw a lot of familiar faces and the ‘Texas regulars’, but I also saw a lot of new faces as well. New suiters and a lot of people new to the con-scene. I saw even younger fursuiters than I witnessed last year and at ACFI and just the amount of people really shows how the fandom continues to grow, to evolve, and to include more-and-more people of varied ages, backgrounds, etc. It’s exciting. Every convention is like witnessing another moment in Furry history… and I always find myself getting excited and just feeling so humbled and honored at the thought that I get to be part of it all.
- Hyatt Regency!
The Hyatt Regency is a gorgeous hotel placed right next to the Reunion Tower in downtown Dallas. It has 28 floors, multiple rooms to rent for panel spaces (spanning across 3 floors from ground-level)- a pool, a hot tub, a bar, and even a gift shop. It conveniently attaches to the DART Train for easy travel between points, and I heard it was close to some of the most interesting neighborhoods/communities in Dallas. The layout of the hotel had mixed reviews… but I must admit that I had no trouble finding my way around. The pocket-booklet that everyone was given at registration gave an incentive to travel around the convention and locate all the most popular spots. Think of it like an interactive-tour or some sort of scavenger hunt for stamps. Upon filling your pocket-booklet with stamps from the various locations, you were given a special TFF pin at the help desk. My only complaint was that more people did not know what this part of the booklet was for, let alone that there was a prize. I found myself telling many people about it when they were wandering around lost… but again, the layout was not that bad. I feel like after wandering around for one night, I had most of the locations memorized. I did not have to refer to the map very often and only got lost one time the entire 3 days that I was there. The hotel also had various maps scattered across their walls so that people could use it for reference if they did not have their paper map (again, located in the pocket booklet).
Most panels seemed to take place on the 2nd floor and past the bar. There were multiple small rooms down a hallway located right next to a set of elevators. If anything, I could see where such a small hallway could be missed or overlooked- but at least people could go straight from the panels to their rooms. All the bigger events like the raves, concerts, and the dance competition all took place on the first floor where they could set up the stages. The Dealer’s Den was also located on the first floor.
The lobby area contained the Artist Alley as well as the Art show… and while not as convenient as other locations, at least they had a sizable space. As a fursuiter though, I will say that having the Headless Lounge in the lobby could be kind of a chore. Going up-and-down escalators when tired and/or hot… then mixing that with low-visibility seemed more like a hazard…but at least on Sunday it was moved to the 1st floor where it was more accessible. The Hyatt also had a massive outdoor area for smokers and a place where people could just cool off if they really needed to. This space was located on the first floor and conveniently placed next to the front desk.
Last year’s TFF seemed ‘cramped’ at best, with a lot of people shoving past each other and people being shoulder-to-shoulder. So, the relocation to the Hyatt really was a breath of fresh air. I found myself able to see more of the convention since I was not constantly bumping past other people, and it was a lot more comfortable walking from space-to-space. Even activities and panels were more roomy and there was barely anyone left with places not to sit. Compared to last year where people were listening to their panels out in the hallways for lack of room, this really was a treat.
As for the location of the hotel, I was not a fan. That seemed to be one of the more major complaints. While the hotel did connect directly to the DART Train, for those that were driving, getting to the hotel could be confusing. Also, there was a lack of stores and other such places around the hotel which some people heavily rely on when they travel. UberEats and other delivery services were a near necessity because the Hyatt almost seemed isolated compared to other hotels. It was also a more ‘expensive’ space… but I found that the comfort of having enough room to walk and play in suit made it worth it.
Parking for the convention was not fun and was another major complaint that I will go into detail about down below-but overall, it is something that I believe can be fixed for later cons. If I could change anything about the hotel rooms it would only be that they add in a microwave and maybe a bigger refrigerator. Overall I would say the move to the Hyatt was a smart one, and overall it was a raging success!
After the first night, the convention was being referred to as “Elevator Hell” and “Elevator Con” because with 3800 people all running around the convention, the elevators quickly became backed up. People were trying to pile in the elevators in dangerous numbers just to get up to their rooms. I was on the 11th floor, and though my wife was fit enough to take the stairs… I was not (especially while in fursuit). Unfortunately, the inability to get up the stairs applied to several furries, and hostilities quickly grew with people trying to determine who and what had priority when it came to traveling in the elevators.
Volunteers and con-staff did eventually step in and create a line system for the elevators, but this was only taking place on the floors with panel spaces (1st and 2nd floors respectively)- this grouping helped people get up to their rooms but it did nothing for the people trying to get down. I say the worst of it was on Saturday because my friends and I could not get down from our room for the longest time, and it nearly resulted in our missing the fursuit parade.
From what I heard, a lot of it boiled down to the hotel not understanding just how insane this convention was going to be. Their lack of knowledge on the fandom and how it operates made for a lot of confusion in more than just the elevators. We occupied most of the hotel for that weekend, and naturally they had other guests as well that did not know what to do when it came to furries. They did not have enough staff to have people monitoring every elevator segment on every floor, and this is understandable. Like parking and other things…I think this just means that next year there can be room for some major improvement. Also, considering this was our first year at the Hyatt, my thoughts are that it can only get better from here.
But people really should be more considerate when it comes to elevators. If they are already packed and your room is not too far away- if you are able to, please take the stairs! Also, have courtesy for those with luggage or for those wearing fursuits. Please let them in the elevator before you because chances are they are in the bigger hurry and have the most need to get somewhere.
(Left-Right): Escap’e,Thump the road kill possum, Rune
- Parking Problems:
Like the location of the hotel, the parking was really confusing. There were 3 parking lots where one could park for the convention, but there was not many indicators of which parking lot you were in when parking! The radish-lot was the main hotel parking which quickly filled up. It was the one located closest to the front of the hotel.
There was also the Reunion Tower parking which was the larger of the parking lots. It was the 2nd closest parking lot being right behind the main entrance to the hotel. Lastly, there were parking lots located far down the street called lots B-through-E where there were a lot of parking spaces available… but the location was so far and so isolated from the hotel that most people did not know those spaces even existed. While a lot of people got the con-rate parking for $5… there were those of us (like myself) that parked in the Reunion Tower parking (thinking it was the hotel parking) only to leave the convention with a $57 parking bill to pay. I do agree with others that while the Hyatt’s website had a list of parking rates… it was very unclear which lots were what and what prices people would actually be paying. So, this convention was not so kind for those of us actually staying at the hotel even though staying at the Hyatt was meant to be more convenient.
So the costs were not nice for those that could not get the con-rate, and the locations were not the best with people bringing in a lot of luggage. I found that the location of the parking was not kind to fursuiters nor was it kind to those with disabilities as the back of the hotel lacked ramps of any kind even though most of the parking was in the back of the hotel, and the doors lead directly into the lobby space.
There were those that said that using the DART Train was the best way to get around if traveling around Dallas, and while we did have experience with Uber, getting them to find your location at the hotel was not very successful unless you were willing to meet the Uber at the front doors. There were those that rented bicycles to get around but for most of us it was just too cold.
At least for next year I have learned what I can do better to cut down on costs. Getting con-rates for parking is a MUST, and getting to the con 2 days before the con is probably the way to go. My first night in Dallas (Thursday)- the parking lots were already full. We spent so much time circling the hotel to find a lot that was open and that had space that we missed pre-registration by 14-minutes. So, even though we were at the convention, we could not take part in any of the early events. But, we don’t blame the hotel or the convention, and we can only do better and plan better for next year!
- The overall cost increase:
I will say that expenses have increased since TFF last year. Even with con rates and such, a lot of people ended up spending a lot more money than they intended. The Hyatt did not provide any form of free breakfast but I found that their massive servings could work if people were splitting meals. I shared steak and eggs with my wife which cost us $18, but we easily split it and still felt full. The only downside was the coffee costing so much… the drinks were not cheap so it made up most of the bill.
Bars at a hotel are never on the cheap side, so it’s often recommended that you bring your own booze. I did like the bar’s selection but found that they added a lot more alcohol than most places, and I was not sure on the quality versus the cost. There was also a $50 holding fee for those that opened a tab… and that hurt a lot of people’s bank accounts (in which I hope they got everything sorted out).
Like mentioned before, the parking was rather costly for those that were not able to get the con-rate. For those needing to use Uber or take the Dart Train… by far the train was cheaper, with Ubers ranging anywhere from $25-$65 depending on the type of vehicle you might need. Lyft was a more expensive option, and cabs are even more expensive than that. Again, there were bikes to rent, and while cheap, the weather was really cold…so riding a bike on slick sidewalks was not at all advised.
Food ended up being the biggest cost for those going to the con. While there were microwaves downstairs, they were few in number. The shops in the hotel were overpriced with small drinks costing $3 or more. Even vending machines were $2 and did not take cards which meant a trip to an ATM and paying the ATM fee if you do not carry cash. Pizza delivery and other delivery services were available- as well as services like UberEats.
The Hyatt was not cheap. A room for 4-nights and multiple beds spiraled past $700 easily. Take that into account with registration costs of $50 and then parking, food, and spending money for souvenirs, and there were people easily going past 2k for the trip. So it was much more costly than last year and that was a problem for a lot of people. But, like with all Furry Conventions, these cons are a luxury and something you need to save and budget heavily for. My wife and I made sure we brought our own food to eat (for the most part) and next year we will bring a lot more variety as well as snacks to cut on spending.
(Left-Right): Rune & Elana
- Scheduling & Panels:
I personally thought that panels this year were a lot more varied than cons-past. I found that there were more panels and more things that I was interested in personally. I also liked that they seemed to have more ‘adult’ panels than last year. But, there was a good blend of new things and familiar favorites like the McGuyver Fursuit Challenge and the Fursuit Games. I did not hear many complaints about scheduling, and everything that I attended always started on time.
There might have been some confusion for the panels that got swapped on Sunday (to new locations), but I was not affected by this personally. As far as I know, only some game rooms had issues with what times they needed the rooms versus what times the hotel let them stay in said-rooms. Also, there was a bit of a flub when it came to the closing ceremonies not reserving the room they wanted to be in… but all-in-all, everything was very organized and went very smoothly.
I found that there really was something for everyone, and my problem this year was trying to get to everything while balancing my shopping and my suiting! By far my favorite events was the Rocky Horror Picture show performance, the Dance Competition, and learning how to brew beer. I also really liked the video game room (even though I did not play anything)- I liked how much space they had this year and variety, and my friends spent a lot of time in the tabletop gaming room which they enjoyed very much!
- Food Trucks!
A solid improvement to the convention were the food trucks. It was something that TFF had in the past but that was not available for last year’s con. They were in high demand and this year we got some down the road from the Hyatt. They had a limited window, but they offered a nice alternative to eating at the hotel restaurant or having to order another pizza. My wife bought a cuban sandwich for $10 that easily fed the both of us and it was delicious!
Some people complained about the weather and the lines, but those were minor things. For the time they were there, I found them to be really convenient and very cost-effective for those on a budget!
Picture time with Zarafa!
- The Fursuit Parade!
I loved the fursuit parade this year! Like the rest of the convention last year… the parade last year at TFF was stuffy and cramped. There was not much space between the suiters and the crowd and overall it was hot and mostly uncomfortable. But this year was such a breath of fresh air!
Not only was there enough space to where 2 suiters could easily walk side-by-side with each other, but there was space between the fursuiters and the crowd! They also placed a tape trail on the ground, marking the route for the parade, and it was super helpful! The route was short-and-sweet… but it was set up to where everyone got the chance to see all the suits in all their glory. I had no complaints about any of it, I really thought that the organization, the space, the lines, and the route were excellent. So my hat (or fursuit head) goes off to whoever set it all up because they did a fantastic job! Even the room where all the suits were waiting to leave was roomy and cool which was a real treat and made for a wonderful experience!
- Compliments to Con-staff!
I did not hear a single complaint about the con staff this year. All the volunteers and the people involved were more than helpful, and with all the chaos that a new convention brings, I really feel like they went above and beyond to help people out. I utilized the help desk often and they always had an answer for my questions. Even when it came to “elevator hell” the staff stepped in and got everything under control as best as they could.
There were reports of people in suits having trouble with people touching them without permission, suits getting damaged, and other sorts of complaints in which they said the staff went above-and-beyond to help those suiters and make them feel safe in their suits again. I can not imagine the time and energy it takes in running the con, so again, I applaud the amazing staff and volunteers at TFF and everything they do so that we can have a fun and fuzzy weekend!
Shewulf got photobombed! Please tell me who this awesome suiter is!
A new venue space (much like a new convention) is bound to be chaotic. There are going to be flaws and be hiccups, but that’s all stuff that can be fixed. For some issues, that falls on con-staff and the hotel to fix… and for others, it’s a matter of learning from experiences and making better choices the next year around. But it’s fixable.
This year I followed my con-prepping tips and really tried something different. I tried to find that balance between time spent suiting, and time just walking around and taking everything in. I took less photos and videos because I wanted to remember the convention as something I lived first-hand rather than through a phone screen or camera lens.
Naturally, there were panels I missed, plans that fell through, and things I did not get to do…but those were small things that I took as they were. I did not feel as ‘obligated’ to do certain things and I did not push myself to rush to everything that looked interesting. So, by far, this was a much more relaxed and stress-free con than the previous year’s. This was my wife’s first TFF and she said it was not as overwhelming as she thought it might be. She too was able to relax and she said that she had a blast! She saw some amazing suits, and we ran around and played, and everything about it was a good time despite the massive bill that we placed on our credit cards.
So, I still say that this was a good year for Texas Furry Fiesta… and I can not wait to see how it gets better in the years to come. I’m already looking forward to next year’s theme which was revealed to be Dungeons & Dragons (tabletop RPG). So let the hype and countdown for 2019 begin!
But let me know what YOU think. Did you attend TFF? What was your favorite thing about the convention? What was your least favorite thing? What was your favorite suit that you saw? What about your favorite panel? Let me know your thoughts and opinions in the comment-section down below.
Thank you all so much for reading, and as always, I will see you all in the next blog!
Jessica Reilly and Patrick Reilly have both served in the U.S. military — she’s still in, while he recently left after nearly a decade of service. In their free time, they formed a company called Zonks Illustration as an outlet for their creative endeavors. Among other things they’ve been working on Five Realms, a multi-species fantasy comic adventure reminiscent of Mouse Guard. He writes it, she illustrates it. You can see examples of her works over at their Zonks Etsy store. They also have a Patreon to try and get Five Realms out to the world.
Music video shot on honest to god super 16mm film at Further Confusion. Impressive work really.
I am new to the furry community and very much like the feral aspect of the group. I often have thoughts of taking these desires IRL and maybe having sex with a dog. I was wondering if this is an OK idea in the Furry community, and if there are even groups for it?
Max (age 20)
* * *
You are talking about zoophilia: the sexual attraction for another species. Zoophilia has been present in human society since ancient times. You’ve likely heard stories of the farmer who has sex with a pig, sheep, horse, or cow. Sometimes this might be a case of “any port in a storm,” but other times it is a genuine attraction for an animal.
Furries, in general, dislike being associated with zoophilia because many outsiders have falsely accused all furries as indulging in our passion because we want to have sex with dogs etc. That said, according to an [adjective][species] survey, about 18% of the fandom characterizes itself as zoophiles. Another site that does surveys (and is run by people with doctorates in social sciences and psychology) is furscience.com (the International Anthropomorphic Research Project), which apparently has not done any research into this aspect of the fandom as yet (I sent them a query).
Because of the stigma against zoophilia, you will have a hard time finding any furry group openly dedicated to this topic (not saying they aren’t out there, but I haven’t seen one as yet). But if you wish to educate yourself more about zoophilia, the best site I could recommend is Zeta Verein. It is based out of Germany, but it also has a British branch, so the information is all available in English.
I honestly never told anyone this and I feel you want understand unless you know the whole story. I went to college out of state for a year then transferred back due to a family emergency (which is solved now, yay!). Please bear (no puns? ok..) with me this is a quite a story. Every freshmen who with a certain scholarship had to participate in certain event, when its complete they scan your student ID and you're marked for going. The very first event was "Meet the Greeks" In all honesty I was dreading for it to be over before it started (don't get me wrong at the prior to the event I thought Greek great. I just knew that me being in one is almost lying to myself). When we walked down stairs to the basement I saw they guys, they looked exactly how I thought they would, except one (yes, its one of those ridiculous cute guy moments, and I'm honestly cringing and feeling mixed emotions while I type his description) dark blue cap with a white outline, deep blue shirt, dark blue track pants, and red running shoes (Now that I think about it, just from his description he sounds like a douche or is it just me?) like myself you can tell he didn't want to be there, they where possibly giving introductions or a name call I don't know I was admiring this tall cutie until he looked at me. Know me I my have glared at him for a brief moment crossed my arms then turned my attention to the door to the kitchen. Although when I decided to look at him again and he was still looking at me (I was really surprised because usually when I do that most guys look away in a instant)that caused my glare to harden a bit and look farther down the room (not to intimidate him mostly angry at myself for getting caught) I bite my lower lip slightly as punishment but not to hard. Once everyone started to move I go towards the opposite direction everyone else went, by that time I already meet two of the guys prior to the event (because they were at our dorm event hosted outside where the residents HAD to go and meet the other residents and also eat free ice cream and I talked to them a bit. They were there for recruitment) I talked to them until all three couches were free, so I took a seat waiting for it to be over. When I scanned the room I was looking at the cute guy talking to other cute guys all I think was 'I'm sure he could get with anyone of them' looked away and just sighed rubbed my face a bit, I would be on my phone but no phones were allowed during the event. So I just sat there chew on my bottom lip tapping my foot thinking about how I may never be able to see him again, let along talk to him while looking at him talk to other guys. Then curse my luck he sat down across from me and spoke (I have no people skills or know how to have a conversation with anyone) even though I can't relate to most people and judging from what I've been watching laughing for the first time (which is important to remember). Fast forwarding I rushed the house and pledge and got to know him better and I'm starting to like him more (Have I mention I've never dated anyone? Also I've only liked 3 people total even now) so one day I got tipsy for the first time (fun fact I speak my mind at that stage) had over 8 or 9 Jell-O shots that night, he was showing me video clips of him playing soccer in high school he was the goalie (a damn good one at that) and I was over flattering him (my first time flirting with someone.. EVER) then later that night he asked was I flirting and said he was scared (he was laughing and started to cover himself I find that really fun when I think about it) of course I said no and left. Later down the like we became what I thought friends, when he got drunk I made sure he was not doing anything to hurt himself (the other guys told me that he's an adult but I tired anyway) when he got a concussion I'd tell him if he need anything let me know, I became a parent in other words I thought if I couldn't be with him then I least want to be a good friend (I didn't have those either, I also spend almost EVERYDAY in his room watching him play video games while I commentate he really enjoyed that). Wanting to distance myself from him because he was pretty much getting laid every night and I just decided to give up and use that time to get back in my hobby, photography, so I wanted to be the first person photographer of the Quidditch team my friend Joey was the caption and I asked him and was granted approval. Not know what the sport was he invited me to go to the first practice of the season and aslo about the tournament coming soon, I was excited until he told me the roster (Yup, he was on the team too) I couldn't just back down, he was really happy when I asked. When practice day came he was a clown, at that point he picked up on my speech pattern (also he didn't know what juke was is football until I told him) he would ask me how was that juke every time laughing , I was having fun but wanted to do this to get away not sucked in more. After practice he asked me to come to his room and watch him play a game I never seen before (I was a bit shocked he knew curiosity was my weakness). Tournament day arrived, we had to stay at a hotel there was 4 girls and 4 boys, which means we had to share a bed (oh boy..) and when that time came it was a vote who shares a bed with who and Joey and my other Greek brother called each other name so fast I didn't take a breath which means we share a bed (why me, that's all I thought. At that time I wanted to detach those feelings but the thought of sharing a bed didn't help!). The three of them decided to go somewhere and I wanted to stay, so when they left I went to bed, I woke up and felt wind on my forehead I realized it was him so I turned my back towards him and fell back asleep (That's what I know, but later in the future he told me he was laying on top of me..). Fast forwarding a bit I was trying to accept my feelings but not act on (at this point he SHOWED me what the game red light was. If you don't know its where your opponent puts his hand on your knee and he will go up slowly and will stop when you say red light. I always told him to keep going at your own risk and no he never touched it. But he was close, he was just on the wrong knee, thank goodness. Also, he's been getting VERY noticeable boners, I try not to look but with that size how could I not..) Then I later find out a good friend of mine told me she liked him (that hurt me honesty but what really hurts was when they dated). I was happy about it because she was a sweet girl and she deserved someone like him (I decided to official let these feelings go for good so they can be happy), but there was a slight problem, she was abstinent and he had sex almost every week. He never cheated on her it just made her nervous when she was alone with him and he wanted to "watch a movie" she would come to my room and ask me to join for that reason and I did, I just felt uncomfortable and a bit upset. She was leaning on his chest with her legs on the futon and he sat there stroking her arm then his hand eventually ended on rubbing her butt, not wanting to sit through it I said I had an early class tomorrow (The only think that made it uncomfortable and upset was just being the third-wheel which always happens to me in any situation). During that time she was always in there and the rate of him calling me in there declined quite a bit but he still did (I forgot to mention, we lived on the second floor and he is the first door on the left, across is the bathroom. My room is on the right and four rooms down from his including the bathroom and the water fountain was on the right. And every time he called me I was passing by his door he always singed my name lol). Eventually they broke up and it impacted her heavily and he seemed a bit off about it, he never wanted to talk to me about it (maybe because I was friends with her, but I was honestly sad I thought they were cute together) but I could tell something was off. One night he go drunk (I was staying away from drinks at the time) and he showed that it really affected him, he didn't cry he play a brake up country song and was sing and talking to me. Fast forwarding a bit I was in the process of reminding myself that "He's is pretty much the only real friend I had and I should be thankful for that" (The other people who I said were good friends are but I spent EVERYDAY with this guy so its bound to be different then theirs) at this time I was in the Theater club because on the same night I got drunk and failed flirted with him I ended up agreeing to join the Theater club. I met another nice friend that night, her name is Sage, and so since I had the thought of him being just a friend I started hanging out with her everyday instead of him (I'm honestly cruel for this, I already knew she was emotionally unstable so I just attached myself to someone I knew I could waste my time with.. But I did want to help her overcome all those problem and she did eventually). Though I started to notice changes with him, it start with him would call me to his room to watch him with his regular honest enthusiasm and I tell him I'm going to hangout with Sage and he asked are we going to do it and I'll say no and leave, then really changed when he would call me and ask to watch and I stand there and watch and he ask me to sit down and I'll tell him I'm going with Sage then he would fall silent then when I leave and as I'm walking down the stairs he slams his door (and I mean SLAMS his door, I wanted to check on him but I'd think to myself "I am not his boyfriend" and continue walking, then every time I come back his door would be open and he would watch me walk by (I was getting ready to read an update on my favorite vn's) and once I reach my door his door slams shut, I'd sigh and think that thought again. Guys around the house would be shock to see me somewhere else around the house, it became a theme that if you want to find me go to his room, but eventually I decided to hangout it him. I go in and sit down next to him and ask him what is he playing when it was clearly Madden he told me and he asked me "Not going to Sage?" I can tell he was grumpy and he started raging at the game and I started to chuckle to myself while covering my mouth, he asked me was I laughing and I said with a bit of sarcasm "What? No.." and he started to laugh a bit and said "You can laugh" or "I don't mind you laughing". Fast forwarding a bit and at this point he's yell or ask me "Lets fuck" so many times the whole house knows, one time he asked me calmly and I said no and he asked why not, I don't really remember my response or if I just chuckled and lean on my hand but he did give a quick glance. I've also notice him looking at me from the corner of his eye once (oh and the constant boners never stopped, although the amount of girls he slept with almost to nearly stopped). At that point I finally just accepted the thought of him as a friend (at this point we returned from winter break and I spent it with Sage), but one day I just wanted a break from everyone and I wanted to focus on classes, until a brother asked me can he talked to me and asked did I know why he called me in there and I said yes (That whole week everyone I knew was asking me was I mad at Sage and I'll say no) but that wasn't it. He said there is a rumor that a brother and pledge had sex (Pause. Now bare with me because this may get hairy. The only people in the house who hangout with each other everyday at that point was Group A: How had an openly gay member but he was never here, and there was me and Justin who hangout everyday. And two days prior to this, the same brother questioning me told me before I arrive he said "I want to fuck" and when up stairs and called my name. Then the day before this talk he said what I'm guessing a very lewd comment while going to his room I didn't hear what was said but everyone just looked and me wide eyed and gapped mouths, I asked what he say and they told me it was nothing). I was shocked and asked who was it and he said he didn't know (He only questioned me and another pledge and he left his door open when he asked him but not with me. He stopped the comments after that but we still hung out). Later he got a girlfriend who he is still with to this day (I was only shocked that they got together so fast) I was a bit happy for him even if he completely shut me out. He was either at her dorm or he was in his with the door closed all day everyday (I felt abandoned, like I was easily forgotten about. Before he go with her he would send me snaps on snapchat, we had a 6 day streak, if you don't know we messaged every single day. When he got with her it just stopped), though one day he crossed my line. One night his girlfriend was storming out saying good night like she was fine, being a good sport I went after her to make sure he was fine but she started crying. Long story short they had an argument and he has a concussion and she asked me could I watch him since I'm the only one he can trust (that was a fact, he trust no one with his credit card but one day he asked me to get something for him). I go to check on him and his door is closed and lock (of course) I text his phone and sent a message on snapchat I asked "where are you?", he replied to the snapchat he said "outside" I run out side and looked around, then ran out back and see his truck gone I hear tire screeches and run to the front and see him driving off fast. I called him and it went right to voicemail after the second ring, I text him (all the text are on snapcaht) to come back and he said no. I texted at least pick me up (I can drive but I have no license, that way I'm not worried about him having an accident) he said he wants be alone, I told him that he can talk to me about it, that's what friends are for. He read it but didn't respond I wait a bit and send "Right" it was on send then he opened it and didn't reply (Ok, I have a history why I don't have friends. In all my school years, all the people who I thought my friends told me that we were never friends this includes high school. I did their homework for them, I've been abused in way that put me in the hospital and if I told anyone those students would be expelled. I may not sound like anything but I've been scared literally and mentally and used, I took all this pain just for one single friend, but in the end I'm told I in my face we were never friends. I swore on my name that as long as I hold a breath in my body it will never happen again. And I not one to break a promise, especially one to myself) I send "Right?" again, he didn't open it for 2 mins then he replied asking me to tell another brother that he is ok (All the emotions that I felt just stopped) I'm just staring at the message trying to comprehend it, then he sends question marks 'Did he just...ignore me...?' that's all I could think then he message me again saying he's messaging him now. I replied "Tell him yourself" he sent more question marks I could bring myself to reply then me message me saying bright lights hurt his eyes and he can't read the messages, I told him to come back before he has an accident and he just read the message and didn't reply (All I could think was him just ignoring me asking are we friends but he can reply to other people and just ignore me.). Later that night he said his girlfriend convinced him to come back, when he go back I texted him should I check on him (I was emotionless, and my heart rate went up) and replied no but thanks. It took two or three days later I had a mental breakdown. I avoided him, ignored him and gave him the cold shoulder for a while, every time someone ask me about him I'd say "Why are you asking me?" (It really hurt, I wasn't mad at him, I was mad at my self for jumping to conclusions like that. When I thought about it we never really talked about anything and there were other brothers he just had a great conversation with while I was just sitting there. I came to the conclusion that he just thought of me as temporary entertainment until he have one of his friends to come by). Fast forwarding to summer break, I had a someone who was going to take me to the train station, as I went around and said goodbye he was my last stop, even though he was on the phone so I just playfully punched his arm and left. The I transferred. Current date, lately we've been having conversations like we use to (on snapchat), I can tell he would message me when he was with her or without her and he replied fast (one day he wanted to make a bet that he will find me. I said $15, then he said "$10 and a really good massage. I just send lol but he asked "deal?" and I just said "Fine deal lol"). Until yesterday, he asked "why no picture?" (he's been snapping pics the whole time and sometime text) I send one of me looking confused with the caption "I don't know..." and then after he reads it he sends "I almost forgot what you look like" with two laughing emoji's. Then he just started to message slow, like 5 hours later slow. Week before his sudden message I've been trying to look for a date lately but I fail every time they see how I look.. Now I'm starting to get a bit depressed because I thought he remembered how I looked and just didn't mind messaging me but now.. Papabear I want to know what do you think of all this? Was I overreacting or did I have any right to feel that way? Please give me you brutality honest opinion, I can handle it I just don't like being deceived.
Mark (age 19)
* * *
My opinion is that this guy, Justin, is conflicted about his sexuality and is not handling it well. His mixed-up emotions are then expressed inappropriately by treating friends badly and insensitively. I don't think you've done anything wrong here; indeed, you're remarkably restrained. I think he needs to get his head together before he can have a healthy relationship of any kind. I don't think he's trying to deceive you so much as he is deceiving himself (lots of sex with women is overcompensating to hide his homosexual feelings). The fact that you've been abused by others in the past (so sorry to hear), makes you vulnerable to misinterpreting his intentions.
So, what to do? The first step is to recognize that Justin is confused and conflicted and that he is not thinking clearly. The second thing is to not take this as an invitation to lecture him or try to correct his behavior. He has to work it out for himself or with a professional counselor. The third thing to do is make sure you don't have sex with him (sounds like you have not, good). Having sex with someone messed up in the head is not a healthy thing for either of you. Sounds like he needs to spend a little less time on sex, sports, fraternity stuff, and video games and a lot more time actually studying and working on his classes (how are his grades?)
Feel free to be supportive and listen to him (just listen, don't offer advice) and keep him out of your pants, of course. Calm down your own libido, too, because it's not helping you or him. Since you're in a different school now, that shouldn't be a problem. As long as you don't see this guy as a potential mate, you should be okay. Also, if this stays on a friendship level, remember that friendships should go both ways. Try this out by asking him to do something (even a very minor thing) for you and see what he says. If he says something like "I don't have time to do that," then you have a pretty good idea that the friendship is bogus, too.
This started with a guest submission by Rama the Golden Liger, a fur in Honduras. I collaborated with a lot of editing to smooth out the language and add extra info and another point of view. Fred Patten helped connect with even more furries who sent info at his request. Thanks Rama and Fred! – Patch
The Diversity of the Latin American Furry Fandom
We know how furry fandom started in the U.S. As it grew there, the mainstream media, the internet, its memes and popular YouTubers, and other influences put the fandom within a stone’s throw for many young people. Now across borders, different cultures are experiencing a growth of furry fandom among many international influences they already have.
Latin American furries are a result of all this exposure. The internet helped many young people get interested in the art, behavior, and culture of the furry creatures they see on the screen. Many Hispanic furry fans are males mostly from around age 15 to their 20’s. They came across fandom through friends, memes, anime, manga, and fan art. There are popular YouTubers like Khazoo, who spread the term “furry” through his videos. Of course, there was also Zootopia spreading popularity of anthropomorphic animals around the world.
(Patch): International reach reminds me of studying animation under an “old master” who in 1989, helped lead a nonprofit mission to Latin American countries to reduce AIDs among street children. They traveled around to test screen educational cartoons on the side of a van. The audience was poor kids who were vulnerable to exploitation and had low access to schools. The films they were shown were life saving, and most importantly to this story, the language of cartoons was universal across borders to all levels of literacy. Of course internet users in 2018 are the main topic here.
Khazoo is an example of how furryness spreads now. This teenage Spanish-language Youtuber from Mexico may not be known to English speakers. He was born in 1999 and only uploaded his first video in 2016, but soared to 31.5K followers on Twitter and nearly 600,000 youtube subscribers so far – much more than any specifically furry internet celebrity! How did he start? According to a wiki about him (use Chrome/Google Translate), Khazoo started with general teen audience content like gaming and cartoons. While he joked about being in love with Judy Hopps, fans called him “furry” but he denied it, until finally admitting it to everyone – a story I’m sure we can all laugh about in any language!
Latin American fandom does have old school furries; those who joined the fandom in the beginning or have been there for more than 15 years. From talking with some of them, they all got into it through comics with art from – for example – Nakira, JK Willard, Kese, or K9. And of course cartoons and books. Later on, the boom of the internet brought them to a community of those who loved anthropomorphic animals.
Even if furry fandom in these regions is still following development in North America, it’s already showing exponential growth; not only in the number of people who join every day, but also in the quality of fursuiters, artists, gamers, and more that have come from it.
Some examples are:
- The amazing works of Coby Wong, the fursuit maker from Brazil. She’s considered one of the most qualified makers in Latin American fandom.
- Talented artists like GAB SHIBA, Anhes, Peritian, Señor Nutria, and more from Mexico and Argentina.
- E-sports gamers like Noah Fox from Mexico, right now living in the U.S.
Some of them answered questions for this article.
One furry who spoke was @NoahFFox. He discovered furry fandom when he was 16 years old. He’s been in the fandom for four years, and since he moved to the U.S. he’s become a big Hispanic representative on Smash. He’s recognized as the only one using the Toon link.
From the comics partnership of GAB SHIBA – Zurdo is the artist (and Cross is the writer.) Zurdo shared his story about the fandom and how things started. He joined furry fandom 13 years ago when he was 16 and a friend showed him anthropomorphic art. He sees in the Latin American furry community a big opportunity for improvement. It can get a little chaotic because it’s now populated almost entirely by youths, but as it develops you can see how much good it can do, as more join year by year. There’s fear of the young population misunderstanding what furry fandom is; what role it serves, and that it’s not only about porn or yiff art. But he hopes to see more and more mature furries in Hispanic fandom as it grows with time.
From the same who brought you UBEAR, we bring you the ubearPOOL pic.twitter.com/Q7vm3ksbxw
*otter in spanish* pic.twitter.com/xpeYJgmB3G— otter cake (@senornutria) June 9, 2017
(Patch): GAB SHIBA has a smart approach. The comics are frequently wordless, or posted with dual-language for wide appeal – but they don’t just stay G-rated. Some are mildy sexy and others are even explicitly adult.
The same for Señor Nutria’s art. Maybe in the U.S., one may think of some Latin American countries as having conservative religious traditions or maybe not being the most tolerant, but some of his art is up there with the hottest gay yiff porn – showing that wherever furries are, they may spread a certain freedom or even counterculturally unbound expression in their creativity.
At Further Confusion in January 2018, I met Señor Nutria on his first trip to a fur con outside of Mexico. He was super friendly but still a little shy of being on camera, so I got a pic of work in progress at his dealer table instead. He said his younger brother, a teenager, had recently gotten into the fandom from seeing furry art.
Let’s not forget Paco Panda, the popular Mexican artist already widely known in fandom. And – Dogpatch Press has generous website admin support from Mexican fandom.
Latin American furmeets and cons
Many countries already have active communities and cons where they gather to exchange experience and knowledge, and socialize with other furs of their region. Some Hispanic countries started to do this as recently as two years ago, some four years. They are getting bigger and bigger. As new as furry fandom is in Latin America, you will notice how the media is interested in it and seek to interview these new animals in their lands. You can also see how many of the fursuits are hand made mostly by fans for themselves. Only a few can afford to buy a professionally made suit. But that’s the lovely part. You can see the large amount of effort and love this community is putting into its hobby and fandom.
The biggest gathering right now is the Brazil FurFest. Then there’s Vidafur and Fursummer in Mexico, and furmeets in Argentina and Chile. Here’s videos, with info about the first con in Mexico below.
(2/22/18) BrasilFurfest sent appreciation and a comment: “Brazilians aren’t Hispanic. Latin America is made of countries that speak Spanish, French, Portuguese. Hispanic refers only to people who speak Spanish.” (Apart from this, many from the region probably do meet there.)
BrasilFurfest – Brazil
Vidafur – Mexico
Furmeet – Buenos Aires, Argentina
Furmeet – Santiago de Chile
(Patch): There was rare media coverage of Peruvian furries in 2015. The standard “furries 101” article added useful tidbits: It was “still somewhat unusual” to see furries in Lima because their group was little more than four years old, and “the members of this tribe in our country are no larger than 100.” It also claimed: “In Latin America, Chile is a privileged country for furry fandom.” I’d love to know more.
Mexico’s first con – info gathered by Fred Patten.
Leonardo Davalos wrote:
The fandom is growing and very quickly and expanding to other countries, for example here in Mexico, the fandom isn’t unknown like it was before, and I’m happy that I had become one of the new members of this fandom.
In Mexico, the first meet was held in Guadalajara in 2008. It was a FurMeet called VidaFur. In 2010 it was held in Mazamitla, and in 2013 it was held in Guanajuato. In 2014 there was no event. The theme in 2017 was Furs in Space. This year it became a great convention with approximately 170 attendees. The name is now changed to Confuror, to be held in November 2018.
There were 27 staff members for the 2017 event. Some of them were Hugo Nieto, Henry J. Doe, EddBear, SoraDezWolfox, Zachary Huslion, An Ju Hope, Nathan de Xolotl, Foxhell, etc.
The activities were the following:
- Dance competition
- Drawing, traditional drawing, and sock puppet workshops
- Writing, character creation and GAB SHIBA speeches
- Fursuit Parade and Photoshoot
- Relay race
- Lazer Wars
There were more than 30 fursuiters in the event. There was no donation. Here is a blog of one of the attendees, Koidel Coyote.
“8 years celebrating local furmeets in our city… We all finally evolved this event to a new level turning it in to a Convention.”
Growth of Latin American social networking and more
Mike Retriever of Furryfandom.es, in Madrid Spain, writes:
I’ve read that article in Spanish, from Furry Amino. Amino is like a ‘Facebook’ kind of website/platform. Latin Americans like to use it. I don’t know of any other furry groups using Amino, only Latin Americans. It has some kind of integration with smartphones or something. Honestly I don’t get very good vibes from it, it seems very commercially-driven, like Fandom Wikia. It’s a social network geared towards fandoms. I’m very suspicious of non-furry websites catered towards furries. Flayrah’s GreenReaper says of Amino Apps they’re doomed to fail because they don’t allow porn! That’s a funny fact!
In 2008, Greenreaper’s Wikifur site launched a Spanish project in collaboration with Latin American furs. It was one of the first on the wikifur.com domain in a foreign language (along with Russian), showing them on the edge of growth.
On Wikifur I found that in 2014, when Mexico’s Vidafur didn’t meet, the members collaborated in a different gathering of many fur groups in another city, Fursummer. It lists the groups as: Vidafur, GTFur, Enfurry, Urban Clawz, Bicifurros and Tonalli Furs.
How cool is that? Getting small groups from across a country to pitch in and make a bigger meet shows the DIY ethic of fandom around the world. I love that art doesn’t need one language, and look forward to sharing more about the diversity it brings. In a small way, this international conspiracy represents a nicer future for everyone.
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Another discovery from Long Beach Comic Expo was Pindabear, home for “super fresh enamel pins”. Featuring designs from anime, American cartoons, Pokemon, and other fannish pursuits. Over at their web site they have all their current designs, and they’re taking orders now for new pins as well as sold-out designs from the past they plan to re-stock real soon.
This was produced Canada's LottoMax. So do Bears play the lottery in the woods?