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Worry’s For Another Day

In-Fur-Nation - Sat 18 Sep 2021 - 01:58

Fans of Muppets and Really Good TV: Rejoice! There’s a new book out called Fraggle Rock: The Ultimate Visual History, edited by Noel Murray and Jody Revenson. “It’s been over thirty-five years since the irrepressible Fraggles first hit the screen in the beloved children’s television hit Fraggle Rock. Created by the legendary Jim Henson, along with Michael K. Frith, Jerry Juhl, Duncan Kenworthy, and Jocelyn Stevenson, Fraggle Rock remains a favorite of fans to this day. This delightful volume tells the incredible story of the bighearted show that helped instill open-minded values in a whole generation of viewers. Fraggle Rock: The Ultimate Visual History follows the show’s creation, from early concepts to the incredible puppetry that brought the unforgettable characters, such as Gobo, Red, and Mokey, to life. Exclusive interviews with Stevenson, Frith, Kenworthy, and several other major contributors reveal fascinating, exclusive insights that take the reader further into Jim Henson’s world than ever before.” It’s available later this month, in hardcover from Simon & Schuster.

image c. 2021 Simon & Schuster

Categories: News

Your Book Recommendations

Furry Writers' Guild - Tue 14 Sep 2021 - 22:36

Last week on Twitter, we asked you to recommend some of the best furry fiction that you’ve recently read. We’ve compiled these recommendations into one place, complete with links and information on how to buy these great books. We hope that you can find your next favourite in this list.

Note: In some circumstances, books were recommended that were later parts of a series. In these cases, we have linked to book 1.

Disbanded – Frances Pauli (Goal Publications).
Winner: Leo Awards (2020).
Finalist: Ursa Major Awards; Coyotl Awards (2020)

Come forth, for you are special.

Sookahr the architect is just one of many snakes within Serpentia, an underground society where snakes and their rodent companions have lived in peace for as long as anyone can remember. Their destinies are preordained at birth, when they are fit with skymetal bands to enhance the telekinetic powers that aid them everyday.
Given an opportunity unheard of for a snake of his caste, Sookahr and Kwirk, his mouse aid, venture to a recently-destroyed outpost at the far edges of Serpentia, hoping to redesign the structure and prove his skill as an architect. But something watches from the jungle, and whatever attacked the outpost is poised to strike again. Will Sookahr’s drive to rise above his station get his team killed? Or will he respond to the call he’s heard since birth, and be the hero who can save them all?

Purchase in print.
Purchase in ebook.

The Pride of Chanur – C.J. Cherryh
Finalist: Hugo Awards (1983)

No one at Meetpoint Station had ever seen a creature like the Outsider. Naked-hided, blunt toothed and blunt-fingered, Tully was the sole surviving member of his company of humans―a communicative, spacefaring species hitherto unknown―and he was a prisoner of his discoverers and captors―the sadistic, treacherous kif―until his escape onto the hani ship, The Pride of Chanur.
Little did he know when he threw himself upon the mercy of The Pride and her crew that he put the entire hani species in jeopardy and imperiled the peace of the Compact itself…for the information this fugitive held could be the ruin or glory of any of the species at Meetpoint Station.

Purchase in ebook.
Purchase in audiobook.

God of Clay – Ryan Campbell (Sofawolf Press)
Winner: Coyotl Awards (2013)

Driven to the borders of an unfamiliar forest by an ever-expanding drought, two rival brothers find their fortunes and that of their tribe entwined in a long-forgotten conflict between the old gods of the world. Clay’s fervent belief in devotion to the gods does nothing to prepare him for their true natures, while Laughing Dog’s self-assured insistence that his destiny is his own leads him on a very different journey. As battle lines are drawn, each brother must decide where his allegiance truly lies — a decision that will change each of them forever.
Meanwhile, Doto, the son of the sullen and wrathful forest god Kwaee sets out to capture a member of the brothers’ tribe and bring them back to his father for interrogation, believing the humans to be in league with the insatiable fire god Ogya. In the process, he begins to doubt the stories he has always heard from his father about the original conflict, and the mysterious places in the heart of the forest that he was forbidden to ever visit.

Purchase in print.
Purchase in ebook.

Traitors, Thieves, and Liars – Rick Griffin
Finalist: Leo Awards (2019)

Centuries ago, we lost our world. Planetary Acquisitions keeps us alive solely to maintain their vast fleet of gate ships in an endless quest to find them new worlds to settle—or to conquer. Years flutter by like a tree shedding its spring petals, and so we desperately cling to this chunk of dirt-and-machine we call home.And all those centuries since, we’ve been looking for a way out, risky as it might be. Are we fools?Traitors, Thieves and Liars is the first book in a trilogy retelling the events of Ten Thousand Miles Up in a grand epic.The geroo have been trapped in slavery for centuries, searching for useful planets for their krakun masters. And then one day, pirates contact Captain Ateri with an opportunity that may prove too good to be true.Includes the short story Whatever Happened To Commissioner Sarsuk? Which details the downfall of the former commissioner of the fleet.

Purchase in ebook.
Purchase in audiobook.

Entanglement Bound – Mary E. Lowd (Aethon Books)
Winner: Leo Awards (2020)
Finalist: Ursa Major Awards (2020)

Clarity’s home is her spaceship. Living on the move. Planet to planet.
When money trouble forces Clarity and her traveling companion, Irohann, to take on passengers, Irohann worries his secret identity will be revealed. He’s a canine alien on the run from an empire of sentient plants, and their queen has a personal vendetta against him.
But Clarity believes his fears are unfounded and the Doraspians gave up on him long ago.
Heartsick at the idea of losing their ship, Clarity accepts an offer that’s clearly too good to be true, and they find themselves swept up in the crazy schemes of a rogue AI in a stolen robot body and her haphazardly assembled team of disparate aliens, including a hive-minded swarm, a giant insect, a rabbit-like alien, and a living spaceship who loves bunnies. Together the team must break into an abandoned science station, mangled by an entangled particle trying to destroy the universe.
When disaster strikes, Clarity steps up to pull the team together, but it may come at the cost of the very home and friendship she was trying to save.

Purchase in ebook.
Purchase in audiobook.

Eyrie – K. Vale Nagle

A bloody massacre. A looming civil war. Can two opposed gryphons work together to save their kind? Zeph thrills at the wind in his wings and the hunt for wild parrot. As a simple forest gryphon, he never thought much about his sophisticated city-dwelling cousins living in the lofty eyrie at the edge of the woods. But his carefree life turns upside down when he comes across a young city gryphon stunned by her discovery of a field littered with slaughtered animals. Kia always has her beak in a book. But when her best friend goes missing, she flies down to the woodland and gets tangled up with a wild country gryphon and a shocking conspiracy. With food in short supply and war on the horizon, Kia must choose between forsaking her own or allowing Zeph’s people to be wiped off the map. Forced to overcome their prejudice and misconceptions, the unlikely pair races against time to prevent an apocalypse. Can Zeph and Kia unite their species before a fiery conflict destroys them all? Eyrie is the first book in the high-flying Gryphon Insurrection epic fantasy series. If you like mythical creatures, graphic battles, and moral dilemmas, then you’ll love K. Vale Nagle’s darkly compassionate tale. Buy Eyrie to soar into action today!

Purchase in ebook.

Song of the Summer King – Jess E. Owen
Winner: Global Ebook Award for Fantasy (2013)
Winner: Ursa Major Award (2013) – for Skyfire, book 2.

Shard is a gryfon in danger. He and other young males of the Silver Isles are old enough to fly, hunt, and fight–old enough to be threats to their ruler, the red gryfon king. In the midst of the dangerous initiation hunt, Shard takes the unexpected advice of a strange she-wolf who seeks him out, and hints that Shard’s past isn’t all that it seems. To learn his past, Shard must abandon the future he wants and make allies of those the gryfons call enemies. When the gryfon king declares open war on the wolves, it throws Shard’s past and uncertain future into the turmoil between. Now with battle lines drawn, Shard must decide whether to fight beside his king . . .or against him.

Purchase as print or ebook.
Purchase in audiobook.

Shadow Cast – R.A. Meenan

All Matt ever wanted was to become a Golden Guardian, like his father before him. With decades of experience in battle and his powerful wind magic, Matt excels in every task given to him. Well, almost everything – Matt struggles to follow orders. But sometimes following the Guardian Oath means violating those orders when it’s important. However, Matt isn’t a Guardian yet – and he may never be if the Master Guardian has a say in it.
Izzy Gildspine, Matt’s partner, is also bidding for Guardianship, but she understands the Master Guardian’s worries. After all, how could Izzy be a proper Guardian anyway? Her healing powers can’t hold a candle to Matt’s wind powers. It didn’t matter how good she might be in battle – Making her a Guardian would just be a disgrace to the position if she didn’t have elemental magic.
But when their world is invaded, Matt and Izzy have one last chance to prove they deserve the Guardianship. Only their enemy is not what he seems…
Now they have a choice to make – save themselves, their home, and their final chance at Guardianship, or risk it all for the life of an enemy.

Purchase in ebook.

There are obviously so many more books we can recommend. We encourage readers to let us know which furry books they have enjoyed recently. We want to see that enthusiasm shared across our platforms, so if there are any other authors you want to see on lists like these, do let us know!

For now, we hope you support some of these authors and give their books a look. Leave reviews or ratings if possible. Happy reading!

Categories: News

Go to the Rats. Again.

In-Fur-Nation - Tue 14 Sep 2021 - 01:22

This one we found thanks to Facebook of all things. Gizmodo has an article about efforts at Fox to bring Robert C. O’Brien’s world of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH to television — almost 40 years after Don Bluth and company gave us The Secret of NIMH as an animated film. Here’s what they say about the new project: “NIMH, which seems to be its working title, will be based on Robert O’Brien’s 1971 book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, and possibly its two sequels Rasco and the Rats of NIMH and R-T, Margaret, and the Rats of NIMH, written by O’Brien’s daughter Jane Leslie Conly after his death. According to Deadline, Fox — already home to animated series Bob’s Burgers, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and more — has already issued a script commitment for the series, but has yet to hire a writer.” They go on to note, “In 2019, the Russo brothers of MCU fame were reportedly going to executive-produce a live-action remake of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH for MGM, which the studio had announced back in 2015. There’s no word on how this new adaptation may affect the former, but there’s also no guarantee Fox’s version will ever get made, either.” We hadn’t heard about that! It’s interesting that Gizmodo remembers Secret of NIMH as “terrifying” for children, whereas most cartoon fans from the time remember it fondly as a giant leap forward for animation, from a time when the industry was not looking all that great in America.

image c. 2021 MGM Studios

Categories: News

Mom is a Monkey. Kind of.

In-Fur-Nation - Sat 11 Sep 2021 - 19:17

Thanks to ASIFA Hollywood we found out about Ape Star, a new Scandinavian animated film directed by Linda Hambäck. Based on a popular children’s book by Frida Nilsson, the set-up is pretty simple: “Joanna is a feisty young orphan who wants to be adopted more than anything else. When her potential new mom drives up to the orphanage, she gets a big shock as the door opens and a talking gorilla steps out.” An English dub is making its way into streaming services now. Take a look at the trailer on YouTube.

image c. 2021 Lee Film

Categories: News

Princess Kitty in Motion

In-Fur-Nation - Fri 10 Sep 2021 - 01:56

We just got this in from the creator himself, Charles Brubaker: He recently released Katrina The Fuzzy Princess, an 18-minute animated short based on his web comic The Fuzzy Princess. It’s available to see up on YouTube now. “The short focuses on Katrina, a feline princess of St. Paws, who goes on a diplomatic mission to gain alliance with the humans, only to get into misadventures along the way.” Vocal talent includes Emi Koch, Aimee Smith, Ty Konzak, Nyla C., Brittany Ann Phillips, and Michael Malconian.

image c. 2021 by Charles Brubaker

Categories: News

Big Bird and Little Bird (It’s Relative)

In-Fur-Nation - Wed 8 Sep 2021 - 01:58

Here’s a graphic novel series we came across, for young readers and fans of the feathery folk. Arlo and Pips is written and illustrated by Elise Gravel. “Like most crows, Arlo has a big brain. But Arlo has something else: a little pal who’s not afraid to tell him when he’s being insufferable! In the first of three episodes, a battle of the brains and bird-to-bird banter soon turns into an unexpected friendship. Arlo and Pips’ adventures include a visit the big city and the beach on their hunt for shiny things and French fries. Cool crow facts are included throughout the book.” Check out this series from Harper Alley.

image c. 2021 Harper Alley

Categories: News

Best Friends Go On One Last Adventure

In-Fur-Nation - Mon 6 Sep 2021 - 01:50

Rainbow Bridge is a new graphic novel written by Steve Orlando and Steve Foxe, with art by Valentina Brancati. The story goes like this: “Rainbow Bridge is about a 14-year-old boy, Andy, whose lifelong canine best friend passes away right before Andy is about to start high school. Andy has relied on Rocket for support ever since he was a toddler and Rocket was a pup, and now he’s not so sure about handling such big life events without Rocket in his life. When Andy gets overwhelmed and runs off to a spot that was important to the two of them, a dizzyingly colorful splash of light swoops down and carries Andy away to the Forever Fields, the afterlife paradise for animal companions. It turns out the Rainbow Bridge that pet lovers always talk about when an animal passes away is real, but humans are NOT supposed to cross it—especially humans who are still alive. If the Rainbow Bridge allowed Andy across, it must mean there is powerful unfinished business between him and Rocket. And as Andy soon discovers, animals who linger with unfinished business run the risk of turning into wraiths, vengeful, shadowy spirits that haunt the outskirts of the Forever Fields, driven by unresolved pain and trauma.  Rocket has always been there for Andy. Now it’s Andy’s turn to find his best friend and make sure Rocket gets the afterlife he deserves.” It’s available now from Aftershock, and Big Comic Page has a preview.

image c. 2021 Aftershock Comics

Categories: News

The Front-side of Furry History

In-Fur-Nation - Sat 4 Sep 2021 - 01:59

If you have not heard of the APA-zine Rowrbrazzle — well, every self-respecting furry fan should. After the famous APA-zine Vootie closed in the late 1970’s, Rowrbrazzle took up the torch of the “new wave” of funny animal art and comics, and in so doing laid the groundwork for much of Furry Fandom to come. It was also a springboard for many creators who went on to much bigger things — artists like Steve Gallacci and Stan Sakai, and big names in animation fandom like Jerry Beck, John Cawley, and Fred Patten. One of the big draws of every Rowrbrazzle issue was the covers — the front cover and covers for each section. And now, MU Press have gathered together a big set of black & white and full-color covers in a new compilation, Covering Rowrbrazzle Volume One, “covering” the first 50 iconic issues. It’s available for sale over at Second Ed.

image c. 2021 by Bill Fitts

Categories: News

Three Young Ladies, Three Cats. It Works.

In-Fur-Nation - Thu 2 Sep 2021 - 01:57

More from Dark Horse, this time for the cat-lover in your life. Or maybe that’s you. It’s called Cats! Purrfect Strangers, written by Frederic Brremaud, with art by Paola Antista and Cecilia Giumento. “A collection of light-hearted short comic stories following the lives of three young women and their cats. Best friends Manon, Erika, and Camille see adventure every day, but when all three become cat owners, everything changes–for better or for worse! Grow up with these quirky cats and share in all the excitement and fun that comes with raising a cat.” They let it out this October, right before Halloween — of course.

image c. 2021 Dark Horse Publications

Categories: News

FWG Monthly Newsletter: August 2021

Furry Writers' Guild - Wed 1 Sep 2021 - 21:01

This will only be a short one this month. We’re moving ahead with our plans for Oxfurred Comma – there will be plenty of blog posts and Author/Publisher Q&As going out through the entire month in October, and we’re also starting to get together a list of panels to run at the convention itself.
Of course, as with last month’s blog, if you wish to run a panel at Oxfurred Comma, then please do get in contact with us, as we’d love to hear from you!
Over the course of the next month we’re going to start announcing some of what we have scheduled, so keep an eye on our Twitter feed – as well as any announcements shared in the Discord or Telegram chats.

As always, there are plenty of short story markets open for submissions. Here are the ones we’re aware of, and think would be good fits for furry writers.

Some of our members have had books freshly released, or are now available for pre-order. If you are a guild member and would like to be included in this section in the future, please remember to get in contact with us – we unfortunately will miss some!

Zooscape – Issue 12 available to read for free.

Stories are a vaccine for the soul, teaching your heart and mind to recognize different forms that lives can take, different ways of being.  When faced with the completely unfamiliar, we can panic, uncertain of how to react.  When the complete unknown is a deadly virus, that uncertainty of how to react can kill us.  When the complete unknown is simply a person with a different life story, a different way of seeing things… that uncertainty can make us hard-hearted and cruel. Literal vaccines are good for the body.  Metaphorical vaccines are good for the soul. So, read these stories, and share them with anyone you know who might like them. Also, get vaccinated, and tell everyone you know who’s medically able that they should too. We’re all part of one flock.  We must take care of each other.  We must learn to be kind, both with our hearts and actions.

Furry Fiction Is Everywhere, by Mary E. Lowd and Ian Madison Keller. Available for pre-order. Released September 10th 2021.

Have you ever read a book or novel and wondered why they even bothered to make certain character(s) in the book something other than human? Want to avoid that in your own work?
There are some simple steps you can take to make your anthropomorphic (or furry) characters stand out on the page. This guide will walk you through step-by-step how to build a believable furry species, world, and characters.

C.A.T.S.: Cycling Across Time And Space: 11 Feminist Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories about Bicycling and Cats – an anthology featuring guild member Alice Dryden. Available for pre-order. Released February 8th 2022.

Has your cat been plotting to take command of your spaceship? This and other important questions are tackled in the 11 science fiction and fantasy stories in this volume, told variously from the perspectives of humans and cats. A bicycle designer finds an exciting new technical challenge on a planet inhabited by felines. A wise cat tries to convince an excited puppy not to chase cyclists. On Mars, a cat helps save the life of their human after a quake. In other stories, a student must live with the consequences of magic gone awry, a cat contrives to go on a bicycle trip, a police robot learns empathy, a captured tiger lashes out, and a young sphinx finds her wings. 

Resistance, by J.F.R. Coates. Available for pre-order. Released November 5th 2021.

Book 3 of the Reborn series.
Centaura is not the safe haven promised to Twitch. A growing power threatens the fate of the planet itself. Twitch finds himself thrust directly into this plot, forced to take action against an enemy that is painfully familiar to him. With Captain Rhys Griffiths missing, it falls on Twitch to fight. He must become a greater starat than the one he was when rescued from Ceres. As his allies fall around him, Twitch needs to stand strong and tall against the familiar hatred. He must uncover the strength hidden within every starat.

Heretic, by J.F.R. Coates. Available for pre-order. Released November 5th 2021.

Book 4 of the Reborn series.
Rhys has been abandoned on Pluto, cast off by Snow for learning the truth about Amy and her Starat Freedom Union. Their target is clear. Terra is in mortal danger and Rhys is the only one who knows about the coming peril. But he is just one starat, voiceless in an empire of ignorance. Rhys must find new allies to help him as he delves back into the heartland of the empire, desperate to save the people who would rather him dead. If he is to succeed, he must uncover the secrets behind the empire and the Vatican on Mars. All the while, a familiar torment stalks him.

That’s all for this month’s newsletter. Please do send in panel ideas for Oxfurred Comma. We’re really excited to see how the second year goes. We hope you are as well.

Be safe. Keep writing.
J.F.R. Coates

Categories: News

Writers Speak on How To Write

In-Fur-Nation - Tue 31 Aug 2021 - 01:56

Prolific author and Ursa Major Award winner Mary E. Lowd has a new non-fiction project out, with the help of Ian Madison Keller. The title pretty much speaks for itself: Furry Fiction Is Everywhere — A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Anthropomorphic Characters. “Have you ever read a book or novel and wondered why they even bothered to make certain character(s) in the book something other than human? Want to avoid that in your own work? There are some simple steps you can take to make your anthropomorphic (or furry) characters stand out on the page. This guide will walk you through step-by-step how to build a believable furry species, world, and characters.” It includes worksheets for helping to create your own characters and story situations. And it’s available in September from Rainbow Dog Books.

image c. 2021 Rainbow Dog Books

Categories: News

You Were Watching It For Them Anyway, Right?

In-Fur-Nation - Sun 29 Aug 2021 - 01:59

When Avatar the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra were all the rage in TV animation circles, furry fans of course zeroed in on all of the interesting and strange wildlife to be found in that fantasy universe. Well soon Dark Horse Comics will be publishing a new compendium of creatures called Beasts of the Four Nations. “Part of what everyone loves about the Four Nations is all the strange and wonderful (and sometimes scary!) creatures that inhabit them! From the Air Nomads’ flying bison, to Kyoshi Island’s elephant koi, to the Earth Kingdom’s singing groundhogs and the little purple pentapus, look to this hardcover collection for images and information on Avatar and Korra’s creatures large and small, including many from the spirit world!” Different sources give different release dates for it, from this coming December to next February.

image c. 2021 Dark Horse Comics

Categories: News

The Girl, The Bear, and The Movie Empire

In-Fur-Nation - Fri 27 Aug 2021 - 01:58

One of the most popular series of animated shorts in the world is Masha and The Bear, created by Animaccord in Russia. Now word has come down from Animation World Network that the company is looking to expand the property even more. “In addition to production of the core show’s new seasons, development is in the works on a feature film, as well as podcasts, tech-driven content, and custom-made content for social media platforms.” Here’s a did-you-know: Masha and The Bear “… holds the Guinness World Record as the most watched animated video on YouTube for the episode ‘Recipe for Disaster’, which has recorded almost 4.5 billion views.” The feature film is scheduled for release in 2025.

image c. 2021 Animaccord

Categories: News

Catching Up With Cottonwood

In-Fur-Nation - Thu 26 Aug 2021 - 01:57

Remember quite a while ago when we talked about a new graphic novel (at the time in production) called Under The Cottonwood Tree? Turns out it’s available now from North Fourth Publications! Here’s what we said then: “One day, brothers Amadeo and Carlos Lucero walked into the deep, dark woods near their home in Algodones, New Mexico… and encountered a deep, dark magic. Attempting to flee, suddenly Carlos finds himself transformed into a black and white calf! That’s the set up for Under the Cottonwood Tree (El Susto de la Curandera), a new full-color ‘Latino fairy tale graphic novel’ by Paul Meyer, Carlos Meyer, and Margaret Hardy. Watch as our heroes encounter dangerous owls, talking rats, and magical spirits as they seek to un-bovine young Carlos.”

image c. 2021 North Fourth Publications

Categories: News

The Cat Rules The Kitchen

In-Fur-Nation - Mon 23 Aug 2021 - 01:55

Okay this is different! “Cinnamon is just your perfectly ordinary, average house cat. At least until we glimpse the world through her wild eyes! Countertops become skyscrapers, cat toys become biker gangs, and perilous giant robots rampage on the daily! Get drop kicked onto the action packed streets of Big Kitchen City, as she fights the dark forces that dare to keep her from her favorite treat… Catnip!” Cinnamon is a one-shot written and illustrated by Victoria Douglas, out now from Behemoth Comics. Comic Crush has a preview.

image c. 2021 Behemoth Comics

Categories: News

More Mice, More Adventures

In-Fur-Nation - Sat 21 Aug 2021 - 01:55

David Petersen returns to his award-winning Mouse Guard comic with The Owlhen Caregiver, a new series of collected short tails (ha ha). “Which of life’s biggest lessons can be learned from the smallest amongst us? A young mouse learns that compassion and kindness are the great virtues in ‘The Owlhen Caregiver’. ‘Piper the Listener’ finds a brave mouse venturing into wild country to learn the tongues of other beasts. And a grizzled oldfur shares the lesson of putting a whisker out too far in ‘The Wild Wolf’. ” Find it now from Boom! Studios.

image c. 2021 Boom! Studios

Categories: News

Fantasy for the Furious

In-Fur-Nation - Thu 19 Aug 2021 - 00:55

If you like your anthropomorphic fantasy brutal, violent, and with more than a touch of black humor, the comic book works of writer Markisan Naso might be right for you (as we’ve discussed before…). Their latest series is called By The Horns, illustrated once again by Jason Muhr. Here’s what the publisher says: “Elodie hates unicorns. For nearly a year, she’s been hell-bent on tracking down and killing all the elusive horned creatures responsible for trampling her husband, Shintaro. Now, exiled from her farming village of Wayfarer for selfishly neglecting her duties, Elodie and her half wolf/half deer steed, Sajen, search the continent of Solothus for clues to the whereabouts of unicorns. When Elodie discovers that four ancient wind wizards are abducting unicorns and other mystical creatures so they can extract their magic, she means to go through them at any cost to exact her revenge. But she’ll need to rely on an increasingly reluctant Sajen, a floating-eyeball guide named Evelyn, and two unicorn prisoners – Zoso and Rigby – who grant her the ability to rip off their horns and combine them to form wizard-slaying weapons. Will she use their gifts to save the captured unicorns, or destroy them all?” Issues are available now from Scout Comics.

image c. 2021 Scout Comics

Categories: News

The dedicated watchdog: Moxxey reports online animal abuse (Part 3).

Dogpatch Press - Wed 18 Aug 2021 - 10:00

CONTENT WARNING – Part (1) A Killer – (2) A Trend – (3) A Watchdog

The frustration is palpable. Moxxey publishes stories of atrocious behavior to animals, but how can it be stopped when huge websites have channels full of it?

Moxxey runs Rodent Club on Livejournal. Livejournal isn’t active like it was years ago, but citizen reporting can start anywhere, and reaching out from there is a good idea for an activist with a purpose. (I think he should also join the Trusted Flaggers in Part (2). And keep sharing cute pet stories for more notice!)

Moxxey returns comments about Part 1-2:

“This is a good start to helping expose and explain the problem that these social platforms are giving to animal cruelty perpetrators, and what needs to be done to fix this. A bit more needs to be said about small animal cruelty regarding hamsters, guinea pigs, rats, mice, rabbits, baby birds, etc. Too often they’re not protected under cruelty laws or seen as not important because they are small creatures.

The Reptile Channel is just one of these horrific channels creating “live feeding” videos under the guise of education. It’s really cruel entertainment for a profit and a very twisted audience. No matter what you try to do to report it on the AI reporting systems for Youtube, TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, etc., nothing ever gets done to remove the videos.

Even with an AI system, there’s no excuse for not having proper options to signify that when there’s animal cruelty — it’s time to get a human moderator involved! Facebook seems to have one of the worst reporting systems, which never give the proper option boxes to check, nor an explanation of what’s going on. They almost always respond, “Sorry we did not find the selected post to go against our community guidelines”. 🙁

What is needed is more news coverage by video, news pages and TV to let the public know what’s secretly going on with animal cruelty online.”

Rat tickling for science on Rodent Club. “The study offered new insight into play behavior, and how it is an important evolutionary trait among mammals.”

(Q&A): The Reptile Channel was my introduction to such themed channels for cruelty entertainment. What are some more examples?

From what I can see, there are at least 50 – 100 channels on Youtube using live feeding as an excuse for cruelty entertainment. My blog has reports on channels such as Reese Pythons, Raas Reptiles, Reptar’s Rampage, Golden Squad Feedings and more.

Golden Squad made a mock “Furs vs Scalies” basketball game video where he put live mice on a toy basketball hoop for his tegus to snatch up and kill. This monster and his audience thought it was funny, making a twisted Space Jam mockery with the suffering of real animals. He has teamed up with the Snake Meal cruelty channel to collab their efforts and get more viewers.

Is this still a problem when it’s necessary to feed personal pets?

Having worked in animal rescue for many years, I can say that the live feeding is unnecessary! Even the pickiest of predators can be trained to eat pre-killed food, but most owners are either too lazy to learn how, don’t care, or enjoy the cruelty. Many overfeed or feed at the wrong time. Some prey can injure or kill. Owners make poor choices, then scramble to give pets away.

There’s a lot of bad stuff on the net and it’s hard to track it all. How do you try to get companies to act? 

I’ve been busy reporting and screencapping the horrible videos, trying to contact Google execs and Susan Wojcicki the CEO of Youtube. I’ve written to people in US Congress and the Senate who are against animal cruelty, trying to get laws changed and ban live feeding. I’ve shared my petition against live feeding with all the governors in the USA and premiers in Canada.

Petition comment

I tried messaging Amazon about Raas Reptiles offering Amazon gift cards to people who post the funniest captions about the cruelty. I had thought this might trigger Amazon and put pressure on Youtube, because it puts them in a bad light, seeing their gift cards being rewards for it. They didn’t answer. I’ve tried reporting Paypal accounts: no answer. When my rescue friends and I reported Reptar’s Rampage (Ryan Ploof) as a fundraising violation to GoFundMe, they replied it was not in violation when we point out the cruelty it creates.

I have started screencapping commercial ads on Youtube playing during animal cruelty and sending them to advertisers to let them know their ads are part of funding this. Many companies have replied, saying that they don’t want to be associated and will contact Youtube about it. Hopefully this will have an effect, along with a petition and news story in The Guardian.

The Guardian: YouTube must remove videos of animal cruelty, says charity

“Getting the video-sharing platforms to remove the videos — or even provide a response — has proven frustratingly difficult. That’s why numerous animal welfare groups have banded together to form the Social Media Animal Cruelty Coalition (SMACC) and bring an entire movement to the companies’ proverbial doorsteps.” – Press release on Ladyfreethinker.org

The SMACC website has resources like a category breakdown and volunteer submission area.

What do they act on?

Youtube actually did something when I flagged a guy who made a mock Thanksgiving video where he chucked a live turkey in with his huge Boa Constrictor snake, and that was removed within hours of it being flagged.

But Youtube has pretty much left up videos of rabbits getting bashed with a metal pipe by an angry owner because they bit him when he held them wrong. There’s versus videos of fighting between pets and wild animals, birds of prey vs small mammals, cats and or dogs vs each other or versus mice, rats or birds. People target shoot wild animals just for fun. Youtube has not removed any of them, even when I had 50 rescue friends flag a video!

It’s disgusting how useless their flagging system actually is. But it spots background music or TV/movie videos uploaded to their site with the fastest of speed and efficiency. I think that Youtube doesn’t care about cruelty or even human suffering like vehicle accident or brawl/fight videos which trolls edit and upload many different times in different variations.

I would think companies should be first to act on their own content. But I was told of a case where YouTube was so slow with escalation replies that after 4 months, an animal owner was arrested before they even read the email!  Can you say more about how much the system doesn’t help with?

In the past they’ve removed robot battle videos thinking they were animal abuse. As far as how many animal abuse channels there are, if there are lets say 100 small animal live feeding cruelty channels, then there are about twice or three times for sport hunting of the wildies, and I would say 500-1000 for cats, dogs, birds, monkeys and any other large animal you can imagine. We’ve got to be talking minimum 2000 cruelty channels, but from seeing all the recommended videos pop up it’s more likely to guess ten thousand plus.

Youtube’s system will automatically recommend these for families and kids, when all they want to watch are cute pets or wildlife frolicking in the yard or forest. Some Youtubers label their videos as pet videos, which sneaks them past Youtube reporting and they also want to gain more views by shocking the pet fandoms.

Data could make better cases. Do you know about average views or income for these channels?

For viewership, older well established channels sometimes have 10-25K views per video, while smaller/newer ones may average 100-200 views; probably about 1/3 are well established. For money Youtube pays out per channel, one analysis said that a Youtuber can make $3-$5 per 1000 views and that Youtube will pay out when $100 worth of views are reached, so that means a 20K video will pay out (or the sum of a bunch of videos together.) I have also seen quite a few advertise and link to TeeSpring, selling shirts with their logos.

It makes me wonder about requesting screening to approve animal channels (like from a vet, a school showing real education value, or animal welfare org).

Trying to put the word out to stop the cruelty is good enough. What we need is a way to inform people in charge, and if that doesn’t work, as many on-line media outlets, newspapers or news channels as possible.

MOXXEY’S LIST: YOUTUBE’S ANIMAL CRUELTY HALL OF SHAME

I have compiled a list of cruelty channels that I have come across and reported on so far. Many more were recommended by Youtube.

  • ojatro (1.17M)
  • Joseph Carter the Mink Man (1.18M)
  • Reptile Channel (530K)
  • DesertWolfArmory (201K)
  • Gatorpool Gators (78.5K)
  • Venom Wonderful (53.5K)
  • Reptars Rampage (45.9K)
  • ヘビのお食事ch Snake Meal Channel (15.5K)
  • Karl Jones (15.1K)
  • Reptile Feedings (14.7K)
  • Cali Varanus (12.7K)
  • Reeses Pythons (7.7K)
  • Raas Reptiles (6.18K)
  • venomman93 (4.04K)
  • Golden Squad feedings (2.86K)
  • Tyler Waskosky (2.8K)
  • Wild Charles (No subs listed, most viewed video is 3.5M)
  • Mouse Trap (No subs listed, most viewed video is 2.5M)

At time of posting, Moxxey’s most recent find is yet another cruelty channel that Youtube won’t remove: Irondogg Reptiles. It’s full of videos of feeding baby rats to frogs. The About page ironically denounces “hate” and “negativity”… do they protest too much?

A REAL POSITIVE CLOSING:

Part (2) shares National Geographic: How fake animal rescue videos have become a new frontier for animal abuse. Moxxey tells me that the activist organization Lady Freethinker has the support of National Geographic, who will be doing a TV episode to expose Youtube animal cruelty.

More news articles:

Like the article? These take hard work. For more free furry news, follow on Twitter or support not-for-profit Dogpatch Press on PatreonWant to get involved? Try these subreddits: r/furrydiscuss for news or r/waginheaven for the best of the community. Or send guest writing here. (Content Policy.)

Categories: News

The Zoosadism Channel: A look at a trend of animal abuse on social media (Part 2).

Dogpatch Press - Tue 17 Aug 2021 - 10:00

CONTENT WARNING – Part (1) A Killer – (2) A Trend – (3) A Watchdog

Huge platforms are letting it happen. It’s under their noses, according to this June 2021 report. National Geographic: How fake animal rescue videos have become a new frontier for animal abuse.

That’s disturbing at wide scale, because of how social media attention meets psychological escalation. Part (1) looked into the Omegle Cat Killer, where an investigator said: “Animal abusers have total power over that animal and, if someone is willing to be that cruel to an animal, evidence suggests they may target vulnerable humans as well,” said Special Agent in Charge Paul Keenan, FBI Indianapolis.” — Kokomo Tribune

Despite such a warning about the extremes, it seems like the odds are against justice. A standout example among furries was Kero the Wolf, a popular Youtuber exposed in a zoosadist crime ring. The evidence led to arrests, but child abuse was the focus and most members got away with it. Kero’s attempts to gaslight the public about his innocence made him The O.J. Simpson of furries. His presence highlights a gap in the laws.

This part covers the exploitation on social media, and Part (3) will feature someone working to bridge the gap.

A content pool with no lifeguard

In 1940, protest rose up about a horse tumbling over a cliff in a Western movie. It triggered regulation for the industry to stop using animals like disposable props. Now Hollywood movies get American Humane certification by following a 132-page guide. But tech platforms aren’t so regulated.

The internet gives unprecedented reach, and lets out the best and worst behavior on an infinitely granular level. (Washington Post: The country is being buffeted by groups that couldn’t exist 30 years ago.My favorite example for demonstrating the power of the Internet to form ad hoc groups is furries…”) Platforms are automated and let users regulate themselves from private locations. That’s how animal abusers connect with each other like never before, and fly past local laws. “They’re accused of abusing their pets in viral videos. But laws don’t always consider it cruelty.” And: “YouTube Won’t Ban A Guy Who Crushes Animals to Death.”

Of course, animals can’t speak for self-regulation, and nobody’s watching when the cameras stop. People who control their welfare are enjoying a form of cruelty theater, like dogfighting, but tailored to individual proclivities to maximize reach. Some watch for the fake cuddly feeling of watching an animal get “saved” from busy highways or burial in mud. Some are chasing special fetish content.

In 2017, The Reptile Channel on Youtube rose out of furry “vore” fetish groups. It uses a false front about live-feeding animals for science, but it’s not for science, and it’s hiding in plain sight. In 2021, despite protest and the ban of a previous channel under the concealed owner, the channel is still growing with over a half million subscribers. (The most popular video has 33 million views!) The “educational” front is a flimsy excuse to artificially pit animals against other animals, and force-feed them after neglect or starvation to keep them hungry.

Youtube’s algorithm is hungry for the views. But when I originally tried to flag the Reptile Channel for policy violations, I couldn’t even find a category for it. Compare that with the difficulty of removing an even more obvious channel. A 17 year old Youtuber (labeled Peluchin Entertainment) beat cats to death for attention — raising widespread protest and even inspiring copycats — but it took months to take the channel down.

The cost of exploitation

Exploiting this system is easy, and it’s a systemic flaw. It’s the same gap exploited by fake news hoaxes, trolling and harassment, and messing with elections. The gap makes rising fascism and social destabilization, and the extreme result can be genocide. While we look at “just animals,” the stakes are more than we know.

Content flows through this gap like the industrial waste of Big Tech. The public pays for the damage while private owners profit. The business is built on cutting corners because “progress” means replacing human moderation with algorithms. Less views = lower stock prices, so we’re always underpowered to match the scale. Free speech idealists can debate in the marketplace of ideas, but animal victims can’t, and what’s the point in arguing about cruelty if cruelty is the point?

CW//TW: Animal Abuse, Animal Death, Animal Blood/Gore

WE NEED TO HAVE A SERIOUS CONVERSATION ABOUT @YouTube FAKE ANIMAL RESCUE RING CHANNELS.

These channels are full of animal abuse, death, and FAKE rescues.

Let's take a deep dive.

— hot cross sun bun (@sunnydancer_fur) October 26, 2020

Three painstaking videos diving into fake animal rescues. Hundred of hours of depressing and tedious research. Watching video after video of brutal animal abuse. And in the end the only channel to receive any form of punishment was mine. I feel sick

— Nick Crowley (@NickCrowleyYT) October 28, 2020

It’s time to finally address this problem @TeamYouTube … because things are only getting worse from here. https://t.co/4ngUsf0nb6

— Nick Crowley (@NickCrowleyYT) October 26, 2020

Federal regulation and Trusted Flaggers

Big Tech vs Big Government is a bigger story than we can cover here, but we can look at some developments.

In late 2019 in the U.S., a new law, the PACT Act, made animal cruelty a federal crime for the first time. It lets agencies work across jurisdictions. I found interesting info about it in a podcast about investigating animal crime.

Crimes Against Nature’s episode “The Killing Fields” talked to experts about unsolved horse killings in 3 states.

(At 15:20): “These law agencies are doing what they can with the resources they have to bring these criminals to justice. They’re working with sister agencies and sharing info across county lines, but no info has been shared state to state. With crime in multiple states, would a federal agency like the FBI get involved?

The podcaster consulted the FBI in Dallas:

“Beginning in 2016, the FBI began collecting data on crimes against animals. Acts of cruelty, according to their website, are now counted alongside felony crimes like arson, burglary, assault, and homicide in the FBI’s National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS).

By adding animal cruelty offenses, agencies and advocacy groups are hoping the results will reveal a more complete picture of the nature of cruelty against animals. The National Sheriff’s Association was a leading advocate for adding animal cruelty in the dataset. For years they had cited studies linking animal abuse with other types of crimes, most famously serial killings. They point out overlap with domestic violence and child abuse.”

To my understanding, it’s rare and challenging to make a case they’ll pursue. But down on the community level, investigators and watchdogs can work with allies you might not know of: Trusted Flaggers. They are volunteers including “individuals, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs)“. The role goes to users chosen for high accuracy with pointing out YouTube violations, who get a back door to get them reviewed.

One such ally was key for catching the Omegle Cat Killer. This starts to address a need that came up in a furry news interview with criminologist Jenny Edwards, who consults with the legal system about animal crime. Her advice for when a community like furries finds abuse within:

“There needs to be a conduit – not necessarily me, but someone like me – who can put a case together and get it into the right hands.”

American Humane says if you see cruelty online, the first step is reporting to ic3.gov. For next steps, read Part (3).

  • NEXT: A WATCHDOG SHARES WORK IN FIGHTING ANIMAL CRUELTY.

Like the article? These take hard work. For more free furry news, follow on Twitter or support not-for-profit Dogpatch Press on PatreonWant to get involved? Try these subreddits: r/furrydiscuss for news or r/waginheaven for the best of the community. Or send guest writing here. (Content Policy.)

Categories: News

Hot Love between Human and… Not

In-Fur-Nation - Tue 17 Aug 2021 - 00:55

We literally stumbled across the writer Christine Warren, whom we had not heard of before — but we found her novel Born To Be Wild at a used book sale. Since 2003 Christine has written a slew of hot adult-oriented fantasy romance novels, usually involving a human getting wrapped up with a non-human shapeshifter of some sort. Her series include The Others (as human/animal shapeshifters call themselves), Gargoyles (no connection to the Disney series but it shares some ideas), and Alphaville (specifically werewolves). Her web page at Fantastafiction has a summary for each and every book, if you like your romance explicit and your lovers of a different species.

image c. 2021 St. Martin’s Press

Categories: News