Content warning for animal abuse and sexual violence. Part 1 of a 5 part update about the Zoosadist chat leaks.
A rape plan [October 2017]
It’s near Halloween. In Coos Bay, Oregon, spooky movies are playing at the Egyptian Theater. And Snakething (Levi Simmons) is at home having an evening chat with his new friend Tane, a furry fan in California. The men were introduced by a friend with a mutual interest.
Tane goes to college, and Snakething lives with his mom — he can’t drive or work, so he spends time gathering online friends from around the world. Most come from the furry fandom. Furries often gather for special interests, like art or music, but Snakething obsessively collects porn from secret sources. His friends make a crime ring for zoosadism (a fetish for raping, torturing and murdering animals). They call it “hardzoo” (or hardzoosuiting with a fursuit, a very rare interest they try to “corrupt” others into).
Tonight Tane and Snakething are making plans for Nacho, a woman who recently reported crimes by two other men tied to the ring. (A video of those men abusing her dog was leaked by a friend of Snakething, leading to their arrests.) The plan is to drug Nacho, and when she’s unconscious, rape her with others she isn’t aware of, like their friend Tekkita.
Since they met, Tane has enjoyed a video where Snakething drugged and raped a 10-12 week old puppy. The puppy came from Craigslist, and may have been killed and dumped by the camera man to hide it. (Snakething claims it’s OK but doesn’t know.) The video was made to share with the ring. Members gain trust and favors by hooking each other up with people, animals, or content for trade, where the worst is rarest, as if the victims are Pokemon cards for kids to collect. They have a term for child targets: RLC (real life cub).
The furry fandom has maybe a million members in the world. Few or none know the full extent of one of the worst stories that has ever happened inside it. The zoosadists hide in a fringe of a subculture, but one germ can take down a giant. Let’s put it under a microscope.
A threat to events [Now]
The plan to rape Nacho was still secret when I saw the crimes she reported in Seattle news. In 2017, I contacted her to learn about the arrests of “Noodles” and “Cupid” (Kevin Richards and Matthew Grabowski) in Renton, WA. But when the ringleader Snakething was arrested in October 2018 for the puppy rape, he escaped charges due to statutory limits. (Time wouldn’t run out so fast for a human victim.) There are clues that much more was hidden from the police.
Tane, Cupid, and other ring members are still active at furry events. Event organizers know it.
Their plan is leading this story to highlight an active threat. Nacho told me: “these men are dangerous“. She says the screenshots I showed her are real plans by people who would do anything to get what they want, with associates already using drugging and deception for sex crime.
I spoke to people involved and learned undisclosed details. Nacho faced extortion and backlash, and her ID was redacted in the crime charges due to threats. There may be more interference like that, but as a source, the police found her reports worthy for cases that cleared with convictions in April 2019.
Those linked legal docs are the tip of the iceberg. Others won’t tell, and animals can’t, but a lot can be said about people known to be involved. Some claim innocence or say it’s fantasy talk. Snakething’s arrest — and this report — shows people are getting away with crime even when caught red handed.
An international problem
While the crimes reported by Nacho were in process, I had no idea about a much larger story brewing in secret. Members of the zoosadist ring were being introduced through a darkweb forum called Animals Dark Paradise that was for cruelty on the level of urban legends. I’d never heard of real animal snuff porn (where victims are used for sex during or after being killed), let alone enough demand for group meetings to make it.
Less extreme bestiality content has long thrived on unregulated sites like Beastforum. When it closed in February 2019, the Washington Examiner quoted an activist who called it a sign of legislation in progress for “a national policy against bestiality”. Meanwhile in the UK, the BBC News reported about trading of abuse images. It’s being displaced from the open web, to the dark web, to encrypted messaging:
Secure messaging apps, including Telegram and Discord, have become popular following successful police operations against criminal markets operating on what is known as the dark web… Messages are protected by peer-to-peer encryption, generally putting them beyond law enforcement’s reach.
A ring exposed [September 2018]
On Telegram, Snakething’s “hardzoo” group (“The Forest” or “BBB/Beasty Beast Beasts”) could filter in members from the larger zoophile groups, where they concentrated resources and contacts. Unsatisfied by just trading common files, they gathered to create zoosadist content that resembled the acts of serial killers.
Dogs would be gotten from animal rescues or private ads from people hoping to give them forever homes. They would be restrained with duct tape, rope or drugs, then mutilated and torn apart to hear them “sing”, in the words of a ring member who was arrested for killings in Cuba.
We can now read that Snakething and Tane were planning to rent a beautiful cabin in the woods for a weekend getaway, like a group vacation for five normal friends. But instead of a place to enjoy a fire or go hiking, they wanted to budget for “toys” (disposable animals from Craigslist), and looked for seclusion so screaming dogs couldn’t be heard being raped.
This upset admins of shady groups like Zoofurries Society/Zeta Corner or Zoofurries Alliance. They got a password that Snakething gave to a play partner, and dumped the logs from his Telegram account. On 9/16/2018, they put it on Twitter and tagged me as a news source, but I had no idea what it was about.
Reasons to leak
The leakers claimed “no vendettas”. I started with a theory of fallout from the Nacho/Cupid/Noodles cases, with dueling evidence disclosures tied to plea deals (or “insurance” from a dead man’s switch). Or a move to taint evidence to block more charges. There were deals, revenge motives and friend ties, but I couldn’t say they directly caused the leaks or had anything to do with why many members were exposed.
The going story says a domination/blackmail fetish game was used to trick a password out of Snakething’s play partner, and then truly expose animal torture. The partner seems to be EliteKnight, who posted a story to match. He was a definite candidate for blackmail about illegal activity. (And being a “fall guy”. I think they have others being visible faces for their groups to dump if they’re at risk, too.)
Leaking online instead of reporting to police made a mess for investigation. I think the leakers did it because they feared being arrested, exposing friends and losing their groups. It was extremely dubious to see them pose as having good intentions for cutting risks to themselves. (Snakething became a security threat to them when his video trading caused Cupid’s arrest). There’s many reasons to find this unacceptable and a form of obstruction. It’s also likely that the story wouldn’t be known otherwise.
I doubt any single person knows how deep this goes, but after hundreds of hours of research and talking to dozens of sources, I can say more than anyone has written in one place so far.
Reporting the story [One year later]
This multi-part article took weeks to write, including sorting evidence in linked archives. This is a third news update since 2018. Furry readers may have heard of Kero the Wolf, the highest-profile gateway to the story. (Kero’s boyfriend was Illone/Colwyn, a fellow zoosadist known as very active on Animals Dark Paradise). Kero’s 100K-strong Youtube following (and lying to the public, including hiding ties to “Colwyn”) earned a focus for previous articles:
- Zoosadism leaks: possibly the worst story to ever hit fandom
- Zoosadism investigation: Capitalizing on abuse, and the ugly persistence of Kero.
This is the hardest story I’ve written, by research time, emotional cost and backlash. That includes knee-jerk attacks from bystanders about dealing with sources or trying to get help. The cost is more than could ever be gained, but it comes from caring about others. I hate having it in news about furries, but I hate having it buried even more.
In a year of trying to shine light on a murky story, I can see how tangled it is. Ring members got caught up with infighting, infiltrating, bargaining, and blackmailing each other. Zoophiles that partially outed them threaten to ruin the story if they can’t control it. They want apologism and credit for helping (imagine a necrophile, leaning on a shovel, saying “we don’t like people who kill for corpses”). Sources or reporters are targets of smokescreens, manipulation, and backlash to limit exposure. Community apathy includes denying it’s a fandom issue, acting like it’s private business, just fantasy, “drama”, or cyber-bullying to talk about it. Everyone acts like a ring isn’t a ring.
Worst of all are blind complicity, defenses for indefensible things, and lies about the story being fake.
The chats are real people talking about real activity.
See for yourself. Warning: graphic evidence of animal abuse. No illegal content with children. Check legality in your jurisdiction to view this. To my knowledge (not a lawyer), viewing to investigate in the USA is legal and it’s been checked by many people. It may be illegal in the UK and Crown dependencies under the “extreme porn” laws.
Members of the ring confirm the logs are real by their actions. Their private activity cross-checks with years of matching activity with friends, social media posts, news reports, and crime cases. It synchs with original information like incriminating photos/videos found only in the logs. One purpose for the ring was to hook each other up to make “zoosuiter” porn, and unique costumes can identify their wearers. With Kero’s boyfriend Illone/Colwyn, his death (by heroin) ties many pieces together (that’s why Kero erases the memory of his dead boyfriend, who can never speak denial.) It all weaves a huge matrix of corroboration.
For a conspiracy theory of faking the chats, it would take a squad of Hollywood scriptwriters, with intimate knowledge of hundreds of ID’s and movements that would need a time machine to predict, somehow having power over uneditable server-side sources. A claim about evidence of hacking was shown to be a lie by Kero (who still hasn’t fully disclosed his involvement). Hacking Telegram to target one member and smear their image would be akin to a government taking down another country’s electrical grid to turn off one light bulb; faking a giant ring is absurdly unreal for such a motive. This mess of a conspiracy theory would be hopeless to carry out undetected, with no coherent reason, and if one could hack Telegram they could claim huge rewards. I haven’t seen a single real clue that anything was faked — although not everything was exposed that could be.
The cult of cruelty
Known members exposed in the ring (by account names):
- Snakething — Ringleader in Oregon and obsessive collector of extreme porn, who gathered members on Telegram to feed his urges.
- Woof — Cuban, basically an animal serial killer to make torture porn, and focus of a hunt that extracted a confession.
- Eliteknight — Florida resident and play partner of Snakething, who abused his dog for zoosadist porn. He posted confirmation for the leaks.
- Glowfox — Peruvian who forced sadism on dogs, whose boyfriend appears in the logs too. He claimed to be taken “out of context” for being in the ring.
- Tane — Had a special porn trading deal with Snakething. Partner to an SF Bay Area furry, who confirmed Tane was in the ring with excuses about why.
- Kero — From PA, he made necro/bestiality content behind the scenes while doing innocent-looking fursuiting on Youtube for over 100,000 subscribers.
- Sephius — Austrian who claimed to rape puppies to death, thought to be the person in a video of sex with a dead deer originally attributed to Kero.
- Equinas — Zoophile ranch owner in WA, hoster of furry/zoophile parties and Calzoo ring activity going back to the 1990’s.
- Tim Win/Matepups — Camera man for Snakething’s abuse video, associate of Equinas, reputed to be the most unhinged member with many victims.
- Tekkita/Mr. Bitchtits — Zoosadist contact of Snakething, associated to Cupid and source for porn of him (possible partner or roommate).
- Techno Husky — SF Bay Area zoosadist who Snakething tries to convince to abuse the family chihuahua, text indicates sharing child porn.
- Sangie — play partner of Snakething, owner of Inkedfur (a furry art printing company), helps groom the nephew of Snakething for molesting.
- Blonde Dog/Golden Retriever — Into decapitation and necrophilia with puppies, works at a dog boarding kennel, meets Tane in person.
- Ember — Ring member who discussed sedating dogs for rape, who caught public attention for his drug overdose at BLFC 2017.
- Kintari — Previously known vet tech/zoophile (NSFW) named in the logs for zoosadism/snuff porn, and source for drugs to subdue animals for rape.
- Illone Sheppypaws — Kero’s boyfriend, Animals Dark Paradise user who introduced Woof to Snakething.
- Coywolf, Humacyrnus, Mo Mo, Shepnuts, Zeta Omega, Xyro, and more who aren’t named.
Associated by guilt
Dozens of members make countless ties to already known crime:
- Sangie is a convicted sex offender (and subject of many tips to this site about a repeat pattern).
- Spark Dalmation is a repeat sex offender. In the chat he’s on a list of names, including Tane, said to be into/experienced with “RLC” (Real Life Cub.)
- Icepaws was a former Anthrocon staffer whose porn is shared by Snakething, arrested for animal abuse in the bust of a furry pedophile ring in PA.
- Cupid and Noodles were convicted for their charges, with court records corroborating what’s in the logs.
Known leakers and hosts
Difficult sourcing may be the only way this could be seen:
- Shadowwoof (leaker) — Admin of groups like Zoofurries Society (with around 1000 members and at one time had admins like zoosadist Tekkita). He’s been admin/opposition for Simba in the UK (known for running a furry Discord group with a cult-like/multi-level social credit system. Simba collects user info and runs FinDom groups, and is under police investigation.) Shadow uses threats/blackmail to gather info, so wasn’t consulted for this article.
- Akela (leaker) — member of zoophile groups. He uses threats/blackmail to gather info, so wasn’t consulted for this article.
- Logs are hosted on TOR by Doug Spink (not a source). He plays “zoophile media spokesperson,” with a cocaine-smuggling felony record, news articles and a book by a journalist about him. He posted that ring members force the logs down from hosts with legal claims that their own info is too extreme.
- Logs are also on Kiwifarms, a notorious harassment site that rejects takedowns to be one of the only open hosts.
Demanding other sourcing is an easy deflection. (Where else would it come from? How does Wikileaks get documents?) Deniers can find lots of ways to attack this messenger, because that’s easier than defending a ring. It’s a common tactic to cover up institutional abuse, although a fandom doesn’t exactly have institutions. There’s more like a little power and lots of “not my job” involved. Nobody has a real watchdog job in it (I’m a volunteer who just reports things).
Independently of getting involved with the leakers, I looked myself and found a real story. It made much harder work for a lone reporter, vastly uncompensated by tiny PBS-style support. It lets me say my article has no profit, and no stake in blackmail, harassment sites, deals, or protecting anyone. Again, not one real clue of faking has reached my attention, and the logs have a mountain of corroboration. It’s getting stronger over time with elements like Cupid’s conviction.
A major news report of orphanage abuse by nuns lacked institutional records that exposed priest abuse — instead it cross-checked many sources to build evidence.
One ring to rule them all
The zoosadist ring has abuse beyond any seen in the past, but it ties to an overlapping list of older rings:
- Calzoo (started in the 1990’s), whose members “have turned up in nearly every furry zoophile incident of note” (including this one.)
- The Enumclaw ring, known in headlines and a documentary about a “bestiality brothel,” sex tourism and the horse sex death of “Mr. Hands” (Kenneth Pinyan, an employee of Boeing). I found a tie to a Zoofurries Society admin.
- The Dolph ring, an animal sex tourism group at a Swiss waterpark that shut down after dolphins died from poor care.
- The PA pedophile ring of Rebelwolf, which made news with 8 arrests in 2016.
There were enough ties that I had already been comparing news stories and developing sources before learning of the zoosadist ring in 2018. It took root in furry zoophile groups, and wormed into a niche of a niche of a subculture using its resources and networks. These sub-groups are sometimes held out as social connection for people who love their pets that much, but are founded on porn trading with mental gymnastics about it. (They’re also places where members may be surveilled or blackmailed.) Keep in mind that nobody approves who joins the community, and furry fans are also working to uncover the story.
Focus on Tane
One ring member has gotten low notice so far for high activity. His chat logs with the ringleader Snakething are some of the longest, and they had a deal for sharing all content that came in. (Only one other person had such access.) Later parts will show triple-checked corroboration that Tane’s logs are real, and a detailed breakdown of the contents (including practices to evade police.) It makes a thread to help follow a tangled story where tech has a big role.
Tane works in information security with government clearance, and is known as a member of the DCfurs. (Def Con Furs is a tech focused group “for members of the infosec community that share an interest in the furry fandom.” They bring furries to the Def Con hacker convention in Las Vegas, where Tane appeared in a Vice article about it). He seems to travel a lot, which ties to animal sex tourism clues in the logs, including going to a zoophile meet at a farm in Nebraska.
At the Nebraska farm, Tane met a friend who runs a furry porn imageboard, and a performer in animal porn videos from the commercial maker Petlust. (An employee did a Q&A about his job there, mentioning “tech savvy” and a tie to the “Mr. Hands” incident.)
These screens came from Tane’s Howlr profile. Notice how many furry events are on his list — places where ring members planned to meet for their activity.
Howlr is a popular furry sex hookup service like Grindr, generally for consenting adults, but founded by Stormy, who left due to controversy about bestiality acts shortly before the chat leaks. Independently, the leaks tied him to the ring’s plans for “zoosuiter” parties with pimp-like animal owner hookups at furry cons.
Monsters with friendly faces
Old horror stories have monsters who lurk in the wilderness beyond civilization. Modern monsters hide behind masks of technology, but walk among you like friends. They aren’t just strangers on the internet. Some of them help to run your community while complicit with this story. That’s everyone’s problem.
Come back for more about that in the next parts. As always, send requests for help to report anonymously, guest submissions, hugs, coupons, death threats, or (worst of all) plans to call me a narc and throw gum on my fursuit to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Part 1): Exposing the ring. Part 2): Running scared. Part 3): Investigation blocked. Part 4): A new development. Part 5): Interview with an expert.
Ow… Hey! It’s crazy-hot out. But we’re back with more anthropomorphic news. We got this from Animation Scoop: “Netflix will transport viewers around the world to a colorful and imaginative land where fantastical creatures sing and adventure surrounds you – welcome to Centaurworld. The new kids animated series hails from first-time showrunner Megan Nicole Dong, a 2017 honoree of Variety’s “10 Animators to Watch” list… Centaurworld follows a war horse who is transported from her embattled world to a strange land inhabited by silly, singing centaurs of all species, shapes, and sizes. Desperate to return home, she befriends a group of these magical creatures and embarks on a journey that will test her more than any battle she’s ever faced before… The series will feature a mix of animation styles and each episode will include original songs in a variety of genres.” No word yet on a premier date, but it’s Netflix — they will let us know!
If you like this interview, read The Diversity of the Latin American Furry Fandom – by Rama and Patch. Thanks to a special Cat for translating from Spanish.
(Patch:) Hi Alf! Very nice art, drawing backgrounds can be hard work besides the characters. The site is commissioning regular new banners and featuring the artists, with interest in lesser-known artists in the world outside of American fandom. The last one featured was Meru Tenshi from the Phillipines. Can you tell me about where you live, and say a little more about yourself?
I’m from Chile, from the city Iquique. I spent part of my childhood in ‘Lana’, a small town in the interior of Combarbalá, Ovalle. That’s where my grandma lives, she’s a farmer. (She has no livestock, only agriculture.)
Do you mostly do art in furry fandom, or somewhere else like for studying at school or publishing for non furries?
I have always spent my time drawing whatever I like. It’s like phases. I started in a church, and I did oil and acrylic, it was pretty realistic. After that I turned into an Otaku, drawing a lot of anime. Now I’m only furry, and for my career I only do architectural drawing.
Want to share your links on social media?
I’m not very active in my social networks, because of school, but here they are.
How did you find furry, and what’s the fandom like where you live?
I found the fandom with one friend from University, while we talk about crazy things. She told me about this group and I got very curious. In August 2017 I got into the fandom.
It was interesting to hear about your family and grandma, it makes me wonder, is it unusual to be an artist in your family or where you grew up?
No. In my grandma’s house we didn’t have too many things to do, there wasn’t electricity. Besides playing outside, there wasn’t much to do. We spent the time drawing, or playing with mud, or learning to play a musical instrument. I got involved in drawing. Never managed to get the musical ear from my mother. My sister did, she played the whole day. Meanwhile, I drew the whole day.
My grandmother is dedicated to agricultural work, mainly to Peach Huesillo. But she also has fig trees, parronales* and much more… I drew under the trees and watched the animals pass, mainly the dogs and grazing goats.
When I wasn’t drawing, I would go to a river nearby. I built wired things… it was my imagination going crazy. I built my own version of a futbol (soccer) table. And built time machines… I even saddled and mounted a sheep. I was only calm when drawing.
All my family does art in many ways, starting from musicians to sculptors, painters, bakers, etc. My generation was not so good, but still keeps the love for the art.
And just to be clear, right now my grandma has electricity and there is even open television. It’s a rural place and the technology comes slowly.
*[I had to look up Parronales… it’s large scale grape farming, with labor that can be split by gender in Chile. – Patch]
Do you spend time with other furries in Chile, and what do you do? Or is it mostly on the internet?
Mainly on the internet. I don’t know other furs in Iquique, my city.
Do you have any favorite furry characters, whether in game or movies or tv — or ones made up by you or artists you like?
Can you compare the fandom in North America to the part where you are? Do you hear about it a lot, or do you mostly talk about happenings closer to home?
I have no point of measurement about how the fandom is in US. Only things that I’ve seen of Mexico on the internet. From South America? Nothing… In Iquique there are no furry events, not even another furry from my same city.
The art you did for the site is super cute. Is there one thing you could say about it, like what you used for reference, or what style you used?
For the buildings in the drawing I just used to two vanishing points. I used simple elements, no references. I think I just used my head and anything that came out from my memory. For the bus I checked internet pictures. I used pictures for you sent by Mr. Cat. For the rest of the characters, I was asked to not use ‘known’ furs, so I invented all of them generic (a cat with stripes, a fox, a couple of bunnies, a panda, a black cat, a wolf, a pig, etc.)
Do you have any favorite art you drew that you want shared?
This commission is very important for me. It was requested from a Mexican artist called ‘Paco Panda‘. I did it with a simple mouse (I didn’t have a digitizing tablet at that time) and I opened commissions to buy one. But drawing with a mouse was painful (like a real physical pain) and I was going to decline. But Paco paid me for this drawing and give me a huge tip, that was a boost to buy the tablet that I have now. I’m very grateful to him.
4chan started a conspiracy theory that PretzelCollie used dry ice on his hands because he wanted them to be amputated and replaced with paws.
Hands-down one of the most depraved harassment campaigns I've ever seen. And it's of course blatantly untrue too. https://t.co/rC2pzgITL1
— Mythic (@MythicalRedFox) August 31, 2019
A shocking accident.
In 2015 I met a furry who joined furmeets I organize in Northern California. He’s bright, enthusiastic and fun to host. It was a shock when he posted on Facebook about suffering an accident. There were graphic medical photos of extreme frostbite caused by dry ice.
Welp, I’m in the hospital with a life changing situation. It was my own damn fault. Been pushing myself so hard for so long, sleep deprived, pushing myself with arthritis in my wrists. Basically I fell asleep while icing my wrists last night. Woke up 6 hours later, hands were frozen. Went to the hospital, they care flighted me to a burn center in California. It was too late, damage had been done, it’s resulting in a bilateral hand amputation so things are about to get very interesting in my life. I’m doing ok, remaining optimistic. Honestly I’m anxious to get it over with and move on with my life.
To help with costs of hand amputations, one of his co-workers started a crowdfund. I shared it on Twitter, and added a light-hearted comment about helping him to get “new paws” with an article I wrote 6 years ago: Scaly, feathery alternative limbs leap the uncanny valley into the future of prosthetic design (2013). It was about improving the lives of amputees. Instead of hiding prosthetics, they can be featured, like transforming scars with cool tattoos.
I commented about “new paws” before I saw anyone else say it. The crowdfund was his co-workers idea. Those ideas didn’t come from him.
Cooking up a fake attack.
Soon a rumor began spreading on social media. He was accused of causing the amputations on purpose for a fetish. There are cases of people doing self-harm with “body mods” or BIID (Body Integrity Identity Disorder), so the idea has non-zero plausibility. It’s a dysmorphia issue like anorexia. On rare occasions it crosses with furries. Examples range from Stalking Cat in the 1980’s, to the 2018 “Noodles and Beef” story that was on the cover of The Stranger in Seattle. (The writer consulted me for his story based on my tweets about it.)
The situation was concerning. Did I help to spread false money appeals to the public, or contribute to the risk of media glorifying self-harm? Even if it was very unlikely and it was spread from dubious places, the risk was worth taking seriously just in case. I looked in with an open mind about issues I already cover, so this can’t be accused of bias. I checked both sides, but only one was real. Not everything has sides.
Meanwhile the target spent energy to answer trolls while he couldn’t even easily type. With a stylus in his mouth (or speech-to-text), and nothing to hide, he challenged them to show evidence. They had nothing to show but posts unrelated to him, and fake screenshots with no source.
He explained that he worked with dry ice, and used it after a busy day because he didn’t have regular ice packs. It would have a powerful effect. He’d been overworked, and slept through the harm. (I use melatonin or a weed gummy to pass out sometimes). He’d never posted anything about intentional amputation — that would be a drastic result of long-term obsession, not a sudden impulse.
It was a sadistic hoax to torment an innocent guy in a time of need. And these cowards didn’t even know that they were piling on someone who was hurt for more than medical reasons. The next part could bring more harassment, but I think it’s important to reveal how they’re even more malicious than they look (and help you decide what responses to give their agenda.)
Pouring salt on the wound.
The victim wasn’t out as gay, and that made a problem about getting home care. He wrote on Facebook:
You know what sucks the most about this situation I’m in? The fact I can’t tell my family. Sure they will find out eventually, but I have to stall that as long as possible. I cant rely on my own parents for support through something like this like I can all the rest of you.
Then a visit from a parent outed his relationship with a partner who was caring for him. Coming out as gay led to losing a parent (at least for the time being.) It’s more evidence that there’s no intentional self-harm here. After the sudden disability, and losing a parent, he told his friends:
Reading the responses and messages just makes me smile and give me that fuel I need to keep pushing on… You all truly are family to me.
I felt bad about unintentionally feeding the hoax with my prosthetics article. There were a few hundred retweets on my posts. I deleted them, and he posted about a break from social media to let the hoax wither away.
For those of you who follow me on Twitter, I’ve been getting a lot of questions regarding this last tweet I made. As many of you are well aware, my situation got a lot of attention and the internet trolls latched onto it and took off with it. I was so relieved to see the majority of furs arent buying into their bullshit. Honestly I’ve got bigger problems to worry about than what some pathetic basement dwelling teenagers want to speculate, but it was really starting to get out of control. Everything I said and did was being used against me, I just got tired of it. I deleted all of my furry content because people were taking my past posts and manipulating them, in addition to straight up photoshopping fake posts. It was getting bad. I figured the best thing for me to do was to take a break from Twitter altogether.
Selfish trolls grabbed attention by kicking an easy target while he was down. But it wasn’t just simple clout-chasing.
A scapegoat for a hate agenda.
The rumors were spread by washed-up pseudo-celebrities tied to hate groups and “Gamergate”, the conspiracy theory/harassment campaign. Their following has nothing to do with furry fandom and only targets it for views. These are grifters who bounce from target to target sourced from chanboards and troll sites, to capitalize on their most gullible followers. (I won’t make that easier by linking their accounts.) These are frontline trolls with 5-figure followings (and not the helpful Frontline that gets rid of fleas.)
(Last screen) Milo’s channel
A machine greased with hate to strip-mine the truth.
This hoax is just one example of gaming the algorithms of platforms. Faking a controversy has a goal to move merchandise, subscribers, and donors, at the expense of a newly disabled man in a time of suffering. They’ll say or do anything for clout. You can tell they’re lying if their lips are moving.
The last screen above comes from a familiar face. Milo is the Gamergate grifter who built a following by:
- Mocking gamers as “unemployed saddos.“
- Getting paid by propaganda outlet Breitbart to turn them into a troll mob, and “red-pilling” them as tools for neo-nazis of the alt-right.
- Getting fired by Breitbart for praising pedophilia, going bankrupt and being deplatformed by Twitter for hate attacks.
- Recently trying to mobilize hate groups behind a so-called “straight pride parade.”
When he isn’t spreading transphobia, he’s teasing views at the expense of furries, like the other trolls shown above. It isn’t coincidental, it’s coordinated. Like when an admin of The Daily Stormer (the neo-nazi blog) tried to get “altfurries” out to neo-nazi events coordinated with trolling on their blog. Milo even did get help from a few furries. Dreamkeepers artist David Lillie drew a fursona for him (that he’s been sharing lately) and boosts the “Comicsgate” troll campaign. If you like furry fandom, these trolls inside will use your tolerance to ruin it for you. But you don’t have to let them.
Throwing a wrench in the gears.
This was written with permission to help the victim. But there’s a bigger point to a story of how simple trolling isn’t so simple. They can target me about it to grab their clout, but I personally don’t give a shit about them (or any breed of clout-chaser) because it’s not about me. It’s about what you can do.
Outside of fandom, these trolls are more and more desperate. Their games stopped working thanks to platforms cutting them off from abusing their service.
Deplatformed alt-right personalities Milo, Jacob Wohl, and Based Dragon are all having a collective meltdown together about how their Telegram audiences have stalled at extremely low numbers right now and it's glorious.
Sweet, sweet nazi tears. pic.twitter.com/9GlXcrKqg0
— Gwen Snyder is uncivil (@gwensnyderPHL) September 8, 2019
Milo Yiannopoulos says he is broke. The disgraced right-wing troll is complaining that the major social media companies have effectively cut off his alt-right audience and crushed his ability to make a decent living.#thoughtsandprayers https://t.co/e2JFcbH8cB
— Stone (@stonecold2050) September 9, 2019
Alt-right furries had the same fate after Furaffinity kicked out a few and the fandom showed the door to the rest. Altfurries have no real presence except for being corralled in little hate groups on Telegram where they just wither away now. https://t.co/gP9fqwjXpe https://t.co/MrgPX8Dzxy
— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) September 9, 2019
Deplatforming WORKS! No person nor platform is obligated to provide a soap-box for these hatemongers. Sure, sunlighting is important, but both sunlighting and deplatforming are valid and complementary strategies to protect communities from alt-right recruitment tactics. https://t.co/aYCu57aQ3W
— Echoen (@echoenbatbat) September 9, 2019
The hoax about “a furry amputated his hands to get new paws” comes from termites eating away at what makes furry fandom special. It’s a place where a newly disabled LGBT man finds support he needs. Spreading this kind of bullshit hurts the weakest people who need help the most. If you see anyone jump on board with it, abate the misinformation. And if they keep doing it, block them, kick them out of your groups, and cut off their funding, because hate doesn’t belong here. Don’t let them in until they stop making scapegoats out of people who truly deserve support. It’s like a little treatment of the Frontline we need.
At Animal Farm, all animals party… but some animals party more than others.
Furries have conventions, bowling meets, and dance parties, but until 2014 there were few or no openly advertised, public-access furry fetish parties in the world. Then San Francisco got Wild Things at The Citadel. The BDSM club wanted to host something different and got me involved. (Apparently I look like a helpful dog who likes helping every species to express themselves and get their kink on, with support and safety about consent. Also, I got to do weird fun promotion like joking about a Human Sized Cat Box and making a cat box cake to share in the lounge.)
Wild Things had 4 parties with lots of praise from its diverse, young, LGBT-friendly goers from ages 18+. Then the organizers let it go into hibernation. Until now. If you want to enjoy this stuff, try it here on a set schedule through 2020, because sex is healthy and fun and furries are cute and cuddly.
Come get it:
- Not just teasing like other furry parties… all the sex, and nobody will turn the hose on you for being naughty!
- Get some in the well-equipped dungeon full of gear and toys. Get a vet exam, or be fun and frolicsome. Prance, pose, participate… or get dragged into the fray by your collar! Try a glory hole, get tied up and spanked, do it with a friend, do it with lots of friends, or do it solo while they watch.
- Safety supplies provided (house rules discourage going raw dog unless with your SO.) Sorry, no watersports, save it up for after the party.
- Nervous or shy? Don’t fear, enjoy the lounge where no sex is allowed. Just chill out and talk to new friends, with a kitchen full of snacks.
- Enjoy a secluded cuddle zone with a fun, plush sexy environment, and dancing on the light-up disco floor with DJ Nightkat. (BLFC, Furcon, Frolic.)
- There’s lockers for your gear if you will change. (They’re not big enough for your gimp/pet person, but there are kennels.)
- Got a murrsuit? Bring it, and don’t even try to hide that SPH. Pup gear, leather, and any animal costuming goes, with a headless lounge for safe changing.
- Not sure about coming? Any way I can convince you? How about a free show? Ask to see my dog bone and I’ll give you an eyeful for a party favor.
Get involved, find friends, and please volunteer.
Volunteers are needed for setup, cleanup, and kitchen. Cashier or DM wanted if you have Citadel training.
Got any demos you’d like to run? How about games or a pet auction? Get in touch. It can have volunteers write down pet tricks they will do, and have a pet show where we spin the bottle to find who chooses, with a winner picked by who gets the most barking. And if you don’t do a trick you can do truth or dare.
I dare you to come to the Animal Farm.
Here’s more from Animation World Network: “Channel 4, Lupus Films, and HarperCollins have announced the voice cast for their upcoming animated film, The Tiger Who Came to Tea… Based on the classic children’s book by Judith Kerr OBE, the half-hour film will bring the vivid images and irresistible story of this classic picture book to life. Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Avengers: Infinity Wars), Tamsin Greig, David Oyelowo, David Walliams, and Paul Whitehouse will portray the characters of Daddy, Mummy, Tiger, Narrator and Milkman respectively, while seven-year-old newcomer Clara Ross will make her TV debut as Sophie. Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books and produced by Lupus Films, The Tiger Who Came to Tea tells the story of what happens when the doorbell rings as Sophie and her Mummy are sitting down to tea in the kitchen. Confronted with an unexpected guest – a big, furry, stripy tiger – they invite him inside where he proceeds to eat everything in sight before making a timely exit, just before Daddy gets home. Inspired by the author’s daughter, The Tiger Who Came to Tea was first published in 1968 and has sold over 5 million copies. Lupus Films’ distinctive, hand-drawn animated style will bring the story to life, introducing the characters to a whole new audience. Channel 4 will broadcast the one-off half-hour special this Christmas.” Now we’ll see if it becomes available in North America after it airs in the UK.
Better late than never, here’s a look at a cool happening from July.
I was reminded to put out the story by a writer from Vice, who just asked me for help to talk to members of the SoCal furry community in L.A. She’s happy to meet in person, and she was nominated for the fandom’s Ursa Major Award in the past. Please drop me a note to get in touch with her.
Dave Dutch (Dax Yeena) led the furry plans for San Diego Pride. I was tipped by Joe Bear, a fur I know to be as friendly as a whole parade by himself. I told Dave about organizing the furry float for S.F. Pride, and he mentioned interest in doing L.A. Pride. I thought it was a nice idea to bring furs from SoCal and NorCal. At this rate, parades will have to tell them to let humans have a chance!
I tipped Dave Dutch to talk to the ALSAOCC (Dogbomb’s charity) for a parade. And for S.F. Pride I even tried asking Margaret Cho (a prior Grand Marshal) to be a guest of the furries. It could happen — she did an interview with me. She was busy on tour this year, but there was an actual reply so asking again is smart.
Here’s Dave Dutch’s chat with me.
How did San Diego Pride go for the furs?
It absolutely went off perfectly! So many people showed up and were all excited to be there!
Who got it going, and can you talk about particulars, like how much effort and cost was it and will it be bigger next time?
Well for 7 years I lived in Maine with my mom. She wasn’t the most supportive to me for being LGBT… but she was supportive of me being a furry. So I found out the second year living in Maine, that Portland Maine was having Pride Parades. I wanted to go, but I was always gone during it until my final year being in Maine, when I graduated high school, my local furries were going to be in the parade and suit there. I wanted to go, I told my mom about it… that was the first time I really felt bad for being transgender. I’ve heard hurtful things before, but hearing them said to me days before pride, it really brought me down. I never went to pride until San Diego Pride 2017. I went with my dad and step mom, I have never been happier. I loved seeing everyone in the parade and all the supportive people. 2018 was when I discovered the San Diego furries, I went to some of the meets and didn’t feel like I was fitting in too well. But I got to know JarJar and his partner Rasmus, then from them, I got to know everyone else.
2018 Pride was right around the corner and I though “hey why don’t we get a small group and go?” I wasn’t planning to be in the parade, just going in suit and watching it. But so many people entered my chat group, all under the assumption to be in the parade. I tried to get us registered but since it’s last minute I missed the registrations. I ended up passing everything to Chance Dragon. I felt bad but everyone that went seemed happy. I wanted to try again, this time I started early. I revived the chat being used previously, informed everyone about it, and set up a donation box at meets. In one day I raised $212 for just registration alone. Registration for us, non profit organization, was $100. The rest went towards renting our truck. Truck rental I set to be $400 and sure enough we made that goal. With $100 left over towards next years Pride Parade.
I’m the one who put all this together for the furries in San Diego Pride. I had help spreading the word, and of course the amazing Steve/Labrat was our driver. For cost, everything was mostly done by donations, like registration and truck rental. The water, Gatorade, ice and granola bars that I brought, were because of my dad and step mom who wanted to help us out. Decorations I paid out of my own pocket. The canopies on the truck were from Chance Dragon. Everyone who showed up early helped to set up the truck.
As for next year, I really do hope a lot more people will show up. From what I could tell that day, everyone is excited to do this all again.
Who went and what did you do? Did it bring any new furries out? Get any good reactions from the crowds?
The majority of our chat group attended with special guest Rascal Jackal. As for doing anything, we mostly decorated the truck and socialized. There was a group photo taken with everyone already at the staging area. For new furries, we did have someone who just moved to San Diego two weeks ago. They were beyond happy to be in the parade with all of us.
The crowds all knew who we were. Furries. It’s become something so recognizable now that everyone instantly got excited to see us. I never heard people cheer for us as loud as they did at Pride. We were loved by the crowd and for the very energetic furs (myself included,) we just wanted to interact with as many people as we could.
What are the plans for next time?
Definitely try to make it bigger and better. I’ll be reaching out to more people for San Diego Pride Parade 2020. I want to be the one that can make this happen every year. I want new furs coming out to see our group, be in our group, and know that things are okay. That who they are is okay, that here’s so many people just like them who support them.
There are so many furries supporting them as well. I want it to be known, I didn’t walk the parade for myself. I walked the parade with my transgender flag, for all the transgender furries out there who are scared to come out. You’re going to be okay no matter what you are in the LGBT+ community. I’ll walk for you every year.
Congrats to all of you, nice turnout for first time. They will get to know you if you go back!
Driving the San Diego Furries at the Pride Parade was an honor for me to support my Furries and the LGBTQ community. – Steve/Labrat
Now, an interesting little media moment…
A problem about being on TV in S.F. Pride
Pride started with a riot, and now it gets criticism about mainstream “rainbow capitalism” and respectability politics.
When I organized for S.F. Pride, there was one minor issue. In past years the furries were put next to a nudist group, so the TV cut to commercial. Some furries had family at home waiting for hours to see them who missed out. The group put their heads together to suggest dressing decent enough to be on TV. But that felt against the reason for Pride for a fur who went in head, paws and speedo in the past, and this year wanted to go topless with a “trans vixens are vixens” sign. We chatted to make them happy, they marched and it was great.
A problem about NOT being on TV in San Diego Pride
Watch the video and what the announcer says.
Aww! Sorry San Diego Furries. The first appearance at #SanDiego Pride didn't get much love. https://t.co/eyhwtHGBC5 But I already interviewed the group organizer so there will be good attention here, and there will be more appearances and better looks. #SDPride #Pride pic.twitter.com/IIuBSzq773
— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) July 15, 2019
I was told that 10News was just there for the views, and NBC 7 did the official broadcast. Dave Dutch said:
When we passed NBC 7 announcers, they were excited to tell everyone “here come the furries showing their pride. Look how cute they are.”
One fur was mad enough at being slighted by 10News to talk about suing. I chatted with them about how TV air time isn’t a right that can be taken by discrimination… it’s their channel and they didn’t make a contract. So nicer reaction could happen by impressing them, or debunking bad info if it happens, but not starting a fight.
It’s really about how the furries felt in front of the crowd, and it sounds like things are going to get better and better.
You may remember that some time ago we talked about Marvel Comics’ Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur. Well now Animation World Network have a very interesting announcement: “Disney Channel has ordered Disney Television Animation’s Marvel’s Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, an original animated series based on the Marvel comic books. Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland’s Cinema Gypsy Productions (ABC’s Black-ish), Marvel Animation & Family Entertainment, and Emmy Award-winner Steve Loter (Disney’s Kim Possible) are all on board as executive producers. Jeff Howard (Planes) and Kate Kondell (The Pirate Fairy) will serve as co-producers and story editors. The series follows the adventures of 13-year-old super-genius Lunella Lafayette and her ten-ton T-Rex, Devil Dinosaur. After Lunella accidentally brings Devil Dinosaur into present-day New York City via a time vortex, the duo works together to protect the city’s Lower East Side from danger.” We’ll let you know when we find out a premier date!
Out now from Graphix we have Catwad Volume 1: It’s Me, a new full-color graphic novel. The publisher says this: “From New York Times bestselling author Jim Benton, meet Catwad! He’s blue, he’s a bit of a grouch, and his best friend is a dim-witted cat named Blurmp who can see the bright side of anything. From pizza and computers, to love and happiness, this crabby tabby has a funny take on just about everything, and he’s not afraid to share it.” And his story is available now in paperback from Scholastic.
Recently Previews let us know about an interesting development: “Avery Hill Publishing are delighted to announce they are joining forces with comics powerhouse Comic Book Slumber Party to publish the next installment of their British Comic Award nominated series – Deep Space Canine. Life in space can be tough – and when you’re balancing a hydro-herb habit, mysterious intruders and an impending reunion, things get even tougher. Luckily, Space Commander Greasy is not alone, and with the help of her best robot pal, Cybernetic Unit Normally for Troubleshooting, she (and her ship) might just get through the next 24 hours in one piece!” This feminist science fiction anthology comic features a plethora of artists and styles, and now it’s finally available in North America.
If you’re a talking animal on social media, Furry Twitter is the place to be. And if you aren’t on there yet, or if you’re new, it may seem like a perplexing jungle of stunning art, cute fursuits, drama, social commentary, memes, nature videos, hitting on corporate mascots, and crazy happenings with a huge fandom of friends who have fun like nobody else. Finding the good stuff could use a guide to bushwhack through the wilderness. Wouldn’t it be cool to get an article series about entertaining and well curated accounts? These ask the account owners just a few questions about what they do. Enjoy whether you’re new, or like learning more about stuff you already love.
SHADOW RACCOON is the Certified Cuddly proof that anything is more adorable with a British accent. I’m sure that’s nothing special for his friends, but I’m in California and I just want to give him a hug until he goes “I can’t breathe” with it, OK? Shadow made it here because – He’s nice – He started tagging me (good idea!) – He does fun and wholesome videos – and I like giving notice for a smaller furry creator who is working hard to earn it. Saying to follow Adler Eagle (who is super nice and wholesome too) makes me happy to spread his good taste. Even if it comes out of a trash can.
— Toxicoow (@Toxicoow) August 10, 2019
(Dogpatch:) What’s the story of your account – was there anything that inspired you to start it, is there anything special about how you direct the content, and what’s it like to run in general?
It was just before Christmas 2017 that I decided to start my YouTube channel, going live with it in 2018. Initially it was just me, on a sofa talking about movies and how “raccoon friendly” they were. These I cross posted to twitter at the time as I felt more people would see them. The quality wasn’t the best and we shot the videos with my phone; however I had fun producing them and people enjoyed watching them.
Soon though I found myself wanting to expand outside of this and beyond into more general furry topics. So I started to make videos covering a vast range of subjects and not just movies – everything from a comedic sketch comparing 2003 in the fandom to 2018 to videos covering Furry Commercials. Every video has a furry aspect to it. I have over 100 videos at time of writing and whilst theres a few I’m not a fan of, I generally am happy with what I have created over the years.
It can be quite stressful running the channel from day to day, writing scripts, editing and filming can be quite tiring. I usually spend 2 or 3 evenings a week at least editing the videos; and a good part of most Sunday mornings filming.
Finding inspiration for new videos can be difficult too! – I keep a (very) long list of ideas for new content – I try to keep it furry focused and offer either something new, or a new twist on something that has been done before. I always aim to keep my videos fandom positive and upbeat and engaging.
I’m pleased with the growth of my channel – Ive recently crossed the 5000 barrier and my views are consistent. My personal goal is to get it to 10,000 as that will allow me access to YouTube space which has some cool places to film. A lot of it now is getting the word out and making the channel known; something that is hard what with the algorithms on YouTube and the like.
The response and feedback from my channel has been fantastic. And with the support of my Patreons; and the furry fandom in general I am spurred to keep on creating new content and entertaining others. Nothing cheers me up more on a rough day than a comment from someone saying that a video made them smile.
The story of my twitter account is a little different to YouTube. I first created an account in 2016 at the recommendation of a few people to see what was going on in the fandom. Originally I wasn’t sure on Twitter. My real life counter part had never really figured it out or found a use for it.
However in the furry world I found it to be a lot more engaging and fun. For a good while I used to post a LOT of raccoon photos; usually with captions. My brag was that I had a folder with over 100 raccoon photos in it on my computer for this purpose. Twitter was also the first time I started to interact with other furs; well along with Telegram of course. It’s been a great place to get to know people.
Once I got my first full fursuit my twitter activity changed a bit, I stopped posting random raccoon photos so often and started focusing a lot more on fursuit photos and stuff about myself and my character. This proved to feel a lot more fulfilling and is still how I post today. I like to think its a great place to keep up to date on what I am up to and to follow the adventures of a raccoon. It’s also a good accompaniment to my YouTube channel.
Would you like to talk about who’s behind the account?
Shadow Raccoon is a red, silver and gold raccoon. He has changed a bit from my original design, which started off with black as the main colour and no gold. I’m glad I made the changes to my character over time, I couldn’t imagine him without the gold now. Always excited, sometimes a little sarcastic and always a friendly face.
I chose a raccoon mostly due to the fact that I’d been playing a lot of Sly Cooper games at the time and had been googling what a real raccoon was like. We don’t natively get Raccoons in the UK; so to me they seemed incredibly fascinating and a little exotic! It wasn’t until a few years after becoming Shadow Raccoon that I even got to see a raccoon; they are mainly in zoos or wildlife parks here – and it just so happened to turn out there is a wildlife park down the road from where I live that has a raccoon.
I’ve always tried to make my character seem positive, and not too serious. I wouldn’t say I’m 100% toony; but I’m far from being a realistic raccoon.
I tend to refer to myself by my full name – Shadow Raccoon, primarily because there are soooo many fursonas called Shadow and it’s hard to tell who is who if you just say “Shadow”.
My first fursuit was made by my partner Theadore Rabbit, and together we build the bodysuit. I used to wear a pineapple hawaiian shirt to cover up our slightly wonky sewing. It was a fantastic suit and I had many fond memories in it, it’s the one I started my channel and twitter account with so it’s very sentimental to me.
In 2018 I got my current and better known fursuit was made by Made by Mercury. It is her first raccoon and I am super pleased with how it came out – I honestly can’t picture what Shadow would look like made by anyone else. Originally I was going to go for Plantigrade, and it was about a month before she started work on my suit that I made the change to Digitigrade. Possibly the best choice ever.
I like to think I am very approachable and I am usually more than happy to offer hugs and pose for photos and selfies when asked; just don’t ask me to climb on anything – whilst raccoons are known for being very agile, I am one raccoon that is not. I ate too much pizza!
I’m frequently found fursuiting at London Furs meets; I try to get to as many of these as I can with Theadore Rabbit but some weeks life happens lol. I’ve been to Southampton fur meets in the past too and want to get to another again some time so people could possibly spot me there. Conventionwise Confuzzled is my big con, always aim to do that – I’ve gone to JFTW the past few years too, and got to MFF in late 2018 also. In 2020 I will be going to my first convention in Canada, at Furnal Equinox. Very excited to fursuit in the world capital of Raccoons!
What are some of your greatest hits and why?
On YouTube, my most successful video to date is still my 2003 vs 2018 fandom comparison. I’m not sure why that turned out to be such a success – its certainly not a serious; factual video but the topic really engaged people and is still often the video people reference first when they meet me. Also learnt a lot from it in the comments!
Other than this my furry commercials videos always seem to be popular – It’s a topic I love discussing and its quite fun to look at how engrained anthropomorphism is in the world around us. These videos are always a LOT of fun to make even though I have to do a lot of research.
Another popular video is the Bunnys Vs Birds challenge – this involved getting my partner Theadore Rabbit and friend Regdeh together; to create a battle for who owns easter. We collected over 20 videos from various birds and bunnies across the internet; including Adler the Eagle to put together a video where everyone made a case for why Bunnys or Birds represent easter best. Was a very ambitious project and took quite a lot of planning. However the end result is a lot of fun and its one I like to rewatch!
On twitter, Ive found a photo of me booping a screen always makes for a fun tweet and looks good on other peoples timelines; thus getting lots of interaction from others. My most successful tweet though still remains when I did my own version of that guy and girl meme after Midwest Furfest sold out in seconds. People sure love memes!
Would you recommend any other good furry accounts?
There’s a few accounts I think people should check out – Firstly, do check out my partner Theadore Rabbit’s account – you’ll get lots of fun bunny stuff on his twitter; and he is starting out on his own YouTube channel too where he looks at old cartoons. I do also recommend following Toxicoow on twitter too – Lovely guy and I have to say he is easily one of my favourite animators in the furry fandom. He recently made me a fantastic animation where I jump out of a bin haha. And finally, if people aren’t already following Adler the Eagle; they really should, he has to be one of the most positive upbeat people in the fandom and is really entertaining too!
This is an interesting new comic series from Action Lab with an attention-grabbing title: Cold Blood Samurai. Here’s what we found in Previews: “A feudal Japan with anthropomorphic and samurai animals inspired by Homer’s poem on ‘War of Mice and Frogs’… As in the classic poem, one tells of the futility of war and the desire for peace by Gaijin, a foreign salamander in a Japan of frogs invaded by lizards. ” Got that? It’s written by Massimo Rosi, illustrated by Ludovica Ceregatti, and on the shelves now.
Voyage of the Dogs is the very straight-forward title for a juvenile fiction novel from last year, written by Greg Van Eekhout. The publisher describes it like this: “Lopside is a Barkonaut, a specially trained dog who assists human astronauts on missions in space. He and the crew aboard the spaceship Laika are en route to set up an outpost on a distant planet. When the mission takes a disastrous turn, the Barkonauts on board suddenly find themselves completely alone on their severely damaged ship. Survival seems impossible. But these dogs are Barkonauts — and Barkonauts always complete their mission.” Look for it now (and hear an audio clip) from Harper Collins.
Thanks to Jako Malan/Erdwolf_TVL for the guest submission. Compare the update with a look back at Fred Patten’s South Afrifur 2017 con report. And check out the guest articles sent here by Duncan Piasecki for another voice from South African furry fandom. “An exciting tourist destination to international furries”? Lekker place, maan. – Patch
In 2018, the local furry convention South Afrifur – then in its second year – had the unexpected privilege of South Africa’s largest Afrikaans magazine doing an editorial on the local fandom. I did not feel it pressed on me to write an official report then. This year the local convention attracted little attention from non-furries, but in a way, I think it had reached critical momentum and I felt inspired to write about it again.
Whereas the question on every muzzle in previous years had been “Will there be another con?” and “Did we succeed?” This year, there was tangible optimism and a sense of achievement. Other questions were being asked. “How many fursuiters will there be next year?” and “How will we fit everyone into the available accomodation?”
The 80s themed convention was held from the 12th through the 15th of July at the Ekudeni retreat about an hours’ drive from Johannesburg. As with previous years, the majority of furries came from the Gauteng province – the economic and industrial heartland of South Africa. The other provinces were represented too, albeit in much smaller numbers. We were also privileged to have four international visitors – Bravura and Aninok from Switzerland as well as Kit and Trace from Nebraska in the USA.
There were many firsts at South Afrifur Con 2019. A marked increase in the number of fursuiters justified a headless lounge for the first time. There was a furry rave on Sunday evening. Measured against the number of furs who didn’t plan on attending (but did) and a noise complaint lodged by the neighboring farm, it was a success. Sketchbooks had floated around at previous cons, but they were much more prominent this year. (Locals have finally caught up!)
Yukon’s Scavenger Hunt and Pop Quiz returned and was well received. There were two panel discussions on Sunday afternoon. “How did you find the fandom” by Jessica Collie and a panel on “Diversity on the Fandom” presented by Ivic Wulfe. The latter stirred a healthy discussion and much participation from the audience.
The Artist’s Alley, which was officially held on Saturday morning, extended throughout the remainder of the weekend. It was bigger and more varied than ever before. Offerings were no longer limited to artist commissions from only a handful of local artists. There was a good selection of books, prints, stickers, jewelry… even fudge for sale. Two of the dealers had underestimated the demand and had run out of stock long before the convention was over. Sales were very good.
The social highlight was a braai at Zonki-Shebeen – a township-themed bar at the venue. Furries mingled around fire pits chatting, smoking and having drinks. Free-roaming Zebra, Springbok, Rooibok as well as other unseen night creatures watched from a careful distance as the furries talked and socialized under the southern night sky.
When time came to say goodbye on Monday morning, at least half the con’s attendees lingered – long after checkout – to help pack up Furnix’s sound system and clean the hall. The sadness was palpable. Unlike those in the other parts of the world, it would be literally a year before this particular group of friends could get together again to celebrate everything furry. In Africa.
There is talk of increasing the size of the organizing committee, with tasks needing to be delegated for the first time. Ekudeni was at about three-quarter capacity in 2019. There is talk of making use of an overflow venue (on the same grounds) should the numbers double as they did over the past two years.
The total number of attendees were fifty three. There were sixteen fursuiters (counting only full suits and partials with heads.) Though the numbers are still being calculated at this time, charitable donations to our chosen charity (Husky Rescue in Kwa-Zulu Natal) is likely to be in the early ten thousand ZAR. (About $650.)
Numbers aside, I think the 2019 convention took the first steps in bridging the gap between the different factions in the local furry community. Three times’ a charm. I think there is no longer any doubt that South Afrifur has the means, reputation and passion to pull off a successful convention.
Having silenced the skeptics, their next step would be to draw in those who’ve been actively critical of the organizing committee. There will always be clashes of personality in this fandom, but as far as furries go, there is always a greater good to account for.
A personal quest of mine would be to market South Africa as an exciting tourist destination to international furries. I’m hoping to drum up enough interest next year to fill a carriage (or bus) with furries travelling to the con from Cape Town.
On a very personal note, I was privileged enough to experience fursuiting for the first time this year. Basil Caribou was kind enough to lend me his Doug Ramses (ala Zootopia) suit. It is a well-made, good looking suit, but not one well suited for extended wear anywhere outside of Antarctica. I had a good sweat walking around with this uncooled padded ram. I participated in the Fursuit Games (organized by YoteFox) and posed for a group photo, too. Though early to say it was an awakening, it was definitely special. Also was seeing ElectroCat (EC) for the first time in about ten years and commissioning him to do a picture of me, my wife and my two kids.
Sadly, all cons come to an end. The venue was (eventually) cleared and the sweaty fursuits hung out to dry. As I crossed the Great Karoo by train on my way back to my mundane life back home, I was left with fond memories, bruised ribs (from excessive hugging) and massive amounts of inspiration my own writing. I can’t wait to see what Visionary-In-Chief Ivic and his team have in mind for next year.
– Jako Malan
The things that people will come up with to write… You have to wonder about that when you see a book series called Two Dogs In A Trench Coat. It’s written by Julie Falatko and illustrated by Colin Jack. “Sassy and Waldo are good dogs. They spend the day keeping their house safe. Has a squirrel ever gotten inside? No! But every day their boy, Stewart, comes home from this terrible place called school smelling like anxiety and looseleaf paper. Sassy and Waldo decide to save Stewart. But they don’t let dogs into school. So Sassy and Waldo decide to get creative. They put on an old trench coat, and now everyone at Bea Arthur Elementary thinks they are a new student named Salty from Liver, Ohio. Well, everyone except Stewart.” The first book in the series, appropriately called Two Dogs In A Trench Coat Go To School, is available now in softcover from Scholastic. Two more volumes are out already as well. Woof!
Tell us: Do you trust your housecat? Well along comes another book series looking to make you look askance perhaps. How can you miss a title like Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat? Well that’s the new series of science fiction novels by Johnny Marciano and Emily Chenoweth (featuring art by Robb Mommaerts). It starts like this: “Klawde had everything. Sharp claws. Fine fur. And, being the High Commander of the planet Lyttyrboks, an entire world of warlike cats at his command. But when he is stripped of his feline throne, he is sentenced to the worst possible punishment: exile to a small planet in a quiet corner of the universe… named Earth… Raj had everything. A cool apartment in Brooklyn. Three friends who lived in his building. And pizza and comics within walking distance. But when his mom gets a job in Elba, Oregon, and he is forced to move, all of that changes. It’s now the beginning of summer, he has no friends, and because of his mother’s urgings, he has joined a nature camp. It’s only when his doorbell rings and he meets a furball of a cat that Raj begins to think maybe his luck is turning around… ” Three books in the series are available now from Penguin Random House. Fft Fft!
Welcome to Sha of Red Furros — the Spanish language furry news site out of Mexico City, founded in 2009. Some articles will be translated for other readers to enjoy, with light editing to make it smoother. – Patch
Here’s an addition to our articles about Ironclaw, the anthropomorphic role-playing game in it’s 20th anniversary. Recently, Ironclaw’s “The Book of Monsters” was presented at Anthrocon. It’s a bestiary for the base game.
This book originally began its Kickstarter on Aug 21th, 2018 where it quickly reached its funding goal.
For Sanguine Games Book Of Monsters, Tempo and Ursula reimagine the world of Ironclaw with the premise that in a world where animals can talk and form societies, why wouldn’t plants be able to walk and hunt?
Imagine a tree that can walk and transform into any other character, or fungi that attacks using toxic mist. These imaginative scenarios can make for very funny situations (like being chased by a maniacal, murderous onion), to very creepy ones with a tree-clone of a recently-deceased loved one following you around.
Ironclaw is a very immersive game, more focused on the diplomatic side, that invites you to interact with the civilized world around you (even when it’s about animals). However, this new expansion adds more interesting enemies and adventures that some of the critics of the game found lacking.
While I was reading this book, I couldn’t stop thinking of the Ghost of a Tale videogame, and the excitement I felt scurrying around as Tilo, in a dungeon filled with rat guards.
I think Ironclaw, and this new expansion, are a great way to play a bit more interactively with fursonas that are a bit reminiscent of the old Furcadia MUCK.
Ironclaw is a game with a difference from other pen-and-paper games. It doesn’t use the hitpoint system, and it’s more based on placing status onto other characters based on successful dice-throws. This may be a bit confusing or off-putting at first for old-school players of more complex games like D&D, but it quickly becomes fun and immersive due to it’s complex societal and diplomatic relationships and stories.
I think it’s the perfect games where RPG veterans can introduce newbies to the RPG world, in a way where they also have to manage more complex stuff (like the gifts or managing the status hierarchies.)
The design of the interior is pretty good and has a nice continuity with the base Player’s book. The cover art might benefit from a more modern look since it looks a bit dated even when it’s just been released. However, that part also helps to keep that feeling of continuity with the entire series.
Ironclaw is a game by furries for furries. (And not just for furries, of course). It’s very well made and very fast to start playing as it doesn’t take a lot of setup to start from your character sheet (it even has some pre-made) to begin the adventure itself.
We literally came across this book on the shelf at a local coffee house! Never heard of it, but wow… Sunborn Rising is a new fantasy series for young folks by Aaron Safronoff, lavishly illustrated in both black & white and full color. “The Great Trees of Cerulean are dying. Infected with a mysterious blight, time is running out. Join Barra, a willful, resourceful and adventurous young Arboreal and her two friends, Plicks and Tory, as they journey down into the forgotten heart of their world in a desperate attempt to save it.” The first book in the series, Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall, is available now in several formats. The official web site has lots of background information and several videos about the making of the series. (Honestly, this looks like an animated movie waiting to happen!)