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Updated: 5 years 21 weeks ago

Kyell Gold Withdraws From Ursa Majors

Sun 27 Jan 2013 - 20:42

For the first time in years the Ursa Major Award for best novel and best short story is guaranteed not to go to Kyell Gold.

Gold announced today on his blog that he is withdrawing his work from consideration for the Ursa Major Awards in the novel and short story categories. His novel Green Fairy and his short story “Rewind” from Heat were eligible for nomination.

Gold has previously won 12 Ursas over the last seven years (more than any recipient in the history of the awards). He cites wanting to showcase other authors as part of the reason he’s stepping back.

“I know you guys love me and my books,” Gold stated in his blog, “But I’d like to help the fandom’s literary scene mature, and part of that is showcasing more of the authors that are doing really good work. My name’s already up there in the lists; let’s see some of the other people.”

It’s not uncommon for awards to decline an artist eligibility after a certain number of wins. And it should be noted that Gold’s withdrawal doesn’t lessen the importance or the Ursa Majors or the accomplishments of the other authors in the fandom. So get out there and nominate and vote.

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Review: ‘Summerhill’

Sun 27 Jan 2013 - 17:33

Kevin Frane
Argyll Productions

Summerhill is the kind of book that happens when hundreds of deus ex machina stack and combine and Voltron themselves until they become this bizarre poetry centered around fucking with a dog’s head.

Like a lot of authors, filmmakers, and musicians who set about to make something as crazy and epic as this, Kevin Frane has written a book that reaches peaks of greatness for him, though sometimes at the expense of his usually tight storytelling.

There are numerous great scenes within Summerhill. The opening chapter is one of my favorite things Frane has written. The book abounds with interesting stuff. A cruise ship sailing between realities. Alien creatures of every shape and size. New and bizarre worlds. Super powers. And doors, lots of doors, both literally and figuratively.

If you’re a fan of his previous work, Summerhill is like concentrated Frane. The protagonists jump from locale to locale so frequently that readers are treated to a smorgasbord of whimsical prose and experimental writing. The dialogue is sharp, the characters exude personality, and it’s very clear that this is a universe full of people Frane cares about.

Really, Summerhill is worth reading just for the sampler platter of styles and homage. At times it’s very Dr. Who, with a dash of Lost. There are scenes that feel like Battlestar Galactica and Star Wars. The influences are obvious, but not heavy handed.

The scenes don’t quite tie together very well, and for the first half of the book, that’s kind of the point. But as the story reaches its conclusion, the events haven’t coalesced into much. At its root the plot is very simple, and all the crazy stuff happening around it feels inconsequential at times. It’s a book that leaves dozens of questions unanswered, so know that going in. It’s not so much a story about finding oneself as it is a story about finding everything else.

While not a book I necessarily recommend to the general public, I will say that I’ve never read anything quite like Summerhill, and I’m glad to have experienced it. There are plenty of you out there that will adore so much about this story and the universe(s), and really any fan of Frane’s work will find more than enough parts to love.

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‘Legends of Chima’ Sucks, But, Hey, Furry LEGO Sets!

Fri 25 Jan 2013 - 18:25

LEGO is a weird company in that they make the most family friendly toys/shows that are strictly about violence. Ninjas, alien attacks, criminals, pirates, deadly temples, and now… a war between talking lions and talking crocodiles.

Legends of Chima, like Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu (I hated typing that), attempts to add a action packed plot and world building to the newest LEGO set. It fails terribly at that by contradicting itself.

Reading the descriptions of the tribes and characters on LEGO’s own product descriptions would have you believe Chima is a darker, more epic entry in the brick building universe. However the show is largely about teenage (maybe? They’re all the same damn size) animals playing hide and seek, making bad puns, and painting the attempted genocide of a species with a lot of slapstick wackiness.

Also there’s some weird racism where Lion-O from Thundercats Laval the hero of Chima keeps using derogatory names for the crocs.

“I knew a mud lover like you would want to play dirty,” says the lion hero of the show to a croc who was his best friend five minutes prior. Not cool, lion guy, that’s hate speech.

Ultimately the show is a commercial for the new toys, so whatever, but the badass little animal warriors get significantly less cool when the main characters are clumsy, stupid, and cheesy.

However, Legends of Chima is interesting in the sense that it shows a preview of the rest of the Chima set.

As of now there are five animal tribes represented by minifigs: lions, crocs, wolves, eagles, and ravens. But within the pilot we get to meet members of the gorilla, rhino, skunk, and bear tribes. I think I speak for the fandom as a whole when I say “A LEGO minifig bear? Make that shit right now!”

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Read This: ‘Divisions’

Wed 23 Jan 2013 - 20:52

Kyell Gold
Sofawolf Press

It’s pretty cool that in the few short years since Kyell Gold started the Dev and Lee series, the notion of gay football players has gone from a dream for the future to a reality that is so close you can taste it. It’s rare for a story so heavily grounded in pop culture to get more relevant over the years, but Divisions is a novel that has its finger on the pulse of culture so much that the furry aspect is actually the least interesting part (in a good way!).

The roller coaster relationship of Dev, the gay linebacker tiger, and Lee, his activist boyfriend fox, picks up not long after the conclusion of 2011′s Isolation Play, and jumps right back into the world of football and fighting couples.

I’m always very impressed with how exciting Gold portrays football. If you don’t know anything about the sport it might be confusing, but the descriptions of the action are tight and fast-paced. It’s more exciting than real football (see: any football movie ever), but it embodies the sport exceptionally, and the team dynamics are some of the more interesting parts, mostly because of the characters.

The secondary characters in Divisions accent Dev and Lee wonderfully, shining on their own without upstaging the protagonists. The clueless, foot-in-mouth cheetah Lightning Strike is a hilarious parody of the more ostentatious sports personalities, but also comes off as one of the more real characters in the book. Hal the sports journalist returns, and gets an expanded role as the much-needed sounding board for Lee, someone to at least try and point out when the fox is being stubborn and irrational (which is, like, constantly).

Lee’s ideals for gay activism and borderline obsession with the suicide of a gay college student are sometimes overshadowed by his many poor decisions. Not that this is new for a character that committed infidelity, lied to a reporter on the record, and physically assaulted his boyfriend’s father. Lee is a character I love, when I don’t want to punch him for being an idiot.

I’m rooting for Dev and Lee’s happiness, but at this point I’m not sure I’m rooting for their happiness together. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen relationships get utterly destroyed over just a fraction of the shit that’s happened to these two in a mere six months. As broken as their partnership is, though, it’s staying intact through sheer force of will, and there’s something to be said for a couple that doesn’t give up even when they probably should have.

Divisions‘ story “ends” before anything really gets resolved, leaving a lot of questions about the Firebirds, Lee, his family, and his career. According to Gold his original draft was so long that he split it into two books, and it definitely feels that way. It’s a “to be continued” instead of the more satisfying finales of the previous two books. Despite that, Divisions feels like the most balanced book in the series thus far, straddling the football and home life aspects well, as well as the romance and the melodrama.

P.S. As always, the illustrations and cover by Blotch are incredible. The selection of images might be the strongest yet, showcasing some of the most humorous (and sexiest) parts of the story.

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New 3D Pokemon Announced, Fennekin is Your Favorite

Tue 8 Jan 2013 - 18:13

Check out this trailer for Pokemon X and Pokemon Y, the first 3D and globally released Pokemon game. Fall in love with two of the three starters (sorry Froakie).

Right now the only noteworthy thing about Pokemon X and Y is that it’s in 3D. Still looks like Pokemon through and through. But squeal in joy anyway, I guess.

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Get Excited For: ‘Summerhill’

Fri 28 Dec 2012 - 18:16

The opening scene in Kevin Frane’s upcoming novel Summerhill features an argument between a cyborg dinosaur and a blue alien prince. And it only gets stranger from there.

Summerhill, the vaguely canine protagonist, finds himself on an inter-dimensional cruise ship filled with creatures of all shapes, sizes, and viscosities. How does one interact with a giant wooden insect, or a talking pink raincloud…

Or Katherine, a beautiful human woman with a secret, running from her past, while Summerhill is trying to find his.

Furthermore, what happens when this ship travels to dimensions where the laws of physics are changed? Space operas and jungles are exciting enough, but how about a universe where the world is actually flat?

Add on to this, Summerhill’s new friend Katherine is wanted by the Consortium, an interdimensional law enforcement agency that prevents Existential Integrity Violations (which are just as serious as they sound).

Frane has a knack for exciting adventures and thrillers, as well as a quirky sense of humor. The Dr. Who influence is certainly noticeable in Summerhill, but it is also very clearly its own unique tale unlike anything you’ve read before.

If you want a taste of Summerhill, check out the preview chapter here. It will give you a glimpse into the world Frane has created, with all its eccentricities. Summerhill goes on sale in January and is available for preorder. And be sure to check out the bigger version of Kamui’s cover here.

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‘Thale’: Norway’s Sexy Scary Folklore Film

Fri 21 Dec 2012 - 15:39

If you’re a Scandinavian mythology nut, (and come on, who isn’t?), you’ll be familiar with huldre, beautiful men and women with animal tails. Legends speak that gorgeous fox-or-cow-tailed women would lure men in to the forest, and if the men are nice they get to have freaky forest sex.

2012′s Thale seems to largely be about what happens when you are not nice to a huldra.

Gross. But still hotter than Bitter Lake.

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Watch This: ‘Rise of the Guardians’

Thu 22 Nov 2012 - 16:28

I normally stay away from Holiday movies, mostly because a film that’s contingent on your enjoyment of whatever celebration is happening that month tends to not hold up for very long (with a few rare exceptions). But Rise of the Guardians is less a Holiday movie than a fairy tale story. It’s not about the spirit of Christmas, or the less exciting spirit of Easter. It’s about how Santa and the Easter Bunny will beat the shit out of any jerk who tries to scare kids, and isn’t that the real meaning of the Holidays?*

William Joyce (a name that appeared regularly on my bookshelf as a kid), weaves a new mythology, creating a Superfriends of childhood make believe. The Tooth Fairy becomes a collector of precious memories, Sandman an enigmatic mute who makes good dreams. And Santa Claus… who is still just Santa, but a bit more leather-daddy (Where Mrs. Clause at, St Nick?).

But let’s be honest here, readers, you’re all interested in Hugh Jackman as the Easter Bunny. What’s funny is that he’s actually one of the least interesting characters in the film. Sure, he’s funny, and arguably studly, but he gets outshined by the more developed characters, like the Tooth Fairy. The story is really about Jack Frost, though, and the rest of the cast serves as reasons to teach Jack about his purpose while they travel around the world and have huge swooping montages through each Guardian’s home base. Structurally, Legends of the Guardians feels more like a three part TV series arc, more than a film.

While it’s nice to have an animated family film that isn’t about mommy/daddy issues, the message of “don’t be afraid of the Boogieman” is weaker than most animated features these days. Still, Jack Frost manages to be a likable, if not very relatable, character. And, really, it’s nice to see something done with that character that isn’t, “Hey I’m freaky looking and I make shit cold.”

You’ve got to hand it to DreamWorks, they’ve really stepped up the animation quality over the years, and Rise of the Guardians features some gorgeous shots, especially with the liquidy magic sand creatures used by both sides.

Rise of the Guardians comes out as one of the more exciting animated films this year, in a year of “pretty good” movies from all the respective companies.

*I’m being informed that no, it is not.

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How to Play ‘Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two’

Mon 19 Nov 2012 - 16:30

If old-school Disney gets you all tingly (in whatever part of your body, no judging), then Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two is likely on your radar, or even in your possession already. It’s a fun little platformer that never quite hits greatness due to some technical hiccups and design stumbles. But to make sure you don’t make it worse for yourself, here are a few helpful tips to getting the most out of Epic Mickey 2.

Don’t go back and play Epic Mickey 1.
“But I need to know the mythos!” you cry. But honestly, if you missed the first game, oh well. It’s really not a game that is worth going back for. Besides that everything that made the first game unique and interesting is in Epic Mickey 2, along with a story recap, so there’s nothing you’ll actually miss.

Play Epic Mickey 2 on the Wii, or with a PlayStation Move, but NOT on the Xbox 360.
Epic Mickey 2 is a Wii game, pure and simple. It was developed for the Wii remote, and the port to dual analog controls is shoddy. Bluntly, the 360 (and PS3 Dualshock) controls play like garbage. The reticule resets or bugs out, and controlling the camera is slower and less intuitive.

Get a friend.
There’s a reason it’s called Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two. The redundant sounding title emphasizes the co-op gameplay, which is in every second of the game. Oswald is a helpful and necessary member of the team, and the game is most fun when another person is controlling him. Combos are easier, exploring is more thorough, and the experience is more satisfying.

Frankly, Epic Mickey 2 is not a great game, but it has it’s share of fun and charming moments. And for a Disney fan the amount of detail and nostalgia inducing references will add an extra level of enjoyment. Just follow these tips to make sure you make it as fun as possible.

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Whatever Happened to that Awful ‘Foodfight’ Movie?

Fri 2 Nov 2012 - 12:23

Remember a couple years back how there was supposed to be a film starring, like, every food mascot in some sort of “war in the supermarket” animated adventure? You know, Foodfight? It had Charlie Sheen and Eva Longoria? Then the trailer came out and it was this monstrosity?

Yeah… that piece of shit! It had an MPAA rating and everything. Where the hell did it go?

I’m sure the studio blames Charlie Sheen’s plummet into insanity, then obscurity, as the reason for only releasing this trainwreck in Russia. Foodfight already got the bump down to straight-to-DVD, but even that proposed release date has come and gone, with nary a sign of the film Hilary Duff was relying on for her comeback.

Shame too, we were all really looking forward to seeing Christopher Lloyd as the villainous… Mr. Clipboard?


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Play This: ‘Okami HD’

Thu 1 Nov 2012 - 16:24

Back in 2006, now-defunct Clover Studios developed one of the most charming and beautiful games of the PS2 generation. If you missed the tale of the wolf-goddess’ journey to save Nippon when it was released, and perhaps missed it again when the game was ported to the Wii a couple years later, then you really need to get your act together and experience Okami HD.

Borrowing cues from games like The Legend of Zelda series, Okami literally paints an enchanting tail inspired by multiple Asian mythologies. White wolf Amaterasu uses a paint brush to summon godly powers and defeat the evil threatening the land. The use of the paintbrush powers makes Okami stand out, even six years later. The versatility and ingenuity shine throughout the combat, puzzle solving, and exploration. It may be inspired by games before it, but Okami stands on its own as one of the best adventure games of the last decade.

Okami exudes charm in every second. From the colorful characters, to the humorous dialog, down to the smaller details, like befriending animals, Okami is adorable.

When released, Okami was gorgeous, and the HD upgrade keeps the stunning visuals intact. Okami‘s style works well for an upgrade, and remains just as pretty this gen.

For the HD port, exclusively available on the PlayStation 3, players can experience both the original controls, as well as the motion controls of the Wii version, provided they’re one of the few people who own a Move controller.

On top of everything, Okami HD is only $20. That’s a third the price of a lot of total crap that came out this year.

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Get Excited for: ‘Rise of the Guardians’

Wed 3 Oct 2012 - 18:42

Just in case you weren’t already psyched to see a boomerang wielding Easter Bunny and a Santa Clause seemingly designed by San Francisco’s bear community, maybe this extended trailer for DreamWorks Animation’s Rise of the Guardians will do the trick.

Click here to view the embedded video.

However, the gorgeous design, unique premise, and humorous dialogue are just a few of the things Guardians has going for it. The film also has one of the cooler promotional tie-ins I’ve seen.

William Joyce, writer for the film and acclaimed children’s author, created not just one, but five books to tie in to the Guardians film. And true to Joyce’s style, this isn’t a cheap cash in to drum up excitement before the film’s November release (give the man some credit!).

The Guardians of Childhood series is written as if it’s a longstanding book series, based off of the most ancient lore of the associated myths. Three novels and two picture books make up the series, providing background for each of the main heroes, accompanied by an art style different from the film itself (further lending to the narrative that DreamWorks’ film is based on this old series).

While the novels themselves skew a bit young, they provide some amusement, and can be read separately, though the novels are presented as a series.

So if you’re ready to swoon over the hot Australian bunny, or really want to see Santa Clause kick ass, you don’t have to wait until November.

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The New ‘Ninja Turtles’ Theme is… a Rap Song

Tue 25 Sep 2012 - 17:08

The new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series premieres Saturday, September 29 on Nickelodeon, and it’s actually pretty good from what we’ve seen.

To further whet your appetite for the new series, Nickelodeon released a karaoke version of the show’s family friendly rap theme. Presumably so you can learn all the funky fresh rhymes and be the coolest kid at your all white school.

How many times can you describe the turtles as both lean and green? And how does one “so extreme out the sewer like laser beams”?

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‘Nordguard’ is the new ‘MouseGuard’ Thanks to Award Nomination

Tue 10 Jul 2012 - 18:34

In recent years furry artists of all types have been getting more mainstream recognition (“It’s about damn time!” we hear you shout). The world is catching up to a fact we already knew: the fandom is comprised of some of the most talented young artists, writers, and musicians around. With Comic-Con International happening this week, fandom favorite Teagan Gavet – perhaps better known as one half of Blotch – is up for the Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award for her work on Nordguard. That’s called officially arriving, folks, and it’s a pretty big deal.

The Russ Manning award is a companion award to the Eisners put on every year at Comic-Con. The Eisners are The Grammys of comics, and the Russ Manning award is Best New Artist. Being nominated for a Manning award puts Gavet into the same realm as comic legends like Scott McCloud, Jeff Smith (Bone), and David Petersen (MouseGuard), all previous winners who will vote on this year’s nominees.

Gavet is technically a newcomer to professional graphic storytelling (her previous graphic novel collaboration, Dog’s Days of Summer, saw a limited release), but she’s been working on storytelling for years.

“I went to college for animation so I did a lot of storyboarding,” Gavet explained. “I think they’re pretty similar. The way I approach layouts for comics is like I’m going to be filming it. I think that keeps it smooth and easy to understand what’s going on.”

It’s a technique that’s very apparent throughout Across Thin Ice, book one in the Nordguard trilogy. The opening mining scene (Gavet’s favorite in the book) feels like a scene out of a spy thriller, and each panel distills the important details without confusion or clutter. As anyone who has tried to do comics can attest, it is an extremely hard thing to pull off well.

And it’s not as if Across Thin Ice is an easy story to tell regardless. The pacing switches from languid to frenetic repeatedly. For Gavet, the most difficult scene in the book is the climactic finale where ravens attack while the group crosses a river.

“There were a lot of elements. There were a lot of underviews and overviews, and a lot of action.”

But perhaps more importantly…

“It’s really difficult to find references to ravens attacking people!”

Apparently Alfred Hitchcock’s classic The Birds relies too heavily on dead crows on strings to be of much use.

Across Thine Ice is not a shoe-in for the award, and Gavet is up against four other talented newcomers. In fact, Nordguard may well be the least known book in the list that includes the critically acclaimed Helldorado, Night of 1,000 Wolves, and even the reboot of Voltron. But it’s a huge achievement to be nominated, one that should give her a bit of swagger at Comic-Con this year (“Hi I’m one of the five most talented new comic artists in the country. Nice to meet me.”)

Yet Gavet stays humble, and is currently working on the second book in the Nordguard trilogy, Under Dark Skies.

“All of Across Thin Ice is a complete learning experience. Going into the second book has been way easier. You pick up on the method and it becomes more streamlined.”

Regardless of the outcome, the work that Teagan Gavet and Tess Garman (whose watercolors are breathtaking and bring the story to life) is finally being recognized as not just great furry art, but great art, period.

More information on the Russ Manning award can be found on the Comic-Con website.

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Get Excited For: ‘Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time’

Mon 18 Jun 2012 - 14:53

Despite the fact that Sony and developer Sanzaru Games won’t commit to a release date, Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is still shaping up to be one of the more fun games of 2012. And I’m sure I don’t have to tell most of you to look forward to a game about a suave raccoon thief, but in case some of you haven’t been paying attention, here’s a refresher course on why Sly 4 is looking sweet.

You get to meet and play Sly’s family, including a medieval knight, Arabian thief, cowboy, and this awesome ninja, Rioichi. He owns a sushi restaurant because yay stereotypes!

Oh hey, sometimes Sly dresses up like Robin Hood, in case you felt like animals being Robin Hood was an underexplored theme.

Did I mention Carmelita the Fox is finally playable?

And let’s not forget that you’re trying to stop a super powerful, cigar-chomping evil tiger named El Jefe, voiced by Nolan North (Nathan Drake from Uncharted).

All of this takes place in multiple huge free-roaming environments in different locales and time periods like Medieval Europe, Feudal Japan, Arabia, Paris, and the Old West. Add on to that it’s the first Sly game to get a portable version on the cool, but underselling PlayStation Vita. Now all we need is a freaking release date.

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Read These: ‘Dangerous Jade’ and ‘Green Fairy’

Thu 14 Jun 2012 - 18:00

In honor of our triumphant (ha!) return, we’re giving you a two for one deal with our new review structure, the Weasel Wordsmith Recommends list, aka Read This Shit.

Yeah… we’re still working on the title. In the meantime, the first two entries are books that are connected, only in that their titles mention similar colors.

Dangerous Jade
By Malcom “foozzzball” Cross
Published by FurPlanet
It’s rare to have both a straight romance, and a non-scifi heavy mixed-species story in the fandom, but Cross provides both in his tale of mistaken identity, betrayal, and margaritas. Dangerous Jade, while set in a future of genetically engineered animal people, feels like a very contemporary romance. The tale of Jade and Carl shifts tones repeatedly, at times playing out like a comedic farce, and others a melodramatic look into the inherent dishonesty of relationships. It’s a character piece more than a plot driven story (and one that wraps up a little too neatly for my taste), but Cross uses it to showcase his skill at getting inside the head of his protagonist. A short read at about 75 pages, Dangerous Jade is an excellent amuse-bouche to a meatier piece of work we will likely see soon from Cross.

Green Fairy
By Kyell Gold
Published by Sofawolf Press
Green Fairy should be a welcome addition to the collection for Gold fans, especially those that favor Waterways over Out of Position. And it’s worth mentioning that Green Fairy is Gold’s first all-ages novel. It’s a tale of high school wolf Sol struggling with family, friends, and coming out. Not new ground by any means, but Green Fairy breathes life into the story with a side tale of the Moulin Rogue and French aristocracy. Gold expertly captures the feeling of high school and the pitfalls that come with it. Small town teen angst, combined with well meaning but strict parents, and “evil” jocks are staples of the genre, but are used effectively without becoming stereotypes. He manages to convey coming of age so well that his characters are sometimes frustratingly, believably juvenile. The twist, while intentionally obvious, propels the story into a new area for Gold and his Forrester universe. The other half of the story accents the teen drama with some harsh doses of historical reality, but they serve well to compliment and drive Sol’s transformation.

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Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 Gets So Freaking Furry With Rocket Raccoon

Wed 20 Jul 2011 - 13:25

Capcom announced today that they are releasing Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3, a special edition of Marvel vs Capcom 3 with additional characters. Take a look at this roster, ’cause the game got a nice little boost of furry.

Strider Hiryu
Phoenix Wright
Frank West

Ghost Rider
Dr Strange
Iron Fist
Rocket Raccoon

On the Capcom side we’ve got Firebrand, buff shirtless demon of Ghosts and Goblin’s fame. You may recognize him from accidentally clicking on crossover slash art of him and Brooklyn from Gargoyles.

And even more bizarre is the choice of Rocket Raccoon on the Marvel side. Remember him? No, of course you don’t. But he’s here, and that’s kinda really fucking awesome.

The rest of the Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 roster is various levels of awesome/boring as well. Phoenix Wright is an incredible choice, but Ghost Rider, Nova, and Iron Fist? Meh.

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The Bronies Whisperer

Mon 18 Jul 2011 - 17:09

Seemingly overnight my Twitter feed looked like it had been taken over by small girls. I knew something was up. Not only because I’m legally prohibited from befriending young girls on the Internet, but also because in between the squeals of delight over a cartoon about horses, there was still the normal, mundane tweets of a men in their 30s.

I know a lot of Bronies, and I don’t know how. But as any good journalist who has long since given up and just occasionally updates a blog, I decided to sleuth it out. I talked to Bronies who run podcasts, Bronies who draw art, Bronies with boyfriends, and even Bronies who have girlfriends. The whole time I compiled theories on what the cause of all this was. How do you explain the Bronies? I’m not sure you can. But I’m going to try, and as always I’ll do it as tactfully as I can.

There Goes the Neigh-borhood
It’s a little known fact and widely known conspiracy theory that we are being fed subliminal messages through our televisions. While some believe we’re being ordered to kill government officials, most think (and have shown in some cases), that we’re simply being told to buy more stuff. Why have one commercial when you can have two? So you have My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, a show that on the surface is aimed at young girls. But underneath the giggles and the slapstick is a feed, designed to draw in an older demographic. After all, it’s beneficial to get parents into the show, so that they’ll buy more merchandise. Only something went wrong, and instead of triggering a response in parents, it mostly attracts single males in their 20s (and gay men in their 30s to 40s). It explains why nobody can pinpoint what they like about the show. It explains why those who just watch it on YouTube are less affected. It even explains why Hasbro has such shitty My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic merchandise. Who needs quality when you’re compelled to swarm a Toys R Us in a 20 person pack and buy everything you see?

Foals, Fillies, and Cults
There’s a large sense of conversion among Bronies, that some say borders on cultish behavior. Those people are stupid, but there is something there with the Bronies. It’s possibly that being a Brony is actually a form of cult, one that you have to join and rank up in to fully understand, much like Scientology. The reason so many Bronies can’t tell you why they love the show so much is because they’re not authorized to explain to non-believers the secret messages of My Little Pony. The Bronies aren’t trying to bring you into the fold (herd?) because “friendship is magic”, they’re trying to get you to watch because recruiting new Bronies is the only way for them to rank up and get closer to the Divine, whom I assume is the spirit incarnation of Rainbow Dash.

My Little Dalai Lama
The Internet has made our generation a bunch of assholes. We no longer have the ability to enjoy anything unless we’re tearing it down, and even then we don’t take any joy out if it. So perhaps Bronies, these Bohemians of the Internet, have finally figured out how to genuinely like something, without irony or sarcasm. How the hell did they manage that? Did they just, as a group, decide to like it. You know like how your mom used to always say “Choose to be happy” when you were crying at Disneyland? Only this time it worked and now they just unabashedly like something! If this is true, then Bronies are closer to enlightenment than any of the rest of us. Which kind of makes you want to hate them even more, right?

This Shit Don’t Make No Horse Sense, But That’s OK
Or maybe it’s just one of the many slightly odd but interesting things people do that make them, well, interesting. We like to poke fun at the Bronies, but are they any weirder than groups of men who like to swim in frigid waters? Or convention attendees that create elaborate steampunk cosplay? Or the middle aged women who follow Weird Al Yankovic on his concert tours (hi mom)? No. Granted, I make fun of all those people, too, but they’re cool in my book. And really so are the Bronies. The show is solid, and even if it’s not your thing there’s definitely an appeal in some quality SatAm cartoons. Just go for it, Bronies, who gives a shit why they do what they do? It’s not like they’re getting off on all this.

Wait, I just searched My Little Pony on FurAffinity. Rule 34 Vore. Really, guys?!

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2010 Ursa Major Finalists Announced

Sun 13 Mar 2011 - 15:01

The finalists for the 2010 Ursa Major Awards, the “People’s Choice” of the fandom, have been announced, and voting has begun. Check the list of the nominees, as well as our Editor’s choice for each category.

Best Motion Picture
Alpha and Omega
How to Train Your Dragon
Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
Toy Story 3
The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Editor’s Choice: You gotta go with How to Train Your Dragon on this one, right? Granted, Toy Story 3 is a far superior film, but it’s not a furry film. The other three films in the category are nowhere near as good, despite what certain dragons keep trying to tell me.

Best Dramatic Short Work or Series
Adventure Time With Finn and Jake
“Foxy Bingo”
“Orangina Naturally”
The Regular Show
Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention

Editor’s Choice: Honestly as long as anything but Foxy Bingo and the Orangina campaign win, I’d be fine. Yes, I know what fox was a dancing machine, and yes, god yes, that gay cougar is hot, but there is no way in hell the fandom should give an award to commercials for gambling and sugar water when some of the smartest written shows on television are in the same category.

Best Novel
Basecraft Cirrostratus by Justin Lamar
Descent by Phil Guesz
Otters in Space by Mary Lowd
Save the Day by DJ Fahl
The Seventh Chakra by Kevin Frane
Shadow of the Father by Kyell Gold

Editor’s Choice: Wow, this is an exciting year for novels, and I can see it being a close race. That said, I’ve got to go with The Seventh Chakra. It’s definitely the most ambitious novel on the list, and Frane pulled off an exciting original thriller, and one of the most unique novels I’ve read from the fandom.

Best Short Fiction
Bridges by Kyell Gold
“False Dawn” by Kyell Gold
“Felis ex Machina” by EO Costello
“Gerty and the Doesn’t-Smell-Like-a-Melon” by Mary E Lowd
The Peculiar Quandary of Simon Canopus Artyle by Kevin Frane

Editor’s Choice: I’m leaning towards Bridges in this category. It was one of those experiments that did something new, even if it was a bit… superfluous. It’s hard to argue the literary merits of writing the same spit-roasting scene three times, but hey, there it is. That said, Simon Canopus also has a cool experimental writing feel to is, as the Cupcake branded books tend to have.

Best Other Literary Work
Furpiled #4 by Leo Magna
Different Worlds, Different Skins edited by Will A Sanborn
Iron Claw Bestiary by Chris Goodwin
i.s.o. #1 by Vince Suzukawa
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary by Dave Sedaris

Editor’s Choice: In any other situation I’d automatically say Dave Sedaris, but his latest book is actually one of his weakest, so go for one of the fandom made choices. Furpiled and i.s.o. both are cool for slice of life stuff, and the Iron Claw Bestiary is something that nerds tell me is pretty cool.

Best Graphic Story
Concession by Immelmann
Furthia High by QuetzaDrake
Cruelty by Rukis
Lackadaisy by Tracy J. Butler
Twokinds by Tim Fischbach

Editor’s Choice: Lackadaisy. No question. The others are good, but don;t really compare, except maybe Cruelty for it’s potential. Rukis has the art talent, and if she can tighten up her storytelling I can easily see her winning this award in the future, but not this year.

Best Comic Strip
“Broken Plot Device” by Lis Boriss
“Faux Pas” by Robert and Margaret Carspecken
“Little Tales” by Genesis Eve Whitmore
“Housepets!” by Rick Griffin
“Sandra and Woo” by Powree and Oliver Knörzer

Editor’s Choice: Everyone’s got a favorite, just pick one. They’re all good.

Best Magazine
Anthropomorphic Dreams Podcast by Will A. Sanborn
Heat #7 published by Sofawolf
New Fables Summer 2010 edited by Tim Susman
South Fur Lands edited by Bernard Doove
Tales of the Tai-Pan Universe edited by Gene Breshears

Editor’s Choice: I’m tempted to say go for Anthro Dreams because it might spur an entire Podcast category next year (God knows there are enough of them to warrant it). But there are so many great stories in New Fables that I can’t snub it. Go with that.

Best Published Illustration
Big Red: Lady Sings the Blues by Richard Bartrop
Cenotaph by Susan Rankin-Pollard
The Seventh Chakra by Kamui
Shadow of the Father by Sara Palmer
New Fables Summer 2010 by Mary Mouse

Editor’s Choice: All of these illustrations are fantastic and every one of them is deserving of the award. These are some of the best talent the fandom has to offer. Personally, Kamui’s The Seventh Chakra is one of the most eye catching covers I’ve seen. It also has an array of symbolism that tie it in with the book. Plus it’s bright fucking yellow.

Best Game
Disney Epic Mickey
Furry Basketball Association
Rocket Knight
Sam & Max: Season 3, Episode 1: The Penal Zone
Sonic Colors

Editor’s Choice: There’s only one game on here that is done by the fandom, for the fandom. I don’t care if you like basketball, or like roleplaying, the Furry Basketball Association is a beast that is fueled by talented and dedicated players. Add on to that, it’s fun to follow even if you’re not participating. That’s way cooler than an XBLA game about a franchise everyone forgot about.

Voting for the Ursa Majors ends April 17. Visit the official site to cast your vote.

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Kyell Gold Beats out Gaiman, Bieber for Finalist Spot in Shorty Awards

Wed 16 Feb 2011 - 17:52

The Shorty Awards, an annual award ceremony honoring standouts in social media, announced the finalists lists for their categories on Tuesday, and a furry beat out a ton of actual celebrities.

Award winning furry author Kyell Gold was among the six finalists in the author category, a list of authors spanning three continents, including JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series.

Gold beat out other famous authors such as Neil Gaiman, Meg Cabot, James Rollins, Nicholas Sparks, and Rick Riordan (as well as Hilary Duff, Justin Bieber, and the Jonas Brothers, who are authors now apparently).

“It’s incredibly flattering, and I really owe my fans for all the help they’ve provided to get me to this point,” Gold said. “It’s a testament to the popularity of the furry fandom that a furry author can get this much support.”

The Shorty Awards allows fans to vote for their favorite entrants via Twitter. A panel of judges, representing different aspects of social media, vote on the finalists, and pick a winner in each category who will be awarded at a ceremony in New York City on March 28.

The other finalists for the Shorty Awards can be seen here.

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