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Fluff Pieces Every Week
Updated: 3 hours 51 min ago

Good Furry Award open for nominations until May 31; Ursa Major Award winners for 2020

Thu 27 May 2021 - 10:01

There’s a few days left to nominate a furry for the 2021 Good Furry Award!

The award recognizes furries who show the best side of the fandom or work to help others. In 2020, The Fandom documentary maker Ash Coyote won, after Tony “Dogbomb” Barrett in 2019. A trophy and $500 goes to the winner, to be announced by Grubbs Grizzly on his “Ask Papabear” website in June. To help you decide, there’s a list of nominees that makes a good read about furry happenings. More than thirty nominees are eligible for your vote now.

Have you seen or heard anything furry in 2021 that might deserve an Ursa Major Award? 

You can suggest it now for the 2021 Recommended Anthropomorphics List! The list is a guide (but not the limit) for who may deserve an award nomination at the end of the year.

Last month all of last year’s Ursa Major Award winners were announced on YouTube.

The winners:

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

Categories: News

Jimmy Kimmel’s Fursuit Fixation

Mon 24 May 2021 - 10:00

Welcome to guest Joe Strike, journalist and author of Furry Nation, the furry fandom history book. (- Patch)

It’s not the first time Jimmy Kimmel has exploited Furry for a cheap laugh or two. (Furs with long memories or prone to Wikifur browsing might remember Kimmel/The Man Show’s 2003 ConFurence controversy.)

— but Kimmel (or his writers’) anti-furry bias has resurfaced with vengeance, judging from a couple of recent throwaway Jimmy Kimmel Show gags. On May 5th Kimmel referenced the ongoing NaziFur controversy in the most trivializing/assholey manner possible:

“Twitter has a feature now that will double-check with you before you post a mean or offensive comment… some people even want to get on the list [of comments or language that should be confirmed before posting].

He then posted a screen capture of a news story comment reading “Can we get “NaziFur” added to the toxicity list? It’s used by furrys [sic] who want to demonize other furrys who they can hate and it causes them irreparable reputational harm.”

Kimmel’s “clever” comeback (perhaps inspired by that memorable Entourage episode – ):

“That’s right, it causes ‘harm’ to the reputations of those of us who like to get a handy in a squirrel costume every once in a while.”

Yes, because nothing says “funny” like comparing fascism to masturbation.

Gag can be viewed here; comment author posted as a nazifur and was banned from Furaffinity.

It’s not the first time Kimmel (or his writers) have thrown in a gratuitous “all furries do is fursuit fucking” either. On April 15th Kimmel Show ran a sketch featuring a Mark “My Pillow” Lindell look-alike broadcasting from inside his laundry room, “Lindell’s” rant is interrupted when his “fiancée” starts pounding on the door:

“Rosalinda’s gonna kill me, she’s gotta wash my rabbit costume – I got a little hot mustard on the spot where you put your dinger through.”

I have to admit visualizing Mike Lindell in a murrsuit, his “dinger” dangling in plain sight is not completely lacking in humor or disgust, or perhaps a combination of the two—and the “hot mustard” reference adds a whole new level of kink to the situation. Still, Kimmel’s Furry=fursuit sex fixation is getting kinda old, doncha think?

– Joe Strike

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

Categories: News

Peter Beagle recovers rights to The Last Unicorn and his body of work

Thu 25 Mar 2021 - 08:54

VOTE HERE for the Ursa Major Awards! From March 1-31, support furry creators.

Good news due to a few people fighting without much credit for years. Beagle's lawyer is a saint. https://t.co/hKfu8wXmh7

— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) March 23, 2021

A long road

In 2014, Peter’s manager was accused of fraud. The criticism led to a public relations and legal battle including me (see comment below story); Peter supported my defense, and followed me in suing the manager in 2015. It was a triangle and we both prevailed.

In 2019 I took dismissal of the manager’s claims against me and a judgement of $32K.

Peter proved he was a victim of fraud, elder abuse, and defamation by the manager. He was awarded $332K in damages.

Peter’s creative rights were still tied up, until his team just sent the news he is entirely free with a message for Peter’s supporters.

The new story settles a creators rights fight that split off to federal bankruptcy court after fraud issues resolved for victims in state civil court. I won a $32,000 judgement there in 2019. It took a long time to finish the rest. This is a good day for Beagle.

— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) March 23, 2021

Launching the Beagleverse! Please help promote for Peter on social media.

Use hashtags #beagleverse and #peterbeagleverse, and make sure to use correct handles for his accounts:

Peter is at work now after many projects had been put on hold. His new website (www.beagleverse.com) will have hints of things to come, news updates, and a mailing list to get the happenings in your inbox.

Artists: Protect yourselves, b/c the world is full of awful people.
People Who Are Protectors of Artists: Don't be like Connor Cochran; be like James Null and Kathleen Hunt. pic.twitter.com/28nbdMthO2

— deadline deTERMINATOR (@LisaDJenkins) March 24, 2021

Hints about the stakes of the fight.

The press release is from overcoming parts of the story most fans will never know about fighting abuse.

I can hint about something a wise old man told me after the judgements. In The Lord of the Rings, Sauron thought the Ring would always give him power because nobody would truly give it up. An abuser’s promises can be like that: Fame, fortune, fans… world tours, your name in lights! Giving it up breaks the spell.

Kathleen Hunt, Peter’s attorney, helped him because he “suffered from a host of injuries including fraud”; she took on the case pro bono when it became “increasingly clear that Beagle was being abused… Peter wanted his reputation and his life’s work back.”

To Peter’s team, elder abuse is a “far too common and sinister crime. One of Beagle’s future projects will be to advocate and raise awareness about elder abuse.”

Big dreams can happen again, but these ones won’t lose what really matters.

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

Categories: News

The Captain’s Oath, by Rick Griffin — book review by Gre7g Luterman

Tue 9 Mar 2021 - 10:00

VOTE HERE for the Ursa Major Awards! From March 1-31, support furry creators.

Welcome to Gre7g Luterman, science fiction author reviewed here. Find him online at his site or Twitter.

The Captain’s Oath is book two in an epic science fiction trilogy about a struggle against oppression, featuring illustrations by author and artist Rick Griffin. [Full disclosure: I’ve been a beta reader on this project since the trilogy was a novel-length draft.]

What would you do to escape from slavery? It’s not as simple a question as it might seem. For although the crew of the White Flower II are definitely slaves, it’s not like someone stands over them with a whip, watching them pick cotton. The krakun (an alien race that look like dragons) indoctrinate the geroo (an alien race that look like anthropomorphic kangaroos) from birth into believing that they are willing employees. Additionally, they let the geroo live in just enough comfort to keep the crew from considering any form of revolt.

Ateri, the captain of the White Flower II, has been considering escape his whole life, and when a ship of pirates offers him a chance at freedom (a do-or-die offer, admittedly), they enter into a conspiracy that can only lead to freedom or the execution of every man, woman, and child aboard. The plan has three parts, which roughly correspond to the books in the trilogy.

Step 1: Trick the krakun into believing that a newly discovered planet can be terraformed into a new home world.

Step 2: Lay low while the krakun bring in a terraformer (the single most expensive machine in the known galaxy).

Step 3: Steal the transformer and sell it.

The first book in The Final Days of the White Flower II trilogy was called Traitors, Thieves, and Liars (published February 2019). It followed Gert and a pair of pirates as they snuck aboard a krakun survey ship to plant doctored data.

The second book, The Captain’s Oath (published February 2021), largely abandons Gert to follow the ship’s science officer, Tesko. I’ll admit that I was leery of this decision initially, but as this book has become my favorite novel of all time (furry or mainstream), clearly it was a good choice on Mr. Griffin’s part.

In addition to the krakun and geroo, this book features a number of geordian (aliens that look like anthropomorphic housecats) and ringel (aliens that look like anthropomorphic ring-tailed lemurs). Action wise, the story focuses on Tesko being abducted and escaping from the geordians, the geroo officers putting Captain Ateri on trial for treason, and the krakun trying to execute various geroo.

All three of these adventures are gripping and will keep you biting your nails, but for me, the best thing about this 490-page novel is the characters! Tesko is wonderful. She’s recently lost her husband and struggles with alcoholism, but she’s so nice, so caring and competent! She is more passionate about the mission than anyone, and seeing her struggle against impossible odds is what makes this book a keeper.

Furry-wise, this series does a great job of letting the reader imagine s/he is a geroo. There’s plenty of smells, physiological differences between them and humans, and even psychological differences to enjoy. There’s no humans in any of these stories, so it’s easy to get immersed.

The books are written for adults but are not erotica. The Captain’s Oath does contain a sex scene, but it’s tastefully done. There is also alcohol in these books, and though I don’t think there’s any smoking in this book, I know there was in the first of the series.

The books have a good amount of humor, neat science fiction, lots of thrilling adventure, and since Mr. Griffin is a talented artist, he illustrated them too. In addition to the covers, each book includes a bunch of full-page illustrations that are every bit as enjoyable as the story itself.

This trilogy is set in a larger universe known as the Hayven Celestia which includes five other novels and an anthology of short stories by various authors. There is some overlap between these stories, and Captain Ateri, for example, makes an appearance in several. However, this trilogy stands alone, and readers shouldn’t feel the need to read any other stories first before jumping into Traitors, Thieves, and Liars.

If you like furry sci-fi, you really owe it to yourself to take the trilogy home. I know I can’t wait for the third book to complete my set!

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

Categories: News

Lola Bunny fans are bustling about her design for Space Jam sequel — Q&A with a huge fan.

Mon 8 Mar 2021 - 10:30

If you love bunnies, VOTE HERE for the Ursa Major Awards! From March 1-31, support furry creators.

I have to get something off my chest. I’ve never seen Space Jam. I’ll let others judge if it’s a “shoe commercial” and I’m not concerned about bunny bosoms. But this site honors all kinds of fans. If it stirs something in you, it’s worthy! Now the movie has an upcoming sequel and some talk about a redesigned Lola Bunny. It’s not just furries; there’s titters in the news from Entertainment Weekly to Newsweek.

Lola’s new design is “desexualized”, according to Space Jam: A New Legacy director Malcolm D. Lee.

“Lola was very sexualized” … “we reworked a lot of things, not only her look, like making sure she had an appropriate length on her shorts and was feminine without being objectified, but gave her a real voice. For us, it was, let’s ground her athletic prowess, her leadership skills, and make her as full a character as the others.”

For an interesting bit of story, Lola’s origin now includes Wonder Woman’s Amazonian homeland.

You might hear this is making debate or even complaints about PC culture run amok. I believe my friend’s comment that it’s “99% ironic” with people being nostalgic, or at most it’s making mountains out of molehills. But for your amusement, here’s one looney-tunes source.

Proof that we live in a society.

Of course as time goes on and old stories are remade for new generations, sexy changes. And for a point you’ll only get from furry news: it’s relative for fans who love toony aesthetic. NobodyWearsPants is a SFW account “dedicated to sharing pictures of pantsless cartoony animal characters”. They have #Nullvember and groups like NullCrotchesFTW. Toon-loving fandom is animated not just by looks and parts, but pettable personality. (I think furries with abs come from the uncanny valley.) And Lola is a bunny wearing clothes — isn’t this what your art and imagination is for?

The Lola Bunny Guy is real and gets pussy. Think about that. pic.twitter.com/OJ2iNxKSzN

— Last Name Ever, First Name Gayest (@Java_jigga) March 5, 2021

For well rounded appreciation, here’s one of Lola’s most devoted fans with a Q&A about his hobby since the 90’s. 

He went viral on Twitter and I reached him by DM at the same time as Slate.com did. Our chat was very wholesome!

Victor Ramirez is Graphic Design Manager for a transit agency in Chicago. A graduate from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Victor has developed many new wayfinding signs and printing methods. His pastimes include collecting Lola Bunny, My Little Pony and Zootopia merchandise. Victor lives in Chicago with his wife and family.

Hi Victor, can you tell me a little bit about your fan collecting? How did you get into it?

Sure, been collecting a bunch of Disney toys since 1995 with A Goofy Movie. That was the movie that got me started on my collecting binge. When Space Jam was announced in 1996, a new character was announced to be part of the Looney Tunes. When I saw the first promotional image for Lola Bunny, it was instant love. Here is a new, cute character that I have a ground-up chance on collecting everything with her on it. My family, friends, and animation industry friends have been helping me collect Lola from all over the world. I’ve met a couple of the Space Jam staff members through the years and have acquired many items like sketches, prototype figures and great stories on her design.

Do we need more Lola? Do you have any feelings about the redesign?

Most definitely. I was so happy to see Lola in Baby Looney Tunes and The Looney Tunes Show. Can’t wait for Space Jam: A New Legacy.

Lola Bunny will hopefully be a strong role model in the new film. The desexualization of the character will help in her development to become a stronger heroine with an independent voice rather than simply becoming Bugs Bunny’s girl with “no voice”. I support the animators in this new version of Lola. I see no problems with her new body style.

You were chatting on alt.tv.tiny-toon in the 90’s, so you were close to online fandom roots. At the same time you’re a design professional. I love finding bridges between both worlds — like secret furries at animation studios. Are you open with your hobby at work? Do you ever combine the two things?

I love incorporating animated characters at work. Whenever we have to test a new color palette, we use My Little Pony characters with our large format printers. My staff now knows if the printer has an issue if Twilight Sparkle doesn’t look correct. We have so much fun creating props with characters. It’s a fun job and having cartoon characters in the workplace makes our area fun.

Are you just a casual fan or have you been to conventions? Have any friends you want to shout out or experiences to share?

Wow. Furry conventions. It’s been ages. Did ConFURence back in mid 1990’s, DUCKON, Midwest Furfest, Ponyville Ciderfest, Whinny City Pony Con, C2E2 and Anime Midwest. Met the greats like Dusty Rhodes, Max Blackrabbit, Eric Schwartz, Daphne Lage, Terrie Smith, Jim Groat, Tygger, Michele Light, Reed Waller, Margaret Carspecken, Steve Gallucci, Roz Gibson, Genesis Cook, Andy Price, Mary Bellamy, Jay Fosgitt, Thom Zahler, Sara Richards, Katie Cook, Amy Mebberson, and Tony Fleecs.

I found out about these cons on the very early internet news groups and at comic shops. So much fun. My fun at these cons was to collect original art, autographs and hang out with the artists. Didn’t have a fursuit until I saw A Goofy Movie and ordered a Max Goof fursuit. When My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic debuted in 2010, I fell in love with Trixie and had a fursuit of her commissioned about two years after her appearance. Love these fandoms! So much fun and now my twin girls are loving My Little Pony, My Hero Academia and yes the Marvel Cinematic Universe in both film and print.

Good dad. Thanks Victor!

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

Categories: News

Go vote for the 2020 Ursa Major Awards!

Mon 8 Mar 2021 - 10:00

Cast your vote now for the 2020 Ursa Major Awards. Voting closes on March 31 for the 14 categories below. Every year, furry creators (and mainstream creations) are eligible for this popular vote. Which movies, art, books, news magazines, and more will the community choose as favorites?

When you’re done, please ask your friends to share and repost the link! It helps creations that deserve attention.

Since 2001, these awards have been run with hard work by volunteers. They would appreciate any support you can give to defray costs for a website, making and mailing awards, and more. (paypal@ursamajorawards.org)

The 2020 Nominees: 

Best Motion Picture
Live-action or animated feature-length movies.

Best Dramatic Short Work
One-shots, advertisements or short videos.

Best Dramatic Series
TV or YouTube series videos.

  • Aggretsuko (Directed by Rarecho, Season 3 episode 1 – 10, August 27)
  • Beastars (Directed by Shinichi Matsumi; Season 1 Episode 1 to 12) (USA Release, English Dub)
  • BNA: Brand New Animal (Directed by Yoh Yoshinari; Season 1 Episode 1 to 12, June 30)
  • Helluva Boss (Directed by Vivienne Medrano; Episodes “Murder Family” and “Loo Loo Land”, Oct 31 – Dec 9)
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts (Created by Radford Sechrist; January 14 – October 12)

Best Novel
Written works of 40,000 words or more. Serialized novels qualify only for the year that the final chapter is published.

Best Short Fiction
Stories less than 40,000 words, poetry, and other short written works.

Best Other Literary Work
Story collections, comic collections, graphic novels, non-fiction works, and serialized online stories.

Best Non-Fiction Work
Includes documentaries, opinion pieces, and news articles.

Best Graphic Story
Includes comic books, and serialized online stories.

  • A&H Club, by Rick Griffin (Internet, January 24 to December 12)
  • Beastars, by Paru Itagaki (Viz Media and Weekly Shonen Champion, Volume 4 to 8)
  • Found Retake, by Toddlergirl (Fur Affinity, September 18 to December 30)
  • Oren’s Forge, by Tegan Gavet (Tapas, pages 112 to 161)
  • Shine, by Babystar (Fur Affinity, January 4 to December 28) adult material

Best Comic Strip
Newspaper-style strips, including those with ongoing arcs.

  • Carry On, by Kathy Garrison Kellogg (Internet, January 1 to December 31)
  • Doc Rat, by Jenner (Internet, January 6 to December 31)
  • Freefall, by Mark Stanley (Internet, January 1 to December 30)
  • Housepets!, by Rick Griffin (Internet, January 1 to December 30)
  • The Whiteboard, by Doc N. (Internet, January 1 to December 24)

Best Magazine
Edited collections of creative and/or informational works by various people, professional or amateur, published in print or online in written, pictorial or audio-visual form.

  • Dogpatch Press, edited by Patch Packrat (January 6 to December 31)
  • Flayrah, edited by GreenReaper, Sonious, and Dronon (Internet; January 1 to December 31)
  • Furry Writers’ Guild, edited by Literalgrill. (Internet, January to December ) (Monthly publication of the FWG, sponsors of the COYOTL awards)
  • Pocari Roo, YouTube videos (January 11 to December 25)
  • Zooscape, edited by Mary E. Lowd (Internet; Issue 6 – 9)

Best Published Illustration
Illustrations for books, magazines, convention program books, cover art for such, coffee-table portfolios.

Best Game
Computer or console games, role-playing games, board games.

Best Website
Online collections of art, stories, and other creative and/or informational works. Includes galleries, story archives, directories, blogs, and personal sites.

  • Fur Affinity, Furry art and stories
  • Furry Life Online, online community
  • Loona, Moonlight_howling_666, Hazbin Hotel/Helluva Boss character (on Instagram)
  • SoFurry, Furry art
  • Stolas, daddy_hoothoot, Hazbin Hotel/Helluva Boss character (on Instagram)

Best Anthropomorphic Costume (Fursuit)

  • Cassidy Civet, Maker: Blue Wolf Studios, Owner/Wearer: Cassidy Civet, Photographed at VancouFur 2020, March 7.
  • Inutami Luki the Saluki, Maker: Kotoori Works, Owner/Wearer: Inutami Luki, Displayed Online August 7.
  • Toriel, Maker/Owner/Wearer: Nautilus20000, Displayed online on September 12.
  • Xif, Maker/Owner/Wearer: lutamesta, Displayed on the Japan Fursuit Creators runway January 17.
  • Zigc the Khajiit, Maker: Inerri Creatures, Owner/Wearer: Zigc The Khagiit, Displayed online July 3.

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

Categories: News

A cheesy soundtrack for a furry pizza party

Wed 3 Mar 2021 - 10:00

If you love pizza and furries, VOTE HERE for the Ursa Major Awards! Support furry creators from March 1-31. Love is the best topping.

There is 1970’s country music about pizza. I was obsessed when I found it. I must have played it 7 times in a row. It’s so joyful, who hasn’t inhaled steam from a fresh pizza in the car and been full of longing? I’m pie-ning for some now.

Is there other country music like that? Most of what’s around these days is about trucks and things that don’t fit lyrics about spending $3.99 for a 16-incher because you’re not a penny pincher.

I have no idea when it will be safe to have furry meets again, but when it is, there’s definitely going to be a furry pizza party at my place. It would be picking up where we left off. That was the last thing that happened here before the covid lockdown, after Further Confusion 2020. We only got one started and it was supposed to be regular. Hosting 15 local furries was a nice turnout for a small private low-key night. Just add pupperoni.

Have any plans yourself?

Helped do a pizzacon furry movie marathon shindigaroonie. Not posting the group pic for privacy, but here's my pizzaratsona and art done on the spot by lovely @2ManyStripes. 15 furs came and saw Robin Hood, Animalympics (courtesy of @Skiltaire_Party), Fritz the Cat, and Zootopia. pic.twitter.com/uEenghZvca

— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) February 10, 2020

I have been building a music playlist for the return of good times. It has pizza rock, pizza punk, pizza rap, pizza disco, pizza death metal, and the tasty lyrics of Eddie Rabbitt, one of the most furry country music names I can think of.

Any way you slice it, pizza makes a common doughnominator you can top with anything. Add furries for a guaranteed win.

Don’t forget pizza cocktails and furry drinks.

I made a drink for mice pic.twitter.com/6ez50XN7Cz

— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) February 26, 2021

YES https://t.co/6h00nYMzT6

— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) February 26, 2021

If you see me post anything saucy, I’ve probably been experimenting with recipes and planning for a furpile.

Message me privately for a link to a 50+ song playlist. Here’s a few fun ones.






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

Categories: News

Furry Raiders “Foxler” sex crime case: Jacob Kovar pleads guilty in scheme to frame witness

Thu 25 Feb 2021 - 10:00

Jacob Kovar, and his friend Lee “Foxler” Miller, founder of the Furry Raiders

The continuing story of nazi furries and their gang-like crimes (Updated April 2020)

In 2017, Dogpatch Press broke news that made national headlines. (Rolling Stone: Does the Furry Community Have a Nazi Problem? — Newsweek: Neo-Nazi Furries are Trump’s Latest and Most Puzzling Alt-Right Supporters.)

The Colorado-based Furry Raiders are a group with around 200 online members at this time. They exist to infiltrate and troll the furry community. The first story covered how they killed Rocky Mountain Fur Con, and followup covered more of their crimes and victims who need vindication. (See timeline at bottom). 

In 2019, Denver police arrested Furry Raiders founder Lee “Foxler” Miller. He was charged for sex offenses with a child that took place in 2015.

New court documents show how Miller’s inner circle tried to undermine the case by intimidating a witness. If the plan worked, the witness would be lured into a trap, framed, harassed and extorted, and pulled out of Miller’s case. Dogpatch Press would be baited into false reporting to hurt the victim.

Alleged activity by Miller/Foxler at Rocky Mountain Fur Con 2015

Repeat offenders.

The plan proceeded until Dogpatch Press caught on. Investigation gathered evidence, police were alerted and two Furry Raiders were arrested in early 2020.

Behind the scenes, police traced a threat sent by VOIP and found it came from Furry Raiders. Police also received a forged document asking to cancel prosecution against Miller. It’s a reminder of the very first Dogpatch Press headline about the group doing “intimidation” with a fake legal letter.

The plan earned 8 felony charges for Miller’s right-hand man, Jacob Kovar. As a Furry Raiders admin, Kovar was known as Flare, Sneps, and several more names. He used “Dodger” as head of security for a new con in Wyoming. They dropped Kovar as soon as Dogpatch Press sent proof. Court records also show Kovar posed as 14 and 16 year old boys to lure the witness.

Kovar was already on parole for sex offending while working out of Miller’s house in Fort Collins, CO.

Facebook.com/snepcity

Kovar’s conviction for the plan.

In 2021, a Colorado court resolved charges for Kovar. Evidently a deal was reached, and he pled guilty for felony Attempt to Influence a Public Servant, and Invasion of Privacy for Sex Gratification. The D.A. dismissed charges for Witness/Victim Retaliation, Stalking, Extortion, and Criminal Impersonation.

Kovar was ordered to stay away from the victim, get a new sex offender evaluation, and faces years in jail on top of penalties for violating parole. Sentencing is set for April 2021. Update: Kovar was sentenced to 8 years in jail.

Here’s 28 pages of legal docs (with redacted witness ID). The arrest warrant shows police recognizing the furry community.

View this document on Scribd

The bizarre forged document sent to mislead police is worth a look, and might entertain lawyers.

Implications about the Furry Raiders.

In mid-2020, Miller’s own sex offense charges were dropped; but he did not prove innocence with acquittal. From a non-lawyer, the reasons could be (1) gathering evidence to re-file charges, (2) reducing court work during a pandemic, or (3) resting with Kovar’s case and avoiding taking a chance on another one. Miller has not shown an official statement from a judge.

It’s all consistent with reporting since 2017. The Furry Raiders are a threat to critics and kids, and they use “Sovereign Citizen”-style and gang-like tactics.

There’s a key rebuttal to claims that their reputation suffers from false reporting by critics, or “both sides are to blame”. Miller’s 2019 charges coincided with offending at RMFC 2015, long before he was known to Dogpatch Press. The crime report wasn’t seen here until after his arrest, because police learned from private sources and the witness was protected. So here’s the big question:

If they claim to be innocent of targeting kids — why did they need a convicted sex offender like Kovar to frame the witness?

The witness was not intimidated to retract any claims. Furry Raiders say he lied and Miller/Foxler won innocence by proving it. That never happened. Let Kovar’s conviction tell you which side to believe.

Timeline of news for review.

Telegram archive

This group was guilty from the start with trolling RMFC 2017. They got away with nazi “dogwhistle” imagery, threats and interfering with hotel room booking. Some RMFC board members were complicit enablers and their mismanagement helped to kill the con. With the pattern continuing to now, it shows the consequences of tolerating it the first time they show up.

Here’s how it started.

  • April 2016 — Furry Raiders grab a block of rooms for RMFC before the official opening, like hoarding pizza at a party and doling it out to friends.
  • Through 2016 — Furry Raiders provoke controversy with nazi dogwhistle activity, including appeals to alt-right leader Richard Spencer.
  • January 2017 — on Twitter, anti-nazi critic (DeoTasDevil) references a big headline that week: Richard Spencer getting punched.
  • The same day — RMFC bans “offensive imagery”, but Deo gets blamed for causing the problem with her tweet.
  • February 2017 — VICE gives early mainstream notice to furries opposing nazis and the Furry Raiders.
  • March 2017 — Controversy leads to RMFC’s hotel giving notice that the con has to add expensive security due to threats from unknown sources.
  • Soon after — Deo gets SovCit-style threat from RMFC’s CEO (Kahuki,) written by his board member friend (Scorch, now an active Furry Raider.)
  • April 2017 — Dogpatch Press publishes the letter with “intimidation” headline, and evidence that CEO Kahuki is a registered sex offender.
  • The same day — RMFC is canceled, and mainstream news reports nazi ties; but Deo is scapegoated for years after in the fandom.
  • In an interview, RMFC’s Chair says threats kept coming from unknown sources. (They were before and after Deo’s tweet.)
  • RMFC owed taxes not paid for years; Kahuki had stepped down as chair 8 years earlier due to being a sex offender, but stayed CEO.
  • Followup finds complicity between CEO Kahuki, board member Scorch, and Foxler/Furry Raiders, with suspicious activity regarding kids and sex.
  • RETALIATION: May 2017 — Califur convention targeted with “swatting” calls to their hotel by nazi furries.
  • Through 2017 — Nazi furries are active with alt-right organizing, including Richard Spencer’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville.
  • More interference with events by Nazi furries, Furry Raiders are banned from events, Denfur convention is planned to take RMFC’s place.
  • RETALIATION: Late 2017 — Denfur is targeted with a scheme to falsely book rooms so the con will fail; Denfur restarts room booking.
  • An ex-Furry Raider comes out about Foxler leading the scheme to cost Denfur $40,000 with stolen credit cards and ID’s (possibly from RMFC).
  • Early 2018 — Discord bans nazi servers where Unite the Right was planned and sweeps out members, Nazi furries are banned with them.
  • March 2018 — a prominent alt-right troll (Weev) joins Furry Raiders with hopes to bring Foxler to Richard Spencer events.
  • May 2018 — FurAffinity bans numerous nazi-furry accounts with a new policy against promoting hate groups.
  • August 2018 — Denfur breaks attendance records, security marches Foxler out.
  • April 2019 — Foxler arrested for child sex offense coinciding with RMFC 2015, previously unknown here.
  • RETALIATION: Fall 2019 — Furry Raiders team up with a prominent alt-right troll (Milo Yiannopoulos) to troll Midwest Furfest.
  • Followup finds ties between nazi furries and a violent gang (the Proud Boys); Milo wanted street fights at MFF, but he was stopped from going.
  • RETALIATION: Late 2019 — Dogpatch Press targeted with intimidation scheme, reports to police lead to 2 arrests of Furry Raiders.
  • Through 2020 — Dogpatch Press story about violent threats by nazi furries collects the most evidence yet. There’s ties in FBI reports of swatting schemes, violent hate groups recruiting kids, and murders in Charlottesville and Texas.

2019: Kovar and Milo plan for MFF.

These groups chase power even with constant consequences for being toxic. More than ever, this story is evidence for why to keep them out.

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

Categories: News

Meet Fuzzyfin, a licensed therapist and furry with insider understanding.

Wed 24 Feb 2021 - 10:00

Yesterday’s story looked at finding therapists in the furry community, who might get things like LGBT issues or the benefit of role-play. Meet one.

I am a licensed independent marriage and family therapist in Ohio. My furry name is “Fuzzyfin“.

I have been in the fandom since before I was a therapist. Being in furry actually helped me quiet a bit, as a queer women, to help find myself authentically. I was able to explore and witness things like the leather and BDSM/Kink community (as there is a lot of overlap). In experiencing these things personally, it has greatly helped me as a clinician. Clients want to see someone who “gets it” and won’t pathologize them.

One of the big issues that clients face, is a lot of scrutiny for being involved in “non traditional” interests. I am open on my website that I am involved in the furry fandom, and have been told by clients that it helps them feel more comfortable and not judged. It has also helped me in being comfortable talking about things like gender expression, sexuality, and intersectionality of power and privilege.

I love talking and teaching about furry. I gave a Sexology on Tap talk in January 2020 locally in Columbus. I gave a presentation to MFT students at Akron University late last year. 2019 was my first year as track lead for the Mental Health, Nature, and Spirituality track at Midwest Furfest. It has been great to give presentations on how to find a therapist and how to manage anxiety at a convention.

I am constantly learning, I am a member of AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists) as well as the National Coalition of Sexual Freedom. I am currently taking additional courses in sexuality and sex therapy.

The pandemic has definitely created a unique situation. I work with A LOT of couples/polyam folx, which I have noticed the issues within their relationships being amplified by feelings of helplessness and being stuck. It has amplified stress on folks. Honestly, the hardest time during COVID for me as a clinician was during the Jan 6th insurrection. Clients were terrified and I was terrified, things were changing so quickly. I might be a therapist, but I am still a human.

As a mental health professional, I am also exhausted, holding space for folks right now while also going through our own stuff.

Furry is unique in that a majority of the community is online, but the lack of cons has created a massive hole in connection. I know we are all tired and that need of connection is so great right now, while at the same time having that connection leads to a lot of risk. I have a lot of conversations with clients comparing safe sex conversations to COVID risk – and how to talk about risk with folks “in your bubble”. I am thankful things like Zoom and Discord exist, as it enables face to face connection. I know COVID will forever change my profession, it has allowed me to meet people “in their house” by being virtual. I have been able to get an emergency license for KY. I also now am licensed in FL and not just Ohio. It has removed some of the barriers to seeing folks. I am seeing folks I never would have seen before being online.

Fuzzyfin is like many furries — multiskilled and generous about sharing. Here’s hoping to catch one of her talks in the future.

UPDATE: talk shared by Hund the Hound.

Follow Fuzzyfin on Twitter or visit her site.

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

Categories: News

A furry look at lockdown vibes and finding therapy

Tue 23 Feb 2021 - 10:00

Fun is good for you. Furries know it. Get a fursona and have fun with art, stories, role play, or putting on a carpet and doing silly voices. How about news reporting with a silly voice that makes dogs flip their heads to the side? (I was on a podcast this week.)

Sick of lockdown? More than ever, people need fun to stay well, but options are limited: “The pandemic has evaporated entire categories of friendship, and by doing so, depleted the joys that make up a human life—and buoy human health.

You can talk to people online, but social media has bad vibes that are hard to ignore. Expecting bad ideas to get neutralized by good ideas is a bad idea at this point. Stoking them can turn into mass hysteria. Or mega-hysteria. (Megascale is a thing now, but here’s some history:)

“Whose turn is it to clean the litterbox?”

OK, I don’t think soldiers should come whip people for meowing (kinky) but there are problems that don’t get fixed with meowing back.

Speaking of mass hysteria, look how a thing like QAnon jumped from online to real life. It’s the conspiracy theory about satan-worshipping pedo-cannibals ruling the world from a “Deep State” who were supposed to get rounded up by the Messiah Trump. What a sentence. I’m just a talking dog, but that doesn’t sound healthy. I have no idea what those people are doing now, but they might need help to come back down to earth.

Sometimes you need professional help.

This started with a friend having the idea of a therapist finder for furries, because if you are one, you might prefer someone who gets your reality. Think of professionals who get common LGBT issues and won’t judge role-playing. I gathered some comments about this.

I'm a therapist! Feel free to reach out!

— FuzzyFin #BlackLivesMatter (@TheFuzzyFin) February 15, 2021

Anon furry tip:

I have a counselor who’s been very open and accepting about the whole ‘furry’ thing, though it took several years to come up. We also spoke about it in the context of something else, and so I ended up talking about how I entered the fandom, what my initial experiences were, and how early interactions shaped me (both positively and negatively). There were a few questions they had to ask more than once, but overall I feel like the fact that they hadn’t known anything about the fandom previously was a big help. I had a similarly positive experience with a hypnotherapist. Oddly enough, both of them were professionals who’d decided to train as counselors later in life.

For therapists with furry clients, from Furscience, via MythicalRedFox:

I was just thinking the other day how it’d be nice to have a therapist that is a furry. Getting a therapist up to speed on furry context has always been a barrier. There is this: Clinical Interaction with Anthropomorphic Phenomenon: Notes for Health Professionals about Interacting with Clients Who Possess This Unusual Identity.

Finding help online might not be as easy as you think, says Furscience:

A big challenge is the restriction on therapists to practice only in the state they are licensed.

— Furscience! (@furscience) February 15, 2021

A caveat from Hero of None:

I don’t know many furry therapists, but I’ve certainly seen several that aren’t. Discords and Telegram chats, just like twitter, are not good places to discuss mental health issues, especially in “anonymous” help channels. Always seek accredited & professional therapists! I think we’re both familiar with at least one furry group that promotes said ‘help’ to furries, just to boost their membership numbers and with no accredited therapists on its constantly shifting staff list. =\

Reassurance from Horrible Horse and more furries:

This reminds me of work with my therapist, where we’ve discussed Furry Fandom often; everything from him having a little knowledge about BLFC to my unadulterated joy at Foxtrot (furry dance), how Furry helped me embrace my gayness, and how anthro deer are the epitome of men I find attractive.

I have a sex therapist too. He's the most understanding one I've ever met regarding Furry culture.

— Scrimno (@Scrimno) February 16, 2021

That’s a good start… but what would therapy be like for various animals?

  • Therapy dog: “Nobody ever asks how *I* feel…”
  • Housecat: “I get in trouble for sleeping around.”
  • Owl: “It feels like I’m always watching my back”.
  • Groundhog: “I can’t get one day for myself without people expecting things from me.”
  • Porcupine: “I’m working on less prickly relationships.”
  • Sheep: “Is it OK if I’m attracted to farmers and Scottish people?”
  • Bear: “My parents were overbearing and I’m learning not to panda to them.”
  • Cow: “I’m getting help for a moo disorder.”

Tomorrow, check out what Fuzzyfin has to say about being a furry therapist!

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

Categories: News

The Bearly Furcasting Feat. Taebyn Podcast story.

Mon 1 Feb 2021 - 10:00

(Patch:) Welcome to a guest article about a furry podcast that rocks! 

I’m a frequent podcast listener, and almost everything I follow is scripted, not unproduced/free-form. My list has documentary, history, arts & culture, tech, journalism, interview shows, and true crime. Some have playful concepts. Timesuck has history and true crime told by a comedian. Excuse Me, That’s Illegal is a delightful snack instead of a deep dark murder show, with absurd little stories of softcore crime. Radio Rental has creepy true stories that are like the Twilight Zone with a “crytpkeeper” host. 

Most furry podcasts didn’t do it for me by using unproduced style, and rarely in fursona. Then I heard Bearly Furcasting Feat. Taebyn. It’s playful yet produced, with great curation. Every show is a treat because of a different notable guest from the fandom. They have hosted two pettable guests from this site: Summercat and Moi. 

Bearly Furcasting is up for the Ursa Major Award nomination (for the Magazine category, and if you nominate them we all win!) Go nominate NOW, the deadline is February 13. Now here’s Taebyn and Bearly’s own story!

In 2017 Taebyn and Bearly began a collaboration to make entertaining YouTube videos for Taebyn’s channel. Their very first YouTube together was a Storytime with Taebyn where Taebyn read the story Playful Puppies. Story Time With Taebyn #1 – Playful Puppies.

They were pretty successful in putting out content on a regular basis. They produced Storytime videos, Cooking videos, Helpful Hints, Math Vids, Product Reviews, Poetry, Songs/Drumming, and con vids.  Then COVID struck, and they were unable to get together due to the various quarantines. So while video production is on hold for now, they hope to get back to them as well as the podcast once the restrictions are lifted. In January 2020, at Further Confusion, (the last con they attended before the pandemic), they had talked about doing a podcast and so they felt the time was right to get it rolling.

Funny thing is, neither of them had done any podcasting before, and while videography is fairly straight forward, podcasting takes an entirely different skillset.

With all the best intentions in the world, they plunked down the money for hosting and equipment and jumped in the deep end with both paws.  At the time of this writing they have published 40 episodes.  New episodes of the podcast are published every Saturday.

Furry podcasting, it turns out, isn’t that unique. Much like furry YouTube videographers, there are many furry podcasters out there.  Each has their own style, their own spin, and their own niche.  Bearly and Taebyn have talked to several other podcasters and most don’t do a ‘produced’ show like ours.  A ‘produced’ show means it is pre-recorded and the content edited to make it flow and ensure some consistency. Pre-recording allows for moving the audio around if something is forgotten or needs to be added later.

Like many podcasters, episode #1 was short, tinny, and not very polished. When they started they just chatted with each other, talked about their lives, and shared a few jokes, and the episodes were only about 30 minutes long. After a few episodes, they started inviting guests on the show. They thought they would never get any real high power guests, but were gladly mistaken. They have had well known authors, artists, Con chairs, fursuit makers, musicians, entertainers, and more than a few notable furs.  With guests, and all the regular segments, the podcast episodes run between an hour and an hour and a half.

Around episode 5 they decided to give a section to any fur that could log in to chat with them.  It is called; Five Minute Furs for Fun!  It has seen a limited success because they only put the link out on their Fan chat on Telegram: BFFT Chat.  It is open to anyone in the chat, and that chat is open to anyone to join. They invite the readers to join them there.

The format for the show seems to be working for them and they hear good things from those who listen. Taebyn and Bearly are serious punsters and bad joke aficionado’s so they spend a lot of time sharing really bad jokes, and in fact there is a section of the show devoted solely for those jokes.   There are other on-going segments in each episode, such as “Furries in the News” and either a “Storytime” or “Math With Taebyn”. Early episodes saw Bearly asking Taebyn some This or That questions, but over time Bearly ran out of choices, and now will ask Taebyn Trivia Questions.  The format is evolving and it is hard to say what the podcast will sound like a year from now, or even a few weeks from now.  They are constantly coming up with new ideas!

The Podiverse is a strange collective. Podcasts are like the old radio shows of the golden age of radio, there are talk shows, scripted shows, game shows, and variety shows. The only difference is that now all is electronic, and anyone with a computer and a microphone can create content. One person can record themselves for a bit and publish it, and that is the most basic and simple aspect.  Other shows have full blown studio’s actors, and huge budgets, that is the other end of the spectrum. Bearly and Taebyn’s little BFFT podcast falls closer to the basic level, but has grown over the weeks. They now have a staff of two associate editors, a music associate, and a talent director.  BFFT is unique because of it’s format, being furry-centric with lots of notable furs in the fandom, and that Taebyn is on it – he’s quite a crazy puppy.

Every Saturday is a new podcast on all pod platforms and YouTube. If you want to interact with other fans and staff of the podcast, you can join our telegram chat: BFFT Chat https://t.co/3JHnCjm6Bw

— Bearly Furcasting (@furcasting) December 5, 2020

Behind the Mic:

Taebyn is a pup, a mere 4.5 years old, but he was born with an innate sense for math and humor. His timing is impeccable, but his lack of concentration often leaves co-host Bearly trying to corral him into the subject matters.  Taebyn is the epitome of a Friendly Fur and a wonderful ambassador for the Furry Fandom. He is always positive, always friendly, and will hug just about anyone, anyfur, or anything!

Bearly came to the fandom as the valet for Taebyn. After meeting him for the first time it was apparent he needed adult supervision at most events, and while Taebyn’s husband can sometimes do that, Bearly took up the reins and spends time ensuring Taebyn gets things done in a timely manner when at cons and when doing the podcast. Bearly has often joked he was going to run a panel on how to be a Fursuit Valet!

Bearly does most of the behind the scenes work for the podcast including editing, finalizing guests, directing the podcast, and producing the content, he does this with the minimal training in mass media and broadcasting that he learned at the local community access channel in Salem, Oregon, as well as tapping his experience in creating online training content for his full time employment in the Normy World.

Taebyn is, for lack of a better term, the face of the podcast.  He always refers to it as the Pupcast, and the episodes as Pupisodes, even though Bearly has never called it either of those. Many guests come to the show because they love Taebyn and his crazy antics.

barkwags! This week, we chat with the curator of the "Furry Library" SummerCat @Bengaley ! He's also a fur from way back and even attended some PrancingSkilitaire parties! And other big words and jokes and info happen in this pupisode! https://t.co/1sDOR75JpV

— Taebyn (@TaebynPup) January 30, 2021

Notable furs on the show:

All the guests they have had on the show have been marvelous, and they hate to single out any one fur, but they were both surprised at the number of downloads of Episode 8. That was the episode with Paco Panda. They had no idea just how popular he was and the downloads show it! That episode is still being downloaded today and the numbers keep going up, that episode is their most listened to. Paco even drew a picture of Taebyn and Bearly during the interview and that is what is on the banner of their Twitter.

Taebyn points out that all the guests have been great, though one unique moment was in episode #25 when he played Jeopardy with BuckTown Tiger.  BuckTown was a Jeopardy champion, so this was a great experience for Taebyn.  Checking out their WikiFur page, you will see the list of all the notable furs they have had on the show. Chatting with all of them has been an honor and a pleasure, they wouldn’t trade that for anything.

At first the guests were approached because they were well known to Taebyn and Bearly, or because they were fans of the guest.  As time has gone by, they have tried to get a mix of furry contributors that make up the fandom.  Past guests sometimes suggest others to be on the show, while other times they discover notable furs on various media and invite them to be on the podcast. As of this writing they have guest bookings 8 weeks in advance! They are trying to get some of the charities from the various Cons to come on the show and talk about their organizations, however this seems to be harder than getting furs on there.

bark! New pupisode! This time, I interview Patch O'Fur, founder of @DogpatchPress FurryNews! And also, more horrible puns and jokes as always! Join us fur the fun!https://t.co/3EPOyIZsgf

— Taebyn (@TaebynPup) August 29, 2020

To the Future:

Taebyn and Bearly are hoping to start video production soon after the pandemic is over and will continue to do the podcast as well. They really like being contributors to the furry community and love that so many furs find fun and friendship with their podcast.

While doing a podcast is a lot of work: two recording sessions a week, guest bookings, equipment maintenance, editing and all the other adjacent details that go along with it, Bearly and Taebyn wouldn’t give it up for anything!

If you would like to hear the episodes or know what was on every episode you can visit the Bearly Furcasting Wikifur page or their podcast’s website: http://bearlyfurcasting.buzzsprout.com/. The podcast is available on all major podcast platforms or can be downloaded through direct RSS from their webpage.  You can contact them at Bearlyfurcasting@gmail.com, on their Twitter: @Furcasting, or on their telegram at BFFT Chat. Find them on Youtube: Injured Nerves Productions and Taebyn.

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

Categories: News

The Ursa Major Awards and 3rd annual Good Furry Award are open for nominations

Wed 27 Jan 2021 - 10:00

DUTY CALLS FOR THE FANDOM! The Ursa Major awards are coming. Every year, furry creators (and mainstream creations) are up for nominations. For 2020’s movies, art, books, news magazines, and more… which ones will the community choose as favorites?

Nominate HERE for the Ursas, but don’t wait until it’s too late! February 13 is the deadline.

Furry ancestors spent ages of building temples for these works (well, there’s a website at least). Please support those who you want recognized with pets and praises.

Since 2001, these awards have been run with long hours of work by volunteers. They would appreciate any support you can give to defray costs for a website, making and mailing awards, and more.

The Awards committee could use help! Want to be on it? Leave a comment to be contacted. 

Categories:

  • Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture
  • Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work
  • Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Series
  • Best Anthropomorphic Novel
  • Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction
  • Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work
  • Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction Work
  • Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story
  • Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip
  • Best Anthropomorphic Magazine
  • Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration
  • Best Anthropomorphic Game
  • Best Anthropomorphic Website
  • Best Anthropomorphic Costume (Fursuit)

2021 GOOD FURRY AWARD – Nominate furries HERE.

The Good Furry Award is run by Grubbs Grizzly to recognize furries who make outstanding positive contributions to the fandom. The first one in 2019 went to Tony “Dogbomb” Barrett. In 2020 the award (and a $500 check) went to Ash Coyote (read about her on the site.) Her movie The Fandom: A Furry Documentary is on the Ursa Majors recommended list and got a review here.

Grubbs explains on the nomination page:

The Good Furry Award is about community spirit. This is not an award for who is the best fursuiter or artist or writer. It is not about being the most popular or being the furry who is seen on news broadcasts. It is about furries who do good works to promote and sustain the fandom and who represent the best in furry. Examples might be a person who does extraordinary work as a furcon volunteer, or who runs a charity, or who has done a lot to help furries in need, or who does something to promote a positive image of furries to the mundane world. I’m sure you understand the phrase “community spirit,” so nominate people based on that concept. The same goes for groups of people, organizations, and even businesses that help out furries.

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

Categories: News

2020: A year of loss — Fundraising and fursuiting for charity in the midst of a global pandemic — by Joe G. Bear

Thu 31 Dec 2020 - 10:00

Joe Goria (Joe G. Bear) last wrote about the 2019 ALS Walk.

Furries have done annual fundraising for ALS patients and families in honor of Dogbomb, raising several hundred thousand so far.

Charity events canceled: “What A Difference A Year Makes…”

That statement couldn’t have been more truer than THIS year. I don’t believe any of us would have predicted that 2020 would plunge us into a global pandemic not seen in over 100 years, and that our way of life – our ‘normal’ would change so remarkably in a short period of time. To be honest, this year has brought me closer to my own mortality, so I’m grateful to be safe and healthy (so far…)

As the COVID-19 Pandemic hit the United States in early March, affecting all major in-person events from concerts, sporting events and for many of us in “The Fandom,” furmeets and furry conventions – the most devastating casualty of this pandemic have been to people’s jobs and their own livelihoods. We all know someone or an entire family who has suffered greatly these last few months, and it’s heartbreaking. We should also mention those who are employed in our healthcare system, especially furries who have worked under extremely difficult circumstances in hospitals across our nation. “Thank You” for your dedication and service.

Even with the promise of important vaccines being rolled out this month and well into 2021, the after-effects of 2020 will still be with us for some time – especially for one major aspect of our society that can never take a backseat. Charities and Non-Profit organizations like March of Dimes & The ALS Association have been hit particularly hard as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the cancellations of in-person donor drives and events like “The March for Babies” in Los Angeles and “The Walk to End ALS” in Orange County, CA.

Hardships inspire a personal commitment to help.

The “2019 Walk to End ALS” was Joe Bear’s first major charitable event. The success of Furries coming together to remember and support one of our own, Tony ‘Dogbomb’ Barrett was the light that brought a purpose to fursuiting beyond a weekend convention – an ‘enlightening’ that gave me determination to continue the cause. It would be supporting the amazing folks at The ALS Association, and the upcoming 20th Anniversary “Walk to End ALS” in November, 2020. Plans were being finalized for the event when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. in mid-March.

One recent Gallup poll surveyed giving trends since the pandemic began. Though donations from corporate sponsors and foundations have increased, donations from individuals and families have plummeted as result of financial concerns and/or job loss. Approximately 40% of Americans reported direct financial hardship as a result of the pandemic.

Many charitable organizations like The ALS Association were affected by the abrupt cancellations of spring and summer events. As the pandemic raged through a late summer surge – “The Walk to End ALS” would change from an ‘in-person’ walk to a ‘virtual’ event online. The loss of in-person events can be very disappointing to any charitable organization, as it affects overall financial goal planning for much-needed services to those suffering from this deadly disease. (ALS is also named ‘Lou Gehrig’s Disease’ after the beloved Major League Baseball player who succumbed to it in 1941.) The work of The ALS Association can never take a break, as their services are always needed for people suffering from ALS – especially during a pandemic. It has to be extremely stressful not just for the patient, but for the families and loved ones involved.

I felt THIS year was the one year to get more involved to really make a difference, to make a larger impact than 2019.

November 2020 at the ALSAOCC in Southern California

Encouragement from a friend outside the fandom.

I was more fortunate than others who had experienced job loss, as I work for a major telecommunications giant that kept the offices open. We were deemed ‘essential,’ and believe me – we were quite busy taking calls since March for customers needing ‘Fiber Internet’ installed in their homes, as many would be ‘working from home.’ I would work alongside my co-worker, carpool partner and friend, Gale Ballard.

I knew Gale for almost 20 years, dating back to when I started working for the company, then known as Pacific Bell. We both had a lot in common that surprised me. We were both proud graduates of Long Beach State University (B.A. 1994), and we were involved in Associated Students and Greek Life on Campus; I was Acacian (Acacia Fraternity) and Gale was in Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. Ballard supported March of Dimes with a passion – each Spring I would donate to her fundraiser for “The March for Babies” drive as she walked alongside her friends, family and sorority ‘sisters’. Gale was my ‘best friend’ at the office, she kept me smiling and she was one of the first to accept me as a ‘Furry’ with no judgment in 2014 (after I explained to her with facts about our Fandom). She supported me completely being dressed up as a ‘Big Bear’ for The 2019 ALS Walk.

Gale Ballard admired ‘The Fandom’ for it’s generous contributions to various charities, especially when I shared a YouTube video of Furry Weekend Atlanta 2019’s closing ceremonies. It highlighted the convention Chair ‘Tiger Paw’ presenting a supersized large check donation of $50,000.00 for FWA’s designated charity “The Conservator’s Center.” Gale realized Furries were ‘pretty cool’ after hanging out with me, and admitted that she LOVED all the colorful ‘costumes. She wanted to attend a local SoCal Furmeet one day and meet some of my pals. She was a good friend of mine.

Shocking and unexpected news.

As we both live in Los Angeles County, and our job is in Orange County – Gale and I would often carpool to and from work. In mid-October, while I was on a week-long vacation Gale carpooled with another L.A. Area employee into work. Later that week, our office was hit with a Coronavirus ‘super-spreader’ event, one that affected 46 employees and managers. Gale got sick while I was away. By the time I returned to the office on October 19th, she messaged me that she wasn’t feeling well and would stay home.

We would never carpool again.

As the office outbreak forced me to take a vacation day on Friday, October 23rd to see my doctor and perform my first COVID-19 test in Torrance, the events of late Friday would change my life and break my heart. Our company announced the Tustin office would close for two weeks, through Monday, November 9th. Late Friday, I received a call from a good friend of mine and Gale’s, ‘George’ who worked with us for 19 years and recently retired. He didn’t mince words to me, and told me the somber news that Gale had suddenly passed away. I was in complete shock! I’d never expected to hear this news, as I just chatted with her the day before. I couldn’t believe it, I was in denial.

Gale was my ‘sunshine,’ she was there for me, supported me and cared for me. She was there for me when my Mom died in June, 2018 and supported me with my involvement with The ALS Association. She helped me get the word out for The 2019 ALS Walk, and helped gather donations from fellow coworkers. Gale Ballard was a very loving person that I miss every day. On November 4th, I personally said my “goodbye” to Gale at a pre-funeral viewing in Long Beach, attended by many. I finally broke down and cried. We also lost another employee a few days later, Darrell Harper. This was a nightmare for all of us who work in the office, because we are close knit… like family.

Joe remembers

Help from a community to rise above losses.

Gale Ballard’s sudden death made me determined to finish my goal: to participate in this year’s event by raising more donations than last year.

I knew fundraising in 2020 would be more challenging than 2019, as the pandemic had made it difficult to personally meet and talk to my fellow co-workers. Approximately 50% of my office would eventually ‘work from home.’ Many who did donate last year were simply not there, including those in the business department and certain Human Resources staff. Also, due to social distancing, we were not allowed to mingle and or be near other employees.

So, I used the power of social media messaging apps like Telegram to communicate to certain co-workers and retirees to help, and they came through! Nancy Hinh in HR, CWA 9510 VP Peter O’Brien, and even my former co-worker and ‘our’ good friend George Fields came in with generous donations. I say ‘Thank You!’ My family came through too, especially my Dad who has supported me graciously the last two years. He’s truly my ‘best friend’ and I love him very much!

Lastly, I can’t forget my friends in the Furry Fandom who came through with their support – Including those who donated in larger amounts this year, which was beyond AMAZING! One of my dearest friends in this fandom is a Blue Wolf from L.A. named “Truce,” who donated a whopping $800.00 to TEAM TONY and I’m forever grateful for his generosity. Truce knew ‘Dogbomb’ like many of us, and wanted to make a big difference this year. Well, he certainly did! San Francisco Furries ‘Rasher Boar’ & ‘Blue Badger’ chimed in with a hefty donation. There was a generous donation from a fellow Bear that I got to finally meet (and Hug) in Dallas during Texas Furry Fiesta 2020 just two weeks before the pandemic – Zio Bear. Thank You! Even our team captain, Trip E. Collie received multiple donations from “Blue,” totalling $1800.00 for TEAM TONY. “Blue” also donated $800.00 for the microphone set that helped with the virtual broadcast for those who couldn’t attend the “ALS Walk & Roll” Drive-Up by car. These were Furries who delivered the difference, despite the pandemic.

THIS IS WHAT WE DO, THIS IS WHAT FURRIES DO – HELP OTHERS! This couldn’t be more truer than at a pivotal time like today, in the midst of a global pandemic.

Rolling out a new kind of event.

In mid-October, The ALS Association of Orange County came up with an interesting concept. ALSOC Chapter Development & Operations Coordinator Denise Greek expanded the planned virtual ‘Walk’ . It would include a “Drive-Thru” event in front of The ALS Association offices in Tustin, and very close to my office. ALSOC is located in a business park across from METROLINK Tustin train station with expanded driveways to accommodate ‘Tent Stations’ for easy drive-up to pickup merchandise and an ‘Exit Tent’ to provide bagged lunches. I thought this was a great idea. There would be live music from a local DJ, prize giveaways, and above all – I could fursuit in a safe matter while attendees would remain in their vehicles. It would be my way to be involved in a ‘in-person’ setting while putting a ‘furry smile’ for the drive-up attendees.

On Saturday, November 14th we had “The 2020 Walk & Roll to Defeat ALS” Drive-Thru event in Tustin. It was something I’d never experienced before, but it was fun & memorable.

I arrived early with my friends & ‘Fursuit Handlers’ Ken Murata & Guadalupe ‘Junior’. With the blessing from Denise Greek & ALSOC Executive Director Natalie Villegas – I was able to use one of the storage rooms to ‘Suit Up.’ Our team captain ‘Trip E. Collie’ did not fursuit (I love his fursuit, FYI) as he handled the virtual broadcast of the event. He was hidden ‘Behind The Scenes’ handling master control inside the offices, while presenter Bonnie Yu and cameraman Dave Hsiung would report on the festivities outside. Tents were positioned across the long business park driveway near the ALSOC Offices. The main ALS Association Donor Table was near the front of the office entrance, alongside the DJ booth near the drive-thru ‘Balloon Archway’ that would identify the finish line.

I wouldn’t be the only fursuiter in attendance during “Walk & Roll to Defeat ALS.” My good friend and someone who was very close to Tony ‘Dogbomb’ Barrett named “Whiskey Foxtrot” joined me. We were ‘The Mighty Furry Duo” throughout the event, as we both waved and cheered on as attendees passed under the Balloon Archway in their vehicles. Later we handed out bagged lunches at the ‘Exit Tent’ to attendees in their cars. Imagine trying to hold a lunch tray wearing bear paws with hard resin claws – it was a challenge I must admit.

Whiskey Foxtrot and Joe G. Bear

Success in excess

After fursuiting for three hours, dancing away to the music while waving and thanking so many attendees in their vehicles, our work was done. I had a fun time, participating in something that was quite different from the ordinary but also very important. We weren’t going to let the pandemic stop us from showing how much we care for those in need. ZOOM virtual app was nice, but the drive-up charity concept was a great alternative and safe too.

I was humbled when I got so many ‘THANK YOU’s from people. The smiles from all over appreciating us for just being there were quite touching. I especially enjoyed being in ‘selfie’ shots alongside Whiskey. It’s something I’ll cherish for a long time.

In the end, we held our hands and paws up high! The ALS Association of Orange County held a successful hybrid virtual/drive-thru charity event with safety in mind. Thanks to my donors, I was able to not only meet my modest goal of $1000.00, I was able to exceed my goal by 161.5% with a total of $1615.00! I crushed my 2019 numbers by almost $700! TEAM TONY was a small, but MIGHTY group of 9 Furries led by the amazing Trip E. Collie – and exceeded it’s goal by 117.7% with a grand total of $5885.00!

I’m proud to be involved with The ALS Association and looking forward to 2021 and beyond, post-pandemic.

‘Dogbomb’ and Gale would’ve been proud.

9 furries joined Team Tony for the 2020 fundraiser.

Joe’s page

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

Categories: News

The mystery of the National Police Organization: why is it mass-blocking furries?

Tue 29 Dec 2020 - 10:39

It came up so randomly.

Some say the fans of My Little Pony are furries, because the colorful ponies are talking animals. What about members of a certain profession? What if they’re pink with hooves, blue uniforms, and lots of them think white is the best color… those are the colors of a certain Pride flag, but I suspect the similarity ends there.

We could ask the National Police Association, but it isn’t talking.

On December 27, Twitter user @EnnexTheFox first noticed being blocked. Lots of puzzled furries chimed in to say they were blocked too. 90 minutes later, @satansmoustache blew it up with the (currently) highest-seen post about the organization which seems to officially represent police.

Only it doesn’t. So why is it blocking? The answer may come from the way it gets people to blow things up.

The National Police Association (@NatPoliceAssoc) is doing a targeted mass-block of furries, that's fucking hilarious

— Satan's Moustache (@satansmoustache) December 27, 2020

Damn, also my account @FurryToday which just tweets out furry related videos every weekday and doesn't engage in comments was blocked.

— Changa Husky (@LurkingGrue) December 28, 2020

Most likely. Lots of LGBTQA+ individuals are also advocates for progressive policies, so we're seen as a threat.

— ⸸ SATANIC SAETHYR ⸸ (@SaethyrS) December 28, 2020

Apparently the so called "National Police Association" is now blockchaining trans people, furries, and any other group known to be sympathetic to minorities.

Definitely not a white nationalist group masquerading as a more innocuous organization.

— Celestial Emily (@Celestial_Emily) December 28, 2020

Yeah it's probably not just furries on the list!

— Satan's Moustache (@satansmoustache) December 27, 2020

I saw that high profile feminist and trans accounts are also blocked

— Kanab (@kanab_farsen) December 28, 2020

Sorry everyone it's my fault pic.twitter.com/pIscz5o4nR

— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) December 28, 2020

Lots of speculation, and some answers.

As Twitter shows, people can run away with their own stories. A little research finds some facts in Indiana news from 2019.

(IndyStar: This Indianapolis charity says it helps police. Police chiefs say it’s a scam.)

  • People in many states got sensational letters about crime to raise donations — the fearmongering almost sounds like a protection racket!
  • Donation money didn’t go to police, it went to a newly registered nonprofit that police didn’t know about.
  • Police departments in four states issued “scam alerts” for misleading messages.
  • IndyStar: “The National Police Association, which was formed in 2017, is not a membership organization. Its only physical presence is a P.O. Box in Indianapolis. With no paid staff, the nonprofit is run by three volunteers.”
  • The nonprofit’s treasurer: “The NPA utilizes a third-party company to conduct fundraising”.
  • Direct Response Consulting Services does mail and “email marketing, web, social media, and telemarketing”.
  • The funds seemed to be intended for crime prevention, but went to politics.

This leads me to some observations.

(1) This organization heavily relies on marketing service because they make hundreds of thousands in donations from it.
(2) The Twitter isn’t run by police looking at protest, it’s run by social media managers looking at engagement.
(3) Marketing may use mass-blocking for anything that doesn’t suit good P.R.
(4) Somehow a lot of furries ended up on a commercially used list.
(5) Remember Tony the Tiger? In 2016, he mass-blocked furries because they kept asking for his cummies.

Yeah, I’d go out on a limb and say this whole thing isn’t because police don’t like furries. That may be projecting more awareness than there is.

It’s more likely because furries are highly active for… not the most corporate-friendly reasons. Not activity that would raise donations to police, and it might lower them. (Besides P.R. or harassment concern, an A.I. sorted list could tie furries with #BLM and far-left activism even if the marketers don’t know it.)

Now, for other animals, furries donate millions in charity.

There’s one thing the news didn’t notice about The National Police Association that perked up my ears. IndyStar said the new org was registered in 2017 (and Guidestar confirms it). But they joined Twitter in 2010. Or at least, an account was made under some name, and who knows what exchanges were made?

No matter how many furries are blocked, they may be a tiny percent of 96.9K followers, and the NPA surely has a lot going on that we don’t see.

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

Categories: News

2020 update for the Ursa Major Awards and The Good Furry Award for Ash Coyote

Mon 14 Dec 2020 - 10:00

Something cool just came in the mail. It’s better than a Christmas present. It’s the Ursa Major Award for the year’s best anthropomorphic magazine!

The Ursa Major Awards are for public voting for the best furry movies, books, comics, art and more from the previous year. If you know of good 2020 works to share, the Recommended Anthropomorphics List is open NOW. Tell them what you love: recommended@ursamajorawards.org. Check out the list if you’re looking for good stuff to watch and read. Nominations for the next awards will start later in January 2021.

The most recent winners were decided a while ago, but it took time for everyone to get awards in the mail just recently. The awards depend on volunteer work by Rod O’Riley, the co-founder of ConFurence (with Mark Merlino). Rod and Mark run the Prancing Skiltaire house in Southern California and have been together for 40 years.

2 of the best things in the fandom! https://t.co/hhyRR8osYK

— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) November 27, 2020

2020 Good Furry Award for Ash Coyote

News about The Good Furry Award was waiting so I could share these together. The award is run by Grubbs Grizzly to recognize furries who make outstanding positive contributions to the fandom. In June, the award (and a $500 check) went to Ash Coyote and she made a video about it.

The Good Furry Award site has more about Ash Coyote and how she features furries on Youtube. Her full length movie The Fandom: A Furry Documentary is on the Ursa Majors recommended list and got a great review here. It’s full of archival video from early fandom times when Mark and Rod were starting the first furry con.

More furry news

Mark Merlino sent a story to publish soon about hosting Alan Dean Foster as a guest at ConFurence. Foster is the accomplished science fiction author who recently got mainstream headlines for being unpaid by Disney and fighting for his rights.

In Mark’s story, their small furry con got Foster to attend when he turned down an invitation from Worldcon. I also got replies from the producer who optioned Foster’s Spellsinger series for a movie and announced it at a furry con back in 2011.

The Dogpatch Press SPECIAL FEATURES AND TOP ARTICLES page is getting long-due updates to list over 6 years of stories. One is the mega-list of Furclubs around the world (independent night club parties for furries). Their history is the topic of a long piece shared on Patreon. It was written for a book that came out in 2017. Now it can be seen online for patrons.

I just shared a 5400 word story for the special cool $5 and up patrons at https://t.co/vv4jWFjLCW. pic.twitter.com/8Zho80wlkQ

— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) November 29, 2020

Check out Rod O’Riley’s own news site, InFurNation which covers movies, books, comics and more with furry appeal.

Freshly posted on Twitter: my literary rabbithole thread about a 1920’s LGBT proto-furry who influenced science fiction.

Photos requested with the award.

I’m so proud to get notice from Rod, the award volunteers and you if you enjoy any of the stories and helped vote for this. There wouldn’t be good furry news without you.

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

Categories: News

Despite COVID-19, hamster mascot back for Christmas

Fri 11 Dec 2020 - 10:00

Welcome to Dutch furry guest writer Jack Newhorse.

Albert Heijn is the biggest supermarket chain in The Netherlands, a country of 17 million people in northwestern Europe. Its hamster mascot is often seen in video ads and in the weekly circular. And for those who don’t mind seeing a (toy) hamster being ripped to shreds, it’s even available as a squeaky dog toy.

The Dutch word for hoarding is hamstering (“hamsteren”): The mascots were created for promotions that encourage consumers to stock up. You don’t “squirrel it away” there, you hamster it away!

But the “AH” hamsters were forced back into their burrows when the wordplay that brought them to life became grim. As hoarding led to depleted shelves in the first weeks of COVID-19, the grocery’s “hamsterweken” (hamster week) sales seemed inappropriate. Within a few days, the hamsters were gone.

Now they’re back to celebrate Christmas. As a company spokesperson told NU.nl (English translation), “The hamsters are once again for sale in the store as a stuffed animal and a Christmas ornament. They’re also giving a bit of color to this week’s print ad.”

Online, the store offers several ornaments, including one with the hamster in a kigu-like moose onesie. The store’s collection of plushies — which the Dutch charmingly call knuffelbeestjes, or “cuddle beasts” — includes a “Hamster Piet“. Thankfully, a non-racist version.

Despite the hamsters’ anthropomorphism, Dutch furries surveyed for this article were mostly blasé about them. Mike Nighthowl said he finds them “Slightly annoying. Yet I miss them as they’re kinda iconic. Without them advertisements get even more bland and therefore almost seem more interrupting.” And Kuva Klik (aka DJ-Code Y) writes, “The hamsters are quite funny. I remember seeing some commercials featuring them when I was younger. [But] I don’t watch regular television now, so I wouldn’t have known they were missing if it weren’t for the news article about it.”

——

Jack Newhorse is an American-born writer in The Netherlands, furry since 1998. He runs the coronavirus-postponed event Otterdance.

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

Categories: News

Music review: the fantasy soundtracks of Baumarius Remastered

Thu 10 Dec 2020 - 10:00

A review request came in from Lucas Masoch:

My new album Baumarius Remastered is an 85-track, 5-hour-long compilation of my work over the years, featuring music that falls within the realm of avant-garde, psychedelic, orchestral soundtrack, epic trailer, post-rock, and world music; often a combination of these. You can listen to the album here on Youtube.

As a confirmed night owl, most of my work happens between midnight and dawn. This is the chilly season for Northern California fog, so I work with a lit fireplace and dogs lounging on fluffy covers nearby. When I put Baumarius on, the cozy level was off the charts.

5 hours of music is great for immersion, but a lot to review. So I used it as background for working with occasional extra attention.

Baumarius Remastered is packed with arboreal, pagan, and fairytale vibes to summon furry creativity. For more than personal listening, it would also be good for a chillout or cuddle space at a party, an art exhibit, a moody video game, or a group art making session. Another Youtube mix of it is labeled: Calming Fantasy & Adventure Music for Writing, Sleep, & Emotional Inspiration.

Art by RavenGearProduction / SheilaGrace

Even with 85 tracks to pick from, the whole album is very consistent — all of them are a few minutes long, using a familiar palette of smooth, digitally-perfect orchestral sounds. I could slide in like a warm pool and never get distracted while soaking it up.

What can I say about it critically? Don’t expect anything like pop singles. The transitions from piece to piece are seamless and the whole experience meanders, but it’s like playing hooky to wander in the woods because you want to. Between overly pompous or trivially whimsical extremes, I think it hits the right balance without overstaying its welcome. I like some avant-garde music (Cabaret Voltaire is one of my forever favorites) and I would classify this as more like comfort food than experiments with itchy dissonance and sound collage, or signature production style. Not that I’d expect it to be what it isn’t; it’s the opposite of funky, but sometimes your ass needs to settle down so you can think. As a non-musician, all I could ask for in future work is to go beyond playing with a nice palette of sounds, and emphazise compositions with direction and solid motifs that your ears can grab. There’s a lot of forest, but can we see the trees?

Notes on a few tracks:

  • 59. Finding Self. A dissonant ending.
  • 61. Dreaming Together. Hiccup strings.
  • 62. Losing Paradise. Nervous energy and clock chimes in a speedup tempo.
  • 66. Mindhacker. Slippy slidy whistle and cello.
  • 68. Ghostwing. Stormy weather.
  • 69. In Control. A bit all over the place actually, with a piano crash thrown in.
  • 73. Into the Heart of the Beast. Arresting opening like a slightly ominous chorus of swamp creatures at night.
  • 77. The Escape. The echoey string layers give it extra space.
  • 80. Thunderstruck. Electricity buzzes, crackles and surges.

Try making art with this on and share it to the musician, I’m sure it would get a great response!

Artist bio and links:

Lucas Masoch is a Puerto Rican multimedia artist and synesthete who specializes in creating avant-garde orchestral soundtracks and music-based synesthetic visual effects. He has two musical acts, known as Baumarius and Syamori, which have influences from genres such as trailer and soundtrack music, psychedelic music, trip hop, and EDM. He began his creative journey in self-isolation at the age of 14, exploring mediums such as writing, inking, digital art, 3D modeling, and virtual reality in an effort to find ways to express himself. That journey eventually brought him the courage and opportunity to leave his family at 19, ditching their doomsday cult to live among strangers halfway across the United States. Recovering from the environmental and social deprivation the cult provided was no easy feat, but now he thrives among friends and resides in Pennsylvania with his partner Marroh.

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

Categories: News

They Are Smol: creating a fan community — guest post by TPH.

Tue 24 Nov 2020 - 10:00

The genesis of a community is today’s furry news. TPH (TinyPrancingHorse) asked if I could cover his humorous science fiction series that features several anthropomorphic species. I sent back an offer: Let’s see your own story that covers — (1) The content that makes the community’s backbone — (2) Proof of how it gets support like money or views —  (3) Nuts and bolts of how it got going — (4) Earned experience from doing it. I hope this inspires YOUR creation. (- Patch)

They are Smol has a main page here, and the first chapter can be found here.

What’s it about?

When people think of their favorite series – be it Star Wars to Tolkien, Discworld to Dune – there’s always a sense of mystery and nobility to how those series began. It starts with Men and Women, taking their life experiences, war stories, deep thoughts and desperate hopes, and pulling from that mysterious aether of the “could be” and bringing it into the real world.

Then there’s my series, Smol.

They are Smol was not created out of the desperation of homelessness, the pain of war, the desire to preserve culture, or any other number of excellent and moving reasons. They are Smol was created during a mental breakdown at work, where the author – on a throwaway reddit account – ended up tapping into something interesting in the human psyche.

All too often, in popular media – games, movies, books – humanity is depicted as this ascendant demigod given form, and they often have a cute sidekick character to play off of and highlight these traits. Think Rocket Raccoon, or if you’re in the Monster Hunter universe, the Palicoes. Something cute to headpat, something small to protect, yet noble in their own right.

Make our species that cute.

They are Smol simply reverses roles to consistently comedic effect, putting the reader in the position of the adorable yet terrifyingly effective sidekick. The story takes place in the near future after a disastrous first contact and the subsequent accidental invasion of Earth. Humanity is on a rapid uplift schedule. Partly because our alien neighbors feel guilty, partly because having another allied species is a boon all around, and partly because it took us something like 150,000 years to learn how to plant grain.

…look, nobody ever said we were clever. Humans, as a whole, oscillate between abject fear at the otherness of our friendly (if confusing at times) alien neighbors; and the frustration that they keep putting everything way up high on the top shelf.

Show me some metrics!

  • As of writing this article, They are Smol has produced 5 books ranging between 35K – 50K words each, distributed to a 20,000+ strong readership base.
  • They are Smol has also expanded, grown into a horrific megacorporation that has ~150 patrons who are generously supporting the project to the tune of $730/mo.
  • This has allowed the team behind They are Smol to produce a bi-monthly podcast, a visual novel, plushies (still in the works), meme artwork and many other things.

How did it start?

As a content consumer, I’m the kind of person who binges. I enjoy taking in whole series of things, and then going back and picking them apart and turning it over in my mind – honestly, I don’t know if I was hurt by an abandoned story as a child or what, but it is what it is. I do the same thing no matter the type of content, be it Chernobyl from HBO or the entire Discworld series of books by Pratchett.

So, when I was bored one day at work (in a doomed position, no less) I stumbled back across Reddit, and more specifically their /HFY/ board – shorthand for “Humanity, Fuck Yeah!” With literally nothing else to do but count down the clock, I opened up a couple of stories and began to read.

And just didn’t stop.

We are talking dozens and dozens of individual universes. Stories that – after consuming 200K words over the span of a week or two – ended up following the same tired tropes. Mankind = best. Aliens = worst. All enemies are cardboard cutouts and we can windmill through space doing nothing special or amazing in particular. It was… boring, after a while.

When I had my mental breakdown at work, I sat down at my laptop and wanted to write the anti-story to this entire genre while still staying within the genre. Humanity, people, they’re amazing not because of what they are but because of what they can do and the choices they make. So the first chapter was cranked out in a 100% stream-of-consciousness flow, submitted with absolutely no editing or re-reading, and I went on with my lunch break.

An hour later and 900+ upvotes, it looked like there was some desire for more. Another stream-of-consciousness outpouring, zero formatting, and a fight for your right to party netted roughly 750+ more upvotes. Chapter three – 820+ upvotes.

It seemed the game was afoot.

They are Smol started to get fanart, it started to get some traction on social media, and for giggles I ended up putting together a Discord server so people who liked the story could talk to me directly. At the behest of someone in the comments section, I was told to put up a Patreon – and within it’s first few days, it shot up to $150/month.

“Oh dear.” I thought. “This is now a thing, isn’t it?”

Fan art

How is it managed?

One thing that comes with things being a thing is that you need to keep momentum going; communities will wither and die if there isn’t a steady stream of new coming in – be it new people, new content, or new fan works. As a creator, you have to carefully manage that universe you’re creating, both in your own mind as well as in reality – for your fanbase is the most important thing you have going for you.

Management is key, as you can’t fix what you don’t measure. This means walking down the decision funnel™ and figuring out what you can handle yourself, what needs to be automated, and what needs to be delegated (if you’re working with a team). The Decision Funnel™ for those who don’t know is pretty simple:

Take thing that needs to be done -> See if it can be automated. If not -> See if it can be delegated. If not -> do it yourself.

So in my posts, for example, I link to all my media, website and community locations. In all of those places, I try to automate as much content as I physically can. I explicitly tell my fans that they are welcome to make any art, music, writing, etc – any content at all – as long as I can share it with the world at large, and I stuff the meme pipelines full of fan-created works.

They are Smol is a community effort, and cannot sustain itself without the work and love of everyone involved, both officially and unofficially; so remove the friction between your fans and the work itself and everyone profits, everyone participates, and everyone gets to enjoy the thing that is now becoming a thing.

Social media calendar and more fan works.

What keeps members together?

One note on community building – you must be intentional while doing it. You have to have a community charter that your fans can see and abide by, and a second charter of higher standards for those you trust to staff and manage your community in your stead. It is the most important thing when it comes to building a fanbase that you have everyone who wants to participate acknowledge and agree to that charter, as it puts everyone on a level playing field, explains what behavior is acceptable, and sets the tone for the community at large. (See Culture Code Notes below.)

Even if you have a fanbase of a couple dozen people it’s important to create that living culture document. They are Smol has it as a prerequisite to join the community server, and in doing so it automatically vets out the people who are not interested in being good members of the community.

I can point to this community statement – both the actual laws and the cultural guidelines – as the sole reason why we are able to build a non-political community that (to my knowledge) has members of every single political party, both radical and centrist, without it devolving into a gigantic dumpster fire. The cultural guidelines are why we have a self-help/ask-for-help channel where people can go to work on their own selves, as well as get questions answered on anything from finances to art, writing to cooking. They are Smol’s community builds each other up and recognizes the inherent humanness of everyone, and because it’s baked into the charter of the community from the ground up it only magnifies and amplifies itself in a virtuous cycle.

We are smol, but getting bigger.

All these things build on each other and allow me – and my team – to focus on multiple projects at once.

I’ve been able to host multiple panels at various conventions (talking about storytelling and business practices) because I’ve been given the bandwidth to learn and grow and not deal with infighting or drama.

We have multiple writers working on side stories and new IP, partner-artists building a visual novel as well as various other goodies (such as finger puppets! What other series has official finger puppets, huh?!), and the community is encouraged to interact with us as they desire.

We would love to have you as well.

They are Smol has a main page here, and the first chapter is here. Get exclusive content on Patreon, interact on Discord, follow the newsletter or on Twitter.

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Categories: News

Miss shows and music? Melt your face with Algerian Furry Death Metal from GLÒZÓNE.

Mon 16 Nov 2020 - 10:00

remember going out to shows and having a social life? pic.twitter.com/jkuawhleoI

— SINS (new account!) (@snafuqd) November 14, 2020

In March I had tickets to see Lords of Acid. They’re the industrial-rave act known for their 90’s banger I Sit On Acid. Furries with special taste may know it from the eye-popping video “Sexy male bunny fursuit striptease” from Albany Anthrocon 1997.  (Thank you Silfur Bunny for making furry weird. I love the video so much, and it deserves the fame that John Oliver gave to 90’s rat porn. r/industrialmusic thinks “it should just be the official video at this point.”)

Covid killed my plan to go fursuiting at the Lords Of Acid show. It killed the whole club. That was Slim’s in San Francisco, which hosted some of my favorite events. It was in the city’s night life hot spot with DNA Lounge, where furries, raves, drag, and goth all melted together for some of the best times I’ve had. Missing good shows is frustrating, and watching their venues die is a tragedy!

This made me think about hungry musicians needing work. I realized if you aren’t spending money on shows… you can make your own band. Yes, there are musicians who can work with you to infest other people’s eardrums. You can bring the rock like you can be your fursona. That’s how the world has this:

Press release for Glozone.bandcamp.com

GLÒZÓNE is ALGERIAN FURRY DEATH METAL. From the toxic ooze of a shattered planet crawls a hybrid creature. Redouane Aouameur is a musician from Algeria and veteran of the North African underground with his band Lelahell (Facebook.com/Lelahell). Patch O’Furr is the furry from San Francisco who runs Dogpatch.Press. Brutal yet gonzo, GLÒZÓNE will rock your face and tail.

BORN TO GLOW came from a plague ravaging the globe on Halloween in social isolation. Patch wrote lyrics in the spirit of Pungent Stench meets Ween in Dethklok’s dungeon. They appeared in an unholy dream for Redouane that compelled him to rock.

Patch says: “Furry Death Metal sounds like a shitpost, but this is a sincere tribute to the joy of being irradiated by the blasted monoliths of intersteller doom. In some conservative countries, it’s illegal and blasphemous to to be an LGBT furry. Metal and rebellion go together, and metalheads and furries are labels we use to rule our own lives. Perhaps the project is a bastard and that means we owe our dignity to nobody but ourselves. It comes from paying dues with money and flesh, from my whiskers to my tail and our mutated souls. I hope you laugh but also hear the diversity in our brutal music.”

It started with one track but there’s a batch written. It’s exciting to work with Redouane, who helped start a metal scene in North Africa. Algeria isn’t the most free country and it’s been through civil war, and he even had a manager assassinated years ago according to a band documentary. As bad as 2020 has been, things could be worse — so I say don’t wait for the world to get normal again. Lean in and make it weirder.

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

Categories: News

Protests in Poland “a premonition for what will happen” if LGBT rights are lost in the USA — Q&A with furry artist Jeanwoof who does charity for rights in Poland.

Mon 2 Nov 2020 - 10:00

The 2020 U.S. election is in progress, the future is at stake, and a tipper sent me this story. “It may be a premonition of what will happen here if abortion and LGBTQ rights are suspended by the supreme court.”

Thousands of people defied coronavirus restrictions to protest against a near-total ban on abortion in Poland in the largest show of defiance against the new law so far https://t.co/egFJz9RiCL

— SkyNews (@SkyNews) October 31, 2020

Maybe you’re sick of relentless gushing doom about politics. Sorry I can’t make it stop with the fabulous power of furry news reporting. But I can make a story for furries in and out of the U.S., and help you think about protecting rights everywhere. This won’t just tell you to vote, it’s about using fandom power!

Soatok Dhole explains why it matters.

Politics? In My Fandom? 

It’d be great if we lived in a world where I could opt out of political discourse entirely, but that only exists when you have the systemic advantage in our imperfect society. And since me being LGBTQIA+ is unavoidably political, and we’re a minority, opting out of politics means submitting to whatever dark fate toxic people decide I deserve.

Soatok says “The furry fandom – which you can think of as the largely queer sector of geek culture – has a problem with negative peace”; and it’s hurt by the Trump administration’s effort to overturn marriage equality plus 33 more steps to push anti-LGBT hate worldwide.

The problem is not just about Trump — it’s about ultraconservative attacks on rights everywhere. You can’t get peace from it by turning off the news, so to make better news, let’s meet a furry who does art charity to advance people’s rights in Poland.

Hi Jeanwoof, can you give a brief bio about yourself?

Hi, I’m a 26 year old woman living in Northern Poland. I’m very active in the fandom — drawing furry art for 6 years, and for 3 years I’ve been doing a small furry convention (Kungfur) with friends. I attend local conventions and sometimes you can see me at Eurofurence in the Dealers Den or Artist Alley. I’m a fursuiter too, but I don’t wear my suit as often as I want to.

by Jeanwoof

Can you talk about your art, and how to see it or reach you for commissions?

Recently I’m most known for military art, but I do simple animations and NSFW art as well. I always try to find something non-usual to do, that’s why I started to make detailed pieces and focus on guns and army-related themes, which seem to not be that popular still, ha! My style is headed more towards realism, but I’m fine with drawing some toony styled art such as Telegram stickers as well! I’m posting my art in my Telegram channel and I do have a Patreon page. You can find me on Twitter and Furaffinity as well.

Can you talk about furry subculture where you live?

Furry community here is way smaller than in western countries such as Germany or the U.S. but we are very active and social — we do lot of parties, fursuit walks and events. We have fantastic artists, joyful fursuiters and amazing conventions, even if it’s 3 per year currently. Fandom is growing every year, and many young people are joining the community! I still consider myself new to the fandom, or maybe I had so much fun over those years I didn’t realize how long I’ve been here?

Let’s talk about Poland’s Abortion Dream Team:

Poland has one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the European union, and in practice, it’s all but banned. But four women, nicknamed the “Abortion Dream Team,” are pushing back, holding workshops around the country teaching women how to obtain and self-manage a medical abortion. With Roe v. Wade at risk of being overturned in the U.S., is their story a cautionary tale, or a possible roadmap for American women?

The ruling conservative party, Law and Justice, backed a 2016 effort to ban abortion outright (the government backtracked after millions of Polish women and men poured into the streets, in what became known as the “Black Protests.”)

What made you do a charity benefit for the Abortion Dream Team, and how did it go?

I’m against abortion restrictions and I want every woman to decide about their bodies! We want to be free, we want to be safe, especially when the government is not willing to help you much after you give birth to the child, especially a disabled one. I really wanted to do something, but I’m still not sure about going out to protests because of the Covid — I was thinking about a charity livestream, and what motivated me to do it was MissDako who texted me first about the idea! That was amazing to see that someone has similar thoughts about it — we talked to other artists and made a stream with Tevayra and Drakness as well — we had many watchers and grabbed some commissions.

“We are doing art for ADT (Aborcyjny Dream Team) – an organization who fights for women’s rights and legal abortion and helps women to get a safe one as well! Link to fundraiser — Poster made by Tevayra, thank you!”

Even if the situation in the world is tough, some people were kind enough to help. For the first stream we gained 460 PLN (~$116 USD) and the next (with a team of me, Tevayra, Wasylthefox and Eldritch Beast) even more – 550 PLN (~$140 USD). I didn’t expect a lot of money from it but it was so awesome when people started to sign the petition, spread the word, and stay aware about the situation in Poland. I was flattered with the amounts anyways and I’m glad we did the streams. Talking via Discord in the meantime with other people with same thoughts and fears was very calming and wholesome and I am very glad I could be part of that. We plan more streams too!

Another thing is I saw a lot of YCHs and Commissions offered by other artists who were gaining money for ADT and similar organizations and fundraisers – like CyjanekAxie or PredatoryDuck, and I’m very proud of them! Fandom is more and more educated about the situation, and we all are trying to help each other!

The protests in Poland seem like part of conflict between right-wing and progressive beliefs around the world. How much awareness of it is there in the furry fandom?

With how far I spoke with others about the situation, I think almost the whole furry fandom is against new restrictions. Most of us are pissed off at the government moves, especially when they attack LGBTQ+ community with hateful speech in media and more! More and more people unite with each other against the same enemy. We are scared but we are strong — we are the young voice against old traditionalists and we try to fight the government which contains mostly old, cis-males, very strict catholics. This years election was a blast, so many young people voted, we all want change! Protesters want better laws and more tolerance, they want to be who they want and love who they want and especially decide about their own bodies. Even if there are people who are not liking how the protests are going, we all hope for better times and try to help each other — educate our grandparents, talk to our friends to assure them they are not alone! We do charity events, peaceful marches and more! We care about each other and try to cheer ourselves up in times when it’s hard to keep jobs, earn anything or even go outside safely.

Thanks Jeanwoof for talking, and I hope this inspires furries wherever they are to vote, and use their talents and communities like you do.

Underneath the power of the light

Work Hard, Play Hard

Why try harder

I Am Not Enough

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

Categories: News