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The Milo Story, Nazi Prevention, and A Simple Hope – by David Lillie of Dreamkeepers

Mon 21 May 2018 - 08:25

Welcome to David Lillie, artist of Dreamkeepers, a comic with a connection to here via Fred Patten’s reviews. A fantasy comic doesn’t need to tie to current events, but that changes when it embraces controversy.

Dreamkeepers did that by hitching their marketing to Milo Yiannopoulos in 2016, buying an ad on his show and giving him a fan art fursona. Milo was known as a demagogic celebrity who rose with Gamergate and the alt-right, and fell by condoning pedophilia. He addressed furries by bashing them on Breitbart, as I mentioned in this article about looking at conservatives before Trump was elected. But the topic here isn’t really Milo, it’s the things he rode in on, and they need to be clearly defined.

Regular readers will be familiar with reactionary groups aligned with the alt-right, like Altfurry. An honest look will find them inseparable from racism. Despite their claims to be defenders of free speech, I think they aren’t motivated by limitations being imposed on freedom, but the opposite; they’re reacting to society getting too free for the targets of their hate, who they consider lesser humans. Their leaders want unaccountability for it, and many of their collaborators simply don’t understand the greater context, or don’t care as long as they personally come out ahead.

Unaccountability isn’t even enough, so they push back with absurd counter-claims about things like “white genocide”. It comes from hate, not legit grievances, no matter what props they use for the pose. The proof is in the way they revise history for it (as if the Holocaust was caused by people hating Nazis, that’s the worst victim blaming ever.) It causes the conflict with those who they consider enemies. Enemies means new generations wanting to preserve advances for minorities and a better deal in times when the rich get richer with the poor getting poorer. To fight change, the alt-right casts it as cartoonish invasion and “degeneration” (except when they enjoy the benefits) while claiming to represent a false golden age from the past. But when they claim to be “hated” for troll behavior, it’s false equivalence to hating others humanity. With the alt-right, there’s no symmetry between their bad-faith backlash and those receiving it. There is no “both sides”.

The article here may imply that “both sides” deserve to be considered legitimate, and I don’t endorse that. Of course I endorse civil rights and free speech, which aren’t the issue with rules moderation by private platforms who don’t want trolls fouling the water for others. You can’t just redefine privileges as rights for that.  Also, when it addresses Milo, it’s too bad it glosses over how he served Nazis to launder their hate, and how the sleazy association with them is a much bigger problem than their size. Association isn’t dismissable (especially to a fan subculture that depends on it in every way) – both when people choose to enable assholes, or show them the door. Choosing who to host is free association too.

All of this is to define the fundamentals if you sense cynical dissociation and rebranding in the article, which was criticism I got about hosting it. So why do it? I have to say that the author already has his platform and doesn’t need mine, and I don’t need his. I don’t think a one-time guest article is like giving up keys to the site and he could easily put it elsewhere. It’s here to be open and raise questions.

An open mind can lead to common ground, but also let nasty things crawl in. (You might enjoy this guest article about that: How I Ended Up in the Alt-Lite, and How I Got Out). Which one is this article trying to do? And do you feel rabid or poisoned about it?

– Patch

 

The Milo Story, Nazi Prevention, and A Simple Hope – By David Lillie.

Thanks to @Boneitis and @kaze_the_wyvern for providing constructive feedback and advice.

 

You may be reading this to check whether it’s okay to continue hating me.  Let’s cut to the chase and give that a simple yes.

I create the best comic I’m capable of rendering; but I also drew Milo as a snow leopard, and occasionally shake my head at the firestorm it caused.  Since I still think it was funny, your hatred is socially acceptable.  Including acceptable by me. I’m not holding it against you. It’s just how you feel.

So we’ve covered the hatred question, but you may still be curious about why I changed my opinion regarding Nazis in the furry community. Especially if you think Nazis are a problem. Because I agree with you, and previously I did not.

(Any Nazis reading this just began considering whether they, too, should hate me.)

We’ve established I’m not writing this article in the hopes of reducing the number of people on twitter hostile towards me. So why would I change my mind, if personal social approval is off the table?

To establish a starting point, let’s examine a common question about the Milo fursona.

“What were you thinking?”

Generally my mind is in one of two places; the next comic page, or hare-brained marketing schemes.  Aspiring content creators may relate to the constant drive for experimentation, improvement, and the hope for success.

During some of my many thousands of hours of drawing I listened to a podcast by Milo. I knew him as a provocateur attracting massive crowds and protesters while advocating free speech and being banned from twitter. The controversy swirling around him was many things, and entertaining was one of them.

I heard him do a live-read advertising, of all things, cars. Talk about boring. Too bad he wasn’t promoting something interesting. Like a webcomic… Like a furry webcomic. Like OUR furry webcomic!

The idea popped into my head like a Robin Williams punch line, and I laughed.

One of culture’s most controversial figures, promoting a furry comic.  The thought was so absurd, I had to at least try for it and see what would happen. I probably wouldn’t be capable of pulling off such an advertising coupe. No publicist, no ad agency, no form of professional representation.

But it turns out I could.

And I did.

Milo’s audience heard all about Dreamkeepers, and then he became a snow leopard.

If you’re concerned about social problems, and shaming others into agreement is a tactic you sometimes use, what happened next might be of interest to you.

I was called the usual assortment of smears that we’re all so familiar with, whether we’re hitting with them, or being hit by them. Fascist, alt-right, x-phobe, Nazi.

Now, was the pitchfork crowd aware that the labels they flung at me were inaccurate? I can’t say. I have difficulty reading minds.

But I know my own mind (a little), so from my perspective it was obvious those labels were wrong. I don’t identify as a fascist, and my values are incompatible with fascism. The credibility of my accusers thus dipped a bit, and not just their personal credibility. Being falsely labeled confirmed for me that these labels were used falsely, broadly, as a disingenuous social weapon.

I shrugged off the pitchforkers seeking to apply shame and control, because, no thanks. We carried on drawing things, sharing art, and having a good time.

Now remember, you are permitted to hate me for all of this, as we established at the beginning. That’s fine. I don’t identify the way you have labeled me, and you’re allowed to be upset about that.

But the takeaway here is that, even for oddly agreeable fellows like myself, social shaming tactics are losing effectiveness. The hammer still has force- but everyone has been pummeled so long, over such trivial or fallacious things, that hardened shells have become mainstream. Shame doesn’t work. That weapon has been removed from our arsenal of social correctives. And as it happens, we may have disarmed ourselves at just the wrong moment.

I’m starting to get worried about Nazis. Now, when I say that, I don’t mean Dave Rubin. (I could take ‘im.) Allow me to briefly clarify how I conceptualize “Nazi.”

I don’t use it in the colloquial sense of “person outside my political tribe.”  I’m talking about a fringe ideology that opposes individual rights, seeks to purge all disagreement from society, and minimizes historic mass murders.

The left-leaning readers are pulling their hair in frustration at that definition, thinking, “Yes you idiot, that’s what we’ve been telling you this entire time! There are actual Nazis, we’re not making this stuff up!”

I hear you, and you’re correct.

Real people exist who are Nazis.  I’m sure you can find examples who are not Dave Rubin, and they will be valid examples of very bad Nazis. There were valid examples a few years ago, and before then as well.

The existence of a few people thinking totalitarian thoughts doesn’t concern me then, nor now.   I’m concerned because of a major contextual social shift.

Moral credibility.

Up until now, mainstream society was generally Nazi-proof because of one universally accepted truism;  that Nazis were morally reprehensible. Nobody would ever vote for a Nationalist Socialist political party, because there wasn’t one single good thing about Nazis.

Or at least, there wasn’t.

The door is opening to Nazis having some mainstream appeal, and here is why.

Public perception is beginning to register Nazis as defenders of free speech.

If you disagree, just check this for yourself.  How often do you see online conversations touching on the topics of Nazis and free speech at the same time?

That proximity alone, repeated often enough, will form a link in people’s minds long after they forget the context of the arguments.

If that impression solidifies, then we have destroyed the decades-long public consensus that there is nothing good about voting for Nazis. People will start saying, “Well, I disagree with their French foreign policy, but at least somebody is defending free speech.”

What’s even worse, the furry community’s efforts to eradicate Nazis are making this catastrophic impression- this idea that Nazis defend free speech- correct.

If you fight Nazis by revoking their civil rights, then they will defend themselves by advocating for civil rights.

The moral high-ground is the one thing Nazis never had. It is a massively powerful weapon, and we are giving it to them, for free.

Please, let’s all stop giving Nazis the moral high ground. It’s easy. We can disarm them by simply respecting everyone’s civil rights.

Many will rush to explain that no civil rights are being violated. Perhaps you are technically correct- let’s not argue the legal minutiae outside of court. If it satisfies your desire for accuracy, every time you hear “violating civil rights” simply replace it in your mind with “deplatforming, demonetizing, censoring, and social banishment, with no criminal charges, no trial, and no recourse.”

Many of the people being purged are not Nazis at all.  Not even a little bit.  Tossing around hateful labels like ticker-tape at a parade makes these kinds of civilian casualties inevitable. And they are mounting.

The recent Furaffinity purge provides the latest examples.

People with no ties to the alt-right have had their accounts nuked, being told opaquely “you’re not the sort of person welcome in our community.”

Many just want access to their account back, even briefly, so they can save copies of favorited art, gather their posts and journals from past years, and consider if they can take their belongings to find a new home.  One where they won’t be banished for reasons that are never disclosed.

And that game is to make people in the fandom think that the net is being cast too wide and that people who don't "deserve" to be pushed out of the fandom are suffering.

QuQu and everyone else in that chatroom knows "the truth" is that altfurry IS a paraiah group.

— VƎX is a Satyr (@andreuswolf) May 21, 2018

In the furry community’s zeal to expunge “Nazis,” you might anticipate another unintended consequence.

Fearful people gravitate towards group identity, for protection.

I will let you deduce what happens when raving headhunters add notches to their belt and gloat over scalps.

A few furs will choose to live in fear.  Re-reading every tweet, anxiety spiking as they second-guess each joke, knowing one wrong move could end their social existence in the oh-so-welcoming community, but hoping the next person to be cast out will be a different member of the herd.

But for every furry who stays quiet and toes the line, more will stay quiet and drift away from the headhunters, into the opposing camp.

During the Milo fursona days every public tweet or comment bullying us would correspond to roughly ten private messages or e-mails expressing solidarity with our actions, and fear of the online mobs.

The furry community is devolving into one defined by anxiety, insecurity, and fear.

I’ll repeat it, in case you didn’t feel the psychic surge of readers around the globe nodding mutely in assent.

We are creating a climate of fear.

One where polarized factions misrepresent one another.  One where artists, working maniacally to build up a career, live in fear of being next on the chopping block, their hopes and dreams just more collateral damage.  We’re creating a community where any creator who fails to join a rigid political bloc risks being caught alone in the crossfire between the two.

On our current path, we’re only a few years away from politically segregated conventions. That will take the reciprocal ugliness and intolerance that exists online, and make it worse. We can only throw so many people out of the fandom before it generates an entire rival community. That’s a road we don’t have to go down.

Now, I’m not telling you to start liking Nazis. I don’t like them- every time I see those movies, I’m rooting for Indiana Jones.

I can see a better future for the fandom, and it doesn’t require us to join hands and sing kumbaya. Dislike some art? Explain why in a comment. See people agreeing to a bad idea? Explain why it’s bad. Want to shun a person? Use your block button, and don’t invite them to your parties.

But we have to exist together in the same society. We can curate our personal social circle- but we cannot claim personal ownership and curation rights over the entire fandom. Law abiding people, even those who disagree with us, must have access to publicly accessible social events, publicly accessible online platforms, the ability to earn revenue, and basic civil rights.

That’s a pact I can support. Even if I disagree with someone, and even if they’re a genuinely bad person, if they follow the law I won’t try to demonetize them, deplatform them, or eject them from the broader community and its gatherings.  (Openly or otherwise.)

It’s my hope we’ll move towards a future where the furry community truly is a welcoming place. Where people can disagree and have political spats, then grab a beer together, or play the latest game, or go nuts on the dance floor. A community that doesn’t mandate opinions. A community where anyone can draw anything. (Yes, even that.)

In world like that, it’ll be awfully hard for Nazis to pose as free-speech defenders.  I won’t have to worry about culture siding with them.  I can laugh at the occasional outrageous Nazi fursuiter, and then continue living in a society that stands for individual rights and against totalitarian social purges- regardless of who is doing the purging. A society where silly people can advocate crazy ideas which the majority will never take seriously, because the ideas crumble under scrutiny. Where we can create any sort of fiction imaginable.

It’s just a hope, not instructions. You’re free to agree or disagree. I’ll still greet you with a smile if you ever decide to swing by, and support your right to viably participate in the community, your right to contribute color, life, and stupid opinions. If I don’t support those rights for you, god knows nobody will support them for me.  I think we can do that much for one another.

– Dave Lillie

 

UPDATE 5/22/18: who could have predicted this would trigger disingenuous concern trolling? 

This was published to raise questions. With questionable faith shown in Dave Lillie’s Gab post that disrespected readers (and the clearly communicated intention to post an editor note), it was interesting to see what answers could be found. Would this article itself bring hate speech from altfurries?

The altfurry chat didn’t give Dave Lillie much credit for an honest opinion without a trolling agenda.  And of course they couldn’t wait to push their own.

After bringing up a trolling agenda, they couldn’t help themselves from showing what hate is at the root of it:

No surprises here. Even an attempt at looking as bland, reasonable, and middle of the road as possible brings out the hate from altfurries.

Perhaps Dave Lillie would like me to legitimize it by patiently explaining why grown-ups don’t do this. I prefer speaking to everyone who already knows it. Why act like “moral credibility” is supposed to be the burden of the targets?

Have fun trying to post comments and then crying oppression when they go to the trash, guys. (That means the 4 that came in between 9-11 PM timed with the chat screens egging them on.) Bad faith trolls will never be welcome here, even if they pretend to speak nicely in public.  Playing obvious games is a terrible way for hate group members to present themselves as victims.

Thoughts from regular readers:

re: the Dreamkeepers "we're not alt-right I promise" article on @DogpatchPress ???????????????? pic.twitter.com/uTuEyjVGUE

— Thallids Are Valid (@ReadingRidley) May 21, 2018

so the reason they drew a white supremacist fanart is "for the lulz" and also we should be nicer to nazis?

— Thallids Are Valid (@ReadingRidley) May 21, 2018

They don't offer anything to the discussion besides gleefully admitting again, they conspired with a bigot to make more money for themselves.

— SYXG98 (@SYXG98) May 21, 2018

'Freedom of speech' goes both ways, and people keep forgetting that.

— zʇᴉlqʞuI ???? AC2018 (@Inkblitzer) May 21, 2018

Patch, why'd you invite these guys to the potluck? pic.twitter.com/so13Ht4qGl

— Be Good ???? Have Fun ???? Launch Nazis Into The Sun (@XydexxUnicorn) May 21, 2018

I don't care if they cry censorship because they've lied before and they'll do it again. It's what they do.

— Be Good ???? Have Fun ???? Launch Nazis Into The Sun (@XydexxUnicorn) May 21, 2018

A "centrist" who collaborates/enables can't just cop out by complaining "guilt by association" like they aren't choosing to associate. And anyone who says "you turned me into a hater by calling me a hater" is a manipulative liar.

— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) May 21, 2018

How does one, who's an adult change their minds from thinking Nazi's were not so bad, to yeah, they bad? How do you wrap that around your brain stem and come to that conclusion to have even thought they were ok to begin with. I mean..really? Well not another dime from me FTG.

— The Ebony Gorilla (@EbonyGorilla) May 22, 2018

The man reason why I wouldn't is, my credibility isn't worth a buck for one additional reader, follower, or fan.

— The Ebony Gorilla (@EbonyGorilla) May 22, 2018

I've seen this going on for a long time. I turned a blind eye, hoping they'd come around eventually. I had high hopes for their @DogpatchPress article today. I'm crushed to see those hopes dashed.

— Princess Meat Grinder - Fletcher (@ArcticFletcher) May 21, 2018

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

Categories: News

River Water, by Eikka – Book Review by Fred Patten

Thu 17 May 2018 - 10:00

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

River Water, by Eikka.
Capalaba, Qld, Australia, Jaffa Books, May 2016, trade paperback, $9.00 (122 pages), Kindle $2.99.

This is a happy nature novella, like Bambi by Felix Salten – not! (Not that Bambi is very happy.)

Flix is a pregnant young vixen, happily mated to Bracken, a strong but not very bright tod. This is fine with her. She doesn’t love him as much as she feels that she can relax with him as the protector of her and her (and his) kits. This is a great relief after her own orphaned and very insecure childhood.

“His brain wasn’t talon-sharp, if that wasn’t obvious from his idea that shrubberies could spontaneously attack, but that was fine by her. She knew he’d sooner let his bones collapse than let anyone get a strand of fur on her, and she’d given him a litter of magnificent kits growing inside her body alongside a growing feeling of being protected than she’d had in a very long time.” (p. 8)

Unfortunately for her, Bracken is immediately killed while she is out hunting. She does not grieve for him as much as she’s panic-stricken at being without a protector once again. Even worse now that she has a wombful of growing kits to also care for.

Flix is so desperate for a new protector that when she comes across a lone stoat, even younger and more naïve than she is, she grabs him for the job. He takes some persuading at first –

“The stoat blinked open his eyes, and reacted just as expected, twisting, scratching, biting, kicking. Flix, feeling disturbed but making sure she remained calm, called out as clearly as she could.

‘Okay, stop! I’m not going to hurt you! I know you’re lost and I know you’re alone – but that’s why I’m here! I want to help you! But please, I need you to stop!’

The stoat began to slow his struggling, but whether this was because he believed what she was saying or just getting tired, Flix didn’t know – she just continued speaking regardless.

‘Are you listening to me? Are…? Look, what’s your name? Mine’s Flix. What’s yours? Mmm?’

He just stared at her. She asked the question again. ‘What’s your name?’

‘…You’re a fox” the stoat breathed out.

‘Yes, I know,’ Flix said, ‘but there’s nothing I can do about that. And anyway, I’m not an ordinary fox… I’m a good fox.’

‘G… Good fox?’

‘Yes,’ she said, astonished at what she was saying; the amount of animals she’d torn the fur off, she was akin to a good fox as much as a stick insect was to a vicious destroyer of nature. ‘Ground squirrels, tree squirrels – good foxes, bad foxes. So you don’t have to be afraid. Just tell me your name.’

The stoat stared for a while longer, before sliding out the word ‘Nezzick’.

‘Nezzick,’ Flix repeated. ‘Brilliant name. Now… You know I’m here to help you, don’t you? … Just say yes or no.’

He didn’t say anything.” (pgs. 11-12)

Flix, with Nezzick, travels back to her childhome home in the forest. She is sure that, with Nezzick’s help to catch food for her and her soon-to-be-born kits, life will be much happier for her. She meets many of her childhood acquaintances: Reffaw the river otter, Manneran the beaver and his mate Cirrie, and Krissy the squirrel. They are not all as delighted to see her again as she’d expected.

“Cirrie turned her head so quickly she hit her forehead on the trunk.

‘Flix! Hello and welcome back!’

‘Thank you!’ she said, beaming. ‘And I’m not alone; I’ve come with this little one: Nezzick!’

‘Hello, Nezzick.’

‘…Hi.’

‘Right!’ Flix said, ‘Nezzick, we’ll leave you here to slow down and catch some sleep for a bit, and me and Reffaw will go off and have a chat. Okay?’

Nezzick nodded. ‘Excellent… Now, Reffaw?’

Reffaw, looking as stern as he’s ever been, led the way back east.

‘Why did you come back, Flix?’ the otter demanded the moment the dam was well behind them.

Flix told him the story as quickly as she could. Reffaw glared throughout, but made no threat to interrupt.

When she finished, Reffaw said, ‘So you came back here… because I’m here.’

‘Is that a bad thing?’ Flix asked.

Reffaw sighed, ‘Flix,’ (she groaned – he was preparing himself to rant) ‘Forgive me if I’m wrong, but what you’re saying is that you came back to a place that was – to use a term I recall was a favourite of yours – ‘infested with the subsistence of evil’ – simply because you wanted to be around those you knew at some point in your life on the off-chance that they may agree to spend good time collecting food for you and your offspring.’” (p. 25)

Flix is made to realize that the herbivores of her old home are not delighted at having a predator return to their neighbourhood, and bringing another predator with her. She tries to explain to Nezzick.

“‘Good,’ she said, resting down to his level, ‘So how were the beavers? They didn’t give you a hard time?’

‘They weren’t fun.’ Nezzick said. This time, Flix did twitch a smile.

‘Yes, I’m sorry I left you with them; I know they’re usually about as entertaining as banging your head against a cliff.’

Nezzick tittered. ‘They’re idiots.’

‘Oh, I wouldn’t say that,’ Flix said, ‘It’s just it’d probably be better if they left their cleverness nicely in their brains. Instead of rambling to the ends of the earth all the whole bloody time.’ Nezzick tittered again, and Flix grew a smile; but it turned out more solemn than warm.

‘Well, I’m glad you’re not too unhappy,’ she said, placing her paw on his, ‘because there’s a rather strange favour I need from you.’

Nezzick nodded.

‘Could you stop hunting for a while?’” (p. 30)

River Water (cover by Penny Virsu) grows more depressing from there. It is humorous at first, in the style of British (or Australian) snarkiness. Raw nature isn’t pretty or happy. Life’s a bitch and then you die.

Fred Patten

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

Categories: News

Meet Emma the Tiger – A Showcase of Fandom Love from BLFC 2018

Wed 16 May 2018 - 10:17

Thanks to Matthias and Rune of Rune’s Furry Blog. Her guest article about the story was submitted at the same time, so some of her info is included too. – Patch

This was the sixth year for Biggest Little Fur Con (BLFC), one of the biggest and fastest growing furry conventions in the fandom. Last year it had over 3,500 attendees and raised $36,000 for charity. This con has been The Con on many Furries lips… (or is that maws?) Many furs will travel far and wide to attend for a weekend of anthropomorphic fun. It’s attended by many fandom favorite suiters and seems to have good control of its public image.

However, with cons as big as BLFC, news and drama from within can spread like wildfire on social media, for better or worse, becoming the “face” of the convention for that year. Things were going smoothly at first, but during the con it was reported that a 10 year old girl was a target of verbal bullying.

The story of Emma the Tiger and how she almost left the fandom emerged on Twitter.  A user posted a screen grab from Instagram by Krysta Kennedy (xrainbowdawnx) explaining what happened. Emma was there for the fursuit photo shoot that takes place at every con’s massive fursuit gathering. She was approached by two mice who started to mock her fursuit. Emma was so embarrassed that she ran out without her father, saying that she hated being a furry and didn’t want to be in the fandom anymore.

The story was confirmed by Emma’s mom. Patch, editor of Dogpatch Press, met her shortly after the incident and learned that she was being overwhelmed with messages, and talked to Emma too.

My little tiger at #BLFC before some mice ruined it for her. She missed the main photo because they were mean. @BLFC pic.twitter.com/lDpsFL0otq

— Molly Bell (@mia_s_mommy) May 12, 2018

I met the mom and little girl and told her she had a super cool curly tiger tail! https://t.co/wFvSitb084

— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) May 13, 2018

As word of Emma’s story spread, a lot of Furries voiced out how this gatekeeping behavior is not acceptable. Rune Angeldragon said in her post about it:

If there is one thing the Furry fandom is NOT tolerant of… it’s bullies. This little girl loves furries and just wanted to be part of the con in her fursuit. It does not matter that she was wearing a maskimal… it should not matter that she didn’t have full sleeves or paws… or anything like that.

The fursuit elitism BS in this fandom needs to stop!!! Not everyone can afford a multi-thousand dollar suit, nor should they have to in order to participate or feel welcomed in the community. Anyone that does something like this should be ashamed of themselves! ???????? https://t.co/XFllim5kSw

— River (@ariverofstars) May 13, 2018

Hey there, heard about this earlier! I am so, SO sorry that this happened to her. Sending love and hugs from Florida. <3 I know this has been offered up quite a bit, but I'd be more than happy to draw her a badge and maybe even give her a pick-me-up card, if you are willing! <3

— Tod Puppy (@SarahandTod) May 12, 2018

I told my bf about what happened as soon as he got home (livid really) and he wanted to contribute something in his own way as well. (Drawn by me since he's not an artist) pic.twitter.com/uDZ6EGyDcR

— ☆ Cereza (@Cerezachu) May 13, 2018

I just found out about some fursuitera bullying a little girl at #blfc
What the hell?
Honestly? Really?
What is wrong with people
I don't care what YOU think this fandom is about, but this fandom is for EVERYONE
Any age, anyon who likes anthro animals.

— damn will never quit (@VixNdwnq) May 12, 2018

The word spread far and wide that furries of all shapes and sizes wanted to help Emma show what our fandom is really about. That would soon lead to a surprising ending.

After Emma was bullied and ran out of the con, her father and witnesses banded together to get her back. People started rallying behind hashtags such as #emmaisawesome & #bringemmaback2018 to show their support. Art threads appeared in furry groups across Facebook gathering art for Emma’s tiger fursona. And then they reached her personally.

@mia_s_mommy

Hey Molly,

I represent a group of fursuiters who would love a chance to hang out with your daughter and make sure she has a great con and feels welcome.

Please reach out to me so we can work something out! pic.twitter.com/IRtCGemXy8

— BurrReno (@Birdburrr) May 12, 2018

UPDATE!:

We have gotten in touch with Emma and her family.

We have arranged for her to have her very own photo shoot.

They have been very moved by the enormous outpour of love and support from all of you!#BLFC2018 #AllFurriesWelcome pic.twitter.com/sA9fd2UKKG

— BurrReno (@Birdburrr) May 13, 2018

Hey we found the kid! Had a good talk with her mom! She would love to do a big group photoshoot. Please meet us at second stage at 6:45 today!

— BLFC Ino89777 (@The_Ino89777) May 13, 2018

An act of kindness that this girl will undoubtedly remember for the rest of her life. Thank you @The_Ino89777 and all supporters for this wonderful moment! pic.twitter.com/n3FNk5YMJH

— SABERGHATZ @ BLFC (@SaberGhatz) May 13, 2018

Thank you @Draconicarcher for letting emma wear your tiger suit for the photoshoot!

— BLFC Ino89777 (@The_Ino89777) May 13, 2018

Big props to @The_Ino89777 for making this happen!! Everyone should feel welcome at a con! #BLFC2018 pic.twitter.com/bGmEHvTrqd

— soft boi @BLFC2018 (@Deikitten) May 13, 2018

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Thanks to each and every one of you who have shown your support to Emma and her family.

We had over 40 suiters come out for her photo shoot. Many of whom stayed afterwards to interact and play with Emma and the other kids.#BLFC2018 #AllFurriesWelcome pic.twitter.com/0O8uEA9qqY

— BurrReno (@Birdburrr) May 13, 2018

in this house we stan one tiger queen! ???? @mia_s_mommy !!!! Ty so much @The_Ino89777 for doing this for her ! #BLFC18 pic.twitter.com/vdoZCa9sIB

— HyenaHijinks @ BLFC (@HyenaHijinks) May 13, 2018

Stories like these remind us how much love the fandom can show. The only thing left unanswered was who were the two mice fursuiters that bullied Emma in the first place? There was good news on that front.

(1)The situation has been handled thanks to @BiggestLittleFC , FLARE, and the wonderful community, the situation has been settled. The individual has had their badge pulled after a positive ID by Emma.

— Molly Bell (@mia_s_mommy) May 13, 2018

Their names were not made public for a good reason.  It however led to other mice furs getting the blame. Two in particular were Click the Mouse and RC Mouse, who posted thoughtful threads in response to negativity aimed at them:

1) Thread: Someone at @BiggestLittleFC claimed my mouse and @BigbyRat bullied a little girl. It was not us. The con dealt with the person responsible, and Click and I are home safe with my badge. Let's talk about bullying and empathy. #BLFC2018 #WesupportEmmaTiger pic.twitter.com/Msejicx5cf

— Click (@HiClickMouse) May 14, 2018

First of which is, yes, this kid did get bullied. Yes what was said to her was innappropriate, and in a million ways wrong. I'm upset it happened. This should not happen and needs to be fixed. I will come back to that here in a moment.

— RC in Dimension BLFC (@Rcmouse) May 13, 2018

If there are security footage of the area, please feel free to follow me around the hotel being a doofus with a coyote walking to a photo shoot and back.

— RC in Dimension BLFC (@Rcmouse) May 13, 2018

Do I have to be believed? No, as I know who I am and it is far more important to me that young furries have a great time at BLFC and cons everywhere.

— RC in Dimension BLFC (@Rcmouse) May 13, 2018

Thank you all for being great people, and sticking up for the little ones out there. Have a great time for the rest of BLFC everyone, and no matter what I love you all.

— RC in Dimension BLFC (@Rcmouse) May 13, 2018

It’s understandable about where people were coming from, acting like a Mama Bear wanting to give protection.  The better approach is to speak up if you see it happen in person, but if it’s something heard second hand, check with con staff instead to see if they can address the situation.

To show Emma some love and support, visit her official Twitter handle.

There are many who wish to know who these mice were, but whatever was discussed with the parties involved was for them alone. It would be a good reason to look inward and work to be better people with a second chance. It’s also a story that doesn’t stop with Emma.

???? Hey you furbies are awesome but don't become a bullie yourself by going on a witch hunt for any mice/rat suitors for emma. Its been dealt with by the con. They did there job and we did ours. Now go have fun❤

— BLFC Ino89777 (@The_Ino89777) May 13, 2018

I don't really care who the bullies are, and the only reason I'd find information on them useful is so I can avoid them at future conventions.

— VƎX is a Satyr (@andreuswolf) May 13, 2018

Bullying is still rife in the fandom, and we need to work on it. Young furs and even new furs who aren't young get pushed to the edges or even entirely out by bullies and gatekeepers every day.

— Bowen the Super Floofer (@FloofRam) May 13, 2018

The next young fur to get bullied is gonna go ignored, possibly to the point of leaving the fandom like this young girl probably would've if she hadn't been in the right place at the right time.

— Bowen the Super Floofer (@FloofRam) May 13, 2018

Certainly because I never got the care and reassurances that Emma did. No outpouring of art and thousands of twitter followers. I didn't 'win' the fandom-is-nice lottery. Nor did thousands of other bullied young furs.

— Bowen the Super Floofer (@FloofRam) May 13, 2018

and especially don't ignore it just because there isn't someone like @The_Ino89777 leading the charge.

— Bowen the Super Floofer (@FloofRam) May 13, 2018

It was a good job by everyone involved including Telephone, the staff of BLFC, and furs who helped spread the story and gave Emma a con to remember. It’s also a reminder to keep your eyes and ears open during events like cons, meets, gatherings, or places like telegram or amino, for other Emmas who would love to know that they are welcome. Her story happened to take place during one of the biggest events of the Furry year, but you can help any time.

(3) to try and show Emma that the there were more people in the community that are good loving people than one bully and that she shouldn't let the actions of one person stop her from what she truly loves. We are sorry to those that met us today if we seemed

— Molly Bell (@mia_s_mommy) May 13, 2018

(5)and wanted to return with us to BLFC, and to wear her tail and tiger hat with a smile, we were overjoyed just to see her smile when we came back today and started having fun like nothing had happened.

— Molly Bell (@mia_s_mommy) May 13, 2018

(6) We love this community and to see let alone receive so much love and support from the community… just.. Thank you, thank you all so very much. Never change, keep loving and caring.

— Molly Bell (@mia_s_mommy) May 13, 2018

Here’s a few more sweet tweets – there are way too many to show, especially because Emma gained thousands of followers in days. Check Emma’s Twitter @emma_wolfie where she retweets a lot of the art and love everyone has shown her, with thanks to them all.

???? I saw the update from Telephone ???? I'm so glad she's okay and decided to return ♡

I hope this picture helps her smile <3 pic.twitter.com/buZGu9bhkg

— ☆ Cereza (@Cerezachu) May 13, 2018

A quick bit of arts for Emma, hope you enjoy the rest of #BLFC! #bringemmaback2018 @mia_s_mommy pic.twitter.com/YTt0Bh24GB

— Snapai ???? (@Snapai) May 13, 2018

Emma, what happened to you was unfair. You deserve all the happiness in the world and many fuzzy hugs!
I hope your con gets better, and if you come to AC, Rika and I will be excited to meet you!
Rika wanted you to have a strawberry because those always help her feel better
. pic.twitter.com/u1LlOBciMp

— damn will never quit (@VixNdwnq) May 13, 2018

this is for her from Me ???? pic.twitter.com/ddrrxDLhfd

— Maxwell Akashiyah (@Akashiayh11) May 13, 2018

I hope you got room for one more.
As someone who got bullied as a kid, it just stinks! and people can be really unfair, BUT, there is a great side to this fandom and it's people.
For Emma, keeps those stripes! And be the BEST tigress you can be! Hope to see more of you girl! pic.twitter.com/jigJ8BX5kb

— Pine_the_Rabbit (@Pine_the_Rabbit) May 13, 2018

Thank you everyone #BLFC

— Emma the Tiger, Wolfie (@emma_wolfie) May 13, 2018

Till next time Fluffer Nutters. Have a nice day.

Pup Matthias

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

Categories: News

AZ Republican Leader Exploits Furries To Disguise Anti-LGBT Policy, “Concentration Camp”

Tue 15 May 2018 - 10:08

By Tempe O’Kun and Patch, with thanks to Tonya Song for interview questions.

Recently, AZ Rep. Kelly Townsend (a politician in the Arizona House of Representatives since 2013) stumbled into the furry fandom.  She’d been threatening to sue teachers who were organizing for resources to fix a crisis in schools with leaky roofs, 25-year-old textbooks, rats in classrooms, and no budget to afford toilet paper. It all started when she responded to criticism by Pepper Coyote, a furry who happens to be a teacher in Arizona.

please educate me as to what a furry is.

— Rep. Kelly Townsend (@KellyTownsend11) May 4, 2018

Furries, as we are naturally inclined to do, welcomed the curiosity with the usual range of mostly-SFW responses. This sort of interaction happens with some regularity. Some innocent outsider happens upon the fandom, and we get to watch him or her discover the wacky world of talking animals. Sometimes they even become a loved fixture of the community like Boozy Badger.

Except that’s not what’s happening here.

Rep. Townsend is not some obscure figure or mere curiosity seeker. She’s the Republican Party whip in the Arizona House. In politics, a “whip” is the enforcer —a high-ranking official who ensures discipline. In the case of the AZ GOP, that means things like supporting Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a convicted felon whose crime was pardoned by Trump.  Arpaio ran what he called a “concentration camp” where he imprisoned immigrants.

Through a combination of looking the other way about rape, exposure to the brutal Arizona elements, and assault on human rights, Arpaio hoped to make life even worse for refugees than in the countries they were fleeing. Far beyond administering justice, he took pleasure in brutality and used it to boost his career. Virtually all of his prisoners were Latino or Native. This issue even directly affects some furries. Dogpatch Press hosted a guest article by Sisk, a fur imprisoned in Arizona (who is the focus of a support campaign to address injustice in her story.)

Arpaio’s “concentration camp” is just part of the GOP agenda in Arizona, which includes:

  • Harassment of US citizens with a “papers please” law.
  • Inhumane destruction of water caches meant to save the lives of refugees in the desert.
  • Cutting food and health programs for poor children, hitting minority and LGBT kids especially hard.

Then there’s constant assaults on rights of all LGBT citizens – an agenda personally enforced by Rep. Kelly Townsend.

The internet offers chances to connect with people we’d never get to meet in real life. It can be fun and exciting to talk to celebrities, creators, and even legislators. But it pays to be careful about who we lend the fandom’s public approval. The public image of the fandom can be fragile at the best of times. Why draw fursona art for radicalized conservatives who not only vote for racist and anti-LGBT laws, but are primary agenda-setters for other voters to make bigoted laws? That’s bad for the fandom. Here’s why.

Normalizing bigotry

Let’s look at how Rep. Townsend’s first contact with furries was instantly cashed in as a gimmick for attention to normalize her career to onlookers. She barely knew what a fursona was, or the conventions of using one (such as not taking original art that wasn’t made for her.) It was like a tourist visiting another country who’s rude to locals and doesn’t care. She milked the attention anyways when an artist donated her fan art.

Ok, here's my new fursona! #FursuitFriday pic.twitter.com/BAOJkpnKsS

— Rep. Kelly Townsend (@KellyTownsend11) May 5, 2018

,DFHKFKFDFD .. KELLY TOWNSEND STOLE ART ON GOOGLE AND SAID IT WAS HER FURSONA?????????????????? ((it was a screenshot ogfkdfhkdfkj))

— flame ⭐ (@FLAME_IS_AMAZIN) May 5, 2018

been schooled and having a gr8 time on #FursuitFriday. But now I have to get somebody to draw my lioness suit. Know any1?

— Rep. Kelly Townsend (@KellyTownsend11) May 5, 2018

Maybe this looks like harmless fun or innocent curiosity on the surface, but it’s way more than skin deep. There is no “keep politics out” when a career politician is using her official account as a soapbox about furries, and cultivating an appearance of tolerance that doesn’t match reality.

Furries play cartoon animals, but they’re people. The furry fandom isn’t just a place for fun detached from reality. It’s also a real place where LGBT people and other minorities feel safe. Safe, specifically, from people like Rep. Townsend.

By giving her the fandom’s public approval, you’re not being “politically tolerant.” You’re enabling bigots. You’re helping re-elect them. And you’re mortgaging the limited good PR of the furry fandom to do so, against the wishes of many who did the work to build a community in spite of bigotry they face in life.

The appearance of tolerance vs. a native perspective

Look closer at how she had zero prompting to tie furry fandom to Native American religion, but did so immediately. Nobody had been making a legit connection to Native American spirituality. This, again, is a calculated and cynical move to exploit goodwill.

Why do it? Simple. The AZ Republican Party has a long history of approving abuses against Native citizens. She wants to continue to belittle Natives by putting their traditions in the same box as kooky weekend fursuit romps.

For a better handle on this, let’s hear from Tonya Song, a Native American activist and LGBT furry who has earned respect for her informed perspective.

Hey #BLFC2018 my Native American Cultures panel will begin at 2pm in the McKinley room. Don't miss it! I'll also be joined by @bigboyjulzz and @StaggeredTori

— Tonya Song (@Tonya_Song) May 13, 2018

DogPatch Press:

Why would you say it’s a problem to conflate furry and “original North America” cultures, as Rep. Townsend puts it?

Tonya Song:

Indigenous cultural references are not an equivalent to a hobby subculture. Indigenous cultures arise from the environments of which they come from. It informs their ways of society, philosophies, beliefs, and from there derives things like lore, art, dance, and music. The same can not be said for the fandom. The furry fandom, while it carries an important place in many peoples’ lives, can not be compared to a multi-faceted, ages old continuous culture; especially not one from the lands in which a lot of these conventions take place.

DogPatch Press:

How should people like Rep. Townsend view conflating Native American traditions and furry fandom?

Tonya Song:

How can you compare a hobby subculture to something you literally have no understanding of outside the media stereotypes? Rep. Townsend was in the US Navy. So, to her, it should be viewed as similar to “stolen valor.”

[Editor’s note: Stolen valor is the practice (by militiamen and others) of wearing military medals they purchased instead of earned. It is widely considered disrespectful to military members, and a form of fraud crime.]

Our cultures are something not only that we learn from childhood, thus know at a very deep and personal level, but it’s also innate in us, it’s almost like passed down genetically, it’s that integral to who we are. It’s not something we discover over the internet and do only as a “pastime.” Indigenous people have such a different set of perspectives and values—that’s what makes translating our stances into modern western society terminology is so difficult. But in summary: fursuits aren’t derived from a culture that, through its beliefs brought it forward. Culture isn’t a hobby.

Times like this I think of @Remy__Wolf
People saw they were selling tribal zox and were uncomfortable about cultural appropriation.

What did Remy do?

Remy contacted local Tribal administration to ask for permission and even went a step further donating some of the profits. https://t.co/nbioUSKlTc

— Deo (@DeoTasDevil) April 16, 2018

If you’re actually curious about early roots of fursuiting across various cultures, check out this recent video: Culturally F’d – Fursuiting: a History – Part 1: Masks.

Note that Culturally F’d takes care to explicitly not conflate Native American religious practices with supposed neon-furred hotel-room orgies. This isn’t just because it’s clumsy or inaccurate. It also feeds a negative agenda. Mocking non-white culture is the main avenue to justify mistreating minorities —as Rep. Townsend does regularly and officially, as the AZ GOP whip.

What can we learn here, going forward?

First off, how you act online matters in real life. It might not matter for you specifically, but it certainly matters to victims of policies that Rep. Townsend promoted —citizen and refugee alike. Don’t normalize bigots, especially bigots in office; it helps them cling to power.

Second, when someone mysteriously appears in the furry fandom and starts using it for radical anti-LGBT anti-minority purposes, get suspicious. Just like leaders of “alt-furry” entered the fandom with an agenda to use it to spread hate, so too can cynical and abusive Republican Party leaders.

Evidence of what they are. When an organizer of a cult that pretends to welcome all furries lets out that it's BS - yet they still try to worm in where they're not wanted - it's a good clue that nothing they say is true. Just empty suits with nazi armbands, trying to cause grief. pic.twitter.com/xV7jvkaUKU

— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) May 8, 2018

It’s no accident that some of the remaining alt-furries immediately pounced on Rep. Townsend. They shared a lot of “policy” stances that concern compromising your rights as a human being. For her part, Rep. Townsend likely had no idea who alt-furries are, but certainly knows what the alt-right is, and how to spot those who openly identify with hate groups. White nationalists are a voter base her party has carefully cultivated.

Then she got in their game by retweeting one of them, echoing their talking points about “this fandom” as if she’d been here for more than a few days.

“Fun and interests, no politics”

What can we do when someone tries to exploit the fandom?

If you’re an artist, do a quick check on who commissions you. Don’t draw what you don’t agree with, even if they get mad and accuse you of being intolerant of their hate. (At least one savvy furry artist took the opportunity to hold her accountable for attacking teachers unions currently on strike.)

If you’re on social media, don’t spread posts that normalize anti-LGBT or racist people. Yes, it’s weird and wacky when some hardline conservative who looks like your mom finds the fandom. But sharing and liking those posts without calling out hypocrisy helps people like her get reelected. Normalizing people like her has deadly consequences for real, live people.

If you’re disgusted by Rep. Townsend and her bigoted party, register to vote, so you can vote against people like her, who’d smile and accept furry fan-art one day and strip away LGBT rights the next. And donate to her Democratic opponent. [The below tweet to him is a joke where he gracefully segued to sincere.]

Hi Nathan are you campaigning for the furry vote? What's your platform and are you making any election promises about it? Can I quote you for #Furrynews? #furryrights

— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) May 4, 2018

Jesus christ you are smooth.

Take notice, folks: No attempt to pretend he is one of us or understands us, yet he managed to tie engagement with us with his larger stand in defending against the bigotted.

That's bloody good pr and outreach.

— Summercat the Furry Librarian (@Bengaley) May 5, 2018

Thanks. We're all glad that Arpaio lost to Penzone. He was the type of person that would retaliate against people out of spite, revenge, or for political reasons. https://t.co/pQZx95HNRB

— Nathan Schneider (@Schneider4House) May 8, 2018

No matter who you are, be more mindful. Furry is a place of imagination and freedom, but that doesn’t mean nobody will try to exploit us. Be smart, don’t let people get away with being horrible, and don’t let people disguise hatred as humor.  Don’t let people take advantage of the furry fandom any more than you’d loan your fursuit to a stranger to go wade through sewage.

You’re not required to play nice with people whose goal is to dehumanize and abuse you for political gain. This applies just as much to alt-righters in office, as out. Furry is way too important to all of us to let bullies subvert it to put a cutesy facade on their cruelty.

Guys, instead of drawing Kelly Townsend a fursona, maybe donate to the campaign of her opponent.https://t.co/Iij2FIIpFDhttps://t.co/FNfFMdN8YG

— Mythic (@MythicalRedFox) May 5, 2018

Hey, guys, instead of supporting Kelly Townsend, who is a vicious anti-teacher, anti-LGBT legislator, perhaps you could instead support #RedForEd and the push to get teachers in Arizona paid a fair wage for their work

— VƎX is a Satyr (@andreuswolf) May 5, 2018

@KellyTownsend11 Just because you got a furry character done up doesn't give you a free pass for your exclusionary politics to prop up a religious hegemony. While it's amusing a GOP has a fursona, you don't earn a free pass.

— Iron Raptor (@iron_raptor) May 6, 2018

I decided to get in on the fursona hype for Kelly Townsend and made her a ref sheet: pic.twitter.com/jU3DypZtOg

— GeorgeSquares???? (@GeorgeSquares) May 5, 2018

[Editor’s note: We here at DogPatch Press aren’t perfect. We felt the need to get involved in this issue, in part, because Patch personally responded to the situation by commenting on adult artwork other furries made to satirize Rep. Townsend. This was not a productive means of engaging, and he asked for the art to be withdrawn to encourage better communication.]

Categories: News

Eagle Furdance swoops in with a dance party for Swiss fandom – with bowling!

Mon 14 May 2018 - 10:08

Furclub: “A repeat/regular nightclub event by furries for furries.” The concept has been spreading since the late 2000’s. It’s a dance party independent from cons. It builds on their growth, but takes things farther. It’s more ambitious than informal meets and events that happen once. Those can stay inner-focused, but this brings partnership with new kinds of venues, and new support for what they host. It crosses a line to public space, so a stranger can walk in and discover their new favorite thing. It encourages new blood and crossover to other scenes. It makes subculture thrive. It’s a movement!

Parties that give a Q&A get a featured article. See The Furclub survey for questions and party list. Here’s Eagle Furdance in Switzerland, introduced by organizer Avalon Bluejay. Their 4th party happened on April 28, 2018.

Who is involved? 

Me (Avalon or Blueavian), I founded this event back in 2014 because there were no furdances around in Switzerland. The only ones even near the country are in Germany. I’m very interested in organizing events (like Golden Leaves Con, I’m also one of the founders for that), so I did this to bring something that didn’t exist for Swissfurs before. They only have a few events, and those are the two main ones.

I’m not only the chair for the event, but even the Bar Manager. As a Barkeeper myself I make the highest quality cocktails we can do. The dance is sponsored by the Swissfurs Club that sponsors Golden Leaves Con and other little events too. The main staff there is Luxen, who is also crew for the bar. Many volunteers are working with us (there’s a list of them all on the website), but it started small with just a few people. One special guy I want to thank is Fendracus. He is our logistic manager, and brings the party to life, like with lighting for the whole building. Without him and other volunteers it would never get this far.

We have had DJ’s for each party like RobSqrl. He’s a more professional DJ who’s on Spotify. We gave him the first platform at a furry dance, and since then many other dances and Eurofurence have wanted him to be there to make music. Next to him we have R4MS, Trackqube, and new to our team is Asgra. He played with us for the first time at our 4th party. (You can see what they play on the website).

What kind of party:

EFD was conceived as a club socializing party. As it grew, some people wanted more activities, and because we have a kind of a bowling alley area, we decided to move the fursuit lounge somewhere else and make a second bar.  Since last year, we have had a chillout lounge bar with 3 bowling lanes.

Our belief about price is that a ticket should support the venue and some other costs. So the ticket is around 30 Swiss Franks (about 30 US Dollars), but for that price, we can keep drinks and food prices lower. Like a cocktail for 8 Swiss Franks that you get in the city for 25.

Our attendance has numbered around 80-112. For the 4th party it seemed unpredictable because we had 60 registered, but there are always last minute attendees, so we estimated around 80-90.

When is it, where, and how can people be part of it?

EFD has been around since 2014. The debut was around September/October.  2016 was the only year it didn’t happen because of problems with getting everyone together. The 2017 party was on September 23, and was a total success after a year of absence. For the 4th party we had new staff and better equipment,  and it made us look forward to how people would react.

EFD has been held since the beginning in the Disco Metropole, with additional space from the Telli Center Club, in the city of Aarau Switzerland. Most furs come from Switzerland, but we have had a few from Germany, and sometimes one or two from the UK or USA.

How to be a part of it is easy, just be interested. We always want to embrace people to do stuff that they normally can’t do, like set up the music or light system or help at the bar, handle security, and so on. It’s important for me as a chef that everybody is happy and has fun. If not we wouldn’t do it.

How did it grow? 

It can be stressful before and at the event because it’s like a real job.  But if you do it to have fun, you don’t see it as something for profit, and it lets you do stuff you never do.

As I said before, I liked to do events, and that’s the reason I got some people together and asked if we could do it. I wanted to make it a success, and I got a lot of support from all sides. At this point i lived in Aarau. I was searching for a venue that had enough space, a bar, and something extra, but it was important that we do it all ourselves. Light, Sound, Bar, everything – so we could keep the prices down, because if we rented a club nobody would come. Switzerland has expensive costs on average, and furries who enjoy cons, meets, fursuits and art usually have less pocket money.

I found out that my shopping center next door had kind of a club with many rooms, and even a disco that never really got properly used. I already had a huge supply of bar stuff at home, so I thought it was a good opportunity to try it there. The staff could sleep at my place, and it wasn’t a long walk to the venue. Everything went well, and since then, the venue asks us first when we want to do it again. So we’re loved there and that’s great. I hope we can stay there for a long time.

Vibe:

The vibe is great. Every one of our guests are chill and has fun, especially with the chillout lounge and bowling until 4 in the morning. You can dance if you want, you can chill if you want, you can even bowl or go out and sip a drink with friends outside. I think we have as much as 50% fursuiters, and they rock on the dance floor. The event starts at 4pm, and the shopping center above us is still open until 6pm, with a plaza where the fursuiters entertain children and others. The general public loves us, and the best part was last year two non-furs came in and asked if they could be a part of this party, because they think we’re awesome. We got a great review from them at the end.

Promotion:

This is always the hard part. People don’t want to decide early for an event like this, because they already have expenses with cons and other events. And because we’re not the only event, you want to make the best of it. So we try with word of mouth, flyers, trailers on youtube, going to meets, and even having a special promotion if you register by a certain time – you get some additional money on your drink & food account (usually 10 Franks). But what works best is still to get the right people to your event, and their friends will come too. So sometimes you need to go directly to those guests and convince them to come.

Reactions:

At the moment we don’t draw media attention except from you as news. We’re too small, but the Telli Club still sees us as something amazing and cool. And of course we give them a lot of money for all the stuff we need, so coming back every year is perfect for them. We have never had a problem with authority or other people, just a little excitement as always, but you don’t need to call the police about anything you can’t talk about normally with someone. Everything has been perfect in the end.

The whole event is fully supported by furries, but also supported by our drink vendor and Telli Club of course. (So 80% furry, 20% non furries.)

Business:

EFD is a part of the Swissfurs Club. That means we’re a non-profit organization. We do it for the fandom. We have strict regulation and licensing is needed from the government, but we always have it, and because our NFC/RFID payment & regsystem worked from day one, we can start having people as young as 16 years old. If we get profit (the last two times we made 0), we donate to the Swisspawpeteers Club that does free theater shows at Golden Leaves Con and sometimes elsewhere.

The EFD at the moment has stable numbers, so business isn’t really growing or falling but we think we might grow a bit next year.

Videos/Pics:

Videos on youtube and pictures on the website speak from themselves, I would recommend to search and see what comes up.

Follow @EagleFurdance on Twitter for most updated news. Thanks to Avalon for giving great responses and organizing this for the fandom!

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

Categories: News

The Wonderling, by Mira Bartók – Book Review by Fred Patten

Mon 14 May 2018 - 10:00

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

The Wonderling, by Mira Bartók. Map, illustrations by the author.
Summerville, MA, Candlewick Press, September 2017, hardcover, $21.99 ([vii +] 450 pages), Kindle $9.46.

The Wonderling is a Young Adult fantasy recommended for grades 5 to 9; ages 10 to 14. It has “already been put into development for a major motion picture,” according to the blurb.

It has been compared to the novels by Charles Dickens about wretched orphans in Victorian England. Think of A Christmas Carol or Oliver Twist, with furries – or at least strange beasts.

“He looked like a young fox but stood upright like a child and had no tail to speak of. His eyes were a lovely chestnut brown and flecked with gold. But there was something about them that gave one the sense that, although he had not been in this world very long, he carried within him some inexplicable sorrow.

He was a creature with an innocent heart. What kind of creature, though, who could say? Despite his fox kit face, his snout was more dog than fox, and there was something rabbity about him too, in the way his nose twitched when he sensed danger, and how he trembled when he heard the loud clang of the orphanage bell. But the most singular thing about him was that he had only one ear.

[…]

But Number Thirteen – one-eared, nameless, and small of stature, for he never grew taller than three feet high – could not remember where he came from.” (pgs. 4-5)

Number Thirteen has been raised from infancy in Miss Carbuncle’s large Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, just outside the large “Great White City of Lumentown”. He is about 11 years old.

“On the front of the Home’s brochure was a happy-go-lucky creature with the head of a rabbit and the body of a little girl, wearing a polka-dot dress and bow, clutching a bouquet of daisies. Beneath the picture, the caption read: Have you been unexpectedly burdened by a recently orphaned or unclaimed creature? Worry not! We have just the solution for you!” (pgs. 6-7)

Miss Carbuncle is a cold-hearted villainess like the worst Dickensian orphanage masters. She can’t even be bothered to give the fox-boy a name. She calls him after his bed number, Number Thirteen.

“A damp mist swirled above the courtyard, slowly creeping into the orphans’ threadbare coats and bones. All the wayward and misbegotten creatures the orphans, the foundlings, and the street urchins doing penance for petty crimes – stood at attention. They were the “groundlings” of the world – a hybrid mix of animal and human, or of animal and animal, that, in the hierarchy of the day, inhabited a place very close to the bottom. They were skinny and squat, furry and feathered, some nearly human if not for a rat tail or jackrabbit ears, a piglet face or wings and webbed feet. Most were half human, half animal, but not all. Some appeared to be all mammal, or reptile, or bird, but for the fact that they spoke and acted like human beings.” (p. 11)

I won’t quote each description or this review would grow endlessly; but here is the orphanage bully who torments Number Thirteen:

“All of a sudden, someone pulled his ear really hard. Number Thirteen spun around to see who it was. Next to Mug and Orlick stood an imposing new arrival: a tall, gray, bristly-furred rat groundling with a long snout and two sharp incisors protruding from his mouth. He had large yellow-clawed feet and a long wiry tail. His shoulders were so scrunched up that he seemed his head was attached to them and that he had no neck at all. His eyes were small and shrunken and black as night.” (pgs. 16-17)

Most of the juvenile creatures are indifferent towards Number Thirteen or actively pick on him. The first one who becomes his friend is Trinket, whom he rescues from the Home’s bullies:

“He gently touched her head. She wasn’t covered in fur at all but in dark-brown, mud-soaked feathers. She was a Bird – a bird with no wings, just two feathery appendages sticking out from her sides, and no tail feathers either. One of her winglets was bleeding, though not too badly, considering how she had been batted about. At the end of each of her mustard-yellow feet were three long toes. Her beak was long, slender, and curved.” (pgs. 43-44)

Bartók’s illustrations show a miniature kiwi, small enough to fit into the palm on Number Thirteen’s hand – and remember, he’s pretty small himself.

Frankly, Number Thirteen is such a wimp and coward that it’s hard to sympathize with him. All of the Home’s mean human adults have names like Sneezeweed, Bonegrubber, and Bunmuncher. Carbuncle could be accepted, but this quickly becomes ridiculous. Dickens’ characters had funny names, but not completely unbelievable ones. How hard would it be for Miss Carbuncle to give Number Thirteen a name instead of a number?

Trinket gives Number Thirteen a real name – Arthur – and persuades him to escape from the Home with her to the Great White City. She gets into the Home’s files and finds out the address in Lumentown where he came from.

Arthur finds wonders in Lumentown that are as fantastic as what Alice finds in Wonderland. Many of them are animal-related, such as Quintus, another rat groundling who is Bartók’s version of Dickens’ Artful Dodger:

“The group made a semicircle around Quintus and Arthur. They were a motly crew of all shapes, sizes, and ages, although none of them looked as young as Arthur. There was a rather corpulent mole-porcupine groundling, a white weasel groundling, a groundling who was part English setter, an anteater groundling, a raccoon groundling, a stern-looking rabbit person, and a creature in a bottle-green trilby. Arthur had never seen such a peculiar-looking groundling. He had the face of an aye-aye and the body of a small hunched-over man.” (p. 193)

If you want bizarre creatures and don’t mind an imagination that sometimes descends into silliness, The Wonderling (cover by the author) is full of them.

Fred Patten

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Categories: News

Vincent and the Dissidents, by Christopher Locke – Book Review by Fred Patten

Thu 10 May 2018 - 10:00

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Vincent and the Dissidents, by Christopher Locke.
Los Angeles, CA, Fathoming Press, April 2018, trade paperback, $14.95 ([x +] 335 pages), Kindle $3.99.

This is The Enlightenment Adventures, Book Two. When I reviewed Book One, published in February 2015, I said: “And this is only Book One of The Enlightenment Adventures. Those who read it through to the end will not be able to resist going on to Book Two.” Now, after a three-year wait, here it is.

In Book One, Persimmon Takes On Humanity, the raccoon Persimmon leads a tiny group of North American forest animals in an apparently hopeless drama of taking on all humanity to destroy its enterprises that exploit animals: commercial meat farms, fur farms, puppy mills, and especially circuses with performing animals. Persimmon starts out as an indignant but naïve protester against all human callous exploitation of animals for profit or amusement. By the end of the novel, she is a grim militant.

“She looks directly at the Rottweilers with a stern expression. ‘Listen to me very carefully. I want to help you, but there are two of you and thousands of minks, and they’re suffering immensely. I’ve heard horrible things about what they’re forced to endure. Right now some of them have open wounds. Some don’t have any water. And some are going slowly insane because they’re trapped in stifling, barren cages. It’s unbelievably cruel, and we’re here to put a stop to it. You’re either with us or against us.’” (Persimmon Takes On Humanity, p. 146)

Vincent and the Dissidents begins with a ten-page Cast of Characters and Synopsis of Book One, so the reader can drop running into the action. The Cast of Characters says about Vincent:

“VINCENT – A cunning mink whose fur is mostly black with a hint of blue. He lived a hellish life on a fur farm before he finally escaped. He then vowed to himself that he would rescue the minks who were still trapped on the farm. A few months later, he was lucky enough to meet Persimmon and her team. They joined forces and successfully rescued most of the minks. Little did Persimmon know that after she and her team had moved on to their next mission, Vincent began gathering his own army of animals who would rescue other animals using more aggressive tactics against humans than her own.” (p. [iv])

It’s more complex than that. Persimmon originally grandiosely dubs her animal group The Uncaged Alliance. In Book One, she constantly argues with Rawly, another raccoon, as to what tactics they should use and what their next mission should be. They end up splitting, with Rawly leading the remnant of The Uncaged Alliance (including Persimmon’s younger brother Scraps), and Persimmon starting afresh with a new title, The Enlighteners. Vincent has been organizing his own group, the Dissidents.

Chapter 1 starts:

“PERSIMMON OPENS HER eyes. The room is pitch black. Where am I? The confused raccoon starts to sit up, but suddenly the room begins to spin. Dizziness overcomes her, and nausea hits her hard. She closes her eyes to collect herself. She takes a deep breath. Breathe. Breathe. With her eyes closed, her hearing becomes more acute. She can hear other animals in the room – weeping, moaning. She quickly pops her eyes back open. They’re in pain. I need to help them.” (p. 1)

(This quote exhibits a peculiarity of The Enlightenment Adventures. Both books are written in the narrative present tense, not the past tense as is most fiction.)

Chapter 2 begins: “(two weeks ago)”, in happier times. Everything up to Chapter 22 leads up to Persimmon and other animals trapped in that room. The rest of the novel is what she does about it.

Another early quote illustrates part of the problem. Persimmon has led her Enlighteners to her Aunt Adelaide and Uncle Bennett for some Rest & Relaxation:

“Aunty Adelaide […] turns back to him and says, ‘Go see if you can catch some fresh fish for them.’

‘No! No fish.’ Persimmon immediately climbs up the tree, blocking her uncle from hopping down. ‘We don’t eat fish.’

Aunty Adelaide almot falls out of the tree, she’s so flabbergasted by this statement. ‘What respectable raccoon doesn’t like fish?’

‘Actually, we do like fish,’ Persimmon explains. ‘That’s why we don’t eat them.’

‘You’re speaking in riddles, dear. I can’t understand you.’

‘All of us have vowed to be compassionate toward other animals, which includes not eating them,’ Persimmon says.

‘But you’ll die of starvation if you don’t eat other animals,’ Uncle Bennett says.” (pgs. 8-9)

Persimmon has become a militant vegan. She won’t eat any animal, nor will she allow her followers including the carnivores to do so. That’s one reason her Enlighteners and Rawly and the others in The Uncaged Alliance split. The others consider that the ‘no eating other animals’ rule should have some obvious exceptions, such as for fish or chickens, while Persimmon says that not eating animals means no animals. Persimmon also wants to rescue animals without harming humans, while The Uncaged Alliance doesn’t mind harming humans if necessary to help other animals. Both groups are horrified by Vincent’s readiness to kill humans.

Well, most of both groups. Apricot, a housecat who remains with TUA, is as much a predator as Vincent is. She and Vincent praise Rawly for being willing to harm humans when necessary. Rawly, flattered, doesn’t realize at first that “harm when necessary” means “kill whenever possible”.

Vincent and the Dissidents splits into two alternating stories: that of Vincent and his Dissidents, with the increasingly reluctant alliance with Rawly’s The Uncaged Alliance, building an army of ferocious dogs to attack and kill humans when they are unleashed; while Persimmon and her Enlighteners try to liberate the chickens on a chicken farm.

Vincent may be ruthless, but he is not amoral. He is loyal to his fellow minks, and considers that killing humans is the only way to ensure the animals’ safety.

“Vincent sighs, thinking about his family, friends and all the other minks who were murdered at the Peterson fur farm. He thinks about his brother Frestin being skinned alive right in front of him. So many memories have faded with time, but that one – that horrifying experience never fades.

Vincent stomps the dirt to knock the memory from his mind. ‘And you’re telling me that Persimmon still thinks humans are redeemable despite the fact that they murdered all those animals, including two members of your team?’

Rawly nods.

‘How dangerously naïve.’ Vincent shakes his head, bewildered.” (p. 15)

Apricot, on the other paw, just considers killing humans to be fun.

The reader can see trouble coming. Animals can’t kill humans indefinitely without other humans retaliating en masse. Persimmon allows her followers in The Enlighteners the freedom to discuss, debate, and argue over her orders, which is fine for friendship and allowing all her group to express themselves, but as anyone can tell you, is a lousy if not fatal way to run a military operation. As the back-cover blurb gives away:

“Vincent and The Dissidents are conducting their own rescue operations, but their violent tactics against humans are quickly leading to catastrophic consequences. Meanwhile, just as Persimmon and The Enlighteners are mounting their most ambitious rescue so far, a tragic incident alters Persimmon’s life forever and jeopardizes the fate of The Enlighteners.”

Vincent and the Dissidents (cover by L. A. Watson) is a fit sequel to Persimmon Takes On Humanity. It is a sometimes humorous, sometimes harrowing read:

“That’s when Persimmon sees Rasha’s face – her horrifically mangled face. All the pain that this pit bull has endured is exposed right there in her shredded ears, chipped teeth, and chewed-up nose. Persimmon can almost feel the bite marks as if she had been there herself. What kind of ruthless human could do this to another animal?” (p. 333)

Locke says in an Afterword to sign up for his newsletter to know when Book Three is published. So there will be more.

Fred Patten

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Categories: News

Etienne Willem: Artbook Collection. Illustrated – Book Review by Fred Patten

Wed 9 May 2018 - 10:00

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Etienne Willem: Artbook Collection. Illustrated.
Geneva, Switzerland, Éditions Paquet, July 2017, hardcover, €20,00 (unpaged [94 pages]).

“Etienne Willem is a recognized cartoon author. Author of the semi-realistic crime series Vieille Bruyère and Bas de Soie, from L’épée d’Ardenois, starring animal characters in a medieval context, he is currently directing Les ailes du singe, taking the reader to a new dizzying air universe. A multi-talented author who will still amaze you in this completely new book.” (blurb, machine-translated & corrected)

Dogpatch Press reviewed volumes 3 and 4 of Willem’s 4-volume funny-animal The Sword of Ardenois, set in Medieval Europe, and the first two volumes of his funny-animal The Wings of the Monkey, set in Depression-era New York and Hollywood. (His Old Heather and Silk Stocking, a semi-serious 1920s-‘30s British detective series, isn’t anthropomorphic.)

Now here is a collection of Willem’s work, from rough sketches to model sheets, to parodies of popular dramatic comic-book artists like Frank Frazetta, and one-off drawings like a poster for a comic-book festival in Bastogne, and a beer label for the 2013 Comicsmania Festival in Belfaux-Corminboeuf, Switzerland. (No, I never heard of it, either.) Only about half of these are funny-animal, but his non-animal parodies like a team-up of Doctor Who (“the eleventh Doctor – the best”) and Harley Quinn may be appreciated by some of us, too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is a lot of steampunk-inspired art here, and some H. P. Lovecraft. A cartoon inspired by Game of Thrones combining human and animal characters. “Steampunk and funny-animal… I absolutely had to combine the two… So here is the little world of Drowningfish, a furry steampunk story set in the bayous of Louisiana after the War of Secession between the terrible carnivores of the South and the peaceful vegans of the North. Fortunately, the brilliant Professor Mole proposes to devote his intense efforts to developing a food that will let all nourish themselves without taking any lives … almost.” It sounds/looks like a cross between Jules Verne, Sherlock Holmes, Kimba the White Lion, and Pogo. I want to see more than a concept sketch!

The Belgian Willem is one of the best European funny-animal cartoonists today. His non-anthropomorphic work isn’t bad, either. He is probably most comparable to Albert Uderzo, the Astérix artist (and writer since René Goscinny died), but Uderzo doesn’t do funny-animals. Willem does. Wonderfully. You don’t have to read French to enjoy this.

Fred Patten

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

Categories: News

The Worst Anthropomorphic Movie of the Decade, Revisited – By Fred Patten

Tue 8 May 2018 - 10:00

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Not quite three years ago, I proposed a poll to pick the worst anthropomorphic movie of the 2011 to 2020 decade. I named five movies to get started.

Check out the Original Worst Movies Post from Food Fight to The Last Flight of the Champion

There are still a couple of years to go, but it seems worth re-posting this now; both as a reminder, and because Hollywood seems to have actually sorta-remade one of these.

Compare Pups United, about soccer mascots protecting a priceless soccer trophy:

With the forthcoming (May 18) Show Dogs, about the dogs in a Las Vegas dog show protecting a priceless dog show trophy:

Max, a macho, solitary Rottweiler police dog is ordered to go undercover as a primped show dog in a prestigious Dog Show, along with his human partner, to avert a disaster from happening.

Two years to go. What’s your pick for the worst anthropomorphic movie of 2011 to 2020, theatrical or direct-to-DVD?

Fred Patten

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

Categories: News

SonicFox, world record Esports champion: fursuit “a peak thing in life for me”

Mon 7 May 2018 - 10:16

It’s not every day that a POC furry pro gamer with 4 Guinness World Records wins a tournament in a fursuit. When I talked to a friend about interviewing SonicFox, I heard he was cool and didn’t have a big head about it. It was true, but the question lots of people are asking is how does he do it in a fursuit head? The best thing I do in mine is fit a beer through the muzzle. And SonicFox isn’t even quite drinking age while earning more than enough to pay for college.

Pro gaming is getting huge, and it has a juggernaut representing furries – but to SonicFox, it seems like the representing and hugeness is no big deal compared to the furry part. It’s like whether he was a rock star or just a guy next door with a cool hobby to share, he’d give it the same attitude. It’s about being friendly and as sincere as you can be in being who you want to be, especially if that’s a cute blue fox. He should win all the hugs.

Thanks to SonicFox for being so prompt and enthusiastic about an interview from a tiny furry blog – it was fast and good like his gaming. (And thanks for question suggestions from Chip, Summer, Matthias, Tempe, Codex and Tex.) Here’s some further reference, then the interview.

I am the WINNER!!
1st DBFZ
1st Inj2
In suit! pic.twitter.com/EaxCcGOcGD

— Echo Fox | SonicFox (@SonicFox5000) April 23, 2018

Sonicfox has been such an uplifting thing for the furry fandom. Not only is he generally a cool guy, but because of him, gaming blogs that once openly mocked us now have had to use fandom terms seriously and write about furries in a positive manner. XD

— zʇᴉlqʞuI ???? AC2018 (@Inkblitzer) April 24, 2018

Interview

 

Hi SonicFox, want to give an intro about yourself? Do you want people to know anything about your life besides gaming?

There’s nothin’ much to me. I’m just a furry who happens to be good at fighting games!

How/When did you discover Furry Fandom?

I discovered the fandom a looong time I ago when I first started off as a Happy Tree Friends OC. Then I wanted to get anthro art of my character one day and then before I realized it, I was a furry!

What made you join it?

Seeing all the anthro art, I was so fascinated by it. I thought it to be the coolest thing ever and wanted to be a part of it.

Why a fox?

Foxes happen to be my favorite animal, though a big reason I became fascinated with them was after beating my friends a loooong time ago with Fox Mccloud in Super Smash Bros brawl.

When did you know you wanted to be a competitive player? How did you join a team?

After playing fighting games for as long as I can remember, I could tell I had a competitive spirit. I think I get it from my Mom honestly. So when friends recommended me to go offline to a scene rather than be an online warrior, I tried it out and have been attached since!
I joined a team by being the best in my respective games! It’s not too hard to get sponsored if you are N I C E.

How many tourneys have you been in? How much money have you won, and what else are you proud of? Does anything besides prizes make it worthwhile?

I can’t really recall how many tourneys I have been in. It has to be well over 100 by now. I think in Esports winnings its been like over 400k or somethin? I think the biggest thing I am proud of was that I got the chance to be on TV multiple times and even have a little docuseries that aired live on TV too! The people that I encounter and the bonds and the competitive drive I’ve made makes competing so worthwhile. The money is just icing on the cake.

Furries and gamers haven’t always mixed, what made you decide to be so openly furry?

Well I sorta said fuck it, if I am gonna be me, then I am gonna be ALL of me. I didn’t really care to think what other “gamers” had to say about me. If they had a problem with me I’ll just take all their money LMFAO.

This was a highlight of the weekend for me. Booping @IFCYipeS on commentary LOL pic.twitter.com/HALIMjUKFb

— Echo Fox | SonicFox (@SonicFox5000) April 23, 2018

What’s it like to use your fursona for press and promo shots?

I think this is the coolest thing in the world. The fact that I am on one of the biggest esports teams ever and that I get to brand myself as a furry has me fuckin’ lit! Sets up such a great future with furries and esports!

What was it like to get a fursuit? Do you have any stories about using it that other furries would understand the most?

Getting a fursuit has to be a peak thing in life for me. Having Yamishizen hand me my fursuit filled me with soooo much power. I have been having fun with the suit ever since! The fursuit is honestly only like 2 weeks old so I don’t have much story with it yet, other than winning in a fighting game event in a fursuit~

Do you have a favorite piece of art, photo or video of your fursona?

Hmmm, I have to say that I love every single piece of art I’ve ever commed or someone giftart’d to me, but if I had to choose one, I would say the animation I commissioned from Suckmcjones has to be one of my favorite pieces ever. There’s even a blood variant! (LOTSA LORE YOU GUYS AINT GETTIN’ >:C)

How did your teammates or sponsors react to you being openly furry? Or your competitors? Have you faced any harassment or negative comments?

My teammates reacted so positively! They find it super unique what I am doing, and my sponsors think so too. It is a brand new image not seen before in esports gaming so I am about it. I haven’t really given much thought about what my competitors think though they find it pretty comical. I’ve of course received negative comments, but I’m like if you don’t like what you see, come and stop me~!

Some people are treating you like a furry ambassador. Do you see yourself as a furry standard bearer or are you just trying to be your own thing?

I’m just kinda doing my own thing! I highly encourage people to truly be themselves, and so that is why I am so open about myself. Being put on a pedestal for it though wasn’t my intent eheh, but with my popularity, I have a platform I need to use properly. Just don’t call me a popufur cuz I HATE that term!

I love that @SonicFox5000 is having the time of his life blasting through tourneys in suit and the worst thing that people can come up with is "furries r bad" and "i hate him hat"

I'm not even a fighting game dude but his positivity make me wanna sit and watch and bathe in hype

— Koebi: Mana's Footstool (@koebiwuff) April 23, 2018

In the media you seem like an uplifting thing for the furry fandom. Gaming blogs that once openly mocked furries now have had to use fandom terms seriously and talk about them positively. There’s a trend where they don’t explain what furries are and take it for granted that everyone knows. Do you have any stories about how they treat the subject?

Gaming articles have to treat me with respect. And part of that means you have to also treat my community with respect if you wish to continue to have good relations with me. I am very happy that more often than that not, high profile people that interview me always bring up the furry side of me which has me fuckin’ lit ™ . I do recall in the very first docuseries I did for Mortal Kombat X, the people documenting me wouldn’t use the term “furry” as they said it had a sexual connotation to it. That had me pretty upset, but I think they are a lot better about it now!

On Twitter you have 59k followers and a blue check (the only other furry I know with one is Uncle Kage.) What’s it like to have that platform?

It was highly unexpected to have a platform like this, but I guess I have to make the most of it to promote positivity? IDK, I just try to be myself and I’d be acting the exact same whether I had one follower or a million. Lotsa people like to treat me differently based on my follower count which sucks. I thought the one thing I was really good at was not being too “Hollywood.”

Once in a while there are sexy jokes or likes on your Twitter and furries seem to love it. Do you feel confident about that? Why or why not?

Hey what can I say~ I do enjoy some of the lewd aspects of the community too or just bein lewd in general. Though I try not to retweet gay furry porn (THE GOOD SHIT) onto peoples timelines, twitter tends to be a snitch anyway when I like the piece and go like “SEE WHAT ECHO FOX SONICFOX LIKED!!!!” and then it’s over for your timeline LMFAO. Those likes are for later >;3

LOL IM IN TOTAL DISBELIEF KOTAKU USED THIS PHOTO AND IM BEAMING pic.twitter.com/QvDl6jKI1i

— Echo Fox | SonicFox (@SonicFox5000) April 23, 2018

Would you call yourself a gamer furry who isn’t friendly to alt-furry, and do you want to give any opinions about that?

As far as I am concerned, whether I was a gamer furry or not, the alt-furry can go to hell. I have absolutely no time for people who think that they are more of a superior race based on their skin color, and you all might as well be Nazis if you aren’t already. They would be doing me a favor if they clicked that unfollow button on my twitter timeline. I am not afraid to stomp out some racist alt-furry shithead in my feed LOL.

Want to say anything about relations in the fandom?

I like to think I have been doing pretty ok for PR relations in the fandom. But if I wanted to talk about personal relationships, I’d say I have very few eheh. TBH, I don’t think I have like a friend group that I entirely fit into yet! I have my fair share of friends, but they all have their own friend groups and stuff they fit into. STILL SOUL SEARCHING.

Has being a person of color affected how people in gaming or furry treat you?

I would say it hasn’t so much in either regard. The furry community and FGC is pretty inclusive diverse and accepting of all people and backgrounds.

What are your furry influences? Do you want to share any favorite books or comics, or favorite artists?

I would say I do have a huge crush on Jon Talbain (GIMME MORE BUFF), but if I had to go over favorite artists and stuff, I’d say PermaVermin is pretty up there as she’s the one that has drawn so much cool stuff of my character as well as her art is the one I use for my esports image! Shes been such a great friend to me and I am happy to have her in my life <3

Who are your favorite furry characters in games? Why?

J O N  T A L B A I N. see above question

Sonic or Shadow?

MY NAME IS NOT A REFERENCE TO ANY OF THE SONIC THE HEDGEHOG CHARACTERS AND THIS IS SUCH A COMMON MISCONCEPTION BECAUSE I HATE BOTH OF THESE CHARACTERS.

… but tails.

Any guilty gaming pleasures?

I doooo enjoy going to like game rooms at like conventions and when somebody has no idea who I am, I love beating them up and getting them salty hehehehe.

Any words of advice for fellow furries looking to getting into esports?

If you want to get into Esports, start now. Find a game you like, learn how to practice and get better, and then go to an offline tournament as often as you can to get the experience and training you need!

Any words of advice for esporters looking to get into furry?

Make a fursona LOL

What are your plans for your future beyond esports?

I want to eventually make my own furry fighting game. I am in school right now for computer science, but creating a fighting game with either my own character, or just a bunch of my friend’s OC’s would be soo neat! It is literally my aspiration. I already have hella movesets created for my own OC’s along as other friend’s OC’s too! I am already on a good path for it too as I am good friends with Mike Z (creator of Skullgirls!) as well as sponsored with Jace Hall who has made multiple gaming companies hehe. Let’s see what the future holds!

Thanks so much for interviewin’ me!

Fox is living the dream. Young Man was cleaning up at tourneys even before his sponsorship. He got his boss to give the furry community a shout out a while back.https://t.co/1qnNc2nHvS

— CECIL (@cecil) April 24, 2018

me: cheering for someone based on nationality is kinda weak

also me: is that my fam out there repping furries in esports?? I love them holy fu

— Fask (@FiskVelox) March 18, 2018

I’m a little while away from this happening, but the esports organization I help run in my free time is allowing me to use a picture of my fursona wearing our apparel on our official website when we get it running.

Furries are taking over. >:3

— The Stoat GOAT (@Gemstoat) April 24, 2018

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

Categories: News

The Cure for Ignorance and Apathy on Furry YouTube.

Fri 4 May 2018 - 10:30

Editorial with Sam Hyena in collaboration with Patch.

Ignorance and Apathy on Furry YouTube

Over the last 2 years with the demise of Vine, many Furries have started to migrate over to YouTube. Many have amassed groups of followers, hold regular livestreams on Twitch, or have Patreons. And some have used this platform as a guise to get away with borderline toxic or outright hateful behavior.

The platform makes every click content-neutral. Getting attention for any reason gets advantage over quality, so being edgy plays to the lowest-common-denominator. Lines get persistently pushed, and suddenly things that aren’t debatable at all get some asshole demanding a debate. Is the earth round, is evolution real, should racist altfurries get kicked to the curb after swatting Califur? Yes, yes, and yes, if we’re all telling the truth.  But unending conflict between “sides” is a substitute for good stories, real jokes or having anything sincere to say. It brings the clicks that raise clout for edgy people.

While the line-pushers thrive on conflict, faux-“centrists” tag along and enable them, trying to play all the sides and turning definitions to mush. They do posing about freedom, but really have no side except mercenary selfishness. It’s a cooked-up conflict between people who act in good faith vs. people with none.

In this barrel-scraping free-for-all, there’s many examples of people doing it and it goes way beyond just furries. Let’s name names.

In 2017, JonTron did a livestream with right-wing commentator SargonOfAkkad in support of Donald Trump, which continued on social media and this video, where he promotes reactionary “white identitarianism” while denying that’s what it is. (They love disguising it as “both sides” centrism to cook up a “debate” that spreads the racist side no matter who “wins”.) The first step is calling white a race, for false equivalence between an arbitrary label and specific conditions – like being redlined or arrested for sitting in a Starbucks while black. It’s as disingenuous as saying that incident wasn’t racist because they served black coffee.

OH MY GOD pic.twitter.com/f84wkPulu1

— Lichqueen ???????? (@gwen_no_fear) April 25, 2018

We’ve seen that kind of ignorance across 2 Gryphon’s entire career. Newer furries such as Dojo Dingo imitate that model like empty suits anyone can get inside, seeking clicks from haters AND people they hate. It’s clear that they’re acting in bad faith, but their platform doesn’t just change if it’s demonetized while they also use Streamlabs or Patreon for money. Some of their fans are kids, not just “college kids” but 12-14 year olds or younger. They’re prime targets when they support and even idolize furry Youtubers, taking it as a character act (it’s not) and an excuse for apathy about demagoguery.

Demagogue: A leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power.

What’s really beneath excuses like “it’s just their opinion”, or “it’s a joke” or “they’re being sarcastic?” When they go out of the way to offend people for the sake of it, or enable ignorance while pretending to be unbiased and aloof – there’s no practical difference between hating ironically, and just hating.

Such ignorance on Youtube isn’t going to get improved by YouTube. Whether content is nice, hateful, well-crafted, or crappy, they profit from clicks no matter what. When it can just shift around to other platforms, general society isn’t so likely to improve it either.

But there is a choice on the ground level inside a self-aware, self-defined subculture. When people say “furries are fans of each other”, no other community has more power to choose what they consume.

You’re more than a consumer, you can be an active member of a creative community. It’s a 2-way street when content isn’t premade and blasted out by corporations. You can demand better, and that isn’t censoring or being an “SJW.” (The strawman about implacable offense is flipping the direction it comes from, when indifferent platforms are exploited by line-pushers).  You don’t have to settle for crap, and a basic standard isn’t gatekeeping. It’s your choice, and that’s the free market. That doesn’t mean telling those empty suits how to act, it’s just expressing how you, as an audience, aren’t buying it.

For proof that you have power, cue up any 2 Gryphon rant and see what he blames for his faded career as a convention performer. Expect him not to name himself, his declining relevance or the hate he spreads. When selfish mercenaries won’t improve themselves, getting better starts with demanding better.

People who do that share beliefs with hate groups. The wink-wink kek flag isn't fooling anyone.

— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) April 27, 2018

TL;DR: It amazes me that people take meticulous care of their fursuits and yet have zero self-awareness how palling around with Nazis makes them look.

That stain's gonna be hard to get out.

— Be Good ???? Have Fun ???? Launch Nazis Into The Sun (@XydexxUnicorn) April 26, 2018

@SpicyFurryTakes @DogpatchPress on the subject of people like Dojo and Huscoon pic.twitter.com/cV69Xos01P

— Samantha (@SamHyena) April 28, 2018

Response from Summercat:

Free speech is a good idea, and it’s predicated upon the assumption that all involved are acting in good faith. Those who are not acting in good faith by knowingly and intentionally spreading dishonest discourse, untruths, mis-statements, and any other forms of lying, are acting in a manner counterproductive to free speech. Here’s what poisoned discourse is like:

There are two pools. One is cleaned regularly. The other has toxins intentionally dumped in by people who hate swimming. Which would you rather swim in? Would you consider it to be free speech by those who hate swimming, if they point at the pool filled with toxins they dumped in and claim that swimming is therefore bad?

The rising potential of fandom to be better:

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

Categories: News

Camouflage, by Kyell Gold. Illustrated by Rukis – Book Review by Fred Patten

Wed 2 May 2018 - 10:00

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Camouflage, by Kyell Gold. Illustrated by Rukis.
Dallas, TX, FurPlanet Productions, December 2017, trade paperback, $19.95 (293 pages), Kindle $9.99.

Camouflage is a spinoff of Kyell Gold’s popular five Dev and Lee novels. It features tiger footballer Devlin Miski’s cousin Danilo in a very different plot. That puts Camouflage into Gold’s Forrester University world.

Danilo is an adolescent English 19-year-old white tiger, currently studying at the Student Center of the Université Catholique in Tigue, Gallia, on the Saône River.

“Tigue, like many Gallic cities, contained many identities within her borders. The main campus of the Université Catholique lay on the edge of one of the newer parts of the city, a small suburb that had been built up twenty years ago, stretching sleek glass and elegant steel skyward. Old photos of the Université’s stately limestone buildings from before the expansion showed their red clay roofs over grey-white arches amidst of modest forests and fields. In the Presqu’Ile campus in the heart of old Tigue, ancient limestone and red clay dominated, broken up by cold grey churches, and through them, modern cars honked along the rain-slick street, though down on the riverbank, the babble of the crowd faded next to the light hiss of rain into the river.” (p. 13)

“Currently” is the year 2008, when Dev has just had his press conference in the States announcing that he’s homosexual. Danilo is much more private and withdrawn, and he’s not interested in sports. He hasn’t announced his homosexuality yet, although he does have a gay lover; Taye, a mouse Romany fellow student. (Actually he’s bisexual, but he doesn’t realize that yet.) Readers of Out of Position, the first Dev and Lee novel, will know that Dev was forced to “come out of the closet”. Danilo resents the notoriety-by-association that makes it harder to conceal his own sexual orientation.

“Gah, this was going to drive Danilo crazy. All because some cousin he’d only met a couple times decided to make his sexual preference public. Who did that, anyway? There was a question he could ask: why would you do that, declare that you’re gay in a big spectacle for everyone to see? Nobody needed to know. Maybe when you were a big football star, you lost sight of the fact that not everyone cares about your private life. Maybe you didn’t stop to think about the other people who would be affected by your actions, like your cousin across the ocean who had used you as a shield because he couldn’t play footer, and nobody in this country wanted to play cricket.” (pgs. 14-15)

Danilo’s sister Lena is thrilled by the news (“He’s the first professional athlete to come out. He’s a homosexual. Isn’t it wonderful?”), and is determined to tell everybody, which makes him feel even more exposed. He tries to get away from his classmates by retreating to a private spot he’s found, underneath an old stone bridge across the Saône.

And then suddenly, impossibly, he’s transported back in time to 1508 A.D.

Why? How? The reason doesn’t matter as much at first as just trying to stay alive in 1508 Tigue. Danilo meets two local teenagers; Théodore, a mouse very like Taye but more aggressive, and Luc, an otter. Luc takes pity on him and takes Danilo to his room within sight of Tigue’s Saint-Jean le Baptiste cathedral:

“Danilo took a moment to stare at the cathedral. In 2008, it had been impressive, but as a monument. […] Here the cathedral rose in its prime. One square tower stood behind its twin, and to their right, the arched roof extended on and on, five times longer than the largest other building Danilo could see, all of it shining bright and new.   No, wait: that part on the was something older, where the stone did not gleam as brightly. But the cathedral itself still towered over the town, even across the river, and Danilo’s paws trembled against the window. As far as he could tell, it looked the same as it had been in his time (in the real world?); he wondered whether that weird clock was there and if the other features he remembered would be the same.” (pgs. 36-37)

Gold writes a good time-travel novel. There are a few quibbles, such as Danilo peeling potatoes in 1508 before they had been introduced from South America, but no more than in most authors’ time-travel novels. The magic that transports Danilo into the past turns his 21st-century Gallic into 16th-century Gallic. Danilo finds that 1508 Gallia is filthy and disease-ridden compared to 2008. He has to get used to much less modesty than he expects. Over weeks trapped in the past, he meets friends and enemies, discovers hetero sex, and builds a new life.

More importantly, Danilo discovers what it really means that 16th-century Europe was dominated by the Catholic Church. This was the century of the Iberian Inquisition and executing heretics; and neither the Church nor society in general are tolerant of those who stray from heterosexuality.

“The otter withdrew his paw slowly. ‘Here,’ he said, ‘the first time you are caught, the Church removes a testicle. The second time, you are castrated. Fully.’” (p. 107)

Danilo, as a bisexual, can pass as heterosexual adequately, but Luc, his first and best friend, is openly gay. Tigers are unusual but not unknown in Gallia (everyone thinks he’s from far-away Etrusca), and Danilo stands out by his white fur:

“‘Well, white fur in Tigue – in Gallia – is quite rare. White-furred people are said to be pure, to be touched by God. And so you will be more welcome in the church than… well, than if you were not white, we will leave it there.’ Luc lowered his voice.” (p. 74)

Danilo’s white fur brings him to the attention of Tigue’s highest ecclesiastical authorities, for both better and worse. When Luc is arrested and condemned to mutilation and execution, Danilo determines to rescue him. Somehow.

“All he knew was that he had to rescue Luc somehow before he was castrated, if that hadn’t already happened. […] Danilo sighed and rested his head in his paws. The only other option he saw was a movie-style jailbreak. And this was a sixteenth-century jail, so it was probably pretty solid, not one where you could bust up a computer panel or fake your entry and then knock out the guard and take the key.” (pgs. 160-161)

Cover by Rukis

Camouflage (cover by Rukis) is a novel of religious mysticism more than of materialistic s-f. Gold says in his Acknowledgements that he visited Lyon, France, the model for Tigue, in 2013, and the novel is steeped in the ancient city’s anthropomorphized history.

Fred Patten

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

Categories: News

“Naughty Bits” fursuit video shoot with Rachel Lark – sex-positive art in the age of Trump.

Tue 1 May 2018 - 09:25

(Adult content)

Armed with a ukelele and raunchy/smart songs like “Fuck My Toe”, Rachel Lark is an Oakland, CA based singer-songwriter with a fierce and funny voice. She has a new song, “Naughty Bits”, that playfully protests against sex-negative politics. It’s a response to SESTA, a law against sex trafficking that throws free expression under the bus. Furry dating site Pounced closed in fear of overreach of the law.

For those of you who don’t know what’s up with SESTA (and I’m not judging, there’s a lot going on these days) here’s what you should know….

1. It equates all sex work with sex trafficking (not the same thing)
2. It hurts sex workers AND victims of sex trafficking
3. It has serious and scary implications for free speech on the internet
4. It potentially criminalizes sex worker solidarity and advocacy

This law sucks, but when things suck, we make art, and that’s the only way out of the despair. Rachel Lark

Rachel wrote an in-depth article about this: SESTA, Sex Work, and Art in the Age of Trump.

Her music career has included work with Dan Savage, media personality from the Savage Love column and podcast. That should tell you that her songs are perverted in a socially redeeming way. She plays at Bawdy Storytelling, a popular San Francisco performance series. (They warmly welcome furries). It’s not radio music, but now I have to compare her to artists like Moby or the Dandy Warhols, who are my evidence that successful artists use furries in music videos.

Rachel’s need for furries for the “Naughty Bits” video reached me early on a Sunday morning. The call for help came with almost no notice. I read a tip about it while waking up at a furry house party. It was full of so many cuddling animals that I crashed on the kitchen floor at 4AM.

Hey, San Francisco! @rachellarkmusic is shooting a music video about #SESTA and she needs furries! Are you a furry that can be in her video today? Reply to this tweet!

— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) April 21, 2018

A super fun furry party with super cool furries! pic.twitter.com/vg4VMOK6K8

— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) April 22, 2018

Rachel had missed 3 furry parties in one day, including that private-invite cuddle party. Half of the Bay Area Furry community must have come out for all of them and it would have been a great opportunity to shoot.  But in the morning nobody had energy to come with me. She needed two fursuiters and I was alone. So I took both of my suits to Rachel’s house, where her non-furry helper was waiting to gear up with me.

“Sorry about the short notice”, Rachel told me while I unpacked in her living room. “I wrote the song and got it recorded with a video in 8 days. That’s a thing about making art in the age of Trump. If you don’t do it right away, every day some new scandal pops up and makes people forget the previous one.”

We traded chat about furry lore and the practicalities of suiting, and Rachel was as curious as could be, unlike an outsider looking for a jolt of sensationalism. She was just being an artist with a vision that needed both of my fursonas to cuddle. Of course, that wasn’t hot at all. It was just doing my professional duty to partner with an innocent yet enthusiastic non-furry and fluff him up.

Nuzzling for the video

Furry cuddling only got in a few shots of the video (3:40, 4:20 and 5:00) but it was worth the effort. I met the crew, spread goodwill and got a look at the production. The video has fabulous drag, puppy players (one is a furry too) and slow-motion flogging. The song starts with slow fingersnaps and swells into an epic chorus. Try some of her music, and think, what if we got her to do a show with Pepper Coyote or a furry song?

When puritans try to wipe out expression, artists are on the same side together. I’d already been in music videos with shared associates with Rachel. This was part of a thriving local subculture and I’m glad furries were included as a vital part of it.

Categories: News

Backbone – a pixel art detective adventure game.

Tue 1 May 2018 - 09:10

Thanks to Summercat for this guest post.

Here’s the Kickstarter for Backbone. I’ll save you reading the article. Go check it out. I am more than impressed; I am excited.

Still here? Okay fine, I’ll elaborate.

Backbone, by indie developer Eggnut, is a “pixel art cinematic adventure with stealth and action elements” set in a dystopian retro-future Vancouver, filled with the sounds of Jazz, the scents of Anthropomorphic Animals, and murder.

You play as Howard Lotor (cough), a raccoon Private Investigator who, in typical noir fashion, gets drawn into cases he might otherwise have avoided. You’re free to investigate the cases how you choose, finding clues in the city of Vancouver – including real world locations.

The game boasts these fun points:

  • Original doom jazz OST.
  • There is a technology that will make you grow out a huge bear claw out of your small raccoon body.

There’s your standard combat and stealth mechanics, but something they also stuck in is scent – a mechanic that simply wouldn’t work with human characters, but it’s so obvious in a world of anthro animals.

The inclusion of scent as an important mechanic impressed me more than the detailed pixel art, but what got me excited for Backbone is how well put together the project appears to be.

EggNut may be a new indie developer but they appear to have all their ducks in a row – pre-production has been ongoing for a year, and they have mostly completed a working demo level, with an expected Summer release. They even have someone designated as a project manager, and the kickstarter itself shows a level of cohesion that I don’t often see.

Based upon what I see, I’m in. The gameplay looks intriguing, the art, noir aesthetics and original jazz music are pleasing, and I’ve got a good feeling about the developer. I recommend you check out Backbone’s Kickstarter for yourself.

– Summercat

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

Categories: News

Remembering Kim Wall, a journalist who found the best side of furries.

Mon 30 Apr 2018 - 10:00

Furries are on a list of news articles by Kim Wall:

  • How Cubans deliver culture without internet
  • Inside the Ugandan Mall at the Center of China’s East African Investments
  • Asian, queer and dancing defiance: ‘Everything we do now is resistance’
  • When China’s Feminists Came to Washington
  • Ghost Stories: Idi Amin’s torture chambers
  • The Magic Kingdom Meets the Middle Kingdom in Shanghai Disneyland
  • Tour Buses to Sri Lanka’s Battlefields
  • Can This Tiny Island Restore Haitian Tourism?
  • It’s not about sex, it’s about identity: why furries are unique among fan cultures

Does it feel special to be on such an interesting list? It’s on a site for Kim Wall and her work. She was an independent journalist writing about identity, gender, pop-culture, social justice and foreign policy. Tributes from people who knew her paint a portrait of a talented person full of curiosity, who made a warm and lasting impression. Her stories spread that vibe on behalf of their subjects.

This headline understands- “It’s not about sex, it’s about identity: why furries are unique among fan cultures”. The story mentions bad media attention and furries being targets of hate while they celebrate self-expression. In my opinion, we were lucky to get such a good story and it’s one of a handful of the best you can find. This is why to welcome media notice if this little subculture is going to get it.

She loved the idea of fursonas. From a tribute by one of her colleagues, Claire Cameron:

“Kim and I talked about subcultures a lot. I love subcultures, but just for my own interest. When I was younger, I was a goth and a steam punk and I was into body modification, so Kim was fascinated to learn all about it. I love talking about it, so we made a good match. More recently, we talked about even more unusual and niche subcultures — people who install microchips into themselves, for example, so that they can use their own hand as the card key to a building, or some other piece of machinery, and see themselves as cyborgs.

At one point she asked me what I thought my “fursona” would be — the persona I would take on if I were a furry. I told her I hadn’t thought about it, and she was shocked. I asked what her fursona was, and she said “When I was with the designer, she asked me and I just knew immediately, I don’t know why! I am a fox!” Of course she was.

Some of these conversations turned into stories — interviews with vampires and exposés of furry identity and days with desnudas — they are all stories I wish I had written, but I am so proud that Kim wrote them. She did them justice in a way most writers would not. She looked in from the margins and brought the weird and the wonderful into the light — never to mock or to sensationalize, but to tell the story of her subjects with grace and dignity.”

The circumstances of her murder made a dark side to the positivity she found in creative subculture. I was reminded to share the fandom connection and a tribute, because her killer Peter Madsen was convicted this week.

She had been trying to interview Madsen, an eccentric media figure and hobbyist/maker who built rockets and crowdfunded a submarine. I think it was a similar nerdy obsession that drew her to furries, but his took a twisted path with fantasies about sexual torture. He took her for a ride where he carried it out, dumping her body in the sea. She was killed while doing a job she loved like any good journalist would have done.

Danger was part of her writing, with fearless travel to war zones. It was part of her feminism. One irony of the story is how she was killed close to home while feeling safe – that’s not how one expects a journalist to die at work. It’s impossible to separate those circumstances from her concern for social justice, and the way she wrote about furries without othering or phobia, which would have been misplaced in light of where the real harm came from.

The killer had ties to the dark side of subculture. His team was active on Something Awful, the forum that spread hate about furries for many years. That hate was considered ironic, but he collected real videos of torture and murder found on his computer. And he “ironically” admired the Third Reich, styling himself as a military captain for his submarine while criticizing authorities and wanting to play by his own rules. Isn’t that sounding like a familiar checklist?

Furries often teach each other to distrust outside media, but subcultures can contain their own worst enemies (like the hate movements of Gamergate, that tied to the alt-right and it’s bastard child altfurry.) Reactionaries spread anti-intellectualism about “fake news”, but Kim’s article about furries makes an antithesis. I think she saw that what drags us down is lesser than our power to define ourselves as a group.

While the killer stays in prison for life, the bright side will carry on. I asked Menagerie Workshop about being a source for Kim’s article, and was told: “She was a very pleasant person to work with. Her genuine curiosity about the furry fandom was refreshing, she really seemed interested in knowing more about the idea behind the fandom and why people were into it.” It was  mutual.

Amazing artical, beautiful video, Really sad to see such a inspiration go, But I know She Will Live On Within The Fursona of the furry fandom, Thank you Kim

????Aggreskunko???? (@Viviomana) April 26, 2018

As a dane I've been following the case of her murder really closely. It's insane for something so bizarre to happen in my little country. I'm glad you linked this article, because it shows how many different things Kim wrote about. May she rest in peace.

— Mollybooboo (@MollyMalou87) April 27, 2018

I never knew of this article, and I'm sad to know that we've lost someone that really understood the fandom. Her depth shows a real effort to understand what I the furry fandom is at its core. I am glad that some sort of justice has been found for her.

— Lucavi LaFitte (@LucaviLaFitte) April 27, 2018

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

Categories: News

High Steaks, by Daniel Potter – Book Review by Fred Patten

Fri 27 Apr 2018 - 10:00

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

High Steaks, by Daniel Potter.
El Cerrito, CA, Fallen Kitten Productions, January 2018, trade paperback, $13.99 (373 pages), Kindle $1.99.

This is Book 3 of Potter’s Freelance Familiars series, following Off Leash and Marking Territory. It follows the events in Books #1 and #2 without a What Has Gone Before, so you really need to have read the first two. Or just dive into the action.

Thomas Khatt, an unemployed librarian in Grantsville, PA, leaves a coffee shop (along with another customer) after sending out job résumés. A hit-&-run driver kills the man standing next to him, and Thomas suddenly finds himself transformed into an unanthropomorphized cougar.

In Off Leash, Thomas learns that he has been transported to “the Real World beyond the veil” that is ruled by magic. He is given the power of speech, but that’s all. He is told that he is expected to become the familiar of a wizard or witch; an involuntary magical assistant – in practice, a slave to a magus, for life.

“Yet one thing had become crystal clear; I wanted no part of this world. Losing my thumbs, my house and my girlfriend in exchange for the chance to be sold off to some pimple-faced apprentice did not sound like a fair deal to me.” (Off Leash, p. 35)

To quote from my review of Off Leash:

“Thomas decides to take charge of his own life, even if he is not familiar with the Real World yet. He faces the dangers of our “world beyond the Veil” […], and of the Real World, refusing to join the TAU [Talking Animal Union] or to become bound to a magus – or to an apprentice – as a familiar.”

“To stay off the leash, he’ll have to take advantage of the chaos caused by the local Archmagus’ death and help the Inquisition solve his murder. A pyromaniac squirrel, religious werewolves, and cat-hating cops all add to the pandemonium as Thomas attempts to become the first Freelance Familiar.” (Off Leash; blurb)

Thomas solves the murder and gains an ally; Rudy, the wise-cracking pyromaniac squirrel. In Marking Territory, Thomas becomes involved in magical politics, his werewolf girlfriend is turned into a werecow, and Grantsville is destroyed in the magus’ crossfire. Now it’s eight months later. Thomas and Rudy have led the survivors to Las Vegas – or under it:

“Into this [the Las Vegas underground flood tunnels] had walked about nine thousand people whose town – my town, Grantsville – had been put into a blender, along with six other realities. With help, I’d managed to get most of them out before everyone got liquefied into a refreshing transdimensional smoothie. In the eight months since, those with mutations that could be covered up or which had simply faded with time had found jobs in the above city or had migrated away. The less fortunate had founded small communities in the tunnels, each sustained by donations from those who had left.

The Ranch was the largest of those communities. The residents had all been blended with animals generally found in the barnyard. Trevor and I approached the gate to the Stables, the portion of the Ranch that housed those Grantsvillians whose mutations had gotten worse instead of fading. So complete were their transformations that the lucky ones – the dogs and cats – had been taken on as familiars by the magi above. The rest – the prey animals, those with hoofed feet and limited binocular vision who made poor familiars – were down here without much hope of ever leaving.” (pgs. 14-15)

There are plenty of human-animal blends:

“I threaded around a pair of horses that were playing chess on a high table and nearly tripped over a chicken. […] Horses, cows, goats, and a few sheep loitered in the central aisle, socializing and talking trivialities. […]

A black goat with a pencil in his mouth looked up from the laptop he had been prodding. ‘H-e-e-e-y freelancers!’ he bayed.

‘Hi, Jet.’ The goat was one of the few residents of the Stables who showed no fear in my presence. I came to a stop and blinked. His horns had been painted glow-in-the-dark green.

‘Nice horns. Really goes with the black,’ Rudy snickered.

The goat grinned. ‘Somebody from above sent us a case of the stuff, and now some of the young ‘uns are trying to scrounge up black lights. I’ll let you know when the dance party begins. Gonna be eighties all the way.’ His ears flicked with amusement, and his tail waggled.” (pgs. 17-18)

But the Grantsvillian animal-people are going stir-crazy living hidden in the drainage tunnels underneath Las Vegas. In the Real World, Las Vegas is openly ruled by the Council of Merlins, the five magical Houses (the Council knows the Grantsvillians are there; it apparently doesn’t care), and its allied Talking Animal Union run by Oric, an owl. Officially the TAU is a labor union for familiars that makes sure the familiars are not mistreated by their magi. In practice, Oric and the TAU make sure that the familiars do what the magi tell them to do.

By immemorial tradition, an animal familiar is bound to a human wizard or witch for life. Thomas wants to change that. If he has to be a cougar, he wants to be able to pick his magus, and to switch from magus to magus at his will – to become a Freelance Familiar. By refusing to join the TAU and coming to Las Vegas, Thomas and his only two allies – Rudy the squirrel, and O’Meara, a disbarred witch – are openly challenging the whole Council of Merlins and Oric.

Officially, Thomas and Rudy sign a contract as the Freelance Familiars with House Picatrix (which is headquartered at the Luxor) to do one temporary job. Unofficially, it will prove that familiars don’t need the TAU. Behind the scenes, some of the magi (but which?) plus Oric are trying to kill the cougar and squirrel (and their lone witch ally). The three Freelance Familiars, and the semihuman Grantsvillians beneath Las Vegas, are in for the supernatural fight of their lives against all the organized wizards and witches who rule Las Vegas, plus the TAU’s corrupt owl, not to mention the werewolves and vampire ghosts.

The animals are mostly unanthropomorphized except for being intelligent and able to talk:

“There, pulled up to the curb, was a pristine white limo that would have been quite classy if not for the line of bullet holes that raked its side. Before either of us could recover, the passenger door of the cab popped open, and a capybara in a smart-looking chauffeur’s cap leapt out. He had a plastic water bottle clasped in his jaws. The dog-sized rodent hurried down the length of the limo and splashed water against the silver door handle. There was a hissing sound, and steam rose from the metal. The bottle bounced on the ground while the capybara popped open the handle with his teeth. With a quick backwards hind-legged hop, the door yawned open. Rudy lay sprawled belly up on the seat next to a martini glass full of shelled hazelnuts.

He waved.” (p. 77) [The two Capy Bros. run the limo service. One steers while the other works the gas and brake pedals. The water bottle doesn’t have any magical significance; it’s hot outdoors in daytime in Las Vegas!]

“‘It is far too early for an employee to be drinking.’ A smooth voice pulled my eyes away from the woman and back to the doorway of the bar. A cheetah stalked toward me. His body appeared to be thin and breakable, but his motions spoke of supreme confidence. The patrons of the bar shifted uneasily; mugs of golden liquid were quickly pulled out of his line of sight. The tension in the bar ratcheted up several notches, and the air around us threatened to snap in half.” (p. 84)

“Where Bobby had sat, a coyote the size of a horse flashed an omnidirectional grin. She tossed her head back and howled like a hurricane. A downpour of power surged through the room, pinning me to the stool. Glasses shattered, the beer running over the tables as the employees desperately covered their ears. The howl faded, and Bobby trotted out into the casino, past the fallen linemen.” (p. 190)

High Steaks (cover by Ebooklaunch.com, which presumably means that Potter paid Amazon/CreateSpace the maximum to have it printed, well proofread, cover-customized, and published under his own imprint) features necromantic attacks (“‘You can’t be too paranoid in Vegas.’”), bar brawls, assassinations, pathos (“A crying cow was not a pretty sight.”), a sorcerous heist caper, a deadly romance between Thomas and another cougar familiar (a feline femme fatale), the Freelance Familiars vs. the TAU (Thomas vs. Oric), Rudy firing bombs and rockets (“‘Booooooom, baby!’”), and all the talking animals that a furry fan could want. Don’t miss the Fallen Kitten Productions’ website for a free Freelance Familiars short story.

Fred Patten

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Categories: News

Fluff Party in Salt Lake City: a furry dance at one of the two gay bars in Utah.

Thu 26 Apr 2018 - 10:00

Furclubbing: “A repeat/regular nightclub event by furries for furries.” The concept has been spreading since the late 2000’s. It’s a dance party independent from cons. It builds on their growth but takes things farther. It’s more ambitious than informal meets and events that happen once. Those can stay inner-focused, but this brings partnership with new kinds of venues, and new support for what they host. It crosses a line to public space, so a stranger can walk in and discover their new favorite thing. It encourages new blood and crossover to other scenes. It makes subculture thrive. It’s a movement!

Parties that give a Q&A get a featured article. See The Furclub survey for questions and party list. Here’s Fluff Party in Salt Lake City, from organizer Oaken.


The party launch: 

Fluff Party was started on April 28th, 2017, at Club Try-Angles then known as “Bar Night” in the local Utah Furry group. Fluff Party started out with a sizeable furry group, for a small major city, of around 25 attendees. During the 2017 AWU Convention in downtown SLC, “Bar Night” transformed into Fluff Party. The event, held on October 27th, ended up being the largest to date with nearly 75 attendees from Washington, Colorado, and Idaho. This was later eclipsed by the January 2018 Fluff Party which had nearly 100 attendees. In February 2018, the Party extended the weekend to include a Saturday event with its first ever After Party, held at Area 51 Club in Salt Lake City, an 18+ dance club.

Who is involved

Inspired by Tail! Party in California, Fluff Party was started by Oaken. Fluff Party uses the house DJ at Try-Angles. During the AWU Fluff Party, DJ zeroføx played.

What kind of party:

Fluff Party is a bar atmosphere with billiards going on all evening, fursuit dancing to DJ music. Styles of music depend on the DJ but range from old to current pop, electronic music.

When:

Fluff Party occurs every fourth Friday of the month. Originally, the party was coupled with Club Try-Angles’ “Leather & Gear Night”; however, due to lack of participation from the local leather community and immense support from the local Furry community, club ownership granted the furs their very own night. The first event occurred on April 28th, 2017.

Where:

Fluff Party is located at Club Try-Angles (251 West Harvey Milk Boulevard, Salt Lake City, Utah). Fluff Party’s After Party is located at Area 51 (451 South 400 West, Salt Lake City, Utah). Furries attend from Salt Lake and surrounding cities (Ogden to Provo). Several out of state furs have come in from Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Colorado.

How: 

Oaken first danced in fursuit at 2016 RMFC, and became inspired to provide an event for the local Utah Furry group– which already organized general regular monthly events at public location– that was geared more towards the adult furry crowd. After being convinced to finally overcome his fears of going to a gay club’s Underwear Night, Oaken found Club Try-Angles and the local gay community to be a welcoming one to all walks of life. Wearing his tail to the club a few times and getting a very warm response from the locals at the club, Oaken approached club ownership about having fursuiters come to the club. Many years prior, a few locals had gone to the club in fursuit but never in large numbers nor the immense support that Fluff Party has received from the local furry community. Fluff Party continues to grow and expand.

Vibe:

Unique to most major cities, Club Try-Angles is one of two identifying gay clubs in the entire state of Utah. Club Try-Angles plays host to many lifestyles, kinks, and fetishes. Supporting nights such as Drag events, Bear, Underwear, and Leather nights. The general public has received furries at Fluff Party in very good light. A review was even posted to the club’s Google page stating how they were going to attend Furry night! Local furs have mentioned going to events such as Pride events in SLC in fursuit and having the public mention the furry event at Club Try-Angles. Many general public attendees have become regulars at Fluff Party!

Promotion: 

Initially, the event started out as a member meet, “Bar Night”, hosted by Oaken who is an administrator and event coordinator for the local furry community. Meets were created on the groups Facebook and Meetup pages as well as word of mouth due to the disjointed nature of the local community at the time. It later became named Fluff Party during the AWU convention where it was promoted with fliers and promotions. Before the January 2018 Fluff Party, a twitter account @FluffParty was created, which resulted in the event having the largest turnout to date. As well as increased exposure to nearby communities.

Follow @FluffParty on Twitter for most updated news. Thanks to Oaken for giving great responses and organizing this for the community!

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

Categories: News

The Snake’s Song: A Labyrinth of Souls Novel, by Mary E. Lowd – Book Review by Fred Patten

Wed 25 Apr 2018 - 10:00

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

The Snake’s Song: A Labyrinth of Souls Novel, by Mary E. Lowd.
Eugene, OR, ShadowSpinners Press, March 2018, trade paperback, $11.99 (210 [+ 1] pages), Kindle $3.99.

ShadowSpinners Press says, “Labyrinth of Souls novels must contain the idea of an underworld labyrinth. The form of the labyrinth and the nature of the underworld are left to the fevered imagination of the author. […] Most stories will lean toward dark fantasy but science fiction, horror, psychological thriller, Noir, mystery, etc. will be considered.” The Snake’s Song is its sixth novel, and its first furry one.

The Snake’s Song is a work of fabulism rather than traditional furry fiction. “The snake sang,” it begins. “The snake sang and mice knew better than to listen. Mice and rats and songbirds and frogs – none of them listened to snakes. Songbirds and frogs sang their own songs; mice and rats told stories. None of them listened to snakes.

And neither did squirrels.

But one day, a gray squirrel named Witch-Hazel stopped to listen to a soft hissing carried on the wind, a susurrus coming from a tunnel, hidden beneath a bush. With melancholy sighs and mesmerizing murmurs, the hissing voice sang a song of days gone by, days long ago when the earth and sky and underground were bound together with a river that flowed in endless, looping circles; tree branches embraced the heavens, and tree roots held the depths in their woody arms; and all the creatures of Earth could make a pilgrimage into the sky to meet the All-Being who had created every animal.” (p. 13, reformatted)

Squirrels don’t listen to snakes, but now Witch-Hazel does:

“‘Tell me about the All-Being,’ Witch-Hazel asked breathlessly.

‘The All-Being is why birds can fly, fish breathe water, beavers are builders, and bees can turn pollen into honey. Each of them reflects the glory of the All-Being.’

Witch-Hazel wondered how she reflected the All-Being’s glory. ‘How about squirrels?’ she asked.” (p. 14)

Is the snake trying to lure her into its underground lair? But she dimly remembers her mother telling her of the All-Being when she was a tiny kitten, and of the Celestial Fragments – the Sun Shard that grants strength, the Star Sliver that grants endless breath, and the Moon Opal that grants flight. Witch-Hazel is too wary to follow the snake into its hole, but she can’t stop thinking about the Celestial Fragments and the All-Being.

“Witch-Hazel pictured a creature with one bat wing and one sparrow wing; a green cat eye and a yellow coyote eye; a long rabbit ear and a round mouse ear; a deer antler and an antelope horn; a hoofed foreleg and a webbed paw; a mountain lion’s golden haunches and a squirrel’s silver tail – because no creature on Earth has a tail more beautiful than a squirrel.” (pgs. 17-18)

If she could find the Celestial Fragments, she could fly into the heavens higher than the birds and see the All-Being. Squirrels are used to missing treasures being hidden underground; that’s where they bury their nuts.

“She wanted to find the Celestial Fragments.

In her nest that night, Witch-Hazel felt the empty space all around her. The air flowed around her branch like the rivers the snake told her had once encircled the under-earth and sky. She wanted to travel those rivers.” (p. 18)

So the next day she packs a knapsack:

“Then she swiped a flask of pear cider from her biggest sister’s nest – her sister wouldn’t mind – and stuffed that in her knapsack too.

Finally, Witch-Hazel left a note in her own nest for her sisters and brothers, in case they came looking for her: ‘Gone adventuring. Don’t worry. – Witch-Hazel” (p. 19)

And she returns to the hole after the snake has gone:

“Witch-Hazel squeezed into the small round hole under the bush. She’d never entered a snake’s lair before. To her knowledge, no squirrel ever had. Once she was inside, the hole opened up into a passage large enough for her to walk upright. She kept her firethorns in front of her.” (p. 21)

What does she find underground? Think of Alice entering Wonderland. Think of Orpheus entering Hades’ realm looking for Eurydice. Think of Dante entering the Inferno searching for Beatrice.

There are animals, of course, or The Snake’s Song would not be reviewed here:

“Witch-Hazel leaned in close to the gold medallions and carefully examined the animal etchings. The same set of thirty animals graced each of them. Many of the animals were familiar – mouse, sparrow, squirrel, snake, otter, beaver, raccoon, deer. Some of them were strange – one had two humps on it back; another seemed to be like a bird, but it had long legs and a sinuous neck unlike any bird she’d ever seen; another had a nose like a snake, flappy ears, and legs like tree stumps. That one was the largest of the animals, so she tried turning the medallion until it was at the top of the starburst. Then she turned the second medallion until the mouse was on top.   Smallest and largest.” (p. 25)

This is only up to page 25. There is a whole novel to come. Witch-Hazel sings to herself/an imaginary friend to keep up her nerve:

“When she finished the song, Witch-Hazel said to her new imaginary friend, ‘Shall we sing a different one next?’

Her heart nearly stopped when her echo answered, ‘All right. Do you know ‘Hills and Trees Yonder’?’” (p. 35)

Not all the animals are mortal ones:

“The lioness’s face rose higher as the giant creature stepped forward on the rocky ledge beside Witch-Hazel. Her body resolved in shades of gray in the darkness – her head rose from a long slender neck that sprouted out of narrow shoulders, leading into a pair of delicately crossed human arms. She had a human woman’s torso, but beneath it was an entire four-legged lion’s body, complete with a swishing, tufted tail. ‘I am a kind of sphinx,’ the creature said. ‘Sister to the sphinx, precisely. My sister who was celebrated in Greece and Egypt usually claims the name. I am less well-known. I am a leontaur, and I don’t ask riddles.’” (p. 55)

The Snake’s Song (cover by Josephe Vandel) is eerie, wonderful, horrifying, marvelous, and above all, dreamlike. Dreams encompass nightmares. What is the All-Being?

“Dare to Enter the Labyrinth of Souls”

Fred Patten

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

Categories: News

Artists wanted – Hugo the Pink Cat is Artist of the Month, April 2018.

Tue 24 Apr 2018 - 10:41

ARTISTS WANTED! Please share. Artist of the month is a program to commission and promote furries. It’s paid by site funding with gratitude to patrons. There will be a headline post for the chosen furry, and regular comics may be added too. Here’s art that previously appeared, and this month’s banner and comic from Hugo the Pink Cat.

Twitter: HugoThePinkCat
FA: http://www.furaffinity.net/user/hugothepinkcat/ (some NSFW stuff)

“I’m 34 years old, from Montreal, been in the fandom since 1999 , active since 2001. Been drawing more seriously for the last 7 years. I don’t exactly have a college formation in arts but I’ve been self-taught for the last decade and take a lot of inspiration from European graphic novels and early western animation. “Ligne claire” and bright lively colours are my thing. I like to think I fill a nice little niche between cartoony and still somehow alluring. (Or so my friends say).”

TO APPLY please submit this to banners@dogpatch.press:

  • One favorite piece, a one-paragraph bio, and your links.
  • Your price for a banner for the top of this site.
  • (Optional) price for one comic with artistic freedom (any format, a panel, strip, or page.)
  • Price for a six month/six comic contract.

Banner should be at least 1000 x 200 (.jpg, png or gif). Toony furry characters never fail, but it doesn’t have to have characters if it says “furry news” somehow (a graphic design with a fur pattern or collage of headlines would work – experimenting is good.) If you need any idea about what the site is for, try the About page. A comic can be any format – strip, single panel political cartoon, or a story page. Use artistic freedom. It can have existing characters of yours, or just a funny joke. It could be about a story on the site from the last month, issues in fandom, or toon characters talking about stuff in the regular world. Try to keep it SFW. Happy subjects are great but criticism with a point is OK too.

Special shout outs to other artists for this fan art! 

@DogpatchPress: "-mossy swamp ghost gator with a battery powered smoke machine"

I was inspired! 2 ver gator suit & a made-up gator. #anthro #furryart #reptile pic.twitter.com/O3GLcEmlA4

— Jackqua (@Jackqua92) April 9, 2018

Fan art of @DogpatchPress @patch_packrat pic.twitter.com/Jvhv9E9Bml

— Wolf Tanuki (@jacobspencer04) April 9, 2018

@eddie_mote asked me a question in PM and I spent a while answering so he sent a drawing in his style. So cool! Was not expecting that! The floofy tail and ears are my favorite part :3 pic.twitter.com/M0W75LhqXo

— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) April 18, 2018

Gift art from @eddie_mote for answering some stuff in PM. No need to give anything for that, but I love it! This one is from my rat. (He forgot to draw part of the tail but I'm going to make that part of the sona, he's so sneaky he does the detachable thumb trick with tails.) pic.twitter.com/9B4rzQTSDP

— Dogpatch Press (@DogpatchPress) April 24, 2018

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

Categories: News

Chlorophylle et le Monstre des Trois Sources, by Jean-Luc Cornette (writer) and René Hausman (artist) – Book Review by Fred Patten

Mon 23 Apr 2018 - 10:00

Submitted by Fred Patten, Furry’s favorite historian and reviewer.

Chlorophylle et le Monstre des Trois Sources, by Jean-Luc Cornette (writer) and René Hausman (artist). Illustrated.
Brussels, Le Lombard, March 2016, hardcover, €14,99 (48 pages), Kindle €9,99.

Thanks, as always with French bandes dessinées, to Lex Nakashima for loaning this to me to review.

I am a big fan of the original Chlorophylle stories written and drawn by Raymond Macherot (1924-2008) in the 1950s and 1960s. They have all been reprinted in an attractive three-volume Intégrale set, which I applaud and recommend.

Today Le Lombard is having new adventures produced of many of its most popular comic strips of the French-Belgian “Golden Age” of the 1950s and 1960s, by the most prestigious artists of today. (You should see what has been done with Mickey Mouse!)

Both Cornette and Hausman have had long careers in the French-Belgian comic-book industry as both artists and writers. I will speculate that the main attraction of Chlorophylle and the Monster of Three Sources is Hausman’s detailed watercolor art.

I can appreciate it intellectually. But on a basic emotional level, it seems wrong. It’s like seeing a Donald Duck or Uncle Scrooge story by Jack Kirby or Art Spiegelman in their own art styles – or, contrariwise, a Captain America adventure or a Maus episode drawn in Carl Barks’ art style. But this is being done deliberately.

Macherot made Chloro’s woodland village in “le petit bosquet” (the little grove) look like a little animal village in the forest. The houses in treetrunks and hillocks had front doors and windows. The mice and rabbits and crows wore scarves and hats. In Hausman’s interpretation, they are all unclothed animals living in bushes and tall grasses that are so spiky with twigs and thorns that it’s a wonder the smaller animals don’t spend their time caught up in tangles.

S. Salin in BDGest says that this is an homage, a makeover; not an imitation. Hausman knew and respected Macherot and his work, and he chose to draw Chloro and his northern European woodland grove in a more realistic style than Macherot did. This is Chloro and Minimum just before they abandoned the grove for the island of Coquefredouille and its animal civilization.

Chloro (dormouse) and Minimum (mouse) have had their adventure in a small human city (Pas de Salami pour Célimène, 1957) and returned to the little grove. Minimum has gotten a crush on Particule Piquechester, the youngest and prettiest of the three Piquechester mouse sisters. Particule has chosen to leave her sisters and build her own cabin on the shore of the lake of three sources (three small riverlets feed into it), where she goes swimming.

“‘Particule, do you know that we’re swimming in an enchanted lake?’ Minimum asks. ‘Do you know the legend of the lake of three sources?’ ‘No! I’ve never heard of it.’ ‘They say that the three riverlets are those of friendship… of love…and of separation. The water of the three riverlets mixes in the lake. When someone swims in it, they have to go to a place far from friendship and love to find separation.’” (pgs. 9-10) The next day Particule is missing and her cabin has been smashed to rubble. Chloro leads a rescue mission of Serpolet the rabbit, Particule’s sisters Olive and Vinaigrette, the beaver family, and others to find her (Minimum is too distraught to do anything practical).

To give away a major spoiler, Particule has been kidnapped by Caczor, a genuine Frankenstein’s monster sewn together from a badger and a hedgehog. But like the monster in Shelly’s original novel, Caczor is more a creature of pathos than of horror. The bittersweet ending leaves Minimum free to go with Chloro on future adventures.

Chlorophylle et le Monstre des Trois Sources is successful on its own terms as an-homage-and-not-an-imitation. It’s interesting to see Chloro the dormouse, Minimum the mouse, Serpolet the rabbit, Torpedo the otter, and others drawn in – well, not a realistic style, but more realistically than in Macherot’s funny-animal style. I certainly wouldn’t have recognized them if they hadn’t been addressed by name in the dialogue. Get it as a sample of René Hausman’s — a major European cartoonist’s – art style, in a rare example of his talking-animal art.

Fred Patten

La souris Pâquerette a disparu. Chlorophylle et Minimum comprennent très vite qu’elle a été enlevée par le terrible monstre du lac. Sans perdre un instant, les deux compères et leurs amis se lancent sur les traces de la créature. Mais la chasse au monstre leur réserve bien des surprises… René Hausman et Jean-Luc Cornette unissent leurs talents pour rendre un éblouissant hommage au héros culte de Raymond Macherot.

Like the article? It takes a lot of effort to share these. Please consider supporting Dogpatch Press on Patreon.  You can access exclusive stuff for just $1, or get Con*Tact Caffeine Soap as a reward.  They’re a popular furry business seen in dealer dens. Be an extra-perky patron – or just order direct from Con*Tact.

Categories: News