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November 2012

Raccoons after dark: their haters, and their lovers

Your rating: None Average: 4 (5 votes)

Urban raccoons are known as cute, smart, yet sometimes destructive pests that cause headaches for homeowners. Their mischief can range from raiding trash, to sensational headlines about terrorized neighborhoods that call for traps and controls.

According to the PBS nature show Raccoon Nation:

In an effort to outwit raccoons, we may be pushing their brain development and perhaps even sending them down a new evolutionary path. One biologist who has been studying raccoons for 25 years believes the city life is in fact cultivating “über-raccoons,” ready to take over the world.

While PBS jokes about "über-raccoons", Germany has somber, no-nonsense, bedenklich news about their Nazi raccoon occupation.Cooners

Some people worry about repelling them, but other people have a much more welcoming point of view... although they might keep their unsavory interests on the down-low. Mauricio Baiocchi, a distinguished San Francisco Bay area animator with credits from Industrial Light and Magic, lets us in on their sordid secrets in his 2011 short film, Cooners.

Motion picture: 'Escape from Planet Earth'

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (5 votes)

Escape from Planet EarthIf Avatar could win the Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture in 2009, then Furry fandom should LOVE Escape from Planet Earth. More blue aliens! Furry aliens! A plot that will remind you of Planet 51! Lots of 7-11! Originally scheduled for a 2010 release but now due out from the Weinstein Company and Rainmaker Entertainment in Vancouver on February 14, 2013.

Maybe. The Weinstein Company is being sued for $50,000,000 over this movie, and a judge has ordered an advance private screening of it. Watch the trailer while it’s available.

'Softpaw' artist Mizzyam arrested on child pornography charges

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (16 votes)

Furry artist Mizzyam, also known as MisterNivens and Amarimasi, has been arrested after a month-long Internet child-pornography investigation.

Known in the real world as Michael Shalapata, the 24-year-old resident of Hamilton, Ontario was taken into custody on November 1 by members of the Ontario Provincial Police Child Sexual Exploitation Unit and the Hamilton Police Service Internet Child Exploitation Unit.

Shalapata was charged with "making child pornography available and two counts of possession of child pornography". Four computers and "other items" were seized.

Can Sean Connery's voice save 'Sir Billi' from its own CGI?

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (12 votes)

Sir BiliDoes Sean Connery have a death wish?

That is the only reason that I can think of for his investing money, executive-producing, and voice-acting in the forthcoming first Scottish CGI animated feature, Sir Billi.

The Cartoon Brew website has the latest trailer, which is unbelievable. The humans and talking animals are the ugliest that I have ever seen. (Well, except for Hoodwinked, but that at least had a clever plot.)

Sir Billi is about, to quote CB’s Amid Amidi, a retired skateboarding bald senior-citizen veterinarian (Connery) with Gordon, his anthropomorphic homosexual pet goat with bladder problems, who wears a Bruce Lee-style yellow jumpsuit and thinks that he is a dog. Together they set out to rescue Bessie Boo, Scotland’s last beaver, and Wee Dave, a cute rabbit who helped raise her.

Dragoneer's Dorsai complaints spark FurFright spat

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (12 votes)

October saw up to 1500 furs converge on Cromwell, Connecticut for annual Halloween-themed furry convention FurFright. However, the event was marred by controversial reports about the actions of the Dorsai Irregulars security staff.
Dorsai Irregulars logo
On 28 October, Dragoneer declared he would not return to FurFright until the Dorsai's removal, citing complaints about their behaviour ranging from minor, unprofessional annoyances to threats of having him arrested.

I'm done. I'm done with this. Furfright is (was?) my go-to convention. I love this con, and I love the staff, but the security have overstepped their bound year after year, and I'm done with it. I've brought up these issues every year for the past five years to the convention and nothing has ever happened. Hell, I've even been told the Dorsai are not to SPEAK to me unless they went through certain Furfright staff first due to the shit that happened in previous years.

Dragoneer's sentiments were echoed by his fiancée, Sciggles, and Silver/ThatDamnWolf – a member of FurFright staff who subsequently resigned, saying he is unlikely to return even if the Dorsai are removed. A petition to this end had gained 266 signatures as of 5 November.

FCN bans minors over parental consent headaches

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (6 votes)

Michigan convention Furry Connection North has banned minors from registering, a year after restricting them to pre-registration, due to the hassle in obtaining parental consent forms:

Overall registering 10 minors took us as long as the other roughly 400 preregistrations. Considering the total attendance for FCN 2012 was 1127 this meant that the total minor registrations constituted less than 1% of total attendees.

It became obvious to us at that point that Furry Connection North does not appeal to the under 18 demographic. That combined with the serious burden that minor registration placed on our registration department compelled our board of directors to decide to eliminate minor registration from FCN.

While those under 18 will now be excluded, con-chair Gir Tygrin hastened to add that the event will not be changing in "rating" as a result, perhaps to avoid the spectre of FOXmas.

CyberConnect2 announce 'Solatorobo' sequel

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (7 votes)

Japanese game development studio CyberConnect2 is working on a sequel to Solatorobo: Red the Hunter, gaming news websites are reporting.

CyberConnect2's president Hiroshi Matsuyama made the announcement at Salon del Manga de Barcelona, a Spanish manga and anime festival, last weekend. It is probable the game will be released for the Nintendo 3DS, although no platform has been officially given.

'The Honey Cooler' debuts in Denver

Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

The Honey CoolerThe Honey Cooler, the noir film with a hard-boiled detective, furries, and Lucha Libre wrestlers, debuts on November 7 at the Hi-Dive in Denver, Colorado.

The film, covered previously on Flayrah, is described as a "lurid tale of animal-costumed sex and private dicks", and tells the tale of a "washed-up detective who gets hired to track down a missing executive and turns up all sorts of high weirdness".

Writer-director Ryan Demers will be in attendance at the premier, along with most of the cast and crew. Admission is free.

Parody trailer: 'Pac-Man the Movie'

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (11 votes)

The Cartoon Brew website posted this 6’07” phony trailer for a Pac-Man movie back in April, made by Tulsa studio Steelehouse Productions. Live-action humans; anthropomorphic video-game characters. (See also: "Behind the scenes" footage)

Hey, Crossaffliction, is Steelehouse in your neighborhood?

Review: The 'Tales of the Frog Princess' series, by E. D. Baker

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (3 votes)

The Frog PrincessTechnically, “fractured fairy tales” is a TV cartoon series by Jay Ward, originally part of Ward’s Rocky and His Friends from 1959 to 1961; but it has become a popular generic term for any modernized, satirical story in a traditional European fairy tale setting. This certainly fits Elizabeth D. Baker’s Tales of the Frog Princess novels. Although published for the 10- to 14-year-old age group, they are witty enough that adults will enjoy them, and they contain enough talking animals and humans transformed into animals to please the average ‘morph fan.

The narrator, Emeralda (Emma), is a tomboyish 14-year-old princess of the stereotypical fairytale Kingdom of Greater Greensward. The kingdom is supposed to be protected from conquest by a princess who becomes a kindly, guardian Green Witch in each generation. Unfortunately, a fairy’s curse has turned any princess who touches a flower after she turns sixteen into an ugly, nasty hag, which disqualifies the Green Witches. When Emma’s grandmother, Queen Olivene, fell under the curse, she turned her daughter Grassina’s fiancée Haywood into a frog (they think). Emma is despondently sure that she is too inept to ever become her generation’s Green Witch. Also, her mother, Queen Chartreuse, is trying to marry her off to handsome but unlikable Prince Jorge.

Review: 'Light on Shattered Water', by G. Howell

Your rating: None Average: 4.7 (9 votes)

Light on Shattered WaterIt was the spring of 1998 when I first became a fan of Light on Shattered Water by Greg Howell, an era when stories were uploaded with hard line breaks. It was becoming increasingly evident that my interest in Lion King fandom had run its course and probably wouldn't stick with me much longer. But the interest wasn't so much dying off as morphing into an interest in furry fandom in general, particularly works of literature. I asked for suggestions of works of furry literature that would be good to read, both published and online. Light on Shattered Water, which at the time had recently been completed, came highly recommended to me. I began reading and quickly became immersed in this story.

And now, fourteen years later, Light on Shattered Water (Life of Riley, Book 1) is available in a Kindle edition. (June 2012, ASIN B008GASFDA, $4.99)

Michael Riley, a digital graphics specialist, was encouraged to spend some time away from his job. While hiking in the mountains near Montpelier, Vermont, he is knocked unconscious by a nearby lightning strike. Upon awakening, he finds all of his possessions intact, including most notably a laptop computer (with a solar recharging unit), but his GPS isn't working, many of the landmarks he had relied upon are mysteriously absent, and his maps seem to be wrong. After hiking for days, he finally discovers a village where everything appears to be oddly primitive. But the biggest shock of all comes when he first sees its inhabitants.

Rabbit Valley call for writer submission for 2013 anthologies

Your rating: None Average: 4 (7 votes)

Rabbit Valley are looking for authors to submit stories for their ongoing anthology projects. They will be publishing several anthologies in 2013 and need authors to submit stories for review. Check out their submissions page for details.

Listen: Isiah Jacobs interviews Andrew Rabbit about their anthologies [25Mb MP3, 28:13]