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February 2013

Furs raise $243,000 for charity in 2012; $1 mil. this century

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Furry fans have raised money for charity for over 15 years, totalling $1 million since the end of 2000. Donations fell in 2009, but rebounded to $243,000 in 2012 – 59% more than 2011.

In part, this increase is due to a rise in the number of events. Six new conventions were held in North America, and Australia's MiDFur brought in $24,184 over two events held this year. More significant, though, was increased fundraising at existing events, exemplified by MFF:

We were glad to make this an incredible year for our charity, Felines & Canines, Inc. They received a total of $8,500 including cash and checks in their donation jars (including $1,000 from a single donor!), the Charity Auction, and 2 & Kage's Saturday Performance. An additional $1,950 was raised by the Charity Poker Tournament. To this, Midwest FurFest was pleased to add an additional donation of $30,000, meaning that Felines & Canines took home a little over $40,500!

Felines & Canines, mired in a $100k construction debt, has since dedicated a room to MFF.

Want to know who gave what last year, and which were the most charitable events? Read on!

January 2013 Newsbytes archive

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Last month’s contributors include crossaffliction, Equivamp, dronon, Fred, GreenReaper, Higgs Raccoon, Kakurady, M'aiq the Liar, mwalimu, Patch Packrat, Rakuen Growlithe, RingtailedFox and Sonious.

Anthro dog and fox feature in 'The ABCs of Death'

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'ABCs of Death' anthrosThe ABCs of Death is a horror anthology film which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Released as Video-on-Demand on January 31, it will screen in theatres from March 8 in the U.S.

The film is comprised of twenty-six different shorts – all themed around death – one for each letter of the alphabet. Spanning A is for Apocalypse to Z is for Zetsumetsu, each short has its own director and style.

H is for Hydro-Electric Diffusion (by Thomas Cappelen Malling) features two anthropomorphic animal characters. A World War 2 British fighter pilot depicted as a jowly British Bulldog is shown watching a striptease performed by a sultry red fox who is concealing a deadly secret.

A short clip of the anthro characters can be found here - viewer discretion is advised.

Review: 'The Right to Arm Bears', by Gordon R. Dickson

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The Right to Arm BearsThis “novel” collects Dickson’s three light space-opera adventures about humans, the bearlike Dilbians, and the jovial-but-sinister Hemnoids: Spacial Delivery, first published as a novel by Ace Books, November 1961, 123 pgs.; Spacepaw, first published as a novel by G. P. Putnam’s Sons, February 1969, 222 pgs.; and “The Law-Twister Shorty”, a novelette in The Many Worlds of Science Fiction, edited by Ben Bova (E. P. Dutton, November 1971, pp. 51-105).

Planet Dilbia is in a crucial location for both humans and their adversaries, the Hemnoids. Therefore making friends with the Dilbians and establishing a human presence there is of the utmost importance, which may be a problem, since the bearlike Dilbians stand some nine feet tall, and have a high regard for physical prowess. They're not impressed by human technology, either. A real man, er, bear doesn't need machines to do his work for him. But Dilbians are impressed by sharp thinking, and some have expressed a grudging admiration for the logical (and usually sneaky) mental maneuvers that the human "shorties" have used to get themselves out of desperate jams. Just maybe that old human craftiness will win over the Dilbians to the human side. If not, we lose a nexus, and the Dilbians will learn just how unbearable Hemnoids can be.... (back-cover blurb)

Riverdale, NY, Baen Books, December 2000, 431 pages, 0-671-31959-0, $6.99

Flayrah's top stories in 2012

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2012 saw Flayrah double its output – 677 stories from 48 contributors, including 173 from syndication partner In-Fur-Nation. Newsbytes also ramped up, with over 680 submissions (~450 last year).

So what was popular, well-rated, or highly-commented? The answers may surprise you . . .

More Chuck Jones than you can shake a cartoonist at!

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Chuck Jones Center for CreativityOn Presidents’ Day weekend in Los Angeles, February 16 – 18, The Cinefamily and the Chuck Jones Center for Creativity will present a three-day Chuck Jones Centennial Celebration, in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth (which was on September 21, 1912 actually, but what’s a few months among friends?), at the Silent Movie Theatre, 611 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036; (323) 655-2510. The program begins at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, and at noon on Monday.

Announcement: 'La Saga d'Atlas & Axis', by Jean-Marc Pau

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La Saga d'Atlas & AxisThis is an announcement rather than a review because I have just found out about these two albums of bandes desinées, and I have not read them yet.

In the world of Pongeo, where all the animals talk and walk on two paws, Atlas and Axis are two mutts of very different characters and pedigrees: the first is intelligent and rational, while the second is controlled more by his feelings. One day when the two companions return to their village for a festival, they discover it ravaged by the cruel Vikiens, bloody brutes from the North who pillage and kill all who fall under their claws. So begins the saga of Atlas and Axis, the astonishing epic of two friends overflowing with courage, who leave to brave the great North to avenge their folk. In the grand tradition of adventuring duos, prepare to live a story funny and terrible, tender and epic … The kind of story that you’ll want to read and reread, wherein you’ll lose your innocence of a young puppy! (translation)

NYC has anthro animation festivals, too

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Despite the implication on Flayrah, Los Angeles is not the only city to have festivals of animation with anthropomorphic stars. On February 28th through March 24th, the 16th Annual New York International Children’s Film Festival will play at seven different locations in NYC. The Festival will screen 100 different films (some live-action), and is expected to draw an attendance of 25,000+. It will present many of the films in the U.S. for the first time, to qualify them for 2013 Oscars.

Among the films are several that have been covered on Flayrah, including the Belgian Ernest & Celestine, about a mouse and a bear who become friends (French with English subtitles; Feb. 28 at Tribeca Cinemas); The Wolf Children (Ame & Yuki, the Wolf Children), about a college student who marries a werewolf who dies, and must raise their two werewolf toddlers alone (Japanese with English subtitles; March 3 at the Asia Society and 16 at SVA); The Day of the Crows, mostly about a feral child raised in the forest, but with some fantasy scenes of anthropomorphic animal-headed forest spirits (French with English subtitles; March 10 at FIAF); Welcome to the Space Show “with an intergalactic cast of thousands” (premiere of the English dub; March 9 at SVA), and Meet the Small Potatoes, for pre-schoolers about a musical group of animated potatoes who rise from small-town beginnings to international rock stardom (March 16 at the IFC Center and March 24 at the DGA Theater).

M.C.A. Hogarth e-book blocked, reinstated by Amazon after Games Workshop trademark claim

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Spots the Space MarineM.C.A. Hogarth is a furry artist and writer whose works have appeared in several publications. A guest of honor at Midwest FurFest 2003 and 2009, her short story In the Line of Duty was the winner of the 2003 Ursa Major Award for Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction. Recently, Hogarth's e-novel Spots the Space Marine was the target of a claim of trademark violation by Games Workshop, developer and publisher of tabletop wargames Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000, and The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game.

It was on December 13 that Hogarth received an e-mail from online retailer, informing her that they had stopped selling Spots the Space Marine. The explanation given centred around the use of the phrase "space marine". Although an archetype of science fiction dating back to 1932, Games Workshop holds trademarks on the phrase in the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe.

Opinion: Furries, Freud, art, and "sexual correctness"

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The Rumpus, a blog aimed at the challenging side of pop culture, brings up Furry Fandom's most divisive topic in Oh So Furry: The Rumpus Interview with Kilcodo.

Rumpus: Are cartoons sexy? Are animals sexy? Or are both of those statements irrelevant? Is it more the re-imaging idea?

Kilcodo: It depends on the person, but I think if you look at the way that we use language and the way we think about what is and isn’t sexy, we’ve constantly used anthropomorphic language. We call a sexy woman a fox. We call an older sexy woman a cougar. We call men bear, wolf. I’ve heard otter being used in the gay community. And I think that’s because as sexual beings we can see eroticism in many different organic forms, and I think because animals are beautiful, people like to meld the two forms together, so you have a human body and a majestic head of an animal, and people find that beautiful and even erotic.

Kilcodo's thoughtful answer brings to mind the Freudian term "Polymorphous perversity".

Review: 'Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed'

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Sonic & All-Stars Racing TransformedOh no, here they go again; Sonic trying to tread on Mario’s toes and milk a little bit of his success by pushing in on his turf. It wouldn’t be the first, and most certainly won’t be the last. But I’m sure the blue hedgehog hears enough about being a faker by a certain black hedgehog — so let’s take a step back to look at the latest game featuring the blue blur with a more open mind. In other words, let’s not question why he’s racing in a car; let's just look at the game.

Video: Sci-Fi Channel visits ConFurence 4 (1993)

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What happens when the Sci-Fi Channel visited ConFurence 4 in 1993? Some surprisingly positive media coverage. Archive copy provided by the household of the Prancing Skiltaire.