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May 2015

Newsbytes archive for April 2015

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Contributors this month include crossaffliction, dronon, earthfurst, Fred, GreenReaper, InkyCrow, mwalimu, Patch Packrat and Rakuen Growlithe.

2014 Ursa Major Award winners announced at Morphicon 2015

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Ursa Major Awards banner by EosFoxxThe 2014 Ursa Major Awards, for the Best Anthropomorphic Literature and Art of the calendar year in eleven categories, were announced and presented at an awards ceremony at the Morphicon 2015 convention, in Columbus, Ohio on Friday, May 1 from 8:00 to 10:00 p.m. EST.

The Ursa Major Awards are a popular-vote award. 2,851 ballots were cast in eleven categories between March 15 and April 15, 2015. Not everyone voted in all categories, although there were fewer single-category votes than usual. All voters were required to state what country they were voting from, and about 90 countries were named. Some, such as Care-A-Lot, were obviously fictitious, but those that appeared to be genuine by e-mail domain names included Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Sweden, Taiwan (Republic of China), Ukraine, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. The most votes came from the United States, followed by Taiwan (the Republic of China).

Winners and runners-up after the break:

Free Comic Book Day 2015 furry comics

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Free Comic Book Day 2015 is today, Saturday May 2; stop by your local comic book store and pick a few up.

Furry titles include, from Boom! Studios/KaBoom!, the Boom Studios 10th Anniversary FCBD Special (48 pages, full color) which "showcases 10 all-ages-friendly titles from our Archaia, BOOM! Box, and KaBOOM! imprints." These include Jim Henson's Labyrinth, Mouse Guard, Adventure Time with Fionna and Cake: Card Wards, Peanuts: "Dogstoevsky" with Snoopy.

Other titles include SpongeBob Freestyle Funnies, Jurassic Strike Force 5 One Shot, March Grand Prix, Rabbids, Sonic the Hedgehog/Mega Man Worlds Unite Prelude, Stuff of Legend/Call to Arms, Tales of Honor and TMNT Prelude to Vengeance.

The 1,000,000 pound chameleon: 'Banjo-Kazooie' successor hits all initial stretch goals

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yookalaylee.jpgWhat do you do when a friend borrows your banjo, then completely ruins it, its nuts and bolts spilled all over the ground? Whip out your ukelele of course.

The core team behind Nintendo 64 era 3D platformers such as Banjo-Kazooie have started up a new property in the same vein as the bear and bird duo, this time featuring a chameleon and big-nosed bat, Yooka and Laylee, who together will star in Yooka-Laylee.

Concerns over conduct of Northwestern sexology researcher

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Northwestern University Kevin Hsu is a sexology researcher based at Northwestern University on the outskirts of Chicago. In 2013 he sought, and received, approval from the Northwestern Institution Review Board (IRB) – an ethics committee that oversees research with human subjects – to study furries.

Hsu's research is intended to follow work published by Dr. Anne Lawrence in 2009, which references furries as a group possibly displaying a hypothetical phenomenon associated with fetishistic behaviour named "Erotic Target Location Error". Hsu's hypothesis is that many furries – possibly most – are zoophiles, where that attraction manifests as the furry identity and in activities such as fursuiting, and that furries can therefore be classified as "autozoophiles".

Three comic book reviews: Pull List #25 ('The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl')

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The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #1I've probably made it fairly clear in past Pull Lists, but just in case I haven't, Squirrel Girl is my favorite superhero. For those of you unfamiliar with the character, Doreen Green is a Marvel mutant with the ability to talk to squirrels, as well as squirrel like agility, plus a squirrel tail. Together with her squirrel sidekick, Tippy Toe, she fights crime as Squirrel Girl. Very well. At risk of sounding like a hipster, I liked Squirrel Girl before Squirrel Girl was cool. Of course, Squirrel Girl is cool because she is not cool (which also sounds super hipster-y), but my love for the character is not ironic.

I like her because she is a genuine superhero; she both has superpowers and acts heroically, but more importantly, she also likes being a superhero. She has fun being a superhero. If she doesn't take, say, an encounter with Doctor Doom seriously, it's not because she herself sees the ridiculousness of the situation. She doesn't see fights with supervillains as something to worry about; she's a superhero. She is supposed to fight supervillains; and she wants to fight supervillains. On a meta-level (and though she doesn't quite go to, say, Deadpool's textual awareness level, like most "humorous" Marvel characters, she has her medium aware moments), she believes that she will win any fight with a supervillain because she is a superhero, and superheroes always win in the superhero stories she reads; therefore, by choosing to be a superhero, she chooses to win. It is not "realistic" that she should, say, beat Doctor Doom with squirrels, but, seeing as how she isn't real, reality does not concern her.

This is why she is such a divisive character; a certain sort of comic book fan believes that comic book superheroes can only be taken seriously if it is presented "realistically." This viewpoint has been the default comic book fan view for decades now, to the point where a character who regularly and unequivocally wins fights with supervillains, and doesn't angst about it, stands out like a sore thumb, and is therefore a breath of fresh air, especially if your personal preference (like mine) is Guardians of the Galaxy over Watchmen. This is not to say a comic book that deals with the consequences of superheroics is bad; it's to say that a comic book that deals with the consequences of superheroics isn't automatically good. And comic books that don't aren't automatically bad. Or for that matter, that "realism" and "explores consequences" are mutually exclusive.

So, anyway, Squirrel Girl has her own comic book now, and it's awesome. Here's a review of the first three issues.

Review: 'dʒrægɛn: A game about a Dragon'

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d?ræg?n: A game about a DragonAs I was looking for a furry game to review this month, I didn't have to go too far before I ran into a promotional video that caught my attention. Despite the simplistic voice acting there was something about the aesthetic and the sense of humor that dʒrægɛn: A game about a Dragon held about itself that seemed to garner immediate interest and curiosity.

So what is this game about a dragon? Let's take a look and find out.