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August 2019

Newsbytes archive for July 2019

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Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction, BlindWolf8, dronon, earthfurst, GreenReaper, and TyphonDog.

Review: 'Aggretsuko', season 2

Your rating: None Average: 3 (7 votes)

Aggrestsuko, season 2 Aggretsuko has launched its second season on Netflix. The first season won an Ursa Major, and the show has become a hit among the fandom with its theme of worklife in the modern era. Will the second season be able to retain its title?

In short, I personally found the second season to be a bit tamer than the first as far as content goes. The red panda, Retsuko, seems to have adapted more to her stresses in life and the duality of her underlying rage seems to have been numbed a bit. When she did do a scream-fest, it seemed more forced and circumstantial than prepared and thought out. It also looks to be that the season focuses on the social obligations outside the workplace this season. Items such as friendship, family, and the future of Retsuko’s life outside of work seem to be the focus of her stresses.

Given this, those that like the first season may have differing feelings of the direction of this one. My thoughts are a bit complicated. I think the first season was far punchier and excellently paced, whereas the second had good moments but also some questionable decisions on character usage.

Spoilers ahead.

Could the Phillie Phanatic return to New York?

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (11 votes)

Phillie Phanatic by Terry Foote/CC-BY-SA This mascot will be licensed, not sold.

Designers of the Phillie Phanatic 'sculpture' have threatened to terminate their copyright transfer after 35 years, per a lawsuit filed by the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team.

Crucially, the Phanatic was not originally a "work for hire", but owned by its creators:

Initially we leased the Phanatic to the team for appearances and paid a royalty to them for the licensed products we did. The first year of licensing we did over two million dollars in sales in the Philly area. Eventually we had a number of successful programs with teams who wanted to be able to control of the characters and were able to enforce the copyrights so we sold the Phanatic and then others to the teams.

Many made light of the mascot's pending "free agency", with the Washingtonian promoting a move to D.C. But for teams in a similar situation, such disputes could mean serious payouts - at least for lawyers - and given the time periods involved, the issue might soon touch on works in furry fandom.

Peter S. Beagle awarded $332,500 judgement in lawsuit against ex-manager

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (8 votes)

Peter S. Beagle, known for writing the classic fantasy novel The Last Unicorn, has finally been awarded $332,500 in a lawsuit against Connor Cochran. His lyrical language would need barbs for revisiting his career with Cochran, his ex-agent/publisher/business manager -- or whatever title was most profitable for the moment.

In the early 2000's, Cochran pitched himself as a savior to rescue Beagle from past mismanagement. As time went on it became clear that the manager's relationship was more vulturous than a healthy partnership. Beagle sued him in 2015. Four ugly years later, the ex-manager had been given a new title by the author's friends: convicted fraudster.

File770 covered the judgement, and Deborah Grabien, Beagle's friend and editor, wrote about the document on Facebook:

Below is the judge's final decision in Peter's suit... It's a thing of beauty. Peter won, flat out, on four of six causes. On at least one of the two Peter wasn't awarded, the judicial language makes it pretty damned clear that the only reason for that was lack of proof that Cochran did what he did with the intent to actively harm. Spread it far and wide, if the fancy so takes you. There's no chance of the dude in question going off on one of his patented "I WILL SUUUUUUUUE YUUUUUUU!" screeches, because this is the judge's final decision in this case.

The full statement of decision can be found here.

Angry Birds 2: Best Sequel Of 2019?

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (9 votes)

Angry Birds.jpgAngry Birds 2; was it angry? Did it birds? The answer may surprise you.

As the writer and of the first Angry Birds review, I have to note that I reviewed the first one a bit begrudgingly. Mostly I was trying to push back against another CGI film with anthropomorphic characters that came out that year that was getting way too much attention. The first film hasn't aged well and certainly wasn't a gem at the time.

I only remembered a sequel was coming out earlier this year, and so did most people I think given the reactions online. Why did this movie warrant a sequel? The movie based on an app? Why?

The film opened this past Tuesday, and so I of course had to see it on opening day with a group of friends I had dragged along to presumably suffer with me.

But to my surprise, it was actually good.

Eurofurence 25: 'Fractures in Time' – con report

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (14 votes)

Fursuiter riding an inflatable Tyrannosaurus rex at Eurofurence 25; photo by Alex 'Khaki' Vance Over 14-18 August, Berlin's Estrel hotel was filled to capacity with furs attending Eurofurence 25: 'Fractures in Time' - both the largest furry convention outside the United States (attracting 3412 this year; a 400 increase), and the oldest running furry convention in the world. EF25 celebrated 25 years since Unci made the post on alt.fan.furry leading to the con's creation.

Due to the eponymous fractures in time, Eurofurence 25 started by showing the closing video during the opening ceremonies! That was hardly the only disturbance in time and space, as attendees also saw Uncle Kage announcing the move of Anthrocon to Pittsburgh before time stabilised enough to continue as normal. It was the most impressive opening of the past five years, and you can get a sense of the excitement from one attendee's upload on YouTube. Beyond the opening ceremonies, it's impossible for any one person to see everything. I'll give an idea of what I saw and what was going on so that everyone has an idea of what they may be able to expect in future years.

Update 03/09: The final charity total is €42 105,37.

Furries to occupy castle in the UK's Wild North

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (10 votes)

Wild North's red squirrel mascot TwizellLast year's trial run saw 12 furs inhabit a bunkhouse. This year there's room for 82, in a grade I listed castleportions dating from the 13th-14th centuries.

From the oldest active fur con, to one of the newest: Wild North, held in Northumberland, just shy of the Scottish Borders, is looking to spread its wings, with falconry, archery and the cult game of Werewolves taking place at the venue over September 27-30.

Staying Friday 3 PM to Monday 11 AM costs £150 for buffet food, soft drinks and beds, but not bedding. A recent announcement added two-day weekend and single-day residency options, for £100 and £50. But prospective castle-dwellers must hurry; registration and payment is to close this Saturday, August 31.