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Winners of the 2018 Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards

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The Awards' Twitter icon.The results are in for the 2018 Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards! I'm going to summarize the results below, but if you want the complete version with thumbnails of all the artwork, take a look at the official announcement posted to Google Docs.

Almost all the links go to FurAffinity pages, and they should open in new windows.

Get in on the 2018 Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards!

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (29 votes)

Crossing, artwork from 2017 depicting a mammoth by Caraid and Nomax.I found out about the Best Anthropomorphic Artwork Awards only yesterday (Dec. 26th), and I wish I'd known about them sooner!

They're a labor of love to the fandom by Bahu, and I'm not even going to try guessing how many artists he must follow on an annual basis to narrow down 29,000 pieces of art to 875 contenders (3%), then working those numbers down even further. And that's not counting the People's Choice Award, which you can vote on before January 1st if you act quickly!

Tumblr's Tumble: Furs emigrate as rogue algorithm takes toll on artists

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Tumblr has said that all adult, NSFW work will need to be off the site by December 17th, 2018. Any post that is deemed to be adult content will be switched automatically to private mode and not viewable by the public according to an article by the Verge.

As the website is using an algorithm based solution on determining which content is to be cleaned up, the decision has not only impacted those who post adult works, but also clean artists as well. It has been comedically noted that even Garfield pictures are not safe from the computer’s judgement. Reports from several furs that do no sexual content on the platform have indicated their own works being content flagged, leaving some to suspect that the tag of furry is seen as unclean by default.

With this uncertainty, a mass emigration is underway for artists who used the platform as their mainstay. Many furry sites have been trying to lure in new content creators looking for a new home. Inkbunny, for instance, did a full on parody of the Tumblr announcement. Furry Network asks in light of the situation how they can best serve those affected. Weasyl also chimed in, but also with the reminder that they’re trying for more than just the furry market. At this time, SoFurry and FurAffinity have not commented on the situation. Furry sites are not alone wishing to get on this action, with the most strangest instance being PornHub reaching out to inform those leaving Tumblr that their site takes adult art as well.

Early fandom artist Vicky Wyman passes away

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (19 votes)

I'm sorry to report that Vicky Wyman passed away on August 3, 2018. According to a post by Defenbaugh on Fur Affinity, she'd recently found out that she had a very bad case of intestinal cancer. After an attempted surgery failed to improve her prospects, she made the choice to let go. She was in her 60s.

I'm not really qualified to write an obituary about Vicky Wyman, so if there are details and memories you'd like to share, please post a comment! I can update this article as necessary. What follows is some history with personal reflections.

Gene Catlow comic series creator Albert Temple dies at 59

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (10 votes)

Gene Image by Hopkins
Art by David Hopkins - used with permission
Fans of furry web comics mourned at news of the passing of Albert Temple arrived this month. This prolific creator maintained a consistently-updated web comic for over 16 years, from July 2000 all the way up to his death in March. This web serial comic, Gene Catlow, delved into the lives of a pair of experienced and respected computer technicians and their many strange adventures.

The two main characters were Gene Catalow (the author's fursona) and his rabbit friend Cotton. The first story arc revolved around Cotton finding a special coffee that unlocked superpowers within him. He's torn away from his normal life as a technician to begin thwarting assassination attempts against an ambassador being held in safe harbor in their anthropomorphic city.

Through the interactions of these characters you learn of a world of political intrigue, where human beings and anthro animals had their own cultural boundaries. Albert did a great job in making it so that you were never fed this in exposition dumps, but instead were purely arrived at through the interaction of the comic's characters.

Doug Winger loses battle with COPD

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Doug Winger, 1955-2015Legendary furry artist Doug Winger, is expected to last only a few hours, according to local friend Bob Guthrie, after doctors removed the ventilator keeping his failing body alive per his DNR order.

Update (13:20 PT): Doug Winger has passed away at the Western Medical Center in Tustin, California.

One of the greats, one of the true giants of the furry fandom, has lost his battle with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or emphysema, brought about by smoking and other ailments.

Review: 'The Art of Hibbary', by Hillary Renee Luetkemeyer

Your rating: None Average: 3.3 (4 votes)

The Art of HibbaryThis is the fifth volume in Sofawolf Press' Artistic Visions series of art-sketch format albums. The first four each showcase one (or two) of the best artists in furry fandom; Kenket (Tess Garman), Brian and Tracy Reynolds, Ursula Vernon and Henrieke Goorhuis. Each is a professional artist, but is especially well-known in furry fandom for convention conbook covers, badge art and other commissioned art, and trades with other Furry artists; many of which are posted on DeviantART, FurAffinity and other art websites.

Hibbary (Hillary Leutkemeyer) has been a member of DeviantART for over a decade, and she was Artist Guest of Honor at Furry Weekend Atlanta 2013, but otherwise she is little known in furry fandom. This large (8½” x 11”) volume of Artistic Visions should change that.

St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, July 2014, trade paperback $14.95 (99 pages).

Review: 'The Sakai Project: Artists Celebrate Thirty Years of Usagi Yojimbo'

Your rating: None Average: 2.7 (3 votes)

The Sakai ProjectStan Sakai created his first Usagi Yojimbo story in Steve Gallacci’s Albedo: Anthropomorphics #2 comic book, November 1984. Only 2,000 copies were printed.

From there, Usagi Yojimbo has grown to become a very famous comic book, traveling through several publishers, the most recent being Dark Horse Comics since 1996. The comic has always been written and drawn by Stan Sakai. During that time, he has become one of the most popular artists in the professional comic-book community, for his friendliness and readiness to join in numerous benefit projects. When furry fan artist Michael-Scot McMurry was dying of cancer in 2000, he drew the cover for a benefit comic book for McMurry’s expenses for an operation, showing Usagi and McMurry’s Zonie the coyote fighting monsters.

Stan has often been an attendee of furry conventions, sometimes with his wife, Sharon, and their two daughters. I remember one convention, probably a ConFurence in the mid-1990s, where Stan’s daughter Hannah, then about 3 years old, tried to climb up Kjartan Arnörsson, a lean 6'9". Stan was a member of Rowrbrazzle, the furry amateur press association, from 1990 to 1998. He is a member of the Furry Hall of Fame. His Usagi Yojimbo won the Ursa Major Award in the Best Anthropomorphic Comic Book category in every year from 2001 to 2005. He has also won non-furry awards such as the Eisners, a Parent's Choice Award, the Comic-Con's Inkpot, Spain's Haxtur Award and many others. He has been a furry convention guest-of-honor on three continents, at an Anthrocon, a EuroFurence and an Australian MiDFur.

If you have not heard – it has been widely publicized - Stan’s wife Sharon has had an inoperable brain tumor for the past decade. It was mild at first, but has gotten progressively worse until she is now confined to bed and in need of round-the-clock care. The Sakais have medical insurance, but their medical expenses have far exceeded the amount of the insurance. Dark Horse Comics and the Comic Art Professional Society have organized The Sakai Project, this 160-page hardcover book, to both celebrate Usagi Yojimbo’s 30th anniversary and as a benefit project for the Sakais’ medical expenses. All proceeds go to them. Dark Horse is not even reimbursing itself for the printing expenses.

By various, foreword by Mark Evanier, preface by Tone Rodriguez, Milwaukie, OR, Dark Horse Books, July 2014, hardcover $29.99 (160 pages).

Review: 'The Art of Henrieke', by Henrieke Goorhuis

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (5 votes)

The Art of HenreikeThis is the fourth volume in Sofawolf PressArtistic Visions series of art-sketch format albums, each showcasing one of the best artists in furry fandom. Each is a professional artist, but is especially well-known in furry fandom for convention conbook covers, badge art and other commissioned art, and trades with other Furry artists; many of which are posted on DeviantART, Fur Affinity and other art websites.

The art in these albums emphasize anthropomorphized-animal cartoons and similar humorous work, rather than realistic animal depictions. Other Artistic Visions albums have showcased the work of Hibbary (Hillary Leutkemeyer), Brian and Tracy Reynolds, Kenket (Tess Garman) and Ursula Vernon. These are all American artists.

The Art of Henrieke is the first to feature a European artist. Henrieke Goorhuis, a Dutch artist born in 1990, has become very popular in just the last five years for European Furry convention art and T-shirts, commissioned art featuring fans’ personal icons and for commissioned art for European zoos. Her most popular character is her own cartoon icon, Kiki the ring-tailed lemur.

Good artbooks speak for themselves. Almost every page of The Art of Henrieke: Sketches, Works in Progress, and Commentary by the Artist is crammed with sketches and finished line art.

St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, January 2014, trade paperback $14.95 (75 [+ 1] pages).

Furry artist FilthyRotten dies from surgery complications

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FilthyRotten (1979-2014)Furry artist FilthyRotten Jackalope (Tangela Parten, née Harris) has been reported dead following complications from emergency surgery at the age of 35.

A long-time resident of Atlanta, Georgia, and a long-time participant in the local furry community, FilthyRotten served as Volunteer Coordinator at Furry Weekend Atlanta from 2008 to 2013. She moved in June 2013 to Vancouver, Washington, with her husband DarkPatu (Paul Parten) and their three children.

On April 1, 2014, FilthyRotten posted pictures to her Twitter account from her stay at the Peace Health Services Hospital for a blood transfusion (due to a history of chronic internal bleeding), but by April 4, she posted that she would be heading to emergency surgery the next day. According to DarkPatu, "Complications after an emergency hysterectomy led to an infection in her brain and cranial bleeding."

Are we scaring away potential furry fans? Google says yes.

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Google suggestions: Furries are ... sick, weird and creepyI detest unnecessary wordiness, but keeping it short just doesn't work.

Before I begin, I would like to present an apology of sorts to Patch Packrat. I very much dislike to be misunderstood, but also cannot stand to be the source of said misunderstanding. I guess I should have been more clear with my choice of words.

Now, with that out of the way, today's topic.

Throughout the years, I have been around the various reaches of the web, and met a ton of really good artists. Many really liked to draw humanized animals (for fun and profit). For some, the subject made up most of their galleries; some drew furries exclusively. As we conversed, the topic of furries inevitably arose. Aside from the occasional "yep, I'm a furry", most replies went something like this:

  1. I like drawing talking animals, but I don't have a fursona/fursuit, so I'm not a furry.
  2. I like drawing talking animals, but to me it's not a "lifestyle", so I'm not a furry.
  3. Furries are creepy, and I don't want to be associated with them.

Answer #3 was the most prevalent.

How to switch art sites without losing customers

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As someone who has been in a community of artists, I hear a common conundrum arise:

I really want to leave this art site, but it’s too popular and leaving would mean losing out on a valuable resource to gain/keep customers.

This article presents ways you can use your control over your own works to influence your customers to view them where you wish them to, while also maintaining a presence so that others may find you.

This is written as a neutral piece and the methods can be used on any free art posting site. To that end, we'll call the site you wish to vacate “BadVibeArt”, and the place you want to go “NewBeginningDoodles”. Both are general-use sites for stories and art alike, comparable to sites such as deviantART, Fur Affinity, Inkbunny, SoFurry or Weasyl.

Furry artist Mitch Beiro sentenced to prison and probation

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Furry artist Mitch Beiro has been sentenced to ten years in prison and lifetime probation, after pleading guilty to two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor under fifteen. The charges relate to his arrest in October 2012, following a police investigation into the sharing of child sexual abuse images via peer-to-peer Internet networks.

Kyell Gold to be ConFuzzled 2013's second Guest of Honour

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UK furry convention ConFuzzled has named Kyell Gold as its second Guest of Honour for 2013. Gold is a prolific and popular furry author whose work includes the Out Of Position series and contributions to Heat. (See Flayrah's coverage.)

Gabapple, furry artist and creator of the webcomic Dangerous Cute, was the first 2013 GoH to be announced.

ConFuzzled 2013 will take place Thursday 30 May–Monday 3 June in Hinckley, Leicestershire.

'Softpaw' artist Mizzyam arrested on child pornography charges

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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.