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Gene Catlow comic series creator Albert Temple dies at 59

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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

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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'

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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

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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

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (5 votes)

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.

Furry artist Mitch Beiro arrested for child sex abuse images

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Mitch Beiro mugshotOld-school furry artist Mitch Beiro has been arrested after police found that files depicting the sexual exploitation of minors had been shared online from his home.

Beiro, 47, worked as a guard for a security company in Tucson, Arizona. In the furry fandom, Beiro's artwork has been published in Huzzah, Wild, and several other publications. A frequent attendee of furry conventions, he was a guest of honor at ConFurence 11 (2000), and married Minerva Mink at a joke wedding during ConFurence 12.

Tucson detectives started an investigation on Beiro in December 2011, as part of a wider investigation into the online sharing of child sexual abuse images via peer-to-peer internet networks.

The police served a search warrant on his home on October 3, and found "various computer related items, which contained thousands of files depicting the sexual exploitation of minors". He is being charged with 15 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

During the investigation, detectives also found that he was part of an unreported child molestation case in California.

Update (19 Feb): Mitch has been sentenced to prison and probation

Review: 'Green Fairy', by Kyell Gold

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (7 votes)

Green Fairy; art by RukisSolomon Wrightson, a wolf senior at Midland’s Richfield High, is in trouble. During his childhood and early adolescence, he was a bit of a loner but basically just one of the kids with his classmates. In high school, the wolves have tended to be the jock gang, going out together on the school baseball team. The coyotes also hang together, although they are looked on as second-class wolves.

But in their senior year, it all starts to fall apart for Sol. He had realized the year before that he is gay, and had joined a gay e-mail group where he formed a relationship with Carcy, an older ram living four hours away in Millenport. Sol thought that he had kept this a secret except from his study partner who is also his only friend, Meg Kinnick, a sardonic otter goth girl; they are two loners hanging out together. They have planned to go to Millenport together the next summer when Sol gets a car; Meg to get a job away from her parents, and Sol to move in with Carcy.

Sofawolf Press, March 2012, trade paperback $19.95 (vii + 263 pages). Illustrated by Rukis.