Fred Patten was born in Los Angeles, California on December 11, 1940. By the time he was ten years old, he'd become interested in science fiction and had started to collect SF books and magazines. From 1958 to 1963 he attended UCLA, where he graduated with a master's degree in Library Science. During his university years, he discovered science fiction fandom, joined the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society (LASFS), and started to write for fanzines.
In the 1970s, Fred became a partner in a bookstore in Long Beach, and also developed an interest in manga and anime from Japan. In 1977, along with Mark Merlino and others, Fred was one of the founding members of North America's first anime fan club, the Cartoon/Fantasy Organization. Partially through the C/FO, he and Mark expanded their mutual interest in animals in cartoons and science-fiction, which was a major step in the early evolution of furry fandom. A lot people aren't aware that in North America, both anime and furry fandoms share an originating root!
There is a balding man with glasses, standing in the corner, cradling a book against his stomach, reading. You saw him a lot. At the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society meeting hall, the APA collation room, in the library, at science fiction conventions in function rooms and room parties, at San Diego Comic Con in the Rowrbrazzle contributor parties, at furry parties.
His name is Fred Patten, and was in no way the passive participant he seemed. With a partner he opened a book shop in Long Beach, California that not only carried SF and Fantasy books, but comics from all over the world. He reviewed SF and Fantasy literature for fan and professional publications. His apartment was literally wall-to-wall books. He collected SF/F art, storing paintings in his bed frame. I don't think anyone knew where he slept... or if he did.
On November 10th, 2018 in Irvine, California furs came together in support of one of their own in his fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frequently given the acronym ALS. They walked for a mile at Orange County Great Park to raise awareness and money for the foundation combating this debilitating disease. With Tony “Dogbomb” Barrett leading the team and matching donations, they successfully raised their goal of $34,000.
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.
Less than a year after the very first Art of Furry Fandom display opened at the Avant Garden Art Gallery in Santa Ana, California, the furries are back with a new exhibit — open now through the month of April. Once again curated by your own humble ed-otter and Mark Merlino, this year’s display features artwork by Steven Martin, Rivercoon, and Sherwood, as well as photography by Changa Lion. The art went up in time for the monthly Santa Ana Art Walk (every first Saturday), one of the biggest in Orange County, and the place was packed. The Avant Garden is located downstairs in the historic Santora Building (Ground Zero for the Santa Ana Artist Colony area) at 207 North Broadway Santa Ana, CA 92701. Call them at (714) 558-8843 or visit their web site for the gallery hours.
Flayrah has published announcements of several art exhibitions at the WWA gallery in Culver City, California. The exhibition “The Happiest Show on Earth” will be on display there from September 7th through October 5th, with an opening reception on Saturday, September 7th from 7–10 p.m.
“The Happiest Show on Earth” consists of 89 paintings by 54 artists, showing their interpretations of famous Walt Disney characters including many anthropomorphic ones – Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the Cheshire Cat, Robin Hood and Little John, Goofy, Bambi, and more. You can guess the general artistic approach by some of the artists’ pseudonyms: Beast Brothers, GORElla, Kill the Giant, and Super Ugly. Would you pay three and four figures for these? Here they all are; you can buy them online at the link above.
GaymerX is the first gaming convention focused on LGBTQ themes for "gaymers", their allies, and geek culture. On August 3–4 GaymerX will bring contests, parties, panels and more to Hotel Kabuki in San Francisco's Japantown.
Founder and Director of Technology, Andrew Evans, told me:
Creating a safe space for queer geeks and their allies to come together, discuss their geekiness, hang out and feel safe is super important to the community. We felt like the gaming community wasn't doing enough to bring together queer geeks, which is why we're doing GaymerX and built out GaymerConnect. ["A service that allows you to find queer gamers and allies of every identity who play the same games you do."]
Update: Use code GX13FUR by July 26 for a $10 registration discount. [Latte]
Like every year since CaliFur V, CaliFur IX took place at the Irvine Marriott Hotel in Irvine, California, on May 31–June 2, 2013. This year’s theme was “FURtual Reality”. There were two guests-of-honor: Maxwell Alexander Drake, the Author GoH, author of the Moonbeam Young Adult Fantasy Award-winning novels in 2009 and 2011 (the first two novels in his Genesis of Oblivion Saga), and their publisher, Imagined Interprises, Inc. in Las Vegas; and NecroDrone, the Artist GoH, “BDSM Illustrator and Dominatrix extradiordinaire!” Official attendance was 1,178; an increase of over two hundred. Due to my continuing poor health, I was in a wheelchair, with my sister Sherrill pushing me. We could only attend for Saturday the 2nd.
A woman raised by furries, brings her fiance home for Thanksgiving to meet the family for the first time. Fur-larity ensures.
The play was first read in June 2012, and was presented as a radio play at Wild Nights in April. In contrast to Furry Tales – which held a reading at Anthrocon 2007, and left furs amused, but with reservations about the show's grounding – Fursona Non Grata has actual research behind it.
Playwright Jeff Goode created Disney's American Dragon: Jake Long and wrote The Eight: Reindeer Monologues. While demurring to identify as a furry himself, he attended Califur I, and was guest of honor at Rocket City FurMeet 2007 and Oklacon 2008; from this, he's put together a story which is, if fanciful, at least more of an exaggeration of reality than an apologetic for CSI's fursuit fetishists.
Hello again! Back from CaliFur in Southern California. And speaking of that…
We’ve mentioned before Fursona Non Grata, the new furry-themed play written by Jeff Goode (creator of American Dragon: Jake Long and The Eight: Reindeer Monologues). In case you need a recap: A young woman has been raised by furry fans. One day, she brings home her fiancee’ to meet the family… As it turns out, Jeff and the Sky Pilot Theater Company staged a readers’ theater version of Fursona Non Grata at CaliFur this year — to laughter, thunderous applause, and a standing ovation. The producers of Fursona announced that for the actual on-stage production of the play (scheduled for next year) they are looking to have some actual high-quality fur-suits constructed… and that costs money. So, they have started up an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds. Check it out here to find out more about what they need. And keep your eyes on InFurNation to find out when the play will premier!
Mark Merlino and his friend Rod O'Riley might be called "first wave" furries from original geek culture, when that meant underground comics, fanzines and pen-pals. They held the first parties that turned into conventions, and WikiFur calls them "founding members of organized furry fandom." Mark owns The Prancing Skiltaire.
Rod's most recent accomplishment is The Art of Furry Fandom, at Avantgarden art gallery in Santa Ana, CA. It opens concurrently with this year's Califur, this weekend. In his journal, Mark calls it a dream he's had for over 30 years.
According to the gallery:
AVANTGARDEN is proud to present "Women Desperately Seeking Escape...a Series" photographically captured on film and digitally by ELLEN SEEFELDT. We also welcome JAY RIGGIO'S hand cut pasted collage work, SHARLYNORA WILKINSON's paintings, and The Art of Furry Fandom, curated by RODNEY STANSFIELD. This exhibit runs June 1–29, opening reception June 1, 7–10pm.
Mark reminded me of a similar show in 2012 in San Jose during Further Confusion, with "more artists, more art, same kind of independent gallery". Actually, there were two: a Slave Labor Graphics show, and "People-Shaped Animals" at Kaleid Gallery.
Back in March 2012, Flayrah had a post about the “Gag Me With a Toon 4” art exhibition at the WWA art gallery in Culver City, California.
Now the WWA gallery has “Gag Me With a Toon 5” coming up, on May 4–June 1, 2013. Over fifty artists will be represented with their tributes to the cartoon stars of their youths.
Past paintings have included Scooby-Doo with a gun to his head, Smurf orgies, Mickey Mouse defying the universe, Garfield and Odie on an Indiana Jonesish rollercoaster, Chip ‘n Dale as two realistic chipmunks in a Rescue Rangers situation, and more.
As always, the anthropomorphic animals will be outnumbered by the human cartoon pop-cultural stars like Superman, the Flintstones, G.I. Joe, Wonder Woman, Jem, etc., but there will be enough cartoon animals to satisfy Flayrah’s readers.
This is extremely short notice, but this Saturday (6-10PM) the Van Eaton Galleries in the Sherman Oaks suburb of Los Angeles are holding the opening reception for The HB Show, “a group art show tribute to Hanna-Barbera” of paintings by numerous artists including some of HB’s former staff. The paintings are mostly of HB’s human characters such as the Flintstones and Penelope Pitstop, but there are some of Yakky Doodle, Scooby-Doo, Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear, and H-B's other anthropomorphic animal characters.
More importantly, the whole art show/auction is online. You can still see it all and bid on unsold paintings.
The HB Show will be up at the Van Eaton Galleries, 13613 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks, Calif. 91423, (800) 599-3693, until April 20 (Adolf Hitler’s birthday! Is this significant?), so if you can get there, you can still see it all even after the art auction. And, of course, the Van Eaton Galleries have other animation goodies on display.
… takes them to the dungeon, and does bad, bad things to them. If you thought VancouFur had an offensive theme, watch out! This one is truly NSFW, and best for those who appreciate wanton displays of licentious content.
The queer furry rapper's video, "Why the Boys All Love Me", follows an announcement for the making of a "nightmarish gay goth animal S&M" video at Halloween in San Francisco. It flaunts his mission to "put Satan back into hip-hop", and makes a sequel to a previous video featuring fursuiters. This time, Furry content is minimal, and indirectly limited to a few cameos and participation by dedicated furries who cross over between that group and others (such as the S&M fetish scene). Please consider it labeled that way up front, and view accordingly.
Taking a break from matter of Further Confusion for something a bit more unique: A new entry in the slowly-growing pantheon of anthropomorphic live theater. Triassic Parq recently won the Best Musical Award at the Fringe NYC theater festival. Written and directed by Marshall Pailet (with help from Bryce Norbitz and Stephen Wargo), it’s described like this: “… a hilariously inventive and decidedly adult take on the Spielberg blockbuster — as told from the point-of-view of the captive dinosaurs. With plenty of goats around to eat, this tribe of non-breeders is pretty satisfied with life. But when a T. rex suddenly sprouts the male sex organ and falls in love, the dinos’ entire belief system comes into question, evolving into a battle between the Velociraptors of Faith and Science. Narrated by none other than Morgan Freeman (played by Camryn Zelinger), Triassic Parq is a true thrill ride 200 million years in the making, filled with singing, dancing and a wide variety of reptilian hook-ups.” You heard it here. Keep an eye out for a traveling company performing Triassic Parq near you. If you’re currently near Southern California, Chance Theater in Anaheim Hills is performing the play from now until late February. Check out their web site .