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.
The wolf is by far the most popular fursona species but, as a recent opinion piece in Deutsche Welle pointed out, they are not universally loved. In Germany, like many places in Europe, wolves were driven to extinction and it was only in 2000, after approximately 150 years, that wild wolves were born in Germany once again. Many people, particularly farmers, are worried about wolf attacks on their livestock – echoing our previous reporting of wolves in France– while others are concerned about the risk to humans. But this conflict is about more than wolves; the conversations about wolves are intertwined with much larger issues.
Discussions around wolves show both the fear of the wild and the human desire to eliminate all danger while seeing themselves not only as superior to other animals but, to use the Biblical terminology, granted dominion over them. This is seen in sentiments that even question the right of other animals, such as wolves, to exist in "our" world.
"Wolves do not fit into our civilization any longer," she said, adding that her fear of wolves means she no longer enjoys walking in the countryside.
Over time, more and more evidence has accumulated that, due these attitudes, we are responsible for a widespread decline in animal populations and species that leave us with a dangerously low level of biodiversity. This is termed the sixth extinction.
I have been occasionally checking to see whether any more of the German murder mysteries featuring animal private detectives have been translated into English. Sadly, all we’ve gotten is three of Akif Pirinçci’s eight hard-boiled cat murder mysteries (Felidae and two of its sequels featuring Francis – you’ve probably seen the German “Felidae” animated feature), and the first of Leonie Swann’s Agatha Christie-like sheep murder mysteries (“Three Bags Full” featuring Miss Maple, the cleverest sheep in Glenkill, maybe in all Ireland, maybe in the world). There have not been any translations of the murder mysteries investigated by dog detectives, pig detectives, goose detectives, parrot detectives, and more. Now it looks like the series by Moritz Matthies starring Ray and Rufus, the meerkat detectives from the Berlin Zoo, has reached its final volume with “Letzte Runde” (“Last Round”) from Fischer Verlag (March 2017, 304 pages).
Happy Family (IMDB page) is a 2017 animated movie from Germany, about a family that gets turned into monsters by a witch. It looks like a mashup of The Addams Family, The Munsters, and Hotel Transylvania.
Warner Bros. funded the production, and are distributing it in Europe and Latin America, presumably to be followed by direct-to-DVD sales in the U.S. in 2018. It's based on a book by David Safier.
Is it furry? Well, the family includes a kid who's a wolf-boy, there are talking bats, and VAMPIRES! (Boo.)
Furries gives a candid commentary that reveals details about 'fursuits', 'fursonas' and the 'furry fandom'. Award winning photographer Carmen Dobre continues her examination of 'furries', who they are and how they perceive themselves. Documentary style portraits alongside one-to-one interviews reveal the intriguing passions of people whose human identity is challenged by their love of their chosen animal persona/fursona. The first colour illustrated book featuring an international cross-section of individuals who choose to dress as animals and why. (blurb)
Leave it to Academia to get it almost but not quite right. Furry fandom is about more than just the furry lifestylers, of course, but this artistic collection of photo-interviews with fifteen fursuiters (and their mates) does get all genuine furry lifestylers. Each portrait identifies the British, Dutch, French, or German lifestyler in an average of two pages of text, followed by eight pages of beautifully-posed full-colour photographs; two of the fan posed in his home or apartment, a closeup or two of his fursuit, and four or five of his messy home. Most of the fursuiters look like typical college students living in batchelor apartments, including those married and long out of college.
As his summer vacation winds down, Jerry meets the Marquis de Hoto, a magical anthropomorphic rabbit in a snappy suit. He offers to take Jerry on as an apprentice and to teach him the ways of the Treewalkers, who use a special type of magic to conjure up portals and travel between worlds. As a demonstration, de Hoto leads his apprentice through a tree portal into Mousewood, a peaceful world inhabited by anthro mice, squirrels, and other critters, which acts as a hub to reach further worlds.
Jerry Beck at the Cartoon Brew has posted this gallery of sixteen World War II-related funny animal comic book covers.
This goes nicely with my retrospective, “Talking Animals in World War II Propaganda”, published here last January 5th.
I did not vote for Bitter Lake, but I will for this 2’54” December 2012 video Christmas card! An intelligent film, designed for the limitations of fursuits, by Reeve, EZwolf, and Shay, with music by Fox Amoore. It is already on the UMA's 2012 Recommended Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short Work or Series list.
Anthropomorphic fiction branches from a long tradition of mythic literature. When considering its roots, you may think of Aesop's Fables, or the fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Anderson. (My pick for most interesting would be Andrew Lang, who "examined the origins of totemism.")
Long articles could be (and have been) written on the adventures of Donald and Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny, Gandy Goose and Homer Pigeon. In the last decade, most American propaganda cartoons have been re-released on DVD, so we can see them for ourselves; they are also on YouTube.
Volumes could also be written of the wartime funny-animal comic book and newspaper comic strip characters who fought the Axis, usually on the Home Front against saboteurs and hoarders. World War II's talking-animal propaganda novels are less well-known. In fact, they are forgotten today except in movie-adaptation credits. That’s too bad, as the books are still enjoyable reading.
Wikipedia has a new article about Nazi experiments to train dogs to talk. The trainers claimed that one dog, when asked who Adolf Hitler was, would answer, "Mein Fuhrer".
The article is based upon a May 2011 book, Amazing Dogs: A Cabinet of Canine Curiosities, by Jan Bondeson, which covers "talking dogs" back to the eighteenth century.
Running a furry encyclopedia isn't all fun and barnstars. Over the past five years, WikiFur's administrators have been faced with edit wars, trolls, spam, exclusion requests, profit-seeking hosts, battles over WikiFur's service mark – and above all, constant legal threats, including the dreaded DMCA takedown request.
Editors hope the move will resolve the site's legal issues, as none of its law-loving detractors – all from the USA, UK or Canada - can use German.