The results of the 2021 Ursa Major Awards were announced this Sunday, with motivated fan-bases driving decisive voting in certain categories, while others were finely balanced.
Littlefur/adult baby slice-of-life comic Shine by UK artist Star ran off with Best Graphic Story; coming second was a remake of Found, another of her works under the name Toddlergirl. Both had seen strong support in last years' Ursa Major Awards.
Netting twice the points of the next nominee for Dramatic Short Work was Frank Behring's "Nobody Does It Better", derived from Best Comic Strip Carry On. Artist Kathy Kellogg (KD Nightstar) also took Best Published Illustration for "A World of Our Own" — beating all other nominees by 50%.
Somewhere in the back of my mind – along with every other soul-searching moment of my youth – is a single panel from this novel featuring Bayshore clutching a fish and crying out Diego's name. I claim it as a symbol of a love long lost in the hazy days of my early adulthood, when uncertainty was the only certainty.
This is the story of a naive young otter chasing a free-spirited rascal. Through lovingly penned dialog and moody colours, it exposes the raw, vulnerable quick of youthful longing; Diego's light-hearted take on all things bursting into life against the shimmering backdrop of Bayshore's persistently searching but fatefully delicate glass heart. Through these illustrations, a pair of artists in love pour their hearts into their work in a way we can never see again.
The story ventures from "what does this mean" to "what do we do now," through "I knew it all along" and finally arrives at its natural conclusion of "I'm sorry" and "I was meant for you." But even after the second part – that was never published on the web, and only available in the printed work – it leaves us wondering how things will play out.
Although the comic, penned by a duo of artists under the pseudonym of Blotch, has been out of print for years, it will forever live in the hearts and minds of a generation of furries who discovered what it is to love and live in the forgiving embrace of furry fandom's nascent youth through to its maturity, and on through its inevitable slide into the mainstream.
I was just going to sit on this particular entry until a later time, since Maus is a novel I rather grew up with, having discovered it in college. Current events have ratcheted my schedule up to today. See the details in Sonious' article.
As such, Maus is also the latest example in a long line of important literature to see censorship such as To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, or even The Lorax. Like any of those other examples, the motivation for this censorship grays in contrast to the social and cultural impact the work has.
The story re-imagines the memoirs of a Holocaust survivor, through the anthropomorphic template of Jewish mice suffering at the paws of SS cats. The involved plot revolves around main character Artie and his tight-knit neighborhood of survivors, as they reflect on the horrors of the past. Of course, the weight of these events is more than enough to color their relatively safe present. Much of the novel does indeed read like a Jewish Historical Society compendium, and does not skimp an iota on content of the dire situation they survived.
Seven Seas Entertainment pretty much says it all here: “Flora moves into a mysterious mansion and finds it inhabited by a strange creature: Creepy Cat! Thus begins her strange and sometimes dangerous life with a feline roommate. This Gothic comedy brings the chuckles…and the chills! Since 2014, Cotton Valent’s hilarious webcomic Meawbin The Creepy Cat has charmed online audiences across the world. Enjoy this full-color graphic novel series for audiences new and old!” Creepy Cat is available now in paperback.
Tennessee school bans 'Maus', graphic novel involving holocaust history, from school for "language and nudity"Posted by Sonious on Thu 27 Jan 2022 - 17:48
When we discuss adult themes such as a government committing mass murder of its population, authors need to be wary not to say “God Damn” or have an unclothed character if they wish to reach a high school audience. These two items were front and center for the unanimous decision of a McMinn County school board as it barred the Pultzer winning graphic novel of Maus from its district curriculum. Maus is a graphic novel utilizing animal allegory to give a historical account of the holocaust.
The TN Holler has a full article of each of the board’s words on the removal of the book from the school. Many on social media are concerned that this is part of a trend of washing away the sins of authority by those that hold it. Though, given humanity’s inability to resist taking a bite of what is deemed as forbidden knowledge, banning the book within the classroom may rile the interest of rebellious teens to learn more about this banned literature outside the classroom.
And now for something quite a bit different… A popular and award-winning anime series takes on a classic of European fantasy with Aggretsuko: Down The Rabbit Hole. “When Retsuko attempts to go on vacation with Gori and Washimi, she’s pulled into a terrible world where she’s forced to work for her freedom. Featuring all of the fan favorite characters from the office in twisted versions of themselves, Aggretsuko must navigate the twists and turns of a world gone mad!” Written and illustrated by Patabot, this new hardcover graphic novel from the folks at Oni Press hits the shelves this October.
Okay — we had not heard of Vincent, the creation of one Vitor Cafaggi, but we stumbled across Vincent Volume 1: Guide to Love, Magic, and RPG thanks to Previews. “It’s been some time since Vincent has had a good day. Sitting on the bus, he still doesn’t know that his life is about to change. Forever. At that moment, outside the bus, Lady lets a little smile escape when recalling an anecdote about tomatoes. Vincent sees the smile and his world turns upside down. Now, armed with his nerdy RPG friends (not counting Bu, who is like a sister to Vincent and full of solid wisdom), an impressive magic act, and a insatiable love of roast beef sandwiches (no pickles, Vincent hates pickles), he must learn how to navigate his first non-platonic love and what may happen if things don’t go as planned (as they often do in the life of Vincent).” Got all that? Take a look at this new full-color graphic novel over at Target.com.
An interesting new comic from Oni Press we found out about through Previews: Ghost Hog by Joey Weiser. “A new graphic novel from the Eisner Award-nominated creator of Mermin that deftly navigates loss, vengeance, and acceptance! Truff is the ghost of a young boar, fueled by fury towards the hunter who shot her down. She has a lot to learn about her new afterlife, and thankfully the forest spirits Claude and Stanley are there to guide her! However, they soon find that her parents, along with their fellow animal villagers, have been kidnapped by the malicious mountain demon Mava! Truff wants to help, but… the hunter is finally within her grasp, and if she lets him go, she may never get her revenge!” Check out the detailed review over at Comics Beat.
A Furry Fandom favorite moves further into the eye of the mainstream, thanks to AMP! Comics For Kids. Now they bring us the Ozy and Millie Graphic Novel Volume 1 — written and illustrated by Dana Simpson, of course. “From the creator of the enormously popular Phoebe and Her Unicorn series comes Ozy and Millie, a playful comic exploring the friendship between two foxes. Meet Ozy and Millie, two middle-grade students in Seattle who also happen to be foxes. This comic centers around these two best friends as they take on the everyday challenges all middle-graders face-bullies, tests, and the dread of going back to school after a surprise snow day. Ozy is a young male fox whose adoptive father happens to be a dragon and frequent presidential candidate. Ozy’s calm and thoughtful demeanor is constantly tested by Millie’s rambunctious and rebellious pursuits.” Find out more over at Previews. Available now from Andrews McMeel.
The winners and runners-up (in descending preference) are…
The 2016 Ursa Major Awards have been announced on Friday afternoon, June 30th at the Anthrocon convention in Pittsburgh. The Ursa Major Awards, for the best anthropomorphic fiction of the past calendar year, are presented in twelve categories by the Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association (ALAA), and are voted upon by the public on the Ursa Major Awards website.
From January 12 to February 28, 2017, it's time to nominate your favorite furry creations for the 2016 Ursa Major Awards!
Is there a furry comic, story, movie, video, podcast, or anything else with furry content that brightened your day last year? Nominate it – don't put it off until the last minute!
You can nominate up to five things in each of twelve categories. If you're unsure what to nominate, check out the 2016 Recommendations… and you can nominate titles that aren't on that list! It's there to give ideas, to help you find furry stuff that you might not have heard of.
Sometimes, a Nomination or a Recommendation feels like it fits into more than one category. You can browse previous years (like the 2015 Recommendations) to see where something should go. As of 2016 there's a new category: Best Anthropomorphic Non-Fiction Work.
Klaw is a French comic book series that will soon be available in English from Magnetic Press, so this is a good time for a review! It's a young adult superhero/action comic with anthropomorphic content. Will it appeal to furry fans? Possibly. Bonus points if you're a fan of tigers. It's written by Antoine Ozanam and drawn by Joël Jurion.
Angel Tomassini is a kid in early high school who gets bullied a lot, even though everyone (except him) seems to know that his father is the head of the Chicago mafia. Within the space of a particularly bad week, Angel learns the truth about his dad, is questioned by the police over the suspicious death of another student, is attacked by ninjas, goes on his first date, and finds out he has the power to turn into a powerful, muscled were-tiger.
Voting for the 2015 Ursa Major Awards, for the Best Anthropomorphic Literature and Art of the 2015 calendar year in eleven categories, is now open. The voting is open from March 15 to April 30. The awards will be announced at a presentation ceremony at What the Fur 2016, in Montreal, Quebec, on May 20-22, 2016.
The eleven categories are: Best Anthropomorphic Motion Picture, Best Anthropomorphic Dramatic Short or Series, Best Anthropomorphic Novel, Best Anthropomorphic Short Fiction, Best Anthropomorphic Other Literary Work, Best Anthropomorphic Graphic Story, Best Anthropomorphic Comic Strip, Best Anthropomorphic Magazine, Best Anthropomorphic Published Illustration, Best Anthropomorphic Game and Best Anthropomorphic Website.
Voting is open to all! To vote, go to the Ursa Major Awards website and click on "Voting for 2015" at the left. You will receive instructions on how to register to vote. You do not have to vote in every category. Please vote in only those categories in which you feel knowledgeable.
This final ballot has been compiled from those works receiving the most nominations that were eligible. Please check the dates of publication next year to make sure that your nominations are only for works published during the calendar year (January through December) in question.
Update (22 May): The results have been announced.
Amber Victoria has both written and illustrated a new novel for younger readers, Twins European Adventures. It’s the first in a planned series of books about the exploits of a pair of orphaned bears who are befriended by a young human named Thomas — and then, adopted by Thomas’ family. It so happens that Thomas’ parents have jobs that require them to frequently travel the world, and of course this leads our ursine young pair to adventures in many far-flung places. This first story, as you might guess, follows the bears and their new human family to Europe, where a series of mishaps finds the bears separated… and scrambling on a variety of trains and buses trying to find one another again! Find out more at the Twins web site, and find the book on Amazon and Createspace. The llustrations are also available as black & white prints.