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A Heavy Load To Bear

We can’t say it better than the publishers did: “Bear, Staffan Gnosspelius’s debut book, is a gorgeous visual meditation on depression. In this deeply affecting, wordless picture book for adults, a bear is maddeningly afflicted with a cone that covers his head and that he is unable to take off. He furiously stomps and yells and tears at the cone, he implores the skies and fate for relief, he is drawn to dark and wild and scary places. The depths of his sadness feel like a defeat. It’s a battle he wages until he’s mentally and physically exhausted. Then, one day, Bear hears notes of music, the humming of a friendly hare. The hare hovers nearby, concerned, sometimes driven away by Bear’s frustration and anger, more often staying close and gently offering support.” This full-color graphic novel is available in hardcover from Seven Stories Press.

image c. 2024 Seven Stories Press

This Would Be… Bad…?

And now for something altogether different… Night of the Living Cat, a new black & white manga created by Hawkman and Mecha-Roots. “A virus spreads across the world, transforming all humankind into wild, slavering, furry beasts: Cats, to be precise. Those few survivors who remain human take refuge in the dark corners of the earth as they fight back against the feline horde. Kunagi, a man with no memory of his past yet a deep knowledge of cats, struggles to hold on with only his wits and a will to survive. Yet the virus transmits merely through cuddles, and Kunagi finds kitties so hard to resist! Is his willpower strong enough to withstand this hair-raising cat-tastrophe?” Find out from Seven Seas.

image c. 2023 Seven Seas Entertainment

COVID-19 pandemic causes furry convention closures and delays worldwide

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (10 votes)

As governments restrict gatherings of people, furry conventions are being postponed or canceled. Here's a quick run down of events and their status as of December 27th 2021 20:30 EDT (UTC-4) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic - updates to come.

A new section has been added for past events impacted for historical purposes. More information will be added to deal with virtual versions of a physical gathering if applicable.

Links go to statements if available, or to their Twitter feed or site. See also: Furry Fandom and the Internet forced back to roots by viral outbreak

Update 2021 Year End - As conventions start to open again, the overall list of cancellations and delays is becoming clunky. The final update will be today December 27th, 2021. Any future cancelations or delays will be their own newsbytes or articles in the future.

Doug Winger loses battle with COPD

Your rating: None Average: 4.9 (14 votes)

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.

FNN ceases operation in wake of hack attack, after 4-year run

Your rating: None Average: 3.9 (18 votes)

FNN 2014 Logo Furry news aggregator Furry News Network has closed its doors – for now – after an attack which left the site replaced with a password entry form.

While the attack was "the final straw", health issues had limited the efforts of FNN founder Markos for some time, as he explained April 1:

Due to health issues, and a recent hacking attack, I have decided to end this version of Furry News Network. The site and its content has been archived. I've been considering this for several months, and the hack attempt that took the site off line March 30, 2015 was the final straw. I've really enjoyed working with members of the Furry community to bring the content to you. For those of you who don't know my history, I've had health issues for the past 14 years. I lost a kidney in 2001, had heart issues start in 2007 and was hospitalized with an auto-immune disorder in 2009. In 2014, I fell and broke my hip and have never fully recovered. I am now fighting stage 3 kidney disease and anemia. I need to deal with my health. I will sorely miss many of you and look forward to the day I can bring Furry News Network back. Thank you!

Artists support Belgian fur with fundraiser auctions

Your rating: None Average: 4.9 (7 votes)

A set of four auctions featuring work by 60 artists has been launched to support Belgian fursuiter Cookie, who organizers say has been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer.

Each auction contains the work of at least 20 artists, and has a minimum bid of $250.

Rabid skunk alert in Royal Oak, Michigan; 2 destroyed

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (12 votes)

Unfortunate news from Metro Detroit this week: On Thursday, a pair of rabid skunks were destroyed in the suburb of Royal Oak, causing the police to issue a warning to local residents. [WXYZ-TV - Channel 7 Detroit and WDIV-TV -]

The Royal Oak Police say the skunks were found on the 1700 Block of Maxwell Avenue and the 200 block of Dewey Street, near Oakview Cemetery. Numerous calls were received from concerned homeowners in the highly-built-up residential area. The police said those coming into contact with an animal who they suspect may have rabies should leave the area and call them.

Read more: Information on rabies from the Oakland County Health Department and Wikipedia.

Call for donations for SportyPup's heart surgery

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Sporty and his son KodaOne of our own greatly really needs our help.

SportyPup, a fur from Macon, Georgia, needs surgery due to a bad valve in his heart. This condition is called Valvular Heart Disease, and if not treated will cause heart failure. The surgery will cost $40,000, but he needs $16,500 up front, just to be able to have it.

The longer Sporty has to wait for the surgery, the greater the risk is of heart failure. The hope is to have enough to be able to have the surgery later this month in Asheville, North Carolina, but only if the doctor sees that the amount needed will come in quickly after.

Sporty will be 31 in March. Besides being a furry and occasional fursuiter, he is also a father of a 3 1/2-year-old boy named Koda.

'Wrapped Up' portfolio to promote safe sex

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (9 votes)

Sharon, by LonginiusAn adult portfolio promoting condom use and safer sex is in development, and seeks artists willing to donate their effort.

The Wrapped Up! project is reminiscent of the Yiffy Guide to Safer Sex, a flyer distributed at conventions since 1996. Current contributors include A Blue Deer, Electrocat, Longinius, Naira, Naraku, Rorschfox, Shirik and Statik.

The portfolio is organized by RealZero, who intends for it to be printed by Rabbit Valley and sell for around 20€ (~US$25). Prints are also on sale at Inkbunny. All profit is to be donated to AIDS/HIV-fighting organization UNAIDS.

Eastern U.S. bats on verge of extinction

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Bats in eastern parts of the United States and Canada are dying out from a new disease.

White-nose syndrome, named for the white fungi on muzzles and wings, makes bats restless, depleting their reserves of body fat during hibernation. The fungi – first found in February 2006 in a New York cave – are considered the likely cause of the disease.

According to a Wired article, biologist Winifred Frick said: "Yes, we had the empirical observations that cave floors were littered with dead bats. [...] But nobody had quantified the impact to the populations. We didn’t know what those die-offs meant to population viability as a species."

Frick and her colleagues analyzed the last 30 years of population data for the most common and most-studied species of bat in North America, the little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus). If recent trends continue, the researchers predict a "99 percent chance of regional extinction of little brown myotis within the next 16 years."

Fission Chicken's J.P. Morgan recovers from heart surgery

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The Fission Chicken creator and former Critters contributor has returned from an unexpected hiatus which turns out to have been due to a quadruple bypass. [oldhans117/]

Furry author Michael Bard gravely ill

Your rating: None Average: 4.6 (5 votes)

Michael Bard (aka "Morgan"), noted furry author on the TSA-Talk mailing list and the fiction-website Shifti (user page), fursuiter, and staffer at Toronto's Furnal Equinox, has suffered devastating brain damage as the result of an aneurysm, stroke, or other yet-to-determined brain circulatory disorder last Friday, March 12.

He was at work at the time, and wasn't found for approximately four hours. As of today, March 15, he was disconnected from life support but continues to breathe on his own. The prognosis, however, remains poor.

I was last with Michael as recently as last Monday — he was suffering from the flu, but was very happy with how well Furnal Equinox's first con had gone and pleased to be with friends.

Shifti is keeping a news page updated with the latest, best info available as a public service. Comments are also welcome.

Editor's note: Michael also pens the column "Through the Looking Glass" [older issues] for Anthro, maintains the Tales from the Blind Pig archive, and was co-editor of TSAT.

2 Gryphon poisioned while on London trip

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2, the Ranting Gryphon, recently poisoned while on a trip to London.

As most of you folks out there will probably know by now, one 2 Gryphon was near-fatally poisoned following a London furmeet at the weekend just passed.

A suspected pair of shots – spiked with significantly higher levels of alcohol – were downed by the well-known comedian, which he claims "is the last thing I remember about the evening". He was later found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.41; 0.40 is the amount required to reach "LD50" – or a greater than 50% chance of death.

2 was looked over by the police and ambulance services on the night and spent most of the next day recovering. In his blog he noted that it was his compulsive alcoholism that probably got him into trouble, however his extreme tolerance to the drink is probably what stopped him dying.

Some advice about Norovirus for convention visitors

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What is Norovirus and why the concern?

As some of you may already know, there have been various outbreaks of Norovirus, commonly known as stomach-flu, that seems to have spread pretty quickly. Hospitals from Boston, to New Zealand to England have been reporting outbreaks, and this years strain seems to be pretty active. Catching the Norovirus can lead to some acute stomach pains, vomiting and diarrhoea for a few days. With so many people travelling from around the world to visit conventions, it's moderately likely someone will bring the Norovirus with them. Norovirus infections can spread quickly in mostly closed environments such as cruise ships and convention hotels, so there are some preventative steps that can be taken.

One of our own needs urgent help

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Greyson Darkewolf needs your help. He's in critical condition and is in dire need of a heart transplant. The details are available at His livejournal.

There is a desperate need for donations of both money and blood (Roll up those sleeves people.) Prayers are gladly accepted. At present he barely has a week without a miracle.