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Trailer: 'Migration'

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The studio behind the furry Secret Life of Pets and Sing duologies, Illumination's next movie after their super-successful Super Mario Bros. Movie (well, at the box office, anyway; less so with critics) will be a movie about ducks called Migration.

Hacked repeater brings furry podcast FurCast to FM radio

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The Lift FM

Are furry podcasts unsuitable for breakfast? FM listeners in Colorado sure thought so!

On the morning of April 5, Denver-area FM station KIFT 106.3 "The Lift" suffered a broadcast signal intrusion on a relay station serving a remote valley. Instead of Bruno Mars, listeners in Breckenridge, Colorado were treated to Paradox Wolf, Fayroe and friends.

Denver station KCNC-TV "CBS 4" contacted The Lift for an explanation, and were told they send programing from their studio to four transmitters via the Internet. Somehow, the Breckenridge repeater K258AS (99.5 FM) was compromised, and someone had spliced in Furcast Episode 224 in place of The Lift.

Thankfully, the primary FM and webcasts of both The Lift and Furcast.FM / XBN were unaffected, but a large amount of NSFW programming, including swearing, was broadcast without censorship for several hours, with The Lift's engineers unable to kill the studio/transmitter link remotely.

On FurCast's end, their server saw a gradual rise in connections to its podcast archive (used on its website and iOS and Android apps for listeners) from 06:00 AM EDT onwards, until they were able to temporarily disable access at 02:30 PM EDT. The archives have since come back online at a new address, with a long list of blocked IP addresses to prevent a recurrence.

Creatures of New York City

Making quite a buzz at this year’s Sundance Film Festival was a series of animated shorts made for television and the web, of all things. Animals is a black & white, minimally-animated series which “follows various New York City creatures as they get into awkward (and sometimes deadly) encounters with one another.” The series was created by Phil Matarese and Mike Luciano, two employees at a commercial production house who took some time off to make little animals talk to each other. Check out the Animals web site to see what the fuss is about.

image c. 2015 by Phil Matarese/Mike Luciano

image c. 2015 by Phil Matarese / Mike Luciano

FurryCon mark registration proceeds after initial denial

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FurryCon mark Soron's application to register the FurryCon logo as a service mark is proceeding, but only after the addition of a disclaimer of exclusive use of the term "furry con".

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office declined to register the New York state furry convention's name as a mark in August 2013, after identifying the terms 'furry' and 'con' as "merely descriptive":

“Furry” refers to “fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics.” - “Con” is a “common abbreviation for convention”.

At that time, a "furry" was also cited by the examiner as:

someone who is part of a subculture interested in fictional anthropomorphic animal characters with human personalities and characteristics

Various Wikipedia and WikiFur articles were used as references, as well as George Gurley's "Pleasures of the Fur" in Vanity Fair, the Anthrocon, Furry 4 Life, Furry Fandom Infocenter, Furry Connection North and Georgia Furs websites, and a con report on SoFurry.

Mans’ Best Friend, After Man

When humans’ time is through, what will our companion animals do? Well, one version of events might be what we see in Garth Ennis’ new full-color 6-issue mini-series, Rover Red Charlie. “When a worldwide epidemic suddenly rids the Earth of all humans, what happens to man’s best friend?  Garth Ennis – the master wordsmith of Preacher and Crossed – delivers a story like no other, as a band of canines set out to survive on their own for the first time. This is the story of three best friends at the end of the World.   Charlie was a helper dog and he was good at getting his feeders safely around.  Now he and his pals Rover and Red must escape the failing New York City and find their way in this new order.  Ennis applies his incredible talent for creating rich and complex characters to a whole new species, with this shockingly original tale that is fully painted by Michael Dipascale. ” It’s due this month from Avatar Press. Check out the interview with Michael Dipascale over at Bleeding Cool.

image c. 2013 Avatar Press

Imago Theatre's 'ZooZoo' touring U.S., Canada

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ZooZooOn tour now is Imago Theatre's ZooZoo, a production chock full of anthropomorphic animal costumes.

ZooZoo is a 55-minute performance comprised of a series of short, silent theatre pieces, each from four to seven minutes in length. The cast of five play animals ranging from fireflies to hippos, in skits that include penguins playing musical chairs, and anteaters dressed as waiters. As the promotional video shows, there is quite a bit of audience interaction:

Having completed most of their tour already, the production appears in Ithaca, New York on Friday, April 12, and then moves on to Cleveland, Ohio (May 7-11) and St. Albert, Alberta (May 28-June 1).

NYC has anthro animation festivals, too

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Despite the implication on Flayrah, Los Angeles is not the only city to have festivals of animation with anthropomorphic stars. On February 28th through March 24th, the 16th Annual New York International Children’s Film Festival will play at seven different locations in NYC. The Festival will screen 100 different films (some live-action), and is expected to draw an attendance of 25,000+. It will present many of the films in the U.S. for the first time, to qualify them for 2013 Oscars.

Among the films are several that have been covered on Flayrah, including the Belgian Ernest & Celestine, about a mouse and a bear who become friends (French with English subtitles; Feb. 28 at Tribeca Cinemas); The Wolf Children (Ame & Yuki, the Wolf Children), about a college student who marries a werewolf who dies, and must raise their two werewolf toddlers alone (Japanese with English subtitles; March 3 at the Asia Society and 16 at SVA); The Day of the Crows, mostly about a feral child raised in the forest, but with some fantasy scenes of anthropomorphic animal-headed forest spirits (French with English subtitles; March 10 at FIAF); Welcome to the Space Show “with an intergalactic cast of thousands” (premiere of the English dub; March 9 at SVA), and Meet the Small Potatoes, for pre-schoolers about a musical group of animated potatoes who rise from small-town beginnings to international rock stardom (March 16 at the IFC Center and March 24 at the DGA Theater).

Sandy/Nor'easter hybrid could strike Connecticut soon after FurFright

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The Immortal StormSometimes furries plan more then just the weekend for their conventions, some even staying until late Monday or Tuesday morning. Those attending FurFright in Connecticut this weekend might be well-advised not to stick around for too long, as two major storm systems are looking to converge somewhere along the east coast. Many in the press are calling this event "Frankenstorm" (and I thought furries were bad with the pun neologisms).

Hurricane Sandy currently resides off the coast of Florida and is heading in a north direction. Meanwhile, in the Midwest, a storm front known as a nor'easter is heading east. These two types of storm when taken separately are not anything to take lightly; combined, they are sure to cause great devastation.

The current question is where. Some models have it landing as far south as Virginia, but other models have Sandy going north and in the direction of Long Island and Connecticut. It would be estimated to arrive in Connecticut late Monday to Tuesday. However, conditions could worsen even before then, as the storm is about 800 miles in diameter.

Short film: 'Time Out' ('Aeg Maha')

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A confession: I have never really understood Estonian veteran animator Priit Pärn’s films. Animation buffs love them, but they leave me scratching my head.

The Cartoon Brew website reports on Pärn’s current rare visit to NYC, where he is showing a retrospective of his animation to sold-out houses. In honor of the event, they have posted Pärn’s complete 9:11 minute 1984 Aeg Maha.

Parn elevates the visual non sequitur into an art form, and the film’s style remains fresh nearly thirty years later.

Um … yeah. You can see for yourself. But it is anthropomorphic. It stars a cat? a raccoon? a lemur? Well, anyhow, it’s anthropomorphic.

Hmmm. 9:11 minutes. And "1984". Is that symbolic of anything?

March 2012 media roundup: Joe Strike, Ohio and VancouFur

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This month saw several furry appearances in North American news media, with coverage from newspapers, magazines, and a Canadian TV news outlet. What did they have to say?

While L Magazine's brief (and largely paraphrased) interview with New York City furry writer and artist Joe Strike veers towards adult babies and "mascot costumes getting sweaty", the conversation eventually gets around to "the core of furrydom—the fursona", with Joe distinguishing furs from other fans: "furs create their own characters". Anthrocon gets a mention, while Joe puts in recommendations for WikiFur and Fur Affinity.

VancouFur gained a fair amount of coverage. As previously mentioned, the Burnaby News Leader gave a positive but relatively shallow article on "people who like to dress in colourful, furry mascot costumes," published before the event began, while CTV had video footage (Pixie: "It frees up a lot of inhibitions, like I don't feel so constrained or shy - I'm allowed to be a little more outgoing - because it's not me, it's the character.").

Conversely, BG News (the student paper of Bowling Green State University) talks to several north-west Ohio furs, who refute the assertions made by Burnaby News ("Fur suits aren’t even really required."). The local Black Swamp Furs talk about their bowling escapades, while slipping in FCN's charity fund-raising. Sex comes up, but the furs hang firm to their position ("We’re not sex based at all. [..] TV shows sometimes show us like that, but we’re not. It’s the complete opposite of what we’re trying to do. We’re just people who like to hang out.")

A more detailed analysis of VancouFur, and of furry fandom as a whole, is provided by The Dependent Magazine [tip: reddit], whose representatives are first "grilled" by con media representatives, then mobbed by furs wanting to tell their story.

'Formic Hivemind' charged with sex abuse of a minor

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Richard Kretovic/Formic HivemindPolice in Greece, New York have arrested Richard Kretovic, 19 - known in the furry fandom as Formic Hivemind - on a charge of sex abuse. Police say the victim is a boy younger than thirteen.

Police Sgt. Joseph Antinora further said that Kretovic met the alleged victim chatting on Xbox Live; and that upon discovering he was local to the boy, Kretovic arranged a meeting with him, after which sexual acts occurred in Kretovic's basement.

The boy's mother suspected he may have been abused and contacted police near the end of March. Their investigation lead to Kretovic, who was arraigned in Greece Town Court, and remanded to the Monroe County Jail before being released on $50,000 bail.

New York artist retires animal-costume performances

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New York City artist Nate Hill has retired his performance-art pieces, several of which involved animal mascot costumes. Described as "part furry fandom, part street theater, and part creepy perv", Hill's spectacles included:

Brooklyn Anthropomorphic Taxidermy class sold out

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Taxidermy Class

A class on Anthropomorphic Taxidermy was held last Sunday in Brooklyn, New York, suggesting that the hobby is far from a historical pursuit.

Run by taxidermist and tattoo artist Susan Jeiven, the $45 class assumed no prior experience, and supplied each student with a deceased mouse obtained from a snake-feed store. The 15 places quickly sold out.