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Blotch and "Dog's Days of Summer" - The End of Two Stories - A Retrospective

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Bayshore dismayed 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.

Blotch penciller BlackTeagan up for Russ Manning Award

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Nordguard: Across Thin IceBlackTeagan (real name Teagan Gavet) is one of five nominees for the Russ Manning Award, to be presented at Comic-Con International on 22 July. BlackTeagan has been nominated for the pencilling of Nordguard: Across Thin Ice, which she produced with Blotch co-collaborator Kenket (Tess Garman).

The Russ Manning Award, presented annually since 1982, is for the most promising newcomer in the comic book world. It's also a huge opportunity for positive exposure of the furry fandom's artwork, as Comic-Con 2011 attracted over 126?000 attendees and has been active since the '70s.

2011 Ursa Major Award winners announced at Califur VIII

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The winners of the 2011 Ursa Major Awards for the best anthropomorphic literature, artwork and websites published in 2011 were announced June 2 at a ceremony during Califur VIII.

1,782 ballots were cast in this year's voting, an increase of almost 30% on last year.

Only the winners were announced at the ceremony. However, due to a policy change voted upon by the ALAA Committee, the vote order of all nominees is available on the UMA website.

Read on for results. The story includes contributions from Fred Patten.

Nordguard: The Card Game

The art collective (or pair at least) known as Blotch have a new item connected with their successful comic book/graphic novel series Nordguard. Now it’s the Nordguard Card Game, coming this summer from Sofawolf Press. The game itself was developed by Tempe O’Kun and Nic Wald, and play-testing was directed over the last year by Jeremia Heupel of ThinkTank Games. And the game itself? “You and your friends play as an anthropomorphized sled dog rescue team, overcoming cannibalistic strays and a landscape as capricious as it is lethal. Only your wits and your gear stand between you and certain disaster. Quick-reference instructions provide the rules in minutes, while a scalable difficulty curve provides a challenge for everyone from pups to even the most veteran sled dogs. A randomized map ensures no two missions will ever be the same. Based on the award-winning graphic novel Nordguard: Across Thin Ice, this slim set comes packed with over 120 illustrations by the artists Tess Garman & Teagan Gavet [aka Blotch].

Interview: Blotch on 'Nordguard: Across Thin Ice'

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At this year's Anthrocon I was able to touch base for a few minutes with Blotch, the duo team of BlackTeagan and Kenket, and ask some questions about their latest release; Nordguard: Across Thin Ice, which debuted at AC ’11. (review)

Blotch is already famous in the fandom for their cover work on Kyell Gold’s books (Out of Position, Isolation Play) as well as winning multiple awards for their cover work on conbooks and for their first graphic novel, Dog’s Days of Summer, also available via Sofawolf Press.

Review: 'Nordguard: Across Thin Ice', by Tess Garman & Teagan Gavet

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Across Thin Ice
Nordguard, Book One: Across Thin Ice
by Tess Garman & Teagan Gavet
St. Paul, MN, Sofawolf Press, June 2011
Hardcover $39.95 (75 pages), paperback $19.95

Tess Garman (Kenket) & Teagan Gavet (BlackTeagan) – better known under their joint pseudonym of Blotch – have a well-deserved reputation for anthropomorphic light humor, with numerous cover paintings and their webcomic-turned-graphic novel Dog’s Days of Summer.

Now the duo show that they are equally adept at drama, with the beginning of a cold, cruel tale of murder and treachery in an anthropomorphic Far North.

Furry fans should definitely not miss “Nordguard: Across Thin Ice” [WikiFur].