The Fandom is certainly not the first documentary to be done by furries about our own fandom. Over the past decade a handful have been made. Sometimes they focus on a particular incident surrounding an individual such as Rukus. Or perhaps they talk about the group in a way that may be more useful for political discussion within the community rather than introducing us and where we came from such as Fursonas.
I can say that if you were to want to introduce someone to the concept of what the foundations of the community are and its growth in the modern era, then this would be the one you would want to show. It covers our history in the same vein that Joe Strike’s Furry Nation did in book form.
Its release comes at a very appropriate time as the world has been set on pause, so it is a great time to reflect on where we came from and where we are going. This certainly appears to be the goal of this film as it explores the growth of our communal spaces in the world from the 70s to today. You can help support their efforts by buying a copy here.
Released in November 2019, Cassel Games’ Ratropolis sets players in the role of the leader of a post-apocalyptic rat society, attempting to rebuild their once-great civilization after scientific experiments caused its collapse. But in order to grow, the new settlement must defend itself - first from mutated rats that caused the apocalypse, then as the settlement grows, from predators. The goal is to survive 30 waves of enemies using cards that provide an array of tactics, and with the leader’s special ability.
Furries of past connected mostly via the internet behind avatars and characters of varying species. In chat rooms they would engage in discussion and role play. However, many folks of color found opportunity through being through a world where interaction was through text and art alone. That if they did not discuss or indicate their race then they could see the world in a whole new way. They could finally escape their skin and put on a new one here.
However, no one can live on the internet alone. A systemically racial bias in justice systems throughout America came to a head, once again, in the death of George Floyd, a black citizen of Minneapolis. The cruelty of this death was of grueling note as video was released of Officer Chauvin knelled down on his neck for many minutes until Mr. Floyd stopped breathing.
It has been two decades since the triangle shirt wearing wallaby had aired on Nickelodeon. Things have changed a lot since then. The world had a recession, Starbucks is a thing, smartphones are now an integrated part of life, there was the 3D film craze, and social media is now a primary source of communication. All of these elements are introduced quickly in the show’s opening.
If you are a fan of the show it’ll be well worth the watch, but you can enjoy it without having watched the 90s run. I myself was not a religious watcher of the show, which may be deemed as blasphemous due to my Kangaroo fursona, but my parents did not have cable television during the Nickelodeon hay-day. That changed with the invention of satellite television, though. So change can be good.
Static Cling’s theme is very heavy handed, dealing with life and the changes that take place there-in. As someone who wasn’t a devoted watcher of the show, it is a decent attempt to cover the more modern life of the modern life we live in at this point. The main review will have spoilers and synopsis so if you want to enjoy it blind, watch before proceeding to the next sections.
If you were to Google the definition of a comedian you would see it defined by Dictionary.com as an entertainer whose act is designed to make an audience laugh. Likewise the New York Times has a comedy critic, Jason Zinoman, who defines comedy in a moment of reflecting on his own career of analyzing them.
This often dictates the form of my column, since while the goal of comedy is to make you laugh, what’s fascinating about the art form — especially these days, when it’s so fragmented and aesthetically diverse — is that there are many ways artists accomplish that goal.
However, if you were to ask one furry who considers himself one, 2 Gryphon, you’d find an entirely different etymology of the word, and what the job of a comic is.
It's the JOB of the comic to bring forth uncomfortable things and question them in a way that makes people think about them.Since that has become "wrong", expect that the Western world will not be laughing as much. https://t.co/EIExUX5W2h— 2, The Ranting Gryphon (@2_gryphon) June 9, 2019
It is this quote that we are going to be over-analysing today. I have broken this down into three main points as to why this definition of the job of a comedian is not only a fundamental misunderstanding of the role, but also a resignation of the foundational principles of comedy.
Fortnite Battle Royale (or just Fortnite) is a “battle royale” shooter that has been around since 2017, and while its getting a bit long in the tooth, it’s still hanging around and still free to play. Last year, the game finally implemented skill-based matchmaking, which means for casual and new players, it’s never been easier to get into. In many ways, it is comparable to Nintendo properties such as Super Smash Bros. or Mario Kart, taking a more traditionally “hardcore” video game genre and making it more accessible with gimmicky gameplay, goofy items, cartoony visuals and massive amounts of RNG.
Of course, the game isn’t exactly furry in and of itself, but the game makes its money selling cosmetic upgrades to player’s in game characters, and quite a few of them feature either characters in animal costumes, or, more recently, straight up anthropomorphic animals. In the time-honored tradition of clickbait listicals, here is my ranking of those skins.
Animal Crackers (trailer) is a 94-minute computer-animated children's movie. The brainchild of Scott Sava, it caught the early attention of furry fandom at least as far back as 2015. Concept animation showed a guy haphazardly munching on animal-shaped cookies that turned him into the animals. As time went on, Sava brought in financial backers, a co-director (Tony Bancroft, who'd worked on several Disney movies), and a co-writer (Dean Lorey). The finished product premiered at the Annecy Film Festival in 2017... and then vanished.
It turns out that Sava had made the mistake of not securing a distributor ahead of time. With very little bargaining power, it eventually got shown in China in 2018, and some other countries in 2019.
The internet was seen as a major catalyst for the furry fandom finding one another during the times before we held conventions. During that earlier period in the 1990s, conventions and meets were rare, and finding one another was done mostly through the chat rooms and message boards of the past. There was no bandwidth for video or sharing major animation projects, therefore most of our intimate conversations were textual.
For many younger furries, it was a time that was lost in the annals of a distant history. Instead they found themselves joining in amongst a wave of growing conventions being held in various places around the world on any given weekend. Ones where those in custom fursuits march out in the streets openly rather than feeling a stifling isolation of being cooped up in hotel spaces, with a handful of home made creations, being wary of a hostile media looking for a freak show.
Coming out of 2019, it seemed that the time where furry was just an internet thing was fully behind it. However a series of unfortunate events were in line for 2020, a year that has led humanity to be forced into their rooms by an irate Mother Nature as an easily spread virus has forced governments around the globe to take drastic measures to slow its spread and put strict limits on social gatherings. A situation which has forced both the furry fandom, and the internet that brought it together, back to their roots.
A furry fan drew an inflated skunk embroidered with the emblem for the Industrial Workers of the World union squishing a hamster in a top hat with the caption of “squash the boss”. Such a piece is not anything too unusual. The oddity that caught the eye of the Daily Dot was that the union itself posted the piece to their Facebook page.
Soon thereafter, the IWW's Twitter account joined in. Though, for some reason, they quietly back out later, as the original Tweet referenced in the Daily Dot article appears to be deleted. (Its text remains in the article despite this – a feature of the standard embedding code for other sites. Tweeters, be wary of this.)
But has furry reached a point where we need to squash the boss and organize? Or are unions barking up the wrong tree? The answer, like the fandom, may be complex.
Underdog (언더독, trailer) is a South Korean animated film from 2018, written and directed by Oh Sung-yoon at Odoltogi Studio, and co-directed by Lee Chun-baek who previously directed Leafie, A Hen into the Wild.
The main character is Moongchi, a dog who loves and trusts his owners, so he's understandably confused when he's deliberately left behind in the woods. Luckily he soon meets a group of other abandoned dogs who take him in, surviving in an empty slum on the edge of the nearby town.
While his fellow strays beg and scrounge to survive, Moongchi is still figuring things out. Wandering up the mountain into the forest, he meets a small group of wild dogs and wants to impress one of them, a female named Bami. Trouble is brewing for both groups, and soon they must unite and find a new place to live.
I was browsing my Google news feed, as people who read non-fiction writing tend to, and low and behold, a news article from Rolling Stone came up entitled Will Furries Ever Go Mainstream? The reporter reviews his experiences while attending Midwest FurFest last December.
It’s a good piece that poses the question of whether our fan club, that has grown to the size it has in Rosemont, will garner mainstream attention - or acceptance. It's also long, and coming from me you know that’s saying something.
Like most coverage deemed “positive”, they do seem to marginalize the adult aspects of sexual expression in the fandom pretty quickly by saying that it was not the “main aspect of the fandom”. However, like most clever furs they snuck in a risqué quote about foxes:
dozens of six-foot alligators, snakes, lizards, and other assorted reptiles scramble to pose for a group photo.
On the floor, about three dozen foxes lie on top of each other in a “fur pile,” orange-and-white limbs and bellies knotted together on the ground.
I see what you did there Rolling Stone. You should be proudly ashamed.
But back to the concept of going mainstream. It isn’t a new question within the fandom which can bring excitement or concern depending on who you ask. We claimed it was happening when Disney used the word “anthropomorphic” to describe the world of Zootopia.
However, I would like to claim that, yes, we are entering the mainstream, whether we like it or not. I even have evidence that we may already be there.
They say hindsight is 20/20, and its 2020, so that must mean a look back is in order. In lieu of the usual top ten best movies of the year, let's actually, for once, do a furry list on the furry site and countdown the ten best furry movies (or at least the ones I liked the most) from the last decade.
Cats is such a bizarre phenomenon, I don't really know where to even start.
It's not just the movie. That a stage play based on a series of children's nonsense poems would not only be made, period, but that it would go on to be one of the most popular plays in some of the biggest venues is one of those things that make people say things like "well, it was the 80s" and "cocaine is a hell of a drug". Heck, there isn't even a lot of anecdotal evidence that drugs were involved any more than usual, if at all.
But, of all the inexplicable things, I'd like to point out the original tagline of the movie, which is so generic for such a weird property, stood out to me. "You Will Believe".
I will believe what, exactly? Neither the poems, play nor, it turns out, this feature length film has much in the way of thematic content, other than maybe "cats". Certainly, questions of faith or belief are not addressed. You could say the "jellicle cats" are a sort of feline cult to the moon, but there is no interest in the philosophy or theology of this possible cult. Certainly, I didn't come away believing there is some "Heaviside Layer" that would grant cats an extra life if they sing a song really good. Furthermore, I don't think the movie was trying very hard to make me a "believer".
So let's actually talk about the movie. The very first shots are set at a human level, as a canvas bag with a cat inside that we will learn is named Victoria (Francesca Hayward) is thrown out the window of a moving vehicle, apparently abandoned by her human owners, who we never see. This departure from the stage play, where we are given a point of view character who is new to the world of movie to have stuff explained to, is a welcome addition.
It's also the only thing the opening scene gets right.
Decolonizing the anthro-animal: Furry fandom, speculative fiction, and the need for newer directionsPosted by BrandyJLewis on Tue 10 Dec 2019 - 23:49
Anthropomorphic animals have been a means through which we can think about and examine queerness, abject bodies and forms. However, it can be argued that furry fandom has relied on animals under the meanings that western, white culture imagines them to have. This essay offers a critique on how furry fandom, at this current point in time, needs to look for newer directions, inclusive of rupturing the animal concept as we know and think of it right now. Some possible directions include ideas from Indigenous literature and post-colonial identities.
ArtWorkTee has been quite busy this year when it comes to their charity drives and other Kickstarter campaigns. At this time they are working on their third KickStarter for the year. The first was a calendar drive where fursuiters were pictured for each month. These calendars were sold with proceeds going to a shelter for young horses called Last Chance Corral, which was covered by Flayrah. The second was not covered by Flayrah and was a for helping a feline shelter, Flatbush Cats.
Using charitibility is always a good way to achieve positive marketing and brand recognition, particularly in the furry fandom. In fact, it was a suggestion I had made in regards to the failed ‘designer fursuit’ experiment Zweitesich that if they made those custom designer fursuits a few thousand dollars more expensive and donated those thousands of dollars toward a charity it would have made the fursuit a badge of honor instead of one of purely being a gloating of wealth, which tends to be seen as reprehensible in the fandom.
Now that ArtWorkTee had done these charity kickstarts, the third appears to be using a month drive as an opportunity to introduce a new line of T-Shirts from them. This time it looks like there is no organization that is being supported. Instead, ArtWorkTee is using the same marketing strategy in order to introduce a line of pride shirts based on promotion of individual sexual and gender expression. It mixes a furry character brought to life by LuhBraz Art, mixing the characters with the particular representative flag's color schemes.
There are only a few days left to secure a t-shirt from this initial printing. But they will be available for sale after the campaign at their website and at Midwest Furfest's Dealer's den this year. So what is the incentive for doing this Kickstarter Campaign? It seems mostly to gauge interest, and they will expand their line based on this interest. That's what we will be going over in this article.