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

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (6 votes)

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.

Movie review: 'The Shape of Water'

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (16 votes)

The Shape of Water movie poster.The Shape of Water (trailer) is a 2017 fantasy-drama film from director Guillermo del Toro, based on an idea he'd had since childhood. Essentially he wanted to make a happier version of the 1954 horror film Creature from the Black Lagoon, with the humanoid fish monster and the female lead falling in love.

And that's exactly what happens in The Shape of Water! It takes place in 1962, starring a mute woman named Elisa who's part of the cleaning staff at an American government research facility. In one of the labs, she learns of "the asset", an intelligent humanoid amphibian creature who's being tortured. Falling in love with him, she wants to set him free with the help of a small group of collaborators.

Movie review: 'I Am Dragon'

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (39 votes)

The dragon swoops down on Mira to carry her away from her town. She never stands in that location during the film.I Am Dragon (trailer) is a Russian fantasy/drama film that came out in 2015 and yes I know it's technically a wyvern. When I showed clips of it to dragon furries, that's the first thing they said, in a tone of voice like I'd gotten their hopes up and then betrayed them.

For a live-action film, it uses a lot of computer graphics (around 85%), and looks pretty good! The setting felt very real to me. Production costs were about $18 million, and it flopped at the box office. As movies go, it's... ok. I say this with some reluctance. If you're a fan of dragons, you're not missing much.

Back-story: A line of dragons lives on a secluded island, and in a medieval town, the people perform a ceremony and song with which they offer their maidens as sacrifices. This summons the dragon who flies off with one of them, until one day a warrior decides he's going to rescue the woman he loves. He finds the island (too late to save the maiden), slays the beast, and the sacrificial rite is turned into a local wedding ritual, minus the dragon.

Review: 'Mindtouch' ('The Dreamhealers' Volume 1) by M.C.A. Hogarth (by Greyflank)

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (4 votes)

MindtouchM.C.A. Hogarth is a writer who belongs to the Furry Writers' Guild, something I've been involved with these last few months since crawling out from under my bed after hiding there for a few years. I went looking for a few good books about furries with LBQT+ relationships for a future BookCrossing bookbox, because I like to share furriness with my friends.

I wanted to buy a few books from Amazon for the free shipping; something I hardly ever do. I figured I should get to know my fellow writers better, and while this didn't seem like the kind of book I was looking for for, I liked the idea of two different types of ESPers co-mingling, both aliens on an alien world (not to mention, college kids ... education is sexy, am I right?).

I have to admit to being daunted by the size of the book. Four hundred plus pages. I wanted a writing sample, not a bible. I have over a hundred unread books in my queue! Did I really want to push most of those back in order to relate better to a name in a chat room? And it was book one of two. Who writes duologies, anyway?

Studio MCAH, July 2013, trade paperback $16.99 ([3 +] 408 [+ 7] pages), Kindle $5.99.

See also: Fred's review of Mindtouch.

Be Wary of Wishes

One day, a washer-woman encountered a talking fox, who begged her to hide him from a trio of hunters. She did, concealing him in her laundry basket. Of course, this simply made him fall in love with her. Now he wished that she would love him back… and she wished he were a human instead of a fox. So begins the dark fable Outfoxed, written and illustrated by Dylan Meconis. In 2012 Outfoxed was nominated for Best Digital Comic at the Eisner Awards. Now it’s finally available on dead trees thanks to the folks over at Toonhound Studios. You can also check it out over at the author’s web site.

image c. 2015 by Dylan Meconis

image c. 2015 by Dylan Meconis

One Very Mixed-Up World

Writer and artist Ian Jay refers to his on-line black & white comic Crossed Wires as an “anthro cyberpunk hacker romance action” story.  We’d be hard-pressed to find a better description! Visit his official Crossed Wires page to see what he means. While you’re at it, take a look at his on-line store. There you will find (among other things) collections of Ian’s previous anthropomorphic comics, including Epiphany and Megahertz.

image c. 2015 by Ian Jay

image c. 2015 by Ian Jay

Furries share worries about pay-dating fraud: spotlight on

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (28 votes)

A Flayrah exclusive investigation for Furry public interest
Josh is a 22-year old single wolf looking for a mate on He describes himself as "friendly, honest, caring, and fun." He warns other hopeful romantics about another dating site, that he says overcharged him after he canceled service: "Save your money, and avoid frustration." will turn one year old in late 2013. After nine months of activity, it boasts 21,000 users in posts to Twitter- an amount called into question by evidence later in this article. It's by no means the first dating site that targets furries. Others, like Pounced (established in 2003) offer free service by and for fans. But FurFling differs by bringing new methods to entice payments, usually seen on commercial sites like Adult Friend Finder that attract allegations of fraud.

Review: 'Unico', by Osamu Tezuka

Your rating: None Average: 3.4 (7 votes)

Unico (paperback)Unico, the talking baby unicorn, was the last major character created by Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989). He was inspired to design an adorably cute character by Sanrio Ltd, the merchandiser of girl’s products, in 1976. Sanrio had just created “Hello Kitty” in 1974 as an idol to sell handbags, earrings, etc. to young girls. Unico was to be a companion to appear in serialized adventures in Lyrica, Sanrio’s monthly girl’s manga magazine, as well as a series of animated theatrical features that Sanrio was planning at the time. Even minor Tezuka is worth reading, and Unico is full of the magic and color of the world of the imagination, with enough talking animals to please any Furry fan.

Unico was conceived in the U.S.; Tezuka was visiting Sanrio’s Los Angeles animation studio in 1976, where the animated feature Metamorphoses (Hoshi no Orufeusu) was in production. Metamorphoses was designed to look “cute” (if you never heard of it, it’s because the feature bombed so badly that it was pulled from theaters one day after its release), and Tezuka was inspired to draw a cute baby unicorn. Sanrio was planning to publish Lyrica, and the company quickly commissioned him to write and draw Unico’s adventures for serialization. This became a typical example of Tezuka’s prolific output; Unico appeared in chapters of over 30 pages per monthly issue for most issues of Lyrica, from its first issue in November 1976 to its final issue in March 1979.

Digital Manga Publishing, April 2013, trade paperback $34.95 (410 pages; on Overstock).

Review: 'Hot Dish' [vol. 1, edited by Alopex]

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (6 votes)
Cover to 'Hot Dish, vol. 1', by Kamui

‘Hotdish’ is another term for casserole – a collection of seemingly disparate ingredients held together by a hot, gooey sauce. It creates a hearty portion of food for those on a relatively modest budget.

Hot Dish is a collection of stories about the romantic and erotic relationships between characters of disparate species and sexual orientations. It is a hearty portion of quality fiction which was too long to fit into our yearly adult anthology, Heat.

Hot, gooey sauce not included. (back cover blurb)

Hot Dish is an anthology intended for an adult audience only and contains some explicit sexual scenes of various sexual orientations. It is not for sale to persons under the age of 18. (publisher’s advisory)

Hot Dish, which includes a number “1” on the spine so more volumes are planned, consists of nine romantic Furry novelettes, about forty pages each, by pseudonymous authors.

(Really, I respect Furry pseudonyms, but when an entire book is filled with stories by Huskyteer, Lady Chastity Chatterley, Dark End, and the like, it makes it look like everyone concerned has something to hide.)

Sofawolf Press, March 2013, trade paperback $17.95 (xii + 374 pages). Illustrated by Keovi.

Monsters in Love

Here’s the first set of new discoveries we’ve made this year at WonderCon in Anaheim, California.

Christopher Lee (no, not that one) is a graduate from the California State University at Sacramento who majored in graphic design. After working for graphic magazines, toy companies, and special effects studios, he made the bold choice to go solo as a graphic-designer-for-hire. To that end he has created a series of prints, t-shirts, and other items which he sells on his web site, Among the items he’s created is Kaiju Romance, “Twenty two of your favorite giant monsters from the Gamera and Godzilla franchises falling in love in unexpected ways.” Each of these 5 x 5″ cards was hand-finished, making each one unique, and they’re available now as a set.

image c. 2013 Christopher Lee

Animation: 'I Have Your Heart'

Your rating: None Average: 3.8 (5 votes)

The Cartoon Brew has posted a new animated music video, “I Have Your Heart”, about a forbidden romance between a human girl and an anthropomorphic cat-man lover.

The 4’25” video is apparently not produced by an animation studio, but by three people; New York cartoonist/paper cutout artist Molly Crabapple, music composer Kim Boekbinder, and Melbourne stop-motion animator Jim Batt (and a small staff); it raised $17,280 on Kickstarter.

Review: The 'Kitty Norville' series, by Carrie Vaughn

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Kitty Norville and the Midnight HourThe paranormal romance genre has exploded since 2005. During the past three years practically every mass-market publisher has started one or more annual series with titles like Undead and Unwed; Tall, Dark & Dead; Bitten & Smitten; Love Bites; Sex and the Single Vampire; and How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire.

However, as you may guess from these titles, 90% of the paranormal romance series feature sexy vampire chicks. Others are about young witches or hunters of (handsome) demons. One of the few about werewolves and other shapeshifters is Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville series. This is also one of the earliest, going back to Vaughn’s first short story, “Dr. Kitty Solves All Your Love Problems”, in Weird Tales #324, Summer 2001 (integrated into Chapter 5 of Kitty and The Midnight Hour).

Kitty Norville starts out as a mid-twenties, blonde late-night DJ at radio station KNOB in Denver. (Vaughn lives in Boulder.) One night she starts chatting about a tabloid’s improbable stories about Bat Boy, and invites her listeners to call in if they have ever seen him. For the next few hours she gets callers who talk about vampires and werewolves; enough callers that the station manager reassigns her as a talk show hostess of a new weekly program, “The Midnight Hour”, offering frank advice to those who have problems because of their hidden vampire or werewolf lifestyles.

“Kitty and The Midnight Hour”, November 2005, paperback $7.99 (ix + 272 pages); Kindle $7.99.
“Kitty Goes to Washington”, July 2006, paperback $6.99 (x + 342 pages); Kindle $6.99.
“Kitty Takes a Holiday”, April 2007, paperback $6.99 (318 pages); Kindle $6.99.
“Kitty and the Silver Bullet”, January 2008, paperback $6.99 (approx. 352 pages); Kindle $6.99.
All by Carrie Vaughn, published by Warner Books of NYC.

Talking Animals Animation Studio makes 'Flamingo Pride'

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

There has been an animation studio in Berlin since 2009 called Talking Animals Animation Studio. Why didn’t someone in Furry fandom think of that?

Not all of its short films feature talking animals, but the 6-minute 2-seconds “Flamingo Pride”, directed by Israeli animator Tomer Eshed, certainly does. See its trailer on Vimeo.

'Koochie Koochie Hota Hai' postponed again to July 2013

Your rating: None Average: 4 (3 votes)

Koochie Koochie Hota HaiOneIndia Entertainment, “India’s #1 Language Portal”, reports that the long-delayed Hindi-language Koochie Koochie Hota Hai feature, supposedly completed in 2009 or 2010 but release-delayed (because of poor box-offices in India for Indian-made animated features) until December 10, 2012, has been postponed again until July 2013.

The feature, a CGI-animated funny-animal remake of the hugely popular 1998 Hindi live-action Bollywood feature Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, is an anthropomorphic sci-fi (time travel) romantic comedy-drama with lots of singing & dancing. See Flayrah's April story for more details, or watch the English-language trailer.

Review: 'Jazmyn', by Bernard Doove

Your rating: None Average: 4.1 (9 votes)

Jazmyn, by Bernard DooveJazmyn, a bioengineered vulpeen (fox-woman) Companion in a parallel world, is fleeing into the forest after the murder of her human lifemate when a lighting flash enables her to stumble into our world. She is glancingly struck by the car of Ken Morita, who nurses her back to health, teaches her English, falls in love with her, and they get married and live happily ever after.

The End.

No, seriously. There are plenty of interesting and well-written details between page 7 and page 214, but that is the basic story. You can hardly imagine a more pure Furry wish-fulfillment novel: a beautiful, caring, talented human-sized fox-morph comes to our world, falls in love with [you], and they get married.

CreateSpace, April 2009, trade paperback $16.95 (215 pages; illustrated).