Con Report: Tails and Tornadoes 2022

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Tails and TornadoesThis year's Tails and Tornadoes convention, held at the Marriott Tulsa Hotel Southern Hills of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is only the third furry convention I've been to. Previous conventions I have attended were Oklacon 2004 and Anthrocon 2017, and I only made it all the way to Pittsburgh due to being nominated for an Ursa Major award and wanting to attend the awards presentation (I ended being late and missing the announcement of my category, but I lost anyway). Tails and Tornadoes, like Oklacon before it, had the advantage of being cheap and nearby, as I am a local Oklahoman.

As I live only an hour from Tulsa, I made the decision to just commute daily to the convention, as I calculated that the price of gas would ultimately be cheaper than staying at the hotel for me, not to mention cutting out the hassle of actually booking a room and possibly even finding a roommate for the stay. So, I have no idea how the late night atmosphere of the convention was, or the reality of the room situation there. The truth is, that part, the social aspects of convention going is just not for me, despite the fact that it seems a primary draw for just about everyone else. Hence my relatively low total life convention attendance.

Digging Up Positivity - September 2022

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Hello, and a big welcome to the September edition of Digging Up Positivity! These months are the height of convention season and it shows! So many events, both online and offline.

Last premiere I was at Eurofurence together with FoxAmoor, the guest of the previous episode. But when I got back to the Netherlands, merely half a day later I was on the road to Splinter, an amazing four day event in the Netherlands. And after that, we were guests at the Stork Run in The Hague, more about this all that later. And at the end of the episode I will tell you how to win one of these amazing Thabo paw pillows from my artwork Tee merch store.

But first, the astounding amount of charities since last episode!

Movie review: 'Perlimps' (2022)

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Perlimps (trailer) is a Brazilian 2D animated film, the second from animator and director Alê Abreu. After seeing his earlier film, Boy and the World (O Menino e o Mundo, 2013), I really wanted to see what his next project would be like. I wasn't expecting to wait nine years!

Abreu's films definitely do not adhere to typical Hollywood narrative structures, veering towards the artsy without being self-indulgent. Boy and the World, for example, has no dialog at all, and conveys things entirely with sounds and visuals. (As well as being an abstract statement about growing up and the poverty that comes from the exploitation of labor.)

Perlimps is way more approachable in comparison. On the surface, judging by its trailer, I thought it was going to be another film about the devastation of the environment by humans. It does some of that, sure, but that's just surface stuff.

The rest of the film's surface is all in the trailer. Claé (an orange wolf) and Bruô (a blue bear) are secret agents from the opposing kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon, trying to find the Perlimps, mysterious entities who can help save the forest from the encroachment of man.

Furry Weekend Atlanta draws ire as it books outside talent for musical shows

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Before the coronavirus shut down many furry conventions around the world, a strange thing occurred at Furry Weekend Atlanta in 2019. The popular electronic dance group Mystery Skulls performed a musical set at the convention. This is a pretty mainstream group, well-known for their singles such as Money and Ghosts.

When in-person events started happening again, Furry Weekend Atlanta's new headliner was again more known for their mainstream work than for their ties to the fandom. FRND, also known as Andrew Goldstein, is not quite as well-known as Mystery Skulls. After having worked with many mainstream musicians (such as Maroon Five's Beautiful Mistakes as a co-writer), he started to work independently and created his own singles.

Now in late 2022, FWA is giving a wink toward Little Nas X, a very well-known rap artist, born and raised near Atlanta. He's known for stirring up moralistic controversy with his music videos. I guess that's how you know it's real rap.

As FWA's drive towards mainstream musical talent has continued, furries have become a lot more pointed in their questioning of the convention. But whoever's been in control of FWA's social media account has continually dismissed such criticism. For instance, during the FRND announcement, they responded to one critique by posting a gif of Clauhauser calling the critical poster "cute". At the time, this post only drew more attention to the critique. FWA later deleted the tweet and apologized for their behavior. In response to the threads that appeared after the Little Nas X announcement, they have started to use their social media tools to limit responses to no one but the artist in question.

In this article, we'll be going over what defines a work as furry, why this is separate from how furry music is defined, and how Furry Weekend Atlanta may be able to help mitigate future concerns for their furry attendees and the musically talented within the fandom.

Tails and Tornadoes Fur Con 2022 - Memories from a Record Year

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Tails and Tornadoes Fur Con Since its debut in 2019, Tails and Tornadoes Fur Con (TTFC) has striven to create an atmosphere welcoming furries from around the world to Tulsa, OK each year. This year's theme, "Ren-Fur" was chosen in 2021 by attendees and staff during the closing ceremonies; influenced by renaissance stories, it included custom artwork and theming courtesy of TTFC Artist Guest of Honor Boltie.

Fursuit maker Guest of Honor Heads & Tails Studios worked closely with the convention and new official TTFC charity Animal Rescue Foundation of Bartlesville to produce charity auction items, such as two brand-new fursuit heads, one which was raffled for charity and the other that was auctioned off. The result of ARFs' charity fundraising was a convention-wide contribution of more than $16,000.

TTFC also had some notable moments, including an all-new dance competition and floor wars program that included one of THREE marriage proposals during the weekend. In addition, TTFC's programming included performances from Citrine Husky and many more! Barring the unexpected brief power outage during closing, TTFC was able to close out 2022 with a smile on everyone's face.

Furrstein: a furry convention at Hauenštejn Castle, Czechia

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Furrstien's castle venue Our journey starts near Frankfurt am Main's main train station, where I pick up a friend. We head to Czechia, buying a vignette at the Czech border; arriving at Hauenštejn Castle, near the German border, after a four-hour drive.

This is it! A medieval castle, some parts of it still in restoration; furries with all their luggage waving to us and welcoming and greeting us in excitement. They are just as excited as we are.

We go to registration; they speak English to us, because shitty, a member of their orga team, recognised me from another convention called KRAZ.

My friend Alexis and I are sponsors of the convention and got a T-shirt, along with a wooden logo of Furrstein and its theme, which is Harry Potter this year.

Fur Affinity bans artworks generated by artificial intelligence programs

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On September 5th, Fur Affinity announced it will not be accepting art works that are generated by artificial intelligence programs. Recently computer algorithm generated artwork has come under much discussion as machine learning applications such as DALL-E have shown the ability to take obscure prompts and create art pieces based on them.

Content created by artificial intelligence is not allowed on Fur Affinity.

AI and machine learning applications (DALL-E, Craiyon) sample other artists' work to create content. That content generated can reference hundreds, even thousands of pieces of work from other artists to create derivative images.

Our goal is to support artists and their content. We don’t believe it’s in our community’s best interests to allow AI generated content on the site.

Dragoneer indicated in a Twitter statement on how blatant these programs are in assimilating the pieces of other artists as their own. He pointed to an example of a signature placed on a piece giving evidence of those that the program sampled from.

We made the decision to ban AI generated content on FA. I know a lot of people are asking, "but what about..."

Look, the AI-generated "art" is openly copying the signatures of the artists and teams it's sampling from. Maybe even from somebody you know. It's too much. - Dragoneer

Newsbytes archive for August 2022

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Contributors this month include 2cross2affliction, dronon, GreenReaper, and Rakuen Growlithe.

Digging up Positivity - August 2022

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Welcome to this months Digging Up Positivity, as this video is premiering, I will be at Eurofurence! And because of that, our special guest is this years Guest of Honour: FoxAmoore! But first, all those amazing charities from in and around the fandom.

Stray - A simple and focused game in a world of games that go astray

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Stray.jpgOkay, this one may not technically be a “furry game”. If the late Fred Patten were to start this review off, he may have asked something along the lines that if you as a player moves around the world as a cat with a robot companion augmenting their ability to interpret the society around them, is that game actually anthropomorphic? Perhaps it’s more in line with transhumanism, but in this case more transfelinism, where your feline character is augmented by their technological companion.

And like Adam Jensen of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the cat you play certainly didn’t ask for this.

Review: 'DC League of Super-Pets'

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DC League of Super-Pets poster Between the time I went to see DC League of Super-Pets and writing this, things got weird at Warner Bros. Two movies that were reportedly near completion were suddenly shelved. Most mainstream movie press outlets covered this as "What does this mean for this group of comic book superhero movies?". Even Flayrah's Newsbyte on the subject only mentioned Batgirl, despite the fact that Scoob! Holiday Haunt, an actual movie featuring anthropomorphic animals, rather than just one superhero in a pseudo-fursuit, was also cancelled.

And that has some bearing on my thoughts on this movie. Warner Animation Group is looking like it could be in trouble. Even though it appears that the studio will survive in some capacity, people are going to lose jobs in this area. So, it doesn't feel like a good time to take a look at their latest output, shrug, and say, "It was okay, I guess?"

DC League of Super-Pets was directed by Jared Stern and Sam Levine, and stars Dwayne Johnson as Krypto, Superman's superpowered pet dog. When the evil guinea pig Lulu (voiced by Kate McKinnon) manages to depower Krypto, he must lead a team of newly-empowered shelter pets in order to rescue his kidnapped master.

It was okay, I guess?

Interview with Niic the Singing Dog - New album, Escape, on the way!

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With a new album on the way, I had an opportunity to speak with a furry musician who has been creating musical content for the furry fandom for nearly a decade. Below is an interview I had with NIIC the Singing Dog, and his upcoming collection.

Thank you for interviewing with us! Who are you and what do you do? Describe yourself in a few sentences.

Hey hey! My name is Kyle McCarthy, but I'm wayyy better know as NIIC, or NIIC the Singing Dog. I am a furry singer-songwriter-producer from New York City, and my genre is a pop-hybrid of electronic and folk. I write and perform songs, collaborate with other awesome furry artists, and make my own album art and photography when I can!

Making a Furry Wish - A youth utilizes foundation wish to join furries in Pittsburgh

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The Make a Wish Foundation is an institution that needs little introduction. Founded in the 1980s, this non-profit out of Phoenix, Arizona helps to bring joy toward youths suffering from critical illnesses by assisting them in fulfilling a dream. These usually can be trips to distant places, meet and greets with celebrities, or sometimes simple and interesting such as wanting to ride the whole New York subway line and collect model trains along the way.

The furry fandom found themselves blessed by one such eccentric wish maker who decided to use her wish to go to Anthrocon in Pittsburgh on its returning year of 2022. Shrimp, a young furry fan who suffers from cystic fibrosis, joined the furs during the festivities as her wish. Like most of the furry youth, most of her content can be found through Tiktok.

With permission from their parents, Shrimp was able to answer questions in regards to her experiences at one of the largest furry conventions in the world. As a bonus, an interview with the parents is also provided in the margin.

Denver Furcon removes PepperCoyote from performance schedule after he attends rally flying pro-Putin flags

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Pepper in CIP Gathering DenFur has announced that furry musician, Pepper Coyote, will not be attending, or performing at their 2022 convention. This is in response to videos, and tweets made by the musician himself, that showed him in attendance at a Center for Political Innovation assembly in Chicago over the weekend of August 6th.

While describing itself as an anti-imperialist organization, the CPI led the meet by flying flags which included the infamous Z insignia that is being used by the Russian forces occupying the country of Ukraine in the current war there. The CPI Twitter account retweets regularly from sources that Twitter has denoted as Russian state-affiliated media.

Update (Aug 12): Eurofurence has also removed Pepper Coyote from their performance schedule.

Update (Aug 21): The CPI has dissolved following accusation of sexual misconduct around leader Caleb Maupin. In response, PepperCoyote has simply stated he's no longer a member of the CPI.

Movie review: 'Luck' (2022)

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Luck (teaser trailer) is a 2022 computer-animated movie released on August 5 on the Apple TV+ streaming service. It's the first animated film from Skydance, to be followed by Spellbound.

The story follows Sam, an extremely unlucky 18-year-old. After years in an orphanage and never being adopted, she moves into her first apartment. When she encounters a black cat, her luck suddenly changes, becoming good - and when it reverts to her previous bad luck, she follows the cat into the magical Land of Luck, the source of all luck in our world (both good and bad).

Most of the film revolves around Sam trying to regain luck - not for herself, but to help a younger girl at the orphanage - while a series of evasions and accidents escalate into circumstances that threaten the Land of Luck itself.

It's an ok film, with a really nice magical world, although the story has tons of holes if you think about it too much. Furry-wise, besides the cat, most of the characters are leprechauns. Here and there are some cartoony bunnies and pigs, plus a couple of other background creatures that you don't often see anthropomorphized (goats and root vegetables). And a large, pink, six-limbed dragoness, in charge of good luck. She's not in too many scenes, but she's definitely one of the highlights!

Interestingly, this film lacks a clear antagonist; most of the conflict is situational in nature. I wouldn't say this movie is a must-see, but it's fine to pass the time with, and I think it shows a lot of potential for what Skydance could make in the future, if they polish up their writing a bit.

(Spoilers and griping under this cut.)

The dragon

From the Yerf Archive