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Maskimals…

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Maskimals…if you are in the Furry Fandom, you have already seen a lot of uproar over these things. Whether you love them or you absolutely hate them, they still exist.

They are a Walmart-brand of animal masks that may-or-may-not be marketed for and to the Furry Fandom…and they are one of the newest things that the fandom has been fighting and arguing over. Are they good or bad? Should they be used for fursuits? Does this hurt fursuit makers? Is this a good way to get our fandom out there and have it normalized? All of these have been topics of discussion.

So, trying to put my personal opinion aside (as best that I can), I decided to explore some of these questions and put in an ‘more-mature’ 2-cents…


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  • Should Maskimals be used as Fursuits?

—Whether I say yes or no, they will still be used, so, the question is a bit irrelevant. Conventions will still be flooded with these masks and will still become cluttered with people claiming them as their Fursona, same as what happened with the Mr.Fox mask.
But, in all honesty, the answer is “yes”. Yes they CAN be used as Fursuits…but should they be? Well, it’s all a matter of opinion.

I believe that for people that have never fursuited before (but that might be interested in doing so), this might be a good starting point. The materials are cheap, but, I hear the vision is good, and it breathes well enough. It won’t give you the real-feel on what it is truly like to wear a fursuit but, if you can’t handle wearing these masks all day…then perhaps fursuiting is not for you. I would rather someone pay $20 and decide they don’t like it rather than pay $500+ on a suit and then realize the same thing.

Also, for younger fursuiters that can not afford a suit (and have yet to finish growing), these heads could be a really good starting point for them. I see so many kids at conventions wearing Fursuits that they will outgrow in a few years. That’s a lot of time and materials that cost a lot of money…
Some kids wanna suit but are not allowed to try and make their own. So, this allows them to get in on the fun…even if I do think these things look horrible.

For those people (like me) that think these things are ugly, well, I have actually seen a few people online doing a complete re-haul on these heads. They were able to add new ears, new eyes…they were able to add more designs, and etc. You can barely tell that they were a Maskimal, and they can actually look pretty cool. Again, the materials may not be the greatest…and even with someone redoing the head, because of the way it was manufactured it will always be just so-so in quality, but, they can end up looking really cool and could be a really great starting point for younger Fursuit Makers.


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  • Do they hurt the Fursuit Makers (business)?

—One of the more major complaints on the Maskimals (outside of how they look) is that people fear this will hurt a Fursuit-Makers business. They feel like finding a cheap substitute for an animal costume will make the fandom move away from the custom-suits…thus, artists and makers will suffer. Is this true? I personally do not think so.

In fact, I actually think these Maskimals will do the opposite. I feel like they might actually increase the number of fursuiters, thus bringing a boost in business. Not only that, but I feel like these Maskimals might actually increase the number of potential Fursuit Makers out there as people develop an interest in customizing their characters, and making something more unique. I have never seen other cheap-animal masks conquering the fursuit-market before…so I doubt it would happen now.

Why do I think this? Let me put this into a scenario for you to better understand…

Telephone, Majira Strawberry, Tayerr, Beauty of the Bass, Pocari Roo…
If you are in the Furry Fandom, chances are you know these fursuiters (some or all of them) and/or you have seen them on YouTube. They are part of a group known as the ‘Popufurs’…meaning they are really popular and adored, pretty much ‘revered’ in the fandom with a massive fan-base. While the people themselves are loved, most of their popularity has come from their Fursuits and the characters they portray.
Whether or not, people want to admit it…a good chunk of the fandom only wants a fursuit for the recognition it brings them in the fandom. They get noticed more, they get more likes, they get more messages…fursuiters get more of the spotlight. This is nothing new. So, when you take a bunch of people wanting to be the next Telephone or the next Pocari on YouTube, and then you place them in a Maskimal…they will realize, that they are not getting the attention they want or crave. After that, it’s just a cycle of events.
That person will want to make a custom character and stand out…they might mod their Maskimal, or, they might even start saving the money to buy a pre-made suit. If they mod their Maskimal, that might make them become interested in fursuit-making, and thus start them down the path to doing fursuit commissions and bettering themselves and perfecting their craft.
As these people make their own custom character, get more attention, and etc…they will want the better suits, they will want a partial, then maybe a fullsuit. They will want more views on their YouTube or more likes on their Twitter. It will become like an addiction, and business can only flourish from this.
They will need refs if they want someone else to build a suit for them, they will want art of the character and badges for conventions. They will want everything that comes with being a Furry and that means more money going into the community and more artists getting recognized and funded.

This (of course) is a more extreme case. And it was merely an example…but, if you have been in the fandom as long as I have, and if you have seen the younger furries coming into the fandom and what they desire and why, then you know that what I am saying is true…

Yes, you may roll your eyes and groan. I understand your feelings completely, but, you have to understand that we all start somewhere…and it’s up to us to set the example and really help them understand the fandom, and do the thing our fandom is known for: being open and accepting.


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  • A good way to normalize the fandom?

—I have seen many debates on whether or not these Maskimals were marketed towards the Furry Fandom. My personal opinion is that it’s a mixture. Walmart makes a lot of money, and they are not stupid as to what consumers want. When Fursuit-making became a larger-thing in the community, suddenly Walmart decided to sell faux-fur in their sewing sections.

As the Furry Fandom continued to grow and gain more attention in the media, suddenly the Maskimals appear. Not to say that they are strictly marketed towards furries, but, the fandom is still a huge demographic for them outside of children and perhaps some very-drunk, very-crazy college kids X’D

But, is this a good way to normalize the fandom? To get people used to seeing other people walk around in huge, foam, animal heads? I personally would NOT like to be represented this way. Furries have…evolved. Looking back on old conventions in the 80’s and 90’s is terrifying…and thank goodness styles have evolved and changed. Even people outside of the fandom have a particular taste, and, they know what looks cute, and what looks absolutely cringy.

So, while it might be a way of normalizing the fandom… I would not want it to become normalized via cheap heads sold at Walmart. I would rather the fandom be normalized because people see the amazing conventions that are hosted, and the charities that these conventions help. I want it to become normalized because furries are visiting children’s hospitals and other places where people are sick, or injured…and because furries really brighten up the day.

I want it to become normalized via accurate representation on the news and on TV shows…but, if these Maskimals help, then, so be it…it’s just not my personal preference.


  • Conclusion:

—Unfortunately, what a lot of people get when they post about Maskimals is a bunch of hate from the fandom. People talking about how they are not fursuits, how they are ugly, how they are cheaply made, and etc. I was one of those people that said they look pretty terrible…but I at least tried to say it in a way that was not harsh.

But some of the people posting against the Maskimals can be downright mean, and it does show the uglier side of the fandom. Since the fursuiting portion of the fandom is only about 20%, it does show that we have developed a standard for fursuiting…but we fail to realize that in trying to uphold a standard and being brutally (and cruelly) honest with our opinions and feelings on these things, we have been discouraging a lot of the younger members of the fandom, and really making the furry fandom a less inviting and accepting place than we claim to be.

I think the YouTuber called “Hugh” the German Shepherd said it best when they said that by doing this to people without the money for a suit, and without the means to make their own, we are discouraging someone that could be the next big Fursuit Maker…
We are discouraging possible talent, someone that could possibly contribute greatly to the fandom.

We are (in a sense) really ruining our image…and these Maskimals will bring a new flux of people in that will come in wanting to make friends and make art, only to be shunned, bashed, and ridiculed because people thing a Maskimal only looks good when it is on fire >.>;;;

Yes, everyone has a right to their own opinion…but it is in how you execute that right that separates the good person from the internet bully. So, even if you don’t like the Maskimals, try and give the pros and cons in an educated and mature manner. When confronted with a post about them where you know you can not be nice in any way…hide the post, or be an adult and just IGNORE it unless you have something “constructive” to contribute.

I have posted some furry videos down below discussing the Maskimals that cover the good and bad of it all, and I highly suggest you check those out.

But, as always, you can drop me your opinion in the comment-section down below and let me know what YOU think about these things. As always, thank you all so much for reading and your continued support…I will see you all in the next blog 😉


  • Videos:

^^This one was my favorite video. Very straight-to-the point without a lot of ranting going on. I say this is the best for a positive opinion.

^^Obviously a younger fur that makes their point via a rant. Def more aggressive but still makes a point. The only thing that makes you a Furry is the love of anthro animals. So, whether you have a top-notch fursuit or a Maskimal…you are still valid in the fandom. Do I believe you should call it your Fursona? Well…no. I think fursona’s should be unique in a way, but, if you wanna say that’s your Fursona, I would never stop you. They make a very good point in that you can not copyright nature.

^^ A more popular furry in the fandom with a professional fursuit that does not like Maskimals for obvious reasons. Has a more negative opinion on them, and actually supports making fun of them. Has some good points as to why they are NOT fursuits but, overall talks about saving for a professionally-made fursuit and etc. Advises people not to buy them (unless it’s as a joke), but acknowledges he can not stop someone from buying them. Acknowledges that people that buy these will probably be made fun of in the fandom. I only posted this to show what the regular-hate for these things looks like.
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Fursuit Friday Feature #26: FANG/ZAPHIRA

Heya fuzzbutts, and happy Fursuit Friday!!!!

It has been awhile, but, I wanna welcome you to another Fursuit Friday Feature!
I would have gotten one out much sooner, but, for those of you who follow my YouTube channel, you wil know that my activity all but stopped until recently. My computer has been on the fritz…and while I try and get this issue fixed, well, hopefully this is something to bring a smile to your face because it brought one to mine!

I was approached by a buddy named Togo that said he knew a fursuiter that would like to be interviewed. How could I refuse? I love featuring people in my blog, and I have not been disappointed. Fang and Zaphira are both incredible suits to see, and the stories behind them even more amazing!

I love experienced Fursuiters and people that have been in the fandom long enough to have a ton of adventures and a ton of stories. With those things also come a ton of helpful advice which we are never too short on 😀

But enough rambling, welcome back to Fursuit Friday Feature, and here’s to getting to know the personality and these amazing suits!!


1.Name:  James Miller

2. Character Name(s): Fang/ Zaphira

3. Character Species:  Wolf/ Cat-Dragon

4. Fursuit Maker (can include links to shop if you want):  I made my suits myself along with one additional one.  All three were created in the past 2 years along with plans of making 2 more in the near future.  I will be constructing them for my wedding dated for November 10th, 2018.  

5. Total Cost (optional)—  Fang cost about $200.  He is my Jo Anne Fabrics baby.  I got their crap, 60% off discounted fur along with discounted foam and discounted hot glue sticks.  My mother had some craft supplies that I borrowed and used into the suit.  Zaphira was a bit more involving DreamVisonCreations materials such as their large feline resin head blank (c – hinge joints), all the head accessories, and paw shaping materials (claws and palm pads).  Also, I used better fur purchased from fabrics.com at $25 per yard.  Zaphira came out to be a whopping $1,000.  Both look about 250 man hours to make.  

6. How long did it take you to get your Fursuit?  As stated previously, 250 man hours per suit.  As far as months, Fang was about 3 months start to finish.  With Zaphira, I took more time on her and she came out about 15 months later.  

7. When did you decide that you wanted a Fursuit?  I actually knew back around 2011. I started a dragon head using needlepoint mesh after I was in Pittsburgh during Anthrocon. It ended when I went to college and was thrown out in 2015 (wish I didn’t).   I gave up due to life and lack of interest. Then, months after the dragon was in the garbage (1 month after I took my first job), I was in the city for work and witnessed another Anthrocon!  This time, I was able to purchase a day pass for Sunday, dress up in a spandex suit and Halloween wolf mask, passed a ball around with a few welcoming fursuiters, and fell in love. Side story, my fiancé at the time was with me, and that July, I found out she was cheating on me. The second sighting and her betrayal was the life spark for prototype Fang. 3 months later, Fang was fully born as a full suit.

8. Do you go out in public while wearing your suit? Tell us one of your favorite experiences!
Do I?!  I live in the wonderful city of Pittsburgh, home to Anthrocon. Once Fang was made, I was out between 2 – 4 weekends a month (including winter). I have ice skated, bar crawled, and toured. I have participated in events like a mascot meet, the Pittsburgh arts festival, animal convention, anime convention, numerous  bowling meets, baseball games, and even designed a yearly fursuit Pittsburgh stroll before Anthrocon. Not to mention being at different cons, Niagara Falls, and was offered a job as Fang here in Pittsburgh. My two favorite experiences would be Niagara Falls and Station Square. The falls because even out of the country, the people knew who we were. We were always being photographed, pulled aside to show others, and swarmed to such a point that I was uneasy as to how we could get away. There, Minion and I met up with good friends of ours, Togo and Saphira, that joined us in suiting, as well as Hoopycat that was a major help handling for us. Station Square was my stomping ground. There, I had fans that want every other weekend to meet me. They would always buy me a drink so they could watch me drink in suit. They were fun but not as impactful as the children. They would be by the water fountain and they would play ball with me. The people’s reactions watching from the restaurants were hilarious to watch as I pass the Melting Pot and the Grand Concourse. I loved suiting there until security told me to stop. No one was complaining but it was the fact that my head was covered. It is private property so I have respect them.

9. Have you been to any Cons in suit? If you have gone to multiple ones, which one is your favorite and why?
I have been to Anthrocon x3 (soon 4), WPAFW x2 (soon 3), AnthrOhio, Furpocalypse, and Fur-The-More. I loved AnthrOhio 2016. Alkali was there and made my entire experience. I had watched videos of him before but was never able to meet him in person. He was so approachable, funny, and relaxed the environment. He didn’t make himself the center, he was one of us. He was looking to us for the entertainment instead of being the focal point himself which he so easily could have. He was a guest like us and joked with us but brought so much to the table. He is now my idol.

10. How have people reacted to your Fursuit while you are out in Public?  On average, people enjoy interacting with me. I would say that 5% ignore me and 1% don’t like me wherever I am. I look to make high fives, waves and smiles everywhere I go. I do get an incalculable amount of pictures and the occasional hug from children. I had a kid that was scared of me at first, played fetch with me, followed me for well over an hour, and cried when we had to leave. I love my experiences suiting in public.

11. What was your main goal in getting a suit? Did you have any plans for it or did you just get one for fun?  Smiles. Smiles and to brighten everyone’s day. I could get into how bad day to day is for everyone and their mother, so I want to be a smile. If I can make someone smile, great. If I can make someone’s day, even better. People’s happiness is a way that I can be happy. I see the smiles and it is contagious to me and to everyone they meet.

12. How do you act differently in suit VS when you are dressed as you normally would?  In suit, I can express myself as I normally would like but often isn’t socially acceptable. It normally isn’t socially acceptable to kneel down and give a child a hug in the middle of the street. Nor is it to talk threw a modified dog toy squeaker. Not to over express an emotion or heightened energy level. I can’t normally boop noses or chase some tail (without my fiancé killing me). I can’t say hello to everyone I pass with a smile and wave like greeting friends at the door. And I surely can’t spread the laughter and excitement that we all need in our day to day life.

13. What is your favorite thing about wearing a Fursuit?
My favorite thing about wearing a fursuit is the ability to be myself and to have fun. I am able to have childish fun because I feel secure behind the mask. This definition of childish fun includes romping around, having massive amounts of energy, and being goofy to random passerbys. Of course, I need to include, all the smiling faces and pictures doesn’t hurt or bring me down any. What gets me the most, I guess, living in the city of Pittsburgh, is the level of acceptance both from fellow fursuiters and from muggles. Everywhere I go there is some level of acceptance towards us, just within the city of Pittsburgh, there is more of a craving. Store owners, event managers, even bartenders not only invite us in, but ask if there are others nearby. I guess my favorite thing about wearing a fursuit is wearing a fursuit and being whoever I want to be.

14. What is your least favorite thing about wearing a Fursuit?
My least favorite thing about wearing a fursuit would be the heat. I try many different ways to keep air ventilation for my suits the highest possible. No matter how many different ways I include, it is me wearing fur material from head to toe. I naturally run a bit warmer than the normal person so staying in suit is difficult especially considering the amount of energy I like to give off while in suit. I try to keep cool with vent holes, fans, and recently an ice vest. My advise is hydration is key and monitor yourself.

15. What advice would you give first-time Fursuiters and those considering getting a Fursuit?
I would say, make sure you clean your suit, make sure you are done growing, and make sure it is what you want. Clean your suits. I use rubbing alcohol spray mixed with some wintergreen alcohol spray. Highest percentage to really clean the suit. I spray it down with a spray bottle and brush it all out after every time I wear a suit. Also, I leave it out to air dry and to not get mold. I keep dryer sheets in the suits as well to keep them dry and smelling nice.

16. What would you say is your biggest peeve when it comes to your Fursuit?
See above

17. Do you think you will ever get another suit in the future? Would it be an upgrade to your current suit or a different character?
Currently working on 2 new ones. Upgrading my Fang suit.

18. Do you make any videos while in suit (YouTube): No

19. (Final Question): Any extra words of wisdom you would like to add for anyone reading this? [it can literally be about anything]: Have fun, watch who you choose to be friends with, it’s a social support group and do what makes you happy.


Thanks to James for the amazing interview!!!

It is true that suits often liberate us from certain constraints. I know that in Rune I feel much more confident, and all I aim to do when wearing him is to bring happiness to others. The smiles and hugs that you get in suit is its own kind of reward that can not be easily explained…and suiting is a journey all in itself.

Whether you make your own or you buy one, there is a process we all go through in getting used to the suit, in judging what things are okay, what is not. It is true, there are things we must be wary about as well. Suiting is fun, but not everyone understands…and it all comes down to respect. There is still a code of conduct we must follow when out in public, and its important to remember that even when we are in a costume playing at fantasy, we are still in reality.

But it’s always wonderful to hear about the journey…the progress that people make in their creations and even in suiting in general. In this case, the first suit, to all the care and extra work put into a second. I can only wish this person so much more amazing things in the future and I look forward to seeing the upgraded Fang and other future suits to see just how much more progress has been made!! 😀

So thanks to James again and thanks to Togo for directing him this way! So awesome to have you both in my blog!!!

Thank you everyone for your continued support! Remember, I am always accepting new people to interview. It doesn’t even have to be for Fursuit Friday! Artists, crafters, if it’s Furry-related, we can get you featured! Just leave a link to your FA, facebook, or Twitter down below and I will get to you ASAP!

But until then, I will see you all in the next one 😉

Lets talk about TFF (still relevant?)

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I originally started this blog back in April (if you can believe it). I had the whole first part typed out since I had been taking my sweet time in getting anything done. It read:

Hello everyone! I am finally back from TFF (Texas Furry Fiesta in Dallas)- I actually made it back yesterday but my sleeping schedule and just coming back to reality, well, it has me a little down in the dumps so, it has been taking me a good minute to make any sort of progress when writing and/or making videos.

I was determined to get the blog post done while the con was still relevant and fresh in my mind. But every time I went to write the blog down, it got halted. Maybe it was because it seemed so “overwhelming” to me at the time, or, maybe it was still the post-con depression that was keeping me away…
Either way, here I am again at my desk, trying to put the convention into words while it may still seem interesting and might still be relevant, somewhere.


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Texas Furry Fiesta…it was my first furry convention ever, and I must say that it was nothing short of amazing. I HAD A BLAST! There was so much there that was new to me. I went and suited in Rune with my buddy Captain, got to meet some really awesome fursuiters, and got to check out some really nifty events and panels while I was there as well.
I saw some people I had featured in the blog before, got tons of hugs, and I even bought a few things here and there to commemorate the trip…so all-in-all it was an amazing first experience. My furry con cherry has now been officially popped…but goodness did the whole event seem to go by too fast!!!

I know I was there, but everything great and magical all seemed to go by in the blink of an eye. I never wanted it to end because I was having such a good time! I believe this is where “post-con depression” comes from…

But anyways, because the con was so massive and because there were so many different parts to it that it would take much to long to explain…I managed to break down everything I liked about the con and such into some questions that I think people might be wondering about the trip, about my time there, and etc. So, lets go ahead and get that all underway:


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  • Was the convention as magical as it looks on YouTube?

—The answer to this is a bit of a yes-and-no situation. YouTube videos of the convention are amazing. They really make you feel emotional with all the powerful music and all the fun people are having. Trust me when I say that those aspects of the con exist! But, only if you put yourself into them. How would it be best to explain? The convention is what you make it. So, if you spend all your time wandering around and avoiding people, then no, the convention will not really seem that magical. But, if you ask for pics, interact with suiters, go into panels that are fun and funny, and you really make an effort to get out and do something awesome, then the convention will be fantastic! And even without the music…if you make it great, the convention will be just as magical as it was on YouTube. So, did I find the convention to be magical? For the most part, yes. It was pretty awesome!


 

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Rune, Tato, and PBJ

  • Did people recognize you?

—It was actually pretty surprising to me, but, there were actually people at the convention that recognized Rune! Now, granted, most people recognized him because of my YouTube Channel…but there were a few people like Spade and Tato that recognized Rune because I had interviewed them for Female Fursuiter Month! So, it was actually pretty cool when I would hear my character’s name and then someone was waving at me! There was also a fan of Rune that said they saw me, but, they were too shy to approach me. Which, it kind of made me giggle. If at any point you see me at a convention, do not be scared to say hello to me! I am just as shy as you but I promise that I will not bite! If you ask for a hug or a picture, I promise you that you are seriously making my day!


 

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Captain and Rune – official TFF pic

  • How was fursuiting?

—Fursuiting was a mixture of the best thing ever and also the most challenging thing I have never done. I realized that it’s one thing to get into costume/suit for a Youtube video, but then it’s an entirely different thing to suit up at a convention and then get stopped every 5 minutes while you wander about blindly. Do not get me wrong, I loved every moment that I was in suit. I loved it when people would ask for my picture or would want a high-five. I loved all the hugs that I got and loved hearing people tell their friends how cute my costume was. I was stopped (along with Captain) by the same people over the course of 3-days because they loved our suits so much, and I got to also be Rune during an improv panel which was great fun as well! Even the fursuit parade was amazing! But, it wasn’t without its challenges. I have NEVER felt more drained in my life then after a whole day suiting! I understand now when fursuiters online stress on the cooling periods and in taking time to hydrate. Headless lounges are a god-send as I spent most the day sweating. It was so great just to cool down and drink some water away from the rest of the convention! But heat was not the only issue…
People would step on my tail, it was hard to get through certain areas with my feet on – I sneezed out my squeaker at one point, and Rune would get super ruffled. Luckily I did not need any emergency repairs or anything like that…but, while Fursuiting is amazing fun, it also takes a lot of practice, and lot of patience, and a lot of care in self and suit alike.


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Rune and Drummer

  • Favorite con moments?

—It’s so hard just to narrow done the convention to just a few moments. Even when I tried, I ended up with 5 things that were just…so amazing. Unforgettable moments really. But there are several more than just these! So, first amazing moment was getting to meet Adam King (the owner of Xytras and Drummer) – not only do I adore Drummer’s suit and wanted a pic, I see Adam as a icon for the Furry Fandom. His philosophy, his wisdom, just everything he gives back to the community makes him someone to look up to! Though I have not even been to his meets in San Antonio, he has taken so many furries under his wing and provided a place for them to meet up and have fun, and now he is hosting his own convention this year in which I want to attend! So that’s just part of the reason why getting to meet him and take pics with both his suits counts as one of my fave moments at the convention!

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Rune and Blueberry

Another favorite moment was getting to meet Blueberry the Dutch Angel Dragon! She was so tiny and cute!!! I have never seen such a young Fursuiter, and she was so much fun and just seemed so sweet! She later found my YouTube Channel which was awesome!

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TFF Fursuiters get ready for the Parade!

The Fursuit Parade was another one of my favorite moments. I have never been in a parade before, and this one really makes you feel like a celebrity! There were so many amazing fursuits, and, the minute you leave the lobby to start the parade there are people clapping and cheering! It’s not as lively as portrayed on YouTube though. After awhile the parade gets pretty quiet and all the fursuiters start to get tired thus the line moves a lot slower. Still, I got to give a lot of high-fives and squeak at a lot of people. It was great!

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The Fursuit Games!

The Fursuit games was another interesting memory. I just remember asking Captain: “Will it be hard?” since fursuits tend to get very hot. She said: “No, it won’t be anything crazy! They keep it simple because they know people get tired!” so I believed her and we decided to give the games a go. NO…just…NO! The fursuit games were insane!!! I was linking legs with Circuit while trying to do a crab-walk in a forward line…and then I ended up doing my crab-walk with one hand because Circuit has a 6ft tail that I kept sitting on! And that was just the first game!!!!
But, even though it was crazy, the other games were a lot of fun. Rune got tapped my the “scorpion” in one of the games, and I got to do a very dramatic dying scene which made people giggle. So it was actually really fun and I am glad I was a part of that.

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Little girl says hi to Rune and Captain

The last ‘best’ memory from the con is a section I like to call: “Hi Pokemon”.
So, Captain and I were leaving the headless lounge when suddenly we heard someone say: “You wanna go say hi to them?”
Next thing I know, this little Asian girl is coming up to us. She could not have been older than 2-3 years old and she says: “Hi Pokemon!” she just kept saying high and giving us high-fives! She was so cute it melted my heart! She was just too adorable! Captain and I may not be Pokemon…but for that little girl, we would be Pokemon forever!!!


 

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I got a pic with Saiya the Sergal!

  • Post-con depression:

—After the convention, there is the rumor of people getting “post-con depression”, where the sadness of leaving the con just has you in a slump. I kinda thought it was all just people being silly, and of course they would miss their friends making them sad and such…but having been to TFF and then left, I am here to say that post-con-depression is real!!!

I had not even left the son but a few hours prior, and I was on a bus back to Austin when I just started feeling terrible! I think it’s because (as mentioned before), the son just goes by way too fast! Everything happens in the blink of an eye…all those panels, the dance competition, the shopping, and all the photos. All of it feels like it happened in a matter of hours rather than days. That, and, you start thinking of the things you missed, the people you may not have seen, and you start thinking of the things you learned and what could have happened differently (at least I did this).

I also think that suiting for so long and being so tired, malnourished, and dehydrated plays a part in this as well but, I was suffering from this down-feeling for a good week-and-a-half before I started feeling better.


 

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Captain (left), Telephone (middle), and Rune (right) – and a random Elk!

  • Advice for newbie con-goers:

—Listen to people that have been to conventions before! They know what they are doing (most of the time)! But from my personal experience, here are some basic tips for the newbie con-goers out there:

  1. Map out the venue ahead of time and try and figure out where everything is.
  2. Plan out some panels! Conventions are fun by themselves but you will have large pockets of boredom if you don’t find something to fill your time!
  3. Do not stay by yourself or avoid people! Conventions are a social event! You won’t have any fun if you just wander around and keep to yourself! So meet people, start a conversation, try and make some friends!
  4. Do yourself a favor and go watch the dance competition! It’s amazing!
  5. If you’re going in a fursuit, make sure you have a RELIABLE handler!
  6. Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated whether you are in a suit or not!
  7. If you can get a room in the hotel hosting the convention…do it. It may be more expensive but, it will be worth it!
  8. Do not just sit around in the lobby (if you can help it)- you will be missing so much if you do! It’s not worth it!
  9. Take lots of pictures! Majira Strawberry once said that he wished he took more photos because he could not remember most of what he did at the convention (since it went by so fast)! He was right! Without pictures, I would be lost as to half of the things I saw and did at the convention! So take pictures and make memories!
  10. Do not flood the popular fursuiters! Ask their permission to get a pic, if they are busy then come back later. Do not bother fursuiters in the headless lounge! That is our place to relax!

 

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Captain (far left), LolliHolli (left), Match (middle), Midnight (right), and Rune (far right)

  • Would I change anything about my experience?

—While I loved TFF to death, there are a few things that I wish I could have changed about my first experience. Firstly, I would have planned out some more panels. I had no idea how much down-time there was going to be between panels and people just not really suiting and etc…so I wish I had seen more things and gotten involved in more events.

Another thing I would have changed would have been to have more reliable handlers. It might sound mean, but, while the handlers Captain and I had were good at times, we needed handlers to be there for us at ALL times, but we spent a lot of time wandering alone…and that can be dangerous. Plus, it would have been easier to get pictures. We missed a lot of good photo ops because there was no one there to take a picture for us, so there’s that. But, had there have been an emergency of some kind, without a handler, we could have been in some really serious shit (pardon my language).

I def would have liked to stay at the hotel hosting the convention. We were going for cheap rather than convenient…but with how often I was hopping out of Rune and then back in Rune and not wanting to carry him around, well, it was too many visits to the car to put him away. That and, changing in the headless lounge or a bathroom somewhere is not as comfy as if we had our own rooms. Or, if we just wanted to nap but did not want to sleep on a table…that would have been nice too since convention rules state that you’re not really allowed to sleep on hotel property unless you are in your own room.

Lastly, I wish I had really made more friends. I found that even in my fursuit I was still really shy. I was reserved and even in some pics I look ‘uncomfortable’ even though I wasn’t…I was just shy. But, even though my buddy Captain is the best con pal you can have, when we split up, I was bored and very lonely. I watched a bunch of convention videos after the con ended, and I realized that the #1 reason why those con videos are so magical s because it’s full of groups of friends goofing off together. You would see these groups everywhere having fun…and they had the best pics, the best memories, the best videos…all because they had a group to experience the convention with. Call me envious, but, I would like to have even more people to hang out with next year.

Oh…and I’m bringing my own car this time…
No more of that bus nonsense and relying on other people…


 

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Captain and Rune with Cade Cardigan Corgy!

  • Conclusion:

—Overall I could not have had a better time at TFF. It was bumpy, sure…and there are things I would have liked to change but, altogether I see it as a learning experience / something I can really draw from and use to prepare myself for next year. It took me awhile to write this blog because it was my first con, and with that come a lot of emotions. But, I did it.

Next year I won’t put off the blogs for so long, and I will write them sooner to keep them more relevant…but you can trust me when I say that Furry Conventions are an amazing place to be. They can be a bit pricey, they are not always what you might expect…but this can be for the better. I know I spent a lot more money than I thought, got some amazing souvenirs and got to see some amazing suits, even more amazing talent, all while helping a good cause…but yes, if you have a Furry Convention that you have been debating on going to…go…just go…I do not think you will regret it!

So hey, thanks so much for tuning in and reading this blog! I am very humbled by your continued support! Do not forget to watch my TFF videos down below, and as always, I will see you all in the next one 😉


  • Videos:

Welcoming my Sister to the Furry Fandom!

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*”Welcoming my Sister” – Art by thelostcause86 (FA)
Mia-the-winged-wolf belongs to me / Strawberry belongs to my Sister*

Siblings…
It’s one of those bonds that are really hard to explain. The relationships can be so varied. I know siblings that used to love each other as kids, and now, they can barely stand one another. Then, there are cases like my Sister and I where…we hated each other when we were little. But despite even that, I always had her back…and as adults, we are closer to best-friends.

But, no matter your current sibling-relationship, there is always that time in your life when your siblings looks up to you…and/or they want the things you want and want to be involved in the things you’re involved in. Imagine my shock then when 10+ years later and my Sister is asking for a Fursona!!!!


So, this all happened after the Dallas Convention I had attended (Texas Furry Fiesta 2017), and all my photos of it had been posted on facebook. I get a call from my younger Sister who is feeling a bit down (because her hubby just went to Basic Training for the Army)…and she starts talking to me about the fursuits.

She said they all looked cute, and it looked like so much fun. She said that I should have a full-suit because wearing skinny jeans with monster feet just looked silly. Then she says: “I want one.”

I was quiet for a moment. The statement took me by surprise: “Um…what?”
“I want a fursuit! I think it would be fun!”
“What would you even be?”
“I would be a pink kitty! Or maybe a white one, I dunno.”

I could hear the voice of Captain screaming in my ear at the mention of a white Fursuit, and I remember telling her that white was not a very good idea if she wasn’t prepared for the upkeep of it. Still, my Sister wanting a fursuit? Where did this come from?
I mean, I have heard of “Furry Conversion” in a sense…where people introduce family into the fandom, make them a sona, and then slowly try and get them into it all but, with my Sister and I being nearly black-and-white when it comes to personality…well, one could maybe see and understand where I might be a little confused.

So then what else could we do but try and determine her Fursona? She already said she wanted a kitty…so that was a start. My main sona was a wolf but, she didn’t really care for that…again, a black-and-white situation.

So, long-story-short I am talking to my buddy flamesvoices as all of this is unwinding and she starts sending me fox sonas and feline sonas she had stashed away in her magical folders. Then at long last she sends a pink kitty my way, and sure enough, my Sister falls in love with it.

Lets just be clear…I think pink is gross haha.

by Brit Mapes

*Art by Brit Mapes*

So, on that day my Sister became known as “Strawberry the Kitten”. She wasn’t going to keep that name at first but, then she decided that changing it would be too much of a hassle. Still, she loved the character and I wanted to give my Sister an authentic Furry experience.

So what did I do?
Well, I posted in some free art groups I was part of on facebook and tried to get her some art to try and start her collection (since I knew she would not have money for art for some time). And sure enough, the fandom pulled through…I mean, it REALLY pulled through! My sister got more art in the first 24 hours of having the character than I got my first 4 YEARS of being in the fandom!

*(Top left) Art by flamesvoices / (Top right) Art by theacriliccat – colored by Emma Parks/
(Bottom left) Art by Casey Renner / (Middle) Art by Emma Louise Jarvis / (Bottom right) Art by Emma Louise Jarvis w her character and Strawberry*


My Sister was thrilled each time she got a gift. She was so surprised with how nice people were, how awesome they had been in accepting her. I told her that it was one of the things I loved most about the fandom.

So many people were merely excited that a family member had decided to try this thing out for themselves. I think a bit of it was people being relieved that she had such an open-view of the whole ‘furry’ thing when there are people whose families do not always take it so well.

But, I have always been lucky in that my Sister is open-minded, and she really does her research on things before passing judgement. Like everyone else, she has heard the misconceptions about furries, and she has heard what people ‘claim’ a Furry is. But, unlike most other people…rather than just believe the first thing she heard, she decided to come to me (someone in the fandom) and ask me about it. Now, outside of my wife, she is my biggest supporter, and, she even watches my YouTube videos from time-to-time.

So, if ever you see Strawberry out-and-about on Forums and the like, feel free to give her a nice warm welcome! Also, if you wanna say some words to her here, I will be glad to pass on the message!

But, this was more a personal blog just letting everyone know that I am still alive, all-the-while giving a big, warm, Furry-welcome to my Sister!!!

See you all in the next blog 😉

Female Fursuiter Month (part 8)

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So, the month of March is ending and with it comes the end of “Female Fursuiter Month”. This saddens me a bit because I have had so much fun talking to all the different ladies who came forth to share their pics and their small little writings for this blog. I feel like this has spurred me to be more active in this blog that I have in such a long time, and it’s been such an amazing month and journey for this  blog…so, here’s one final entry until we say goodbye (at least until next March)


#femalefursuitermonth


CAMO VOLUNTEER

camo volunteer 1

“This is the old version of my suit (he’s being updated rn and getting legs and feet!) but his name is Volunteer the Firefighting Dutch Angel Dragon. And well I love playing as Volunteer and my other sonas and just being part of a fuzzy family. It also gives me a lot of confidence and joy to talk to people (especially talking about my volunteer firefighting profession)”


TRINITY TROTTIER

Trinity Trottier

“This is me and my character, scaramouche! I live my life as a leading and social, extroverted person, I have seen so many young furries and most of them were female, these girls inspired me to be who I am today, with my best pal moochie! He’s mad at me because I didn’t talk about him, he’s an egotistical bird with the attitude of a horse!”


KIARA ESPADA

Kiara Espada

“This suit’s name is Sanchez.
Since I started suiting, I’ve enjoyed cons a lot more and have started to chip away at my shell. I’m an introvert and find it difficult to attend cons, social gatherings, etc. I’ve started to make a few more friends, or at least acquaintances, since I started suiting. I’m a lot happier when I get a chance to suit and make others smile.”


MANA KLEMP

Mana Klemp

“My name is Mana, I’m a 24 year old cosplayer and new fursuiter. (Like super new, just started on Feb 26). My suit is Tweek, the cockatiel themed dutch angel dragon I adopted from Immortal Fursuits, he’s the reason I became a furry XD I fell in love and my one friend was already getting a suit made. Fursuiting has made be decide to strive to learn the art and do more than just cosplay, plus I have gained friends through it.”


HONORABLE MENTIONS:

^^^Funneh Sky (suit/left) – Tess (Center suit/Right)^^^


The honorable mentions were people that never sent in a written part but wished to be featured anyways. But, this brings us to the last entry and the end of Female Fursuiter Month! Thanks so much to the amazing ladies that participated! Thanks to those who answered my post on “Fursuits=<3″,”Furries With Real Fursuits”, and “The Official Dutch Angel Dragon Community” – you are all awesome! Also to those who found me through Amino and participated…a huge thanks goes out to you as well!!! 😀

Now that this is over, more blogs are coming in the future! I have a bunch of TFF blogs planned (if I can stop being lazy and just do it) as well as other things coming up! Also I plan on sharing more videos from my YouTube Channel on here and do more fursuit blogs as well! So, be looking out for those!

Anyways, thank you all for reading and for your continued support! And, as always, I will see you all in the next blog 😉

Female Fursuiter Month (part 3)

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Wowza!!!
Welcome back to another installment for “Female Fursuiter Month”! I am still blown away by how many people wanted to enter into this, and I already know that more requests are piling in. Through this, I have seen a lot of amazing suits…and it’s been so fun getting to chat with people about fursuiting! I mean, I get to do it with my Fursuit Friday features, but, never to this extent really!!!

And I think seeing all these suits are getting me even more hyped for TFF as I really hope that I get to bump into and actually meet some of the people that have submitted for this 😀


  • How it Works:

—The whole month of March is dedicated to female fursuiters. So, all I ask is for a picture of yourself next to a picture of your fursuit. Then, I ask that you tell me a little about yourself and your suit, and that you tell me how fursuiting might have changed you or influenced you in any way. If you are interested in doing this project and being featured in my blog, then leave a comment down below with a link to your FA, facebook, or Twitter so that I can get those details!


#femalesursuitermonth


Kelly Ludovice

Kelly Ludovice

“Hey my name is Kelly Ludovice. I have been furry for about 6 plus years now I live in Houston, Texas. I am 20 years old. Fursiting has made more outgoing because I have special needs. I have been bullied for most of my life because of it. Fursuiting makes me have a more playful side I never had before and makes forget for moment that I do have disabilities and that I am just like everyone else.”


Alexa Beers

Alexa Beers

“Hello I’m Alexa!
My fursuits name is Blue Keaton.
There really isn’t much to me just a girl out there who wants to make life as it is.
I discovered that people make and wear fursuits in 2011 and actually I’m pretty impressed how far and how well fursuits are being made today! I have become, really, a better person ever since I found the fandom. I found my passion. 🙂 Sewing
Eyo come check out my dev art page magic boi- http://ggirtc.deviantart.com


Bryanna Miller

Bryanna Miller

“Hey! My names Bryanna, I’m only 16 and this fandom has impacted my life in such a positive way since 2010! It has made me way more outgoing and happier. I have suffered harassment and many mental health disorders such as major depression, ptsd, anxiety, and ect and a form of personality disorder that’s not super affective but occurs in bad situations, the point is these problems and more have really messed me up , but this fandom keeps me grounded and happy, And I know my suit I made isn’t perfect, but nor am I, everything about it speaks me, I am so thankful to be part of this amazing fandom with many amazing suitors along with it , You all are an inspiration to me and I hope to make many new friends here. Today’s the day we woman get to speak and be noticed, And I’m proud to be among many ladies in the fursuit world :)”


Christina Raymond

Christina Raymond

“A little about me:
I’m 26, got introduced to cosplay in 2008 and have spread my creative wings since. My first cosplay was a suit of shadow Lugia. This suit gave me great respect for others wearing them because of the time it takes to Make and put on. It also made me feel free emotionally to see all the smiles on adults and kids to :)”


So there you have it, there’s another part down!

But, we still have more to go! So many awesome women, so many amazing suits! I was and continue to be blown away by these gorgeous submissions and all the hard work and love that goes into these fursuits and just fursuiting in general. The way it has affected people…the way it has made lives better. This is partly what this community and fandom is all about! The spread of joy, love, and fun! Getting to be creative and getting to feel so free and just be yourself! Possibilities are limitless here!!!

Anyways, thank you all for tuning in! More blogs to come! I will see you all in the next one! 😉

Female Fursuiter Month (part 2)

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Hi hi furries and fuzzbutts!
Welcome to another part of the “Female Fursuiter Month” series! When I posted asking for female fursuiters, I did not expect to get the response that I did. Now here I am looking at  a 2nd and possibly even a 3rd part now, and I am overjoyed! There are so many awesome suits out there and it has been so fun getting to talk to these amazing women in the furry fandom! I think this has been one of my best blog ideas in a good while ^^;


  • How it works:

—So throughout the entirety of March, I will be taking submissions for people to be featured for “Female Fursuiter Month” / all that is required is a pic of yourself next to pic of your fursuit, and then you tell me a little about yourself along with why or how fursuiting has changed and possibly influenced your life! If you want to participate, feel free to drop a comment down below with a link to either your facebook, FA, or Twitter where I might reach you so that you can send me the details 😀


#femalefursuitermonth


Zelera A R Montieth

Zelz

“Hi, my name is ZeleraARMontieth, Zelz for short. I am a full time college student hoping to create a business making fursuit and Cosplay/props. My two suits are Akuma the demon monster kitsune, and Tato the monster unicorn! Both of these suits are near and dear to my heart and mean alot to me personally. Both represent a different part of my personality and are very special. Fursuiting has changed my life because I am very shy and unsocial, and with my sonas I am able to actually meet new people with and I have become more outgoing. This has also given me the opportunity to make a career doing what I love.“


Amanda Marie Smith

Amanda Marie Smith

“I’m a 26 year old Florida Fursuiter! My main fursona is Senshine the Fairydog (On the bottom with my family <3) which I created way back in 2004! I’ve always been interested in fursuiting, but it wasn’t until 2015 that I got my first fursuit, Phan the Opossum! Sense then I’ve gone crazy for it, and invest a lot of time and money into maintaining and acquiring my fursuits! These are three of them, and a fourth is on it’s way!
I go suiting for local charity events, and occasionally can be spotted marching around a nearby flea market for fun! Over the years I’ve grown more tolerant and understanding and aim to be even more so thanks to friends I’ve gained through my suiting. During the week I work a simple 9-6 dayjob as a desk jockey to support my three dogs, two cats, and my partner’s education. <3″


Jade Harleybutt

Jade Harleybutt and Lemon

“I’m 19 years old and live in the north East of England. Lemon was my first fursuit and my only one. I have no job and currently get benifits due to bad health. I have a disease known as crohn’s disease and I am in hospital quite a bit, fursuiting helps me break free of all that as it’s something I enjoy and takes my mind off things. I enjoy watching stuff on youtube, reading webcomics like Homestuck and BitterSweet Candy Bowl, Watching cartoons and Anime and also drawing in my free time, which I have a lot of.”


Amandine Lebiot

Amandine Lebiot

“Hi.
I have a revelation for you, Liverpool is a girl!
I am 24 years old. I live in France.
I created my 2 fursuits myself and am currently making the third.
Liverpool is a dragon/sergal mixed with deadpool (i love this character)
When i have my suit on me i am free, happy nobody knows who i am, i can laugh, play, run, and jump.
I am feeling like i am myself.
I like to be my OC – play with children, laugh with the parent(s)
I can be the happy side of me.”


So how awesome was that? Getting to see all these awesome and amazing ladies???

I will admit, I had a fan-girling moment when I saw that the owner of Liverpool had commented on my post. I had seen the suit on YouTube and always thought it was amazing, but yeah, getting to know a little bit more about the person and such really made my day! Also, that Opossum suit is just too cute! Such a unique suit as you don’t see many people using that as their fursona.

But isn’t that what is so amazing about this fandom? It’s all about creativity!! I see all these creative characters with people that love them! Some bought their suits, others made them themselves with time, blood, sweat, tears, pride, and joy…and these characters, no matter where they came from, are all important and make the fandom that much brighter!

So happy “female fursuiter month” to everyone! Thanks so much for these lovely ladies that participated and helped me out with my blog!

More parts to this coming soon! So thank you all so much for reading, and, I will see you all in the next blog 😉

Sharing a Furry Fandom Comic + thoughts

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Art by Keovi

Hi, hi everyone!
It has been awhile since I wrote an ACTUAL blog outside of my interviews and such. But there have been some things that have been on my mind lately that I really feel I should put my two cents is…

…and that is the Furry Fandom and how it’s so divided because of how people view furries and the idea that being a furry is sexual. So, I thought I would just take a moment to talk about that, and then show off a comic I just found today.

So, let’s get right into it:

DISCLAIMER: The following thoughts and comic below contain NSFW (not safe for work) content and it is advised that you are 18+ to view.  Also, these thoughts merely reflect my own personal opinion. I am not forcing my views on others, only ask that they be more open-minded and more educated on certain matters.

  • Is the furry fandom all about sex?

—Of course it’s not. The fandom (as stated on any website and as told by any personal knowledgeable of the fandom) is all about the liking of anthropomorphic animals. Animals with human-like qualities. That is the ONLY thing that defines a furry. BUT, before you go saying: “See? I knew sex had nothing to do with the fandom!” you have to acknowledge that while it is not applicable for everyone…sometimes being a furry can be a fetish for someone. Same as we do indeed have zoophiles in the fandom (even though we do not condone this behavior and most places will ban or delete any bestiality posts they find). These people exist, but they do not define the fandom as a whole. And for those that consider ‘furry’ as alternative-sex…they should not be shamed or even shunned for it because guess what? Sex is normal.

 

  • Sex is normal:

—And sex exists in ALL fandoms. Even the most innocent thing eventually ends up getting porn drawn of it and someone that actually finds it attractive and a turn-on. We do have kids in the fandom, yes. But, it’s not our responsibility as a fandom to be their parents. So while I agree that social sites with rules on porn (like facebook) should be censored, sites like Furaffinity with its labeling system should not be the target of people complaining that NSFW is disgusting and not what the fandom is about…just because there are children. The warning labels are there, and, if their parents can’t keep track of them then it’s not our fault they ended up seeing a penis.
Also, the more you ‘shame’ sex…the more you draw attention to the fandom. You validate it when people say the fandom is full of freaks because you are making a natural act suddenly “unnatural”. You are wagging the finger at normal people doing normal things with loved ones and partners. you are shaming a typical act carried out by consenting adults…and fueling the fires of hatred, disgust, and fear just because it’s something that you yourself are not into.

  • But some of those kinks tho…

—I will agree that some of the fetish art in the fandom goes beyond me. But, I can’t really shame them because I understand that I have kinks of my own that some people would easily look down on and criticize if they had the chance. Lets be clear, bestiality and anything relating to pedophilia will NEVER be okay. These things are illegal (in most places) for a damn good reason…and luckily, most furry sites have taken stances against said-things. However, your typical fetishes like latex, inflation, BDSM, plushies, and feet…all of these things existed outside of the fandom first, and naturally, with sexually-active people being furries, and sex being normal, those fetishes were bound to leak into the fandom at some point. Also, some of us actually found the furry fandom through fetishes. Can it get overwhelming at times? Yes. In fact, on FA it feels like the people addicted to vore all post at the same time every day. However, there is a little thing called a “filter”, and they exist for a fucking reason…

 

  • Filters exist for a reason:

—Time for people to stop whining all the time. If you don’t like something, slap a filter on it. On facebook, you can easily hide posts you don’t like. You can even hide users, you can block them, and you can unfollow so that their material does not show up on your feeds. On FA they have the SFW-filter which allows you to get rid of all the adult and mature content on your feed so that you’re not seeing all the sex and fetish stuff. And it actually works!!! So, instead of posting on every, single, adult-post saying how: “This isn’t what the fandom is about” or saying: “Ugh. This fandom should not have sex in it.” and etc etc etc like an A+ douche-canoe…please be the bigger person, show an ounce of maturity and just hide the post, block the person, or move right along like any normal, sensible person would do.


So, in conclusion to that small little rant…the furry fandom is not all about sex. In fact, “furries” by themselves are nothing sexual…but sex does exist as an extra to some furries, and that’s nothing to be ashamed of! The media doesn’t help either…goodness knows I have seen plenty of interviews that paint furries as mental-messes and sexual deviants and it makes me wanna scream because I understand that this is MASSIVE misrepresentation!!
Still, to say that sex has no place in the fandom and that you’re against sex…well, unless you can be an adult and just move right along from it like I mentioned above, you really don’t have a place in this fandom because an attitude like that is toxic. All it does is give power to those who hate furries, and it alienates our fandom even further as something strange and unnatural. Furries are meant to be tolerant…the fandom is meant to be a safe space, a tolerant space for those who are different and want to show the world who they really are in a way that feels comfortable and secure.

But anyways…ON TO THE COMIC!!!!


The comic

Check it out via the link HERE

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This comic was originally published on Oh Joy, Sex Toy by Keovi and Kyell Gold.

  • Why is this comic important?

To be honest, this comic is important because it reflects on a lot more furries than you would think. I can already list over 50 furries whom I know that relate to this story, to how they found this fandom, and etc. From the break-ups, to their first relationship being furry and online…to the sexual mishaps, even from the changing of a character to better reflect themselves. And the thing is…I am one of them.

I joined the furry fandom in 2007 and even then, I was a “closet-fur”. I never told anyone I was a furry. Even the person that introduced me to the fandom knew better than to call me a furry in front of my friends. I grew up in a place where being furry was weird and it was misunderstood. Hell, I did not even fully understand the fandom until 2014. That’s 7-years I thought being a furry was a fetish and then suddenly realized it wasn’t all about sex and fetishes…so I can understand why people get mad and think that it is but shouldn’t be and etc. But case-and-point those people that think that way are just ill-informed same as I was ill-informed.

But, I did start my adventure under a guise. I played Furcadia…I role-played. I had several “sexual” encounters online…I even have a character who is only known for that because that’s how I played her. That character, what I was doing…it seems silly now, almost embarrassing at times – but, I was discovering myself. I was young and I was experimenting. But, I was doing it in a way that was still safe, that was still private…in a way I would not get hurt and I realize now, it was with people I knew I could trust.

This comic is important because it shows that sex is normal…that the act of it is part of growing up. That being in the fandom can be the time when we grow up as well, that the fandom might be the place where we do our growing, and it can teach us life lessons in multiple forms. It shows that the fandom has been an “opportunity” of sorts for people…whether it is an opportunity to fly our true flag and colors, whether that be our opportunity to experience love, or, yes, whether that be our opportunity to experience sex and fetishes…the fandom holds many different things for many different people, and we all have our own things we have gained from this fandom, this family, this place. We have experienced friendship, love, loss, heartbreak…pain and anger, happiness, and we have all had our own strokes of luck.

So while some people will grumble and say: “I thought this was going to show me how to talk about furries…and for something saying it’s not about sex, it shows a lot of sex.” I really think you’re missing the point of it. It’s showing that for some people, this fandom is life. It takes us down a road of experiences…and while those experiences vary from person-to-person…even if the fandom has sexual stuff in it, there’s MORE to it than that, and that above all, we as a fandom should be able to embrace these things. Because it’s normal…we are normal.

Anyways, that was just my two-cents on it.

Thank you all so much for watching!!! Furry Friday Feature is tomorrow, and I really hope you like it! As always, feel free to drop your thoughts and ideas in the comment-section below, and, I will see you all in the next blog 😉

Fursuit Friday Feature #24: TOGO

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**Christopher holding Togo**

Hello everyone and happy Fursuit Friday!
Welcome back to another Fursuit Friday Feature!!!! I wanted to make sure I got this done as early as possible since I will be busy the rest of the night and for the rest of the weekend at that. But anyways, we have an awesome feature for you today considering that this entry was so lovely as to actually approach me about being interviewed and featured in this blog! Well, I think it’s super exciting as usually, when I run low on entries I have to go around mailing people saying: “Hey, I love your suit, can I interview you?”

But this person likes my blog, and I must say that I was very flattered.I kinda had started to think that no one ever looked at these entries let alone my blog…so, when I was approached by said person and they said they loved my work and wanted to be featured, well, it was a very happy moment for me and was a big boost to my mood. So, having missed last Friday and having been talking to this very sweet person over Twitter and such, I just had to feature them this week! So, let me introduce you all to Togo!!!

I love wolf characters!!! My main Fursona is a wolf and my wife is a wolf. So, when I see a wolf, I am instantly in love because they are my favorite animal. But another thing to note is, I really like Togo’s colors. I don’t think I have ever seen an orange wolf, and I love the yellow as well…I think it blends really well and makes for a pretty interesting character to say the least.

That and those realistic eyes ❤ It’s insta love!

I am usually partial to more cartoony characters unless they are canine for reasons unknown so, resin eyes are my favorite when it comes to canine suits for sure! But as per usual I am rambling. You came here to see more of Togo and learn more about the character and the suiter. So, lets get down to the interview, shall we?


1.Name: Christopher Brucker

2. Character Name: Togo

3. Character Species: Wolf

4. Fursuit Maker:
Most of it I made myself, with help from my girlfriend Megan (aka Saphira). I bought my pawpads, claws, and the resin base of my head from DreamVision Creations (http://dreamvision-creations.myshopify.com/).

 

5. Total Cost:
Between the fur, resin base, foam and other supplies, I’d say I’ve spent around $800 to date.

6. How long did it take you to get your Fursuit?
I started buying supplies to make it a few months after I decided that I wanted one. It took me about 2 months to complete my head, tail and hand paws. A while later, I decided to make it a more complete suit, so I made a torso for myself. I’m currently working on adding legs and feet. I’m also redoing my hand paws.

7. When did you decide that you wanted a Fursuit?
Aw, man! For years, my girlfriend and I had established that we were “furries”, and she tried to sell me on the idea of becoming active in the fandom, getting fursuits and going to conventions. But, I was really hesitant (regrettably). I come from a more conservative background, and while the idea sounded fun, the whole thing seemed kind of weird to me.

But, that didn’t stop my girlfriend from building a fursuit of her own. In recent years, she finally convinced me to attend our first con, and we went to Furpocalypse in 2015. She wore her fursuit and I handled for her. After watching her have sooo much fun, and after interacting with her and so many other suiters, I knew I had to have one too!

8. Do you go out in public while wearing your suit? Tell us one of your favorite experiences!
Yes! I got to public suit with a group of our friends in Pittsburgh for the first time earlier this year, and it was a blast! I highly recommend it, and can’t wait to do it again.

Probably my favorite moment was when we first suited up and started to walk around the city. I was excited, but I was also super nervous, because I really wasn’t sure how people were going to react to seeing something like us walking around. I had heard that people in Pittsburgh were warm towards furries (because of Anthrocon), but I was still uneasy. I never would have expected what happened right off the bat. We walked into a light rail station to catch a train, and had to ride an escalator up to get to the platform. We got about halfway up, when I heard a woman yell, “FURRIES!!!” I looked down and saw her and a group of people smiling and waving up at us. As we waved back, I thought, “Wow, this is cool.” But then when we reached the platform, not even a minute went by, and we were swarmed! Everybody wanted to talk to us, get pictures with us and be near us. That’s how most of the day was. We felt like celebrities!

9. Have you been to any Cons in suit? If you have gone to multiple ones, which one is your favorite and why?
Yes I have. I’ve been to Furpocalypse in Connecticut two years in a row on Halloween weekend, once without and once with my suit. In the future, I hope to attend Midwest FurFest, AnthroCon, and FurryCon in my hometown of Rochester, NY.

Conventions are a lot of fun, even if you don’t have a fursuit. For years I wasn’t really sure about going, but when my girlfriend started showing me con videos on YouTube, I was like, “Wow! There’s so many cool characters that people portray there. And there’s shows, too? There’s games and dance competitions? There’s panels and gatherings? Sheesh…I want to go!” And it really is an incredible experience.

10. How have people reacted to your Fursuit while you are out in Public?
Surprisingly, 98% positive. Usually the most negative reaction I’ve gotten is someone not acknowledging me as I walk past. Even if it’s worse than that, I’m always having too much fun to notice. Probably the best reactions I’ve gotten are from kids. They run right up to you, and want to hug you, play with you and talk to you. And best of all, their parents love it!

I remember one time, a woman and her daughter walked up and stopped about ten feet in front of me. The daughter was shyly hiding behind her mom’s leg, but her mom pointed to me and said to her, “See sweetie? That’s a furry. Want to go say hi?” I waved to her daughter and took a step closer, but she ducked behind her mom. So, I stopped and got down on one knee so I could be at her level. Eventually she came out for a hug, and warmed up to me and my friends. And later, she didn’t want to leave! Moments like that just made the day that much better.

11. What was your main goal in getting a suit? Did you have any plans for it or did you just get one for fun?
I mainly just wanted to get involved in the fursuiting aspect of the fandom once I learned more about it. I thought it was cool that so many other people were as big of fans of cartoon animal characters as I was, and that many of them cosplayed in this way. I’ve always loved my Disney movies and cartoons, well into adulthood. My friends joke around about how I’m like a “big kid”. I never knew that there was an entire fandom full of people just like me. I was attracted to the whole idea of creating your own character, and getting to portray it just for fun.

12. How do you act differently in suit VS when you are dressed as you normally would?
When I’m in suit, I act goofy and cute to try and be like my character. I’ll give hugs, play tag and hide and seek with friends, chase squeakers, laser pointers and other toys. I love making people laugh and go “aww.” But I still talk and converse like I normally would. I’d say that Togo is a reflection of sort of a playful, more innocent side of myself.

They say that furries are adults who never lost touch with their inner child, and I couldn’t agree more! How awesome is that?

13. What is your favorite thing about wearing a Fursuit?
I love the fact that when you wear a fursuit, you get to behave so unconventionally. I have no problem with being mature and professional when I need to be. But, it’s so cool that when you put a costume on, you can act silly, even child-like, and everyone loves you for it!

There’s so many different aspects of fursuiting too. It’s cosplaying, it’s acting, and it’s freelance mascotting. I love it all!

14. What is your least favorite thing about wearing a Fursuit?
Just the fact that it gets really hot very quickly, especially if you’re running around and having fun. Also, the fact that you can’t do much with your hands when wearing paws. I have to take them off just to check my phone, but it’s well worth it!

15. What advice would you give first-time Fursuiters and those considering getting a Fursuit?
For those fursuiting for the first time, I’d say just have fun! Interact with people and other suiters. You’d be surprised what kind of reactions that you get!

For those considering getting a fursuit, make sure you do your research. If you’re planning on getting a commission done, shop around online for fursuit makers. Get an idea for what their art is like, and pick your favorite before spending the money. Or, if you plan on making one yourself, search for tutorial videos, and get an idea of what you need to do. Also, don’t get discouraged if you have trouble getting it to look the way you want. Keep at it!

16. What would you say is your biggest peeve when it comes to your Fursuit?
Ugh, I hate when my fur gets all scruffy. It happens so easily too. Drives me crazy how much I have to brush it to get it to look the way that I want. But again, worth it!

17. Do you think you will ever get another suit in the future? Would it be an upgrade to your current suit or a different character?
I’m sure I will. I would probably upgrade my current suit first. I might do it myself if I learn better crafting methods, or get it redone by a commission artist. But down the road, I don’t mind the idea of getting another character.

18. Do you make any videos while in suit (YouTube):
Yes I do! My girlfriend and I have a YouTube channel [HERE]  with videos of us at cons, and public suiting. Please check it out if you care to!

 

19. (Final Question): Any extra words of wisdom you would like to add for anyone reading this?:
I would say, if you have any desire to check out furry conventions or to give fursuiting a try, do it! Don’t hesitate like I did, because it seems weird, or because you’re nervous about what friends and family might think. It really is a lot of fun, and most people are accepting of it. If you explain it in layman’s terms, and use words like “cartoons”, “costumes” and “mascot characters”, most people will understand what you’re talking about. Many even react positively!


So there you have it! That was Togo!!! 😀

There were so many times while reading this interview that I had the “omigosh same”-thought pop into my head. I can relate with so many of the things that were said, especially since I started fursuiting.

I remember being a Furry and not really wanting to be get super involved in the fandom because of all the negative stigma surrounding the fandom and etc…and this was because my whole family thought it was weird and disgusting. Then, even when I became more involved online, I never really wanted to go to a con, and never considered fursuiting until I saw it online and thought that it looked like so much fun. I kinda chuckled since the suiter was in the same position I was in…where they saw other people having fun and kinda caught the “fursuit envy”. I feel you dude, I really do!!!

But I am really glad this person has had a positive experience and that they have been able to share this experience with others. They did offer some great advice of researching fursuit makers and really practicing and watching tutorials if you’re going to make your own. I did not trust myself enough to make Rune, so, I paid others to do it for me…so, I really respect this guy for making his own. It really ended up looking great! And, if he goes through with improving it as his skills get better, this suit can only look cooler in the future…so, if you’re reading this, Togo, keep up to date with me! I wanna see how much your suit improves!!!

But, my favorite piece of advice that he had to offer was in not being afraid to give something a try. The Furry Fandom is surrounded by a lot of negativity, a lot of people afraid of what they do not understand…but, what makes the community great is that, despite all the stereotypes and the stigma, we still grow larger and larger every day, we continue to support one-another, and we continue to have fun! You alone are in charge of your life and your happiness, so, if fursuiting is something you wanna try…give it shot! And don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do it because of whatever silly reason :p

But thank you so much Togo for letting me interview! It’s been awesome being able to have you here on the blog!

And thank you guys so much for taking the time to read this.
I love posting the Fursuit Friday Features and really hope to become more active with this blog in the future! If you have a Fursuit, you do furry art, or you make furry crafts and you would like to be featured in this blog, please drop me a comment with a link to your FA, fb, or DA where I might reach you. Also, if you have friends you think might want to be featured, feel free to point them in my direction or vice-versa!

Thank you all for your continued support of this blog, and, as always, I will see you in the blog 😉

Ask Rune & Captain!!!

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-Art by: flamesvoices (FA)-

So, I know it has been a minute since I posted anything outside of the Fursuit Friday Features, but, I have been working on something with my buddy Emi…and this might just be my favorite set of videos in a LONG time!!!

As most of you might already know, I have a YouTube Channel where I make a multitude of videos…mostly talking about fandom issues, or talking about fursuits, and for awhile I was doing some Q&A’s to really kick the channel off.

Anyways, here lately I have been traveling to Austin to visit my pal Emi. She was rather close to me and since we were both going to be headed to TFF in March, we figured it would be best to get to know one another a little better…so, we started hanging out. I can not tell you how much of a blast I have been having just hanging out and goofing off with this silly gal! Not to mention, she has been teaching me things here-and-there about how to be a better fursuiter…and all of this hanging out finally came down to one question: “Why don’t we make videos?”

So that’s where it kinda began.
At first it was just the Christmas shenanigans video (which you can find HERE) and from there we realized just how crazy we were in suit and just how much more fun, funny, and amazing we could really make this thing. But, what were we going to record? Well, Rune recently got some upgrades to his suit – and by that, I mean some paws (courtesy of flamesvoices for the building of them and CCSMascots for the fur) and a squeaker! So, now that we had the squeaker…what if Rune answered questions but…as Rune? Also, having Captain there would be hilarious because the two dragons in personality are like black-and-white.

Rune is like…a derpy-potato-baby that knows nothing about the world…and Captain…Captain is just insane!!! XD

So, we decided that we were going to ask people all over to submit us their questions and, we would answer them in suit!!! 😀

We got enough questions to make a few videos, but, that does not mean that we aren’t looking for more to answer in the future so: ASK US ANYTHING!!!

But anyways…you came for a video right? Here is what happens when you ask these two dragons questions on the interwebs:

 

And because that was not near enough laughs and silly stuff…my friend actually kept the footage that we recorded before we managed to get our final take and made a Bloopers reel on her channel! And who said making videos wasn’t hard? It took us SEVEN MINUTES just to get an intro!!!

But, we had so much fun, the whole thing was a blast and had us crying because we were laughing so hard. So, be sure to submit your questions and be looking for Part 2 in the near future!

Thank you all so much for supporting this blog and reading! Fursuit Friday Feature is coming up in two days – I wonder who it will be? Anyways, I will see you all then in the next blog 😉

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