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The Different Generations of Furries, part I.
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m_estrugo
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Posted: 7/9/2004 5:07:45 AM     Post subject: The Different Generations of Furries, part I.  

I've been thinking about doing a little explanation of the evolution of furry fans through time. If I've got some spare time, I'll try to illustrate it. :)

1970s-Early/mid 1980s: Paleo-furries.
Those remote days were different to our times. There was no Internet, computers were a rarity and people liked Disco music.
In these days, a small group of amateur and professional artists, aged from mid 20s to mid 40s, discover they have an affinity to draw funny animals. Some of them use to chat on their spare time, draw a lot and sometimes create the ocassional naughty picture of the characters they work with.
Due to different reasons, most of them professional, some of them are driven away, but keep epistolar contacts with others.
On the other side, on underground environments, it's the apogee of the "fanzines". Fanzines and APAs are simply some material about something in particular, gathered by an editor, photocopied together and mailed to contributors, and ocassionally, to some buyer. On these days, there were fanzines dedicated to everything: heavy metal music, comics, sci-fi, etc, and range from G to hardcore-XXX.
Somebody, on that small paleo-furry community, gets the idea of doing a fanzine to send to their friends. These will become the seeds of what will be later known as the furry fandom.

Robot Profile: Young and mid-age Professional cartoonists.
Artists of the Moment: None yet
Main artistical Interests: Cartoon series featuring talking animals, ocassional pin-up art. High quality; mainstream tastes; slight underground tendencies.

Mid 1980s: Teenage Mutant Ninja Pre-Furries.
In 1986, a small, humble B&W published by a couple of young folks named Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird becomes the #1 franchise for the rest of the decade. The comic was named "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", and its success catapults its creators to fame and millions in comics, merchandising, action figures, animated series and even motion pictures.
While it's not so clear why those characters were so successful, there are a few things that won't pass unnoticed for a good observer: they feature funny animals. Shortly after, the indy comic market fills with comics featuring funny animals on an apogee unseen since the early 40s.
While most of those comics are either junk or simple short-lived rip-offs of the successful turtles (like the Mildly Microwaved Pre-Pubescent Kung-Fu Gophers), some authors try to push the envelope a little further, and so new comic series are born, to create a new style, apart of the humorous approaches given to funny animals. Comics like Omaha the Cat Dancer and Albedo appear, while Dave Sim and Stan Sakai create series featuring anthropomorphized animals with more lyrical contents than, let's say, Donald Duck.
And now, let's re-introduce those people with an interest on funny animals since a few years before this, and let's give them access to these comics.
What we have is a certain style of comics and certain people who like those comics. A fandom, still years away from being called "furry", but a fandom, nevertheless, with its own references and style, different from other fandoms, but still very linked to sci-fi, the original genre where those comics appeared for the first time.

Robot Profile: Young and mid-age professional cartoonists, comics fans.
Artists of the Moment: Dave Sim, Mike Kazaleh, Stan Sakai, Reed Waller.
Main artistical Interests: Anthropomorphics comics series by independient publishers, TV cartoon series featuring funny animals, marginal interests on literary sci-fi featuring animal characters, very mainstream tastes. Ocassional, hidden erotica.

Late 1980s: 10 if $interest="furry" then gosub 1988
One of the most important advances that took place on the 1980s was the appearance and popularization of personal computers. Their increasing power allowed them to connect to another computer by using a pre-Internet technology named BBS, created in the late 70s but not popularized until the mid-late 80s.
BBSes allowed a logged user to participate on bulletin boards (hence their name), send and receive e-mail to other users of the system, interchange files and graphics and even play text-based games, mostly D&D based adventures. After a little time, some BBS boards specialized on very concrete interests, depending on their sysops' tastes.
Richard Chandler and Mitch Marmel were two students of the University of Drexel on Pensilvannia, and, among their interests, there was this little afition for the genre explained on the previous chapter. They created a Sci-Fi based BBS service with a section dedicated to anthropomorphized animals. Their BBS, called "The Electric Holt", would become one of the first electronic gathering points for people interested on anthropomorphics. BBSes first, and then the Internet, would have a crucial role on the spreading of what would be considered later the furry fandom.
Meanwhile, furry fanzines like Rowrbrazzle, Yarf and Gallery continue spreading and attracting more creators and readers.

Robot Profile: Young and mid-age professional cartoonists, comics fans, computer geeks.
Artists of the Moment: Mike Kazaleh, Stan Sakai, Reed Waller.
Main artistical Interests: Same than above.
(to be continued...)
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mouse
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Posted: 7/9/2004 4:40:06 PM     Post subject:  

I actually managed to get a hold of all 5 issues of that (seemingly) rare ISMET comic from I believe 1981. It was by some 18 year old kid (Greg Wadsworth) in the pacific northwest.

From what I gather it created a small stir then died out very quickly and quietly...but it was the same thing - a oppressed funny-animal class sci-fi story. It wasn't that well written, and it was also somewhat shoddily drawn...but I kinda like it. I found out about it from that 'Yarf chronology' they have.

If anyone is interested in it, I really have no qualms about scanning it since its 20+ years old, the publisher is long gone, its very unavailable, and the artist/writer has apperently dropped off the face of the earth..so, I really dont care :)
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Rangifer
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Posted: 7/10/2004 10:47:34 AM     Post subject:  

I am very interested in this topic, as I am trying to construct my own teory of how furry literature started and why some themes have gone unnoticed with time. Your article already posted on the site has made me notice some very interesting things (altough I think it would be better to explain the issue with less biases towards the current state of the fandom).
Looking forward for the following.
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Anonymous
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Posted: 7/10/2004 2:51:25 PM     Post subject:  

I actually managed to get a hold of all 5 issues of that (seemingly) rare ISMET comic from I believe 1981. It was by some 18 year old kid (Greg Wadsworth) in the pacific northwest.

From what I gather it created a small stir then died out very quickly and quietly...but it was the same thing - a oppressed funny-animal class sci-fi story. It wasn't that well written, and it was also somewhat shoddily drawn...but I kinda like it. I found out about it from that 'Yarf chronology' they have.

If anyone is interested in it, I really have no qualms about scanning it since its 20+ years old, the publisher is long gone, its very unavailable, and the artist/writer has apperently dropped off the face of the earth..so, I really dont care :)


Oh! Me! Me! Me! Me!

I donít know what I can offer you though.

Hmmm, Shoddy Conceptual art maybe.
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Caz
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Posted: 7/23/2004 10:19:51 AM     Post subject:  

I am very interested in this topic, as I am trying to construct my own teory of how furry literature started and why some themes have gone unnoticed with time. Your article already posted on the site has made me notice some very interesting things (altough I think it would be better to explain the issue with less biases towards the current state of the fandom).
Looking forward for the following.


Agreed.
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Skunkfuckers Inc.
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Posted: 7/23/2004 10:42:35 AM     Post subject:  

If anyone is interested in it, I really have no qualms about scanning it since its 20+ years old, the publisher is long gone, its very unavailable, and the artist/writer has apperently dropped off the face of the earth..so, I really dont care :)


Definitely. Go for it. You don't have to do a huge scan for such an old indy comic, but I'd keep the resolution high enough so it doesn't look like crap when viewed fullscreen in CDisplay.
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ZenZhu
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Posted: 7/23/2004 3:53:41 PM     Post subject:  

When I bailed from furrydom in it's current state, I tossed all of my comics and such. Since I was corresponding with Terrie Smith, Steve Gallacci, and Tom Verre in the pre-Internet days, I got a lot of original, unsolicited drawings. (This was before Terrie became a complete Chester whore, so they were, at worst, her ripoffs of Playboy pinups.) My first "fan mail" came from Toivo Rovainen (or however the hell it's spelled.. never could read much of his handwriting), who, at one point, sent me a buttload of Rowrbrazzles and some other APA that were out of print even at the time.

With the advent of Ebay and furrydom's bastardization of it, Furbid, I'm now kicking myself. The Rowrbrazzles might have snagged a pretty penny, but I imagine I could have gotten some decent moolah for original Gallacci pencil drawings of Erma, Toki, and Beatrix in the nude. (No crowbars were involved.)
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Rangifer
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Posted: 7/23/2004 6:04:20 PM     Post subject:  

When I bailed from furrydom in it's current state, I tossed all of my comics and such. <...>


Argh... tossing away artwork is never a good idea. I wouldn't even sell furry artwork from Gallacci at the fandom prices of today. If the past history has any meaning, the quantity of spite furry art is getting spells ugly news for the people who hurry to sell at $ 100 thinking it's the max it'll ever rack. :-)

I'd also love to see the mentioned comic, looks like right the kind of things I'm looking for.

Later,
Scale
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Shmorky
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Posted: 7/24/2004 12:46:02 AM     Post subject:  

When I bailed from furrydom in it's current state, I tossed all of my comics and such.


I burned anything I didn't sell.
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m_estrugo
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Posted: 7/24/2004 1:14:31 AM     Post subject:  

Just a lil' message to tell I've written some more on the first message of this thread. And this weekend, if I can, I'll write more.
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