Saturday, June 26, 2010

What Are Furries?

Furry fans are people who are interested in anthropomorphic animals, especially cartoon characters. Most furries strongly identify with a particular non-human animal species.

Furry identities are called fursonas. They include dragon, feline (cat, lion, tiger), and canine (wolf, fox, domestic dog) species.

Some furries blend species, such as a cabbit (cat and rabbit) or a folf (fox and wolf). A few furries identify with monkeys or apes.

The largest furry convention is called Anthrocon, also known as Furriecon, which is being held right now in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This year the theme is “Modern Stone-Age Furries.” Some dinosaur-based costumes have been made specially for this Anthrocon.

During the rest of the year, furries meet in cyberspace to compare notes on costume building and to share artwork depicting anthropomorphized animals.

While attending Furry Fandom conventions, some furries dress head-to-toe in animal-like costumes, referred to as fursuits. Fursuits, similar to what athletic team mascots wear, are constructed of fabric, not fur or animal skins.

While in a fursuit, a furry walks upright. Some furries superimpose human clothing on the fursuit; for example, a snow leopard diva may wear a red cocktail dress and a big yellow dog may wear blue jeans.

Most furries do not own a full fursuit because they are costly. Many furries wear a partial fursuit consisting of ears and a tail.

The preceding was adapted from anthrocon.org, the official website for furry fandom.


This year’s convention has approximately 4000 attendees, the largest furry convention in the world, and the largest of all time.

It features a dealer’s room and art show, much like a science fiction convention, a track of programming that today included a puppet performance workshop by guest Jim Martin of the Muppets, a video game contest, card and role playing games, three different dance events, and a quiet art room for artists doing custom commissions.

I would just add that furry fans are some of the nicest and most creative people I’ve met at any sort of convention, and I’ve never been received more graciously or generously as a guest at any con before. The whole group conveys a spirit of acceptance and childlike fun.
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Anthrocon.org
Furry Artwork at Furaffinity.net
Wikipedia on Furry Fandom
Article in today's Pittsburgh Post Gazette

18 comments:

goat89 said...

Alot of people see them in a negative light. I am glad you liked their creativity. Sure must been fun seeing them dressed as furry dinosaurs ><

bubbanitro said...

I'd just like to note that most furries don't own fursuits because they don't like them, not because they are too expensive. Though if they have the ear/tail look going it is more likely that they would want a fursuit.

Cuprohastes said...

Wait until you see what they raise for charity...

Rebecca said...

I've never heard of them so this was a very interesting and informative post! Looks like fun!

Meredith D. said...

Looks like fun! I really love the cartoon poster, would love to see more of your cartooning!

Kasey said...

Oh man. I am no furry, but if I had known you were going to be at anthrocon I would have seriously considered making the trek north. Sounds like you're having fun up there, I'm sure you're meeting a lot of fans in that community.

Jenn said...

Like Goat89 said, furries get a bad wrap. As a furry myself, it's delightful to know that one of my childhood heroes and artistic inspirations has the right idea about it.
Furries are one of the friendliest fandoms out there, and the only one I know of that prides itself on inclusiveness. We get a bad wrap for being weirdos, but I think that's because we don't turn anyone away. A friend of mine calls it the "hypothetical hug hypothesis" because everyone at a furry con gets the hypothetical hug of acceptance, even if they don't get one physically.
I really hope you had fun.

K. W. Broad said...

I've been to a number of different cons myself, and I think I have to agree so far those furries tend to be one of the friendliest bunches, and the amount of creativity really gets the art jive up and going!

Did Diana (Stein) get to take you to some awesome restaurants?
Glad to hear you had a good time :)

Erik Bongers said...

I can imagine that fursonas thrive best in moderate to cold climate.

Dolphin Hollowstate Labs said...

"While in a fursuit, a furry walks upright".

Not necessarily.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2vOjyKu1UE

bortsimpson said...

It's a form of escapism. There are ways to perverse just about anything. A lot of people look at one small cross section and make a blanket judgment. The truth is it's just a way to be a child again, to truly, "become," what ever it is you want to be. Check out Zoe Kravitz (actress and daughter of Lenny and Lisa Bonet) struttin' through Brooklyn in her suit: Zoe the dragon

Kada-Ru said...

It was such a great pleasure to have met you and your wife at the con! I know you have a lot of fans and I am no exception. I fell in love with your artistic abilities AND then your story line for Dinotopia. :)

Was this your first furry con? You seemed so relaxed and excited I thought you had been to them before!

Yes, the furry fandom does get a bad rap at times. Look at where people are seeing these reports. Take into account that normal doesn't sell. Weirdness and sex do. I have been going to these cons since 1996 and have had so much fun at them! I love seeing all the art and the artistic abilities of the fursuits that I have seen through the years. My first con, in 1996, blew me away with all the fursuits!

Meeting you and your wife at the con was like a dream come true. When I heard you were going to be at Anthrocon I knew I HAD to be there and meet you in person. I am so glad I was able to. You and your wife are so nice and wonderful!

I hope to see the both of you again some day in the future. :)

Kada-Ru said...

I also wish I could have gone to more of your panels. I really enjoyed your panel on "Color and Light". Very informative. :) I hope AC invites you back again so I can go to your other panels. :) And, I get to see you and your wife again!

Jennifer Miller said...

Hello again! It was so great to meet you and thank you for tolerating my bird-nerding! I am very honored that you like my work. I hope we can chat again in the future!

jbadger said...

It was fun meeting you last night, as I am on staff at anthrocon that was the first time meeting you this past weekend but I think I met you at Lunacon once before? Forgot to ask that. Alwasy liked your art and books.

dineegla said...

THank you for all the wonderful panels you did at AC!

Dr. Michael Crisci

rigelkitty said...

@Cuprohastes: $12,000-something. Still correcting my math with the charity. Final totals posted soon.

Deepest thanks to Mr. Gurney for participating with us this past weekend. We are honored.

S.M. Bittler said...

It was a wonderful opportunity to meet you (and your very helpful and patient wife!), even for those of us who aren't furries, but whose work crosses over a bit into those boundaries. It was fantastic to see your artwork up close in the art show - and thank you so much for the autograph for my mom's book, and for my own, too! Thanks also for your patience with, um, those of us who were a bit starry-eyed and didn't know quite what to say. ;D I'm very glad you both had a good time!

Also - thanks for the info on your next book; I've pre-ordered it already. Can't wait!