Tomorrow I will be driving up to Addison, Texas for Furry Fiesta along with my friend Chris Holm. While he hopes to get a table in Artist’s Alley to peddle his wares, my objective is to hang out and have fun. This will be the first “furry” convention I have ever attended, and I have received quite a few different responses from friends whenever I bring it up, ranging from curiosity to revulsion and even amusement. I just grin and bear it…ba-doom, tissh.
I guess there is no way to get around it, though. I am a ‘furry.’ No, I don’t have a costume, or think of myself as an animal (the picture at right nonwithstanding). I don’t bark or howl or snarl at people nor do any of the other crazy stuff that the Internet Hate Machine and misinformed mass media would have you believe.
I just happen to like media that features anthropomorphic animal characters. As a kid, I grew up watching Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse cartoons. I enjoyed reading Aesop’s fables and Watership Down. Later, DuckTales, TaleSpin and Darkwing Duck were part of my afternoons and fuzzy critters like Starfox, Ratchet, and Sly Cooper happen to star in some of my favorite videogames.
I submitted an idea that was used in the newspaper comic strip Pluggers, which features animal people demonstrating the foibles and virtues of working folks. I entered a writing contest to appear in a (sadly cancelled) comic strip called “My Cage” which was also completely populated by funny animals. I won and got to pick what animal my character would appear as in the strip. I chose a bear; artist Melissa DeJesus did a pretty good job of turning me into one, as you can see in the picture above. As an aside, the template she used can be found on the ‘About’ page. I also wrote a short story for the Furry Fiesta conbook that stars their jackalope mascots. It’s called “All’s Well That Ends Well” and I look forward to seeing it in print.
So yeah, I suppose I was a ‘furry’ before there was a term for it. No, this isn’t intended to be some big epiphany or coming out or anything like that. It’s just one part of who I always have been, whether you happened to notice it or not. Tomorrow I am going to go to a convention to hang out with a bunch of other folks that happen to like some of the same things I do, just like I do at anime, comic book, steampunk and videogame conventions.
That doesn’t sound that odd now, does it? 😉