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Author Topic: Furry "'zines", APA's or comicbooks of Europe?  (Read 7678 times)

VulpesRex

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Furry "'zines", APA's or comicbooks of Europe?
« on: 04.06.2014, 06:18:26 »

   I am sure that  - like me - many of you received a friendly e-mail from the programming staff at EF, inviting people to suggest, participate, or host a presentation or panel as part of EF.  The suggestion was that almost every fan has something to contribute, either in experience or talent or knowledge, and that panel presentations could be about such things as Furry Art, Fursuiting, and Furry Fandom in general; also, anything related in some way to this year's theme, "CSI Berlin".

   I'm afraid that I have no skills as an artist, no secrets to give on fursuit building, care or performance; with Kyle Gold as one of the GOH's, I'm sure that Writing (and Furry Literature/Publishing) will be well-served.

   But I do have a few artifacts from early organised Furry Fandom, namely some copies of the furry APAs Rowrbrazzle and HUZZAH - including a copy of the very first HUZZAH!, printed by Steve Gallacci and friends, waaaaay back in 1974, which shows the genesis of what would become Erma Felda of the IDF.  I have a near-complete collection of ALBEDO (including No. 1, but I haven't been able to get a copy of No. 2, which is an extemely rare and valuable comic, Furry or otherwise...and there is a Story there*), a complete collection of YARF!, etc.

   ...But it is all American Furry History.  It occurs to me that I have never heard of (let alone seen) Furry Fan-published materials originating from Europe.  I have a few copies of South Fur Lands, published by and for the Oz-Furs (Australian and New Zealand furry fans), and know of the Canadian Furry 'zines, FURthest North Crew and Fang, Claw and Steel...but that is about it.

   I'm SURE that there MUST be significant european furry fannish publications: 'Zines (Newsletters, or self-published collections of art and stories, printed in various quantities and qualities), Amateur Press Associations (APAs - combined collections of individual's 'zines, newsletters, and comments directed at the other members' previous contributions; this is a practice inherited from Science Fiction and Mystery Fandoms) and Comicbooks - either legitimate commercially published, or self-published "Underground COMIX" (this was "all the rage" in the late 1960's. very counter-culture in the West).

*************

   If so - does anyone in the greater EuroFur fan community have any examples, or has any experience from participation in these "roots of Furry Fandom"?  Would you like to participate in such a panel?

   ...And would anyone who was too young or otherwise missed out on this early Furry History, care to attend such a panel?

*************

   This is our history, folks - this is How It All Started.  Much of this stuff is fagile ephemera, printed on cheap paper, not intended to last for very long.  If you have a part of it, please share it, before it becomes so much fragile yellow paper which crumbles to paper chips when touched, and is lost forever.


*NOTE - That story involves two past Guests-of-Honour of EuroFURence!
« Last Edit: 04.06.2014, 06:28:09 by VulpesRex »
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Schakaline

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Re: Furry "'zines", APA's or comicbooks of Europe?
« Reply #1 on: 04.06.2014, 10:38:06 »

Executive summary:

No, there isn't. Really.


European furry fandom has completely different origins than its American counterpart. There were a few feeble attempts in the late 90s, but these had a highly limited circulation. I think Cairyn can tell a story or two about these fanzine attempts.

The details about the early fandom are available on http://furry.de/furryhistory/ but it all happened online, really.
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Cheetah

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Re: Furry "'zines", APA's or comicbooks of Europe?
« Reply #2 on: 04.06.2014, 11:20:38 »

Yup, as one of the official Greybeards of the European Fandom(TM), I can certify that doco is absolutely right. The European Fanom largely formed AFTER old Zine/APA/B&W Comic scene collapsed. The European Fandom was largely internet based from the very beginning, and it is 100% based on the early american internet furry fandom subgroup - so it has no pre-existing science fiction fandom heritage.

So, the earliest influences in the european fandom were furrymuck, alt.fan.furry, avatar, tapestries and the most important "publisher" was effectively the CTRL-C computer club in Linköping/Sweden, hosting both the velan central library and SPF-Muck.
« Last Edit: 04.06.2014, 11:29:54 by Cheetah »
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Cairyn

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Re: Furry "'zines", APA's or comicbooks of Europe?
« Reply #3 on: 04.06.2014, 14:41:37 »

Oh, the good old times.

doco and Cheetah are right, European fandom was mostly feeding on the teats of American fandom back in the day. While European comics had some anthropomorphic characters*, there never was a core cell of animators and cartoonists that kickstarted a dedicated fandom for them, as it happened for American artists (plus the science fiction fandom and their enthusiasts which provided the environment for meetings). Sure, there are both comic conventions and science fiction cons in Europe, even back then, but the "klick" between them and anthropomorphics was missing. (In Germany, I'd blame at least partially the lingering bad attitude towards comics in toto.)

The European fandom started only when American channels like alt.fan.furry and a few furry comics made their way over the big pond. I remember that my first furry comic were the paperback issue of The Furkindred and Furrlough #4, which I discovered completely by accident at my comic dealer. (I may even have gotten the alt.fan.furry link from one of these, but don't quote me on that; it's been some years.) From there, it was either the internet - limiting the fandom to people who had access to the net, mostly students who used the university computers -, or ordering fanzines from the US - limiting the fandom to people who had even heard about such a thing, again mostly on the internet...

I spent many nights at the university to browse for pics, and much money with Ed Zolna to get fanzines. But it was almost all American stuff. What regional Europe creates in furry characters was (and is) not really connected with the fandom, but rooted in the general comics scene, which in turn revolves around the francobelgian creators.

Looking at the first Eurofurences, you can see that there was a limited audience - ten, twenty, thirty people, much less than attendance numbers at US cons at the same time. There were artists among them but as the overall numbers suggest, not that many. And those that wanted to show their art used the internet - since that was where they found the fandom in the first place, and where they could show it to American fans as well -, not a printed zine. Hey, remembering some of those first art shows at EF, there was a lot of US prints** that someone bought at an American con and brought to Europe to re-sell.

Maybe a fanzine might have taken root before 2000, but the momentum wasn't there. I tried to talk some people into participating in a zine early on, but the idea simply didn't interest enough artists. Much later I made a second attempt with Storyfur Prime which saw a total of 6 issues in as many years - by then, however, internet access had become ubiquitous, and even the American zine scene had started to collapse. The black and white furry comic started to disappear***. (I heard people blame the end of the b/w hype in US comics, but furry comics survived that for several years before succumbing.) Out of hand I can't remember another European fanzine, actually, although I think there were one or two other attempts.

Since then, there have not been any fanzine publications (that I am aware of). While the "paper scene" in the US was saved by publishers who sell books**** and the occasional graphic novel (on a much higher quality level than fanzines used to be), there are no specialized furry publishers in Europe who attempt the same. (Perhaps the language barrier is an issue.) Clearly, the thriving internet community has replaced the fanzine as medium of idea exchange. (Cost being the other issue.)

Today, the professionally printed furry comic in Europe still resides outside of the fandom: Blacksad, Love, Horst, Mit Mantel und Degen, Die Kinder des Kapitän Grant, Canardo, or Alkandoor*****, all featuring notable furry characters, have no direct connection to the fandom******. What dedicated books or Graphic Novels (from inside the fandom) we can acquire is still almost all American material.

Also, European fandom is swiftly transforming into a fursuit fandom. I can't claim that art, comics, and stories are relegated to the sidelines but the major growth is clearly in suits.

Given the now-customary quality level of furry products, the almost free-of-cost venue of the Internet to present your works to a large worldwide audience, and the change in focus, I do not believe that the fanzine as we used to know it will ever make a return.

----- Footnotes -----

* I need to emphasize that the majority of well-known European comics - Asterix, Lucky Luke, Spirou, Tintin, Gaston, Johan et Pirlouit (unless you count the Smurfs), Valerian, and of course the many recent fantasy comics - all have human characters, with animal or anthro chars in a sidekick role at best (Jolly Jumper, the Marsupilami, Snowy...).

** In clear plastic binders.

*** Notable exception: Gay porn comics.

**** Gay self-discovery is one of the big themes in the US furry book market. That has, somehow, not been an issue in Europe, and not even this very specialized book theme was attempted by any European authors. Or maybe it is a lack of dedicated furry publishers who would be interested in distribution.

***** Partly titles of the German translations, since I am a lazy bum and cannot be arsed to look up the French titles.

****** I'm not sure about Alkandoor yet. Does "Christine Kaiser" sound familiar?
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Tseatah

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Re: Furry "'zines", APA's or comicbooks of Europe?
« Reply #4 on: 04.06.2014, 15:32:51 »

Maybe a fanzine might have taken root before 2000, but the momentum wasn't there. I tried to talk some people into participating in a zine early on, but the idea simply didn't interest enough artists. Much later I made a second attempt with Storyfur Prime which saw a total of 6 issues in as many years - by then, however, internet access had become ubiquitous, and even the American zine scene had started to collapse. The black and white furry comic started to disappear***. (I heard people blame the end of the b/w hype in US comics, but furry comics survived that for several years before succumbing.) Out of hand I can't remember another European fanzine, actually, although I think there were one or two other attempts.

Only one that I can think of was based out of the UK in the early nineties - AnthropoMORPHINE - more details at http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/AnthropoMORPHINE
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VulpesRex

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Re: Furry "'zines", APA's or comicbooks of Europe?
« Reply #5 on: 05.06.2014, 17:03:17 »

Executive summary:

No, there isn't. Really.


European furry fandom has completely different origins than its American counterpart. There were a few feeble attempts in the late 90s, but these had a highly limited circulation. I think Cairyn can tell a story or two about these fanzine attempts.

The details about the early fandom are available on http://furry.de/furryhistory/ but it all happened online, really.

*Shocked Astonishment*

Yup, as one of the official Greybeards of the European Fandom(TM), I can certify that doco is absolutely right. The European Fanom largely formed AFTER old Zine/APA/B&W Comic scene collapsed. The European Fandom was largely internet based from the very beginning, and it is 100% based on the early american internet furry fandom subgroup - so it has no pre-existing science fiction fandom heritage.

So, the earliest influences in the european fandom were furrymuck, alt.fan.furry, avatar, tapestries and the most important "publisher" was effectively the CTRL-C computer club in Linköping/Sweden, hosting both the velan central library and SPF-Muck.

*Stunned, dumbfounded silence*

Oh, the good old times.

doco and Cheetah are right, European fandom was mostly feeding on the teats of American fandom back in the day. While European comics had some anthropomorphic characters*, there never was a core cell of animators and cartoonists that kickstarted a dedicated fandom for them, as it happened for American artists (plus the science fiction fandom and their enthusiasts which provided the environment for meetings). Sure, there are both comic conventions and science fiction cons in Europe, even back then, but the "klick" between them and anthropomorphics was missing. (In Germany, I'd blame at least partially the lingering bad attitude towards comics in toto.)

The European fandom started only when American channels like alt.fan.furry and a few furry comics made their way over the big pond....

*Totally Gob-smacked*

>  *A lot of good information snipped for brevity*

Quote
Also, European fandom is swiftly transforming into a fursuit fandom. I can't claim that art, comics, and stories are relegated to the sidelines but the major growth is clearly in suits.

> *More snippage*

Quote
----- Footnotes -----

> * I'm clipping and saving all this stuff which I am snipping, by the way*


Quote
*** Notable exception: Gay porn comics.

**** Gay self-discovery is one of the big themes in the US furry book market. That has, somehow, not been an issue in Europe, and not even this very specialized book theme was attempted by any European authors. Or maybe it is a lack of dedicated furry publishers who would be interested in distribution.

Yes - while I am certainly not opposed to this, it seems to be crowding out any OTHER sort of theme or plot or story - I have heard an author or two complain about certain furry publishers declining to print anything else - and I'm hoping that Sofawolf Press' reps can address that question.

************

   Well, that was quite a revelation.  I have been laboring under a false assumption all this time, and I bet that I am not the only american furry fan to have been so ignorant (I probably should have consulted with Fred, first).

   Thank you, Gentlemen, for filling in that void in my knowledge.  I am rather forced to conclude that there wouldn't be much demand to attend a panel on the subject.
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VulpesRex

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Re: Furry "'zines", APA's or comicbooks of Europe?
« Reply #6 on: 05.06.2014, 17:08:05 »

Only one that I can think of was based out of the UK in the early nineties - AnthropoMORPHINE - more details at http://en.wikifur.com/wiki/AnthropoMORPHINE

   Actually, I had heard of that one - the american fan PeterCat had a monthy auto-post on alf.fan.furry listing titles and sources for furry comics, and that is where I first came to know the title...but never saw a copy, alas!
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MOW

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Re: Furry "'zines", APA's or comicbooks of Europe?
« Reply #7 on: 15.06.2014, 05:03:24 »

doco and Cheetah are right, European fandom was mostly feeding on the teats of American fandom back in the day. While European comics had some anthropomorphic characters*, there never was a core cell of animators and cartoonists that kickstarted a dedicated fandom for them, as it happened for American artists (plus the science fiction fandom and their enthusiasts which provided the environment for meetings).

That's not completely true. While this community here that grew with Eurofurence does have its roots in the American fandom, even keeping the denomination "furry" regardless of local language, there were (and still are) others that preceded us, but we never have connected with them much as a fandom.

Most important German example would be the donaldists. People from that group like Volker Reiche with magazines like Hinz&Kunz have created stuff that would definitively qualify as "furry" before our part of the fandom even started. And they are still active, though barely reaching the triple digits in attendance at their yearly conventions.
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Cairyn

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Re: Furry "'zines", APA's or comicbooks of Europe?
« Reply #8 on: 18.06.2014, 01:24:20 »

That's not completely true. While this community here that grew with Eurofurence does have its roots in the American fandom, even keeping the denomination "furry" regardless of local language, there were (and still are) others that preceded us, but we never have connected with them much as a fandom.

Most important German example would be the donaldists. People from that group like Volker Reiche with magazines like Hinz&Kunz have created stuff that would definitively qualify as "furry" before our part of the fandom even started. And they are still active, though barely reaching the triple digits in attendance at their yearly conventions.

Undoubtedly there were anthropomorphic characters before the term "furry" was coined, and certain anthropomorphic themes and characters had (or still have) fans and fan groups of their own.

But I daresay they had nothing to do with the formation of the early fandom, which was the original focus, so any of their publications would not really qualify as furry zine. The German fandom did not spring from the ranks of the Donaldists or any other established group; despite the similarity of the theme I have never felt even the slightest influx from original German comic artists or their fans. Was there even an attempt to draw them into the fandom in those early days?

I must admit I never read any Donaldist writings; a former friend of mine used to be into that, but he never bought into the furry fandom, nor I into the Donaldist scene: I gathered that the tone and general feeling of these two groups is pretty different.
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Cheetah

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Re: Furry "'zines", APA's or comicbooks of Europe?
« Reply #9 on: 18.06.2014, 10:31:13 »

But I daresay they had nothing to do with the formation of the early fandom, which was the original focus, so any of their publications would not really qualify as furry zine. The German fandom did not spring from the ranks of the Donaldists or any other established group; despite the similarity of the theme I have never felt even the slightest influx from original German comic artists or their fans. Was there even an attempt to draw them into the fandom in those early days?

There's not even one, today. And the big belgo-french comic establishment has built a pretty high ivory tower, and doesn't really connect with the "people in animal costumes" fandom. I dare say, japanese comics had a WAY bigger influence on the furry fandom than the european ones. Which is kinda sad. Maybe we should do something to change that.

I'd love to have some european comic artists as GoH, the problem is ... they're really hard to get, and there's no real "fandom culture" over here, so it's hard to win them over for an event they don't even understand.
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Cheetah

Cairyn

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Re: Furry "'zines", APA's or comicbooks of Europe?
« Reply #10 on: 18.06.2014, 18:09:00 »

There's not even one, today. And the big belgo-french comic establishment has built a pretty high ivory tower, and doesn't really connect with the "people in animal costumes" fandom. I dare say, japanese comics had a WAY bigger influence on the furry fandom than the european ones. Which is kinda sad. Maybe we should do something to change that.

That may have become next to impossible with the transformation of the fandom (at least hereabouts). Comics don't have the same kind of standing any more, and comics from outside the fandom even less. The focus is on fursuits now, emphasized by the media; what would an external comic creator even say about that? They do have their high-status, well-visited comic conventions already, why should they care for a convention where comics have become just a low-key thing?
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Cheetah

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Re: Furry "'zines", APA's or comicbooks of Europe?
« Reply #11 on: 18.06.2014, 18:34:30 »

That may have become next to impossible with the transformation of the fandom (at least hereabouts). Comics don't have the same kind of standing any more, and comics from outside the fandom even less. The focus is on fursuits now, emphasized by the media; what would an external comic creator even say about that? They do have their high-status, well-visited comic conventions already, why should they care for a convention where comics have become just a low-key thing?

This is not even comic specific - it's a problem with being attractive to professionals without offering any obvious revenue.
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Cheetah

Cairyn

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Re: Furry "'zines", APA's or comicbooks of Europe?
« Reply #12 on: 18.06.2014, 19:12:47 »

This is not even comic specific - it's a problem with being attractive to professionals without offering any obvious revenue.

True, we must be very happy about any pro that we manage to attract (who'll attend despite the lack of profitable sales opportunities for them). There is not really a concept for making it "worth their while" (thinking of SF actors who sell autographs at conventions)... and the size of furry cons is not yet at a point where famous people would attend just to beat their drum.

It is not really a surprise that so many cons invite people from the fandom as their GoHs.

But I guess we now thoroughly digress from the original question ;-)
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Zefiro

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Re: Furry "'zines", APA's or comicbooks of Europe?
« Reply #13 on: 18.06.2014, 20:19:08 »

It is not really a surprise that so many cons invite people from the fandom as their GoHs.
On the other hand, this supports the "We're fans of ourselves" culture we have, whereas "External Pros" / celebrity fanboying might be more the culture of canon-based fandoms. So I think that's not entirely a disadvantage.

*purrrr*
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Ziggy_wolf

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Re: Furry "'zines", APA's or comicbooks of Europe?
« Reply #14 on: 09.08.2014, 12:53:54 »

Speaking for the scandinavian part of the fandom. We have traditionally had fairytales and later adaptations that were anthropomorphic or zoo morhpic in nature. (Wich coincidentaly is the topic of next years Nordicfuzzcon in Stockholm) Worthy of mention is Ker Shus by Tor Åge Bringsverd, wich is a wonderfully told post apocolyptic tale where humanity is extinct and the furries have taken over. It has a healthy dose of Yiff and violence, but also a damn good story.
I know the Sweeds have a fanzine called the furluminati, wich is a collection of different self published short stories and comics.  Not too sure about what the Danes are doing, it`s been a while since I visited them. Here in norway some furry comics have crept in to the general comic market as back issues. Notably By, Templa who did a back issue of Nemi. And there`s Catya from Bergen who also started out doing back issues and later went on to publish her own comic trough the largest comic book store here: Outland.
Many of theese have entered comic contests held by the comic and newspaper industry. Interesting how we are creeping in to the mainstream.
Having tried and failed misseraby my self, I`m rather reluctant to put that much time and effort in to it, however I plan to have a horror retelling of red riding hood out by Frbruary.
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I had nothing to do with either the three little pigs or little red riding hood. Honestly I`m a nice guy, who just happens to love pork, and hooded women. It was all a misunderstanding, I swear!
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