Fur Affinity’s flagship convention, FA: United, announced that it would be closing their doors due to COVID-19, permanently. While many other conventions have ‘suspended indefinitely’, or ‘canceled for 2020/2021’, this marks the first event to indicate a more definite suspension as a result of the pandemic.
Cartoon Saloon is an Irish animation studio, and they're absolutely world class. They first gained world attention right out of the gate, when The Secret of Kells became a nominee for Best Animated Feature in the 2009 Academy Awards. It wasn't the first time a foreign movie made it on the list, but it was a surprise for many casual Oscar watchers.
Of course, if you actually watched the movie, it was a no-brainer; it not only deserved to be nominated, it's part of the reason 2009's list of Best Animated Feature nominees is still one of the all time best for the category. Since then, every feature by Cartoon Saloon has been nominated in the category; Tomm Moore, director of The Secret of Kells and now Wolfwalkers, was further personally nominated for Song of the Sea.
Both earlier films feature furry elements, especially Song, which deals with selkies (Cartoon Saloon is also responsible for the very furry, very good Skunk Fu! series). However, with Wolfwalkers, Moore and co-director Ross Stewart have created the studio's most furry-friendly film yet. The titular Wolfwalkers could be considered a variety of werewolf; but this time, they're the good guys.
Disney announced some furry bait titles coming to a screen near you in 2022. One is Turning Red, a movie about a girl who is cursed to transform into a red panda when she becomes too excited. Along with this is a new animated series around the 2016 movie Zootopia, called Zootopia+, which was covered in Rod O’Riley’s In-Fur-Nation. It seems to be set up as a slice of life, reality format that will follow the lives of side characters.
But for Nick’s partner in crime, their voice may be missing from any side cast shenanigans. After showing symptoms for COVID-19, Tommy ‘Tiny’ Lister passed on. The wrestler had many roles in show business. They wrestled Hulk Hogan and were featured on Star Trek, but most furries would know them as the voice of the diminutive fox with an attitude that will “bite your face off.”
It seems 2022 can’t get here fast enough, and not just for the sake of furry films.
As the world still deals with the Coronavirus pandemic, political turmoil, and the uncertainty of the future, we did come into the year knowing that a major change was coming to the fandom, which has since been overshadowed by these other events. Flash is going the way of the dodo, due to Adobe dropping support for their Flash Player plugin and browsers withdrawing support in turn; and with it a substantial piece of furry history will no longer function in most browsers as of 2021.
Luckily, some of the most famous, or infamous, pieces of Flash history are preserved as videos. Remember Foxy Fluffs are Everything? Someone did “port” it to YouTube (adult language/situations warning in case you haven’t seen it). But despite the animation being saved in video format, foxy fluffs being motion tweens may not amount for much in a post-Flash world.
Time is running out for those animations that are only playable with Flash on their original sites. They can however be downloaded as an SWF file to run on software that supports them. On SoFurry, Flash files already download directly as a file instead of playing in the browser itself. Soon enough it will probably be the only way to enjoy many classic pieces of furry animation from the earlier days of the fandom in their original format – if you can find a working player.
AlectorFencer (Claudya Schmidt) was recently awarded the Best Artist prize for Artwork in the 2020 Rudolph Dirks Award, named after German-American cartoonist Rudolph Dirks, for her comic Haunter of Dreams.
Haunter of Dreams - released at Eurofurence 25, where she was Guest of Honour - is just one of several comics and illustrations set in the world of Yria which have earned AlectorFencer honours. She received a Rudolph Dirks Award in 2018 for her work on MYRE - Chronicles of Yria Volume 1. Earlier this year, she won a silver Spectrum Award in the comic category for her illustration Flora, depicting a mythical being from Yria.
As the holidays arrive, some are disappointed in the fact that our gatherings are going to be a bit smaller this year due to the continuing pandemic. For those reluctantly separated from loved ones voluntarily, however, they may find that the greatest present is that they may have the fortune of getting together with those loved ones in future holidays. Because in a year such as this, that is a gift not afforded to everyone.
News emerged on December 17th of a furry mother, Velocity Sloth, who learned that her husband had contracted the deadly virus, and didn’t make it. This holiday tragedy has left a hole for their family that could never be filled, as a mother sloth is left on her own to care for her young. Her husband was the sole provider at the time of his passing.
Known for her volunteer work at some of our largest conventions, furs took up the call in order to try and help alleviate some of the despair wrought by the sudden loss. Within a few days, charitable furs exceeded the $15,000 goal set to help her out.