Recently I attended CanFurence 2023 in Ottawa, Ontario. It was a good time! Previously I'd gone in 2016 for its first year, then later in 2021 and 2022. There's a really good established core of staff and volunteers that make it happen.
It's been growing at a decent pace, now with 1107 people, up from 863 last year, and it's the fourth-largest Canadian furry con. The cons up here are in two clusters. March is when Furnal Equinox and VancouFur happen; while Fur-Eh, CanFurence, Wild Prairie Fur Con and Camp Feral are all during July and August. We also may soon have another camping con, Camp Mani-Toebeans.)
If you live in Ontario, you probably haven't heard of Marc Scott - but you've probably seen him if you watched children's shows on TVOntario, the province's educational broadcaster (similar to PBS). He used to perform as the costumed character known as "Polkaroo", a polka-dotted kangaroo on the station's preschool TV series Polka-Dot Door from 1985 to 1993, and on later series such as Polka-Dot Shorts (1993-2001) and on Gisèle's Big Backyard (2001-2007).
His name has recently returned to the limelight - in a less than flattering way - after he attracted the attention of his former employer. He's received a cease-and-desist order and might face a potential lawsuit for creating and wearing an "unauthorized parody" of Polkaroo, named "Tokaroo", a red-eyed and brown-furred marijuana-smoking marsupial he created in celebration of Canada legalizing Marijuana on October 17, 2018.
Backbone is a Kickstarter for an anthropomorphic computer adventure game featuring a raccoon detective, using pixel art and set in a dystopian retro-futuristic/Blade Runner-esque Vancouver. It's the first game by EggNut, a Canadian studio.
Crowdfunding started in April, aiming for $63,000 CAD (~ $50,000 USD) with a deadline of May 27th, 2018. As of May 4, with 23 days to go, they're at 46% of that goal.
A demo is planned for Summer 2018, and they hope to have the game released by mid-2019. It should be available for PC, Mac and Linux, with possible additional platforms depending on stretch goals.
Along with detective work, there will also be stealth sequences that use smell-based mechanics, for when you're trying to hide from (or follow) a suspect. Combat will be another game element, with "The Artifact", which looks like a giant metal claw. A dark jazz soundtrack will provide additional atmosphere.
CyberConnect2, a Japanese video game development studio best known outside the fandom for the .hack and Naruto: Ultimate Ninja series, is recruiting programmers, designers and artists for three new projects in its “Trilogy of Vengeance” as part of its 'Next Plan' strategy.
This trilogy is composed, as its name suggests, of three games themed around vengeance:
- Tokyo Ogre Gate, a high-speed action game about schoolgirls in a historical/fantasy setting.
- Cecile, a gory action game about Gothic Lolita witches trying to kill each other.
- Fuga, an action strategy RPG with the additional themes of “War” and “Animals”.
Fuga will join such games as Solatorobo (Nintendo DS; Flayrah review) and Tail Concerto (PS1) as an instalment in the Little Tail Bronx series, focusing on what happens when children enter the battlefield. Its plot features eleven orphans, crewing a tank with a soul-fueled cannon – fighting the fascist Berman Empire, which attacked their village and imprisoned their parents.
We covered animated feature The Nut Job thoroughly upon its release in January 2014. If you enjoyed it, I have good news: a sequel is coming August 18, entitled The Nut Job 2: Nutty By Nature.
The Nut Job was about a group of anthropomorphized city wildlife led by Surly Squirrel raiding an out-of-business nut shop while a gang of bank robbers are using it as a cover for their heist. The movie is semi-famous for having been almost universally reviled by the critics before its release – it got a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes – then getting a very favorable audience when it came out.
It was produced by ToonBox Entertainment in Toronto, and mostly financed by South Korean investors. The Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of the Republic of Korea got a credit. They even threw some love by having the animal cast plus an animated Psy, the popular South Korean singer-dancer, break into “Gangnam Style” over the closing credits.
We are very sorry to announce that VancouFur's Art Show has been cancelled for 2017 due not being able to secure adequate staff and leads for the department. We thank everyone who put time and effort into the department this year and we hope that it can resume in future years!
Artists who paid for panels in the show are being contacted to arrange refunds.
The news follows the resignation of art show lead Mesa and her partner Silvermink, following their attempt to get a fan alleged privately of attempted rape banned from VancouFur, which led to intense debate for several weeks.
Furry fans who have long been debating whether Cthulhu, Shub-Niggurath, Nyarlarathotep, and the other often-squiddly “indescribable horrors” of author H.P. Lovecraft’s dark imagination count as “furry”, will find their arguments heating up in October when the animated feature Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom is released in Canada.
Howard Lovecraft and the Frozen Kingdom, written, directed and produced by Sean Patrick O’Reilly and currently in production by Arcana Studios, to be distributed by The Shout! Factory (a company known more for its DVD releases than for theatrical distribution), is adapting the movie from the popular comic book written by Bruce Brown and illustrated by Renzo Podesta. It was reprinted as a 96-page trade paperback by Arcana in February 2010 that is still in print.
This article by Amid Amidi on the Cartoon Brew website about the coming anthro animal feature Get Squirrely says it all, or at least enough for us. The Canadian CGI animation looks horribly unfurry for the squirrels and bats, but okay for the frogs and snakes.The whole cast appears to be talking critters: bats, birds, hedgehogs, flying squirrels, regular squirrels – he may not have fur, but he’s a natty dresser – and more fart and poop jokes than you could wish for.
What is there to say about the Ratchet & Clank movie that this Cartoon Brew announcement doesn’t say? So Ratchet is a lombax –that’s news to those of us who haven’t played the video game. It’s nice to see the return of the Rainmaker animation studio in Vancouver.
“[V]iewers over the age of 10 clearly aren’t the target audience for Ratchet & Clank” – maybe, but it still looks like fun to this 74-year-old. I guess we’ll wait until next April 29 to see.
Bow to the almighty Death Star, you pitiful citizens of Alderaan! You are at the mercy of Mouse Vader!
That's how it feels lately, with the Walt Disney Company going on a shopping spree. They picked up Marvel Entertainment (Guardians of the Galaxy, The Avengers, X-Men, Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, The Incredible Hulk) back in 2009, then Lucasfilm (Star Wars) in 2012, and almost bought Hasbro in 2013. Now they have signed a deal with Canadian broadcaster Corus Entertainment (Corus Ent) to bring The Disney Channel to Canada in 2017.
While this means most of the Disney Channel programs that currently air on Family will move there (and that Disney XD Canada and Disney Jr. Canada [English and French] will be re-named Family XTRM and Family Junior, respectively), Canadian furries and cartoon fans can only hope they'll get a maple leaf version of the late Toon Disney and air The Disney Afternoon programs, though they have gotten lucky with Nickelodeon Canada airing a long retro block of Nicktoons in the afternoon, so anything is possible!
An Ode to Saturday Mornings Past, by JessKat
I'm not quite sure how to explain this… especially to younger viewers who grew up in the 500-channel universe of cable television and satellite services and Netflix streaming… but for those of us old enough (or geeky enough) to watch cartoons over-the-air with a rabbit-ears antenna, Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons after school were the only times when animation fans could watch their favourite shows… especially where cable channels such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, YTV or Toon Disney weren't available.
September 28, 2014 was the day the animation died - ending a long and painful decline on broadcast television in the United States, with The CW (the newest broadcast network) being the final holdout… the last man standing, as it were. This was the final Saturday morning with cartoons in America.
From here on out, animation fans in the United States will have to follow the path their Canadian counterparts took in 2001 to get their animation fix: a cable television or satellite subscription. If there is any consolation, it is that the ecosystem of Saturday morning cartoons seems healthier in Australia and Mexico.
To understand how we got to this point, we'll need to review the chain of events leading to the demise of animation on over-the-air television.
What The Fur has finally announced the dates and venue for their 2014 event. After some speculation about what was happening to the Canadian event, the release of information comes just before Christmas. The convention will be held in Montreal, Quebec from the 23rd to the 25th of May, 2014, and will be taking place at the Sheraton Montreal Airport.
Camp Feral! was the last group to eat in the Main Lodge, a rustic building erected in 1934 that has been the focal point of the camp site since its founding. In 2012, Feral! was last to use the Rec Hall stage before it was torn down to make way for a floor hockey space.
The dates for 2014 are Thursday, August 21st to Monday, August 25th. The theme will be 'Algonquinos.' Typical of Feral!, the theme will be a bizarre mashup of all things high fantasy – from Lord of the Rings to Game of Thrones – with a uniquely 'Feral' twist.
Chappell Ellison reports for the Cartoon Brew on a regional Canadian airline's use of a jetsetting raccoon businessman mascot, Mr. Porter.
More importantly, Ellison documents how this goes against the trend of airlines like American Airlines and Qantas replacing their familiar animal mascots with impersonal, stylized mascots, and why this is a big mistake in his opinion. An animated TV commercial featuring Mr. Porter is included.
Earlier today, Pachi the Porcupine was revealed as the Toronto 2015 Pan Am Games mascot, in front of thousands of children at the annual Kids CBC Day in Toronto. CBC featured the mascot in action on their Toronto evening news.
Of the six finalists, Pachi was also most-liked by the public, in the online voting contest that gathered over 33,000 votes, according to the official press release. The voting contest results contributed 10% to the final score, along with other criteria including "embodies the spirit and values of the competition" and "has 'strong kid appeal'".
Organizers received 4130 submissions for the mascot, which was narrowed down to 108 in review before selecting the six finalists.
Correction (July 20): 33,000 was the number of votes received for all six finalist designs, not just for the winning entry as I initially reported.