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interviews

Interview with Niic the Singing Dog - New album, Escape, on the way!

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With a new album on the way, I had an opportunity to speak with a furry musician who has been creating musical content for the furry fandom for nearly a decade. Below is an interview I had with NIIC the Singing Dog, and his upcoming collection.

Thank you for interviewing with us! Who are you and what do you do? Describe yourself in a few sentences.

Hey hey! My name is Kyle McCarthy, but I'm wayyy better know as NIIC, or NIIC the Singing Dog. I am a furry singer-songwriter-producer from New York City, and my genre is a pop-hybrid of electronic and folk. I write and perform songs, collaborate with other awesome furry artists, and make my own album art and photography when I can!

Making a Furry Wish - A youth utilizes foundation wish to join furries in Pittsburgh

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The Make a Wish Foundation is an institution that needs little introduction. Founded in the 1980s, this non-profit out of Phoenix, Arizona helps to bring joy toward youths suffering from critical illnesses by assisting them in fulfilling a dream. These usually can be trips to distant places, meet and greets with celebrities, or sometimes simple and interesting such as wanting to ride the whole New York subway line and collect model trains along the way.

The furry fandom found themselves blessed by one such eccentric wish maker who decided to use her wish to go to Anthrocon in Pittsburgh on its returning year of 2022. Shrimp, a young furry fan who suffers from cystic fibrosis, joined the furs during the festivities as her wish. Like most of the furry youth, most of her content can be found through Tiktok.

With permission from their parents, Shrimp was able to answer questions in regards to her experiences at one of the largest furry conventions in the world. As a bonus, an interview with the parents is also provided in the margin.

Chaotic Good Furry Trolling - From Human Resources to Airplane Undercarriages

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November has been a bit strange as people prepare for the first Midwest Furfest since the closure due to the COVID pandemic. However, in spite of the anxieties, there have been some interesting stories of good natured ribbing that have escaped furry orbit into the mainstream world.

Today we go over two of these events that happened this month from a Human Resource debacle and a fuselage scribble.

Digging up Positivity - Furry charity and good news - July 2021

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Welcome to the July edition of Digging Up Positivity! This month we announce the Art & Biro winners at the end of the video. And of course we are covering charities, more positive news, and our featurette for this month is not just drawing awesome comics like Simon and Freddy, but is an esteemed teacher as well: Hukley.

New translation of 'Star Fox' designer's interview sheds light on the series' furry characters

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Takaya Imawmura and Krystal shmuplations.com is, in its own words, "a repository of Japanese game developer translations, covering primarily (but not exclusively) older arcade and console games". Recently, they featured an interview that originally ran in the November 21, 2002 issue of Nintendo Dream with Takaya Imamura; video game character designer for the Star Fox series. The interview was designed to highlight Rare's then-recently-released Star Fox Adventures, but also covers Imamura's early work with the franchise.

For furry fans, this information is interesting, as he discusses the creation of some iconic furry characters, including Fox McCloud, Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare and Krystal (also, Slippy Toad). Imamura also reveals how Shigeru Miyamoto not only introduced the furry aspects to the series, but also always intended the series to be a bit more "mature" than the average Nintendo game.

Digging up Positivity - Furry charity and good news - April 2020

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Video from Thabo Meerkat, transcribed

Hey there, and welcome to the April 2020 edition of Digging Up Positivity from a rapidly changing world. But even in these weird times, there are still a lot of positive things to be found!

Interview with Argon Vile, creator of 'Monster Mind'

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'Monster Mind' title imageFollowing on from my review of Monster Mind, I metaphorically sat down with Argon Vile to discuss the game. The conversation has been lightly edited for clarity and consistency. Let's jump straight into it!

Rakuen: In the credits, you say Monster Mind was pretty much just done by you, although you took various assets from others. How long did it take to put everything together and what kept you motivated through it all?

Argon Vile: Development of Monster Mind began in January 2016 and finished in April 2018. When I first started the project, I tried to strike a balance between working on the game and working on my art. But after six months, I realized the scope of what I was creating, how long it would take. I decided to fully focus on the game, but I was still dissatisfied with the amount of progress I was making. I eventually adopted a motivational technique Jerry Seinfeld popularized, which is to take a physical wall calendar (being physical is important) and set a daily goal for yourself. My goal was to work on my game for one hour. Every day that I worked on my game, I would put an X on the calendar for that day. And eventually I would accumulate a string of five or 10 Xs in a row, and it would feel good. And that was my goal; don't break the chain.

Furry counciller of New Milford, CT resigns due to SoFurry profile mishap: How site design flaws were to blame, and were fixed

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Grey Muzzle, statesman and furry fan. The fandom is alight with conversation over a recent political ouster of a councilman in the small town of New Milford, Connecticut. The story is that a furry by the name of Grey Muzzle had images of his SoFurry profile pages posted on the Facebook page of Rick Agee, a concerned grandparent in the local area. It included Grey's Likes/Dislikes pages which had tied the website tag of “rape” listed under the section of “tolerates”. As a result, this Chairman whose real life name is Scott Chamberlain, was pressured to resign from office and obliged by announcing that would do so on Monday, September 11th.

But why would a politician knowingly put such information that is so obviously going to be exploited into the public eye? The answer is this, he didn’t do it knowingly. Upon further investigation it was found that this was an issue of user error caused by poor graphical user interface design (GUI for short). In this article we go over the causes of this error and how furries can prevent themselves and others from falling into similar predicaments in the future.

Updated 9/10 3:10PM: The Like/Dislikes and Tag Filtering functionalities have been changed to be separated from one another and be distinguishable. The items discussed in this article have been resolved.

Update 9/16: Headline updated to reflect fixes had occurred.

ITV's 'Good Morning' hosts three UK fursuiters

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Ani, Ed and Dexy on 'This Morning', with teapot. Three UK fursuiters appeared in a five-minute segment on today's episode of ITV's talk show This Morning, available on-demand until next Monday [segment starts at 01:03:15].

The trio - Ani Boxer, Ed the Poodle, and Dexy the Artic Fox - were interviewed by hosts Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford on various topics.

[Transcript follows. Segment on YouTube - LondonFurs backup copy.]

Interview: 'Fursonas' documentary director Dominic Rodriguez (Video the Wolf)

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Dominic Rodriguez' fursona
Dominic's fursona, Video the Wolf. Art by Roro.

Joe Strike: Is Fursonas about lifestyler furries?

Dominic Rodriguez: Kind of. People get concerned when they see there are so many fursuiters in it, because not all furries are fursuiters.

I wanted to talk to people who are passionate. That was a good line to draw: if you’re going to go so far as to make or buy a costume, you’re passionate about furry. When I asked the people in the film if you consider furry a lifestyle, half of them said no.

JS: Other than the badges of the furries interviewed, there’s no furry art in the film. Do you think you should’ve included some art?

DR: The thing I knew when I went into this is everybody has a different way of experiencing and appreciating furry. There’s no way to please everybody or to accurately do justice to everything unless the movie was six hours. I had to be selfish and focus on what really mattered to me which is furry as an identity and as a community. I love art and you can show footage of people drawing; but I wanted to do something different, something I cared about. I wasn’t going to spend four years on something I didn’t care about.

When people say furry isn’t a lifestyle I understand that, but when they say it’s just a hobby I think they’re almost giving it a disservice. There’s so much wrapped up in it, and I think people in it take it seriously. I don’t want people to think [the fandom is] just freaks obviously, but it was important people cared about what they were talking about.

BBC's 'Why Factor' talks anthro animals with Cambridge furs

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BBC World Service Why Factor: Animals Are Us Journalist Maria Margaronis interviewed furry fans at a Cambridge Furs meet last month for next week's episode of The Why Factor, a programme exploring "the extraordinary and hidden histories behind everyday objects and actions" through the voices of those involved.

In stories, cartoons, advertisements and our everyday lives, we project human thoughts and emotions onto animals—and claim their strength and style for ourselves in the brand names of cars and cosmetics. Why do we do that, and what do we get out of it? Can we ever know what animals really feel? And are we as different from other species as we like to imagine? Maria Margaronis meets the furry fandom, who put on “fursonas” and cartoonlike animal costumes to meet and socialise. Neuroscientist Bella Williams upends some assumptions about animal brains and explains how to read a mouse’s facial expression; children’s author Michael Rosen sportcasts an insect race. Farmer Helen Reeve reflects on how she feels about eating her own cows. And historian Harriet Ritvo poses a thornier question: what makes our species think we are secure in our dominance over the natural world?

The 18-minute show "Animals Are Us?", which received input from furry artists, fursuiters, fursuit-builders and other fans, is to be broadcast on the BBC World Service on Friday 24 at 18:32 and 23:32 GMT (EDT+4, BST-1), with re-broadcasts on Sunday (21:32) and Monday (04:32, 12:32).

Update (23 April): A four-minute clip featuring several furs is available (transcript below).

Update 2 (24 April): The full episode has been published. There is no additional content featuring furries, but you may find the rest interesting, as it's all about anthropomorphism.

A Doll and Her Cat in The Clockwork City

Image Comics have been proudly announcing their new fantasy graphic novel Hinges, written and illustrated by Meredith McClaren. “This graphic novel introduces the nuts and bolts of a city called Cobble, where one girl new to the city, Orio, must depend on help wherever she can find it. Her assigned familiar, Bauble, has his own agenda however. As the two explore the walls of the city, they find they are not the only new arrivals. ” Her “assigned familiar” appears to be a cat, and Orio herself appears to be… constructed. What does it all mean? Find out when Hinges comes to comic book stores this February. Or, take a read through the interview with the creator over at All-Comic.com.

image c. 2015 Image Comics

image c. 2015 Image Comics

Simians, Leather, and Chrome

It’s time we caught up with The Humans. Which is to say Keenan Marshall Keller and Tom Neely’s new full-color comic book series from Image. Take the violent biker culture of the early 1970′s. Set it in dusty Bakersfield, California. And make the protagonists all walking, talking, humanoid apes. In leather. On big bikes. There you go. “The Humans is one long and twisted ride through biker gang warfare, drug running, corrupt cops, semi-truck hijackings, Vietnam flashbacks, Skin Fights (homosapien cockfighting), major ultra-violence, a strip club called The Forbidden Zone, and bloody vengeance.” Sounds like quite a party. Check out theinterview with the creators over at The Nerdist, and look for the first issue to come out this November.

Image c. 2014 Image Comics

Image c. 2014 Image Comics

'HUGS' interviews furry musician NIIC the Singing Dog

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NIIC the Singing Dog This interview is from issue #4 of Russian furry magazine HUGS.

Pillgrim: Okay, I think we are ready to go. First of all, I would like to thank you for your decision to give an interview for our magazine - it is very awesome! So, I've met lots of singing dogs and can say I like howling myself, because I am a wolf you know, but what makes you NIIC, the singing dog? Please, tell us your story - when, how and what for you've discovered furry fandom and a dog in you.

NIIC: Well, I discovered the fandom back in February 2013. It began as a research project of sorts - I had recently graduated from The University of the Arts and loved working on unconventional music projects for different audiences (before NIIC, I was working on a puppet music episode series for college kids working at Starbucks, with a similar crude but charming vibe to BBC's Mongrels). I was given advice by a music professor of mine to get my feet wet in one of the East Coast's underground music scenes, specifically the emerging Nerdcore scene. But after getting a bit sidetracked and with an accidental click on the internet, I stumbled upon the world of furry animal avatars! But I suppose it was only an accidental click if we don't believe Fate played a part in all this.

I had written a couple of short fantasy musicals while I was in college, so I was already getting a thrill out of constructing larger-than-life characters. But a whole subculture where its members re-invented themselves through humanoid animal characters? I was instantly intrigued by what new world I had stepped into!

He’s Big, He’s White, He Looks Good in a Cape

Animator Mike Kunkel returns to comics in a big way with the first new Herobear & The Kid series in over ten years. Young boy Tyler and his large flying friend are back in Herobear & The Kid: Saving Time, a new full-color 5-issue mini-series coming this month from Boom! Studios’ Kaboom! imprint. “Henry, the family’s magical butler, is missing!! It’s up to Tyler and Herobear to figure out what happened to their friend…only they might learn a lot more  about Henry than they initially thought…and be forced to get help from an unsuspected  source.” Check out the interview with creator Mike over at Comic Book Resources.

Image c. 2014 Kaboom!

Image c. 2014 Kaboom!