Meet the Furries and Fans at 2012's Most Unconventional Convention

SC_34_FC2012Report_AllFurriesGreatAndSmall.jpg
My first genre convention -- and certainly the most far-flung -- was the second and final Mystery Science Theater 3000 ConventioCon Expo Fest-A-Rama in Minneapolis in 1996. I give conventions a wide berth these days, because -- aside from the fact that I love few things as much as I love Mystery Science Theater 3000 -- others I've attended have left a bad taste in my mouth. This malaise is perfectly summed up in Red Letter Media's video recap of the 2011 Chicago Comic Con.

But I'd been looking forward to Further Confusion, the annual furry convention in San Jose. I got to attend as a media rep, I found some really cool stuff, and I got to try on a full fursuit for the first time.

SC_34_FC2012Report_Badge.jpg
​That the convention's media director Chairo (read my interview with him here) invited my girlfriend Marta and me to attend as media for the Exhibitionist made it all the more awesome. Gods know we were given the best lanyard-badges EVAR.

Conventions tend to be defined by the costumes the attendees wear -- witness sfweekly.com's own cheesecake-heavy, fap-ready WonderCon gallery -- and Further Confusion was likewise heavy on the dress-up, though unlike most genre conventions there were very few copyrighted characters.

There were dozens of full fursuits, but the majority of the approximately 3,000 attendees were in far more affordable tails and ears and such, handmade or purchased from vendors who made them with their own hands.

Further Confusion, and the fandom overall, is a celebration of creativity and doing it your own damn self. There were classes and workshops on subjects such as art (e.g. "Figurative Anatomy for Furry Art"), fursuiting ("Advanced Construction: Exotic Materials"), music ("Scoring Music for Media"), science ("Animal Physiology, Anatomy, and Behavior"), and writing ("Learning to Love Editing," which Marta and I felt compelled to attend).

And there were flyers, naturally.

SC_34_FC2012Report_MoarFlyers.jpg

Though a few people were selling things like commercial DVDs and books (including some very con-appropriate vintage Pogo collections), vendors were by and large selling their own creations, not only accessories but homemade books and 'zines and original artwork of their own characters as well as commissions. It's similar to the Alternative Press Expo in that regard, and many of the artists were drawing new things at their tables.

Furry art and costuming tends to be an expression of the individual, as opposed to trying to re-create mainstream characters (or selling decades-old action figures). Almost no two pieces are alike, and everyone's looking for something a little different.

(And, despite popular Interwebz belief, furry art does not consist wholly of drawings of cartoon animals with ginormous human schlongs. There was some of that kind of thing, to be sure, but Further Confusion is a family-friendly event, and it was kept out of sight of young and/or sensitive eyes.)

The most notable exception to the tendency for original characters was the strong presence of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Chairo confirmed that it's much more of a thing this year than it was at Further Confusion 2011, which stands to reason, seeing as how the show had been on only a few months. The fans have been busy in the meantime.

Among the relatively few things I bought in the vendor room, along with new cat ears from AnimeHot, was a set of Pony stickers by Idess.

SC_34_FC2012Report_MLPFiM_IdessPonies.jpg

My Voice Nation Help
15 comments
Johnny Blanco
Johnny Blanco

*grins* seems like someone has been bitten by the Fursuiting bug and I have to say (as I am a fursuiter myself a hyena named Savannah) that it can get quite addicting.. and expensive.

Alice
Alice

I'll admit, I do watch MLP FIM but I personally don't think it is worthy of all this hype. To be honest I find it annoying. The show is just a way to sell toys and that is it. It isn't a series that will go on for years.

Timothy Fay
Timothy Fay

Thanks for the write-up!  I was the guy who hosted the MLP event on Sunday night that you missed, and it was a blast.  You definitely should have skipped Bad Movie Night!  :)  But, with luck, I'll host another MLP event at FC again next year!

Sherilyn Connelly
Sherilyn Connelly

Heh.  Well, Bad Movie Night is my baby (as it were) and I didn't have time to find a sitter (so to speak), so skipping it wasn't an option. :) But I intend to plan ahead for FC2013 and attend the whole weekend, so if you do another MLP event I'll definitely be there, whatever the day.

Razoric715
Razoric715

Hey I know those 2 on the left, why would they allow registered sex offenders in a convention?

Swampwulf
Swampwulf

Wow.I'm impressed!This is the first report on the Fandom that I've ever seen that didn't make me want to rage.You actually seem to 'get it'.Thanks!

Sherilyn Connelly
Sherilyn Connelly

You're welcome! (And I'm somewhat biased, since I'm a part of the fandom.)

Mrchild
Mrchild

  I'm a sweet, friendly, honest lady.I've always waiting for a good man who can love me all my life ,so I got Romance2012 on

---T'ALL' HUB.c⊙m ---told it's the first and best club for tall people and their admirers. …  465465

fluffy
fluffy

Surprised there was no mention of Skrillex showing up. Apparently he was there briefly?

Roxanna Meta
Roxanna Meta

Thanks for the awesome, respectful, and appropriately goofy article! I really enjoyed it :)

Sherilyn Connelly
Sherilyn Connelly

I'm glad you liked it!  I'm all about the appropriate goofiness. :)

AnonymousofMassachusetts
AnonymousofMassachusetts

Or, rather, "Conventions tend to be defined outside their social context by the outsider media by the costumes the attendees wear."

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

San Francisco Event Tickets
©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...