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Archive-name: furry/faq
Posting-Frequency: Posted on the 8th and 25th of each month.
URL: http://www.tigerden.com/infopage/furry/furfaq.txt
Last-Modified: Sat, 18 Jan 2003 00:26:59 -0800 (PST)
Changes: Updated various URLs and MUCK addresses to bring up to date.

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
              an Alt.Fan.Furry Frequently-Asked-Questions Sheet
                         originally by Jordan Greywolf
        Updated by Lynx (lynx@lynx.purrsia.com) as of January 18, 2003


Subject: 1. Table of Contents and Introduction 1. Table of Contents and Introduction 2. WHAT IS "ALT.FAN.FURRY"? 3. WHAT IS A "FURRY"? 4. CAN REPTILES BE "FURRY"? 5. WHAT IS A "FUNNY ANIMAL"? 6. WHAT IS A "PERSONAL FURRY"? 7. WHAT IS "FURRYDOM"? 8. WHAT IS A "FANZINE"? 9. WHAT MAKES A STORY (or MOVIE/SHOW/GAME, whatever) "FURRY"? 10. WHAT'S "ALBEDO"? 11. WHERE DO I GO TO FIND THIS STUFF? 12. WHAT IF I WANT TO WRITE/DRAW THIS STUFF? 13. WHAT DOES "IMHO" MEAN? 14. WHAT DOES =) MEAN? 15. MUDs, FTP Sites, and Web Links The following is Greywolf's attempt to answer frequently asked questions about furry fandom and is not endorsed by any major organization. It reflects observations and opinions held by Greywolf (and possibly by Lynx as noted below). Take the below with a grain of salt and the customary disclaimer. Of course, a fandom is defined by the fans, and it's practically impossible for such a diverse group to agree on a concise definition of much of anything. [This doesn't stop them from trying. -- Lynx]
Subject: 2. WHAT IS "ALT.FAN.FURRY"? Alt.fan.furry is a newsgroup devoted to the discussion of all things "furry" and/or of distinct interest to "furry fans". While this leads to a rather vague definition of what is truly "on-topic", the term "furry" itself is inherently vague. (See "What is a 'furry'?") In general, the discussion of artwork or fiction (including movies, TV series, game systems, novels, illustrations, etc.) involving "furry" subjects, theorizing about "furry" creatures, and even of the fandom itself or the definition of "furry" is commonly found on the newsgroup.
Subject: 3. WHAT IS A "FURRY"? "Furry" when used as a noun seems to refer to one of two things: a) An animal-like character known as a "furry" b) A person who is a "furry fan" The latter is easy enough (knock on wood) to define: A person who particularly enjoys stories, pictures, dolls, video games or whatever concerning "furry" creatures. Defining a "furry" creature is somewhat harder, though. There are several definitions depending upon which "camp" in furrydom, for lack of a better term, you might be in. The basic definition for a "furry" is an anthropomorphized animal character. In other words, an animal character given human-like attributes, such as sapience and often a humanoid form. The term "furry" is a misnomer, as a creature does not need to have fur to be "furry" in this sense. Other terms sometimes interchangeable with a "furry" in this sense are "zoomorph", "morph", "anthropomorph" or (debatably) "funny animal". The core definition of a "furry" seems to include basically humanoid-formed creatures with animal faces, fur/scale/feathers/whatever, and often appropriate tails, wings, claws, etc., able to speak, and with a human-like personality, though quite often with "quirks" hinting at the real-life animal upon which the character is based. A broader definition will sometimes include other odd creatures that simply have some sort of animal features in their makeup. Such would include mythical creatures such as centaurs, manticores, satyrs or harpies, all of which have human faces though more-or-less animal-like bodies. This broader definition might also include the human-like characters that appear in some Japanese animation that have an animal tail and ears, but otherwise look about as human as any other anime character. One of the narrower definitions held by some is that in order for a character to be truly considered "furry", the character must exhibit animal-like characteristics in behavior. Optionally, the fact that the character is an "animal" must be a major ingredient to the story. This is exhibited in a frequent criticism of "furry" stories by those who hold this view: Many stories, while featuring characters fitting the core definition of "furry" given earlier are criticized as being "humans in animal suits" if their behavior isn't distinctly animal-like in some way.
Subject: 4. CAN REPTILES BE "FURRY"? Yes. So can birds. Having fur is not a prerequisite. The term is not necessarily literal.
Subject: 5. WHAT IS A "FUNNY ANIMAL"? A "funny animal", in practice, is an anthropomorphized animal, though the usage tends to lean more toward more "cartoony" characters, and does not carry the same wide, sweeping connotations that "furry" seems to have. (e.g., I don't usually hear centaurs and anime cat-girls referred to as "funny animals") Some writers and artists who claim the term "funny animals" for their subject matter don't necessarily consider themselves "furry", though on the surface this might seem to be almost a synonym. This is largely because of the baggage the term "furry" carries with it, as a number of people see "furries" obsessed with the sexuality of their fictitious characters. A "funny animal" is not necessarily a character in solely humorous situations, and not necessarily restricted to Saturday morning cartoon antics. The "funny" part of the term seems to more apply to the fact that these characters are not like *real* animals.
Subject: 6. WHAT IS A "PERSONAL FURRY"? Definitions range widely, but the common answer seems to be that a "personal furry" is someone's anthropomorphized animal "alter-ego". This can mean a number of things: a) It could be a "furry" character that the person roleplays on FurryMUCK (or some other roleplaying environment/game) that the person considers to be a representation of him/herself. b) It could be an anthropomorphized animal character that represents the person in cartoons or drawings. c) It could be a person's "totem" or favorite animal type. One's attachment to and attitude toward one's "personal furry" (if at all) varies greatly.
Subject: 7. WHAT IS "FURRYDOM"? Furrydom is a rather vague term, usually used to refer to "furry fandom". "Furry fandom" is an abstraction of the loose collection of people who are fans of various "furry" publications. In a broader sense, the term may be used to refer to the general "furry scene", such as the collection of publications (particularly small-press or amateur "fanzines") devoted to them, and the assortment of "furry" conventions.
Subject: 8. WHAT IS A "FANZINE"? A fanzine is a usually small-press publication catering to fans of a particular genre. (As M. High pointed out, "furry" is more a *vehicle* than a *genre*, but that's a technicality.) There are several "furry fanzines" which publish an assortment of stories, artwork and sometimes articles submitted to the 'zine, such as "PawPrints" and "YARF!". Other publications that may pop up in "furry" discussion are APAs: These are limited-circulation publications meant for a collection of artists/writers to share their work with *other* artists and writers. Usually each contributor pays his share of the production costs depending upon how much of each "issue" consists of his work, and copies of the collected publication are only circulated among the contributors. Examples include "Rowrbrazzle" and "Furthest Northern Crew (FNC)". A variation on this is the APA'zine, which is an APA which accepts contributions only from members but which allows non-members to purchase copies. Examples include "Huzzah!" and "Gallery".
Subject: 9. WHAT MAKES A STORY (or MOVIE/SHOW/GAME, whatever) "FURRY"? This is a matter of debate, varying as much as the definition of what a "furry" is in the first place. The definition that seems to be most applicable is that in order for a story, movie or show to be considered "furry", a primary character (or a significant number of the primary characters) must be a "furry". Another definition is that simply whatever stories tend to be popular among furfen (furry fans) that they consider to be "furry" are furry. But that's hardly helpful, is it? =) Cartoons with animal characters are often accepted as being "furry", for one thing. Steve Gallacci's "Albedo" is usually considered "furry", unless you're from the group that believes that his characters are merely "humans in animal suits". Many Disney movies might be considered "furry", such as their animated "Robin Hood". Even though "Bambi" isn't an anthropomorph in shape, the characters in the movie talk with each other and have human-like emotions, and thus are considered "furry" by some. In a more recent Disney movie with a prominent "furry", "Beauty and the Beast", this is particularly a grey area; some consider it NOT to be furry, since the "Beast" was just a human changed into an animal-like form for most of the movie. "The Little Mermaid" is another one of those fringe "furry" films if you want to use the broadest definition (since Ariel's body is part fish? =.) Movies where "furry" creatures are merely the villains which the humans must fight are almost certainly not considered "furry". =, Also, stories where an animal-like character may appear but is not one of the primary characters are not usually considered "furry", either. For instance, Gnort doesn't make the Green Lantern comics "furry", even though he himself would fit the technical definition of a "furry character".
Subject: 10. WHAT'S "ALBEDO"? Albedo is one of the most recognized titles in furry fandom, a comic book that features stories from several different writers and artists, but most notably being "Erma Felna of the EDF", a science fiction story set in a "furry" universe, drawn and written by Steve Gallacci.
Subject: 11. WHERE DO I GO TO FIND THIS STUFF? [Lynx has this to say:] For comics, try your local comic store. While you can often order back issues directly from publishers like Antarctic Press or Mu Press, or from mail-order distributors like Mailbox Books or United Publications (UK), if you ask for issues at a comic store, they will be more likely to recognize that a demand exists, will order more comics, and will in general create more support for anthropomorphic material. Back issues of many furry comics can often be gotten from the companies that produced them as well. Fanzines like YARF! and PawPrints are not usually available through comic stores, so you'll either have to order them through the mail, get a subscription, or attend a con where people sell these fanzines. The biggest conventions for the sale of furry material are: Linkname: Further Confusion Filename: http://www.furtherconfusion.com/ Linkname: Anthrocon Filename: http://www.anthrocon.org/ APAs like Rowrbrazzle and FNC are members-only, and very infrequently have extra copies available. Many furry artists are available for commissions, at rates ranging from five dollars to literally hundreds and thousands of dollars, for pencil, ink, color, and 3-d artwork. This FAQ does not supply addresses, but a FAQ listed below gives artist addresses. It's recommended that when one writes to an artist, one includes an SASE (self-addressed stamped envelope) to speed the response.
Subject: 12. WHAT IF I WANT TO WRITE/DRAW THIS STUFF? [Lynx has this to say] Feel free. Anthropomorphic fandom sports many fanzines that are quite interested in the works of fledgling and not-so-fledgling artists and writers, and even if you don't feel ready for prime time yet, you may find people on the network appreciative of your work. If you post a story or artwork, then expect criticism ranging anywhere from 'it's terrible' to 'it's good but...' to simple silence that makes you wonder if your art or story made it out to the network. Remember to put copyright notices on your stories and artwork; while the current copyright conventions automatically protect creative works, it's better to have that certain amount of protection, and if someone is interested enough by what you've done, they may want to find more of it. Remember also that anything posted to the network is 'out there' effectively and thus beyond your control. The best you can do is to put some sort of request on your art or story to request people avoid redistributing it or modifying it in any way. Even then, you may find your stories or artwork from years ago haunting you as well-meaning people repost them. Question: can I post stories to alt.fan.furry? Answer: Yes, provided the story involves furry (anthropomorphic) characters. There is some doubt about the appropriacy of posting erotic stories to alt.fan.furry, however; some suggest that these stories would be better posted to an erotica newsgroup such as alt.sex.stories. In addition, you might have some luck with alt.prose and alt.prose.d. Question: what other resources are there for furry writers? Answer: There is a list of anthropomorphic novels posted fairly regularly to alt.fan.furry-- see the FAQ pointers below. Writing is discussed (not anthropomorphic writing in specific) on misc.writing as well, so if you're looking for specific tips, you might ask there. Several MUDs hold writing circles. If you're interested in seeing your story in print, look up the 'zines list. In addition, there is now a Web site that points to various furry stories around the World-Wide Web. (see below list of links) Question: can I post artwork to alt.fan.furry? And how? Answer: No. Artwork must commonly be posted in an encoded format, a practice which is frowned upon in any primarily-text newsgroup. Artwork is better posted to the newsgroup alt.binaries.pictures.furry (or for risque art, alt.binaries.pictures.furry.erotica) and should preferably be uuencoded GIFs or JPGs. For more information on uploading or downloading art, please see the appropriate FAQ (pointers are given below). Question: what other resources are there for furry artists? Answer: There are some excellent FAQs on art materials and techniques for the preservation of artwork. If you're looking for tips on drawing anthropomorphics, however, you will certainly do best to ask for help on alt.fan.furry with your particular drawing style. Who knows? You may make new friends in the process of learning. In addition, you may want to find books in the library or your friendly neighborhood art store on figure drawing, and on drawing animals. Lycan maintains an excellent archive of furry pictures sorted by artists, title, and date. See the pointer below. Question: how do I get started writing/drawing? Answer: Write or draw. No, seriously. Begin practicing immediately, remember that it won't be perfect the first time, and keep on writing or drawing until you get better. Then keep doing it. You'll be able to ask questions more effectively and get better answers if you have some idea what you want to improve. When you feel you're ready for criticism, comments, or support, then you can post your art or story, or send it to any of a number of fanzines that may be interested in your work. Good luck! Be sure to ask for criticism, if you want it, but you should be prepared for negative as well as positive comments.
Subject: 13. WHAT DOES "IMHO" MEAN? There are a few different acronyms that will pop up frequently. IMHO: In My Humble Opinion (i.e. this is just my opinion) IMNSHO: In My Not-So-Humble Opinion YMMV: Your Mileage May Vary (i.e. this works for me, but might not for you) BTW: By The Way FYI: For Your Information F'ex: For example (e.g.) RL: Real-Life IC: In Character [referring to roleplaying] LOL: Laughs Out Loud ROTFL: Rolls On The Floor Laughing {g}: {grin} -- Another system of expressing emotion involves abbreviations like this... {g,d,r}:{grin, duck and run}
Subject: 14. WHAT DOES =) MEAN? This is a 'net smiley face. Turn it sideways. =) See? Of course, furfen often get creative with animal smileys, such as: =) {cute smiley face with big expressive eyes} :) {beady-eyed, generic smiley face} :-) {Oh no! It's a HYOOMAN smiley face! Aieee!} ^_^ {alternative smiley} =^_^= {alternative critter smiley with whiskers} =, {smirky face} =. {unsure face} =/ {really perplexed face} =( {frowny face} @ >=( {really steamed frowny face} =U {howling wuff} -=) {unicorn} -=*) {unicorn with root beer foam on his nose} O-=) {angelic unicorn, or a unicorn playing donut ring-toss} > > -=) {unicorn in love with little hearts above its head} =3 {otter smiley} =:) {rabbit smiley} :=) {equine smiley face} }=) {miscellaneous critter with ears} (=3 {upside-down mouse} >=x) {cat, complete with whiskers} =} {friendly dragon} S=) {smiley with one ear flopping down} d=> {pigeon wearing a baseball cap} >Bo) {furry with big nose wearing shades} o/~ }=o {furry whistling -- that's a musical note over its head! =) } Okay, so this section wasn't COMPLETELY serious. =D
Subject: 15. MUDs, FTP Sites, and Web Links Due to the changing nature of the network, network resources and gatherings such as multi-user chat systems (MUDs), file transfer/storage areas (FTP sites), and World-Wide Web pages are always subject to change; hence, the below information is likely to be obsolete very quickly or subject to change without notice. Here are some web links where you are likely to find the latest information available: Linkname: PeterCat's Furry FAQs Page URL: http://www.tigerden.com/~infopage/furry/ (you should be able to find most furry-related FAQs here) Linkname: The Lynx/Greywolf FAQ Filename: http://www.tigerden.com/infopage/furry/furfaq.txt Linkname: R'ykandar Korra'ti's Art Materials FAQ Filename: http://www.tigerden.com/infopage/furry/art.txt Linkname: Terry Whittier's Artwork Preservation FAQ Filename: http://www.tigerden.com/infopage/furry/art-pres.txt Linkname: Lynx's Incomplete Listing of Zoomorphic Publications Filename: http://www.tigerden.com/infopage/furry/zines.txt Linkname: How to Connect to FurryMUCK (and elsewhere) Filename: http://www.tigerden.com/infopage/muck/faq.html Linkname: Descriptions of Various Furry MUCKs Filename: http://www.tigerden.com/infopage/muck/index.html Furry Novel List (3 parts) Linkname: Part 1: Animals Behaving Intelligently; Intelligent Animals Filename: http://www.tigerden.com/infopage/furry/novels1.txt Linkname: Part 2: Anthropomorphic Species Filename: http://www.tigerden.com/infopage/furry/novels2.txt Linkname: Part 3: Changes, Forthcoming Novels and Kudos Filename: http://www.tigerden.com/infopage/furry/novels3.txt Linkname: THE "WHAT/WHERE/WHY/HOW" FOR PICTURES Filename: ftp://infolane.com/pub/picutils/ http://mrcnext.cso.uiuc.edu/~deej/index.html http://spodbox.ehche.ac.uk/~abpu/ ftp://harley.pcl.ox.ac.uk/pub/picutils/ Linkname: Mia's Collection of Furry Stories Filename: http://furry.de/miavir/stories.html Some MUDs and FTP sites: FurryMUCK is a phenomenon found on the 'net -- a MUCK devoted to furry fans. If you want a definition of a MUCK, check out the FAQ on rec.games.mud.misc. =) Basically, it's a multi-player text adventure game where the "game" element has been pretty much removed, replaced with a mostly social environment (even though there are smaller games-within-a- game on the MUCK). If you have telnet, you can connect to FurryMUCK at 209.237.26.180 port 8888 (muck.furry.org 8888 for those who need named addresses). A FurryMUCK FAQ is also posted weekly to the newsgroup alt.fan.furry.muck and there is an Official FurryMUCK Web Page at <URL:http://www.furry.com/>. FurToonia is similiar to FurryMUCK, populated mostly by furries and toons who wanted to escape the lag and crowding of the larger MUCK, and also have the chance to do some creative public building projects. FurToonia can be connected to at ft.furtoonia.net 9999 (216.218.194.5 9999) and there is also a WWW homepage at http://www.furtoonia.net/ . Sociopolitical Ramifications (SPR) is another of FurryMUCK's `children' - a MUCK that was founded when FM became too big and lagged. Therefore, many furries known from FM can be found on SPR too. There is no rigid theme, the general flair is a bit more high-tech oriented than in FM. SPR is one of the few MUCKs without a building quota (you can build as much as you want). Also, SPR does without explicit rules for non- wizards. You can log in as guest and get a character immediately from any wizard. The current address is svansmoj.ctrl-c.liu.se 23 (130.236.252.42 23). (yes, 23) For more information, check the WWW pages at the URL http://www.tigerden.com/~unci/spr.html Furry Art Archives: These archives have sprung up on the net to index and make available anthropomorphic artwork to the public, each with its own unique style. You'll have to judge which one is most useful to you, but the Yerf archive is probably the friendliest to casual visitors -- it is PG-rated unlike the other archives, which contain varying proportions of R- or even x-rated artwork. It also allows you to see all pictures which were uploaded on any given date, making it easier to keep up with who's been posting what. Linkname: Yerf (formerly Squeaky Clean Furry Archive) Filename: http://www.yerf.com/ Linkname: FurNation Filename: http://www.furnation.com/ Linkname: Orlando Furry Archives Filename: http://www.fanarchive.net/ Linkname: VCL (formerly Velan Central Library) Filename: http://vclart.net/ -- Automatic posting done by <infopage@furry.fan.org> -- notice of posting problems (headers, etc.) should be sent there. The Furry InfoPage! http://www.tigerden.com/infopage/furry/ Just The FAQs: http://www.tigerden.com/infopage/furry/faqs.html This FAQ: http://www.tigerden.com/infopage/furry/furfaq.txt en.com/infopage/furry/furfaq.txt rfaq.txt //www.tigerden.com/infopage/furry/furfaq.txt

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