– April, 1996
Once again we came back to a hotel that really likes us, and roughly 870 furry fen (and other interested people) joined us at the Atrium and Radisson Plaza Hotels in Irvine for a weekend of fun, fur, and fortification.
Once again this year our special charity was the Deal Whitley Scholarship Fund at the DuCret School of the Arts. Our special thanks go out to the artists, dealers, dancers, entertainers, and fans who contributed materials and time toward this special effort in memory of a good friend to all the furries. The DuCret School is ready to send us prospects for student cartoonists looking to get ahead with their education — and, give the world some new furries!
Our fast-rising literary guest S. Andrew Swann received even more evidence of just how popular his books are with furry fandom, and he responded in kind with his enthusiastic and intelligent interviews — not to mention, lots of autographs! Artistic guests Frank Kelly Freas and Laura Brodian Freas were seen all over the con, meeting with the fans for lots of friendly conversation, artistic advice, and stories about early SF publishing and fandom. They said they’d like to come back! Special guests Eric Schwartz and Michael Higgs from the east coast were mostly to be found behind their table in Artists Alley, sketching away like mad. But Eric also found time to get about and answer all those techy questions that everyone wanted to throw at him! Of course Confurence Seven had many other SIGs, plus many discussions on our special convention theme: Furries In Force — complete with a sudden attack of Monty Python ‘Gumbies’ on Sunday!
Every year more well-known types decide to join us at ConFurence, from a wealth of backgrounds in comics, science fiction novels, movies, computers, TV, and many other forms of media where furries can be found. Among them this year were Steve Addlesee, Darrel Benvenuto, Mitchell Biero, E.T. Bryan, Elizabeth Bryan, Jose Calderon, Ben Camacho, John Cawley, Richard Chandler, Jimmy Chin, Carol Curtis, Mike Curtis, Jeff Ferris, Bill Fitts, Steven Gallacci, Roz Gibson, Dean Graf, Tygger Graf, Jim Groat (with wife and son and dad!), Shon Howell, Pat Kelly, Paul Kidd, Robert C. King, Ed Kline Kris Kreutzman, Daphne Lage, Michele Light, Monika Livingstone, Jymn Magon, Steven Martin, Chuck Melville, Lex Nakashima, John Nunnemacher, Joseph Ny, Trish Ny, Fred Patten, Michael Payne, Steve Plunkett, Dusty Rhodes, Joe Rosales, Lance Rund, Mike Sagara, Carlos Saldana, Dan Seneres, Ted Sheppard, Terrie Smith, Brian Sutton, Jefferson P. Swycaffer, Edd Vick, Mel. White, Elin Winkler, and Tommy Yune. Not to mention a host of artists, small-press publishers, and other folks whose names you know — or should. Wow! We keep calling, they keep turning up. Just remember though, the most important presence at ConFurence Seven was… yours!
For some time, the directors of ConFurence have discussed giving out an annual (or even just occasional) award to a person who has helped to promote Furry Fandom in the larger sense. This year, we actually came up with the award: The Golden Sydney (an original sculpture by Ruben Avila), awarded to a person in ‘mainstream’ media or publishing who has helped to create a more ‘furry friendly’ atmosphere for anthropomorphic material and fandom. And our first recipient: Jymn Magon, TV animation writer and producer, one of the people most responsible for such Disney hits as the TV Show Tailspin and the feature film A Goofy Movie — and, a frequent ConFurence attendee! Jymn was presented with the award at a brief ceremony following a presentation of A Goofy Movie on Saturday night. Jymn was very touched by the award, not to mention the sculpture: His first words were “And she’s naked!”.
Our room-of-selling-stuff squeezed in yet more tables this year, spreading as far as the facility would allow, and once again we filled it to capacity! This year’s selection of neat stuff again featured art, comics, books, fanzines, mementos, trinkets, statues, stand-ups, puppets, toys, costuming supplies, and computer games! Once again, thanks go out to all who sold — and all who bought!
This year’s art display room returned to a single space in the Radisson Plaza, which was even larger than we’ve had before — and again, we filled it to capacity! Again this year records were broken, in number of pieces put up, number sold, and prices bid — not to mention the total amount that the artists earned for their handiwork! We remain one of the largest annual SF/ fantasy art shows on the west coast! Lots of thanks go out to the folks who displayed art, and even more to the folks who bought it all! Thanks again to Vicky Levitin and Jazmyn Concolor for a organizing things — and to all their assistants for helping keep the ball rolling — especially those who signed up with short notice!
Furry costumes abounded in the hallways, lobbies, and foyers of both hotels, and the much-awaited Costume SIG Presentation was again our biggest yet — twenty-two costumes and groups entered! Best costume honors, once again voted on by our members themselves, went to Pete Stoller for the ever-popular bad guy, Jack Salem. First runner-up went to a pretty spotted kitty, Oncilla, designed and worn by none other than Oncilla (do we sense a trend here?). (Both winners received free merchandise from the Den of Dealers, courtesy of ConFurence.) Several other excellent costumers were on hand to discuss how they do what they do also. Our congratulations to everyone for their craftsmanship and imagination — and dedication!
This year’s furry filk-song winner was something of a first: It was inspired by a previous winner! Shannon McGuire’s lovely tune Tears of Rain was a follow-up to Michael Payne’s previous winning filk A Gently Falling Rain — this time, told from the furry’s point of view. Good grief, have we started our own ‘Drive Song’ cycle? Only the future will tell!
Friday night after the Furry Filk Contest, once again it was time for The NitroCoon Radio Show, another hilarious readers’ theater send-up of super hero and anime adventure! (Thanks again to the cast and crew for all the hard work!) After that came the popular charity Slave Auction, then it was time to dance till the walls came down at Club Tekno-Fur! Many thanks to the tech crew and volunteers for all of our night-time events.
Saturday night featured the Goofy Movie screening and interview, a live reptile presentation, and another performance from furry puppeteer Steve Plunkett. Later on the Cabaret Fur le Dance brought in another capacity crowd, filling the house and raising important funds for the Deal Whitley Scholarship. The show was, again, amazing! A parade of talented dancers, a plethora of styles, from the beautiful to the hilarious — and once again our oh-so-cool host Trendane (and assistant Furlup) keeping it all flowing smoothly! This year our lighting and effects were provided us by John and Amanda Geyer, Mark Iennaco, and the entire crew from Padpaw — thanks guys!
Once again our heartfelt thanks go to all the show crew, all the instant help, and most especially to our dancers — Omaha, Spark and Flame, Kameo Kitsune, Aki, Master Thump’n’Tasty, Tashta, Shontar, Johnnie Tigereye, Teddy Ruxpin, and The Sugar Plum Fatties! You’ve all given us another fond memory to treasure! And extra special thanks to Mark Merlino and Omaha Sternberg for organizing the entire show, again — and to the tireless stage crew and extra help!
Furries, Food, and Fun: As ever, the Friday Night Ice Cream Social and the Saturday Night Pizza Fest proved to be as popular as in the past — the fans just inhaled the food as it came out! Special thanks again go to the kitchens of the Atrium Hotel. Throughout the convention, furry fen wandered, exploring the many eateries in the vicinity of ConFurence. This time out fans added the local Benihana’s to the nearby International House of Pancakes and Hoff’s Hut in the list of popular furry eateries. More than happy to give them some business, we are! Speaking of business — we’re told that several of the stores at the huge local South Coast Plaza mall had sudden bursts of attendance too, including The Disney Store, the Warner Brothers Store, Tutti Animali, and Stampa Barbera!
Our video programming was again split in two this year. Downstairs was Video Theater One, which featured an eclectic collection of furry-themed films, cartoons, anime, and short subjects all grouped into various video ‘SIGs’ like Furries Go To War and Furry-ous Fights. A great collection of new, old, and hard-to-find material. Upstairs, Video Theater Two provided our main anime and TV animation programming, featuring old favorites like Animalympics and KO Century Beasts alongside new finds like Freddie the Frog, Montana Jones, and Beast Warrior Garukeeba. Our thanks go out to John Cawley, Shawn Keller, and Cataroo for Video One, and thanks to Rod O’Riley and Greg Bilan for setting up and running Video Two (and to Avi Melman for providing material and translations).
Our sponsors are the special folks who help us see that ConFurence takes place, that it has special guests, and that it has a place to be! They do this just by contributing a bit extra above their membership fees, which we apply to transporting, housing, and feeding our special guests. Our Sponsors this year included — Earl P. Bacon, Walt Blakes, Stephan Bartels, Steven Bornstein, Thomas G. Brady, Anthony C. Brewer, Richard Brooks, R. Cody Buchmann, David Buttenshaw, Joshua Carpman, Jeff D. Castle, Kevin Dong, Bernard Doove, James Drew, Romano Eberwein, Don Fitch, William A. Green, William Haskell, Gerrit Heitsch, Jeffrey Scott Jonas, Robert C. King, Ashley Kitto, Steven Lang, Walter A. Lyzohub Jr., Charles Nezzer, Colleen Polak, Paul Polak, Roy Pounds II, Jim Rauscher, Keith Steiger, Brian R. Thomas, Gary Wells, John C. Williams, and Paul Williams. Thank you!
… and there were the Super Sponsors!These extra-special folks gave some real extra help for our guests’ needs by contributing more than $100.00 each for the care and keeping of our big-name furries. Super Sponsors for ConFurence Seven included Scott Alexander, Brian Antoine, Ralph Atwood, James Birdsall, Eric-Alexander Bitton, David Bliss, Gary Breuckman, David L. Broadwell, Michael T. Danaher, David Ewell, Rick Farnsworth, Steve Gattuso, Amanda Geyer, John Geyer, Roz Gibson, Pete Glaskowsky, Chad Glidden, Rich Griffin, William Haas, Michael Hackett, Brock Hoagland, Mark Iennaco, Ron Johnson, James P. Kelly, David E. Klinkler, Robert Larson, Charlie G. Lee, Richard Lewis, Kim Liu, Bruce A. Lolley, Sean Malloy, Jeff Mancebo, Jacob Markow, Drew Maxwell, Paul P. McNutt, David Meacham, Dennis Messer, Craig Muckey, Matthew R. Muench, Ron Orr, Jon Pennington III, Christopher L. Pesi, Dennis R. Peterson, Deon Ramsey, Gary Renaud, Robert J. Repas Jr., Jonah E. Safar, Mark L. Severson, Charles E. Terrell Jr., Richard F. Thatcher, Phil Thompson, Tom Traubitz, John Van Stry, Lance Videen, and Bruce Wilhite. Extra special thanks to all of you!
They put up with it all through the year, then during the con itself, and they put up with even more to make it all happen! ConFurence salutes our staff and helpers for ConFurence Seven, 1996 (in alphabetical order): Cristine Armstrong, Chaz Baden, Raymond F. Benson III, David Bliss, Steven Bornstein, Dawn Britt, James P. Callicott, John Cawley, Chris Champlin, George E. Chaney III, Jazmyn Concolor, Robert K. Davis, Ron Dippold, Raymond Estrada, Beth Finck, Tim Fitelson, Mark Freid, Steve Gattuso, John & Amanda Geyer, Tygger Graf, Michelle Greer, Bill Grobe, Michael Hall, Patrick Hall, Jonathan Hartman, Dean Hellerud, Tim Helphrey, Brian Henderson, Lori Henderson, Lisa Iennaco, Mark Iennaco, Warren Johnson, Zsanene Klinkler, Lynn Kurtz, Wayne Lau, Vicky Levitin, Jay A. Long, Karl Maurer, Thom McDaniel, Avi Melman, Mark Merlino, Brian L. Miller, Kurt Miller, Sheri Mount, James P. Mullen, Charles Nezzer, Ken Nielsen, Rod O’Riley, David T. Parenteau, Tim Portillo, Rob Powell, Gary Renaud, Sky Rigdon, Chris Sawyer, Kay Shapero, Zrath Smiley, Mark Sterling, Debbie Sternberg, DeWayne Stewart, Tammy Teer, Jason Thomas, Daniel J. Torres, and Michael Underwood. (There are other folks whose names we’re liable to forget — plus some non-staff people who stepped in when things got ‘hairy’. Thank you to all of you too!)
So what’s up next? Lots of stuff over the year — Take a listen!
THE DUCKON 5 FURRY TRACK
ConFurence East, 1996
And finally, once again it’s back to the original…
- ConFurence Eight marks the return of the double-theme. Our primary theme (Music and Mirth) salutes the role of furries in song, not to mention the music from our favorite furry movies and TV shows! Our secondary theme (Scalies!) gives us a chance to recognize a large category of non-furry anthropomorphics who still deserve attention: Reptilians, dragons, and dinosaurs!
- Two special Guests of Honor have been confirmed for ConFurence Eight, and a third is on the way, Real Soon Now (more on him next issue!).
- Famed fantasy author Peter S. Beagle is best known (especially among furries) for his ground-breaking fantasy novel The Last Unicorn, which in the 80’s was made into a popular animated feature film by Rankin-Bass. But, did you also know that other furries are featured prominently in several of Mr. Beagle’s books and short stories? Like the smart-mouthed crow in A Fine and Private Place, or the object-of-our-hero’s-desire in Lyla the Werewolf? Did you also know that Peter is a renowned folklorist and folksinger, in addition being a world-class author? These are the things you’ll find out — at ConFurence Eight! For our second theme, we’re pleased to welcome science fiction author Robert
- J. Sawyer to ConFurence Eight. Mr. Sawyer made a splash in SF writing a few years ago with his book Far Seer, where he postulated a world populated by more-evolved carnivorous dinosaurs, at a time when the stability of their society is threatened (and moved forward) by the advancing of science. Since then he’s expanded on those ideas in sequels like Fossil Hunter and other books. We’re pleased to welcome this Canadian favorite down to sunny California for a warm furry reception! And, straddling both of our themes, we proudly present our special musical
- guest, Dr. Jane Robinson. Dr. Jane spent many years of her life as a practicing paleontologist (that means dinosaurs!) and museum staff person, and has translated many of her experiences in science and academia into a glorious collection of funny and inspiring (and often both) filk-songs. Already she has several tapes, CD’s, and song-books under her belt. Between Dr. Jane and Mr. Beagle, we’ve got the makings of quite a concert…
- Wow! And that’s just the GOH line-up — so far! We’re likely to add a few more names to our Guests of Honor list, in addition to the usual parade of former guests-of-honor, well-known furry creators and publishers, and up-and- coming new talent on hand at ConFurence Eight. Make sure that your name is among those present!
- The NEW Hotel
- ConFurence is on the move again! We’ve settled down for 1997 in new digs — namely, the handsome Buena Park Hotel, right in the parking lot of Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park. Don’t worry — they’ve hosted SF cons in the past, and they’re more than looking forward to having us! They must be: They’re asking only $64.00 a night for single, double, triple, or quad rooms! Suites are also available (and wait until you see what we have in store for our sponsors and super sponsors!). For reservations, call (800) 422-4444, or the local number (714) 995-1111. Important: Make sure to call during business hours (M-F 9 am – 5 pm, pacific time), and make sure to mention ConFurence! Reservations are already coming in, so you should think about getting yours in soon! For those fans of less means, there are also a trio of cheaper motels right across the street from our host hotel — more on them next issue!
- Local fun-places-to-go near ConFurence include Disneyland, Knott’s Berry Farm, Medieval Times, Movieland Wax Museum, Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum, and Wild Bill’s Western Show. Please let us know which of these you might be interested in getting group discount tickets for!
The Den of Dealers:
- Can you believe it? As of this writing, the Den of Dealers for ConFurence Eight is Sold Out! That’s right, we’ve filled up our new facility, which is even bigger than last year! Now, we’ll attempt to fudge some space in here and there, so we may have some more tables open up in the near future — and we need to know if you want them! Please write us and let us know if you want to be placed on the Waiting List for the Den of Dealers 1997. Otherwise, just show up, and be prepared to be blown away by the variety of comics, books, music tapes, portfolios, fanzines, prints, puppets, t-shirts, and other just- plain-neat-stuff you’ll find at our furry trade show!
The Artists’ Alley:
- One of the most popular and populated features of any ConFurence, and ConFurence Eight is going to carry on the tradition! These tables in the pre-convene area are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis at the con itself, and need to be signed up for each morning. Write to Rod O’Riley at the ConFurence address for any information on table space.
The Art Show:
- Past experience leads us to believe that the ConFurence Eight Art Show will break all our previous records — again! Trust us, if you do art of funny animals, furries, monsters, aliens, toons, or even real animals, you want to be in this art show! But our show will fill up — so get in your reservations as soon as you can! Your first art show space (4 ft. by 4 ft., horizontal or vertical) is still available free with your paid supporting or attending membership — all you have to do is claim it. Additional art show spaces are available for a low $5.00 each. We also have an extensive Print Shop available for selling copies of your work. So get your reservations in today! What, you can’t make it to ConFurence? No problem! Reserve your space, and mail us your art before the con — we’ll set it up, send you back what may not sell, and get you off a check for your sold items! We have an extensive registration ‘instruction sheet’ available that explains all the ins and outs of displaying and selling art, sculpture, prints, or whatever at ConFurence, so write to Jazmyn Concolor at the ConFurence address (or e-mail her at Jazmyn@netcom.com and we’ll send it off to you right away! Don’t delay! Write today!
The Cabaret Fur le Dance:
- Once again we shall bring you another truly magical evening of furry entertainment at our famous charity stage show. What kind of entertainment? The kind to make your fur stand up! Dancers, costumes, comedians, magicians — we’ve seen them all, and we want to see more! Maybe you have an idea for an act yourself? Why not try it out on the ConFurence staff — you just might find yourself on stage in front of a few hundred screaming friends! Write to Mark Merlino at the ConFurence address for all the de-tails! (Remember, all performers in the Cabaret must be able to first attend a special pre-planning meeting on Friday night, January 17, at ConFurence!)
Club Tekno-Fur Returns!
- Swirling lights! Magical sounds! Fractals and videos galore! And above it all, the driving beat that moves your feet! It’s the return of Club Tekno- Fur, following a successful bash at CF7. And it’s here for you on Friday night at ConFurence Eight — included free with the price of your membership!
- By now a tradition, once again we’ll bring you the Friday night Ice Cream Social, our annual frozen-food indulgence feast! Next night, it’s the Saturday Night Furry Feed, where for a small price, you can indulge in some finely crafted lasagna — at venue which, appropriately enough, we call Garfield’s. Speaking of food, the Buena Park Hotel features a full-service coffee shop, a fancy bar with a 50’s theme, and a fancy steak house restaurant — all under one roof!
- More Furries, More Films, More Bang For Your… oh, you know!
ConFurence Eight! What’s happening?
- More of what we’re famous for, that’s what: Meetings, discussions, rap sessions and round-tables on dozens of furry topics, from art and writing to animation, computers, games, and even meeting other fans of your favorite animal species. Presentations, lectures, and how-to sessions on writing, art, publishing, and other aspects of the creative furry. And yes, more life-drawing workshops! The Saturday afternoon Costume Presentation, with voting for the best costume — and more helpful how-to sessions with the costume makers and designers. Computer networking, art, animation, and technical innovations. Games, both paper and electronic, cards and role-playing, and everywhere in-between. Filking through the night, including our popular Furry Filksong Contest, and a special filk/folk concert. Sketching by literally dozens of artists of every size, shape, and style. And a whole lot more! All the rest, as always, is what you bring to the con!
- Registration to ConFurence Five is on a sliding scale — All memberships are $20.00 for a full three-days Attending, from now until December 1st, 1996. From December 2nd, 1996 until January 10th, 1996, three-day Attending memberships are available for $30.00, and after that, at-the-door for $30.00 also. Plus, a full year of In-Fur-Nation, and our special annual ConFurence Souvenir Collection Book, are all included in the price of your membership! A single art show display space is also included free with your membership — if you write us and claim it!
- And remember, we’d love to have you join us, but if you cannot make it out to our environs, feel free to join ConFurence as a Supporting member! Supporting members get a full year’s subscription to In-Fur-Nation, the Souvenir Collection Book, and one free art show display space for the taking, all for the low price of just $12.00! And, if your fortunes change, you can convert your supporting to a full attending membership at the door for only $15.00. Such a deal, puppies and kits!
We heartily recommend that you get your memberships now. That provides us with the best means to keep you in touch with ConFurence over the whole year — and if past history holds true, we’ll have a lot of exciting stuff to tell you between now and the con itself!
- Our Sponsors
- Sponsors are the excellent people who help keep ConFurence going by giving just a little extra bit (or a lot extra bit!) of financial help. This is money for transporting, lodging, and feeding our special guests, as well as off-setting complimentary memberships. To become a sponsor, contribute a minimum of $50.00 (up to $99.00), which includes your initial membership fee. Remember: Indicate which of our special guests this money is to help toward, or just mark it “general fund” — we’ll split it among all of them. And what do you get for being a sponsor? Sponsors are the only folks (besides staff and guests) allowed in the Guest Lounge, a special place set aside where folks can relax away from the hubbub of the con. Guests and sponsors can attend a free sandwich-feast on Sunday evening, after the con. And, sponsors get some special prices on materials from the ConFurence store. And, sponsors get — our unending gratitude! (And, recognition by name in the souvenir book!)
- Super Sponsors are the awesomely excellent furry folk who really want to help out ConFurence — and who think they deserve something special in return. Super Sponsors are crazy, er, wonderful people willing to contribute $100.00 or more (which includes their initial memberships) toward a special guest of their choice, or just toward the guests in general. Super Sponsors get all the same neat stuff as other Sponsors, plus an added bonus of a chance to obtain a customized art piece from a famous furry artist! (Write for a list of participating artists.) Don’t have $100.00 sitting around handy? Make installments! That’s right, we’ll take two payments of $50.00, or four payments of $25.00 — it still counts you as a Super Sponsor, as long as it totals $100.00 by the time of the con itself.
- Once again at ConFurence Eight for Sponsors and Supers: We’re setting up a special ‘Express Registration’ just for our pre-registered sponsors and super -sponsors. You can bi-pass the line-up at Con Reg, get your badges and other con stuff right away, and get out there first to get those sketches in your books started!
ConFurence Wants YOU…
- … to join our staff and help put on one of the fastest growing fannish conventions on the West Coast! Join our team! We need volunteers to help out with all areas of the convention, from registration to art show to helping keep the fans well-fed! No experience necessary — we will train! For as little as 12 hours of work over the length of CF8 (though we won’t stop you from helping more!), you can get access to our exclusive Staff Lounge, as well as use of our available crash space — plus, some other special goodies, and the knowledge that you’ve helped us pull this thing off for another year! Write to Volunteers care of the ConFurence address, or send e-mail to Rod O’Riley at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll send you our staff sign-up sheet and information right away!
Furries on the Wing!
- ConFurence has its own official travel agency, Ladera Travel of Southern California. They’ve specialized for years in getting good rates for travel to and from SF cons, including ours! Contact Rick Foss or Robin (his trusty assistant) at (800) 624-6679 from outside California, or (310) 640-0527 inside California