Tag Archives: Vootie

The Modern Furry Aesthetic – an Interview with Flip

Like a lot of people, I was fascinated by both the depth and detail of Flip’s recently published guest article, The Beginnings of the Modern Furry Aesthetic. It feels like he has scratched the surface of something true, something that defines what “furry” actually is. He was kind enough to agree to an interview to give me an opportunity to explore some of the ideas he presented, as well as some background on his own unique furry experience.

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The Beginnings of the Modern Furry Aesthetic

Guest article by Flip. Flip has been involved with furry and other fandoms since the late 1980s, running conventions since the mid 90s, and generally being an uberfan. He is currently helping organize Furry Migration, which is held in Minneapolis August 28-30 this year.

This document started as a refinement of the Wikipedia definition to the nebulous “beginning of Furry” as a fan culture, but it quickly became apparent it would get bogged down in some nuanced specifics that, although really useful in understanding what started when historically, do not lend themselves to the brevity required by Wikis. In the end, this is more a thesis on specifically when furry started and what were the central galvanizing themes that set it apart from its sister fandoms/art forms. It may be useful to have both WikiFur and Wikipedia up as references for specific definitions and explanations. Warning: There is some graphic language due to specific quotes and citations, but general context is kept as PG-13 as possible.

The existing definition of the start of Modern Furry is somewhere around 1980-1985. It is the combination of funny animal comics and the use of anthropomorphism in science fiction into a form that is a sub-genre apart from both: Furry Fandom. WikiFur’s identification puts this point between the publications Vootie and Rowrbrazzle. Wikipedia tends to suggest Furry’s genesis as more a product of Science Fiction fandom and their corresponding conventions. Although Wikifur is more specifically correct in that furry fandom is a product of some particular underground comics, it is important to note that Wikipedia’s definition is still generally correct, but missing some nuance.

To understand all the pieces involved here, it is important to recognize what was happening during the 1970s, specifically in society and popular culture. It was a tremendous time of personal discovery, social expression and artistic experimentation. Specifically to pre-modern furry concerns, the use of anthropomorphism continued to be expanded in new ways across various media. Much of this is easily seen in the animation, science fiction and comic books of the time.

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