Who are "furries"? What is "furry" fandom?
What is a "furry"? There are many interpretations of the word, but to give the most appropriate - it should be mentioned that “furry” is a subculture, which brings together people one way or another sharing interest in anthropomorphic animals in art, animation, literature and design. Main feature of subcultures is the desire of its members to embody the image of an anthropomorphic animal in the works of art, or in themselves via identification with the character.
Anthropomorphic animals include fictional animals, i.e. fictional creatures that possess the characteristics of human and animal, both, in anatomical and in behavioral terms. In other words "furry" is an animal who behave like human. Endowed with human qualities most predators - lions, cheetahs, foxes, wolves, and since these animals are covered with fur - they are called “furs” or “furries”. That word determined the name of the subculture.
The concept of furry subculture unites:
- Fans of the animated films or stories, featuring anthropomorphic animals
- Artists, preferring to draw animalistic art and anthropomorphic animals
- “furries”, i.e. anyone who feels spiritual affinity with anthropomorphic animals
This is a typical quality a member of “furry subculture” may possess. Specific feature of “furry subculture” is a self-identification of its members with anthropomorphic animals, the desire to be like an animal in appearance and behavior, and perhaps in preference to draw a certain kind of animal.
According to Fred Patten, an anime historian, the concept of “furry” first appeared in the science-fiction convention in 1980. Character image Erma Felna (anthropomorphic cat) from the "Albedo anthropomorphics" comic book by Steve Gallachi caused hot debates on anthropomorphic characters in science fiction novels. This led to forming a group of fans who discussed these characters at conventions devoted to science fiction and comics. Patten uses the term of "furry fandom" to describe an organized adoption and dissemination of creative works on furries.
The term "furry fandom" was used in amateur limited editions - "fanzines" - since 1983, and became the standard name of the genre.
However, there is an opinion that everything had begun much earlier. Originating point for the furry fandom often referred to such works as:
- "Jungle Emperor" (US: Kimba the White Lion), animated series by Osama Tezuka (1965)
- "Watership Down", novel by Richard Adams, and its latter animated movie production (1978)
- "Robin Hood ", cartoon by Walt Disney (1973)
With growth of the Internet it has become an ideal environment for the formation and development of the furry community - first in the Western world, and gradually (late 90's) moving in the CIS countries. At the moment furries can be found even in the most remote corners of the globe.
article (с) Valeska
(editing: Basil Lion)