Daily Archives: June 22, 2008

The Webcomic Overlook #45: Better Days

The Wikipedia entry on “furry fandom” has this to say about media coverage:

Portrayal of the furry fandom by the media is generally unflattering, although recently there have been some attempts to supply a balanced viewpoint. Articles in Loaded, Vanity Fair, and the syndicated sex column “Savage Love” focused sharply on the sexual component of certain furries…. Most furry fans claim that these media portrayals are misconceptions, and some recent coverage focuses on debunking the myths and stereotypes of furries. A reporter attending Anthrocon 2006 noted that “despite their wild image from Vanity Fair, MTV and CSI, furry conventions aren’t about kinky sex between weirdos gussied up in foxy costumes”, that conference attendees were “not having sex more than the rest of us”, and that the furry convention was about “people talking and drawing animals and comic-book characters in sketchbooks.”

I can see where this entry is coming from. No likes to be stuck with the stigma of being a sexual deviant. In a way, I sorta hold furries in the same regard I hold cosplayers. They open themselves to ridicule by dressing up in ungainly costumes that they should’ve outgrown by the 5th grade and play childish games like furry Twister. Still, I imagine they’re no more goofy or perverse than Man-Faye or the guy in the Hello Kitty Vader outfit.

What really chafes me, though, is the unashamedly editorial nature of this particular wiki entry. There are fingerprints everywhere that this section is heavily guarded by defensive furries. Take the part that says “recently there have been some attempts to provide a balanced viewpoint,” for example. What are they talking about? That one article that no one read about an undercover reporter infiltrating AnthroCon? Call me a Wiki elitist, but this is one of those entries that should be flagged. I especially love how the entry needs to point out that, at the conventions, furries are “not having sex” and they spend their time to drawing animals. Wow! Just like your grade schooler does when she draws herself riding a pony! How can drawing animals be anything but pure and lovely?

When it comes to Jay Naylor’s Better Days, you come to the frightening realization that drawing animals isn’t the innocent, harmless hobby it’s made out to be. All those “unfounded” stereotypes in that Wikipedia entry are right here — shameless, naked, and out there for everyone to see. While there is no overt pornographic content, I should warn you that the content and links will be Not Safe for Work and Not Safe for Children. So if you’re either wasting company time or under the age of 12, I humbly suggest you follow this link to my review of Dean Trippe’s Butterfly, a whimsical little tale about a superheroic young boy. There’s nothing overtly pornographic about Better Days, but it is explicit. There’s also a very good chance you’ll run into ads for Naylor’s other pornographic projects.

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