With the first $40 I sent to a collector, I dove into the ‘Interesting’ pool of the furry fanzine. I know some have tried, and my opinion failed to list the incredible number of them. Like furry art and comics you find online these days, back in the days when the internet was more BBS than WWW. It seems any artist who wanted to get their name out there they frankly did one. That is why in my opinion it is impossible to list them all.
Here is a sample list I found http://captainpackrat.com/furry/list.htm
“Bestiary”, “Scrap”, “Karno’s Klassics”, “Furplay” and the infamous “PentMouse” are just a very tiny number of what is really out there. Oh sure the quality of the art ranges widely, and so far I have come across more than 1 comic that was included in these fanzines that absolutely makes no sense…at all…and I am not kiddin’. But those are exceptions, the truth is most of what I seen are quite good.
But for the most part furry fanzines/comics were produced with anywhere between 8 to 50 pages. They are really an interesting view on the fandom back in those early days. One thing I noticed the style of art really haven’t changed that much. But views on the fandom by furries have.
The quality of the art and sometimes comics included in the works always ranges wildly. The best I seen so far is “Hey Neeters!” by Mike Sagara which plays out like a twisted sitcom. All the way down to a single issue fanzine like the one Patrick Kelley did called “Scrap”. Which contains a space comic that is very hard to follow, let alone to understand. The super small type makes matters worse, and the furry art in the rest of the issue looks good, I could only assume Patrick Kelley got better since 1994 when “Scrap” was released.
Then there are the unusual ones like “Centaurs Gatherum” by Ed Pegg Jr. which covers of all things centaurs. It really does and only having issue 25 and with very little information online and I am including Wikifur in this. It really hard to know how long it ran or even how many issues were printed.
I am assuming collectors have them, I occasionally see them on Furbid. I was just lucky getting what I have on Facebook. But couldn’t anyone of those collectors do an update on Wikifur. It seems less than half of what that collector sold me, information wise is even available as a result in a Google search.
Take for example “Bestiary”, and there is actually a Patreon page to make that magazine live. But not as a furry fanzine, but as an art magazine. I can only assume those behind this like the posting for “Furloose” by Fur Science meant they have no knowledge that it even existed before as a furry fanzine by Scott Alston. I really love their furry take on the opening to “Footloose”.
It isn’t like there is one source where you can find them all listed. I know Fred Patten included a list in one of the books he edited recently. “An Anthropomorphic Century”, but even then from my understanding quite a few are not even listed…there are really just that many. In fact even more.
I wish I could say these early furry fanzines/comics are easy to collect. But really you are lucky to find them, and at a fair price. I see numbers as high as $20 for 1, and the same issue along with several others selling as little as $8 for a set of 7.
More than once, I have said there should be 1 place where artists and fans alike to go to and check out furry history.
Really young artists want to see these, I been contacted over the years by several. Who really want to see how furry art has evolved. It is really not like they could go to some museum and study furry art.
As I have been repeatedly told by those who object to my efforts in saving something that could be gone in a couple of years. That you should goto reference libraries. These places are not easy to find, or let alone get to. For example the closest one near my address is more than 300 miles away.
For legal reasons I will not say what my efforts are, but if you want to donate to something who really wants to preserve them, feel free to contact me. But the real reason you can’t find these online is because of copyright. Everyone wants to be careful of the artist or writers copyright. Which expires in 75 years from the date of publication, and the only way to legally share them is to actually have a copy of the original issue.
But as I briefly mentioned before they will not last that long. I admit my knowledge of this came from my local library, but unless these fanzines were printed on acid free paper they could only last another 10 or 20 years before they turn into dust.
Even the experts I have spoken with, seriously doubt any of them will last 75 years. When this happens we will lose a part of our history.
I dare you, go ahead and look anywhere you like and try to find any information on ‘Why’ let alone ‘How’ the first furcons took place, or let alone why did they fold.
It is impossible, and as time goes on we will loose those who were apart of those early days.
I have been told on social media that some of those involved in the early furcons and these fanzines are no longer alive. Since I can not verify this information, I will not say who was mentioned.
Except those who I have contacted like Kjartan Arnórsson who stated to me on FA.
I’m so old, I’m historic, huh? What the hell – go ahead.
– KJARTAN –
That is an example of those who I have been able to contact, none has ever said no. Even they know this is history, and we are running out of time. Did you know the Vatican has been scanning historic documents before they disappear to time. Why can’t we furries, critics and all get together and search out anyone and everyone from those early days and share what knowledge they have…Before it is gone.
That is a statement of facts, unless we make an effort we will lose our history.