My Interview with Joe Strike part 1

Call it a combo and not being able to think of any good questions right away as most of what I was going to ask was already in his book Furry Nation and a man trying to plug his book. When Joe Strike gets back to me part 2: the conclusion will be posted.

I know it almost sounds like I am taking the coward’s why out by asking a question at a time but after checking the internet only to discover you have had an amazing life. So I have to ask where did it began for you?

If you mean my interest in anthropomorphism, it was a bunch of stuff – I’m a Baby Boomer, so back in the day you could watch Looney Tunes 7 days a week on afterschool or Saturday morning TV; they were a huge influence on me. Also, there were still a lot of “funny animal” comic books still being published – not just WB or Disney characters, but lots of animals who never appeared outside of comic books. For whatever reason I just soaked that stuff up.

So how did your love of anthro animals turn into your work in TV and in newspapers?

I’ve been writing since I was a kid in elementary school (not about anthro animals – yet) and was able to make a living from it most of my working career. I came across – or made – opportunities to write about animation and genre entertainment. (For instance, I sent writing samples to the Sunday entertainment editor of the NY Daily News who liked them enough to start giving me assignments to write about those kind of movies.)

The first serious attempt I made at creating something based on my interest in anthro animals and transformation was my proposal for a kids’ TV series called The Incredible Hare. Because of my writing contacts I was able to run it by several TV and studio executives – none of whom were interested in. A few years went by and I decided to turn my TV show proposal into a kids novel, the character’s origin story – and once again no one was interested. Now I’m hoping that any success Furry Nation might enjoy will help open a few doors for the Hare being published.

Speaking of published how did you get involved in doing Rowrbrazzle? and were you involved in any other furry fanzines?

To answer your question, when I first discovered the fandom I started corresponding with early furs (now fellow graymuzzles, people like Ray Rooney in Philadelphia who sent me that original furry party invite and Kjartan Arnorrson, currently of Tucson AZ. They tipped me off to (long gone) publications like Q and Furversion as well as Rowrbrazzle and lent me their copies.

I can’t recall my art appearing in any other publications. Back in the (pre-internet) days, Rowrbrazzle was the place for a furry artist to be. At its peak there were 50 members and like a 35-person waiting list of people who wanted to join. I gradually moved up until I was among first 10 on the list – which is when membership was expanded to 60 people.

To be continued…