Furry Fanzines were produced from the early 1990s, although some say as early as the late 1980s to the early 2000s by artists who had either interest in anthro characters, or as one put it “A way to get around the Social Norm”, as some do contain some very adult art within them featuring anthro characters. They were more than often put together by a single person, who then brought it down to a local printer, where it was printed the cheapest paper they had to offer. Then the same one behind it would often staple them together, before they would bring it down to local book shops, where it would be placed in racks, and the profits split between them. It was a way the ones behind the publication could make extra income to pay more mundane things such as bills and rent.
The sad fact is no one knows the exact number printed or let alone the number of issues. I have spoken to Kjatan Arnórsson, who produced “Karno’s Klassics” for almost 10 years. He mentioned they were quite popular at the time. He made enough to buy a brand new car. But even he is unsure at what issue he stopped at. The best I could find out after a lot of digging was possibly 43, but who knows. By the way he put those works in Public Domain, more on that later.
These zines ranged from comedy with “Meet The Netters”, to more adult material with “The Bunny Pages”. Small publishers even had their own with “Captain Pulsar’s Rocketship Rodents”, “Shanda The Panda”, “Genus” and even “Roxikat”.
They were published until the rise of the internet. They slowly began to disappear in the late 1990s, but were totally gone by the early 2000s.
Although the more popular ones such as “Shanda the Panda” and “Captain Pulsar’s Rocketship Rodents” are easy to find, sadly over the years other zines have become more and more difficult to find. Due to both the limited number of issues published, and for the most part they were only available in areas where they were published.
Ever since Furbid disappeared off the internet due to a DDOS attack. These issues have jumped from $7 to 14 on Furbid on sites like eBay where they generally go for $75 or more per single issue. Some have even topped $100.
This is a partial list of what was available
Col. Pud’s Single Shot
Scrap by Pat Kelly
Furry Fanzines also have their list of lost issues, although I can’t say for a fact any of these have survived to this very day. I have been told many are looking for them.
First up is “Captain Pulsar’s Rocketship Rodents”, that is no mistake. But what I am talking about is what was printed before the 1st official comic book and what didn’t appear in Furnation Magazine, more on that later. I have spoken to either Werepuppy or Trejan co creators of the comic, who then told me that the original material was lost long ago when their HDD crashed and died. They are totally unsure what appeared or where. I was told if anyone has these works, contact them directly as they would like a copy.
Then there is Roxikat, I have been told it once had its own comic. But unfortunately the artist who is currently on FA won’t even talk about those early days, and almost nothing was found online. This is why I consider it lost.
Then there is Furnation Magazine which sorta falls in between lost and found. Only lasting 10 issues, Furnation Magazine was a high quality publication where artists and writers combined to help pay for new servers for Furnation’s site in 2000. Once they had enough money by issue 6 or 7, the number of issues printed started to go down, so by Issue 10 it ceased publication. Issue 10 is the rarest, I have only ever seen 1 issue available, it came with a CD and nobody is 100% sure what CD contains. It is considered the Holy Grail of fanzine collecting as no one is 100% certain of the number of issues printed. This was later confirmed by its editor. Who also suggested what was listed about the issue on Wikifur could be wrong.
Copyright and The Gray Area of the Law
Let’s start with the fact that every work remains under US Copyright for 75 years. Blame Disney wanting to keep the copyright on Mickey Mouse.
Nothing is better than the story of “Air Pirate Funnies” created by Dan O’Neill, Bobby London, Shary Flenniken, Gary Hallgren and Ted Richards Who together with sex acts, and drug use combined with murder directly attacked Disney. Who sued to get them to cease production and have all the 2 issues recalled. It’s rare, no one is 100% certain how many issues survived this legal attack. One went up on auction a few years back and it sold for over $500. Although not impossible to find online, getting an actual copy in your hands is next to impossible.
Copyright Law says Everything created and published by its creator has all rights for 75 years. everything ever printed is under that law, but unfortunately due to the paper they were printed on they won’t last for 75 years. I own a few issues and they all show signs of decay, paper flaking, unexpected stains, and they are only about 20 years old. So in order to save them I scanned them. I also suggest anyone who has such works scan them as well in order to perverse them.
This is where the Legal Quagmire starts.
Over the decades since they were published, many publishing companies as well as artists and writers have died. Copyright Law says if its creator has died, copyright then belongs to the creator’s relatives. There is a problem with that, many don’t know such works were created by them. I got this story from at least 3 zine creators. You know in the furry fandom we don’t often use our real names, just ones we created. That is the story of “Gorilla Girl” and “Col. Pud’s Single Shot”. Created by established artists, who are well known in their circles. This was a secret project by them, and everything was done in cash, so there is no record who they were. With many disappearing off the internet for various reasons and others who simply refuse to talk about their older works like the creator of Roxikat. What can you do?
Although there are a few who strongly protect their older works such as Taral Wayne who still makes and sells CDs collections of their older works. Many just don’t care such as Kjatan Arnórsson, and even to a degree such as Werepuppy and Trejan. Who has no issue with anyone posting their works. I can’t speak for the rest of them, as they can’t be found or simply refuse to talk.
As a lawyer put it so well it’s a gray area of the law. So here is what they advise about older works, for the average person posting a comic or a screenshot is legal to a degree. Unless the artist wants it down but the odds of that happening are about the same as winning the lottery.
For any commercial site?
Here is the thing I have spoken to 3 furry publishers, and surprisingly they all said the very same thing. They would love to produce a collection of those fanzines. It seems many of them are also collectors of such works. But because of the copyright law, they can’t. “It is a legal nightmare”.