Tag Archives: Anthrocon

AC2010 – The Furries are in Pittsburgh : So What Is Anthrocon?

27 Jun

The Anthrocon gathering has once again made its home in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania this year.

So what IS Antrhocon, you might ask? If you’ve heard of, “Furries” then you’ve heard of Anthrocon.

According to their official website, “Anthrocon is the world’s largest convention for those fascinated with anthropomorphics, which are humanlike animal characters.”

The website goes on to explain the 2010 Anthrocon event: “We are a collection of artists, animators, writers, costumers, puppeteers, and just everyday fans who enjoy cartoon animals and their kin. This Summer we will convene at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA, from June 24-27, 2010 for workshops, panel discussions, an art exhibition and a dealer room, and much more! Membership is open to any and all who like to imagine what it would be like if animals could walk and talk as we do.”

So what is a “Furry?”  A Furry could be as simple as a person dressed up in a costume similar to that of, say, Mickey Mouse or Chuck E Cheese, or wearing cat ears and a cat tail. However, some of the costumes are far more advanced and lifelike, looking more like, for example, the werewolves from Twilight.

Some of these “Furries” take their lifestyles to the extreme, actually “becoming” the animals. Have you ever seen the people who have tattooed tiger stripes or leopard spots from head to toe, or sewn in cat whiskers in their cheeks? Yes, they could be furries or may have started as furries. However, it doesn’t always have to be so extreme. According to their website, an “anthropomorphic” person or someone who may attend Anthrocon may just be a grown-up who still digs cartoons or stuffed animals.

Usually people will dress as characters who represent some of their own traits. One fellow….er…creature?…who I saw being interviewed was a sort of husky/monster like animal named, “Nokki”, who, said his costume represented himself, because, like a husky, he liked being outdoors, enjoyed being cold, and also was very loyal to people. On the other hand, some furries will not talk, because, of course, animals do not speak.

Some of you may be wondering if this has to do with fetishes. Well, for some, yes. There are people who have a “furry fetish” for “sexual” reasons….and, we won’t go there. This isn’t that type of blog. There are other people for whom this lifestyle and this “hobby” is purely, 100% innocent. They are educated, normal people who work completely legit day jobs and live completely healthy lifestyles.

This may be hard for some of us to imagine and may even ‘raise a few eyebrows’ among conservative skeptics who may view the behavior as “sick” or weird. And the Anthrocon association has an answer to that:

“Why would someone like this be into cartoon animals? Isn’t that unusual?” If we look at the world around us, however, we will see that anthropomorphized animals are an integral part of our culture. We use them to represent our political parties. We talk to our dogs (and some even imagine they talk back, though in their own way). We put a tiger in our tank. We cheer for mascots—anthropomorphic animals dressed in team uniforms—at our favorite sporting events. Our casual observer may simply be unaware that it is only in the last forty years that cartoons and cartoon animals have been relegated to the world of children. Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and their ilk were once targeted primarily to an adult audience, their productions filled with innuendo and biting political satire. Fans of anthropomorphics today simply have not forgotten those roots. The average Furry fan is cast from the same mold as the science fiction or sword-and-sorcery fan; all of us imagine strange and thrilling worlds and try to picture ourselves living in those worlds.”

It may still seem odd to some of us, but, then again, think of all of the other conventions that have become a BIT more socially acceptable to us: Star Wars conventions, comic book conventions, Harry Potter conventions, and even now the  Twilight and True Blood obsessions where not only kids but even grown women will dress up like vampires and host or attend Twilight or True Blood viewing parties.

Is THAT healthy and normal – and who is to say?

For those wanting to know more about the “Furries” and AC2010 – you can follow their goings-on via Twitter by following Twitter hashtag #AC2010. There are also photos online at Flickr, here: http://www.flickr.com/groups/anthrocon/

Also, Pittsburgh’s very own “Burgh Baby” blogger went on a Furry-Hunt of her own and has a fabulous photo album filled with pictures – and she’s seeking names of many of ther furries, if any of you can help her out! View HER photos, here http://www.flickr.com/photos/30399149@N07/sets/72157624359234356/

Also you can learn more about Anthrocon at http://www.anthrocon.org

It’s interesting to think that this is not only the country’s largest convention for fans of anthropomorphics….but also the WORLD’S largest furry convention…and that they  have chosen Pittsburgh as their destination more than once. I’d tend to wonder why, but, then I just remind myself of all that Pittsburgh has to offer, and my own question has been answered.