Greetings, readers of Dogpatch Press. I am André “Dracokon” Kon. Maybe you’ve heard of me as I’ve made my rounds in the fandom over the past decade. If not, here’s the fastest crash course I can give you. I began as a purveyor of written reptilian smut, got invited to speak at a couple of conventions, was admin of the late Herpy website, had work read in an NYC art show, was briefly on SoFurry’s staff, joined the musical stage act Attractivision, and became the host of a livestream called Gatorbox.
With Gatorbox, I’ve helped spearhead a new breed of entertainment through Twitch. With the assistance of my long-time writing counterpart Rob “Roastmaster” Maestro, one show we brought to this channel is What’s Yiffin’?. What’s Yiffin’ began as a one-off bit in September 2015. The viewer response prompted us to bring it back the following month… and the one after that. The show has been a staple of Gatorbox ever since, with a brand new installment rolled out almost every month. Now I’m honored to have the series syndicated, adding bonus commentary just for Dogpatch Press.
ENJOY THIS MONTH’S EPISODE
We usually don’t lead with self promotion, however since the Ursa Major Awards have just now opened for nominations, this month’s video lets you know we’re eligible for nominations in the “Magazine” and “Website” categories. For a good many of you this is probably going to be your first exposure to us and I’m simultaneously excited and profusely apologetic for that. In the name of good journalism, I’d like to provide you with the show’s official playlist on YouTube to give you a better idea of our scope and coverage over the past two years.
GLOBAL WARMING IS REAL
At the end of last month, Disney announced that the massively successful children’s MMO Club Penguin would be shutting down for good, providing March 29th as the day of the game’s closure (and the release of its successor, Club Penguin Island).
It’s hard to quantify just how big this game was. It was featured on Miniclip.com for a little over a year, until in 2007, Disney made the move to buy the rapidly growing game for $700M. With the support of Disney, Club Penguin would eventually see massive merchandising in the form of console video games, books, toys, a trading card game, and multiple TV specials.
Arguably the most important aspect of Club Penguin’s closure is the reveal of one of the biggest urban legends in the game’s decade+ long history: “tipping the iceberg”. Nobody really knows who started the rumor, but at some point someone came up with the hoax that you could literally tip the in-game iceberg location over, if you stood on its left side and used the jackhammer item. The hoax spread like wildfire. It has persisted for literally the entire length of Club Penguin’s life.
From now until the game’s last moments, it’s finally possible to “tip the iceberg”. For doing so, players are rewarded with a special item, as well as unveiling a memorial placard that reads:
“Together we can build an island, create a community, change the world, and even tip an iceberg. Waddle on.”
Club Penguin was many things to many people. For a lot of children from the Millennial generation, it was among their very first forays into the world of the internet. Believe it or not, Roastmaster and I were major players in Club Penguin’s history for several years. For us the closure of the game officially bookends an important chapter in our lives as well.
See you, space cowboy. You’re gonna carry that weight.
WHAT TIME IS IT?
Last December decorated furry author Kyell Gold released The Time He Desires, his 22nd anthropomorphic novel. All of Gold’s work is of a very high standard, however The Time He Desires is unique in that given the social atmosphere in which its release coincided it received noticeably more attention from the mainstream media as it is a book that deals with the very real issue of homosexuality in Muslim culture. For those who may not be fully aware, same-sex partnership is a big no-no under Islam. Combine this with the tumultuous political atmosphere of the United States and the growing trend of pushing for more inclusion with minorities and you basically have lightning in a bottle.
Matt Baume of Slate Magazine interviewed Kyell Gold last month about The Time He Desires which afforded Gold the opportunity to better articulate the noble goals that he hoped to achieve with this book. Because this is Slate there is going to be a little bit of virtue signaling, however. “Muslims, queers, and furries all share the experience of having been marginalized by the mainstream, and of being continually forced to justify their existence,” writes Baume. I don’t necessarily disagree with him, but one of those three things isn’t like the others. Nobody comes out of the womb wanting to purchase silicone horse dicks.
But I get where Baume is coming from. His heart is in the right place and you can’t fault him for being passionate.
DC Comics has recently been pursuing reboots of old Hanna-Barbera properties with series such as The Flintstones and Scooby Apocalypse. For better or worse, both reboots have performed fairly well. Well enough to spur interest in more DC reboots, at least. The problem is once you get beyond The Flintstones and Scooby Doo, what else really is there? (Hint: SWAT Kats.) Snagglepuss — yes, the “exit stage right” guy — rounds the corner in third place.
Snagglepuss is a character whose popularity has waned in the past few decades so in a way it makes for a perfect reboot candidate; you basically get a clean slate of sorts to reinvent a character for an entirely new generation. Because Snagglepuss has historically been seen as “closet gay”, and because there is much more acceptance of LGBT people in today’s society, outing the cat as a homosexual character seems like a no-brainer. That’s exactly what DC has done by reinventing him as a playwright in the theater and acting scene of 1950’s New York where virtually everyone knew someone who was gay but couldn’t talk about it due to how different society was at the time.
The new Snagglepuss comic is set to, ahem, “come out” next month.
A Dog’s Purpose is a manufactured heartwarming tale about the spiritual journey taken by the titular dog in order to find its ironically also titular purpose. It was also the subject of a TMZ exclusive article which featured a video showing what is clearly a very frightened dog being coerced into jumping into a simulated river plus an additional clip of the same dog being sucked underwater by the set’s current. Animal welfare activists got up in arms over the footage which eventually prompted a response from actor Dennis Quaid and producer Gavin Polone. The American Humane Association also weighed in, but determined “no harm” came to the animals on set and that the video evidence was “edited”.
A lot of people involved with the production of the film who came forward to speak about the incident made similar accusations that the video was edited to spin a specific narrative. The concept of “spin” is a very real thing, but when push comes to shove we’re looking at a video of someone literally pushing and shoving a dog into running water.
Frankly the concept of “spin” kind of goes right out the window and I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say I don’t really care about the personal motives of the individual who released the tape to TMZ. In an ideal world there wouldn’t even be video footage to spin because this wouldn’t have happened in the first place.
In the end, the uproar seemed to have hurt A Dog’s Purpose which made only $22M on its opening weekend with a production budget of exactly that.
Thank you for taking the time to check out our show, and thank you to Dogpatch Press for seeing something in our production and picking us up. Fans of the Gatorbox show have loved this series for years now. The crew and I are more than overjoyed to be able to share it with a brand new audience. We sincerely do hope you enjoyed it, even if the subject matter can get a bit “touchy” at times. We try to keep it as off-the-cuff and politically neutral as possible, because at the end of the day we’re just a group of entertainers who want to make others laugh. Thanks again, and we hope to see you next month!