April 2011 All-Encompassing Edition
It's the Final Countdown!
(Cue bad 80's music!)
Only a few weeks separate us from Morphicon 2011 - Furries in Wonderland! Flinters and Roxikat are both waiting to meet you and amaze with their artistic prowess! If you still have pre-registered, mosey on over to our Registration page and avoid the line the day of the con!
It is also worth noting, this is the last edition of Morphicon Miscellanea before the con. As such, this version contains most all the information you need to know about the important events and the con itself. Please read through that which you may have passed over in previous editions so you don't miss out on any of the greatness!
A room-share discussion is currently happening on the Morphicon LiveJournal page. Please take a look if you'll be needing a room for the weekend and need someone to bunk with. You may also consider joining the Morphicon Google Group as there is already talk of ride-shares on there. Both locations will become more active the closer we get to the con. Don't miss out!
Programming Schedule Has Been Posted!
The programming schedule has been posted on the Morphicon website (http://morphicon.org/schedule.php), and once again we have a ton of really awesome content lined up for the convention! Panels on writing, art, fursuiting, gaming, puppetry, discussions of what the fandom is really all about, and shared interest group (SIG) panels for your favorite critters, and the usual large performance events... We still have a few spots open on the schedule to squeeze in an extra SIG or panel, so if you have something you want to see that's not already planned contact us at: Programming[at]Morphicon.org.
Ursa Major Awards Return to Morphicon!
The tenth annual Ursa Major Awards for excellence in the furry arts will be presented on Friday, May 13 at 7:30 pm at Morphicon in Columbus, Ohio.
More than 1300 voters selected their favorites in ten categories of works featuring intelligent and/or talking animals first published during the calendar year 2010: Best Motion Picture, Best Dramatic Short Work or Series, Best Novel, Best Short Fiction, Best Other Literary Work, Best Graphic Story, Best Comic Strip, Best Magazine, Best Published Illustration, and Best Game.
Voting and interest was especially brisk as a number of nominees promoted the Awards and urged their fans to vote, resulting in an almost 20% increase in turnout over last year.
More formally known as the Annual Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Awards, the Ursa Major Awards are intended as Anthropomorphic (a.k.a. Furry) Fandom's equivalent of the Hugo Awards presented by the World Science Fiction Society, mystery fandom's Anthony Awards, horror fandom's Bram Stoker Awards, and so forth.
The Ursa Major Awards are administered by the Anthropomorphic Literature and Arts Association (ALAA), a membership organization dedicated to promoting anthropomorphic literature and arts. Discussions are ongoing to improve their effectiveness and expand their presence throughout furry fandom. All suggestions are invited via the Ursa Major Awards web site at .
Masquerade and Fursuit Parade!
Morphicon provides several great opportunities to show off your fursuit, whether it's partial or full, paw-made or purchased. On Friday night, there will be a competitive Masquerade that will be judged by experienced costumers. Awards will be given for both construction and performance in 4 categories: Juvenile, Novice (beginner), Journeyman (intermediate), and Master. There are also awards for the Best in Show and the Best Use of Con Theme. The awards themselves will be in keeping with the con theme and will be good souvenirs.
If you made your fursuit yourself, you can wear or bring it to Pre-Judging and be eligible for the construction awards. You can then show off your suit on stage during the Masquerade performance and be eligible for more awards. If you purchased or borrowed your suit, or just don't want to be judged for construction, please show off on stage anyway because you're still eligible for the performance and "Best" awards. All acts should be 2 minutes or less. If you don't have an act or your own music, we have thousands of songs for you to dance to on stage. Be forewarned -- you never know what the soundman will pick, so it's better to plan your own!
Then on Saturday afternoon, there will be a fursuit parade through the convention space. The line-up will start in the Morrison room and end on the patio with a group picture. Parts of the route will go outside; however, if it's raining, the route will be shortened to stay inside. (Wet suits are a bad thing!) There will be many opportunities along the route for picture-taking, including Factory Square, the main stage, and the Patio.
If you have any questions or would like to help in any way, such as being a Masquerade judge or fursuit wrangler, please email Masquerade[at]Morphicon.org.
Writers Wanted: Iron Author Competition
We managed to track down writing-track head Foxx (in a box) to ask him a few questions about the Iron Author competition. While not as difficult to corner as our illustrious con-chair (Foxx is in a box, after all), also being staff means a furry, er, flurry of activity is going on.
What is Iron Author?
IA is a competition to see who can write the best, worst story. It typically features a topic which relates to the theme of the con. It is also given a special bit which must be included in the writing and is only given out at the Iron Author introduction.
Who can compete in Iron Author?
Anyone can compete, there are no restrictions for the basic competition. Likewise, the story can be poetry or prose, we're not picky. In fact, we encourage writing of all types. There is also the possibility of having an adult Iron Author competition this year. If this happens, more info will be given during the IA introduction.
Is there a prize for the winner?
Ultimately, IA is a fun, and non-serious, competition, with the emphasis on fun. That said, we do try to have some sort of prize in place as a reward for those who punish us with their bad writing. Last year was a bronzed "corn dog" won by Anima. We're hoping to have something similar in place for this year's con.
Anything else you can think of?
Anyone interested in competing should attend the IA introduction. Likewise, anyone who has a question about the competition, or wishes to serve as a judge, should feel free to contact Foxx (in a box) at the beginning or end of the writing panels. It would also be wise to see what we're looking for by searching out the story "Eye of Argon"...at your own risk, of course.
It's Baaa-aaack!: The Frozen Oasis
As many of you know the Frozen Oasis is a traveling room party providing frozen cocktails, dance music, a dancing fox boy, a panda bartender, and a kick ass light show that rivals a lot of the dances at cons around the country. On Foxday night at Morphicon, Frozen Oasis will venture where no furry convention party has ever before - to Wonderland... a mysterious and magical place where the Frozen Oasis party is a convention sponsored event. So come sample our drinks, shake your tails on the dance floor and let our laser light shown make you shine and sparkle. Open all night. 21 + only.
Fursday Night Art Projects
Continuing the tradition of hands-on creative fun the night before the con really gets started, we will have not one but two Fursday night art projects this year! First will be painting the tea sets to be used in the Unbirthday Party on Friday night. The sets will then be put into the charity auction on Sunday, so along with the chance to have fun and be creative with your friends on Fursday night, you'll also help a good cause! The other Fursday night chance to be creative will be painting the cases we have for the video game room consoles this year. Snacks and beverages will be provided, so come by Fursday night and join in the fun!
Morphicon Call for Gophers!
I'm not exactly sure what type of calls a gopher makes, but I know what calls a gopher responds to: Shiny! Shiny!
I'd like to invite you (yes, you!) to notify us now of your desire to gopher in 2011!
Volunteering itself is awesome! Generally you get to have a sense of pride and good-feeling over having helped out your local convention, but even more importantly: For every 5 hours credit you earn, you get a $10 discount on your next year's convention registration, up to a full basic registration (15 hours = $30). Anyone with any discount level is AUTOMATICALLY guaranteed the early registration rate of $30 for basic registration. That means if you earn a total of 15 hours credit, you get a free ticket for next year! Isn't that awesome? You can use your discount when pre-registering online, and you can use it at the door! It's a total win!
But this message isn't just about gophering, it's about notifying us ahead of time that you want to gopher! Notifying us ahead of time lets us get a better idea of how many gophers we'll have, but more importantly: IT EARNS YOU A SHINY!
This year our shiny is something special: A limited, one-time only, theme-specific collectible item! This will ONLY be given to those gophers who notify us ahead of time that they want to gopher! After that, this specific shiny will no longer be available TO ANYONE!
That's right - you will receive a limited edition collectible shiny! And unlike last year's shiny that never materialized, this shiny exists within our plane of existence, and is 100% physical. You can even hold it in your hand! How do I know? We've already got it prepared!
So, if you would love to be our very favorite gopher, please let us know ASAP! Please send a message to gophers[at]morphicon.org at any time until May 10th! The earlier you send, the more we love you, because that gives us more of an idea of how many gophers we'll have.
Also this year, we're trying something new: Signups! When you show up at the con, we'll have a decent-sized graph of all the different places we require constant gophers! This could be something typical, such as door-guarding for the Dealer's Den, or being a Fursuit handler during fursuit events (such as the parade, or with the Spectacle of Doom!(tm)) OR it could be something unexpected, such as door guarding the bar-mitzvah we were unaware was going on up until some furries decided to go where they shouldn't have!
Signups allow you to decide ahead of time what times you'll have free to get in some volunteering hours, so you aren't being asked to door-guard during the event you want to attend, and allow us to have more time to manage getting gophers around and getting things taken care of that we can't really pre-plan! It's a win-win!
So remember: Shiny! Volunteer now! Signups! And SHINY!
-- Gedrean, official Gopher Wrangler/Herder/etc ["Gopher-Queen" - Ed.] for Morphicon 2011!
Morphicon Insider: Raffle Tickets & Charity Auction
In an unprecedented two-for-two, Morphicon con-chair, Jewel, was cornered once again and asked to answer a few questions, this time about those tickets you receive in your bag when you arrive at the con and the charity auction.
What are they for anyway?
You can use them one of two ways. The first way is by going to the charity raffle and putting them into the drawing. Items will be given out at random to people based on tickets drawn from a hat.The second way is you can attend Trickster's Furry Fair Quiz. The tickets are used there to see who will be contestants. Though, even if you don't get picked, the audience can still participate.
How does one go about getting more tickets?
You can upgrade your registration level (higher levels get more tickets) and you can buy them at registration for $1 apiece. They'll also be on sale right before the charity raffle, and the Furry Fair Quiz.
Is the charity raffle like any other raffle and does the ticket holder need to be there?
Yes, the charity raffle is just like any other raffle. You do need to be present to win items. We make an exception for dealers, and artists stuck in their respective spots during the raffle. All they need to do is write down their name on the back of each ticket. We'll send someone around to collect them before the raffle begins.
What is the charity auction and how is it different from the raffle?
The silent charity auction is setup in the back of registration/con ops, in the Potter Wright room. You don't need any tickets to bid on those items. You just write down your bids, and use your badge number. It's a good idea to check back during the convention, because oftentimes attendees bring items with them to add to the raffle when they arrive.
How does one go about donating items for the auction and/or raffle?
If you're interested in donating something, please feel free to contact operations[at]morphicon.org.
Anything else someone should know about the auction and/or raffle?
All the proceeds go directly to our charity, F.U.R.S.. In addition to the raffle, the silent auction, and the Furry Fair Quiz we have another charity event called the Pet Auction where people bid on dances with fursuiters.
And there you have it, answers to questions which may have been niggling in the back of your mind. If you have a question you'd like to have answered in an upcoming edition of Morphicon Miscellanea feel free to send it to publicity[at]morphicon.org.
And Now a Word from SonicBlu
Greetings, everyone. SonicBlu here, and I'll be the Performance Track head of Morphicon this year. For the "performer" in you, we have many different shows that may interest you. Feel free to peruse the descriptions of each show and keep them in mind when you attend Morphicon this year. We'd love to see you there!
Spectacle of Doom
Hear ye, hear ye! The highlight show of the convention needs YOUR help! If you've ever wanted to experience performances on our stage, you may want to come to the aid of your convention by accepting a role in our Spectacle of Doom show. This show is scripted, so you won't have to worry about trying to think up something on your own. In the Spectacle of Doom, we'll need stage performers (mostly fursuiters), puppeteers, and voice actors. We'll have an open casting call before rehearsals, so come on down and see if you got what it takes to become a performer in the absolute must-see show of the entire convention.
Furry Variety Show/Morphicon Tonight
Have you got a skit you've been working on and would like some stage time to perform it? You can do so during the Furry Variety Show/Morphicon Tonight! Just come to Furry Variety Show (FVS) rehearsals and bring your material with you. If you don't have any material but you would still like to perform on the stage, just talk to SonicBlu during FVS rehearsals, and we'll fit you in. With thousands upon thousands of background songs at our disposal, we can easily give you your 2 to 5 minutes of fame right on our stage. Don't be shy, just come to FVS rehearsals and RSVP to be in the show. The FVS will be combined with our late-nite talk show Morphicon Tonight, so performance times will fluctuate, depending on how many acts are queued, reserving at least 30 minutes for interviews with the guests of honor.
The show always starts off with our traditional "Silly Fursuiter Tricks", so at one point or another, SonicBlu Darkfold may be wandering around the con floor looking to pick out a fursuiter at random to open the show. If you are interested, just do something silly for SonicBlu, and he may just select you to appear as the show's opener. If you're not interested, don't worry. Nobody will be forced into doing anything they don't want to do. Simply tell SonicBlu whether you are interested or not when he springs the question: "How would -YOU- like to open Morphicon Tonight with your silly fursuiting tricks?"
Atomic Comedy Hour of Doom
Attention all wannabe comics, laugh factory professionals, and those that have never performed live standup comedy (but always had that dream.) You may want to RSVP to appear on our stage for the Atomic Comedy Hour of Doom, which will be going on the stage right after the Spectacle of Doom. Depending on how many people we have signing up, the routine time per participant may fluctuate to conciliate with the one-hour time bracket.
Oh! Pawpets! Live!
This year on the Oh! Pawpets! Live show, we'll be reenacting the Oh! Pawpets! Show's first musical: Bwing's Twansfowmation, where Bwing T. Fewwet will be getting a whole new makeover. It's out with the old boring blonde fur, and in with the new look, with a whole soundtrack to boost while we perform the "makeover" live on our stage.
Morphicon 2012 Theme Decided!
Since you've made it this far through the newsletter, we'll treat you with a bit of extra information. After much deliberation and, one would believe, a few sleepless nights (which may or may-not be due to the con), the Morphcion Board has decided upon the theme for 2012 - [CENSORED] and promises to be one of the most fantastic cons ever! Come help us celebrate [CENSORED] and [CENSORED] and fun for [CENSORED]! Stay tuned for post-con newsletters where we'll delve more into Morphicon 2012 - [CENSORED]!