For two reasons, actually. Reason one: the combination of his awesome girth plus his face-devouring beard sort of make him half-bear right out of the gate.
The second reason is the culmination of a long and twisty — but scientifically stable — train of logic.
I recently stumbled across a LiveJournal community called *Artists BEWARE!*, which is a place for disgruntled furries to post complaints about online artists who did not hold up their end of a commission. If you, say, meet a hip new artist at Anthrocon this year, and pay her $50 for a full color portrait of your original purple wolf character Violetmoon Wolfsong, and then next August rolls around and she still hasn’t delivered… well, you go to *Artists BEWARE!* and tattle on her. Other furries then read your story and know to avoid her.
(I was going to type something here about the ridiculousness of spending such a sizable portion of one’s expendable income on digital artwork of impossibly-colored animals, until I remembered that I spend most of my expendable income on Batman toys and Nintendo games… and I don’t really feel like losing that fight. We’ll call it a draw.)
Now, in all honesty, this community serves a valuable purpose. Which… is something nobody has ever said about any LJ community before, ever. But hear me out! Commissioned artwork is kind of a big deal to a group of people that lives their entire cyber-life on DeviantArt and FurAffinity, and reputations are important. When I first found the site a few days ago I expected to be entertained by an endless river of lulz, but what I found instead were mostly well-reasoned complaints about people who hand-to-god did not receive their foam kangaroo head or animated cyberpet. Once the artist realizes the public exposure can ruin them a surprising number of these cases get resolved. After all, I’m pretty sure furry-money spends just like regular-money. Scorned consumers sharing their stories about bad experiences is something I can totally get behind.
Here’s what I learned about the furry fandom, though: everyone’s mother is dying of cancer. And everyone’s car, like, just broke down. And everyone is penniless because they’re full-time students. And — wouldn’t you know it? — every single one of them dropped their digital camera onto their flatbed scanner, destroying both. Damn the bad luck!
The excuses just pile up and up and up. Artists will show up to defend themselves, explaining that the reason it’s taken them six months to draw a picture is their wrist hurts really really bad and they’re afraid it totally might be chronic carpal tunnel and they don’t have insurance because they just got fired from Kinko’s which means they can’t use the big laser jet to make prints anymore anyway. They’ll totally make good with the refund, though, just as soon as they sell off a bunch of their stuff because they don’t have any money because their dog needed shots and flea medicine which by the way is completely stressing them out so it’s not like they have the creative energy they need to draw anyway.
And people will defend them!
That’s the part that fascinates me so much, I think. Other artists will swoop in and defend these excuses. Even the commissioners themselves will offer sympathetic ears. While nobody forgives the basic complaint — that Person A has paid money to Person B and not received anything — the community is one giant hugbox when it comes to being supportive and understanding of even the flimsiest excuses.
Because, as we all know, sometimes real life just happens.
Yesterday’s post notwithstanding, I despise internet drama. So I try to attach myself to internet fandoms as little as possible This may therefore just be confirmation bias, but the culture of backpatting and undeserved forgiveness for things like “I couldn’t afford pencils for two months” and “I stubbed my toe last week” seems to be localized to the furry art community. It’s only the second time I’ve seen anything like it.
The first, of course, is in the Song of Ice and Fire community. Do these over-entitled furry artists sound like anyone you know? Say, the author of a popular fantasy series? Like a guy who cannot type on a laptop? Or who cannot write unless he’s sitting in his favorite chair? Or during football season? Or when he’s not stricken by random divine creative inspiration?
Conclusion: George R. R. Martin is a furry. Dude’s got a direwolf fursuit in his closet, sure as anything.