Off Topic

The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations – Rhode Island for short – is the smallest state by land area in the United States, and the state with the longest official name.

Patriots’ Day! Patriots’ Day is an official commonwealth holiday in Massachusetts commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolutionary War. The holiday was originally celebrated on April 19, the actual anniversary of the battles (fought in 1775).

Since 1969, it has been observed on the third Monday in April in Massachusetts and in Maine (where it’s called Patriot’s Day – notice the change in location of apostrophe ). (Bonus Fact, until 1820 Maine was part of Massachusetts, hence their celebration of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts holiday). The Monday holiday creates a three-day long weekend. It is also the first day of a vacation week for public schools in both states and a school holiday for many local colleges and universities, both public and private.

Observances and re-enactments of the battles occur annually at Lexington Green in Lexington, Massachusetts (around 6:00 am) and the Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts (around 9:00 am). In the morning, mounted re-enactors with state police escorts retrace the Midnight Rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes, calling out warnings the whole way.

Commonwealth vs State? From 1776 to 1780 the words State of Massachusetts Bay appeared on the top of all acts and resolves. In 1780, the Massachusetts Constitution went into effect. Part Two of the Constitution, under the heading Frame of Government states: “that the people … form themselves into a free, sovereign, and independent body politic, or state by the name of The Commonwealth of Massachusetts.” Commonwealths are states, but the reverse is not true – States are not Commonewalths. The term Commonwealth does not describe or provide for any specific political status or legal relationship when used by a state. Those that do use it are equal to those that do not.

Legally, Massachusetts is a commonwealth because the term is contained in the Constitution.

Three other states are also commonwealths:

  • Virginia (June 29, 1776)
  • Pennsylvania (September 25, 1776)
  • Kentucky (Commonwealth added in the Third Kentucky Constitution of 1850)

Seeing as Rabbit Valley was located in Massachusetts for a great number of years, we will not be shipping orders today in observance of this holiday.

Today our Chief Bunny and Crafty Fox headed down to Bonnie Springs to entertain the guests dressed as giant Nevada Rabbits. The theme of Bonnie Springs is old west, so Reno and Sparks fit right in. Photos by QBLion.

The train conductor got a huge kick out of the rabbits as did the entire staff.

Fox here with an off topic post about my involvement in the furry fandom. It was a co-worker during my dish washing days at McManus who introduced me to the UseNet News Groups, in particular the furry themed groups which introduced me to Furry MUCK. From there it was just a hop & leap to where furry artwork and stories where stored, mostly on BBS servers.

Some of the first furry published works I enjoyed include Takes of the Tai Pan Universe, Yarf!, Wild Life, and more. Some of these titles from the 1990s are still available for purchase at Rabbit Valley® Comics.

Tales of the Tai-Pan Universe – Founded in 1988 as an artist’ and writers’ cooperative, the Tai-Pan Literary & Arts project has benefited from the talents of many contributors over the years. The project has published a wide range of stories from space opera to hard science fiction and from mystery to romance. The project’s publication was recognized twice as Best Anthropomorphic Fanzine of the Year by the Ursa Major Awards. While Individual stories stand on their own, contributors have taken advantage of the shared nature of the universe to write stories that build on a theme or character arch started by another writer. Tai-Pan’s first issues were published in the winter of 1991-1992 introducing the trader ship Tai-Pan, and laying groundwork for concepts and characters that are still be written about today.

Yarf! – The Journal of Applied Anthropomorphics was started by Jeff Ferris in January 1990 and ran through 2003. YARF! was one of the most popular and well-known furry print ‘zines for many years. Other people involved editorially during its early years were Lance Rund, Dave Bryant and Kris Kreutzman. It published comics, book reviews, text stories and pin-ups from dozens of artists.

Wild Life and Wildlifers – a humorous slice-of-life anthology edited by Elin Winkler (who runs Radio Comix producing Genus, Genus Male, and Furlough) which ran February 1993-April 1995 for twelve issues. Included Joe Rosales’ Wildlifers and John Nunnemacher’s Buffalo Wings.

Tall Tails – Tall Tails was published by Golden Realm Unlimited from 1993 to 1995 for 3 issues. Tall Tails: Thieves’ Quest were published by Vision Comics for 4 issues starting in 1998, and #5-13 were published by Dream Weaver Press. For 1999 to 2002, it ran in Radio Comix’s Furlough (Issues #78 – 109) as a monthly serial. Tall Tails was originally intended to be a parody of Monty Python’s Holy Grail using Disney-ish Robin Hood characters.

Furkinde Prozine – A collection of artwork from 1996-1998 by many talented fandom artists.

Associated Student Bodies – Abbreviated as ASB, was a series of eight adult comic books produced by Lance Rund and Chris McKinley in the 1990’s. It has become a staple comic of the Furry fandom and most every furry art aficionado is familiar with it on some level.

The story of ASB revolves around a young lion, Daniel, who goes off to college to share a dorm with a wolf, Marcus, and an entire floor of predominantly homosexual roommates of various species. The series accounts Daniel’s discovery of his own same-sex feelings for Marcus, dealing with being gay in a hostile environment, and reconciling his feelings with his family and faith.

There are other comics, magazines, fanzines, graphic novels, and more from the 90s that I enjoyed that are not available anymore, yes I still have my copies.

The American Journal of Anthropomorphics  was a series of furry art books edited by Darrell Benvenuto and published by his Med Systems Company, with four issues released between 1993 and 1997. The mainstay of the series were its artist sections, typically a half dozen pages each of illustrations by various artists. The intent of the Journal was to present furry artists in as professional a light as possible, and for it to be used as a talent catalogue for publishers seeking artists in the field of anthropomorphics or funny animals.

Tales of Beatrix – 1996 – 1998, Vision Comics. The story of Beatrix Farmer, an ordinary rabbit girl in the wrong place, at the wrong time when she was fatally wounded in from a drive-by shooting. Rescued by omnipotent beings only she can see, they ensure her future safety by wrapping her in a suit that confers invulnerability. Only later does she discover it is also completely safe from bodily needs — food, drink, sleep, sex, and in fact she has no sense of touch, taste, or smell. Forced into the role of superhero for hire, Beatrix yearns to be ordinary again or at least have the option of removing the suit when desired.

Xanadu is a fantasy comic book created by cartoonist Vicky Wyman which first appeared in 1988.

Much of the information has been sourced from WikiFur, which can be a lovely trip down memory lane for us gray muzzles.