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by Deranged Kitsune
©1999 Deranged Kitsune All rights reserved

This is the third of a series of columns.
Each reviews two sites that might be of interest to "furry fans."
We hope you enjoy. -- Editor

Furry ICQ

All of us are on the net, and a great many of us are on ICQ. For those few poor souls out there who don't know what ICQ is, it's an instant messaging service from Mirabilis that allows users to communicate and send information (e.g., URLs, files, and now voice mail) back and forth. A great many members of the TSA-Talk list are already on there, as well as many other furs and regular netizens. Yet the problem with that is knowing who is and who isn't on there. It helps if you ask a friend with a huge contact list (I've heard of some going well over 100) and having them send you those users. Yet there arises a problem of wanting to contact people you don't know but who share similar interests. That is where Furry ICQ comes in.

It is the brain child of a furry artist named Benjamin Eren Robinson. In it, one will find, sorted by alphabetical name arranged by nick name, a demographic listing of users. There is listed their RL name, ICQ nick name, home pages (if any), remarks about themselves, where they are in the world, and languages spoken. Here one will find furries of all sorts. Artists, writers, lifestylers, drooling fanboys, enthusiasts, collectors... basically all types are listed. To quote the creator, it is for "promoting communications between furs and ultimately a closer community as... [its] prime purpose."

So, if anyone here has ICQ and feels the desire to flesh out their user index, this is an excellent place to go. Who knows what kinds of friends/enemies you'll make through this.

Main Page: http://www.furnation.com/simba/furryicq/

The First Frefall Strip


Freefall is a science fiction comic strip, only with a twist. Instead of a high-tech starship cruising the universe, we have a derelict being rebuilt planet-side. Instead of a competent captain (with a bad toupee) we have a slacker in an environment suit. The side-kick is pretty much standard, being a slightly defunct robot. Lastly is their engineer, a red wolf furry, who is the only one who seems to have any idea how to get things done. And thus you have a mixture for wacky adventures.

Written and drawn by Mark Stanley, Freefall follows a loose plot-line that revolves around repairing the ship. Of course they take time out for a salvage run (and car jacking) to another crashed ship, barbs about bad driving habits, fun with a JATO rocket, and visiting a less-than-stellar restaurant (the Golden Trough, where cockroaches fear to tread). Some of the best strips relate to how the engineer, Florence, behaves in relation to most humans. The eating habits of furries provide the best material in this comic.

In terms of art, Stanley is no Eric Schwartz, but the simple style fits the comic very well. And oddly enough, Florence strikes me as one of the best looking furries on the net today (and no, that's not because of the shower sequence). Sam, the alien captain, provides interesting commentary on topics of work, responsibility, ethics, and the hazy meaning of the term "illegal". Helix, ever faithful robot sidekick, is the subject of many robot jokes and often the source of a the strip's physical humour. Nothing like a character who can be dismantled (and is, frequently) and put back together again.

Overall, Freefall is undoubtedly my favorite comic strip on the web today. New comics are released once every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The art is of a simple style, but high quality. The best thing, lacking often in other comics, is of course the overlapping story arcs which add such a feeling of continuity to Freefall and permits the jokes and running gags to reach their full potential. If you only read just one on-line comic, read this one!

Main Page: http://www.purrsia.com/freefall/default.htm

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