Anthrocon: Fur and Fun in Pittsburgh!

“Anthrocon has arrived!”

If you are in the city of Pittsburgh in the month of June, and you happen to see giant, cartoonish animals walking through the city, don’t panic!  It isn’t an alien invasion, or a revolution on behalf of the cartoon universe, or a movie shoot.  You just happen to have stumbled onto Anthrocon, one of the most unusual and fun-filled conventions in the world.

Mingling with mammals, and swinging with sketchers!

Anthrocon is the largest gathering of fans of the anthropomorphic arts, which is anyone who is a fan of animals with humanoid characteristics like opposable thumbs, the ability to walk on two legs, and the ability to talk.  In other words, cartoons that take on a more realistic, human-approach.  The convention features a huge collection of comics, graphic novels, artwork, sketches, movies, and costumes, all with one prevalent theme: all items are animal or cartoon themed.  The festival began in Albany in 1997, and in the last few years, the location has moved to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, and now, Pittsburgh, due to the ever-expanding fan base.  While there are many anthropomorphic-themed festivals around the world, Anthrocon is the largest of its kind.  The festival is very much like Comic-Con, only instead of dressing up as a Klingon or Vulcan, you dress as a fox or kangaroo!

Skuff Coyote and Lucky Coyote

The main draw to Anthrocon is the outrageous costumes that are worn by the many masqueraders who come in droves to this festival.  The costumes are all hand-made, all have their own persona, can run the gamut from silly and adorable, to scary, or even sultry.  To say that the outfits are impressive are an understatement.  They are freaking amazing!  Many are handmade and look like a cartoon character leaped off the pages of a drawing and into the real world!  Many of the outfits are also professionally made by those who run their own costume design company; some of the fairgoers make their living by selling their loyal customers fine-made outfits.  One of the most revered is a company called Don’t Hug Cacti.  If you happen to see an adorable, giant yellow coyote with wings and a giant brown coyote with a checkerboard neckerchief, that my friends, is Lucky Coyote and Skuff Coyote, the two alter-egos of the company founders.

They just love to ham it up for their adoring fans, especially when there are cameras present.  The technical name for these masquerading mammals are called “fursuiters” or “furries”.  Depending on how you view them, this popular subculture involves people dressing up in animal costumes, and taking on the attitude of said animal with cartoonish and/or humanistic traits.

Heads OR…

Tails!

The festival is open to the public, and make sure you come with money to spend!  If you didn’t bring a costume, you can buy various accessories like ears or a tail.  A fair warning: they do not come cheap!  You shake hands, or rather, paws, with a horde of artists who draw on location.  I wouldn’t be surprised if any one of the many sketchers could become the next great comic book artist!

“That’s How the Tail Ends!”

While Pittsburgh may be famous for sports, steel, and stuffed sandwiches, this festival is quickly becoming the newest cash cow for the steel city.  So go ahead, and get in touch with your inner beast!  Let your inner child, or at least your inner animal have a fun time at Anthrocon!

About admin

I am a graduate of Stony Brook University, and I have a degree in History. I am an avid traveler, with an extensive knowledge of geography, a passion for photography, and a knowledge of animals too. I enjoy pop music of the 1980's, fine dining, movies, baseball, basketball, and rugby.
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One Response to Anthrocon: Fur and Fun in Pittsburgh!

  1. Just a teeny correction. Anthrocon is not open to the public. We are a membership organization.

    Of course, if you would like to purchase a membership, we would gladly let you join!

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