Dark Desire: Out of the Dust of Time
A bound collection of lust in the desert and love beyond the afterlife, featuring the jackal god Anubis…
Kickstarter ending 4/5/15[Note: I usually try to use thumbnails that represent the kickstarter project, but as the original comics were B&W and hard to find, and the Kickstarter anthology is full color, I don’t have that option!]
It was extremely generous of the ancient Egyptians to leave us so many zoomorphic deities. I know poor Hathor doesn’t get a lot of love from the furry fandom (she is the Egyptian goddess of love, but is also, sometimes, a cow). But Anubis–hands down, the sexiest undertaker of the last 4,500 years. has had the lion’s share (no, wait, that would be Sekhmet) of the furry fandom’s artistic attention, affection, and Rule 34.
From 2002-2008, one group of artists loosed their pens and brushes to get Anubis out of the crypt and between the linens: the artists of Dark Desire, an eight-issue erotic collection of tales of the Egyptian gods, souls finding their way through the afterlife, and lots and lots of love for dark-furred, well-built jackals.Sofawolf Press are bringing Anubis out of the age of bronze and into the age of color in a bound, 180+ page anthology collecting and expanding the original comics, and perhaps–with the material created by kickstarter backers and stretch goals–expand to 200+ pages. Stretch goals haven’t been announced yet, but expanded page count is clearly one of them. More as we know more! The content of Dark Desire should appeal to a broad range of furries. It is, of course, adult and erotic, so you have to go from there as a starting point. But beyond that, the writing and art covers a range–for example, one issue has a story of a young fennec archeologist tossed into Anubis’s voluptuous harem for some giggles and a chaste kiss from the god; a sensual massage with a female jackal who goes to the same make-up artist; guiding a lost female soul; a little VR gaming action. So there’s a lot of variety in terms of story. The series does in general seem to trend toward straight relationships, particularly with the more realistic work, but fans of both females and males will find a lot to love. So far as backer rewards go, there’s some fun stuff–it looks like alot of the backer rewards are intended for inclusion in the final product, since all the custom stuff is heavily themed with “Anubis on Zoomorphic Egyptian Pantheon Members only.” Although I am currently lobbying for Xolotl, because Mesoamerican dog-headed deities need love too. There’s also a fun tee design, and of all things a bowling shirt, which looks like one of those cute and rare collectibles that are so very hard to get after the kickstarter ends. And a really pretty cloisonne pin, which may be a perfect medium for an Egyptian god, they do like their bold outlines. Though of course the big offer is going to be the hardbound and paperback collections of the new, expanded, and colored comics. Unfortunately the commission pieces went the way of the early bird special, those probably won’t open up again unless the team is pushing for a stretch goal. (as an aside, at work I wear nothing but bowling alley shirts. And pants, of course. So I’m super-excited about this one.) If you haven’t thumbed through the original run of Dark Desire, here’s the artists you’ll meet (and these bios are about as sketchy as they can be for some of the fandom’s great artists–all I can really do is say “Look! So much art and so much fandom history in one volume!” I encourage you to reserve your copy of Dark Desires through Kickstarter and wave it frantically in the air, that’s all I can really do.) Diana Harlan Stein fills her FurAffinity stream with watercolor and pencil anthro fantasies, with an art style that varies on the realism and abstract scale, but usually hovers in a midpoint of friendly and approachable cartoon work. Her DeviantArt account as a few more elves and fantasy pieces.Diana has been in the greater fandom of fandoms for a long time, attending her first con in 1975, a good 10 years before furry was even a thing. She’s even started a cons of her own. and she’s still making beautiful art. Heather Bruton has a long history in the tabletop gaming industry, working with several of the great games of the independent tabletop gaming boom of the 90s–to my mind, the golden age of gaming publishing. She’s been attending sci-fi cons since 1978, and sold out of her artwork at her very first con! Much of the work in what seems to be her signature style is acrylic and ink, realistic paintings. Terrie Smith does beautiful pinups and detailed illustrations, and has done lots of work in furry comics, the humor-scifi-action title “Havoc Inc” one of her better-known ones. She also worked on fanzines like the Tai-Pan Project. Interestingly, she has some animation credits too, although I suspect no-one, even a key animator, really wants to remember the “Attack of the Killer Tomatoes” animated series. I’d managed to forget about them entirely. Thanks, IMDB. Michele Light has worked in Kickstarter before, with her “Leaf Peeping” tee project late last year. Light’s work solidly defines the cuter side of furry illustration, with adorable pinups, charming cheesecake, and cartoony cats (and a generous supply of both T and A, should you need these things in your life.) She’s been bopping around the furry fandom since 1992, drawn into the fandom by Terrie Smith–another thing you should thank her for next con! Dark Natasha is one of the great realistic furry artists out there, and I think she’s on loan to us from the were community–I could be wrong on that front, but we really shouldn’t give her back if they ask. According to Wikifur, she was ALSO introduced to furry by Terrie Smith, who must run some sort of incredibly creative furry think tank in some secret office somewhere. Her first furry con was 1999. Sara Miles, formerly Sarah Palmer, and “Caribou” on FA, rounds out the team. Unfortunately I’m having a bit of trouble getting a mini-bio together, but you can learn a little bit more about her on the Tigerdile art collaborative, where she co-creates a webcomic, “Halfway Hotel.” All in all, this is a strong kickstarter–Sofawolf Press does know what they’re doing, and I think they’ve had their paws on two other kickstarters at this point, with the successful Digger anthology and Blotch’s “Room Party” game. So it’s fantastic that this stellar team has an equally stellar partner managing their Kickstarter. A question I have about this one though, is the missing material from the original. The majority of the original artists are represented on the team for the anthology, but it looks like a few aren’t involved in it, I think at least eight artists were involved in the original comics. I don’t feel that it’s appropriate to dig deeply here, relationships and art partnerships change and messy stuff happens, but it is a piece in the story of the project that may need some discussion down the road. From a completion fetishist standpoint, if nothing else. This year has been amazing from a furry crowdfunding standpoint, with the roaring success of “Horizons,” last month, and now this remastered collection from yesteryear. It’s exciting to see the artistic community taking advantage of these new fundraising tools–remember, crowdfunding is like three years old, it’s still in its infancy even if it’s boom-and-busting at the same time. Check this project out, it’s near goal as of March 8, and as new stretch goals open up and the project expands there’s a chance that more commission-type slots will open up. Tour the page–at this point it’s a reasonably simple project, but SofaWolf hasn’t announced stretch goals yet, and it has a chance to evolve in scope into something epic. Or more epic, we are talking about gods, after all. Follow @furstarter on twitter for the latest fur-friendly crowdfunding projects!