Furry fandom is a recent phenomenon, but anthropomorphism is an instinct hard-wired into the human mind: the desire to see animals on a more equal footing with people. It’s existed since the beginning of time in prehistoric cave paintings, ancient gods and tribal rituals. It lives on today—not just in the sports mascots and cartoon characters we see everywhere, but in stage plays, art galleries, serious literature, performance art—and among furry fans who bring their make-believe characters to life on paper, in the computer…or in the carefully crafted fursuits they wear to become the animals of their imagination.Furry Nation author Joe Strike shares the very human story of the people who created furry fandom, the many forms furry takes from the joyfully public to the deeply personal—and how furry transformed his own life.

Joe Strike has been part of furry fandom since 1988 when he received a surprise invitation to something called a “furry party” being held at a Philadelphia sci-fi convention. The original “kid in a candy store,” Joe spent his formative years in his parents’ Brooklyn “sweet shop,” absorbing the comic books, cartoons, TV shows and sci-fi movies of the day. Joe’s articles on film, TV, animation and related topics have appeared in a variety of publications including the New York Daily News, Newsday and the New York Press. He has been a regular contributor to the entertainment industry website Animation World Network (awn.com) since 2000 and has interviewed countless cartoon luminaries including Hayao Miyazaki, John Lasseter, Brad Bird and Lauren Faust, creator of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Joe served as a writer/producer of on-air promotional campaigns for Bravo and the Sci-Fi Channel, where he worked with talents like Stan Lee, Ralph Bakshi and the cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000. He has scripted the Nick Jr. TV series Wow! Wow! Wubbzy! and is the author of the kids’ comedy/adventure novel The Incredible Hare.