For the past five years, the Australian convention MiDFur has been inducting people (and entities) into their “Furry Hall of Fame.” They have honored pioneering writers Paul Kidd and Goldfur, archivist Fred Patten, performer 2 the Ranting Gryphon, Anthrocon, cartoonists Stan Sakai and Jenner, convention chairman CynWolfe, and videographer Big Blue Fox.
This year, Sofawolf Press was honored to be inducted alongside furry fandom's original comic creator Steve Gallaci. The ceremony began with Jenner and Paul Kidd introducing Steve, presenting his background not only as creator of the seminal comic Albedo, but also as a publisher of other furry comics at the time. His work was the focus around which the furry fandom crystallized and we were delighted to see him honored in this way.
Steve gave a very warm, humble speech thanking everyone for the honor. He said very graciously that the best thing to come from his comic was seeing the fandom grow, seeing so many people inspired to create their own works. Which was great because that’s how we feel as well.
Uncle Kage then took the stage to present the award to Sofawolf. He talked about some of his experience with a larger publisher and then about how important it was for the furry fandom to have its own press—by furries and for furries—and how Sofawolf had not only filled that role, but done it with professionalism and quality consistently over the years.
Hearing this in the follow-up to Steve's introduction was quite moving and gave us a perspective we don't often get. When we go about the day-to-day business of Sofawolf Press, it's easy to get lost in details, to obsess over the popularity of any particular project we're working on. We know that people like the things we do because they continue to buy them, but we rarely get the chance to hear what our work means to people in a larger context.
So it was in a slightly emotional state that we took the stage and the microphone. We thanked the panel for the honor (honour, really, since we’re in Australia), and talked a little about the vision Sofawolf Press was founded on: that the furry fandom was producing work that deserved to be presented to the world in a professional way. And the best reward for the work we did, we said, was that we were proven right, that the fandom continues to produce quality stories and art that we are proud to publish. We are amazed everywhere we go to see the strong, energetic, creative community, and we are always thankful for their support and enthusiasm. We closed by saying that we hoped they would keep creating and that we looked forward to publishing them for another decade or more.
The award itself is lovely, a tribute to how seriously the committee takes the Hall of Fame. But it was the real emotion in the ceremony that struck home to us the most, a reminder that the work we do means something. By recognizing the quality in the work produced by the fandom, we have encouraged others to create at that level, and they have responded beyond anything we could have imagined. We are delighted to keep publishing, and we only hope to be able to keep up with the furry fandom as it grows to newer and greater heights.