It’s summer, which means that more conventions are popping up. I’m busy preparing for my biggest con of the year, Pittsburgh Anthrocon: the world’s biggest gathering of Furries (June 29-July 2.)

I’ll be in the Dealer’s Den at Table E02

If you are somehow unfamiliar with the term, Furries are people who are interested in human-like animals. If you need a more detailed explanation, I’ve always liked this one.

Does Draconis Wicked count as a Furry comic? That may be a question for the ages. Depending on who you ask, answers will range from “Yes, absolutely!” to “No, it’s still too human.”

Any kind of classification can be tough for independent comics. However, when it comes to Furries, many artists seem to have this strange fear that once their work gets labeled as “Furry Art,” all Non-Furries will drop it like a hot coal. I always feel some slight irritation at those artists who defensively describe their animal comics with the phrase: “My work isn’t for Furries, it’s for everyone. But Furries are still welcome.” That feels like they’re saying, “I don’t want to be associated with your group, but you are still welcome to give me your support.” It just doesn’t seem fair. On the other hand, if the Furry label isn’t a perfect fit, then overstating it feels like misrepresentation. That’s why I like to think of my work as “Furry Friendly,” which is also how I might describe myself. If you want more quantification, my work is about 30% furry, and that has always been enough to make me feel welcome at Anthrocon.

I am especially excited about this year’s con and not just because voice acting legend Charlie Adler is the guest of honor. I’m excited because I’m unveiling some new merchandise, including a project that I’ve wanted to do since the very beginning of Draconis Wicked.

When I first started attending comic cons, many artists would have these cheep little pamphlet-sized books to help introduce their work to new readers. I suppose inexpensive introduction books have been made unnecessary what with the internet and all, but I still really wanted to make one myself.

Many years later, and after several failed attempts, I have finally completed a little guidebook to the Draconis series.

The Draconis Wicked Guidebook servers as both an introduction to the series and an enrichment resource. And, in keeping with Draconis’ video game aesthetic, the guidebook looks like a video game instruction manual.

The guidebook contains some art and information that has never been seen on the website or anywhere else. It even has some glimpses of characters who have not appeared in the comic yet.

The other new item is a series of Draconis Wicked charms. I printed them on high quality shrink film, then treated them with three kinds of color-protecting, water-proof gloss. There are 28 different designs that include main characters and supporting characters.

Over 50 keychains, 28 different characters

Choose your favorite character or favorite animal type.

Keychains are about 1.5 inches tall.

In addition to the new stuff, I’ll still have toys, cards, posters, and comics. I’ll be taking commissions too.

If you can’t attend Anthrocon this year, don’t despair. Any left over inventory will be moved to the Lepus Studios Online Store before the end of July.

See you around, fuzzy friends.