Terror From The Year 1994
There was once a time when the Internet was emerging from it's previous status as a futuristic buzzword, a super-service that only the most high-powered of online service power users knew or cared about. It was coming into the public eye as a new technology that was going to be used for great things and expand our horizons and all that. Of course, it wasn't. Nobody anticipated that it was going to be a massive sea of useless drek. Spam offering mortgage rates that make your penis bigger, Angelfire candyraver pages, pop-ups, that picture of some old guy's rectum, Bonzi Buddy, Hotline server administrators, and all the other bullshit that occupies today's internet was totally unimaginable. Of course, it goes without saying that people dressing up like skunks and fucking each other were also totally unimaginable. We mean it when we say that nobody (no, not even Al Gore) fucking saw this shit coming. After all, it was the (early) nineties, and there was plenty of time for Klax.
See? Plenty of time. FOR KLAX. LAUGH GODDAMNIT.
It is during this time that the furries started to become noticed. Not by the rest of mainstream geekery; that was a few years off. No, I'm talking about the staff of Warner Animation, which was enjoying some degree of success with Tiny Toons and later Animaniacs. These shows tried (and sometimes succeeded) to relive the subversive slapstick glory of the WB cartoons from decades past. The reaction was often favorable, but a tiny problem became apparent when the wacko mail started piling in.
People were fixating on certain characters in ways they perhaps shouldn't be fixated on. Certain individuals were hammering the voice actors, writers and animators with unwanted attention and (even less wanted) information on the prurient nature of their fixations. In other words, enough people were mailing WB's studios wanting to see Babs Bunny naked that it started to become something of a problem. Extreme weirdo fans are nothing new to Hollywood, but given the fact that these were Saturday morning cartoons, it was beginning to get a little worrisome for the animation team.
Not much is known about these "stalker fans". They were furries, that much is obvious. The fact that they may very well have been the first furries most people in the animation industry encountered was a recipe for long-term catastrophe. They obviously didn't represent the majority of Tiny Toons fans; they didn't even represent the majority of furrydumb at the time. Few names are attached to these stalker types; we at CYD only know of two(1), and one of them is of pivotal importance.
We're talking about Dennis "Quozl" Falk. Yeah, long setup, but it was kinda necessary. This article is dedicated to his unnaturally long and obscure history of exploits. What is known of him is somewhat limited, but what we have found constitutes a bombshell. Falk was one of many who took part in shaping the furry community into an instrument of endless horror. As we're about to see, his antics helped to ensure that their "fandom" would be forever separated from the authors of the works it had originally come together to appreciate. Our story begins in 1994, when Mr. Falk makes his debut on the stage of epic retardation.
Falk proudly displays his greasy T-shirt and
putrid visage. I would like to point out
that the hair is particularly evil-looking,
and appears to be trying to absorb his glasses.
As one of these stalker fans, he was quite interested in Tress MacNielle. A legendary voice actress, she was not only the voice of Babs Bunny but is also well-known for roles in everything from The Simpsons and The Critic to the computer game Full Throttle. Falk, along with several others, somehow got hold of her contact information and started hammering her with obscene mail containing various sex fantasies about the characters she voiced. Obviously she was a great deal disturbed by them (and who wouldn't be?), because shortly afterward she canceled various stops on her Warner Bros. Studio Store tour that would have brought her somewhat close to the places from which the letters originated. This was done either on her own volition or on the advice of an agent/advisor who doubted her personal safety. It was something of a letdown for those who happened to live in those areas who had a legitimate interest in the show(s) she did.
The statements she gave to the public on the matter mentioned "stalker fan"(s) that "wouldn't leave her alone and asked inappropriate questions". Over on FidoNet(2), Dennis "Quozl" Falk was eventually identified as one of the principal players. When he was found out, Falk didn't seem alarmed. He didn't deny a thing and some say he even basked in the attention.
Either before or shortly after the stalking incident (we can't nail down a date), Tom Ruegger (one of the writers for and co-creators of the Tiny Toons show) was interviewed on TV, and related the stalking incidents as one of the reasons for losing interest and moving on to Animaniacs. He said he was fed up with the "internet fans", adding that the final episode of the show (a Halloween special) contained a satirical poke at "the main guy". Falk was indirectly caricatured in that episode as "The world's most terrifying creature", an overweight, pathetic, obsessive, mumbling loser who talked about various flaws in the visual presentation and wondered aloud when Fifi LeFume would get her own show.(3)
Falk's story doesn't end with his contributions to the demise of the cartoon he had such a pathological affection for. He emerged onto Usenet round about 1995, and as for the posts he made.. well, SHITTING FUCK MCHOLY comes close to describing them. Here's some choice quotes:
"Well, who could deny there is something going on sexually in the Springtime scene in "Bambi"?
"...But nothing quite as erotic as the Easter bunny fantasies I've had since I was 10..."
Both come from from this newsgroup post and ARE NOT TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT. SWEET MOTHER OF, I MEAN MY GOD. It gets worse. Behold an attempt at poetry:
"Furry Love", a poem.
Copyright (c) 1992, 1994 Dennis M. "Quozl" Falk
The sun shines, breaking through the tree outside our window,
awaking me from my restful sleep,
awaking to the sight of your pretty face
awash with a contented smile as you dream.
I hesitate to wake you, my pretty squirrel,
for I, too am awash with happiness, knowing we are together
alive with love.
You stretch as the morning rays gently carress your silky fur,
wiping the finale of your night's dreams away
to awake with a smile
and a "Good morning, Honey".
I reply in kind, with a gentle kiss
and a warm embrace.
Oh, how I remember fondly our strolls in the moonlight
as we exchanged our love for one another
-How it sets my heart beating
to know that you love me as much as I you...
I know our Furry love will last...
Dennis M. Falk, aka
Could this be the FRUITIEST THING EVER WRITTEN? We'll leave you to ponder that question while you recover from it's blasphemous and unearthly attempts at prose. Google Groups is a terrible weapon, folks. There's stuff we've found on this guy that even we have come to wish we didn't know. The man defines shameless. He would discuss the problems of keeping skunks as pets in one group and then go and contemplate the quandary of trying to acquire bestiality porn in another. A connoisseur of Tiny Toons porn and writer of several "TTBS lemons"(4), he defended his sexual pride and joy as parody or freedom of expression or whatever gained the maximum possible sympathy from those who would listen.
Falk and Warner Bros. would cross paths again, for in AD 1996, war was beginning. During this "war on fansites" period of Internet history, many groups and many individuals (not just furries) were targeted in wave after wave of corporate lawsuit threats. Basically, Fox, Paramount, Warner Bros. and a few other media giants were concerned about losing control of their intellectual property, what with all those "fan webpages" sprouting up and making all that fan art and fiction and whatnot. They were afraid that all this newfangled technology would cause them to lose control over their intellectual property, so they responded by picking random fans out of the blue and alienating the hell out of them with "Cease And Desist" letters. Lots of people were mad at this choice of action, and rightly so. It was dumb, inconsiderate, and public relations poison. Eventually the lawyery types leveled off. Although there are still isolated incidents, the blitzkrieg is long over, and, thanks to DeCSS and the P2P wars, almost totally forgotten.
Although there is no real evidence that the burgeoning variety of fanporn material available on the growing internet was what prompted this legal assault, it certainly didn't help matters. In response to these legal campaigns, Falk organized a tiny group called Fans Against Legal Harassment(FALH). They would try to stand up to all aspects of the fansite war, providing moral support for normal fansite owners in addition to those who drew Rescue rangers porn. It goes without saying that Falk's real motivation was to get fellow "toonphiles" to GET UP STAND UP STAND UP FOR THEIR RIGHTS. (Amusing sidenote: FURIE INTERNEDT HERO Chris Baird was quick to call him out on that one, calling the whole thing "Falk Attempting to Look Heroic".)
The shamelessness continued as Falk himself began to maintain an FTP of Tiny Toons porn. (It is not known exactly when he started it up, but our best guess is that it was during or after the FALH thing). He was of course threatened with a lawsuit from Warner Legal, and he moved on to other things sometime after. The FTP did help him go down in history again though. It was up in one form or another for quite a while, with it's files mirrored in many different locations. Even though he drew little (if any) of the smut himself, Dennis Falk, along with Karri "Donotsue" Arronen and a few others constituted a veritable first generation of furry fan-pornographers by the time the first half of the decade was up. (They would later pass this torch to the likes of Sarah "Fatalis" Wheeler and Eric "TDK" Schwartz - the second generation, if you will.)
After roughly 2001, Quozl disappeared from Usnet completely. His new home: YiffNet IRC. He may still be there, for all we know. An old Something Awful forums user who witnessed his behavior there gave this simple description of his role-playing activities:
"...he comes on as "AmyStereo", the hot busty female mouse character who doesn't wear underpants and behaves like Marylin Monroe with bad gas. "
Other accounts of Dennis Falk's later antics would seem to suggest that he's perhaps gone Jailhouse Gay(5). He never had a website (although this comes close), but he did have the curious habit of signing his Usnet posts with his actual physical mailing address. According to him he's over 35, and there are more than a few rumors of him still living in his parent's basement, completing the stereotype. (Yes, the ultimate furry stereotype, which Dennis here has not just merely lived up to but exceeded.) It would appear that he's been keeping a low profile for the last four or so years, because after IRC and a few scattered sightings there, there isn't much. It's as if he's ascended to his own personal dimension of post-furry LONELY, no longer interacting with the furry crowd in the capacity he once had.
If nothing else, Dennis Falk has certainly left his mark on the world around him, a legacy that few of his furry peers can match. He is a figurehead for what was a group of wonderful human beings, a shameful bunch who made life difficult for many professional animators. He and his ilk helped to hasten the demise of the very show they loved so dearly through behavior that can only be characterized as outrageous. He may be gone for now, but many will never forget his antics, antics that both should and shouldn't be remembered.
Article @ Computolio 2003.