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Dog Fort comics are generally multipanes that include a recon team of dog lobsters, led by team leader Red Lobster, checking in with a communications officer named Dog Fort for further instructions.
There is an entire subreddit, /r/dogfort, dedicated to the various derivatives.
Dogfort started as a monophonic broadcast, like memorable journalism photographs – it had just one panel, all the story was told in the capture of that one moment in time.
The expansion from one frame into multi-panel graphic art is the result of the imagination honey trap that the original single panel, dogfort frame offered. this time dogfort leans on comic book artwork, and film. Using perspective to encourage user reaction. A trademark of dogfort is the wide angle, then close up of the subject to invoke a more sustained emotional response.
While dogfort lends itself to traditional memes in that each comic crudely put together, dogfort has (for now) remained free of the shackles of most internet memes, it’s accessible for a wider audience because despite the odd F-word it’s stuff that even your mom could look at and go “D’aaawwww”. It’s also escaped the probable punchline, like FUUUU, you instantly recognise the style and know what’s coming, you don’t get that with dogfort. You are required to read the story in order to get the LoLs, and they could be anywhere between the start and end frames..
dogfort is no longer just a visual meme, it’s a style. Growing into a full-on make-believe world of Dogs and Cats fighting over ownership of couches or taking on the same traumas that we human have to bear.
Dog in couch fort
The first appearance of Dog Fort was a photoshopped image created by Bishopwhitet for a contest on Cracked, titled What Your Pets Are Doing When You’re Not Home, on June 4, 2009.
The dog inside of Dog Fort, Bishopwitet’s girlfriend’s dog, is actually named Otter in real life (after Steve Ott of the Dallas Stars). His name was changed from Duke after he was rescued from a decade spent in an abusive home where he was severely beaten, neglected and probably picked on by cats (although the cat part is unconfirmed, it would explain his distrust of all things feline). He lived the next two years in peace and comfort, although now it’s evident that his calm demeanor was simply a subterfuge to cover his preparations for the epic battle to come. He developed Leukemia in late 2009 and was recommissioned to the great Dog HQ in the sky where he currently uses his jedi power over death to preside over his armies. Long Live Dog Fort!
Dog in lobster outfit
The corgi wearing the lobster outfit was a viral image itself before becoming part of the Dog Fort series. The photo of the corgi dressed up for Halloween was taken on October 24, 2008 in Griffith, Los Angeles, CA, US, using a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi and posted to Flickr. There is a BuzzFeed post with many dogs wearing lobster costumes.
The first comic
Sometime in May of 2010, Know Your Meme user Von Smallhousen, while at work, came across the Dog Fort entry which had since become deadpooled. Finding what he had seen to be entertaining, he created a comic out of the Dog Fort and Red Lobster images and submitted it to this page. His story quoted below:
It was another day in the office, I’d been herping derps all morning, checking my emails, imgur.com, emails, facebook, knowyourmeme.com. I spotted a new meme, that meme was the original DogFort, shit got real, then it didn’t… the meme was deadpooled. I sat back in my office master deluxe 190, …the coffee I sipped was outstanding but inside, my heart was disappoint. I’d just seen ‘the funniest thing ever’ in about 2 weeks and all around it’s KYM entry-page hung the stench of death.
I didn’t look back, I just kept going, I had to show DogFort I was strong, …I couldn’t let DogFort know I was crying. I went straight to the KYM images section and looked at some fsjals to cheer myself up. I saw something, wait, go back! Sunlight shone like liquid gold onto the computer screen, it encircled the most epic image I’d ever seen – I threw my hot coffee into Jessica’s face, “Red Lobster Standing By!”
It all suddenly became clear, Lobster Dog aka Red Lobster and DogFort, soldiers on the same side, divided by just a few internet pages, I put them together in Photoshop, using minimum effort to reduce costs. And it was so, two f***ing epic dogs united once again on the internet battlefield.
Red Lobster looks like he’s seen action, his thousand yard stare is the signature of a tormented soul, he’s killed many, and can’t forget. DogFort, brave, wise DogFort… some say he’s too soft a leader, but it’s his Optimus Prime attitude that’s earned him high-ranking respect and why he gets to sit in ‘Dog fort’.
I had to post this, but into a deadpool meme? … HHHGGGGNNNNNNNNNNNN.
Becoming a meme
On November 5th, 2010, Dog Fort was submitted to the /r/pics subreddit and hit the front page. On December 9th, 2010, Dog Fort was once again reposted to /r/pics, but this post happened to trigger a sequel.
After the sequel was created, /r/pics began to flood with new Dog Fort comics, thus /r/dogfort was created by Jason Julias on December 10th, 2010 at 3pm in order to have a collective area for redditors to view the new meme and create their own Dog Fort comics.
The official domain for the Dog Fort blog, located at Dog-Fort.com, was purchased on December 16, 2010 by Jay Cho and set up and run by Jason Julias until January 25, 2010 at which time it was moved to a new domain. The new official domain for the Dog Fort Blog, ThisIsDogFort.org, was created January 26, 2010 by Jason Julias and features many improvements. Most notable are it’s move from blog style posting to a gallery view that allows users to see 100’s of links to comics all in one location.
Name: Dog Fort
First Known Appearance: November 5, 2010
Leadership Position: Leader of the Dog army
Background: Little is known about the history of the dog at the helm of Dog Fort. He has no identity outside the organization. The organization itself has existed as long as there have been canines. Dogs, like their wolf ancestors, run in packs. They act as a unit. Dog Fort provides a way for all dogs to act in one massive pack for the good of dogkind. One dog, the alpha, is chosen to head the organization, losing his own identity and instead becoming the voice of the pack. There is, for all intents and purposes, no difference between this dog and the organization itself. He becomes Dog Fort. The memories and secrets of the entire history of Dog Fort are contained within him. All of the previous Dog Fort dogs live on through him. It is a tremendously mysterious, almost mystical process. Dog Fort can never die.
Name: Red Lobster aka Red Lobster 9
First Known Appearance: November 5, 2010
Leadership Position: Dog Fort’s right-paw dog.
Background: According to The Night Watch, before serving Dog Fort, Red Lobster had met his true love Butterbean (Red Lobster called her Lil’ Red). After being together for three summers, they had four puppies together. However, Red Lobster knew he had to serve in the war and follow Dog Fort’s orders.