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Friday, 6 May 2016

CHANG3LINGS

It was good to hear that Dave Gordon and Chang3lings made some good sales at the Edinburgh comic Con.  
 
It also seems that the UK may be a bit later in catching on but more events seem to be organised around vintage toys of the 1970s and 1980s.  Unfortunately for the Ebay sharks, the aficionados are not gullible and are ignoring the excessive prices asked for common and CHEAP figures and toys. Sadly, I can't get to Warp Zone in London this month. Might be a good thing as an old man rolling about the floor clutching his wallet and screaming "I have no more money!" is a very, uh, embarassing sight.
 
Remember that there is a link to Chang3lings on the right.

I love Winged Greenie below -over 2 feet tall which has an option for bird-like feet/claws.
Above: A little over 2 feet (60cms) tall with resin wings.  EVERYTHING hand-crafted by Chang3lings.


 Above the cover to the Chang3lings catalogue.  As you can see, they do not just make one off exclusive dolls but also sell quality vintage action figures -Cyborg, Muton, Android and my favourites -Micronauts!

Check out the unique figure below.


 Chang3lings is one of the most under-rated UK pop culture businesses and you can meet up with David Gordon, who is also a very talented graphic novelist (check out Cosmic Oddity).

When you talk about investment potential it usually involves comics.  Comics produced in their thousands and 99.1% of all those copies of a book will need to be destroyed before yours is worth anything.  But the action figure and doll market is strong.  
 
Guess what? all of Chang3lings dolls are unique.  Just one of each. One of each.


In case that did not sink in let me explain it.  Chang3lings will make a custom made figure or sell a figure of which there will only ever be one.  Not replicable..

You would own the only one of its kind.  Hopefully treasure and love it but, if you ever had to sell then that figure is unique.  No "Oh, well I think I saw one cheaper at---" because there are no other copies/duplicates.


But look at it another way, and I've seen some of these first hand and no photo really does them justice.  There are different scale sizes and you can see the much chunkier me of a few years back at the Bristol Comic Expo at David Gordon's table with a display of dolls.


Remember that there is a link to the right of page for Chang3lings and they have now been named "The UKs Premier Exclusive Figure" company!
Now, back to the real delights!

When I met Dave, Lesley and Lynsey at the Bristol Expo I got to see how carefully the dolls were put together -everything from eyes (different colours), hair and right down to the clothing and extras that were amazing to see.  Things have moved on since the day of Action Man (GI Joe) outfits and weapons!

The display piece below (NOT completed in this photo) has raised a few comments and interest and resulting in some good sales so it just goes to show what a bit of creative display work can achieve.
or how about this......
Yes, the fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith and some bald crook off the TV...but I think the Doctor is far more interested in someone else!  Now come on you Star Wars fans what do you think?
Below: more classic figures. If there is one place you need to go if you are into any scale figures/dolls this weekend it HAS to be Chang3lings at the Edinburgh Comic Con!
And I did say that Dave was an incredible graphic novelist. His Cosmic Oddity was such a revelation to me that I just sat there after finishing reading it.  So, you see a copy grab it because, as I wrote earlier this month, the book deserves an award.
In case you missed that item:
My Excess: Dave -A Cosmic Oddity

A4
Black & White
Paperback, 
106 Pages
Price: £12.99
The biography of Dave Gordon, often called the Uk's Manara. Detailing Dave's origins and relationships, this is an insight into one of UK comicdoms creators.

I got this book handed to me by the postman (mailman if you are American) at 1300 hrs and by 1500 hrs I had read it through.

This is David Gordon -the UKs very own Milo Manara- telling his story.  From his birth and adoption three days later through family life, school, university, work and later trying to contact his birth mother -the outcome of which is still currently open.

Dave takes us through his life and troubled relationships with himself (2014) narrating and flashback images and sequences of events.  The style he uses in this book, being honest here, I saw at a glance and thought "not sure about this".  However, I realised the clever way the art had been designed and drawn -photos, etc.- actually worked. Even the cartoony flashback-to-situation pages (see below).

What can I write about this?  Gritty -yes.  Factual and being brutally honest and to be equally honest here I do not think I'd have the guts to quite literally open up my chest and let some of these experiences out.  Being pushed away by his adopted family is bad enough but then having to go through his (adoption) father dying of cancer -bad enough.  But we then learn about the abusive relationships (physical and emotional).

There is still the matter of his birth mother and how that might end.  However, Dave is now happily in a relationship with Lesley (I've met her and she seems quite nice for a prison officer -not even a moustache!) and that gives us a sort of happy ending.  But, oh boy, what happened before.

Let me tell you something.  For years I was also an agent for comic creators.  You see good art, you know the writers or artists are reliable so, as an agent you put a spin on things to sell the work.  I've read and reviewed comics and graphic novels for publications and online now for over 30 years.  I see a couple hundred books of one sort or another a year -the crammed bookshelves and floors attest to that.

I cannot think of one book where a creator has taken us through his personal life and things have been so dark and gut-wrenching -even preparing for suicide- that I have said out loud "F***!" so many times. My sister even said "What are you swearing at?"

If this were an independent film it would be getting some award.  A publisher should be paying Gordon to allow them to publish this!  This is superbly written -and it must have taken a lot of thought to put this together without going over the top or exaggerating.  To make it a sequential story interspersed with illustrated text pieces....this is truly what Will Eisner described what graphic novels should be: telling a true and honest story that grabs the reader and pulls them in.

You people out there deciding who gets nominated for an Eagle Award should read this book.

This book should NOT be ignored. If you think "I'll buy just one Independent book...." then PLEASE make it this.

The book has surprised and shocked me - I have heard some snippets over the years but never the whole story.  In fact, you really need to read it yourself because nothing I write here can even adequately do it justice.







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