The A.C.B.A Rant. Poor Criticism ethic.

Disclaimer: The following content and imagery is of the sole property and opinion of Figurine TT. All photography used aim to provide an example and is not associated with A.C.B.A in anyway.

You can’t please everyone!

You don’t need to either.

A.C.B.A stands for Articulated Comic Book Art which is a community geared towards producing the highest quality composition of realistic scenes using Action Figures, posing techniques, lighting and dioramas via natural photography.

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While the community aims to showcase quality work and aid one another in producing/ capturing the best possible scenes, their critiquing ability lacks greatly. This post aims to highlight the continuous flaws persons identify in a photo and the lack of quality critiquing to help that fellow artist produce better work.

Let’s start by saying if you have no knowledge of proper photography techniques DO NOT post anything there. Many groups exist for posting shots for fun. A.C.B.A is about quality and perfection. The strange thing is that this is ART as the name suggest and art on the whole is subjective, creative and expressive it can never be perfect, people will like, love, dislike and hate.

There are 1 million ways to take a photo of a scene and that 1 way you choose might be excellent for you but the worst for everyone else. Another shot might be great for 10 people but bad for 100 people and so it goes.

CRITIQUING an A.C.B.A 

What I have noticed from the many comments on work posted is that person who dislike a shot add no solid value to their opinion. These persons state simply what they don’t like and that’s it. They don’t add any supporting information about why they disagree with certain things nor how exactly it can be improved. On the other hand if they do mange to provide that information it is simply opinionated. What about the other people who disagree and have their own personal taste about what should have been done? Can you really produce a quality A.C.B.A to appease the huge appetite of Tom, Dick and Harry?

It is obvious that with the right equipment eg: camera, lens, lights, backdrop, dioramas you achieve better results. So simply working with you have or can only afford at the moment has little value or consideration.

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Who are these people who devalue a persons effort without any standards of their own? Numerous times I have noted comments such as “I hate it” “posing off” ” bad lighting” “add this, add that” and that’s it. These extremely broad opinions would leave anyone in a state of confusion and at a loss.

Are these persons qualified to even critique work that they deem not to be of standard? Do they possess knowledge and experience in photography? Do they have/ produce solid work that are supported by the mass? If not then why listen to anything these people have to say? I’m talking specifically about anyone who has something negative to say.

Note the official rule on Critiquing from A.C.B.A

5) Criticism

“5) Criticism: Not everybody is going to like everything, nor everybody. If you dislike a pic, that’s fine. But if you post that you dislike it you need to include legitimate criticism in a respectful and articulate manner and not just resort to making snide remarks. It is also important to mention the positive aspects along with the negatives. Build the community through encouragement, not coddling nor belittling. If your pic gets criticism, take it to heart and consider the insights of others. Ask yourself if their insight might be right and how you can use it before posting your next pic.Try to keep your photos clear, cropped and contained. Remember, NO ONE is above critique/criticism. Open and honest feedback is the nature of this group.”

Your assignment.

It is sad to see a group dedicated to quality and standards disregard their own critiquing policies and allow biased, emotional and disrespectful comments of no value to take place on a daily basis.I have observed, trolls, personal grudges and cyber bullies on the group that purposely aim to belittle and undermine the progress of persons trying to achieve a quality A.C.B.A shot. Comments become emotional, personal, sarcastic, exaggerative and blatantly insulting very fast.

Again these persons aiming to critique do not present logical solid information to help the photographer produce a better shot and that is the main issue here. I think it’s primarily because they themselves don’t know how to support their opinion or achieve some kind of orgasm in bashing others without logic.

Reference  “5) Criticism” stated above.

In closing I would like to suggest  that one should be very cautious when attempting to post in a group like A.C.B.A. Be prepared to take rejection of your work without any solid explanation or help on how to improve. I acknowledge that person will disagree and agree with what is said but everything is an opinion. Should you not believe me take 5 minutes and scroll the A.C.B.A group yourself on Facebook bearing in mind what is said here and see for your self.

ACBA

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I consider  all Action Figure photography a piece of work produced by that individual their own self-expression and art for their fulfillment, pleasure and cannot associate it with this A.C.B.A  especially with persons that shallow and lack of quality critiquing knowledge backing it. If you post on this group you accept their terms and conditions has unbalanced as it maybe. Youtube photography tricks and tips instead of wasting energy trying to satisfy the hunger of a bunch of Galactus.

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Action Figure Illustrated with Pencil to Paper ( Collaboration)

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I have shared numerous fun and exciting activities anyone who has an action can engage in rather than just looking at it on a shelf. From photography and dioramas to ACBA, action figure collecting can truly bring out the creative side which is why this post aims to showcase drawing has yet another plus to the creative pool.

Figurinett has collaborated with fellow class blogger and artist Jay D III of Pencil to Paper. Pencil to Paper is a blog that features the young talents of an artist who loves to draw which where I take the opportunity to link Action Figures to illustration thus achieving “Action Figure Illustrated.”

With the hype surrounding the Avengers Age of Ultron Movie, what better choices to choose for this project than Captain America and Black Widow. ( The only members of avengers I got so far lol.) Pencil to Paper takes the references photos courtesy myself and creates a final comic drawing of these two Avenger’s Icons.

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So lets sit back, relax and see the unique ability of Pencil to Paper.

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It all begins with a simple Pencil to Paper. Thank You for the awesome work

If you would like to know more about Pencil to Paper and work he does visit

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pencil-2-Paper/795393767220884

Figurinett and Creative Workshop team up against Ultron ( Collaboration)

With audiences the world over geared up for Marvel’s Age of Ultron, what better way to capitalize on the hype than with a little teaser of our own. Figurientt in collaboration with Creative Workshop have been working on a small project of our own for a good few weeks now.

In a previous blog I highlighted the many creative aspects that can be applied to action figure collecting and dedicated a post to the photography aspect aka Figuretography. In this post I showcase a fan project where we combine action figures to graphic design. My career is also in graphic design so this project was more than inevitable.

What better way to grab some attention than with a fan poster for Age of Ultron featuring action Figures instead of Actors. I will not deny the many challenges faced so sit back, relax and enjoy our collaborative efforts as we bring to you the Marvel Legends “Avengers Age of Ultron Fan Project”

Our References:

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Our Resources:


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There is a traditional collectors dilemma where for some unworldly reason collectors find themselves collecting a range of figures they love but could never actually complete a set/team. For Figurinett this is 100% true as I have some Avengers but not all that I need to complete the Avengers Team. As a result we had to substitute with some google images for everyone else except my Captain America.

Both the reference concept and stock photos were provided by me leaving the Creative Workshop to simply do what he does which was to create.

Progression Stages:

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With time against us and other earthly battles to fight, Creative Workshop finished off with a strong foundation to which I saw the great potential and wanted to lend my skills.

Working piece by piece with continuous back and forth a designer has to also know when its time to stop. It was a most enjoyable experience to create and see an idea come to life.

Behold the Avengers AGE OF ULTRON Marvel Legends Style.

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visit http://figurinett.deviantart.com/art/MArvel-legends-age-of-ultron-fan-poster-529818529?ga_submit_new=10%253A1430266002

Figurinett thanks Creative Workshop for his enthusiasm toward the project.

As mentioned before this is a “Fan Project” and not designed to advertise nor critique the skills and approach. Art is subjective, some will love some will hate, some will motivate you will others will bring you down.

We are Action Figure Collectors and we love what we do.

COLLABORATION: Telling the story of the MARVEL MASTER with BAGO2DAYNEWS

PrintFigurinett has been growing into an avenue of telling the stories of the great men and women who are ambitious enough to develop the hobbies they love into something Trinidad and Tobago can share in. From comics, to gaming, to anime, movies and cosplay the growth from featuring “action figure collecting” to now “collector stories collecting” was very much inevitable. People who like comics like action figures, anime loves love movies and cosplayers love games. ( most lol)

This post aims to collaborate with a fellow class blogger BAGO2DAYNEWS whose blog is about enhancing one’s writing ability and feature the story of the MARVEL MASTER to which my past article has sparked his interest.

BAGO2DAYNEWS takes the interview done with Mr. Marvel Masters and puts his creative writing spin to create the Story of Marvel Masters. For anyone unfamiliar, Marvel Masters is the founder of the Action Figure Collectors of Trinidad & Tobago Community And has brought many hidden local collectors together. Figurinett would not even exist without the group Marvel Masters has created.

Without further adieu I present to you

“The Story of MARVEL MASTERS” 

The Master of his Universe

Comic Education Trini Style with Mr. COMICFEST April 2015.

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I can’t begin to acknowledge how much a comic book played a positive role in my childhood and maybe even yours. To this day comic books remain a fantasy getaway for the creative mind young and old, male and female. From the games you play, movies you enjoy, pieces you collect and characters you idolize, most if not all had some humble beginning in a book.

The current movie sensations together with TV series after TV series featuring the most iconic heroes of Dc and Marvel have audiences at the edge of their seats. With this being said I take this opportunity to share the thoughts of a key voice in the comic book circle of Trinidad and Tobago Mr. Shaveed Mohammed- Ali -Host of COMICFEST April 2015 on the comic book world today and more specifically comic book interest in Trinidad and Tobago.

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SHAVEED MOHAMMED-ALI

Tell us about yourself as it relates to comic books.

I got started in comic collecting at the age of 13. There was a guy on High Street, San Fernando that I used to pass by on afternoons after school that had a stall on the pavement. One day I was passing by and a cover of a comic book caught my eye- Ghost Rider #18. I picked it up and that was the beginning of my comic collecting journey.

Tell us about the general interest among the public in comic books today compared to years ago. Has it changed for better or worse, remained the same?

Comic books in the recent years have enjoyed a surge of interest thanks mainly to the live action movies from Marvel and Dc. In terms of change I believe it has changed for the better.

Based on your answer elaborate why you think so?

Most people think that comics are for kids. While this may have been true during the 60’s through 90’s, publishers realized that their core audience was growing up and needed grittier/mature themed stories, so comics are now geared towards the young adult/ older audience with offerings such as Warner Brothers kids titles for the younger audience.

From your experience in comics over the years locally, how popular is “collecting a comic book” today differ than that of the past? Does “buying” a comic differ from “collecting” a comic?

I’d say collecting is pretty popular, and it doesn’t differ much, but it comes in 2-3 flavours. There’s the wagonist collector, the casual collector and then there’s the serious collector.

The wagonist collector-This is an individual who buys what’s in at that particular time and is only interested in key comics, collecting the complete story to which the key issue belongs isn’t important. Most times the quality of the book isn’t important either but they have an idea of what condition the book should be in. They think the movie happened before the book and try to convince you that they’re right.

A great example would be when the Christopher Nolan Batman Dark Knight Rises movie was coming out. Sales in the storyline Batman Knightfall soared. In particular Batman issue #497 [where Bane breaks Batman’s back] which was part 11 of the 19 issue long arc, was in high demand.

The casual collector -This collector is interested but not too interested. Likes a good story but doesn’t have the time to hunt down individual issues  to complete storylines and as such will stick mostly to TPB’s/Graphic Novels but will still scoop up a key comic or two if he/she happens by one [at the right price]. This collector also has a pretty good knowledge of his favourite character and laughs when the wagonist tries to convince them that the movie came out first but will still try to show the wagonist that it didn’t.  

The serious collector -This collector knows about comics. They will spend time sorting through comic boxes at conventions/sales looking for that particular issue to finish a storyline. He/ She has in-depth knowledge of numerous characters and is willing to share info. Knows about grades and how to handle and store their books and they will buy graded/signed comics [CGC] and attend conventions to get their books signed by their favourite artists/writers. Grading is important to this collector and it also affects how much they are willing spend on a book. They ensure that all books are bagged and boarded and if they’re not, seek to find storage supplies. They usually assist the Casual collector in collecting and join in the laugh when listening to the Wagonist, all the while trying to educate them.

With the advent of the internet allowing for the availability of any comic title at your fingertips, how has this affected the comic circle in Trinidad and Tobago?

I would have to say it’s had a positive impact. Now you can research any title you’re looking for on the go, keep your wish list on hand so you can search for that missing title if you stumble across a sale by accident and generally keep abreast of what new storylines  are coming out that may interest you. Back in the day if you didn’t know someone who knew an event was happening you’d probably miss it. And if you did stumble across a sale and didn’t have your list or an idea of what you were missing you’d probably end up buying an extra copy of a book you already had. [yes, speaking from personal experience here..]

I overheard a comment sometime ago where someone was thinking twice about attending a comicfest because they believed that comicfest here today are simply back issue sales with sellers simply returning with the same stocks as previous events. Your opinion on this.

There is some merit in this statement but it’s not all true. In the earlier events, sales were limited to back issues as most of the interested attendees were interested in just that, back issues and at the time prices for new issues were too high. Also, hardly anyone was interested in the new stuff because social media and the cellular network wasn’t that big back then.

Since that time however social media has erupted into the giant that it is today and cellular providers have upgraded their networks to ensure that you can stay connected and up to date with information as it happens [ie new storylines, upcoming projects, etc…].  To this end there have been a few exhibitors who have stepped up to the plate to fill the needs of those who wish to collect new issues namely Alternative Universe run by Dion Herbert and Media and Variety Emporium run by Mark Amarali.

Any words you would like to share with the public/ comic enthusiast about comic books?

It’s a great hobby! And it’s something you can share with anyone. So pick up a comic and dive into the experience!

Thank You Shaveed for this great insight and we hope to all be a part of many more comicfest to come.

Shaveed owns one of the hottest stores in the south side- REWIND COMIX- so if you feel the need to read then call Shaveed.

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Figurett welcomes any and all readers to participate and ask questions about any issues relevant to each blogpost.

Figuretography? Wait What?

Figure + Photography = Figuretography. What would make this equation mind blowing is when “you” are added. I have really began to explore and appreciate the art of photography in relation to figurine collecting and slowly becoming obsessed with capturing a photo of a character in his/her most natural self.

It is art, everything involving collecting is a form of art because it requires resources, time, effort, creative thinking, networking with others and research. Much like any other hobby or career path if you love it you’ll do what it takes to be the best at it.

As such this post is dedicated to a series of action figure photography that was inspiring enough to drive me to produce photos of the same quality and of course better. Note there are 1000s more creative, mind blowing pieces scattered across the internet but these made pause for a second and hit download.

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The photos are collected over a period from various sites and fan groups online and are used only for inspirational purposes.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ACBAgroup/

http://www.deviantart.com/art/X-Men-Unite-Marvel-Legends-Collecction-300705611

https://www.facebook.com/groups/755646031148524/

I gave thanks to all the persons that happen to see their photo featured.

‘Twas a blast at COMICFEST 2015 (April 4th)

11102945_10153286035072845_668891327221569394_oComicfest in my opinion was a blast and a huge success. With a huge crowd turnout despite the rainy weather it shows how much passion and interest the folks of T&T have towards that which they love. Gamers, cosplayers, anime lovers, action figure collectors and comic enthusiasts turned out strong, had a great day, got the goodies they came for and ended the day with great fulfillment.

So until the next event, Figurinett thanks all of those who held the ttshield in support and look for your photo in the gallery below.

On June 20th 2015 look forward to “ANIMARKET” which promises to be just as awesome. For details see the facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/events/1383825058605379/

AND GEAR UP!