The Art Of Custom Figures: An Interview With Bryan Castle
I was selling some of my old figures on Craigslist one day. It was a hard thing to do because I love my figures! But luckily I have 2 of the same kind .
Then Bryan contacted me. I must say he is one of the coolest guys I have met. He is very talented, very laid back and he also has a beautiful family.
So after he did my custom figure
I decided to ask him for an interview. And guess what? Being the nice guy he is he said yes.
So here it is:
Agent Burgos:Hey Bryan Hows it going?
BC: Things are great!! Hot summer ,but that gives me more time to think about what is next on the custom figure menu…
A.B. Good To hear! Thanks for the Custom Figure by the way.
BC: Not a problem , I always love to do figures of my friends. I mean, who does want a themselves immortalized in the great world of action figures?.. It is every comic book geek ‘s dream.
A.B. Of course it is ! So what got you interested in making custom figures?
BC: It is kinda of a long story.My mom said i started when i was about 8….. When i was younger i had a bunch of the old MEGO figure http://megomuseum.com/index.html. I noticed that there really weren’t that many different races represented in the the world of superhero.. Where was the superheroes that looked like me? So i painted all my guys black, hahahaha( laughing) Hey i wanted some cool heroes who where black that didn’t have “black” in front of his hero name. So anyway .. years down the road and the birth of the marvel legends series.. I started hearing about guys making those rare figure you could never find in the store.. I order a custom form a guy and i started thinking back to when i was a kid. ..”man, i would love to see more ethnic diversity in the marvel world… Then the story The Truth Red White And Black Captain America 1-7 Set came out. Being a freaking huge Cap fan and seeing a version of Cap that was like me jump started my hobby of customizing. So after about 100 failed attempts, and countless hours of reading forums and talking to guys like IRON COW, klye robinson and and a few others, I started feeling comfortable enough to show my work. I still have a long way to go but, I am having a great time getting there!
A.B. Which one was the first one you made?
BC: I guess it would be Isiah Bradley for the The Truth Red White And Black storyline. It was a simple one, but one of my favorites to this day. It was the custom that made me say” yeah, man … this is it!!” I showed it to all the guys who had been giving me the expression along the way.After that i was off and running.
B.C. Some yes and some no.. it really depends on the the amount of sculpting you have to do and the amount of resources you have. Sometimes i will sit down and bang out a figure in a few hours if i am struck by the bug.. other times.. it will take me literally weeks just to start the project. Spare parts is key. I shop all the time for old marvel collections and just any random cheap figure for accessories and such. What I try to do is look at the figure out there and think to myself ..” what other figure is this close to in size and body type?.. But the one thing I would like to to pass on to any future customziers out there is this.. NEVER PASS UP A FIGURE. YOU WILL REGRET IT LATER If you have to the funds and always pick up everything you can!! I can tell you how many times I didn’t get a figure and I kicked myself in the butt later because I had to pay 3x the price later on ebay.
A.B. How long have you been a Comic Book Fan?
B.C. For about 20 yrs. I started reading when I was about 13yrs old. I would ride up to the nearest Circle k and get all the new issues.
A.B. : Marvel Or DC?
B.C. At first it was DC, you know those three stories in one graphic novels, then I gravitated to Marvel , I really liked the characters. Stan Lee’s crew was writing about, they seemed like real people , but with powers, they had problems and stuff to work out, so to me they seemed real. But every once in a while I will still buy a DC book or two..
A.B. I know this question is a tough one… Which One is you favorite character and why?
B.C. Captian America hands down. I just have always loved what he stood for.. working hard to be your best and over coming anything…And you have to admit .. how cool it that shield?
A.B. I also happen to know that you teach Capoeira. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
B.C. Capoeira has its roots in Brazil and is a Afro-Brazilian dance/martial art. It is a mixture of fight, dance, theater and music. Capoeira was developed in the 1500s by African slaves. It is said that the slaves developed the dance to conceal preparations for a revolt against their oppressors. Since it was forbidden to learn to fight Capoeira was masked as a form of dance. When slavery was abolished in 1888 many former slaves were living in poverty and exclusion. The hard situation lead to capoeira being used in crimes. Capoeira became illegal and was exercised only by criminals and poor people. But capoeira survived the hard times and in 1930 the first capoeira school was opened in Bahia, Salvador, and since then capoeira has spread around the world.I started training in 2000 and I have been training and teaching with Capoeira malandrgem here in tucson for the past five years.
A.B. That art incorporates a lot of rhythm if im not mistaken right?
B.C. Yes it does. the game which is called joga is played to music. there are many different rhythm that dictates the cadence of the game.
A.B. Is there a website where people can check out your work? Im talking Custom Figures and Capoeira also.
B.C. The figures are posted on Figure Realm at http://figurerealm.com/ViewCustoms.php?UID=4610
and my capoeira site is http://capoeiramalandragem.com/
A.B. Thank you so much for your time!
There you have it! Here at Comicbooked we like to support local artists like Mr. Castle, they deserve recognition as you can tell.
Thank you and keep the great work Bryan!