Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird Reunite For TMNT 30th Anniversary Cover

Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird Reunite For TMNT 30th Anniversary Cover

TMNT Black And White Cover

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creators make turtle power together for the first time in over 20 years

If there's one thing I know from a lifetime spent humming that stupid theme song whether I want to or not, it's that the world is suffering from a serious lack of turtle power (turtoleum?).

OK, it's true that after three decades the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle franchise is as strong as ever, what with an ongoing comic published by IDW, a hit cartoon series on Nick and an upcoming cinematic reboot produced by Michael Bay. (Here's hoping it's the Pain & Gain Michael Bay and not the Transformers Michael Bay.) But not since the early 90s have the Turtles' creators, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, teamed up on the series that made them famous and taught a generation of kids that pizza is acceptable sustenance for aquatic reptiles.

That changes this May, with the just-announced 30th anniversary special issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. For the issue, Eastman and Laird are collaborating on a cover that recalls the original, bare-bones black and white aesthetic. The issue will feature short stories inspired by various incarnations of the Ninja Turtles, written by Eastman, Dean Clarrain, Chris Allan, Gary Carlson, Frank Fosco, Tom Waltzand, Dan Duncan, and more.

It's strange to think that a title originally created as a parody of the almost comical grittiness pioneered by the likes of Frank Miller would spawn an empire of its own that included a line of RPGs, three popular children's cartoon and several movies, not to mention the best moment of Vanilla Ice's career. Stranger still that we have TMNT to thank for the survival of Heavy Metal magazine, as the money Kevin Eastman made from TMNT allowed him to purchase it in 1992. Proof that creator-owned titles are indeed an objective good, and good for the comics industry as a whole. And so are the Ninja Turtles.

Here's the full cover image. Enjoy.

image

Source: IDW

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Even knowing it was intended as a parody, it was such a good parody that it sort of set the bar.

Honestly, I don't think I have ever completely missed a Ninja Turtles animated series. There's just too much love in my heart for the reptiles with attitude and ninjutsu skills who devour pizza pies.

I've only seen a few of the original comics, but it was really amazing to see. If you've only seen the animated turtles, they are almost completely different. Mikey isn't the comic relief, Donny is smart, but not a super brain, and every turtle is a badass, or to put it another way, everyone is Raph. It's sort of night and day. Enjoyable, though. And you can see where some of the series ideas came from.

I do enjoy the animated versions, though. The characters just have more personality and individuality and actual development. And I was surprised to find that the Nick version is actually good. What has happened that Nick is now making high quality shows like Avatar and this new TMNT?

Think I may wanna check out this anniversary comic.

And now I'm tempted to go watch the original movie. Horrible obvious errors and all. Obviously that one guy in the corner of the room was a skilled ninja. Why else did no one notice or acknowledge him?

Saltyk:
Even knowing it was intended as a parody, it was such a good parody that it sort of set the bar.

It was also really enjoyable viewed as a work in and of itself. I read the comics earlier than I probably should have, because such a big deal was made of it coming from just a stone's throw from where I was born. Spoofing the trends or not, it was a fun (if sometimes royally screwed up) comic.

i still hold resentment towards the animated tv shows and the movies because in a single fell swoop they killed off the tabletop rpg in an instant for teenagers and 20 somethings everywhere. it was something that went from aimed at us with plenty of dark humour to something aimed at little kids which in the end means im able to step back and not get cranky about films, etc changing so much that the original fans feel betrayed

still that cover brings back fond memories of the comic and the rpg growing up

I still have a hard time swallowing that TMNT was a parody. It still just seems like a series that's doing its own thing and doing it very well.

Zachary Amaranth:

Saltyk:
Even knowing it was intended as a parody, it was such a good parody that it sort of set the bar.

It was also really enjoyable viewed as a work in and of itself. I read the comics earlier than I probably should have, because such a big deal was made of it coming from just a stone's throw from where I was born. Spoofing the trends or not, it was a fun (if sometimes royally screwed up) comic.

The early TMNT stuff is weird.

I love it AND the original cartoons. Nostalgia is OP.

OT: It is really cool to have these two collaborate again. The sad truth is that most partnerships like theirs never last in the industry. You can blame publishers all you want, but in many cases it just comes down to creative differences. DnA of Guardians of the Galaxy fame (among other things) was my favorite duo since Buseik and Perez and they've been broken up awhile now T^T

erttheking:
I still have a hard time swallowing that TMNT was a parody. It still just seems like a series that's doing its own thing and doing it very well.

It definitely did, but they devised it in part as a light mocking of Miller's run on Daredevil. The Foot Clan in particular was a dig on the Hand clan. Fortunately it wasn't just a joke, especially those super awesome TMNT one-shots.

erttheking:
I still have a hard time swallowing that TMNT was a parody. It still just seems like a series that's doing its own thing and doing it very well.

Plenty of parodies are almost impossible to tell the difference between it and what it is satirizing. You'd be shocked how many songs are intended as parodies of certain styles that no one but the musicians seemed to get.

Yeah, that's a parody of party songs. But no one realized it. From what I heard, once they realized almost no one was in on the joke or intent of the song, they actually stopped playing it live. People were unironically singing a song that was making fun of them.

And as someone else posted, it was heavily spoofing Daredevil. The origin of the Turtles actually parallels Daredevils. To the point that the Daredevil origin is recreated in TMNT entirely. The Foot are a direct spoof of The Hand, a group of ninja's that daredevil often fought.

More modern versions have left that behind, but that is still their origin.

I still remember getting my hands on the original TMNT comic when I was a kid. I loved the Turtles for years by that point, but I only ever saw the original cartoon. Then all of a sudden I came across this comic book with my favorite characters, but they looked different. Then I read it and was all "What the actual FUCK?!?", followed by "This shit is AWESOME!!!". I never realized it was a parody, I just figured someone decided to make Turtles dark and gritty and thought it was a pretty bitchin' idea... :)

Well actually I'm one of those people (now 38) who was introduced to the Ninja Turtles in their black and white form, and whom actually played the early versions of the Palladium RPG with it's rather robust system for creating your own mutant animals. I always felt that Eastman and Laird sold out their integrity as the cartoon version seemed to always miss the point of the characters and the style of humor involved in the original stories, albeit I think a lot of it was that Eastman and Laird themselves were running out of ideas and started ruining it, even in the black and white comics after a while you got to the point where nobody was shown landing a solid weapon blow anymore, and the Turtles stopped displaying their early high trained professionalism for gags similar to the cartoon like going to hide and scuffling "oof, I've got the closet", stuff like that.

I'm not saying the cartoon was terrible, as I was indeed at the right age for it more or less when it was out, but to be honest it always struck me as being wrong, as was the "Archie Comics" published series. Whether I like it or not though that version became the canon and the backbone of the turtles forever more, where now the original version is pretty much the odd sheep out.

Oh and while they later broke up, Kevin Eastman married Julie Strain, who was one of the big models for Heavy Metal Artwork (and which is why she was used for the second Heavy Metal movie). Not particularly relevant, but I figured some fans might not know that little factoid. Julie after all being one of the all-time sex goddesses, fantasy art pin ups and B-movie queens. She's also one of the reasons I defend fantasy art since, as I said, she's modeled for a lot of those pictures people think are entirely fake or unrealistic.

 

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