For over four years, IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has been one of the best comics on the stands, hands down. It's a blend of everything that TMNT has ever been, a synthesis that combines action, sci-fi and ninja mysticism into one sprawling, epic story that has spilled out from an ongoing series into a string of miniseries and one-shots that have built something genuinely incredible. Now, the series is closing in on its biggest story yet with the release of #50 and the ultimate battle between the Ninja Turtles and Shredder's Foot Clan.
To mark the occasion, ComicsAlliance spoke to co-writer Tom Waltz, TMNT co-creator and series co-writer Kevin Eastman, and series editor Bobby Curnow about the history of the series, covering the process of rebuilding TMNT for comics from the ground up, the happy accidents that led to some of their favorite new characters, and the surprising, heartbreaking challenge of coming up with something horrible to do to a party dude like Michelangelo.
While the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have somehow always managed to maintain relevance since their inception, there were some truly lean years for the franchise. Now however, the mutated martial arts masters appear to be on the cusp of a renaissance. At least from a collectibles standpoint anyway. The Playmates line has been kicking for quite some time, but every week, it seems like more companies are offering fresh takes on the familiar faces of Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo.
We've seen the new retro-inspired takes from Mondo, which has both a classic interpretation and a more recognizable line of Turtles coming, as well as statues from Good Smile, mini-vinyls from The Loyal Subjects, and a variety of items from Funko. ThreeZero's also been in on the action with a line of sixth-scale figures based on the recent live-action films produced by Michael Bay, but soon the company will be dipping its toes into the comic world. What's more, ThreeZero's doing it with one of the original creators, Kevin Eastman, spearheading the line.
As is usually the case, last weekend's San Diego Comic-Con involved a ton of announcements, but there's one really cool new project in the works that might've slipped under your radar: A "big box" Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles board game set for release in early 2016 featuring art by TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman, and a design by Kevin Wilson.
This week, IDW launched something new and different --- an art gallery. The San Diego Comic Art Gallery is an interesting addition to both IDW's scope of business and to San Diego's comics-related offerings. The first artist featured for this gallery? None other than Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creator Kevin Eastman. Check out the gallery below for a look at the launch of the gallery, the art included in the show, and IDW's new offices.
Before the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had been fully fleshed out, they were nothing more than an idea on a napkin. One simple idea on a piece of serviette in a bar launched a franchise and brand that's still going strong today. To pay homage to Kevin Eastman's original drawing of his and Peter Laird's creation, Mondo is bringing that original concept art to life in a limited edition action figure known simply as The First Turtle.
I think we can all agree that the best comics are cheap comics, which is why I always keep an eye on Comixology's sales page to see if there are any good deals to be had. This week, there's a massive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles sale, including all ten volumes of IDW's current TMNT series, plus the miniseries collections that go with it. It's a lot of comics, and that presents a problem of its own: With so much out there to get, which ones should you pick up?
This time, the answer's simple: You should get all of it. Seriously. It's that good.
IDW's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic is exactly my jam. I wrote about it a few months back when I finally dived into the series, and the incredible mix of sci-fi, the supernatural, romance and, of course, teenage mutant ninja action has made it one of those comics where I almost don't want to keep reading because I know I'm going to run out and have to wait around until there's more.
This week, though, I finally got around to digging into City Fall, the big event that the series was building to since it started. I'd been saving that one for when I had some time to go through it, and I wasn't surprised at all to find out that it's great, full of well-crafted character-driven action that brought together everything that happened in the series up to that point. What did surprise me, though, is that I came away from it having actual feelings about Rocksteady and Bebop for the first time ever. Seriously.
Listen folks, I want to like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles a lot. I have a huge amount of childhood nostalgia caught up in those characters, and as an adult, I can recognize TMNT as arguably the single most important independent comic book of all time, a cornerstone that paved the way for a revolution of creator-owned books that continues today. I want them to be good, but there's so much of it, spread across so much media, that it's hard to figure out what to get into if I want something that's going to live up to those high hopes.
Fortunately, Comixology celebrated the release of the latest Ninja Turtles movie with a sale on the current run of comics from IDW Publishing and gave me exactly the opportunity I was looking for. Since I had only heard good things about those comics -- and since everyone I asked about them told me to just get it all -- I took the plunge ad bought up everything they had, and I've been spending the last few days reading through. And seriously?
Among the colorful cosplay, massive booths, interactive displays and walls of merchandise at Comic-Con International in San Diego — colloquially known as SDCC — remains the most important component of the show: comic book creators. ComicsAlliance photographer and Loikiamania podcast host Pat Loika hit the show floor to catch the men and women who tell our favorite stories in sequential art and captured the enthusiasm that comes from fans getting to meet their favorite storytellers at one of the biggest conventions of the year.
Check back with ComicsAlliance throughout the weekend for more of Pat’s great photos from San Diego.
Purveyors of extremely fine illustrated film posters and other cinematic and pop cultural celebrations, Mondo has been increasing its exquisitely curated presence in the comic book world. The boutique merchandise arm of the celebrated Austin movie theater the Alamo Drafhouse, Mondo has in the last several months hosted a 20th anniversary screening of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (with limited edition poster), presented a gallery show of Marvel Comics artwork by Mike MItchell, offered a gorgeous Elektra poster by Craig Drake, a Harley Quinn poster by Phantom City Creative, launched new convention, MondoCon, announced with new artwork by Mike Mignola, and announced a series of vinyl records celebrating music from Batman: The Animated Series.
It comes as only the best kind of surprise that Mondo will expand its operations into the realm of collectible toys, and the company has some auspicious products to announce its arrival in the new space. In addition to a vinyl figure based directly off of Kevin Eastman's very first drawing of a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Mondo will release what's perhaps the most handsome collectible ever for The Iron Giant; a 16" figure with numerous accessories that's a fitting tribute to Brad Bird's excellent film about a killer robot inspired to heroism by Superman comic books.
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