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?
It is good. It's, like, X-Men in the '70s good.
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.
Q: Why do you think Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has survived and thrived for 30 years? -- @ballsmonkey
A: I have a whole lot of affection for the TMNT, and I don't think that's just because I was the perfect age to drag my parents to Pizza Hut so that I could get (and subsequently wear out) a VHS tape of the one where they fought the giant robot rats. Don't get me wrong, the nostalgia's a huge part of it, but it's not something that's unique to my age group. The fact is, if you've been a kid at any time in the past three decades, you've more than likely grown up loving those characters just as much as I did. And that in itself, the staying power that this strange franchise created by two dudes in a kitchen, is interesting.
The thing is, even though I tend to think of TMNT as the archetypical unlikely success, the more I think about it the less I think that it actually was all that unlikely.
Thursday's links await, after the jump.
After 22 years, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman has officially sold Heavy Metal. Founded in France as Métal Hurlant in 1975 before being licensed in America by then-National Lampoon publisher Leonard Mogel and later sold to Eastman in the early 1990s, Heavy Metal Magazine is famous for serving as something of a bridge to Euro Comics from the likes of H. R. Giger, Jean Giraud a.k.a. Moebius, Milo Manara and others, as well as a platform for North American artists and others who specialize in... well.. heavily rendered illustrations of warrior women in fantasy situations (among many other things).
The buyers are respective music and film industry professionals David Boxenbaum and Jeff Krelitz, and they've got multimedia in mind for the brand.
The man who co-created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Peter Laird is set for perhaps his weirdest voice acting gig yet this weekend's latest CG animated episode entitled, "Ice Cream Kitty," on Nickelodeon. Kevin Eastman will meow it up as April's cat, who accidentally ingests a flawed retromutagen experiment -- flawed because Mikey just dropped a scoop from his drippy ice cream cone into the mix -- and transforms into one of the weirdest/cutest mutants the current series (or any series) has ever seen. You can see the transformation take place after the cut in advance of Sunday's episode.