Kevin Eastman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Co-Creator, Takes Over Meltdown Comics for 35 Days
There has been a lot of activity in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle world lately. Last summer at San Diego Comic-Con, Nickelodeon announced that a new TV series starring Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello would be returning to the small screen. Meanwhile, IDW secured the rights to relaunch the comic book series. When they did that, last fall, they brought back an artist familiar to TMNT fans across the world -- Kevin Eastman.
Liz Ohanesian Kevin Eastman inside his Meltdown Comics studio, which features lots of goodies from Eastman's studio that will be sold by auction.
Eastman co-created the series with Peter Laird inside a New Hampshire living room they called Mirage Studios twenty-eight years ago. Inspired by Dave Sim's Cerebus the Aardvark and Wendy and Richard Pini's Elfquest, they decided to self-publish the black and white comic. It was a an immediate success and, by the end of the 1980s, TMNT had become a bona fide pop culture phenomenon. But Eastman has had little to do with the franchise in the 21st century. He sold his ownership of TMNT years ago and has been busy working on cult favorite magazine Heavy Metal, which he publishes and edits, as well as other projects.
Recently, though, Eastman got a call from IDW. Soon he was working with writer Tom Waltz and artist Dan Duncan on the first four issues of the latest incarnation of the Turtles.
Liz Ohanesian Ryan M. of Meltdown Comics models a vintage Heavy Metal jacket that's up for grabs at Eastman's pop-up shop.
"It's really been a blast in a life-changing way," says Eastman as we chat at Meltdown Comics. "I had honestly forgotten how much I love comics. I love drawing them. I like writing them."
TMNT in its various forms is a big part of "Lost Angeles: 35 Days with Kevin Eastman," the exhibit/pop-up shop currently open at Meltdown Comics. It's not everything in the exhibit, though. "Lost Angeles" is a retrospective and Eastman's done a lot of work since the first rough sketches of those four famous turtles.
The inspiration for the show was the recent Tim Burton exhibition at LACMA.
"I wanted to do this show where it would be something fun, even if every week you came back," says Eastman.