Follow Ninja Pizza for
the best reading experience!


                    

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Panel To Panel Book Plate Now Available (Again!)



While supplies last, PanelToPanel.net is making the book plate pictured left, previously available with last year's Tales of the TMNT Vol. 5 TPB collection, once again available with copies of the original TMNT Collected Book Vol. 4 from 1990, which collects the classic story "Return to New York."

If you don't have this book plate, this is a deal you don't want to miss. If you don't have this collected volume, this is especially a deal you don't want to miss, since it seems unlikely that we'll be seeing these issues reprinted anytime soon, if ever again.

Get it!

Nerdy Show Episode 10, "TMNT RIP" Now Available



If you haven't checked it out yet, yesterday's TMNT episode of Nerdy Show is now available.

Thanks to the guys for being great hosts!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

TMNT Smash-Up For Wii: $29.98 Today Only



Today's Gold Box Deal of the Day over at Amazon.com is TMNT Smash-Up for the Wii, for the low price of $29.98. The regular Amazon price is $46.99, and the MSRP is $49.99, so this is a deal you don't want to miss if you've been holding out on this title. This deal will expire at the end of today, so don't wait!

Get it here!

Tonight's "Nerdy Show" Podcast to Talk Turtles





I will be a guest on tonight's episode of the "Nerdy Show" podcast. The show records live from 9pm-11pm EDT, with the first hour of the show likely to be Turtles talk. And perhaps obviously, the focus of the discussion will be last week's sale of the TMNT to Nickelodeon. You can check out the live recording at Justin.tv. They hope to have it available for download ASAP, possibly within an hour of completing the recording. At worst, the podcast will be available tomorrow from their Web site.

I'm a little nervous about this, but also excited! And I expect it'll be fun!

Dan Berger Book Plate to be Included with TMNT #1 Color Reprint



As you'll recall, one of the first victims of last week's announcement was the canceled publication of the "Mirage Universe" book. And with no book to release, that left PanelToPanel.net's awesome Dan Berger-created book plate without a home.

No longer! The book plate will now be included with copies of the TMNT Vol. 1 #1 color reprint (below) that is scheduled for December. At only $3.25 a copy, it's a steal!

Visit PanelToPanel.net to order!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What Happens Now: Questions and Some Answers



Obviously, questions are flying furiously since yesterday's out-of-the-blue announcement that Peter Laird has sold the entirety of the TMNT property to Nickelodeon/Viacom. I've managed to track down a few answers that may help provide some insight on what's about to happen.

First, a few people have released public, personal statements on this transaction:
  • Peter Laird - Co-creator of the TMNT, who allowed this sale to happen.
  • Jim Lawson - Long-time and beloved TMNT comic book artist.
  • Jake Black - Freelance Tales of the TMNT writer and source of inspiration for several fund raising efforts this year.

Some fans have noticed that certain parts of NinjaTurtles.com have disappeared, among them the catalog through which you could buy stuff directly from Mirage. Dan Berger reports, "We'll be starting a new web site soon where we're selling all the stuff we used to have posted."

Concerning the future of TMNT comic books, as Peter alludes to in his blog, some rights to publish comic books have been maintained. Dan was able to clarify that "Peter maintains the right to publish up to 18 TMNT comics per year that can be sold via the direct market and/or web site." To further clarify this, Dan states that Tales of the TMNT Vol. 2 will continue through to and conclude with issue #70, scheduled for next year. TMNT Vol. 4 will continue at a pace that only Peter Laird will be able to decide. Beyond that, they are (likely) allowed to do reprints, so long as they are between 32-48 pages, which rules out the publication of any trade paperbacks.

The inability to publish TBPs is why the "Mirage Universe" book, which had been scheduled for a December release, has now been canceled (as reported via Jake Black on Twitter and Facebook this morning).

When asked about "The Forever War" being published, Dan wasn't optimistic about its release, but added, "That's Murph's project." When asked, Steve Murphy's answer was, "I'm not sure."

While the TMNT have been sold lock, stock, and barrel to Nickelodeon/Viacom, Peter Laird stresses that he did not sell Mirage Studios. As Jim Lawson reported, Peter will continue to allow the artists to use their studio space, should they wish to. However, they would do so independently and not as Mirage Studios employees.

Dan states, "Mirage as an employer ends on December 31 of this year," then ads, "but the regular crew will be here at least 'til May as independent contractors." Dan himself forsees sticking around through at least the end of 2010.

Moving to the future as Nickelodeon has it planned, very little is known. There have been some unspecific reports that they already plan to head in a direction along the lines of the original 1980s cartoon. However, this has not been verified (and who knows if Nickelodeon is even 100% sure about which direction they'll be taking).

As for what happens with the current licensing deals already in place, a representative at Nickelodeon has stated to GamePro, "We plan on fulfilling all current obligations." This would apply to the current toy contract with Playmates Toys, as well as the video game contract with Ubisoft, among others.

The biggest unknown at the moment remains the fate of the planned movie. While a movie has been announced to be released in 2012, it is not known if this will be the same movie that had previously been on track for 2011 or if Nickelodeon will wipe the whole slate clean and begin anew. And if they do that, what direction will they take it? That is a question that remains unanswered for now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Reflections on the Present, and the Potential of the Future



Someone said to me via Twitter this afternoon, "Please help me figure out how I am supposed to feel about the sale.. I am so confused!" Well, I can't tell you how you should feel about this, but perhaps by saying how I feel about this I can offer a bit of perspective.

I am not shocked, nor horrified, nor any degree of outraged or upset about the complete sale of the TMNT property to Nickelodeon.

Ok, I take one part of that back. While I'm not shocked that Peter Laird sold the TMNT to Viacom/Nickelodeon, I am a little surprised at the timing. Given the investment Mirage put into the TMNT 25th Anniversary (with no shortage of the use of the word "shell-ebrate"), it is rather shocking that in the same year Mirage (more specifically, Peter Laird) would "quit" the Turtles. And, similarly, I can't quite wrap my head around Mr. Laird's insistence on certain (and generally unpopular) creative decisions when he was apparently so willing and ready to wipe his hands clean of the whole thing for a "little" bit of cash.

I can't help but wonder just how long this deal has been in the works and how much of this "shell-ebration" has been a complete sham of a diversion from what was going on behind the scenes. Or, perhaps, it could be viewed as Mirage giving the TMNT, and the fans, one last "Hurrah!" before letting them go.

While deals like this really don't afford it, it would have been nice to have been given a little notice of these plans so that we, the fans, could return the favor and give a last little "Hurrah!" back to the creators and the creations that many of us have held onto for a significant part of our lives. There's still a little bit of time left before all strings are cut, so perhaps that opportunity still exists. But it seems that the TMNT are fated to never receive a proper farewell whenever they depart, be it from TV, comics, movies, or now the studio from which they were born. It seems that Mirage will once again become its illusionary namesake.

The future of the TMNT now rests in the creative hands of the people at Nickelodeon. What they do with them may be completely different from what you or I would like them to. But it doesn't change or erase the past 25 years. And, unbelievable as it may seem at the present moment, it is also entirely possible that what Nick does will be awesome. (After all, they're not exactly newbies to the world of green slime.)

The truth of the matter is that the TMNT have been flailing as a franchise for awhile. High expectations have fallen short, and some expectations haven't delivered at all. It certainly hasn't helped that Mr. Laird so obviously had lost the interest and motivation that would be required to set everything back on track again, and with a seemingly equal lack of motivation to get anyone else to do those things (or, simply, willingness to let anyone do those things).

This is the end of an era, and there are sad elements about it, and this fandom is in for some serious changes. But I am seriously hopeful and excited for what the future now brings. Because now I can at least see a potential for a bright and positive future, instead of more flailing that just makes the TMNT look a bit sad and pathetic. Because I know that, in fact, they are so, so capable of being so, so awesome.

A lot of questions still remain about how the transition from Mirage to Nickelodeon will proceed, but I say: Bring on the Future.

BREAKING: Nickelodeon Acquires Global Rights to TMNT



News is spreading across the various wire services and news Web sites this morning that Nickelodeon has apparently acquired the global rights to the TMNT.

It is also being reported that they will develop a CG-animated TV series that will be concurrent with the existing movie project, which is now slated for 2012 and will be distributed and backed by Paramount.

The deal is apparently worth $60 million and the current TMNT TV series will continue to run on CWKids through August 31, 2010. Here's a sample of the press release, which is available in full on Reuters:

NEW YORK, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Furthering its mission to provide premium content to its audiences, Nickelodeon--part of MTV Networks, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B)--has acquired the global rights to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles from The Mirage Group and 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: KDE). The acquisition provides Nickelodeon, the world's number-one entertainment brand for kids, global intellectual property rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the hit television, film and video game property that has delighted kids around the world for the last 25 years. The aggregate purchase price for the transactions is approximately $60 million.


Nickelodeon also announced plans to develop a new CG-animated television series based on the popular superhero franchise, anticipated to premiere in 2012. Additionally, in partnership with Viacom's Paramount Pictures, a new release of a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles feature film is also planned for 2012. Nickelodeon has also acquired all merchandising rights to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and will continue to work with its original and long-standing toy partner, Playmates Toys, which has been the creative force behind the successful TMNT master toy program over the last two decades.


"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles shares a comedic sensibility with the Nickelodeon DNA, with added layers of action and fantasy that have kept this property an evergreen favorite with multiple generations of audiences," said Cyma Zarghami, President, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group. "We are extremely happy to have the opportunity to be able to focus on this property and creatively re-introduce it to a new generation of kids."


"Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a property that maintains a very passionate global fan base, is rich with opportunity for a tentpole movie, and is exactly the right property for us to work together with Nickelodeon," said Adam Goodman, President, Paramount Pictures.


"Mirage has been the proud keeper of the Turtles' brand since 1984, and in 2009 we celebrated their 25th anniversary with our legions of fans," said Gary Richardson, CEO, Mirage Studios. "Nickelodeon is a powerhouse global brand, and we are confident that the company will be a wonderful steward for Leonardo, Raphael, Michelangelo, Donatello and all the other TMNT characters and take them in all kinds of exciting and new creative directions."


Stay tuned to Ninja Pizza as details on this become more clear, particularly concerning what, exactly, this means for the future.

Monday, October 19, 2009

"Mirage Universe" Book with Exclusive Bookplate Available For Order



PanelToPanel.net now has the upcoming Mirage Universe sourcebook available for pre-order. While supplies last, all copies of the book ordered through PanelToPanel will include an exclusive book plate (below), created by Dan Berger. These always sell out quickly, so get your orders in now!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Preview Clip from "Turtles Forever"



Astute Technodrome forum member WEB4KIDZ has found the first preview clip from "Turtles Forever"! You can check it out at WorldScreen.com, or below.

And check it out - "Ninja Pizza" representing!


video

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Best TMNT Deal on the Internet!!



If you aren't familiar with mega-TMNT fan Tokka's artwork, you should be. Not only is he the biggest TMNT fan around, but his artwork is the most unique and equally fantastic you're gonna find. If you've ever wanted a piece of Tokka's art for your very own, now is the best opportunity ever to get it. He is currently offering his promotional 1-inch buttons to anyone who wants one, completely for free (plus shipping). If you make a donation to Tokka in addition to the shipping cost, he'll send you a piece of art done to your request along with your button!

All of the details are available on the ordering page, but here's the short of it:

  • $1 donations receive a small sketch
  • $5 donations get your choice of b/w or color art
  • $10 donations are standard sized illustrations on Bristol!

Remember to include in your PayPal note what TMNT character you want and/or what you want sketched.

Offer is only good through Halloween, so don't delay! Tokka is going places, and this is your best chance to get a piece from him before prices skyrocket! If you weren't aware, his art has already been published as the pin-up page for Tales of the TMNT Vol. 2 #48!!

Here are some examples of the sketches he's completed so far for his button promotion:


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

President Obama Loves the Ninja Turtles



Jimmy Fallon, of the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show, is an expert at deducing the many faces of President Barack Obama. On last night's show, Fallon revealed Obama's fanboy love for the TMNT.