The interview was a promotional effort for the newly released documentary, Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
You can listen to the interview in its entirety below.
|Scan thanks to tOkKa/terrible2z on Flickr.|
|Kevin Eastman drawing secret stuff.|
Photo by: Jonathan Liebesman
Hey Guys, Sorry to have been away for so long--completely swamped with work--but it is some pretty exciting stuff. I had been invited to check out the TMNT film development by my friend Scott Mednick over the years, and a while back had a full look behind the curtain at what writers Appelbaum and Nemec, director Liebesman, and producer Bay are doing--and trust me--it IS AWESOME. I'm officially on board, and will share more as I'm allowed… thanks all!So, it looks like Kevin is behind the project 100%. And that's good enough assurance for me.
ABOUT MIRAGE STUDIOS
Steve Lavigne, high school classmate and friend of Kevin Eastman, as well as the real-life inspiration behind Michaelangelo, was Mirage's first employee, hired in 1985 to help with lettering duties beginning with issue #5 of the original TMNT comic book. His duties would expand to coloring comics and art and penciling licensing art that was used on thousands of TMNT products sold around the world. Lavigne left the studio in 1995 to return to his home state of Maine. He still does occasional freelance work for Mirage when asked.
After giving Eastman and Laird a piece of fan art at a comic convention in Detroit in 1985, Ryan Brown was asked to "get in touch" with the studio in the letters column of the 4th reprinting of TMNT #1, published in September 1985. He did so immediately, resulting in an inking tryout for a short comic titled "New York Ninja" that would later see print in the back of the TMNT RPG supplement book titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures!
Passing that test, Brown was then invited to join the studio, making the move to Northampton, MA in September 1986. He would eventually use his inking skills on most of the licensing art drawn by Lavigne, as well as some comic covers. A life-long love of toys made him a perfect match for the role of the in-studio Toy Coordinator after Playmates launched its line of highly successful TMNT toys and action figures. Brown left the studio in 1995 to return to his home state of Ohio. He still does occasional freelance work for Mirage when asked.
Around the same time Brown set foot in Massachusetts and after a successful portfolio presentation, Jim Lawson was invited to move up from his home in Connecticut to join Mirage. Lawson and Brown then teamed together to draw and ink, respectively, a new companion comic title, Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Lawson would also contribute to licensing art and penciling of the regular TMNT comic book series, becoming the main penciler starting with issue #48 of original series, a role that he maintains today with Volume 4 of the series.
Michael Dooney wrote a fan letter to Eastman and Laird after the original publication of the very first TMNT comic book. Dooney, an inspiring comic book creator in his own right, kept in touch with Mirage and would pencil issue #9 of the comic book, released in September 1986, while still living in New Jersey. After moving to the studio full-time, Dooney contributed art to more issues of the original comic book, full-color paintings for the official TMNT magazine, and some of the early issues of the Archie comics TMNT series among other things. Dooney remains with the studio today, contributing art for licensing, comic books, and toy design in collaboration with Playmates Toys.
In mid-1989, after the first few issues of the Archie comic series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, which were simply adaptations of the TMNT cartoon series, the book was horribly late and in danger of breach of contract. Seeing an opportunity, Brown asked his friend and roommate, Steve Murphy, to collaborate with him to create original stories for the comic series. Murphy, who was writing his own comic series, The Puma Blues, and doing proofreading and editing for Mirage, was hesitant to commit to the project, but finally agreed to take on the writing duties under the pen name Dean Clarrain. Murphy left Mirage with the end of the Adventures series in 1995, but would return in January 2002 as Creative Director of Licensing and Managing Editor of Tales of the TMNT Volume 2 when the title was established January 2004. Murphy resigned from his duties as Managing Editor in August 2007, but remains in the position of Creative Director of Licensing.
With Adventures back on track, Brown and Murphy needed a permanent inker for the book. Brown contacted his old roommate in Ohio, who had just graduated from art school, and asked him to join the team. Dan Berger came to Massachusetts in August 1989; his first Turtles work was TMNT Adventures #8, published in February 1990. He has also contributed to the original TMNT comic book, licensing art, and the daily TMNT newspaper comic strip. Berger has been the Webmaster of ninjaturtles.com since 1998 and Managing Editor of Tales of the TMNT Volume 2 since Murphy's resignation in 2007.
Like Lavigne, Eric Talbot was a high school buddy of Kevin Eastman. His first work with the TMNT came with issue #17 of the original TMNT comic book, published November 1988. He would continue to contribute to TMNT comics and various licensing endeavors throughout the duration of the TMNT's popularity in the 90s and continues working with Mirage to this day.
Riding on the success of the TMNT, Kevin Eastman bought Heavy Metal magazine in 1991. His last TMNT work was the comic Bodycount, published by Image in 1996. In 2000 he sold the creative rights of the TMNT to Laird so that he could focus completely on Heavy Metal. However, this separation was not the end of his involvement with the TMNT. In 2002 he published his TMNT "Artobiography" under the Heavy Metal label and in 2005 he gave Mirage the connection they needed, with Imagi Animation Studios, to make a new big-screen TMNT adventure a reality in 2007. In 2008 he sold his remaining TMNT holdings to Laird, but with plans to republish a handful of classic TMNT stories, the first of which, Bodycount, was released the same year.
Northampton, MA (March 12, 2008) - Dear Fans, Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman wish to let you all know that on March 1, 2008, Peter and The Mirage Group completed the buyout of Kevin's entire right, title, interest and income participation in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property and the four Mirage corporations involved in the ownership, management and protection of the TMNT. This latest event finalizes a transaction that began on June 1, 2000, when Peter and The Mirage Group purchased all of Kevin's ownership interest in the TMNT property and the corporations, except for a small continuing income participation.
Commenting on this latest transaction, Peter said, "I want to take this opportunity to once again thank Kevin for working side by side with me in creating the TMNT and moving them from the pages of Mirage's humble comic to the heights of success they achieved in animation, movies, toys, video games and other TMNT products and entertainment. Couldn't have done it without you, dude! It was an amazing and wonderful experience."
Kevin echoed these sentiments by commenting, "When I think back to the old days, two Jack Kirby fanboy artists, the living room studio in Dover, New Hampshire, my first sketch, our first page, the first issue stacked in the living room.. sure we'd never sell a copy.. ahhh, those were the days! Peter and I lived the dream, lost some along the way, but together built a foundation, heck, an empire that lasts and still resonates with kids around the world today. I look back at this gift, this partnership, with only the fondest of memories.. knowing Pete and Mirage will take excellent care of the boys, while I seek other artistic callings."
And this announcement is probably a good place and time for us to jointly thank all you fans for being so great in opening your hearts to our characters and making the Turtles and us a part of your lives. Neither of us could have done it without you. THANKS!
[Kevin Eastman] [Peter Laird]