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Tuesday, August 5, 2008

It's Time For a TMNT 1 Special Edition

Fans have made half-hazard efforts to get New Line Cinema (and now, Warner Brothers) to release a special edition of, at least, the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film - if not all three - for many years. The response has consistently been, "We are not interested in that project."

Today, Steve Murphy of Mirage Studios posted the following, a quote of an email sent by Steve Barron, director of the first TMNT film, to a Warner Brothers representative:

"...there has been quite a lot of blogging about a director's special edition of the first movie, particularly in the light of its impending 25th anniversary. I would be very keen to contribute to this idea if you thought it a good one. I have lots of original artwork and even a rough cut with a few extra scenes on tape. I think it would be nice to do a definitive release as the extras have always been very limited."

This is not the first time Barron has made such a comment. In fact, a very similar comment was quoted in a Peter Laird, "Blast From the Past" Web site feature back in late 2001.

With this new spark of inspiration from Murphy and Mr. Barron collectively, perhaps it's time to take the effort to make this project happen seriously. Next year is the 25th anniversary celebration of the TMNT - What better way to celebrate than with a special edition of one of the greatest highlights of that 25 year history? Emails from the same handful of fanboys/fangirls to Warner Brothers aren't going to convince them to change their minds about this project. It's time to get bigger and more visual.

Watch this space for more information coming soon.

If you have graphic design skills or video editing skills, please email me if you're willing to provide hands-on help with this effort.

Monday, August 4, 2008

TMNT Flashback: The Coming Out of Their Shells Tour

The TMNT have a rich 25 year history full of what seems to be an endless stream of interpretations. While many of these are fantastic, there are some not so fantastic bits. If you ask people about what the low lights of the past 25 years have been, there are three common answers: The third movie, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation, and The Coming Out of Their Shells Tour (COOTS). I actually have no dislike for any of these (my personal steaming pile of Turtle puke is Volume 4 of the comic books), and speaking of COOTS in particular, I love every ounce of it.

Oh sure, it's cheesy as hell. It's also probably one of the most blatantly obvious examples of Eastman and Laird "selling out" the Turtles, if you're one to accuse them of that (I, personally, am not). But damn was it a lot of fun for my 6th grade, 11-year-old self. I mean, really a hell of a lot fun. Now I consider it one of my little guilty pleasures, and I love making particular new acquisitions.

So for a spot of fun, here's a look at a few promotional pictures from the tour. The first one (top), oddly, features a Los Angeles manhole cover.

This second picture was part of an Entertainment Weekly article about the tour. You can read the entirety of the article here - As you'll see, the writer wasn't willing to have a spot of fun at all. :p

The last picture also comes from Entertainment Weekly, but this time they were massively confused about what was being written about, as it was included with a movie review of TMNT II: The Secret of the Ooze (they gave it a C+).

Friday, August 1, 2008

Comic-Con: Round Up

Hmm, I never did post summaries of Saturday and Sunday. Well, there was nothing of real note to relate on the TMNT front, so I let myself be totally and completely overwhelmed and consumed by the rest of the Con. I'm still recovering, including a slight dose of illness, but it's nothing compared to how deathly ill I got after the Con last year. Anywho, here's a look at some of my TMNT swag from the Con.

Here's what I think became my favorite TMNT acquisition from the Con. I was at the Heavy Metal booth, in Kevin Eastman's sketch line, expecting to get another Turtle sketch. But then I thought about it and it occurred to me that it would be pretty kickass to have a Foot Elite - one of the rare bad guy characters that I absolutely love - drawn by The Master. So that's what I asked for and that's what I got. Not only is it kickass, it's also more unique than a Turtle sketch, of which I already have a couple.

Speaking of which, here's one of them. In each Bodycount hardcover that Kevin sold, he was doing a full sketch of your choice in the front (assuming you were willing to wait in his constantly long line). There are many awesome things about Kevin, but I think it's particularly awesome that he is willing to do such sketches for anyone who asks and he also puts a considerable amount of time and detail into each sketch. And since he's such an awesome guy (and a millionaire), he never ever charges a fee.
(On a related note: Peter Laird charges $20 at Cons for a scribble.)

This last item of note is a sketch of Michaelangelo by my personal favorite of the new batch of TMNT artists, Dario Brizuela.

There are many reasons why I love Comic-Con, and thus continue to attend. The TMNT swag is just a small part of it. Seeing and meeting people I respect and look up to is another small part. A big part of it is the awesome friends that I get to hang out with for the duration; for some of them it's the only time I'll see them for the entire year.

But the other thing I love about Comic-Con is just the general atmosphere. For five days a year 125,000 people gather in one space to celebrate what can be summed up as simple geekdom. We are female and male, we are young and old, and we are all races and nationalities and species (can't forget those Klingons). We love comic books and movies and television and over the course of these five days, they love us back. For the minutes or hours that I'm standing in a line, I can hold a conversation with the person standing next to me because, even though we don't know each other and will probably never meet again, we speak the same language: Geek. And I think it's pretty awesome when you can do that with nearly any of the 125,000 attendees (and sappy, I know).

Friday, July 25, 2008

Comic-Con: Thursday & Friday

So much going on here that I haven't had much time to sit and compose anything coherent.

Thursday the TMNT passports made their debut. There are three booths that you run around to to get stamps and eventually throw your name into a fishbowl to enter a giveaway. But if you aren't at Comic-Con, don't fret - the contest being entered here is exactly the same thing you enter yourself in through the newly launched Web site.

Yesterday afternoon myself and Tokka got to briefly meet and converse with TMNT writer Jake Black and TMNT artist Dario Brizuela, both of whom are fantastic people. I also met with Jake again briefly today. He reports that TMNT director Kevin Munroe is wandering the show floor, though I haven't seen him around myself.

Here's a pic of the back of the manhole cover included with the SDCC exclusive Mouser 3-pack:

You can view all of my Comic-Con photos here, although not all are TMNT-related.

25th Anniversary Press Release


25TH ANNIVERSARY AT COMIC-CON INTERNATIONAL is Official Fan Destination for 25th Anniversary

Shell-ebration News, One-of-a-Kind Prizes, Rare Collectibles
and a Special Look at 25 Years of Turtle Power

SAN DIEGO, July 24, 2008 – Mirage Studios, Inc. and 4Kids Entertainment, Inc. announce the launch of an exclusive Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (TMNT) Website, created for the fans who have made everyone's favorite heroes in a half-shell a staple in pop culture for a quarter of a century., unveiled today at Comic-Con International, is the official destination for the Turtle's 25th Anniversary Shell-ebration in 2009. Fans will have the opportunity to register on the site to receive up-to-the-minute 25th Anniversary information and locations for special events, as well as the chance to win rare collectibles and prizes and much more, via the downloadable Turtles widget.

In addition to the launch of the site at Comic-Con, show attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a pre-Shell-ebration Sweepstakes, which they can enter by collecting stamps on a specially crafted TMNT25 passport at several participating partner booths: (4Kids Entertainment/TC Digital Games LLC (Booth #3351), uclick LLC (Booth #1217), and National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA) (Booth #4345). Once all the stamps are collected and the passport tear-sheet is handed in, fans are entered to win a number of special prizes including a signed NECA TMNT collectible toy set, a Raphael costume from Disguise, Inc. and a mobile phone from uclick.

Additionally, by participating in the pre-Shell-ebration Sweepstakes, fans will be automatically entered in an online TMNT Cyber Sweepstakes, where they will have the chance to win rare copies of Gobbledygook, the limited Mirage Studios comic series which previewed the Turtles back in 1984, each signed by Turtles co-creators Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman.

"Launching the TMNT25 Website is an exciting first step for Mirage Studios in the multi-faceted Shell-ebration of our historic milestone," said Gary Richardson, CEO of Mirage Studios. "This will be the go-to place for our fans to log on to reminisce in Turtles' multi-media history, as well as receive the latest news on all the exciting anniversary initiatives in which they can participate."

Peppercom, a strategic communications agency, and its experiential marketing division, Peppercommotions, will manage, as well as the various Shell-ebration events.

"We're confident that the TMNT25 Website will help generate a strong buzz for fans and serve as an important promotional resource for Turtles' licensees, partners and retailers," said Rosalind Nowicki, Executive Vice President, Marketing & Licensing, 4Kids Entertainment. "The Shell-ebration will bring back nostalgic memories, as well as create exciting new experiences for TMNT fans of all ages."

Throughout 2008 and 2009, the TMNT25 team will host several interactive initiatives for fans during the action-packed anniversary, including nationwide tours, events and activities including "Galabungas" – TMNT-style parties in key U.S. cities – to celebrate the TMNT phenomenon throughout the years; and a mobile reunion tour that will travel across the country bringing families and friends together to participate in TMNT-themed events.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles made their world premiere in May 1984, in a comic book created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman and published and distributed by Mirage Studios. A hugely successful TV series quickly followed, along with three successful theatrical films. In 2003, the Turtles were re-introduced to a new generation through a fresh animated television series, a CGI-animated theatrical movie and new merchandising program. The 25th year of TMNT will provide fans with radical, new, stimulating opportunities to experience the Turtles.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Comic-Con: Preview Night

It's been a long day, but we've all survived the monster that has become Preview Night. This used to be a time to run around the Con floor with a smaller crowd, but the crowd was in force tonight.

Tonight's big items came from the NECA booth where the Black & White box set of figures ($50) was for sale along with the Mouser 3-pack ($20). Also on display were three new figures due for release this fall: Shredder, a Foot Soldier (with Utrom), and a Foot Elite.

Kevin Eastman's Bodycount reprint ($20) is a hit as a long and regular line formed at the Heavy Metal booth where Kevin was personally doing detailed and intricate sketches in each one (no additional fee).

Those two stops and buying way too many Doctor Who action figures were literally all I got accomplished tonight (although that's all I was aiming for), so I barely got a look at the Con floor. There's more Turtle goodies hiding around somewhere. The passports weren't out tonight, but supposedly will be tomorrow.

And virtually all of my day tomorrow is dedicated to Doctor Who, so I might not see too much else until Friday. We'll see.

Tales of the TMNT #48 Now Available

Tales of the TMNT #48, “The Decider,” is in comic shops today.

Be sure to check out the fantastic pinup art in this issue by the one and only tokka!!