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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Guest Editorial: My Affection for Four Pizza-loving Turtles

The following editorial was submitted by Niklas Nowak, translated from the original German. This editorial has been edited for length and small grammar corrections. You can read it in it's entirety on Niklas's blog, here.

If you would like to submit an editorial, please e-mail the completed piece to me for consideration. Enjoy!

My Affection for Four Pizza-loving Turtles. Or: How My English Teacher Gave Me a Verbal Kick in the Teeth

It was probably in fifth or sixth grade when my world broke down. The English terms for animals were the order of the day. Usually, you are already faced with a lot of those expressions before the explicit discussion in school education. For example, through the titles of Hollywood blockbusters, cartoon shows, etc. Thanks to Disney comics with a certain drake and frequent visits to fast food outlets, ”cat,” “dog,” “duck” and similar specimens of the Anglo-Saxon fauna were well known to me. But since donkey’s years I have been looking forward to the moment that we would pick up the word “turtle” in English class, and, maybe even more important, that we would be allowed to use that word. But then, with all of her might, my English teacher gave me a verbal kick in the teeth. In the pages of our textbook we became acquainted to a little turtle that my teacher mentioned as “Trundle the TORTOISE.” She did not know what a cruel thing she did to me by forcing us to use [this term] and not ... “turtle.” If there would have been a shell on my back, just at this very instant, I would have crawled into it. Certainly, combined with the declaration to never come out again.

As Swift as a Ninja, as Grandiose as an American

Since my first days in kindergarten, to me there has been nothing more tuff, more bold, more marvelous than the “Turtles,” [particularly] the “Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles”. (Please note: They bear the original name “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” in the USA; in Europe, due to dubious aspects of youth protection, the “Ninja” was replaced by “Hero.”) The Turtles were the reason for the factor that the turtle became my favorite animal. Plenty of people see the turtle as a sluggish and coward midget, someone that holes up when the going gets tough. In my view, the turtle was a complex creature. Admirable, as I saw it as a big talking, in Japanese martial-arts-proficient and pizza-eating reptile. If you like, you can mark the Turtles as globalized-paradox, pop-cultural beings of the early 1990s; far Eastern consciousness and body control on the one hand, American pomposity and (unhealthy) culinary art on the other hand. Is there one word for all those facets? There sure is: Cowabunga!

Heroes through the Ages

“I was young and I needed the money” is not the adequate saying to outline my enthusiasm for the Turtles. More probably, “I was DARN young and had (yet) no idea of how the world works.” Industry realized the commercial potential of the Turtles and expanded it to a kiddie franchise that caught me. Balls to the wall. At the beginning of the 20th Century, children used to pick up on bygone eras to choose their heroes: knights, pirates, cowboys and the like. In the era of plastic commerce (an economic phenomenon that increasingly identified baby-tooth-bearers and their parents as a financially potent target group), explicit figures of franchises fill that role. In the 1970s, “Star Wars” served as a forerunner, numerous Western (for example, the “Transformers” and, of course, the Turtles) and Eastern (“Dragon Ball [Z], “Yu-Gi-Oh,” etc.) [examples] have followed. The fresh heroes answer to the names of Han-Solo and Son-Goku. I was right in the thick of it, chose four brave shell-bearers as my heroes and felt like a million dollars (pardon, pizzas). This was perfect material for my childish imagination, but a constant robbery of my piggy bank/my parents’ wallets. Maybe that was the reason for the fact that——partially due to grief about my merchandise purchases, partially due to empathy about my enthusiasm——in a somehow kind way my father called the Turtles, “Trottels” (a pun of the German word “Trottel,” which means “jerk” in English, and the original expression). Incarnations of Turtle action figures came (and still come) by the score; whether classic, with adjustable limbs (for the ninja moves), with a transforming-feature, or as robotic hybrids. Furthermore, you chose (and still choose) between myriad vehicles, armored fighting vehicles, flying objects, and headquarters that maximize the fun. I remember that there even was a freaky Turtle action figure with a kind of whistle on the back of its shell. It was not a very brilliant idea of one of my friends to select just this figure as his “Sandbox Turtle.” You could barely here a sound from that poor Turtle.

To claim that we’ve come “Turtle full circle” with the latest cinema-reboot would be a lie (particularly as in financial terms, the movie is a roaring success, which is kind of surprising as there are a lot of critical voices, too). Precisely that is the amazing thing about the Turtles: They were and are never completely gone. Sure, the 1990s-hype-days are all over. But nevertheless, every now and then there pops up a new cartoon or animation show, a movie, a video game and piles of toys. And, of course, a vast number of reprints, collected volumes and special editions of the original comic series. Turtles can attain a damn high age. For the average turtle a lack of perseverance and physical power can be compensated by cool-headed acceptance of its inconspicuousness and a Methuselah-like age. On top of that, due to their mutation-strengthened past, the Turtles can do more than a simple rasping sound so that their chances are not too small to be a long-run member of popular culture. Provided that the Turtles will try to equal a prominent companion of their species, they will indulge in popularity up to approximately 2159. I probably cannot compete with that. Hopefully, the same holds true for Trundle the tortoise.

Monday, February 23, 2015

TMNT Nominated for Multiple Kids' Choice Awards

The nominees have been announced and voting is open for the 2015 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards.

This year, TMNT is representing in four categories.

The Nickelodeon cartoon series is nominated for Favorite Cartoon. Last year's blockbuster movie is nominated for Favorite Movie. Will Arnett, who played Vern Fenwick in the movie, is nominated for Favorite Movie Actor. And Megan Fox, who starred as April O'Neil in the movie, is nominate for Favorite Movie Actress.

You can go here to vote, and you can vote as often as you like!

The 2015 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards will be presented on March 28.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

IDW TMNT 2012 Annual Deluxe Hardcover Time Capsule Edition Now Available

After a slight delay (and a price reduction!), IDW's Deluxe Hardcover Time Capsule edition of Kevin Eastman's 2012 TMNT Annual book is now available.

This exclusive, hand-signed and numbered, tray cased book comes packaged one original layout and blue line page by Eastman. Each book will also include one of the actual pencils used by Eastman to create the issue, complete with Certificate of Authenticity from IDW Limited.

The book is limited to 60 copies and is now available for $395.00.

If that is a little too steep for you, you can pick up the Signed & Numbered Edition for $125. This edition has no original artwork or pencil, but is signed by Kevin Eastman.

Nerdy Show Talks Mutanimals

Nerdy Show, a weekly talk and humor podcast that embraces all nerdy topics, dedicated their latest episode to the TMNT.
Hear TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman discuss the series’ legacy of characters and the many forms the Turtles’ universe has taken (from a Q&A hosted at the 2014 Heroes Con). Then hang out with writer Paul Allor and artist Andy Kuhn, the  team behind the revival of one of the TMNT's most revered supporting titles: Mutanimals.
Check it out!

Monday, February 9, 2015

ToonSeum in Pittsburgh Presents "TMNT: 30 Years of Turtle Power" Exhibit

Open now through April 26, the ToonSeum in Pittsburgh, PA, is presenting a retrospective exhibit that celebrates the 30-year history of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

This exhibition was curated by Andrew Farago of the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco. He is the author of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History, published by Insight Editions in 2014.

If you're in the area, be sure to check it out! And watch the ToonSeum Facebook page for possible events.

945 Liberty Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Adults/Children 13 and over $8.00
Children over 6 are $4.00
Children 5 and under are free!
Seniors, college students, veterans and active military are $7.00

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

IDW Limited to Release TMNT 2012 Annual Deluxe: Time Capsule Edition

On Thursday, February 5th, IDW Limited will be offering a brand-new way to experience the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the artwork of their co-creator, Kevin Eastman. 
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2012 Deluxe: Time Capsule Edition is an exclusive, hand-signed and numbered, tray-cased book that comes packaged with Eastman's original layout and blue line sketch for one page of the final published book. Each book will contain a completely unique layout and blue line sketch, showing the step-by-step process from idea to execution. 
This exclusive collectible offers a new level of insight into Eastman's creative process and is unparalleled in rareness and collectibility. 
Limited to 60 copies, each book will be available for a price of $495. 
A 225-copy, limited-edition, signed and slipcased hardcover of this title will be available for $125. 
This item will be posted for sale on Thursday the 5th at 10am pacific time. 
Follow @IDWLimited for updates on this and other titles.

Absolutely gotta have one? You can private message the IDW Limited Facebook page to reserve a copy before the sale begins!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

TMNT 2012, Episode 3.10 "Serpent Hunt"

Tomorrow's new episode reveals the latest incarnation of Bebop and Rocksteady!


Episode 3.10 "Serpent Hunt"
The Turtles look for Karai, who's also being hunted by Zeck and Steranko.

Watch it at 11am Eastern/10am Central time Sunday. Check your local listings to be sure when it's on in your town!