Sunday, December 14, 2008

Blast from the Past #50 repost: TMNT as drawn by Jack Kirby!

For this special fiftieth "Blast From The Past", I thought I would choose one of my favorite and most unique pieces, and one that I have Kevin to thank for. I don't know the exact process by which it came to be, but my understanding is that some time in the late 1980's or early 1990's, Jack Kirby did this 10 inch by 15 inch pencil drawing -- his interpretation of the TMNT -- at Kevin's request, and some years later, Kevin (who knew I loved this piece) graciously gave it to me.



As far as I know, this is the only time "The King" ever drew the TMNT... and it's SO Kirby. I love it! -- PL

P.S. This next bit of text was run along with the above when I first posted this "Blast from the Past" entry on the planetracers.com website some years ago. It's obviously dated now, but it contains a few interesting things, so I thought I would include it here.

"UPDATE!
As Dan Berger has already indicated on the official TMNT website (ninjaturtles.com), the first issue of the new TMNT comic book is at the printer, and just two days ago we approved the proof, and they are going ahead and printing it. We have been told that it could be shipping on December 11th, so we'll keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best. Mike Dooney's cover came out great (at least in the proof), and I can't wait to see the finished product.

I messed up big time with a technical aspect of this first new TMNT issue. A bit of background -- when Jim Lawson and I worked on PLANET RACERS, I did all of the lettering on my Mac in QuarkXpress. However, instead of sending the books to the printer as all-digital files, I printed out all of the interior pages as 11 by 17 prints and sent all of those to the printer for them to shoot from (the cover I sent on disk). I did this because I was paranoid about fonts changing, balloons disappearing, art pages changing places, etc. -- all nightmares I had heard from other people who have done their pre-press stuff digitally. But with this new TMNT book, I decided to follow the example of Dan Berger (GUTWALLOW) and Jim Lawson (PALEO) and send the entire thing as a digital file. Unfortunately, I should have checked with Dan on what exact size I should make the pages in Quark -- I didn't, and I ended up having to resize the entire book, page by page, balloon by balloon, text block by text block. It put the delivery of the file to the printer back by at least a day. And now I have to do the same thing with the second issue, which I had also started lettering at the wrong size! Oh well... live and learn.

A couple of days ago, I finally accepted the fact that at the speed I am inking, this book will never come out on a reasonable schedule. Fortunately, Eric Talbot recently moved back to our area and is going to help me out with the inking, starting with issue #3. Thanks, Eric!

Several weeks ago, I had the distinct pleasure of seeing Steve Barron (director of the first TMNT movie) again for several days of meetings here in Northampton, meetings having to do with a potential TMNT project about which I can't really say anything right now. During one of our breaks, I was chatting with Steve about that first TMNT movie, and he mentioned that he had a videotape of his first rough assembly of the film, and he offered to send me a copy. True to his word, Steve got a copy of the tape to me last week, and I had a ball watching it. It is VERY rough, there are a few scenes missing (not many, though), there's no music, no finished sound or voices (curiously, in many of the turtle speaking scenes you can hear two voices - the actor in the turtle suit and the puppeteer -- speaking the same lines simultaneously!). What there IS, though, is some neat stuff that never made it into the final released cut of the film, including several fairly long scenes -- one of which is the comic publisher's office scene intended as the ending of the movie, from which I had only seen one still (I was never sure if the whole scene had been shot). There is also a wonderful extended training scene when the turtles are recuperating at the old farm, as well as many other character bits and pieces which got trimmed.

I asked Steve if he would be willing to work on a director's cut version of the film for a DVD release, and he said "Sure!" Whether or not the film still exists to use for a project like this, I don't know. But it sure would be cool! Maybe it's time to start bugging New Line...

--Peter"

14 comments:

  1. Hey Peter,

    One of the things that I LOVE about the Internet, is that we can post just about anything faster than the studios can release it on DVD.

    Is there any way you could get permission from Steve, and a copy made of that rough tape to bring to Comic con, so we can post some of this stuff online?

    I'm not talking about posting all of it, obviously....but just some of it as a quick 3 minute 'teaser'. Sort of a 'Hey, if you want Warner Brothers to release a Special Edition, contact them here to see more of this stuff..' type of thing.

    It's better than a petition, because if WB sees about 500,000 hits on an un-advertised piece of video, that'll show up as 500,000 sales in their mind and maybe it'll get something rolling.

    If you guys could bring a copy to NYCC, I could have it digitized and brought back on Saturday with my lap top to figure out what to post to youtube... if you guys are up for it and we can get steve's permission...

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  2. -->> ..Not ever a waste of time ..


    ..f8ck, Pete .. Neil .. this news totally rocks..

    ..Pete don't forget tho' .. The Kings contribution on **Turtle Soup # 4 !!

    .. a nice bright patch of good news !!

    And i've been waiting for this larger scan of Jack's forever !!

    Damm Rad !! !!

    >v<

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  3. -->> ..o god that scan is so beautiful.

    Damm look at that detail.

    Thanks again, Peter.



    >v<

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  4. Yeah, Kirby's one page contribution to Turtle Soup #4 made me dream of what a whole TMNT issue featuring the King's talent would have been like. Alas...

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  5. Wow....this is something.

    What an amazing piece of art. I bet Kirby thought the homage to him in the books was pretty darned cool. I always loved how you guys gave him a tip of the hat in such a neat way. (I still want a magic pencil myself. :) )

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  6. When the King has drawn your characters you know they're in a special league. That drawing screams Kirby. The picture Tokka posted is great too, looks like he refined his turtle style more towards what Kevin/Pete were doing whereas this sketch looks more his style from new gods, etc...

    And I I'm still waiting for that TMNT special edition dvd... along with every other TMNT fan in the world.

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  7. You, Kevin Eastman, "The King", and Steve Barron all simultaneously rock.

    *crosses fingers for that special edition*

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  8. Couple of questions Pete:

    1. Is this NEW TMNT comic, a new comic in Volume 4 or the re-released of the classics you were redoing?

    2. Wouldn't it be possible to put the VHS footage on a DVD even if it's not the high quality that the actual film would be? Any kind of bonus footage would be a treat to fans.

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  9. -->>

    >;'

    .. i'm keepin my mouth shut, Neil , Vaughn, Pete ..

    with an aire of trepidation .. >v<

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  10. Newton -

    Easier Done than said with VHS footage :). All you need is a VCR and either a TV Tuner (back in my day, that's how I did it back in 95) or now adays, a DVD recorder.

    The reason why the DVD company might not want to do it is because it takes millions apon millions to not only clean it up, but if they want to go a step further, make it look finished (voice actors, music score, etc)

    But in this day and age, minus the clean up, with the right voice actor contacts a fan can do all this on his computer, easy :).

    Mixing different voice tracks, encoding the video, recording the voice actors (if they know how to get in touch with them)..

    Real Easy to do

    ReplyDelete
  11. "Neil said...
    Hey Peter,

    One of the things that I LOVE about the Internet, is that we can post just about anything faster than the studios can release it on DVD.

    Is there any way you could get permission from Steve, and a copy made of that rough tape to bring to Comic con, so we can post some of this stuff online?

    I'm not talking about posting all of it, obviously....but just some of it as a quick 3 minute 'teaser'. Sort of a 'Hey, if you want Warner Brothers to release a Special Edition, contact them here to see more of this stuff..' type of thing.

    It's better than a petition, because if WB sees about 500,000 hits on an un-advertised piece of video, that'll show up as 500,000 sales in their mind and maybe it'll get something rolling.

    If you guys could bring a copy to NYCC, I could have it digitized and brought back on Saturday with my lap top to figure out what to post to youtube... if you guys are up for it and we can get steve's permission..."

    Neil, I don't own the rights to the movie or the unseen footage, and I'm pretty sure that Steve doesn't either, and as such I don't think it's right for me to post it online or ask someone else to do it. -- PL

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  12. "Newton Gimmick said...
    Couple of questions Pete:

    1. Is this NEW TMNT comic, a new comic in Volume 4 or the re-released of the classics you were redoing?"

    The comic mentioned in this repost of "Blast from the Past #50" -- which was orignally posted sometime in 2002 -- is Volume 4. -- PL

    "2. Wouldn't it be possible to put the VHS footage on a DVD even if it's not the high quality that the actual film would be? Any kind of bonus footage would be a treat to fans."

    It might look weird if inserted into the movie itself, but as a separate "special feature", these clips would be fine, I think. -- PL

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  13. I would dare say that the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie is a classic masterpiece and should really get a new DVD/Blu-Ray edition that includes lots of bonus materials. IMO, the first TMNT movie was as great as Superman or Batman. It was in the 80s/ early 90s and it's not easy to get all those special effects. The puppets and turtles suits were very expensive and it's something that the new age of movies lacks when CGI is much more common.

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  14. I'd love to have a deluxe featuring those scenes. Maybe you and Barron could record a commentary too.

    Looking at the exclusive DVD bonuses that exist these days, it strikes me you could even add an incentive bonus with the right contracts, including a different exclusive figure variant or poster at certain stores.

    ReplyDelete