I received a Facebook message today from one Dennis Powder Kennedy, a TMNT fan who wanted to alert me to a recently-completed TMNT fan project -- a redoing (or "remix") of the first issue of the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" comic book which Kevin Eastman and I originally published back in 1984. As he put it in his message:
"We collectively remade the very first issue of the comics, all in our own style. 1 page per person, though some had 2 or 3. We wanted to do this not only as a fun collaborative project but also to show our appreciation to you & Kevin for the vast TMNT media & love we've received from you both over the years."
I checked it out, and it is quite nifty. The art ranges from very clever and polished to pretty crude, but there is, overall, a nice balance. Some of the more over-the-top changes (like the Shredder's eyeball popping out of his head when Donatello hits him with his bo staff) I could have done without, but for the most part it is a faithful recreation of that first issue of TMNT.
Maybe TOO faithful.
I was kind of hoping that it would be a very different take on what we did in that first issue -- not so much in the story, the dialogue and such, but the layouts and the drawings. In fact, back in 2008 and 2009, when we were working on stuff for the 25th anniversary of TMNT, one of the ideas I brought up several times was essentially this -- but the plan would be to get some established comics artists to each take a page form that origin story and render it in their particular fashion. That project never came together, for a variety of reasons, so it is cool to see it emerge in this fan-created way.
But it is pretty much a shot-for-shot remake of the original. There is nothing wrong with that per se -- I was just hoping for a more divergent approach.
(And it would have been nice to have the pages numbered... and to see actual names in the credits, instead of just Internet "handles".)
Still, it is an impressive amount of work, and certainly flattering to both me and Kevin and our little black and white comic from almost twenty-seven years ago. I appreciate the sincere sentiment behind all the work, and thank everyone who worked on it. -- PL
Here's where it can be found online, in PDF form:
(Note: The cover credit is given as "Cartoonistaaron", and I don't know who that really is, so I guess the copyright line for the above artwork should be "©2011 Cartoonistaaron".)