Friday, April 1, 2011

TMNT #1 remade... by fans!

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".)


  1. Hey Pete - I actually did the cover. It was my idea to do the "grim-n-gritty" TMNT #1 cover using the goofy old cartoon Turtles. I worked on it between freelance gigs (children's books etc).

    Glad you liked it! And it's cool to see a piece of my artwork front-and-center on your blog -- just wish it was a piece that wasn't so derivative of YOUR artwork!

  2. Glad you like it, Hopefully there will be more to come. It was an honor paying homage to the TMNT and its creators. I though am slightly embarrassed as my artwork has (IMHO) greatly improved. Thanks for making a post about such and of course thank you for the creation, I did pages 10, 11, and 16.

  3. Hey Peter! I'm pages 7 & 8, and I believe Aaron did a little digital inking to clean up my grungy work, but aside from that this project was the first time in ...gah, a decade? ...that I actually sat down with some pencils and drew something. I'm not a disciplined artist by any stretch, I freehanding everything and haven't grasped lighting/shading, but I was reminded of the simple bliss of watching lines turn into a creation, the zen-like state that art brings to one who typically quashes his inner artist and quelling his soul's yearning because of "real life".

    I get emotional discussing art, so I shall refrain from being to wordy.

    As a child, the Turtles came into my life not too long after my father passed and during the "awkward years" of school, when kids like to poke fun at others, the Turtles were my friends and always there waiting for school to get out so we could go on another adventure! Just after graduating Volume 4 started up and I began to really delve into the Turtles of that medium and came to develop a whole new love of them because of the richness each character had and how "real" (for lack of a better word) the guys felt in the comics.

    Here I am being too wordy. :]

    Allow me to end on this note of thanks to you for your part in creating the Turtles and crafting them into the characters they became.

  4. I was happy to be apart of this project.

    I agree with most of what you said Peter, about a different take on the layout. Using real names instead of handles.

    - I had page 27.

  5. That was a really cool project, I regret finding out about it to late to participate.

    I think there are some other possibly equally cool fan projects coming down the pipe that I am also excited about =)

  6. Thanks, Mr. Laird, I had fun contributing to this volume!


  7. there is one thing I would change with that image. Pasta on the logo sword, or a pizza. IF your going old toon, work in the old tunes rules of that universe. No blood :). OTher than that the cover looks cool

  8. Pretty cool rendition of the original TMNT comic I must say! Some of the illustrations I really liked, while some of them came off very amateur. Regardless, it was great collaborative effort by all parties involved.

  9. So long as we're on the topic, I completed this last month:

  10. "Wil Brendel said...
    So long as we're on the topic, I completed this last month:"

    Very nice! -- PL

  11. @Wil Brendel: Great pic! I really love the character designs. I also like the beefy Raph. Nice touch making him just a little more physically imposing than the others.

  12. -->> i always feel like chopped liver despite and in-spite my hard-work for the fandom over the many many years here.

    Special thanks to Dennis for allowing me to work on this project. It's make that pain a little easier to deal with.

    ~ t

  13. I remember reading about a project similar to this on the technodrome forums. Or is this that same project?

  14. I really enjoyed being a part of this project.

  15. Wow nice!! The turtles look kind of "badass" but also they have their initials in their belts like the original TV series.

  16. Hi Peter!! How are you? I don't remember the name of the episode, all I know it's the last one from Season 3, where the boys and Master Splinter got injured, but they are cured by the utroms and after this episode Season 4 began with "Cousin Sid"

    My question is: Why Michelangelo had to wear crutches instead of using a wheelchair if he had both of his legs broken? I think is impossible to walk when you are like Mikey.

  17. I would like to let you know that the link is dead. Here is an updated link for all to enjoy this great fan remix comic!

    *I did pages 5 & 36