Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blast from the Past #77 repost: Iron-on TMNT group shot with logo

I’ve always liked this art done for a t-shirt iron-on back in 1984. We based this on a piece of black and white art Kevin and I did for promotion of the first issue of the TMNT comic. I’m pretty sure we both inked on a pencil drawing by Kevin, and then Kevin colored it. It’s one of the first things we ever did showing the turtles in color.

This image is actually a "flipped" version of the original art, which we did with the logo in reverse, so that when the iron-on was applied to a shirt, the logo would read properly. These iron-on's were fun to do -- we made them at a copy shop in Portsmouth, NH which had the first color copier we'd ever seen -- but even when applied perfectly, they didn't last too long. After a few washings, they started to crack and peel and look pretty bad. -- PL


  1. If this was one of the first colorizations of the TMNT, do you recall any discussions pertaining to the choice of color for the turtles, their masks, or their gear?

  2. I noticed Don has a katana never noticed in the black and white version or two toned version cover :P

  3. -->> ..modern processes make the prints hold up much better nowadays.

    Perhaps this image could find it's way into the ' TMNT Retro ' line for new shirts to be made & a higher quality run.

  4. *seconds Dave's suggestion*

    But it's so cool that even then you guys were finding ways to do stuff that is taken for granted these days.

    My students were impressed with just tracing, coloring with fabric crayons, and then watching their portraits of famous African-Americans go from the colored page to the kerchief via the iron I was using.

    I never had one of these, but I do remember those days when you could iron on stuff like that.

  5. "Blogger Wild Goose said...

    If this was one of the first colorizations of the TMNT, do you recall any discussions pertaining to the choice of color for the turtles, their masks, or their gear?"

    I recall that around the time we were working on that first issue, a wacky comic book titled "Skateman", drawn (mostly) by the great Neal Addams had just been published. It was a pretty bad book, but it provided Kevin and me with much amusement. In fact, the Shredder MIGHT have been named "Grateman", if we had gone with our original inspiration (the cheese grater Kevin slipped over his hand one night while washing dishes). The "Grateman" name was also a small nod to the "Skateman" character.

    One other "tip of the hat" to "Skateman" was our choice of red bandanas for the Turtles -- "Skateman" also wore a red bandana, although his was, if memory serves, more of an over-the-head "do-rag" style.

    We always assumed the Turtles' belts, wristbands, kneepads and scabbards would be brown leather (it just seemed to make sense). And the basic colors for the Turtles' bodies were inspired by those of the many pet-shop turtles we'd seen in our lives. -- PL

  6. Peter,

    Well I'm glad you guys chose red for the bandana just because it is the complimentary colour to green and makes the eye look straight to the turtles faces - Gavin Wainwright, Australia.

    Please check out my own detailed original comic at

  7. I have this and the Michaelangelo transfer I ordered from the original comics, never used it!