Kevin Eastman gained fame as the co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Peter Laird. He would go on to found creator-friendly Tundra Publishing, which gained much acclaim during its short history. He is currently Publisher and Editor-In-Chief of Heavy Metal. In August, he returns to his roots with IDW’s new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series, along with co-writer Tom Waltz and artist Dan Duncan. Westfield’s Roger Ash checked in with Eastman to learn more about this project.
Westfield: What drew you back to the Turtles?
Kevin Eastman: Besides convention sketches I haven’t really done anything with the TMNT’s since roughly 1996, when I did the Bodycount book with Simon Bisley–until some of the guys working on the new TMNT movie asked me to do some concept art–and I had a COMPLETE blast drawing the guys again–I seriously didn’t realize how much I missed them.
So, when my good friends at IDW, Scott Dunbier and Ted Adams, reached out and asked if I’d like to do some alternative covers on the new series–I not only jumped at the chance, but I stuck my whole foot in the door and said YES and can I come play with you guys on the stories too?
BUT, I have to tell you Tom Waltz and the crew down there already remastered a vision I thought was awesome on every level–and feel like the luckiest kid on the planet that I get to come play in their sandbox for a while!
Westfield: The solicitation says this new series will be “true to the spirit of the original comics.” What does that mean to you?
Eastman: What that means to me is these guys get it, IDW and the entire crew, in partnership with Nickelodeon wanted to keep as much as the original spirit as possible–yet open doors to some cool ideas I totally flipped over! I can’t wait to see this land in front of some of the hardcore fans–they’re going to dig it, as well as it is going to open the flood gates to a whole new audience of new fans.
Westfield: A number of favorite characters will be returning. Will you be introducing new characters as well?
Eastman: Yes, and YES, and that is all I’m going to say for now… except I haven’t been this excited about the storyline since the original days Peter and I were cooking on all burners!
Westfield: What can readers look forward to in upcoming issues?
Eastman: I honestly wish I could be more specific, but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. I will say fans will see some SERIOUS action sequences, plot twists and turns fans will be losing their minds over (in the best possible way)–but most of all you’ll see the creative team on this book having the time of their lives!
Westfield: Are there any other projects you’re working on that you’d like to mention?
Eastman: I have a number of cool things going on in the Heavy Metal world–pop over to www.heavymetal.com for that news, but as far as right now I’m back to all things Turtles and can say it has been a decade or more since I have had this much fun drawing.
Westfield: Any closing comments?
Eastman: I just want to give a shout out to all my old buddies, BUT especially my new friends down at IDW–these guys are playing at the top of their game, and have made an old hand like me feel like one of the boys from meeting one!
The spirit and the drive there to create stories THEY want to read as much as the fans are going to want to shines through–complete with the clouds parting, the sun beaming through, and more than a few angels singing in the background!
I’m having a FREAKING blast!
And don’t miss the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Ultimate Edition HC!