“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” in a recent interview with co-creator Kevin Eastman at Denver Comic Con 2018. Dig deep into the origins, how the Turtles were named, and the current run on IDW.
Continued from part one
Did Eastman alter his styles over the years?
How much did Eastman’s styles over the years with the changing technology of print, digital platforms?
“Zero. I’m not that smart. I have such a great appreciation. I’ve done a lot of work in animation. It’s mind-blowing. There’s something about the physicality of pen to paper, and pencil to paper. You sort of feel a certain drag when you’re drawing. I appreciate the incredibly beautiful work of art on a computer, and never imagined the layers and skills; but at the end of the day, there’s no original art. That to me was always important. My father loved museums. He used to take us to museums a lot. Art history was always my favorite subject; even in high school.
How did he come up with the Turtle’s names?
That’s one of the most asked questions is where did I come up with the names for the Turtles? I was such a big fan of art history that in 1980 I did this huge mural and mine was my tribute to Leonardo Di Vinci, and we were sitting around bantering about what should we call these guys? Traditional Asian names seemed appropriate, and NAAA. Why don’t we call them Leonardo, Michelangelo, and Raphael…that was it.! Donatello was almost called named Bernini because I liked Bernini because I liked Bernini much better. We had a two-week discussion about it. A think a coin toss won.”
Current run on IDW and future for the Turtles
“IDW? We were really scared when we did the first issues. IDW acquired the rights for the comic books. They said look, we’ve got the rights to the Turtles do you wanna come down and get involved and consult? I met with Tom Waltz who’s the head writer. He deserves 100% of the credit for what’s become the IDW universe in that the origin story of making them scientists again and putting them in the laboratory. He had this idea to keep all the important heart and soul and the family aspect and everything he loved about the Turtles. I thought it was absolutely fantastic.
I had the absolute best time on the series. It’s the closest thing that I think we’ll ever get to the original series. The attitude and the edge- it was really written for the original fanbase and new older audience. Based on some of the original back and white comic books and added the humor element with the pizza and all the other stuff that came from the cartoon, and we had something for the adults and something for the kids.
If we could do another version of that movie updated in the sense that the Turtles were smaller and kept the same family aspect with a bit more edge to it; I think these audiences today are so much more mature so I think you could put a nice edge on it and still tell a great story without going too far, and I’d love to see that.”