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‘TMNT: Banished’ fan film kicks off Indiegogo campaign

tmnt-banished

Following largely positive response to his teaser for a darker take on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Benjamin Eck has launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund his short film TMNT: Banished.

In the live-action fan film, Raphael banished by Splinter after his “uncontrollable violence” begins to pose a threat to his family. Accompanied by Casey Jones, he takes refuge in Los Angeles, where “he will quickly discover that he’s not New York City’s only secret hiding on the West Coast.”

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In the weird ’90s, the Ninja Turtles paid a musical visit to Oprah

turtles-oprah

When Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles debuted in 1984, I was far too wrapped up in the full-color adventures of The New Teen Titans, Uncanny X-Men and New Mutants to pay much attention to their black-and-white escapades. And when the heroes in a half shell made the leap first to animated television and then to live-action film, I considered my self too old to follow along. And that’s unfortunate, because it means I missed the 1990 appearance by Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo on The Oprah Winfrey Show, a proposition so ridiculous that it requires video proof to be believed.

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‘TMNT: Banished’ teaser offers peek at fan’s dark reimagining

tmnt-banished

Even as Paramount Pictures begins its promotional push for the Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Los Angeles filmmaker Benjamin Eck is offering a glimpse of his own reimagining of the heroes in a half shell in the teaser for TMNT: Banished.

The planned short fan film is considerably darker than what most Turtles devotees might expect, with Raphael banished by Splinter after his “uncontrollable violence” begins to pose a threat to his family. Accompanied by Casey Jones, he takes refuge in Los Angeles, “he will quickly discover that he’s not New York City’s only secret hiding on the West Coast.”

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Book to retrace history of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

tmnt-ultimate visual historyTo mark the 30th anniversary of the heroes in a half shell, Insight Editions is releasing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History, by Andrew Farago.

Featuring a foreword by co-creator Peter Laird, the 192-page hardcover is billed as “the complete, never-before-told story of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” from their birth as a black-and-white comic book by Laird and Kevin Eastman to their success as a multimedia franchise that includes animated television series, live-action movies, video games, toys and clothing.

Farago, curator of the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco, interviews everyone from Eastman and Laird to puppeteer Brian Henson to Vanilla Ice. The book also feature a range of inserts, including fan club letters, the first press release from Mirage Studios, and reprint of the first TMNT comic.

Priced at $50, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History is set for release in June.

Kevin Eastman voices ‘Ice Cream Kitty’ on Sunday’s ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman contributed to tomorrow’ episode of the cartoon series in a unique way — he’ll voice the character of Ice Cream Kitty, a kitty made of ice cream.

According to US Today, Ice Cream Kitty gains its powers when it eats ice cream mixed with mutagen, and it “turns into the Turtle’s secret weapon.”

Eastman’s appearance on the show is just one way the TMNT’s 30th anniversary is being celebrated. A March 14 episode reunites the voice cast from the original cartoon — Cam Clarke, Townsend Coleman, Barry Gordon and Rob Paulsen. Meanwhile, an anniversary special being released by IDW will reunite Eastman with Turtles co-creator Peter Laird, who worked together on the cover. The Turtles will also be featured this year in Comic-Con International’s souvenir book, which spotlights various comics and pop culture anniversaries.

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Eastman & Laird reteam for ‘TMNT’ 30th anniversary

tmnt specialCreators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird are marking the 30th anniversary of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in May by collaborating on a cover for IDW Publishing’s special issue. It’s the first time in more than 20 years that the two have worked together on the property that launched a multimedia empire.

“Working on the TMNT comics with the wonderful and amazing IDW team over the last three years reminded me how much I missed and loved the four green guys,” Eastman said in a statement. “Getting to work with my co-creator Peter Laird again is the icing on the cake — and then some! It really took me back 30 years, to the earliest days, with the fondest memories, and why we got into this business in the first place.”

Debuting in 1984 as a black-and-white self-published comic, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles began as a parody of Cerebus, Daredevil, New Mutants and Ronin. However, the property soon spawned animated TV series, movies, video games and endless merchandise. Laird, who in 2008 completed a buyout of Eastman’s interests in TMNT and Mirage Studios that began eight years earlier, struck a deal in 2009 for Viacom to purchase the property for a reported $60 million.

IDW’s 48-page 30th Anniversary Special features new short stories by such creators as Dean Clarrain, Chris Allan, Gary Carlson, Frank Fosco and Jim Lawson.

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Comics A.M. | Festival celebrates cartoon library re-opening

Grand Opening Festival of Cartoon Art

Grand Opening Festival of Cartoon Art

Events | The Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University steps into the spotlight for the Grand Opening Festival of Cartoon Art, which celebrates the library’s move to a new 30,000-square-foot home on campus. The library’s extensive collection includes more than 300,000 original comic strips, 29,000 comic books, 45,000 books and 2,400 boxes of manuscripts, personal papers and the like. The festival, held today through Sunday, includes such guests as Eddie Campbell, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Herandez, Jeff Smith, Paul Pope, Hilary Price, Kazu Kibuishi and Dylan Meconis. [The Associated Press, The Columbus Dispatch, Columbus Alive]

Creators | Art Spiegelman talks about history, Maus, and being the creator of Maus: “I have to keep moving as best I can through the shadow of something that I’m glad I had pass through me.” [Tablet]

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Nickelodeon’s ‘Turtles’ products rake in $475 million in retail sales

ninja turtles

Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles products have grossed more than $475 million in retail sales since the latest animated series premiered in September 2013. The announcement, made this week at the Brand Licensing Europe show in London, comes just four years after the cable network’s parent company Viacom bought the property for a reported $60 million.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, about $250 million of those sales come from the United States, with the remainder coming from overseas markets, where the Turtles are just as huge. They’re the top action figures in Australia, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and, yes, the United States (where Nickelodeon says they make up 15 percent of the action-figure market).

“Nothing’s bigger,” Pam Kauffman, the network’s president of consumer products, told the trade paper. “We are beating Iron Man, Batman, WWE.”

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BBQ, interrupted: Check out this TMNT fan comic

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Caleb Goellner and Buster Moody, two of the creators behind Task Force Rad Squad, have finished the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan comic they told me about when I interviewed them in May. Moody has posted the entire story on his blog, where you can also download it in PDF or CBZ formats.

The story revolves around the annual Foot Clan barbeque; Shredder hosts all the TMNT villains for some fun and grub, until five uninvited guests show up. If you download the .pdf, if it also includes the same story in black and white, which old-school Turtles fans should appreciate.

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SDCC ’13 | IDW Publishing rolls out Comic-Con exclusives

idw exclusives

A limited edition of the Artist’s Edition: Best of EC Covers Portfolio, two new Locke & Key pewter replicas and a glitter variant for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic #9 are among the highlights of IDW Publishing’s exclusive merchandise for Comic-Con International.

All of the convention-exclusive items will be available at the publisher’s booth, along with limited advance copies of the highly anticipated Superman: The Silver Age Newspaper Dailies, Vol. 1, and Berkeleyworks: The Art of Berkeley Breathed: From Bloom County and Beyond.

See the full rundown below:

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Socks of the Day | George H.W. Bush’s Superman socks

george bush

Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush is known for several things — some good, some … not so good — but recently, he’s established a reputation as sock aficionado. Not just any socks, though: The more colorful, and the mouth outlandish they are, the more Bush 41 seems to like them.

For the introduction of the Houston Texans’ cheerleading squad in April, he donned the stars and stripes, and for the dedication of his son President George W. Bush’s library in May, he broke out a pink pair (with polka dots). So what did he choose for his 89th birthday on Wednesday?

Superman socks, of course. If you can’t tell from the above photo, circulated by Bush’s spokesman, they’re these Superman Cape Crew Socks, complete with red trunks, yellow belt, S emblem and, yes, a cape.

If the former president is considering another comics theme for his 90th birthday,we’d like to cast an early vote for these novel Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Masked Crew Socks:

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‘Face Your Doom’ with new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle shirts

tmnt-shirt

If you’re looking for some T-shirt on the halfshell, Threadless has you covered, as they’ve released 15 shirts featuring the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles — as well as Shredder, Krang, Splinter and other characters from the comics and TV show. The Turtles join a growing number of shirts based on comics and/or cartoons at Threadless, which already include Marvel superheroes and various other Disney properties.

The above shirt, “Face Your Doom!!” by Matthew Skiff, is probably my favorite, and I’ve included a few more I liked below.

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Behold the terror of ‘Scientifically Accurate Ninja Turtles’

tmnt-scientifically-accurat

A few months ago, the folks behind ADHD, Fox’s upcoming late-night animation block, haunted our dreams with “Scientifically Accurate Spider-Man” — “Lanky arms and little mask, his web erupts from out his ass” — and now they’re back to turn on you off Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles faster than you can say “Michael Bay.”

If you’re of delicate constitution or work in a place where cartoon images of reptile genitalia are frowned upon, you may want to skip this one. However, if you have the intestinal fortitude, and an understanding boss, then by all means, watch the video below for the horror that is the well-endowed, deaf, hissing, salmonella-transmitting Heroes in a Half Shell.

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Comics A.M. | Eisner entries due; Morrison talks Wonder Woman

Eisner Awards

Eisner Awards

Awards | A last-minute reminder: Today is the deadline for Eisner Awards submissions. [Eisner Awards]

Creators | Grant Morrison looks back on his run on Action Comics, which ends today with the release of Issue 18, and touches upon Multiversity and his long-discussed Wonder Woman project: “This is some of the most fun I’ve had in a long time, because it’s a completely different type of comic book. Usually I don’t do masses of research, but for Wonder Woman, I’ve actually been working my way through the entire history of feminism. I want this to be fucking serious, you know? I want this to be really, really good, to reflect not only what women think, but what men think of women. I’m trying to do something really different from what’s been done with the character before. That one’s been amazing fun, because it’s nothing like anything I’ve ever done before.” [Entertainment Weekly]

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Activision announces new ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ game

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Activision has announced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, a downloadable game inspired by Nickelodeon’s hit CG-animated series — which is itself, of course, based on the comic created nearly three decades ago by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird.

Developed by Red Fly Studio (Thor: God of Thunder, Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II), the third-person brawler will allow gamers to experience four-player online co-op play as Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael battle the Foot Clan in New York City.

Teenage Mutant Turtles: Out of the Shadows will debut this summer for digital download on for digital download on Xbox LIVE Marketplace, PlayStation Network, and PC via Steam.

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