Kevin Eastman to Both Write & Draw TMNT Annual 2012
When it comes to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kevin Eastman has never worked alone. He’s always worked in groups with co-creator Peter Laird and many others at IDW. For nearly 30 years, Eastman has had someone to bounce ideas off of, but that’s about to change. This October, for the first time ever, he’ll be attempting his very own work in the TMNT universe. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Annual 2012 will be both written and drawn solely by Eastman, which is quite an undertaking. It might not sound like such a big deal, but ask any artist who has both written and drawn the artwork for their comic, and they will tell you that it is no easy task. Writing a good script can be difficult on its own, but producing the artwork presents its own challenge. Eastman had the following to say on the subject in an interview with CBR news:
“Honestly, I’ve never done a Turtles story of this length and this size all by myself, ever. It’s really, really, really exciting and it’s really freaky. Working with Peter was awesome because he was such a great craftsman, and I think we learned a lot from each other. Working with Simon Bisley or any other artist I worked with — I love the give and take, I love the back and forth. When you hit those low spots in the storytelling, or those late nights when you need to keep pushing through, you’d have another person on the other end helping prop you up a bit or fill in some of the gaps. So now it’s all on me.”
If anyone is up to the challenge, it’s Eastman. He already knows exactly what he wants to do, and he’s got the a lot of the process planned out. He went on to explain some of the details in the interview, stating “We’ve been thinking about this story for many months, so in issue six we seeded this one character I developed. I said, ‘Why don’t we have this story I want to tell in the annual — center it around a new gang trying to buy their way into the city, around the Shredder and what he’s doing. Shredder’s evolving in our storyline, and some of the other characters are too, so let’s introduce a new gang that sets up somebody who I think can give the Turtles a run for their money.”
It would appear that the co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles still has a lot of steam left in him. Peter Laird may be done with the series, but Eastman seems to have a lot left to tell us about these heroes in a half shell. In fact, he’s so excited for this latest Annual that he’s planning to use some of the original paper stock that he used for the original TMNT comics: “I bought the last 300 sheets of this tinting paper before the company went out of business about 10 years ago. I’m actually drawing on the same paper we used back in the earliest days of the Turtles, so that’s kind of cool and nostalgic. It’ll be this sepia-toned, black-and-white homage to the earliest days of the Turtles with all the nutty Kevin Eastman panels.” If all of this isn’t enough to excite you for the 2012 Annual, I don’t know what will. Shellheads rejoice! We’re about to see some truly classic TMNT action hit comic book store shelves.