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TMNT | Eastman and Laird – Working Artists

by Zach Gasior

With all the nostalgia and fandom that goes along with the Turtles, it’s sometimes too easy to forget that Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird are both still very much active in the arts and comics communities.  For proof, look no further than the personal websites of both co-creators!


Before talking about these sites, let’s be clear:  it would be pretty easy for both Eastman and Laird to sit back on their laurels and retire, but if you ever needed proof that the guys behind TMNT are artists to the core, their websites should put any doubt to rest.  Carl Jung once said, in so many words, that it is the art that makes the artist (as the artist makes the art – wrap your head around that for a while), and the Turtle’s co-creators’ websites make that pretty evident.


Here at Teenagemutantninjaturtles.com, we’ve linked to Peter Laird’s blog before, but it’s worth noting that you can keep up on his exploits, adventures, and creations on Palblog (Peter Allan Laird Blog) at http://plairdblog.blogspot.com.  His blog often features photo highlights of signings, and a lot of editorial about what he’s doing, where he is, and what he’s thinking about.  It’s a stimulating glimpse into the mind of such an influential arts figure.


Kevin Eastman’s site at http://www.kevineastmanstudios.com, is more commercial, and rather excitingly highlights links to eBay auctions for original TMNT artwork.  That’s right – original TMNT artwork, on eBay, as in for sale.  In addition to eBay, Eastman’s site is interwoven with Heavy Metal magazine, for which Eastman is the editor and publisher.


Both men are working artists – In a 1993 interview, Peter Laird opined that he had been Turtle-bound for the 9 years since first co-creating the turtles, but he has since been freed up to work on other projects.  He continues to be active with his largely TMNT-funded Xeric foundation, and has branched out with a few productions (Stupid Heroes, Planet Racers).


Eastman is arguably the more public of the two – he purchased, and continues to publish and edit, Heavy Metal magazine in 1992, which he originally intended to cross-promote with a new post-Turtles comic project called Tundra.


The interesting thing about both men is that despite not reaching their earlier commercial success, both are still actively producing art and staying involved in the comics and creative communities.  There’s a lesson here for any would-be artists in Turtle fandom: do it because you love it – Eastman and Laird do.

Original TMNT Action Figures, TMNT, www.teenagemutantninjaturtles.com

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