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TMNT Review: Kevin Eastman Notebook Series: 2014 Annual

This week has brought us one of the more unique Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles books ever published. IDW has published the first-ever Kevin Eastman Notebook Series: 2014 Annual, which is an incredible look into the creative mind of Kevin Eastman.

Kevin Eastman Notebook Notebook Series: 2014 Annual

Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird published the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic in 1984. Since then, after a shuffling of intellectual property, Kevin Eastman is back working on the current IDW TMNT comic book series. In order to better understand what goes into making a comic book, this special hardcover book is a reproduction of the original concept notebook pages Kevin Eastman created while writing the TMNT 2014 Annual issue with writer, Tom Waltz.

The Kevin Eastman Notebook Series: 2014 Annual contains two major types of sections. The majority of the book features original concept art, page layouts, and thoughts from Eastman, himself. These pages are definitely the most interesting part of the Notebook Series. You really get a sense for what Eastman is thinking while creating each page, and it is interesting to see him criticize or improve ideas with little notes, such as “lips too big,” scribbled on the corners of pages. From these pages, it is evident how much work goes into creating a comic book, and it is awesome being able to see the early character sketches and ideas. The remainder of the book consists of scans of large orange sticky notes. These are general page comments, such as major plot points, proposed sound effects, and concept ideas that Eastman probably had while drawing the more detailed pages. These two halves help show a diverse perspective into the creativity behind TMNT.

Although this book reveals a lot of the personality and thoughts Eastman had while writing the issue, it would have been nice if there were a few pages of text within the book. An introductory page or retroactive reflections by Eastman would have gone a long way. This book just throws you straight into the art without any explanation, which removes some of the nice personality the series has continued to show. The handwriting can be a little hard to read at times and it would have been interesting for Eastman to describe his thought process, not just leaving it up to the reader to decipher. For a casual TMNT comic reader, this book may be one better left skipped. However, if you are an avid TMNT enthusiast, have ever dreamed of making your own comic, or enjoy Eastman’s art, then this will make an excellent addition to any Turtles collection.

The Kevin Eastman Notebook Series: 2014 Annual is available at comic and book retailers February 10th, 2016.

The Author

Ian Gaudreau

Ian Gaudreau

Goongala! My name is Ian Gaudreau and for the past few years, TMNT has become a serious hobby of mine. I have been a fan of the Turtles since I was a kid, but I became attached to their fascinating comic book history. I am a huge comic book fan, and the Turtles are my all-time favorite story. My primary focus is the current IDW publishing run, but I am familiar with most TMNT iterations. My job here is to share all that I have learned and give you my insight and opinion to the monthly comic books! If you would like me to review something, I would love to know what it is!

You can read me @iangaudreau

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