Hey guys! As you know, we were lucky enough to have a table at last weeks Staple! Independent Media Expo in Austin. Tim and Brea have filled you guys in on the different artists there, and I’m here to talk about a couple of the panels that went on that weekend!! Here we go!
First off, as you all know, I am a huge Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan, and as we told you, Kevin Eastman, one of the creators of the Ninja Turtles, was at Staple! and I was lucky enough to sit in on his Q&A Panel.
First of all, Kevin Eastman is one of the coolest, most down to Earth guys there is. When he first got there I was the third person to buy a book from him, and the first thing I said to him was, “I just want to thank you for a great childhood.” Now, anyone hearing this from a fan of theirs could have gotten weirded out by this statement, but not Kevin Eastman. He was totally cool with that statement, all he said was, “Hey thanks for being a fan.” We then went on to have a conversation about recent Ninja Turtle happenings while he FREE HAND SKETCHED a drawing of Donatello, who is my favorite Turtle, and signed it. Super cool guy.
Anyway, on to Eastman’s panel. It started off by just Eastman sharing stories about how the Turtles came to be, how the Turtle’s origin was a continuance of Dare Devil’s origin, to almost getting sued by Stan Lee for the Turtles’ origin, to his work with Heavy Metal Magazine, to his return to the Turtles within the past year. It was really interesting to hear about all of these things. To be honest, I had no idea how much Eastman, and fellow Turtles creator Peter Laird really took from Dare Devil until he started explaining everything. The fact that Dare Devil’s master was named Stick, so they named the Turtles’ master Splinter. The gang that Dare Devil battled was named The Hand, so the Turtles’ rival gang was The Foot. I could see why Stan Lee was about to sue the two of them, but I’m glad he didn’t.
Something I found very interesting was how Kevin talked about how he and Peter were very protective of the Turtles franchise and didn’t license anything unless they worked very close to the project. Whether it be toys, cereal, movies, and yes, even the “Coming Out of the Shell” musical tour. The best moment of the panel was during a Q&A portion when a woman brought up said tour, and Kevin just blushed and started laughing with embarrassment. According to Eastman, he had no idea that the musical would be as popular as it was and didn’t even want it to happen. But he was assured that it would work, even though it was so very cheesy.
That panel was easily one of the coolest things I’ve even been to. It was so cool to hear what went down during the early days of the Ninja Turtles and it was a great honor to meet one of the men responsible for a huge part of my childhood.
So there you have it. Stay tuned for my recap on the IAWTV panel I went to!!
Laterz ! M-Dawg