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Submitted on
July 12, 2011


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This is where it all started...

Tue Jul 12, 2011, 5:21 PM
What's up deviantART! I'm Kevin Eastman, Co-Creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I figured it would be fun to share some of my story, and grow from there on my deviantART account.

This is where it all started.

Tmnt #1 by KevineastmanDover, New Hamshire. 1983. This is the house where Pete and I created The Turtles.

Tmnt #2 by KevineastmanThis was the very chair that I sat in in, in the shared studio space with Peter, and late one night I did a sketch of a Turtle standing upright, a mask on, nun chucks and dubbed him a Ninja Turtle! That was enough to kickstart the brainstorming session where we had to come up with the story to tell who they came to be!

Tmnt #3 by Kevineastman We worked on the 40 page origin story from the fall of 1983 to late spring 1984, and when it was finished, and printed--we had all the books shipped to our house on Union Street where we made furniture out of them, because we didn't think we ever sell them all! 

Tmnt #4 by Kevineastman
May 5th, 1984 was the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Comic Convention where we premiered the very first issue! I think we sold a couple dozen, and a lot of those were to family members that came from all over the state of Maine down to the show!

Tmnt #5 by KevineastmanAfter we finished the first issue we had all these awesome fans writing, "Hey, when are you going to do a second issue?!" Well, we figured we'd better come up with a second story and get on the job! Here's me inking on a page in Peter's studio in the fall of 1984!
Tmnt #6 by KevineastmanBy February, the drawing was done and so was the printing--when the books arrived in the studio, we could help but pose a stuff Turtle doll Peter's sister Chris made for him on top of the first box we opened! 

Tmnt #9 by KevineastmanBy the sumer of 1985, we had done a lot of signings and smaller conventions--but we finally made the pilgrimage to the biggest convention in the states, the San Diego Comic Con! Here's Pete posing in front of the old Civic Center where it used to be held. 

Tmnt #10 by Kevineastman
Here we are, the following year, 1986, shopping all the recent issues up to Raphael at that time--and doing sKetches for $5 each--most all the money at the end of the show we would then run around and buy as many old comics we were missing from our collection before getting on the plane back home. 
Tmnt #11 by Kevineastman
Year after year we kept coming back to the con--this year (2011) will be my 27th year there, and over te years, we met many awesome people--like in this one, here's my first mini comics publisher--Clay Geerdes!

Tmnt #12 by Kevineastman
Here's a great candid shot of Frank Miller and Lynn Varley during the Ronin years--they were still easily accessible to fans at the show. He was a great guy, very open about what he was doing back then. 
Tmnt #13 by KevineastmanOne of my best friends from those days that I sill hang out with today is Mark Bode, son of the famous Underground Cartoonist, Vaughn Bode! Mark and I went on to work on several TMNT stories together---maybe we'll get to do another one someday!

Tmnt #14 by Kevineastman
Peter hanging out with Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Saki (center) and fellow cartoonist Jim Groat. 
Tmnt #15 by KevineastmanA highlight, after several years at the convention was meeting Jack Kirby and buying the original art of some of our favorite Kirby stories--Kamandi for me, the Demon for Peter! DC Publisher, Julie Swartz is doing the peace sign in the background! 

Tmnt #17 by KevineastmanHere's the wild and crazy zoo crew--all the original Mirage Studios gang, having a few to many beers after the show, and generally taking the edge off a busy day--because we'd all be back signing in the morning! 

Tmnt#7 by Kevineastman
And of course there's the bed diving---every year at the show Peter and I would make sure the beds would hold up to wild and crazy room parties--and the only way to do that was run from across the room, jump as high as you can, and dive on the bed! Here's Pete go...
Tmnt#8 by KevineastmanAnd here's my turn! Can't wait to do it again this again this year--I have to pass the ritual on to my kids after all! 

... to be continued.

(Prepping for Comicon 2011, see you guys there next week!)  

Add a Comment:
HyperKoneko Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2011  Student Traditional Artist
Yeah, I grew up watching the show. Something Michelangelo would say: Man, those were some good times, good times... :D
SouthDesviado Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2011  Student Digital Artist
Wow seeing this is soo cool. The source of many memories and inspiration to the masses! Now I wish i hadn't destroyed my Michelangelo piggy bank so many years ago in search of ice cream money...

viva los TMNT
Kevineastman Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Professional Filmographer
Holy smokes you guys!!! All these notes and thoughts are the coolest EVER! Thanks for making me feel so welcome here--I love this place and look forward to spending more time up here hanging out with all of you--there is SOOOOOOOOOO much talent here--you all are doing some really wonderful pieces--I can't wait to poke around more! All my best! Kevin
abar92 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2011
Really,the journal is great and TMNT is my fav characters too....

I'm from India
SweetAmberkins Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Student Digital Artist
This is too great. I remember when Ninja turtle came on TV here, and it still brings back memories to see all this. It's great that you guys had fun, and really made this your own!
Starry-noon91 Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
ok I still can't believe I am reading something posted by Kevin Eastman :love: you are like my HERO XD !!!!!! I LOVE YOU XD
Sabrawing Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011
Awesome! It's really neat to read up about how TMNT got started!
I really appreciate all your work, you guys did a great job!

punkyitz Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
:bulletred:I'm a turtle lover because of your comics.
shadee Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Very cool to see and read how it all began and also very inspiring. It's so easy to give up and go: "Eh, it'll never happen anyway". Hope seeing this will not just put people in awe but also inspire a lot of them to stick with their ideas and dreams. :)
DrLinuX Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011
great story they should make a movie about it ^^
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