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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:
 
:iconhyperkoneko:
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
Reply
:iconsouthdesviado:
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
Reply
:iconkevineastman:
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
Reply
:iconabar92:
abar92 Featured By Owner Jul 15, 2011
Really,the journal is great and TMNT is my fav characters too....

I'm from India
Reply
:iconsweetamberkins:
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!
:iconbravoplz:
Reply
:iconstarry-noon91:
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
Reply
:iconsabrawing:
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!

:la:
Reply
:iconpunkyitz:
punkyitz Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
:bulletred:I'm a turtle lover because of your comics.
Reply
:iconshadee:
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. :)
Reply
:icondrlinux:
DrLinuX Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011
great story they should make a movie about it ^^
Reply
:iconfourteenthstar:
fourteenthstar Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011
What a brilliant story!
Reply
:iconireneroga:
IreneRoga Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011
This is so nice, thank you for sharing it to us!
Reply
:iconnero-tbs:
Nero-tbs Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011
Great! Thanks for sharing :-)
Reply
:iconsicherheitpolizei:
sicherheitpolizei Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011
Did you scream COWABUNGA when leaping onto those hotel beds? =p
Reply
:iconwungreingamzimik:
wungreingamzimik Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
i'v been reading tmnt ever since i can remember...my classmates used to call me turtle 4 dat, back in highskool
Reply
:iconitokii:
Itokii Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Amazing story, thank you ever so much for sharing your history!
Reply
:iconidic1:
idic1 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
Blast from the past. I loved the original TMNT comics. Thanks for sharing!
Reply
:icondannycaliforniashep:
DannyCaliforniaShep Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Just awesome!
Reply
:iconclaremanson:
claremanson Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
lovely stuff, one of my favourite tv shows as a kid, i was always a tom boy :) i even dressed up as a turtle once using a green plastic bag and a weapon made out of cardboard hehe i looked so silly, but thought i was so cool at the time
Reply
:iconrajadain:
rajadain Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
Wonderful! Go turtles!
Reply
:iconcjett13:
cjett13 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Professional Traditional Artist
Groovy flash back.
Reply
:iconeverton-littleton:
Everton-LittleTon Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
Very interesting! Thanks for sharing it with us all!
Reply
:iconandrepaz:
AndrePaz Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
XD Guys, you're quite the inspiration for many of us, thanks a lot for sharing your experience.

- Wanna know something funny?... I remember walking with my boyfriend and his brother, and suddenly we started making fun (I owe you my respect though) about how the TMNT comics were created, and I remember saying something like: "Ok, there were some people and one of them says: "hey guys, what about making a story about ninjas" and then another adds "let's make them turtles... mutant turtles""... Oh, the good lol times-

<3
Reply
:iconlaeriana:
laeriana Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
you guys worked so hard on it :D
for next year's university frosh week for those who are entering the math faculty at the university of waterloo (in canada), we have a set of frosh week leaders that will be representing TMNT.
so honoured to finally see the creator in person (sort of ^^; ).
thanks for EVERYTHING and giving us our inspiration :hug:
Reply
:iconjasoncanty:
JasonCanty Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
LOL oh my god. This is like me and my Friends so much.

Man I used to go to the Words and Pictures when I was at school at Umass Amherst from 99-03. Oh Young Stan an Jim Grot!?! Nice.
Reply
:iconforbsie:
Forbsie Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for sharing. It's fun to learn where some of my favourite childhood stuff comes from. :)
Reply
:icondawn-shade:
Dawn-Shade Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Student Digital Artist
This is so cool!
Reply
:iconmami02:
Mami02 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
Omg, I miss the Turtles soo much! :tmnt1::tmnt2::tmnt3::tmnt4: Used to be crazy about the cartoons..knowledge of the comics came alittle later. Congratulations for juch an epic journey :clap:
Reply
:icondreameroftheblue:
dreameroftheblue Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
Great gravy gumdrops! :omg: I never expected cartooning to be this much fun! ^_^
Reply
:icontsujigo:
tsujigo Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
you guys was something back then ( I envy you to some respects ) you have and still are living the life with the little crazy Ideal that could . a little bit of what you do from back then inspires me to keep on trying to create stuff today (well between you and erik larsen and Mcfarlane you guys are like the benchmark of excellence I try to work towards and to see that type of unique quality in my work (with my own vision being still kept in tack ) and for all of my senseless ramblings I would like to say you and laird are trailblazers and heavy metal magazine is still one of the most enjoyable mags out there to day . anyways I would like to say you are an inspiration to us little guys trying to make it on the net and elsewhere . and to that I bid you well in anything else you do . (and did I mention that your the man !!!)
Reply
:iconericwizkidodom:
EricWizKidOdom Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Professional Interface Designer
This is awesome! Look forward to reading the rest!
Reply
:iconereaes-talakhan:
Ereaes-Talakhan Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
Freaking awesome!!
Reply
:iconmarcelov:
marcelov Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great!! greetings
Reply
:iconteddyluck:
TeddyLuck Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Student Interface Designer
awesome
jajajajaja

nice for us i dont know but i find it... useful XD
Reply
:iconrenonevada:
renonevada Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
For anybody that is a beta tester right now, please head to his devpage to see the pictures that accompany this. For some reason with beta testing on, the formatting is wonky and images disappear.

Very cool. It's always nice to hear the beginnings of a big success story. :D
Reply
:iconrenonevada:
renonevada Featured By Owner Jul 14, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Cool, it seems to be working again :)
Reply
:iconstarsan:
Starsan Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I wish I was alive to be able to ahve experienced the beginnings of this and seen you in the fledgling years of TMNT
Reply
:iconpalpzak:
PalpZak Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
This is wonderful. We're glad to have you here Kevin, enjoy your stay.
Reply
:iconcesarflores:
CesarFlores Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
Fantastic (=
Reply
:iconmoogleborg:
Moogleborg Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
Very awesome. :) Its good to hear some stories from ya, Kevin. ^^
Reply
:iconmikeoppart:
MikeOppArt Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Professional Artist
Awesome! I'm a BIG fan the original comics are a huge inspiration to me!Hope I get to meet you at a con in the near future!
Reply
:iconjmayinc:
jmayinc Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011   Writer
This is one of the best journals ever. I was obsessed with TMNT when I was a kid (and still am). It's amazing to see the story of creation and all the fun you guys had with it. I'm sure it wasn't the easiest road...but it sure looks like a fun one!
Reply
:iconpimi1023:
PIMI1023 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Professional General Artist
wowsome dude , welcome and damn u are awesome! i still use tmnt tshirts xD
Reply
:iconmilkmanx:
MilkManX Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I met you at SDCC 08. It was a pleasure.
Reply
:iconkoukon-ookami:
koukon-ookami Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Professional Digital Artist
what an awesome show that was to grow up with, made a lasting impression on me still to this day
just wish there was a female ones!!!
Reply
:iconleocez:
LeoCez Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So cool!!!
Reply
:iconquinzy:
Quinzy Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
my childhood was forged by the turtles :) pure win
Reply
:iconbingemaster:
bingemaster Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist General Artist
You're awesome :la:
ninja turtles for the win
Reply
:iconmachiasbanshee:
MachiasBanshee Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hi there, Kevin!

Welcome to the place... :) And I actually know that house that you posted - I've lived in Dover all my life. I'm so glad to see you getting involved in the turtles again! Can't wait to see what new things you come up with. :)
Reply
:iconoldmanwinters:
oldmanwinters Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2011
Hey, I guess that little family-made doll was the first ever Ninja Turtle toy! So neat!
Reply
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