Monday, May 06, 2013

Digital Spy Interviews Kevin Eastman, Co-Creator Of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"

To celebrate Nickelodeon UK and Ireland and Nickelodeon HD UK premiering and showing more brand new episodes of Nick's brand new CGI-animated "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" television series Saturday's at 9.30am (repeated at 10.30am on Nick UK's +1 (plus-one) timeshift channel, Nickelodeon +1) from Saturday 11th May 2013, the entertainment news website Digital Spy has unveiled a exclusive exclusive interview they recently held with Kevin Eastman, a co-creator of TMNT, which you can read below! In the interview, Kevin Eastman talks about the beginnings of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", Nick's brand new TMNT show, and Michael Bay's upcoming "Ninja Turtles" movie, which Nickelodeon Movies and Paramount Pictures will release on Friday 6th June 2014:
'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Kevin Eastman: 'The fans blow my mind'; Co-creator of the comics, cartoon and movie franchise in an exclusive interview

Whether you remember the gritty comic series, the smash-hit '80s cartoon or the spinoff movie franchise, you've probably heard of Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo - the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

With new episodes of the franchise's latest iteration - animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles - airing on Saturdays at 9.30am on Nickelodeon, Digital Spy has an exclusive interview with TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman.

© Nickelodeon; Kevin Eastman of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

How did you invent the idea to create this animated cartoon?

"It started very late at night as a joke in a studio we were sharing. I did a sketch of what I told Peter would be the 'Next Big Thing – a Ninja Turtle!'. As we talked about and developed the idea during the evening, we ended up with one final drawing of all four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and we thought it was very funny, so the next day we started writing the story, and self-published the first comic book in May of 1984.

"It became very popular, and based on that success, we worked with several key artists and producers in Hollywood to create new animated stories based on the original comic series."

What did inspire you to do it? What made your partnership work and what were the elements that made it a great comic strip?

"The first inspiration for Peter Laird and myself, was Jack Kirby - a famous artist that created much of the original Marvel comic characters for Stan Lee, and because we wanted to be like him, we created our own characters to tell stories with.

"We were also willing to talk through all the ideas, compromise, and focus on telling the best story we could. Personally, I think what makes a great story is when both the story and the artwork work together equally to tell the tale the creator is trying to tell."

© Rex Features / Gp W Prod/Everett; The classic '80s 'Ninja Turtles' cartoon.

As for you, what does the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles empire represent for you today? And did you think about it when you had started to create the Turtles?

"I think what the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles empire represents to me today, is its amazing ability to still connect with fans young and old – after nearly 30 years on the planet. That blows my mind!

"Back in the day, we didn't think we would sell even one copy of the first issue - we just wanted to create something fun that we would read as a comic fan - and it somehow worked.

"It somehow connected to the original fans in the USA, but what was even more exciting to Peter Laird and myself was finding new fans around the world, even fans who grew up in completely different cultures still found some spark that drew them to like, then love the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and now, nearly 30 years later, they're still going and growing strong."

© Nickelodeon; Nickelodeon's 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'.

When did the main characters take on a life of their own?

"Basically, after we finished the first 20 comic books or so, there was enough of a story foundation there, that more and more fans, as well as other writers and artists, would pitch us story ideas that could work in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles universe, and we'd use them.

"That concept really took off when we were producing new animated shows, as we needed to work with a wider variety of writers and creators to tell stories in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles world that now translated into other entertainment mediums - such as TV and movies. So that is where it really took on a life of its own, as we had talent and celebrities telling Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles stories."

What are your thoughts on the Michael Bay Turtles movie?

"I have been working with several layers of creative on the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film, and I am very excited by what director Jonathan Lebiesman has created with writers Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemic for Michael Bay.

"Personally, I have seen the script, I have been working on some of the character designs, and I think Michael Bay's films, and their track record, speak for themselves. This is going to be an awesome Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film that the fans will love!"

© Nickelodeon; Nickelodeon's 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles'.

What do you think about the new Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles TV series?
"Honestly, the Nickelodeon series is my favourite version of the animated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ever! Yes, I love so much of the classic original series, and the edgy nature of the second series, but this really hit the reset button for me, and took them back to their roots and re-imagined them with clever insight to where all the different story possibilities could go.

"It fully uses the latest and the coolest animation technology available to tell really fun and really cool new stories for both old and new fans. I'm a really big fan and supporter of the entire Nickelodeon creative team on this project, and very fond of Ciro Nieli's efforts and vision of our characters."

Are you still making Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics?

"Yes, and I'm having the best time ever! IDW Publishing invited me to see what they had in mind for a new comic series nearly two years ago, and when I saw what head writer Tom Waltz had in mind for his re-imagining of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, I asked to be part of it.

"I have been working on plots, covers, drawing a few special issues, and helping with all the collections - new covers and annotations - and could not be prouder, or more excited, about the creative coming out of the new adventures. I cannot wait for the fans to see what we have in store for them in 2013!"

Watch brand new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Saturdays at 9.30am on Nickelodeon.