Friday, July 31, 2020

Comic-Con@Home Announces TMNT Panels

COWABUNGA! Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC) has announced that Comic-Con@Home, the virtual event taking lieu of the annual on-the-ground event, will be hosting a selection of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles panels!

Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC), the largest fan convention in North America, was set to be held July 22–26 at the San Diego Convention Center, until the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic forced it to move online.

In June, Comic-Con International — the non-profit organization that oversees SDCC and its sister event, WonderCon in Anaheim, Calif. — announced it was moving forward with the virtual event on the same dates. This time, however, the event is free and open to all.

Below is a list of Comic-Con@Home 2020 panels featuring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:

Music for Animation
Thursday, July 23 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Watch When Available!

Find out what it takes to create the sonic worlds of your favorite animated shows! Learn how creatives in entertainment write songs, create sounds, and compose music for projects like the Harley Quinn animated series, Central Park, JJ Villaird's Fairy Tales, King of the Hill, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia, and more! Featuring panelist songwriters Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson (Central Park), and composers Jefferson Friedman (Harley Quinn), Roger Neill (JJ Villaird's Fairy Tales), Sebastian Evans (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), and Tim Davies (Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia). Moderated by actors Keith David (JJ Villaird's Fairy Tales, Gargoyles) and Alan Tudyk (Frozen, Harley Quinn).

Share your thoughts using the hashtags: #MusicForAnimation #ComicConAtHome
Find us on Twitter:
Elyssa Samsel and Kate Anderson - @samselanderson @jeffefferspin
Sebastian Evans - @sevanscomposer
Tim Davies - @debreved
Keith David - @iamkeithdavid
Alan Tudyk - @alantudyk

Produced by Impact24 PR:

IDW: Draw a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle!
Friday, July 24 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Watch When Available!

TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles writer and artist Sophie Campbell, and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles artist Chad Thomas bring the turtles to life demonstrate how to draw everyone's favorite ninja turtles while discussing the IDW TMNT comics with moderator Caleb Goellner (journalist, author, writer).

For more information about Comic-Con@Home, including its programming schedule, visit

Update (7/22) - In addition to panels, Super7 has unveiled exclusive SDCC 2020 goodies, ranging from apparel to figures as part of their Spectacular Stay-at-home-ic-con Special! Plus, for their Super Special Giveaway, they're including a free gift with every Stay-at-home-ic-con Special purchase today. Pick any item from the collection and a mystery item will automatically appear in your cart! Visit for more!

From The Beat:

SDCC ’20: Talking the 5th Ninja Turtle and more in IDW’s Draw a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle panel

Turtle Power!

Journalist/Writer Caleb Goellner moderated IDW’s “Draw a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” panel, a free-form discussion with TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles writer and artist Sophie Campbell, and Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles artist Chad Thomas while the artists work on TMNT related pieces.

Eastman referred to the current IDW TMNT series as the “definitive Turtle run,” for its ability to blend the various iterations together while simultaneously adding to the mythology.

Moving to perhaps the biggest development for the TMNT franchise in recent years, the introduction of a new female Ninja Turtle Jennika, Goellner inquired about the genesis of the character. As Eastman conceded ever since Venus de Milo, Turtles fandom have not taken kindly to the prospect of a new female Ninja Turtle. Debuting as a Foot assassin in TMNT #51, Jennika was not intended to stick around but proved to have unexpected popularity with fans. Discussions with co-writer Tom Waltz planted the seeds for Jennika’s mutation and when Sophie Campbell drew the first Jennika Turtle designs, Eastman said that she nailed it.

Campbell definitely felt the pressure when asked by Waltz to provide designs for Jennika’s Ninja Turtle form for pitch meetings. Likewise editor Bobby Curnow and Nickelodeon had reservations initially due to the aforementioned stigma of Venus de Milo. Ultimately the execution paid off since Jennika has been so well received by fans.

Goellner observed that compared to other fandoms, TMNT fans are more friendlier than others, or at least more welcome to change. That perfectly segued into the most drastic reinvention of the TMNT franchise with Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Artist Chad Thomas is the artist on the current Rise of the TMNT tie-in IDW book and is no stranger to the all-ages TMNT comics having drawn the previous TMNT cartoon tie-in series for IDW. Thomas attested that the high-energy kinetic action of the animated series can be challenging to translate to a static comic book page.

Eastman has the privilege of being involved in both the 2012 TMNT series as well as Rise in various capacities. Big Trouble in Little China was a particular influence for Rise of the TMNT producers Andy Suriano and Ant Ward, a film which also inspired Eastman with the original TMNT series. As Eastman has mentioned previously, Casey Jones is based on Big Trouble protagonist Jack Burton.

The current storyline of the IDW TMNT series by Campbell upends the traditional status quo with the Turtles abandoning the sewers and living above ground in a closed-off section of Manhattan known as Mutant Town. For Campbell, it seemed like a natural direction for the team that allows her to develop a larger mutant culture. It’s less the Turtles joining society than creating their own society according to Campbell.

Campbell teased a new activist coming up now that Old Hob, leader of Mutanimals, has been deemed unfit to run Mutant Town. In discussing the different viewpoints between human and animal mutants, Campbell believed that Jennika is the perfect character who bridges the two groups. Eastman divulged that the bomb that mutated New York was originally planned to transform the majority of the city as opposed to a small section.

The panel then took a break to reveal the progress of their art pieces. Eastman drew Casey and Raph, Campbell naturally drew Jennika, and Thomas drew Donatello as depicted in Rise.

While it may have been virtual, this panel was the first time Thomas got to meet Eastman. He then thanked Eastman for being a formative part of his childhood and the chance to work on an all-ages TMNT comic is a dream project for him. Incidentally, Eastman related that he had a similar experience when he met Jack Kirby and hearing fans thank him always means the world to him.

And with that the “Draw a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle” panel came to a close.


Jennika by Sophie Campbell

Casey Jones and Raphael by Kevin Eastman


From Bleeding Cool:

Kevin Eastman Panel: TMNT, The Last Ronin, & Drawing Blood #SDCC

Kevin Eastman Panel Announcement

Continuing Comic-Con@Home 2020 Kevin Eastman, along with Tom Waltz, and Ben Bishop held the Kevin Eastman panel dedicated to past tidbits and a look at work coming in 2020. Starting with some reflection by Kevin Eastman on where everyone is at now, and leading into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #100, which came out December 2019. Eastman then handed over talking to Tom Waltz, who has the distinction of writing on the first 100 issues of the longest-running TMNT comic, the current series from IDW, which is still going and up to #106.

Speaking of the road to #100, the biggest concern Tom Waltz had was introducing the first female Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle into comics Jennika, who now has been a part of the series as a turtle for ten issues and has her own mini-series. Now that Waltz isn't the primary writer, he can look back with great fondness for the story they told and be amazed they made it to 100 issues. Eastman also is shocked by the number of issues but believes the Waltz-verse or IDW-verse is now the definitive TMNT universe.

Ben Bishop then added to the retrospective, starting with his first work on the book, a cover for issue #55. Bishop attributes his contributions to TMNT being due to Eastman and spending time with him at Eastman's house on the last night of SDCC a few years ago. The two began discussing what would be Bishop's ideal TMNT story, which Bishop started "rambling on about like one night out with Casey [Jones] and Raph, and most of it's like inner monologue, different colored narration boxes … and they're just beating up for doing it for reasons and in different ways with different things on their minds." So the story became TMNT Macro-Series #4.

Waltz is quick to point out that while the Macro-Series let them do some great Turtle stories, the book over time was full of A LOT of characters, and while they were important to the overall story, the Turtles themselves were not always as "front and center in their own book." So, the Macro-Series for the individual Turtles was important to do, and while Waltz reached out to other creators to do books in the Macro-Series he knew the Raphael book was one that Eastman and Bishop had ideas for. Eastman then shifted to talking about the TMNT 2012 Annual which he and Waltz did, where Eastman "had this huge grid of what I wanted to do, this sort of Guy Ritchie sort of heist, and I think I was like what the hell am I supposed to do with this, but Tom helped me figure it out and make a sensible story out of it."

TMNT The Last Ronin #1 Main Cover

Working with Waltz and talking about it led Eastman to talk on their next collaboration, TMNT The Last Ronin, something that sprung out of Eastman's huge collection of … stuff. Many know that Eastman boarders "on hoarding. I save everything, especially you know artwork, little scripts, and scribbles, and things and I came across a number of years ago a story that Peter Laird and I wrote and [in ] 1987 was set to 30 years in the future which is 2017, and I just loved it. [It] had certain elements in the story that what Peter and I were thinking is that it was sort of the tail end of us intimately working together on the ongoing comic. So there was this idea that we had, Peter and I, … and I showed it to Tom at some point when I been noodling around and making some notes on it and because we've been talking about so many other things that we wanted to do together. [So] late 2018, 2019 we started bantering it about it pretty regularly we sort of started [feeling it leaned] definitely towards the Mirage Universe in every way, shape, and form, based on Peter Laird's involvement. I went back to Peter, and we had a number of conversations about him becoming involved in the story, which he gave us his blessing, and said, 'I'm kind of retired, but you go forth young men.' So from that, Tom and I really dug deep in and dug into an idea that started on this thread … [of it set] 30 years in the future [and] we didn't have to pay respects to any particular Turtle Universe. WE sort of, what do we call it? Kind of our Dark Knight [TMNT story]."

With the regular book in the hands of Sophie Campbell, who Eastman believes even after the IDW book being ten years is making the book new and "fresh," Eastman and Waltz are now free to work on the Last Ronin. As Tom Waltz adds, one of "the funniest things, it's a future story, but a future story that was plotted in the 80's so what about the future stuff we have now it's not so new [or] futuristic. Working on [the Last Ronin and Turtles] again … proves it still has stores to tell. That this property, this brand, this there's whatever you want to call this, this is just lightning in a bottle [that] continues to strike."

Talking about the Last Ronin, Eastman and Waltz had one big announcement, the fact that artist Andy Kuhn had to step away from drawing the comic for personal reasons, so Ben Bishop has now stepped into that spot. The book, however, will likely not meet it's August planned launch but is looking more likely to begin in September, though if any of issues has already been drawn by Kuhn is not mentioned, though it seems likely #1 has been, and the book plans to keep its bi-monthly schedule of five issues, each 40 pages in length. Eastman promises that Nickelodeon is aware the book will be dark, and the "edgiest Turtle story that has been done in a while, [has] some repercussions and it tells a really good story of love and family and resolution and redemption." However, it is a series that is in its own universe, neither fully in the IDW or Mirage cannon, and is something designed to be "evergreen," something that be read right away or years from now and still seem relevant to the Turtles.

Going back to the monthly IDW book, Waltz and Eastman talked about how, when they left the book, they ended it with a big event, that when #101 started Campbell had jumped to six months after that event in #100. So now with the TMNT 2020 Annual Waltz is going back in telling a story set in that aftermath, about a month after #100. In particular, they are focusing on characters Campbell hasn't shown yet in the current monthly such as Shredder, the Rat King, Karai, Karai's mutants, Angel, and a special Leatherhead/Krang combo. Adam Gorham is the artist for it, and Waltz really enjoyed returning though it "felt weird because that was the first time where I felt like kind of a guest writer in the world 'you' built."

From Top Left to Bottom: Kevin Eastman, Ben Bishop, & David Avallone

With that, Tom Waltz left and David Avallone, writer of Drawing Blood, Eastman's semi-auto-biographical comic book based loosely on himself, which Ben Bishop, Troy Little, and Eastman had done artwork for. Avallone recalled that he was reminded that July 9th, 2020, was the fifth anniversary for Drawing Blood as he and Eastman had discussed the book on that day in 2015, and Avallone had come up with the title. After that, the two had tried developing it as a TV show, but then reworked the first script into a three-issue comic book that served as volume 1 of Drawing Blood that was created and funded through Kickstarter. The book then had another successful campaign for Volume 2 on Kickstarter, but now the three creators are putting their energy back into trying to make Drawing Blood a TV show again.

After discussing Drawing Blood, Kevin Eastman wrapped the panel up by reminding fans to check the Drawing Blood Facebook page for updates and to thank everyone for all their support.

The full panel can be viewed here:


NickALive!'s full SDCC 2020 coverage!:

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Originally published: Friday, July 10, 2020.
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