The Portland Press-Herald wrote about the career of artist and Maine native Eastman of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame, who’s still at work with other comic projects like a biographical item called Drawing Blood, and he does look back at his past TMNT work. Which, as noted in this paragraph:
By the end of the 1990s, Eastman decided he need a break and wanted to focus on different things. He said, by that point, most of his work was on the merchandising end of things, and he wanted to get back to drawing comics. So, in 2000, he sold his interest in the Turtles to Laird, who later sold it to Viacom, which controls the rights to all things Ninja Turtles now. Eastman began drawing some of the current Ninja Turtles comics about a decade ago, and continues to consult on films and shows. He works mostly form home, where he lives with his wife, Courtney, and his 13-year-old son, Shane. […]
Eastman says he feels “extremely privileged and lucky” to have had so much commercial success with the Turtles and to still be working on comics. He’s especially happy to be doing a self-published comic again, where he and his collaborators call the shots. He said he had been keeping notes about his experience in the business, and of fellow artists, for about a dozen years, thinking he’d use them at some point. […]
And I honestly wonder how he feels now that Viacom’s set about dumbing down their Turtle creations, along with one comic publisher holding the license for turning out more TMNT comics, IDW, who recently produced one laced with the liberal obsession of blurring the differences between genders, the story where an alleged woman named Jennika was turned into a 5th turtle. Speaking of which, this Jennika, of all characters in IDW’s TMNT adaptations, is now getting a 3-part miniseries for a spotlight:
“Jennika has always been a fascinating character, and her story is now moving in directions none of us could have ever anticipated,” Revel said in a statement. “I’m very excited about the opportunity to revisit Jenn’s past and explore how she’s been handling the recent changes in her life, all while being tested by a world that’s changing just as rapidly as she is.”
“Brahm has a fantastic knack for revealing character through adversity,” editor Bobby Curnow added. “With the Jennika miniseries, he’s digging deep into what makes this fan-favorite character tick, all in a fast-moving and accessible story. I’m also excited for people to see the back-up stories from up-and-coming creators that will be featured in every issue.”
I’m still questioning whether Jennika is a fan-fave, and whether it makes sense to say she’s “always been fascinating”, rather than speak of story merit. And if Jennika ever resumes life as a simple human, will she again look as masculine as “she” looked in the story where a blood donation by the other Turtles turns her into the same?
Still, I think it’s very admirable Eastman’s still plying his comic trade in illustrating. I wonder what he really thinks of where the TMNT may be going now under their corporate-owned situation. I do wish him well with this new biographical comic he’s doing. But IMO, I don’t think it helps when creators of a famous franchise won’t defend their original visions, which can end up disappointing their fans as a result.
Originally published here.