*Obie, through his dabbling in arcane magiks mixed with ancient corrupt business practices, has had not just the colors of his fur switched, but a complete overhaul of his work ethic as well…I think I’m kinda okay with the mishap.
Not sure what “Comics Lust” is about? Take a look at the Introduction to “Comics Lust” post or take a look at the static “Comics Lust Table of Contents” page to jump to a topic.
Generation-Specific Tragedy-Ridden Martial-Arts-Trained Critters (Part 1)
Watchmen, Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, and Crisis on Infinite Earths while a shift in ongoing books such as The Uncanny X-Men (with its increasingly-popular character Wolverine), Daredevil, and The New Teen Titans gave comic readers much to be excited about. But the Big Two weren’t the only players in town. Publishers like Comico, First Comics, Eclipse Comics, and Pacific Comics saw huge success with their offerings, as did many even smaller publishers, but somewhere, in the midst of it all, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles rocked not just the black and white indie comics scene, but the comic book industry as well. The deluge of books attempting to mimic that success, however, didn’t do the comics industry any favors as comics caught the eye of the dreaded speculators.
I have to admit that my brother and my cousin were the ones who dragged me into the world of TMNT. I was reluctant and turned off by the ridiculous-sounding name; I was a serious comic fan. Then I read an issue, was instantly hooked, and scrambled to find whatever TMNT material I could. I initially started with the magazine-sized fourth issue and began pestering my comic shop for the ever-elusive #1 and #2. Road blocked, I then combed the mail order ads found in the pages of all the comics of the time and I was able to get a reprint of #1, the first printing of issue #3, and my prized second printing of issue #2. My brother and I loved the dark, gritty, and often violent comic that seemed to be a twisted expansion of Frank Miller’s Daredevil, which we positively loved. We madly sought everything and anything TMNT related that we could find for a few years before eventually drifting from our once favorite “heroes in a half-shell” upon the arrival of an overly-goofy animated television show. The Turtles had a roller coaster ride of a publishing history before IDW took up publication rights of old and new comics, but it’s the historical material that we are looking at today.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1–4 (Everythinged by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, published by Mirage Studios beginning in 1984) It all started with these magazine-sized black and white comics. There were multiple printings, many counterfeits, and all were—and still are—highly sought after. Here we meet Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Splinter, and the rest is history.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #5–62 (Story and art by MANY different people, publishing continued by Mirage Studios through 1993) Here is where the series went from magazine-size down to standard comic size. This run began with Eastman and Laird handling everything and ended with Eastman and Laird scripting with art by Jim Lawson. In between this was a flurry of creators including Richard Corben, Rick Veitch, Eric Talbot, Michael Zulli, Stan Sakai, and many others in an impressive series that launched cartoons, movies, toys, and all sorts of merchandise. The Turtles became a brand.
- Raphael (Everythinged by Eastman and Laird, published by Mirage Studios in 1985) Part of the solo issues. This one is magazine-sized.
- Michaelangelo (Everythinged by Eastman and Laird, published by Mirage Studios in 1985) Part of the solo issues.
- How to Draw Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Written by Allan J. Fromberg; illustrated by Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, and Rich Buckler, published by Solson in 1985) Yeah...drawing is not as easy as they want you to believe.
- Donatello (Everythinged by Eastman and Laird, published by Mirage Studios in 1986) Part of the solo issues.
- Leonardo (Everythinged by Eastman and Laird, published by Mirage Studios in 1986) Part of the solo issues. Story continues in issue 10 of the main series.
- Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1–7 (Written by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, art by Jim Lawson, published by Mirage Studios beginning in 1987) An anthology series that saw some hefty delays during its short publication.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1–3 (Written and illustrated by ?, published by Archie Comics in 1988) A three issue mini that adapted five episodes of the animated television show.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures #1–72 (Written and illustrated by a whole mess of people, published by Archie Comics from 1989–1992) This initially followed the goofy animated television show, but quickly dropped pizza munching camp in favor of becoming its own thing. There were also tons of specials, one-shots, and supporting character miniseries to keep fans busy.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe Sourcebook #1–3 (published by Archie comics from 1992–1994) If you love Marvel’s OHOTMU, then these are the books for you!
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1–13 (Everythinged by Jim Lawson, published by Mirage Studios beginning in 1993) This is the “Volume 2” in the Turtles saga before ending in 1995 to make the jump to the (fairly) new kid on the block publisher Image Comics.
- Savage Dragon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (Written by Erik Larson and Michael Dooney, illustrated by Michael Dooney and Robert Jones, published by Image Comics 1993) They’re all green and they’re all mean! They later teamed up in 1995 with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Savage Dragon #1 but I’m not sure of the creators involved in this Mirage Studios publication.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Flaming Carrot #1–4 (Written and illustrated by ?, published by Mirage Studios 1993–1994) I never read The Flaming Carrot back in the day, but something tells me this miniseries is a trip and a half!
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1–23 (Written by Gary Carlson, illustrated by Frank Fosco, published by Image Comics 1996–1999) Volume three allegedly did not please Laird so he snatched the property back over to Mirage. R.I.P. volume number three.
- Creed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 (Everythinged by Trent Kaniuga, published by Lightning in 1996) I have never read Creed but I know the comic had a following at one point. Someday, I should check it out.
- Bodycount #1–4 (Written by Kevin Eastman, illustrated by Simon Bisley, published by Image Comics in 1996) Wow. I almost missed this one completely as the title says nothing about TMNT anywhere on this four-issue miniseries. Looks to be crazy, violent adventure starring Raphael and Casey Jones, and it definitely fits the "Extreme!!!" trend that drove me out of comics in the mid-'90s, but dang I’m not curious to check it out. A hardcover collection looks to come out sometime in August 2018.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1–32 (Written by Peter Laird, illustrated by Jim Lawson, published by Mirage Studios from 2001–2014) This series pretty much ignores what happened during the Image years and picks up fifteen years after the end of volume 2. 32 issues over 13 years isn’t exactly the best of release schedules, but whatcha gonna do. To complicate matters, issue number 31 was never printed (it is available online), issue 32 came out four years after that with a “to be continued,” but your guess is as good as mine as to when, if ever, issue 33 ever sees the light of day…or your favorite LED screen for that matter.
- Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1–70 (Created by many, published by Mirage Studios beginning from 2004–2010) This series focused on the unknown adventures of the Turtles and served to explain what happened during the 13 lost years between the second and fourth volumes of the main series. Ouch. Laird must have really not liked that third volume from Image. I guess this can step in as the in-canon third volume as far as the creator is concerned.
- Tales of Leonardo: Blind Sight #1–4 (Everythinged by Jim Lawson, published by Mirage Studios in 2006) I had never even heard of this, but it is miniseries focusing on one character of a larger team, and I’m a lover of the miniseries wave of the ’80s (hello, Wolverine), so this sounds like fun.
- Raphael: Bad Moon Rising #1–4 (Created by Jim Lawson and Eric Talbot, published by Mirage Studios in 2007) Werewolves and Vampires in a four-issue miniseries starring TMNT’s main tough guy? How did I not hear about this?
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Color Special #1 (Written and illustrated by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, colored by Steve Lavigne, published by Mirage Studios 2009) 25th anniversary of the first issue with a colored #1.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Brain Thief #1–4 (Everythinged by Jim Lawson, published by Mirage Studios in 2009) Another four-issue miniseries? I’m totally down for this.
- Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters #1–9 (Written by Don Chin, illustrated by Christopher Parsonavich, published by Eclipse Comics from 1986–1988) The one that started it all. Criminy…
- Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters 3-D #1–4 (Written by Don Chin, illustrated by many, published by Eclipse Comics in 1986) Yeah, since I can’t see in 3-D—the whole blue and red offset line work thing—I can’t tell you what to do here. Decide for yourself. Plus, those dumb glasses tend to hurt the ears. I’m just sayin’.
- Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters Massacre: The Japanese Invasion #1 (Written by Don Chin, illustrated by Ken Hooper, published by Eclipse in 1989) A one-shot parody commenting on the ARBBH cancellation to make room for more manga...actually, this one sounds like a blast; I would read this.
- Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters #1–5 (Written by Don Chin, illustrated by many, published by Parody Press from 1992–1993) This series is a bunch of reprints of the 3-D stories all printed in 2-D as well as the “Massacre” issue.
- Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters Lost Treasures #1 (Written and illustrated by many, published by Parody Press in 1993) This one is supposedly a parody of a parody of a parody. Black and White. Enter thee who dare.
- Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters Lost and Alone in New York #1 (Written by Don Chin, illustrated by Christopher Parsonavich, published by Parody Press in 1993) This is a spoof of the movie Home Alone 2 and actually has me kind of curious.
- Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters #1–4 (Written by Keith Champagne with direction from Don Chin, illustrated by Tom Nguyen, published by Dynamite Comics in 2008) Brought back to live with a distinct new look. I don’t know more than that, but it might be worth checking out.
The crazy thing about this one is that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles briefly make an appearance in the comic (they are drawn by Peter Laird) and Howard the Duck is in there too…not sure if Howard’s appearance ushered in a lawsuit or not, but there you have it.
Hey, the Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters make an appearance in this issue…so, cool?
Jill Thompson?! This must be her first comic book work.
Although I cannot determine the age group of the Cold Blooded Chameleon Commandos—I’m guessing they must be of enlistment age for a reptile—I decided to include them on the list because…well, because.
Please. Make it stop. Please make it stop!
When I revisit the subject of anthropomorphic comic book characters, I’ll be looking at bears, maybe some fish, and definitely a certain mammal from the order Tubuildentata. Until then, Turtles and Hamsters and Kangaroos, oh my!
This Week’s Reading ListMan, I gotta bow out here. I read a bunch of stuff this past couple of weeks, but this entry took forever to research and organize and write about, and every time I thought I was done, more comics and spoofs and spin-offs would pop-up to send back into digging. I will say that you should definitely check out the following amazing recent comics:
- Gideon Falls #1 (Written by Jeff Lemire, illustrated by Andrea Sorrentino, colored by Dave Stewart, lettered and designed by Steve Wands, edited by Will Dennis, published by Image Comics) This one had me at "New Lemire comic," but having Sorrentino on art made this a must-read-immediately. Gideon Falls is a horror comic that is certain to instill the willies and even though I have no idea what is going on yet, I am 100% on board. Get it. Read it. Be thrilled and chilled by it. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
- The Terrifics #1 (Illustrated by Ivan Reis, written by Jeff Lemire, inked by Joe Prado, colored by Marcelo Maiolo, lettered by Tom Napolitano, published by DC Comics) Again, Lemire’s name brought me to this “fantastic” new series that definitely follows the “arrive late, leave early” style of storytelling. I was instantly drawn to the characters, wowed by the action, and loved every page of this “fantastic” book. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
- Oblivion Song #1 (Written by Robert Kirkman, illustrated by Lorenzo De Felici, colored by Annalia Leoni, lettered by Rus Wooton, associate editor Arielle Basich, edited by Sean Mackiewicz, published by Image Comics) A new epic begins from Kirkman, and this time we are looking at a hard-sci-fi series where I am fairly certain no character will ever be safe. Alternate worlds, stranded humans, crazy monsters…it’s almost like this book was made for me. A heck of a great start. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
- Saga #49 (Written by Brian K. Vaughan, illustrated by Fiona Staples, lettered and designed by Fonografiks, published by Image Comics) An issue of Saga is either really good or friggin’ great. This leans toward the latter. Still reading it. Still loving it. You should, too. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!