For being named after Renaissance artist greats, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael, and Michelangelo, had rather humble beginnings. Let’s travel back to 1983 to when Kevin Eastman created the idea for the turtles during a brainstorming session with his friend Peter Laird. Eastman’s drawing featured a masked turtle holding nunchakus. Taking both their tax refunds and a loan from Eastman’s uncle the two friends set out create a one issue parody comic that would become a pop culture phenomenon. The pair’s art style and story were heavily influenced by Frank Miller and Klaus Jansen’s work on their run on Marvel’s Daredevil as well as Frank’s DC comics series, Ronin. Splinter was based on Daredevil’s mentor from the Frank Miller run, “Stick.” The cover to issue 1 of the TMNT was based on Frank Miller’s Ronin issue 1 cover.
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