This is where it all started...

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What's up deviantART! I'm Kevin Eastman, Co-Creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I figured it would be fun to share some of my story, and grow from there on my deviantART account.


This is where it all started.


Tmnt #1 by KevineastmanDover, New Hamshire. 1983. This is the house where Pete and I created The Turtles.


Tmnt #2 by KevineastmanThis was the very chair that I sat in in, in the shared studio space with Peter, and late one night I did a sketch of a Turtle standing upright, a mask on, nun chucks and dubbed him a Ninja Turtle! That was enough to kickstart the brainstorming session where we had to come up with the story to tell who they came to be!

Tmnt #3 by Kevineastman We worked on the 40 page origin story from the fall of 1983 to late spring 1984, and when it was finished, and printed--we had all the books shipped to our house on Union Street where we made furniture out of them, because we didn't think we ever sell them all! 

Tmnt #4 by Kevineastman
May 5th, 1984 was the Portsmouth, New Hampshire Comic Convention where we premiered the very first issue! I think we sold a couple dozen, and a lot of those were to family members that came from all over the state of Maine down to the show!

Tmnt #5 by KevineastmanAfter we finished the first issue we had all these awesome fans writing, "Hey, when are you going to do a second issue?!" Well, we figured we'd better come up with a second story and get on the job! Here's me inking on a page in Peter's studio in the fall of 1984!
Tmnt #6 by KevineastmanBy February, the drawing was done and so was the printing--when the books arrived in the studio, we could help but pose a stuff Turtle doll Peter's sister Chris made for him on top of the first box we opened! 


Tmnt #9 by KevineastmanBy the sumer of 1985, we had done a lot of signings and smaller conventions--but we finally made the pilgrimage to the biggest convention in the states, the San Diego Comic Con! Here's Pete posing in front of the old Civic Center where it used to be held. 

Tmnt #10 by Kevineastman
Here we are, the following year, 1986, shopping all the recent issues up to Raphael at that time--and doing sKetches for $5 each--most all the money at the end of the show we would then run around and buy as many old comics we were missing from our collection before getting on the plane back home. 
Tmnt #11 by Kevineastman
Year after year we kept coming back to the con--this year (2011) will be my 27th year there, and over te years, we met many awesome people--like in this one, here's my first mini comics publisher--Clay Geerdes!

Tmnt #12 by Kevineastman
Here's a great candid shot of Frank Miller and Lynn Varley during the Ronin years--they were still easily accessible to fans at the show. He was a great guy, very open about what he was doing back then. 
Tmnt #13 by KevineastmanOne of my best friends from those days that I sill hang out with today is Mark Bode, son of the famous Underground Cartoonist, Vaughn Bode! Mark and I went on to work on several TMNT stories together---maybe we'll get to do another one someday!

Tmnt #14 by Kevineastman
Peter hanging out with Usagi Yojimbo creator Stan Saki (center) and fellow cartoonist Jim Groat. 
Tmnt #15 by KevineastmanA highlight, after several years at the convention was meeting Jack Kirby and buying the original art of some of our favorite Kirby stories--Kamandi for me, the Demon for Peter! DC Publisher, Julie Swartz is doing the peace sign in the background! 


Tmnt #17 by KevineastmanHere's the wild and crazy zoo crew--all the original Mirage Studios gang, having a few to many beers after the show, and generally taking the edge off a busy day--because we'd all be back signing in the morning! 

Tmnt#7 by Kevineastman
And of course there's the bed diving---every year at the show Peter and I would make sure the beds would hold up to wild and crazy room parties--and the only way to do that was run from across the room, jump as high as you can, and dive on the bed! Here's Pete go...
Tmnt#8 by KevineastmanAnd here's my turn! Can't wait to do it again this again this year--I have to pass the ritual on to my kids after all! 




... to be continued.


(Prepping for Comicon 2011, see you guys there next week!)  

© 2011 - 2022 Kevineastman
Comments85
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lonewulfinottawa2009's avatar
Awesome Truly Inspirational
Mauser712's avatar
Wow, Stan is so young in that pic, and Groat without the beard! (Groat has a DA account here too.)

I remember buying your comics back when they first came out. Okay, not quite when they FIRST came out, since #1 was a third printing and #2 was a second....
flamecatorwolf's avatar
Wow,you must of had tons of fun.^-^
exceedinglyspherical's avatar
Wow, it is so cool to have you here at dA! Welcome and thanks for sharing some of your history and photos and especially your art. I've been a fan of the TMNT since 1990 and am also a regular buyer of Heavy Metal magazine.
poolshostage's avatar
Wasn't even born when you started TMNT But i love your drawings!
And i Know who you are!
Nihonfuu's avatar
Thanks for giving me a happy childhood. :thumbsup:
BunnyKira's avatar
OMG! It's wonderful to have you on Deviantart! I was a fan of the cartoon when I was a little girl and I loved the movies too.
Then I forgot for many years until I see the 2007 movie and I decided to watch the 2003 animated series! And I've became obsessed again!
I've ordered some of the comics from America because in my country editors don't publish the TMNT comics!
luleiya's avatar
This is amazing - to see the birth of one of the greatest comics ever, presented by one of the creators himself. Thank you so much for sharing this.

This is really exciting, especially since I rediscovered TMNT half a year ago, after 20 years. I was such a huge fan at the age of 5 (!) and never thought it would find me again after all this time. I'm having a great rush of nostalgia...and it is even more unbeliavable to have You here on DeviantArt. It is a real honor to all of us fans and aspiring artists.

Thank you for your hard work over the years and do shine on~!
Eidolon-Grey's avatar
Thanks for creating these guys :) So many awesome childhood memories; the turtles were my imaginary best friends, Shredder was my first crush, I got into one of the first fights I remember over whether the Turtles or The Simpsons were better... and they even found me the love of my life when he posted some fan art here on DA 7 years ago and I thought it was hot and started talking to him.

That's some epic shit right there :) Thanks for it all.
proconpictures's avatar
I'm the hughestestest TMNT fan ever; the real Turtles, I mean, not the bubble Archie one's that don't use their weapons. Thank you so much for everything.
HenshinDaisuke's avatar
Great bit of history you have here, really lookin' forward to more in the future.
nutmegmeg's avatar
This is awesome. Love the photos.
Cepillo16's avatar
And thus, a legend was born =: P
LostIdentity1110's avatar
haha love the jumping on the bed ritual! :XD: Wow...This is all awesome stuff! you dudes are comic kings! and Master Shredder was just a great evil character :XD:
ritam's avatar
Such an awesome and funny story! Thank you so much for sharing this!
Xaifin's avatar
:( Awww my late brother loved TMNT, he'd been a fan of it since the very first day he'd been given a comic of it haha I still have a few of his ooooold plastic toys from it.
JarOfLooseScrews's avatar
Wow. It's fasinating to see these images. Thanks for sharing them with us :)
DanSlider's avatar
thanks, you've always been a great source of inspiration!
misterzero's avatar
Did that comforter on the bed later inspire Leoardo's color scheme? :P

Man, it's cool to see this stuff. I've loved the turtles since was 4 or 5 and it's aways good to hear about their history. Only wish I were big enough to buy the first few issues back then.. Welcome to deviantArt!
Speedslide's avatar
I must say, it is really quite inspiring and heartwarming to see your humble beginnings! Also, wow, 27 Comic-Con attendances? It HAS to be some kind of record! Welcome to Deviantart, I hope you'll enjoy your stay! I assure you, legends such as yourself will get lots of praise from the crowds here, and honestly, quite a few trolls also. But I hope the positive will weigh out the negative! ^^
musicdrift's avatar
Thanks Man, I can say that at 24 and still having a TMNT poster on my wall, and many other memorabilia you are one of the reason's I latched on to art. Thanks for sharing where you come from. I look forward to reading more posts.
slowmar's avatar
amazing journey thanks for sharing
sonicaddict's avatar
Wow...thats...wow....





Well the only thing I can say now is good luck being a deviant art legend.
Zen904's avatar
Tmnt was my fav cartoon growing up and to see how they changed thru the years is beyond words, i'm 25 and i been a turtle fan since the first show. when i found out that 2012 theyll be another show i was pissed and happy all at the same time because for so many year michaelangelo had nun chukus and don had his bo staff but there changing the weapon. but still i love the teenage mutant ninja turtles and hope the show is around for as long as the 1988 versions was
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