IDW sent out a press release today heralding the return of Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, original creators of the multi-generational phenomenon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to the current IDW series for a special thirtieth anniversary issue this May. The announcement sent shock waves throughout TMNT fandom, as fans were at once thrilled at the prospect of Eastman and Laird reuniting on a Turtles project for the first time in twenty years and suicidally depressed that it had been thirty years since the heroes in a half shell were created, and really, what have we accomplished since then?
"My kids are into the Turtles now," explained a wistful Richard Stewart, a thirty-seven year old data analyst who responded to a poll on The Outhouse asking about the Turtles' thirtieth anniversary. "They're probably at home playing with their Turtles action figures right now, you know? God, I remember when I played with my original Playmates Turtles figures based on the first cartoon show."
"Now I sit at this desk all day," Stewart went on, "crunching numbers and filing reports. It's just so dull. Oh god, how did my life to come to this? I was young once! I had my whole life ahead of me!"
Stewart's is not alone in his sentiment. Of one thousand fans polled by The Outhouse, 62.5% expressed feelings of wistful nostalgia for the 1980s and 1990s, while 47% admitted that their life ended up being far more boring, unfulfilling, and meaningless than they ever could have imagined back when the Turtles had their first run of popularity.
"As a kid I was inspired to live my life by the values put forth by Leonardo, Michaelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael," wrote one respondent. "Turtles fight with honor, you know? But as it turns out, I've had to make a lot of compromises in life and my career as an investment banker. I don't think Master Splinter would approve of the person I've become, you know? I don't think nine year old me would either."
Other responses to our poll included feelings of regret at how life has turned out, panic at impending mortality and the inability to recapture lost youth, and dismay at how much the world has changed, and not for the better, since the Turtles were created. Several respondents indicated that the Turtles would probably be branded as right wing terrorist vigilantes today, tracked by NSA spying mechanisms, and hunted down and killed by drone strikes to protect the government's interest in using the Foot Clan for overseas black ops and making backroom quid pro quo deals with Montsano to allow the use of Mutagen in genetically modified crop production.
But for others, it's a matter of more personal importance.
"I remember watching the Turtles every afternoon with my Nana," remembered Sally Mullins, a 34 year old graphic design specialist who grew up with two working parents and spent most of her childhood being cared for by her grandmother. "She was such a sweet lady. She took me to see the movie premiere in 1990. We must have listened to the soundtrack to that film a thousand times in her old Buick. She was probably really sick of it, but she kept listening to it because I liked it."
"Nana died ten years ago," Mullins blurted out. "Oh god, Nana! Why? Why didn't I appreciate you while you were still around?! I didn't realize what I had until it was gone!"
Mullins broke down sobbing at this point and we were forced to end the interview as she curled in a ball on the floor, rocking back and forth while humming Turtle Power by Partners in Kryme from the TMNT Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. "T-U-R-T-L-E.... power... T-U-R... T-L...E... oh god!"
The TMNT thirtieth anniversary issue will be out in May. It's gonna be totally tubular! Be sure to grab some delicious pizza and settle in for a radical read, dudes! Cowabunga!!!
Here's the press release:
Eastman and Laird Return To TMNT!
Original Creators Team Up To Create 30th Anniversary Special Issue
San Diego, CA (February 24, 2013) – The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are celebrating a milestone 30th anniversary this year and the festivities are ramping up! This May, co-creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird karate-kick into high gear with a very special 30th Anniversary issue at IDW. Featuring a brand-new cover created by the original team, this issue marks the first time in over 20 years the pair has worked together on the property.
“TMNT has been an important part of countless fans' lives, including myself,” said series editor Bobby Curnow. “Getting the chance to celebrate this rich history is an amazing opportunity. Almost as amazing as getting to see new material from these creators again!”
"Working on the TMNT Comics with the wonderful and amazing IDW team over the last three years reminded me how much I MISSED and LOVED the four green guys.” said Kevin Eastman, “getting to work with my Co-Creator Peter Laird again is the icing on the cake - and then some! It really took me back thirty years, to the earliest days, with the fondest memories, and why we got into this business in the first place."
The 30th Anniversary Special will be a cavalcade of all-new short stories by the top talent that has built the rich TMNT world over the past 30 years. Each story is inspired by a different era of TMNT's rich history, and features the unique look, feel and voice of that time period. From Dean Clarrain, Chris Allan, Gary Carlson, Frank Fosco, and Jim Lawson to IDW’s own Tom Waltz and Dan Duncan, the creators showcased in this 48-page full-color special issue spin fantastic TMNT tales from the sewers to the stars!
Considered one of the most popular kids’ television programs of the 1980s, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a classic, global property created in 1984 by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. It first debuted as a successful comic book series and then became a hit animated TV show, a live-action television series and later spawned four blockbuster theatrical releases. The property also has translated into a significant consumer products business—with DVDs, video games, toys and more--that has generated billions of dollars at retail. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles debut on Nickelodeon in 2012 and ranked as the number-one new boy series for the year in the United States. In Aug. 2014, Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Films' CGI/live-action hybrid will hit theaters.