Kevin Eastman | Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Co-Creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Born in Portland (Maine) in 1962, Kevin Eastman began drawing at a very young age copying children’s books and reading comics. Inspired by master storyteller Jack Kirby, and later by self publishing creators Richard Corben, Vaughn Bode and Dave Sim, all of his early work focused more on science-fiction influences than traditional superhero style comics.
In 1982, while trying to sell some of his illustrations to local fanzines, he met Peter Laird in Northampton (Massachusetts) and the partnership studio Mirage Studios was formed. Less than a year later, in the middle of a late night jam session, Eastman doodled a new character he dubbed a "Ninja Turtle" to make Laird laugh. Several sketches and a final drawing of four characters later, Eastman and Laird’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles had officially entered the universe!
Self-published in May of 1984, the first issue sold out of its 3,000 copies overnight and quickly became a fan favorite. Catching the eye of Merchandising Agents and Hollywood Producers, Eastman and Laird maintained full control of their creations while guiding them through toy licensing, TV series adaptations, as well as feature film exploitation, and by 1989, the TMNT’s were number one in all three categories.Thanks to "THE BEST FANS ON THE ENTIRE PLANET!” according to Eastman, after 30 amazing years, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles STILL continue to find their way into the hearts and imaginations of kids, large and small.
In between TMNT projects, Eastman found time to establish the Words and Pictures Museum of Cartoon Art, created an artist friendly publishing company, Tundra Publishing, where projects like The Crow, From Hell and American Splendor first flourished, as well as purchased world renowned Heavy Metal Magazine.
Currently spending most of his creative time working on a new TMNT series with IDW Publishing, Eastman resides in San Diego with his wife, Courtney (a.k.a. First Lady of the Turtles), their son Shane, as well as a few insane Dachshunds.