–>> Every year during San D, Tokka is usually able to get at least ONE REAL QUICK illustration from Kevin Eastman. At the “0” hour of closing, everyone was cleaning up, SDCC’s security was about to beat and arrest me and Tokka’s head was about to explode into 25 billion little HD Technicolor Pixels. It just wasn’t gonna happen.
Then suddenly this young chap stepped-up to the plate, one of Heavy Metal Magazine’s rising STARS – SHANE .. and here we have a quick and cool TMNT masterpiece for Tokka to add to his TURTLE art-collection in the same genre o’ black & white vibrancy that started the whole EASTMAN Legacy in the first place !!
..where to start with the news after such an absence the past several weeks, Tokka ??
H’mm – -Step at a time, lets start with the end of summer toy and collectible news ::
Mondo TMNT and Iron Giant – overlooked by Tokka at SDCC. Sorry was so busy — Check out the awesome “!st Turtle” vinyl, highly stylized Lil Mikey, and the cool MOUSER 2-pack vinyls !! My god, awesome !! !!
..and if KidRobot, Mondo and Loyal Subjects weren’t enough mutating vinyl into all sorts of Turtle shapes ..YES ANIME well – -throws this one outta left field — Yes Anime Super Armor TMNT Vinyl Figures (( these little guys are really incredible !! Whole “SUPERMAN LEGEND VIBE !! ))
..i’ll try to summarize the movie related FLOOD of merch and such we got this summer and hopefully get to comics AND MORE ORIGINAL CONTENT YOU REALLY ONLY FIND HERE in the coming days and posts !! Yup, that’s my testimony n’ i’m stickin’ to it.
Bare with me again please, still trying to rebound. Also trying to build back a little bit of a team and network here like we started with when Stephen first founded this ol’ place. We’ll do the best we can.
Also apologies personally if i promised to incorporate your news info in my updates and have failed or not gotten to it yet. Please forgive me, it has been a very traumatizing year, let alone summer.
–>> Got something stuck in that eye socket there, impeding my vision. YOWCH !!
And the Snapper bellows between belabored breaths .. .. Never the less, somethings have happened majorly good & bad have been shaking up things in the past month. This is not an imperative update, in fact it possibly may be more than anyone wants to digest – however it’s Tokka doing his best to explain the lack of activity on this site directly.
One apparently prominent gentleman of scholar who wrote a book or article or something was blathering on NPR the other day about ALL OF US living in ( paraphrasing hardcore here ) the most peaceful or at least most violent time in history. His academic rhetoric prolly backed up his points. The ludicrous position he seemed to take was lost on me anyhow as exhaustion post the most important time of the year for me; SDCC .. has been difficult for me to shake off. The anxiety has barely leveled off as i’ve had to devise a plan to play catch-up not only on this website but figure out how to pay off all the debts i incurred just to make this “WORKING VACATION” happen. Meh, this is an annual stresser. I’ve gone thru’ this over and over by now – it is old hat to a certain level. But the audacity of the Scholar’s rhetorical did irk me slightly – if everything is so peaceful WHY HASN’T IT EVER FELT LIKE IT ??
Maybe Tokka has stated it before, but a history of violence, fear, mental health and physical issues, hospitalizations, sexual abuse and even more traumatic instances had created a continuation of a lack of general safety in the existence i lead. Obviously, this has been and continues to be commonplace for peoples, children, and families all over the globe pre- and post- 9/11. Sadly i can only speak for myself; as i am aware that despite past and present challenges face – i acknowledge the plight of the countless in much more dangerous environments and complex situations. To some of these populaces it might as well be 9/11 everyday.
That lack of safety, general lack of structure, and some sense of balance was just not ever there. As i got older, it just continued. The adversity caused by the various abuses faced only added pressure to the already shaky ground. Minimal moral support or none what-so-ever and being told constantly on how i’d “NEVER MAKE IT” and “WAS NEVER GOOD ENOUGH” eventually lead me to thoroughly believing these things within’ my heart,
Pockets of resistance and love and support do need to be acknowledged. And as i grew into this “Monster” typing this diatribe — i had certain friends, family members and peers ( even within’ the TMNT Community ) that truly believed in me and still do. I don’t always call them out and thank them – -but i hope they know how much they mean to me and that just because i don’t instantaneously give that gratitude, it doesn’t mean that deep down it’s not there.
The Negative always wants to overpower you, even during times of success. SDCC remains the biggest North American Convention powerhouse. After 11 years – – in spite of the pressure involved it has been overall good for me. The experiences, networking , opportunities , growth and challenge along with very informally and somewhat affordably being able to resent my work to very big ( and small ) names in industry has been second to none. The convention gets harder on me every year however, as i continue to be the “BAT OUT OF HELL” with a very unique perspective on pop-culture and the arts — and still i struggle to find my place in all this.
The stifling of voices within’ this franchise ( as well as industry ) has also been a very hard thing for me to process. Not many seem talk about this issue, but i try. After last year ..i recognized finally that i really needed to start bending more in style and attitude to make my work more commercially viable. If i fail to do this by December 2014.. .. i’ve figured i would need to get into another line of work and drop Turtles altogether. I’ve not reached that decision yet. Good news is that things are changing slowly and hopefully in time i can reveal more.
As every year for the past decade +, the spring time has Tokka preparing himself for the big 4 day event.. and again as i was healing from my 5th Auto/ Pedestrian ( or whatever you call it ) strike.. the broken hand and ankle had barely just finally healed as i was wrestling to get work done for the portfolio. The first day at the end of June – off my cast and back on a bike, word came down hard .. like an asteroid hitting the landscape out of nowhere – – a childhood friend had passed away rather unexpectedly and tragically. This was a fellow TMNT fan as well. TMNT III and The NEXT MUTATION were highlights of this friendship ( among the the other diverse medias this franchise has graced us with ). This one small reason i am adamantly supportive of both that film and T.V. program, and actually a bit defensive of both “infamous” forms of Turtles media.
Things happen in life when they happen, unexpected as they may be.. and in spite of my friend’s passing, there was not really any time to mourn or reflect. “Hey, that’s business.. ” – – i had to keep working. What is one to do when an aire of professionalism is in order?? Predicament i’m sure many are familiar with. I don’t think i handled it all perfectly.
During the Q & A of the TMNT Documentary ; TURTLE POWER panel at San D – –
..i really started to break a bit. The pressure, 4 days sans sleep, emotional turmoil and heavy hallucinatory issues didn’t help anything. During the Q & A; paraphrased ..my question was ..
“Does it all really matter ?? “.
Cathartic and foolish i suppose on my part. The question may or may not have been answered i supposed. Was hard ti even concentrate in the answer as a few in the audience chuckled and laughed. Person behind me gave me a fair amount of hassle as i was trying to finish the question. The blows were softened by Kevuin Eastman on a personal level. Mark, Galen , Isaac, and Randall of the TMNT DOC expressed their passion and hard work as well as support. Encouraging me to see the film. This was appreciated and obliged.
Further on in what ended up being a 2 week trip, almost unprecedented for me when i go out to California – – enlightening and pretty inspirational trips to TMNT & Veteran and legendary Toy makers VARNER STUDIOS & FILM MAKER, prop and costume designers – BLOOD BROTHERS Studios. We also got to interact with the New Movie’s director and producers. If i am able, i will share a bit about those experiences at a later point. special thank yous to both studios for their unexpected but very welcome input and support.
H’mm ..maybe the real question n is WHAT HAPPENS NOW ?? Things cannot possibly go on the way they have if i am to survive in this existence let alone staying within’ the fandom and franchise. Yeah yeah, it’s all up to me .. always has been. But the standard to how things have gone so rampageous has got to abate just a bit even. I’ve learned some lessons and do have a bit of good news to reveal later as i am allotted too. Still figuring things out — shall try to hold out at least to the end of the year.
I apologies for the unintended BREAK from the site. That was not my goal – -it just happened as i was bowled over by the events of the past several weeks, and not entirely able to pick myself up right away. Not this time.
Trying to get back into the swing of things here, actually VERY HARD at work on that.I’ve stated this before that we are one of the hardest working and under-acknowledged TMNT sites out there. I hope this will change in the eyes of Nickelodeon and in the eyes of related companies as more heart and under-appreciated hard work goes into maintaining this whole thing than anyone can possibly imagine. Thanks for reading.. and again please bare with me. tokka is still processing so much and has so much work to do to “catch – up”.
Hopefully CATCHING-UP to GGM will be one of the more enjoyable outlets for the foreseeable future. Sorry for the very personal post, cathartic or not – -it’s the best i can do to let people know what’s been going on.
Stay tuned, and to all my supports a GENUINE and heartfelt THANK YOU.
Join us as over 30 artists pay tribute to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with art from their numerous incarnations alongside work from some of our gallery favorites, who’ll be bringing their own unique take to the series.
Production Art & TMNT Memorabilia On Display
See character, background, storyboards, and other development art by the creatives behind the new TMNT series. Also on display will be an assortment of TMNT memorabilia.
Of Note: *Arnet has his lore a little mixed up in the interview linked up – but the character of “VERN FENWICK” in the movie may be an amalgam of Casey’s cousin Syd from the comics and TMNT 2003 show & Vernon from the original cartoon show. Weird. On a nerdy note, technically Vernon was in the comics – the earliest TMNT Adventures books; adaptations of some of the very first few TMNT TOS episodes.
I suppose these links won’t really matter unless your playing catch-up.. as the trailer is supposed to hit the web officially today – you’ll be able to judge yourself on things like the new plot device playing on TMNT lore and origin once again. Maybe this is not to un-similar to the IDW Books tying April and Baxter into the origin of the Teens’ mutation. We’ll also get glimpses of the Teens themselves officially.
Side notes and some links you may wana check out ::
..Donnie T. ain’t the only one keepin’ cool, Check out Jared’s EPIC Party !! If the crowd-funding can be pulled; in attendance will be the “Coolest” TMNT Music Masters : Coolio, Partners in Kryme, DJ EYE, & DJ BabyChino, all head-lined by the COOLEST ACT to CHILL WITH , VANILLA ICE !!
The TURTLE VAN, The Green Teens, the Foot, and a plethora of vintage Arcage games will all be on hand to SHELLEBRATE the Teens BIG 30 !!
On the barren, frozen wasteland known as the Turtle tundra, there stands only one Mutant – Arctic Donatello. This is his element – this block of unforgiving ice where every direction you turn is south; this is where he lives out the adventure of a lifetime. Like his brothers, Safari Michaelangelo and Deep Sea Diver Leonardo, Artic Donatello is searchin’ for the lost gold coin that bears the name “Kowabunga Collector Coin.” Artic Donatello, along with his trusty ice poppin’ penguin pal, shuffles through the slushy snow in the only good pair of anti-slip snow shoes north of Alaska. And if any frozen Foot fools show up for a battle on the ice, Donatello will stop ‘em cold with a blast of water from his real workin’ ice water shootin’ blaster. Then, with a few swings of his ice pick bo, Arctic Donatello sends them on their way – south. So dress warm and put on some extra socks, cuz it’s your turn to join the adventure!