Nickelodeon Coming to San Diego Comic Con

Are you a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Invader Zim, or Reptar? You are in luck, because Nickelodeon is bringing all of your favorites to their 1,800 square-foot booth! They’ll be bringing these shows to life through a “one-of-a-kind virtual and real-world experiences that will have fans saying, Cowabunga!” Also, look out for the return of Double Dare, the awesome and messy, game show from the 90’s!

“Select fans have the opportunity to interact with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Live,” a virtual reality experience that immerses users in the Turtles’ iconic New York City world and allows them to have a conversation with Mikey or Donnie—voiced live on the scene by Brandon Mychal Smith and Josh Brener, respectively. More details will be available soon for this off-site opportunity.

The “Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Live” experience is created by Nickelodeon’s Entertainment Lab, the network’s division that spearheads research and development efforts around new technologies such as virtual reality, mixed-reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence for Nick and its audience. Nickelodeon’s Entertainment Lab debuted Slime Zone, its first social virtual reality experience at IMAX VR centres globally in 2018, and recently announced a financial investment in Dreamscape Immersive, the location-based VR startup, whereby both entities have committed to produce an experience using Nick’s IP for kids and families.”

All day during the con, at their booth there will be different activities going on, that include, giveaways, character appearances, autograph signing, and more!! Plus, there will be two different panels happening during the show. Make sure you check them out:

Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turles – Thursday July 19th at 1:45PM in room 6A. This is all about Nickelodeon’s brand new TMNT animated series, joined by new voice cast–Omar Miller as Raph, Ben Schwartz as Leo, Josh Brener as Donnie, Brandon Mychal Smith as Mikey, Kat Graham as April O’Neil, and Eric Bauza as Splinter–along with the co-executive producers Andy Suriano and Ant Ward, and legendary voice director Rob Paulsen. The panel will feature never-before-seen clips from the upcoming series and be moderated by Keely Flaherty (BuzzFeed).

Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus! – Friday July 20th at 1:00PM in room 6A. Fans will strap on their tuna-filled jetpack, prepare their bladders for imminent release, and start singing the doom song as their favorite Irken invader returns to San Diego with a panel that dives into Nickelodeon’s forthcoming new movie, INVADER ZIM: Enter the Florpus. Joined by original series creator Jhonen Vasquez, art director Jenny Goldberg, and voice talent–Richard Horvitz(ZIM), Rikki Simons (GIR), Wally Wingert (Almighty Tallest Red) and Kevin McDonald (Almighty Tallest Purple), moderated by Hector Navarro (Geek & SundryNerdist).


Artist Spotlight: Kevin Eastman

Artist Spotlight: Kevin Eastman

Kevin Eastman grew up in a small town in Maine and discovered comics at a young age on a spinner rack in his local drugstore. Kevin’s biggest influence as a kid was Jack Kirby, and his parents were both artistic. In the summer of 1983, Kevin was renting a room from Peter Laird and his wife, drawing comics in what would later become Mirage Studios. One night out of an annoyance to Peter, Kevin thought “If Bruce Lee was an animal, what would be the stupidest animal? Slow moving turtle, fast moving martial artist.” A few sketches later and the Turtles were born.

Kevin and Peter decided to go the indy route after months of being turned down by the big publishing companies. “We were lucky that there was this wonderful movement of self-publishers, Dave Simms was doing a book called Cerebus, Wendy and Richard Pini doing Elfquest,” said Kevin. The first issue dropped in May of 1984 with 3000 copies after being “crowd funded” by Eastman’s relatives.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was always designed to be a parody, with a little New Mutants, Daredevil, and Jack Kirby mixed in. “I loved more grounded super heroes, Batman, Daredevil, (and) Captain America. Daredevil for me was one of my all-time favorites,” said Kevin. “I still remember Daredevil 158 when they brought in this new penciler named Frank Miller. (I thought) this guy’s pretty good!” The origin of the Turtles followed the Daredevil origin very closely, but focused on what happened to the radioactive canister after it fell into the sewer. “Marvel probably could’ve sued our butts off,” Kevin exclaimed.

In one of his most asked about stories, Kevin went on to tell the origin of the Turtles’ arch nemesis, Shredder. “Pete’s wife is an amazing cook, she’d cook us dinner and we’d do dishes. And on this particular night Pete was washing and I was drying, and there was one of those metal cheese graters. I slipped my hand inside to dry the inside, and I was holding the handle of the cheese grater (and said) can you imagine a bad guy with one of these?”

In the early 2000’s, both Kevin and Peter sold their rights to the Turtles to Viacom. The Turtles gained resurgence when Nickelodeon obtained the rights to the cartoon. IDW acquired the rights to the comic book, and asked Kevin if he would consult on the writing with Tom Waltz. It was a fresh idea after nearly 25 years, and they had planned on a 12 issue run. At issue 73, the IDW run became the longest running TMNT series, surpassing the Archie series. “Tom Waltz deserves 100% of the credit for what’s become the IDW universe,” said Kevin, as he also credited the tremendous response from the fans as a reason why this run became so popular.   

As TMNT marches towards its historic 100th issue, Kevin said that this is “kinda my tribute to the last run of Mirage comics that Pete and I did called City of War. Starting in issue 89, 90 (it) will run through issue 100 which will be double sized. (This is the) closest thing that I think we’ll ever get to the original Mirage series. Nothing will ever replace that, but the fact that tonally, attitude, edge, it was really written for the original fan base.” And all I can say to that is thank you.

Kevin Eastman appeared at Denver Comic Con on June 16th -17th 2018.

Written By Keith Shimabukuro

Not Even Beanie Babies Had Their Own Comic Book

Not Even Beanie Babies Had Their Own Comic Book

Gabe LLanas
The worlds of comic book and toy collecting often collide, but nothing quite on the level that Funko’s Pop Vinyls have taken it. Now a staple in every comic shop (and frankly just any where including Walgreens and 7-11), Funko has managed to infiltrate the collective mind of the consumer with its cutsy take on everything from Breaking Bad charaters to the Avengers. Now IDW is planing to release a Pop’s comic book.
For the month of May IDW will be presenting Funko Pop one shots of some of its most polpular titles: Ghostbusters, TMNT, X-Files, Strawberry Shortcake and Judge Dredd. This should be an interesting little forray into the world of cross collecting that IDW is clearly excited about.
“The marriage of IDW’s powerful storytelling ability with the exuberant style of the Funko brand is a perfect match and we can’t wait for fans everywhere to see what we’ve created!” said David Hedgecock, Editor-in-Chied of IDW.
As well as the one shots there will also be several titles that will have Pop Variants for covers in the month of may. It will be interesting to see if these will be hot collectors items with Funko completeists or comic collectors, or if the Funko brand has reached full market saturation. Only time will tell if the Pop will remain hot sellers and spawn a comic universe all their own or if they are slowly going the way of the Beanie Baby. At the very least we can prepare for cute overload in the month of May.