Kevin Eastman here. You probably know me as co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and possibly as owner of Heavy Metal Magazine. I'm also one of the contributors to the new documentary Turtle Power: The Definitive History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (which, not coincidentally, was just released on DVD and digital HD ).

I have an hour today to answer as many of your questions as possible with some help from my team. So go ahead & AMA!

UPDATE Thank you for taking the time to hang out with me today and hope we get to do it again real soon!

Comments: 270 • Responses: 40  • Date: 

Shouldbeworking2225 karma

What do you think of the new TMNT movie?

iAmKevinEastman29 karma

Quite simply, I love it. Worked on various parts of it's development for 4 years. We had the right director for the project and you can clearly see Michael Bay's hand in it. I'm so proud of it and am glad the fans have responded so favorably.

Bravesthope19 karma

Why didn't I grow up to be a Ninja Turtle like I said I would back in '89?

iAmKevinEastman23 karma

It's never too late Bravesthope!

mwood91916 karma

I think April O'Neil was (originally, anyway) a great character to have in a comic book story as weird as the TMNT one. She's ambitious, driven, intrepid and cunning. And the Turtles never sexualized her as many other comic characters might have done with such a figure.

Was there a conscious effort to make a female character that was basically a 5th (but human) Turtle? One to which women and young girls could relate and admire?

iAmKevinEastman26 karma

Absolutely. I've always been personally very fond of strong, independent, female characters. With April we wanted her to be the big sister and considered more like a family member than anything else. Very strong personality and awesome character on her own.

TigerClaw30513 karma

What were the inspirations behind the creation of The Shredder?

iAmKevinEastman37 karma

Peter & I were doing dishes one night. I was drying off a metal cheese grater and I turned to Pete and said, "Man, can you image a bad guy with one of these on his arm. He'd shred your arm off. We could call him the Grater." Peter suggested The Shredder. Absurd ideas can come from anywhere when you're dealing with TMNT.

Gods_Hand0110 karma

If Frank Miller came to you and wanted to do a dark story of the turtles, kind of like Batman, would you do it? Like a mini series or one shot.

iAmKevinEastman19 karma

Let me think about it for less than one second before I said yes.

skip92410 karma

Hey Kevin,

Thank you for creating the TMNT. I'm a huge fan of the IDW comic series. I read somewhere that you only have the series planned up until issue #50 or so. Are there any plans to keep it going beyond that?

iAmKevinEastman20 karma

I also adore the IDW series. We do have stories plotted out up until #50 but we're hopeful there will be another 50 if you fans keep reading them.

kevstark9 karma

How did you figure out the personalities of the four Turtles? When did you know Leo would be the leader or Donatello would be the smartest one?

iAmKevinEastman19 karma

The personalities were developed early on. When you have a group of superheroes or kids playing on a playground it feels like the personalities pop up quickly. You always need a smart one (Donatello), one you want to have on your side in a fight (Raphael). Pretty much from the first issue we knew who they were.

One_Mile_Closer9 karma

Hi Kevin! Was there a defining moment when you all of the sudden went from, "Wow, I can't believe this turtle thing is starting to take off," to "Holy shit, I'm about to be stupid rich!"?

iAmKevinEastman20 karma

I love these questions. To me the moment was when fans starting ordering copies of Turtles issue #2. The pre-orders were 15,000 copies and from that moment on in 1985, I've been able to draw comic books for a living and nothing could top that.

Bob0028 karma

Who is your favorite Turtle?

Favorite character overall in the TMNT Universe?

Who is responsible for greenlighting TMNT III?

Do you feel bad that it is the Highlander 2 of hte TMNT series?

iAmKevinEastman25 karma

That's easy - Michelangelo is my favorite turtle. He was the first ever drawn. Even though it's hard to pick, he is my favorite.

mwood9198 karma

Hey Kev!

Have you ever conceived of what the Turtles would be like after their teenage years? Perhaps after Splinter has passed away? Maybe in their 30s (if mutant turtles live that long)... if being "super heroes" just wasn't a possibility for them because of their age, how would they continue to fight crime and protect NYC? (This was probably covered in a comic somewhere that I have yet to read, but... thought I'd ask you directly.)

iAmKevinEastman13 karma

Of many, many possibilities I would like to see the Turtles go back into outer space and travel around like my heroes from Star Trek. They'd all live long and prosper.

sleepingseeker8 karma

What are you most looking forward to seeing being brought to life in the next movie? (I saw the new one 3xs in theaters this past weekend, loved it!!)

iAmKevinEastman11 karma

I would love to see Casey Jones and Bebop and Rock Steady brought into the next movie as well as some new bad guys. Glad you liked the new one SleepingSeeker.

judomonkeykyle7 karma

Favorite comic book character growing up?

iAmKevinEastman10 karma

Kamandi was my favorite character growing up and is still one of my all time favorites.

Sparkle1486 karma

If Leonardo is the oldest, and Michelangelo is the youngest, who is older: Donatello or Raphael? Thanks, Kevin!

iAmKevinEastman24 karma

I don't think I've ever been asked that question. I'm going to take a bold step and say Donatello is older.

Erios136 karma

When I went to see the new TMNT, I saw a ton of kids walking in and out of the theater with ninja turtles shirts and a few costumes, all super psyched about going to see this movie. How do you feel about the fact that a whole new generation of fans are being created due to the new show and movie? I know I'm excited since I'm able to share one of my childhood obsessions with my 2 year old.

iAmKevinEastman12 karma

I guess I couldn't have said it better myself. What makes me so proud is that 30 years later, we created something original fans that get to and want to share with their kids makes me even prouder and honored.

Indydegrees26 karma

What's your favourite TMNT storyline?

iAmKevinEastman13 karma

It's called "Return to NY." It was Turtles 1920 and 21.

BullshitCircus5 karma

Hello Mr. Eastman!

Just curious, who's your favorite supporting character in the TMNT canon?

Thanks for conducting this AMA!

iAmKevinEastman12 karma

Human wise - I'd have to say Casey Jones

dayofthedead2045 karma

Hi Kevin,

I’m a huge fan and thanks for doing this ama! I have two questions:

  1. What’s something you wish from the TMNT comics that would be adapted into the films? The Triceratrons? The Mousers? The violence?
  2. Given your involvement with the Heavy Metal Magazine - what do you consider to be some of the best works published by “Heavy Metal?”

Thanks Kevin!

iAmKevinEastman7 karma

The best work by Heavy Metal is anything by Richard Corben, Moebius and any covers by Simon Bisley or Luis Royo.

df6195 karma

Mr. Eastman,

I actually had the opportunity to meet you during San Diego Comic-Con's Wednesday Preview Night and it was such an honor to meet you. Thank you again for signing my copy of the TMNT: The Ultimate Visual History (

My one and only question is this:

Is there any one Turtle from any iteration that you relate to the most and why? Understanding the fact that the personalities from almost every iteration of the Turtles differ in ways that are very minute to drastically different.

iAmKevinEastman10 karma

It was nice to meet you too df619. Michelangelo from the new Nickelodeon series (besides being my favorite) - his comedy is the closest to what I had imagined him to be.

passwordiscat12344 karma

What is your favorite television show?

iAmKevinEastman10 karma

The Big Bang Theory is my favorite. My wife and I have watched them all 50x. Rules of Engagement is hilarious and Modern Family is so clever and funny.

dnunez134 karma

Is there any character from the original TMNT action figure line that you would like to see reintroduced for the Nick show?

iAmKevinEastman13 karma

Yes! We did a samurai rabbit character named Ussagi Yojimvo and I'd loved to see him brought into the Nick series.

dnunez133 karma

What character or team would be your dream TMNT Crossover?

iAmKevinEastman5 karma

I would say either XMen or The Avengers.

HannShotFirst3 karma

Well, someone already asked who your favorite Turtle was, so who's your favorite Turtle villain? Krang? Shredder? Bebop and Rocksteady?

Second, I know the facemasks were originally all red, did you have any input on the change to different colors?

Thanks for creating a team of such enduring pop-culture icons!

iAmKevinEastman11 karma

Bebob and Rocksteady for sure. It was Peter Laird's idea to do different color bandanas based on the animated show to make them more distinguishable.

kurtfan1823 karma

Thank you so much for making my childhood! How does it feel to have created a world that so many still love and continues to amaze new generations?

iAmKevinEastman8 karma

It makes me feel incredibly honored, incredibly humbled and unworthy at times. It is incredible to believe 30 years I'm here answering such awesome turtle questions.

unicorn10-103 karma

Do you watch anime?

iAmKevinEastman14 karma

Yes. My all time favorites are Cowboy Bebop, Trigun and Blue Submarine #6 to name only a very few

WhatIsInternets4053 karma

I heard that you were going to make a cameo in the new movie. Did I miss it, or was that just a rumor?

iAmKevinEastman9 karma

That's a great question. I did have a cameo in the new movie but it was cut at the last minute because I was too good. LOL

judomonkeykyle3 karma

What ideas sparked the creation of Casey Jones?

iAmKevinEastman12 karma

After the introduction of April, we wanted to have another human character as part of the family. Originally the character was intended to be more crazy than Raphael. The story idea was to introduce someone crazier than Raphael to make him calm down a little bit.

CaptainChewbacca3 karma

Huge fan of the turtles from back in the day. I've always wondered at some of the crazier side characters. Like... where did Casey Jones or Mondo Gecko come from?

I remember when I was a kid I had a TMNT young adults book that featured a team of Teenage Mutant Superspy Israeli Squirrels coming up against the turtles. Where do ideas like that come from?

iAmKevinEastman3 karma

Casey was added so we could have another human friend of the turtles but we always enjoyed coming up with new mutant characters like Mondo Gecko, Leatherhead that the turtles could hang out with.
That's the fun of working in a world where turtles, especially mutant turtles exist.

unicorn10-102 karma

What is your favorite animal?

iAmKevinEastman6 karma

A weiner dog. I have three of them sitting next to me right now. Actually, Pickles is on my lap.

awesumone2 karma

Have you played any of the TMNT videogames? Do you have a favorite tmnt game?

iAmKevinEastman8 karma

I have tried them all and they are a lot of fun but most of them are too difficult for an old guy like me.

sakura9282 karma


iAmKevinEastman8 karma


Parrot_dude2 karma

Will the TMNT and Power Rangers ever team up again?

Big fan by the way.

iAmKevinEastman2 karma

Good question Parrot_dude. That was a super fun team up but it's not in the plans . Too many other stories to tell first.

DaveSheil2 karma

Did you ever imagine when you were in Westbrook Maine as a teenager/young adult that life would turn into what it is today?

iAmKevinEastman4 karma

Not in a billion, trillion, gazillion years. Never. I always dreamed of being a comic book story teller but I never thought this would come true. I always like to blame the fans for that. They gave me the most awesome job in the world.

SupahMinah2 karma

Thank you for co-creating a huge part of my childhood. What is your favorite portrayal of the turtles?

iAmKevinEastman7 karma

Thank you very much SupahMinah. My all time favorite turtle portrayal is the first TMNT movie, present film and Nickelodeon animation aside. Cause I love both of those.

Velorium_Camper2 karma

What would you rather fight: 100 turtle sized Shredder or 1 Shredder sized turtle?

iAmKevinEastman7 karma

I wouldn't want to fight either but if I had to choose - I would go with 1 Shredder sized turtle

ChaseSuddarth2 karma

Have you ever dined on turtle soup?

iAmKevinEastman13 karma

No. Never. I couldn't.

Paaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa2 karma

I dunno if I'm wording this properly, but what would you have done if people were stupid and the Turtles never succeeded? What were your career plans back then?

Reading articles about the Turtles, you created them initially as a parody of all the titles out in the comic market at the time, so I'm curious to what you were planning on doing before the Turtles hit it big.

iAmKevinEastman7 karma

I would still be a comic book artist/writer even if TMNT didn't succeed. It's what I love.

Kal-Hell2 karma

What comic book character would you like to draw for a limited run?

What crossover with a comic character would you like to see the Turtles in?

iAmKevinEastman3 karma

Komandi 100%

ricecrkr262 karma

Hi Kevin,

Which turtles voice actor do you feel got closest to the voice you envisioned for the character when you created them?

iAmKevinEastman11 karma

I'd say Rob Paulson who did Raphael in the original cartoon series and Greg Cites who does Michaelangelo in the new Nickelodeon series.

aabbccatx2 karma

What is your favorite current cartoon that you have zero stake in?

iAmKevinEastman2 karma

SpongeBob and Rabid Rabbits.

KyleOfTheBeard1 karma

Another question:

What's the strangest thing you've ever seen, in relation to the Turtles? The internet is a weird place, and the Turtles are not immune to uh...well, Rule 34.

And apparently, there's a NSFW comic that was made through Archie? Is that true?

iAmKevinEastman7 karma

I've seen too much but I always love the personal drawings and sculptures the fans post. Their versions of the Turtles always make me laugh, smile and sometimes cringe.