Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (commissioned by Paramount Pictures)
Earlier this year at Manchester’s Blab I spoke about some of the things I loved as a kid, such as how in the 80s, Ninjas were everywhere, which was just fine with me. While I didn’t get chance to mention the Turtles specifically in the talk, I clearly remember discovering the Eastman/Laird comics in a local (and sweaty) comic shop aged twelve (which sadly closed many years ago, though there is still a good local shop in the town called Close Encounters) and being hooked. Raphael’s sai seemed like such exotic/cool weapons so I certainly drew him the most. Of course in the UK any self-respecting burgeoning geek had to get their hands on the American comics because in the cartoons we didn’t get Ninjas at all, only the more generic and ‘safer’ sounding ‘Heroes’.
The point is that the twelve year old me would have been very excited if he could have know that one day he’d get commissioned by Paramount Pictures to create an alternative poster to accompany the launch of a new movie about those green heroes in their half-shells, and that’s exactly what you’ll find above.
Several other artists have been commissioned and the collected works can be found at the Legend of the Yokai campaign site. Here’s the direct link to mine.
In terms of the piece itself, I wanted the composition to be really dynamic, self-contained but leading your eyes around from character to character. I felt that the laboratory tubes you see in the trailer filling up with green liquid (which presumably are in some way connected with the origin of the Turtles) represented a perfect device for framing the characters, although importantly, their signature weapons all overlap this flowing frame.
The whole process was a smooth one. I presented a few possible layouts to Paramount and actors Megan Fox, Will Arnett and William Fichtner all approved their likenesses on the first attempt to win their approval. Thanks to Paramount for the opportunity.