Jack and Troy from ZiaComics.com got the opportunity to interview Kevin Eastman at El Paso Comic Con 2016. We apologize for the background noise. There was a vending machine in the green room and there was a con going on.
Kevin Eastman is best known for co-founding Mirage Comics and co-creating the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise alongside friend and colleague Peter Laird. He purchased Heavy Metal Magazine and became publisher of it`s U.S. branch. He is currently co-writing and doing covers for IDW`s current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles run.
After moving to Northampton, Massachusetts and while searching for someone to publish his comics Kevin Eastman met Peter Laird. After working together on several projects the two decided to publish their own independent comic book and in May of 1984 released the first issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles under the company name Mirage Comics. To save on their budget the book was printed in black and white. The initial print was only 3,000 copies and funded by a $1000 loan Eastman took from his uncle. By September of the following year the first issue had been reprinted five times. With the success of issue 1 demand for issue 2 was much higher with pre-orders of 15,000 copies, thus allowing Eastman and Laird to work on the series full-time.
Soon the books had begun to get enough attention that the brand was reaching out and in 1985 a How to draw: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles book was released by Solson Productions, along with several martial arts manuals centered around the Turtles. This was only the beginning. Shortly after Eastman and Laird began licensing the characters and soon there were roleplaying books and miniatures released by Polladium and Dark Horse, respectively. With more and more attention being given to the characters, in December 1987 the first episodes of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series premiered and was an instant hit leading to a nine year 10 season run. This led to Eastman and Laird being approached by Playmate Toys and a full line of action figures which lasted the entire length of the series with new figures being released with each season.
With the series came more comics, toys, roleplaying games, and even video games, solidifying the Turtles as a franchise to be respected.