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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History Book Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- The Ultimate Visual History Book

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History” is totally tubular.

Written by Andrew Farago, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Visual History” is a comprehensive hardcover book that delves into the history of the franchise in its various media forms.

The book begins with a very honest foreword by co-creator Peter Laird about creating TMNT and its subsequent success. After that, readers essentially get the origin story of how Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird created the turtles in a half shell. From there on out, the pages are filled with first hand accounts about the comic book series, Mirage Studios, licensing (like the cereal and concert tour, video games), the classic 80’s animated series, the fantastic Playmates toy line, the post Laird/Eastman comic line, the TMNT movies, the Image comics line, “The Next Mutation” series, the 2000 animated series, the criminally underrated 2007 animated film, the televised “Turtles Forever” film (arguably the best TMNT film to date), the IDW comics, the 2012 TMNT Nickelodeon animated series, this year’s big screen adventure, etc.

Textual content aside, there are a TON of gorgeous color and B&W comic art pieces, animated storyboards, behind-the-scenes photos, film prop and toy pics, CGI renders, early character concept art, and several pieces of comic cover art. On top of all of that, there are several attachments inside the book including drawings, a press release for issue 1, a convention flyer, a TMNT fan club letter, and even script pages.

As a child of the 80’s and 90’s, TMNT was a major fixture of my childhood. Sure, the concept was silly, but the property still managed to be fun, imaginative, and exciting thanks to an interesting mythology and personable core characters. While I may not follow the franchise all that closely these days, I still have a nostalgic attachment to the original comic series, the feature films, and the lovable 80’s animated series. With that fondness intact, I found myself eager to dig into “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles- The Ultimate Visual History.” It should come as no surprise then that I found this “history” book to be utterly compelling.

Whether you’re an old or new fan, there’s so much to absorb here such as learning about a planned CGI movie based on the “City at War” comic storyline or getting the scoop on the Venus turtle debacle, Eastman’s other business ventures (like the Tundra comic company), technological issues in the making of first film, the Fugitoid character, business meeting details, and much more. Add in loads of revealing quotes by the creators and you really get a picture of the ups and downs of the enormously popular long-running franchise. In a nutshell (or a turtle shell if you will), this book includes everything you wanted to know about the TMNT franchise, but were afraid to ask.

Overall Thoughts: While TMNT may have stumbled at times (particularly in the late 90’s), there’s little question that the beloved multi-generational comic characters are as popular as ever as evidenced by the new hit film and the Nickelodeon animated series. If you are a fan of Leonardo, Donatello, Raphael and Michelangelo, you owe it to yourself to pick this bad boy up. It’s worth every penny.

Note: This book can be purchased on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles-Ultimate/dp/1608871851/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1412559884&sr=1-1&keywords=teenage+mutant+ninja+turtles+visual

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October 5, 2014 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , , , , , , ,

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