Tag Archives: Parody Press

Turtle Talk

Oops! That’s a whole oth­er IP, isn’t it?

This is not new work; it’s some­thing I redis­cov­ered going through some old files. Lit­er­al, phys­i­cal files in a fil­ing cab­i­net, I mean. It’s a com­ic book cov­er I did, and it was nev­er published.

Before I got into ani­ma­tion, I was try­ing to make comics my career. In the late ’80s/early ’90s, I did a fair amount of work for Don Chin, pub­lish­er of Par­o­dy Press/Entity Comics. Around that time, there was a Teenage Mutant Nin­ja Tur­tles strip appear­ing in news­pa­pers. Don was always look­ing for things he could do to expand his comics line, so he got the idea to license the TMNT strip and put it out col­lect­ed in com­ic book form.

To that end, he had me do a cou­ple pieces of art. The one you see here was going to be the cov­er of (I believe) the first issue. The rea­son the for­mat looks odd is because the cov­er art was going to have bor­ders around it, and a big, offi­cial TMNT logo up top, tak­ing up rough­ly a third of the page. As I recall, the plan was that I was going to be the reg­u­lar cov­er guy for the comic.

Unfor­tu­nate­ly, they had to pull the plug on the project. Don found out that the one thing they would not allow him to do with the strip was to col­lect it and put it out in com­ic book form. He could basi­cal­ly do just about any­thing but that. Per­haps because then that would put it in com­pe­ti­tion with oth­er TMNT com­ic books. So this is the first time any­one out­side of Don, Lau­ra, any­one else who were work­ing for them, or myself, have seen this cov­er art.

Enjoy, and stay cool!

Don’t Try to Con Me!”

Hm. How to explain this? It’s a par­o­dy of the cov­er of X‑Men #4, obvi­ous­ly (with all apolo­gies to Jack Kir­by!). Yes, it’s pret­ty sil­ly stuff. And there’s a rea­son I did it.

Back before I start­ed my ani­ma­tion career, I kin­da thought I was going to make comics my life’s work. I had just fin­ished get­ting as much train­ing at Art Cen­ter as I could afford on my own dime, and set about launch­ing my comics career in earnest. I hon­est­ly don’t remem­ber now exact­ly how we end­ed up cross­ing paths, but I was in con­tact with Don Chin, who was at that time pub­lish­ing comics under the names Par­o­dy Press and Enti­ty Comics. His inde­pen­dent titles were actu­al­ly doing pret­ty decent num­bers. I was­n’t going to get rich doing this work, but every career has to start some­where, right?

As you’d expect from the name, Par­o­dy Press was all about lam­poon­ing exist­ing comics. One of the projects I agreed to do for Don was a par­o­dy of the X‑Men, called X‑Cons. The book had sto­ries from sev­er­al peri­ods in the his­to­ry of the char­ac­ters. I pen­ciled the open­ing chap­ter, fea­tur­ing the debut of the Sil­ver Age ver­sion of the team: Pro­fes­sor Ex, Dum­b­kophs, Beast­ie Boy, the Anglo, Sno-Cone and Jean­nie Okay (AKA Mar­velous Girl).

I did oth­er projects for Don too, but over time the mar­ket for these books began to dry up, until some projects I’d worked on did­n’t even get enough orders to go to press. At that point, I thought maybe I need­ed some­thing that might pay a bit stead­ier, so I put some feel­ers out and wound up get­ting into ani­ma­tion. Fun­ny to think about it now, in this con­text, but my very first job in ani­ma­tion? Char­ac­ter mod­el cleanup on X‑Men: the Ani­mat­ed Series.

Fast-for­ward to recent­ly: Don got back in touch. He told me he wants to do a reprint of the X‑Cons book, with addi­tion­al mate­r­i­al and in col­or this time. He was curi­ous if I might be game to con­tribute some­thing, per­haps a vari­ant cov­er. It hap­pened to be good tim­ing. We talked about it, and you see the result here. Sil­ly, but fun. I did two ver­sions: reg­u­lar, and extra-crispy!

When Don gets his cam­paign up and run­ning for those inter­est­ed in this book, I’ll update and post a link here.