Thoughts on Kevin Eastman as an Artist?
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He has a style that makes him stand out and unique but is his art great? If not for starting his own pub/series would he have made it to the big two based on his artistic ability? I for one love his art....just having a hard time seeing it applied to the Marvel or DC stable. 

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Some art to get the discussion started. 

 

D56VXQgXoAM-gm8.jpg.05c2a8da484a1f416709a7fc6fa1ab1a.jpgSinHDuoshadewrap-1024x790.thumb.jpg.ee502ac6c667157fc0c8820b5fbe3dad.jpgYLFyMnYp_0808171048581gpadd.thumb.jpg.d0d2608c9f06c3a531b781094e7a596b.jpgdmRVNSKh_110219105448lola.thumb.jpg.7c695a9324f44abb2a29569c043e826c.jpg

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I think it is too ideosyncratic to blend with their house styles, particularly in this day and age where artists who draw like Jim Lee seem to be the rage. 

But, he may have different artistic styles we are not used to seeing, 

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9 minutes ago, Rick2you2 said:

I think it is too ideosyncratic to blend with their house styles, particularly in this day and age where artists who draw like Jim Lee seem to be the rage. 

But, he may have different artistic styles we are not used to seeing, 

His style does lean towards Frank Miller more so than Jim Lee. 

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1 hour ago, Blastaar said:

His style does lean towards Frank Miller more so than Jim Lee. 

His style leans more towards Junior High than anything else. He's gotten somewhat better the last 35 years though, now it's High School.

But I'm not sure we want these going negative leading threads, really, right? And without out that then, we have the high-five nostalgia echo chamber without anything resembling balance.

Would not be hired by Marvel or DC until after (and never without) Turtles Mania, and then it would be riding on that not talent/skill/draftsmanship.

I'm just telling it like I see it, but I could also stay mum. I probably will next time.

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Based on artistic ability, I would say no for DC/Marvel. I’m a child of TMNT mania back in the day. Does he deserve major credit for Turtles and how it’s apart of pop culture? Hell Yeah! Would I want a page from early Turtles? Of course. Is he in the league of other artist during the early days? I say No. 

I compare him to James O’barr. I consider The Crow an iconic book. Is the art good? I would say probably not. But I just bought a page and I’m very happy to have it. There is something to say about Indy artist that turn the comic industry upside down and they deserve major recognition. Even if they don’t draw for the big 2. 

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In 1985, just as TMNT began its meteoric rise into Indy comic pioneer / global pop icon, Kevin Eastman pitched Marvel on a Daredevil-TMNT cross-over.   A fascinating concept given that TMNT was a parody of Frank Miller’s Daredevil which was at peak popularity at the time.  Eastman’s tryout piece with DD and Leonardo in tandem is, I believe, one of the largest (18 x 24) and most detailed Turtles art as Eastman truly aimed to impress, escaping beyond the narrow page dimensions and manga style of early TMNT art.  Strong Miller influence and blockbuster appeal but Marvel ultimately declined (perhaps a regret in hindsight).  Anyway, here is the art (photographed through framed glass):

Eastman Marvel Tryout DPS

CADF091C-F324-45EB-B5DF-DE720EED9343.thumb.jpeg.9e0aa73de22044c4351c1de055075562.jpeg

Note:  Eastman’s inscription “To Eric - Best Wishes!” is to a fellow boardie and the original owner of the piece. :gossip:

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I’m still amazed by the climb in initial print runs. It’s crazy how fast it took off!
 

TMNT #1 (first printing) - 3,000

TMNT #1 (second printing) - 6,000

TMNT #1 (third printing) - 35,000

TMNT #1 (fourth printing) - 60,000

TMNT #2 (first printing) - 15,000

TMNT #2 (second printing) - 30,000

TMNT #3 (convention edition) - 500

TMNT #3 - 50,000

TMNT #4 - 60,000

TMNT #5 - 60,000

TMNT #6 - 65,000

TMNT #7 - 95,000

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1 hour ago, GreatEscape said:

In 1985, just as TMNT began its meteoric rise into Indy comic pioneer / global pop icon, Kevin Eastman pitched Marvel on a Daredevil-TMNT cross-over.   A fascinating concept given that TMNT was a parody of Frank Miller’s Daredevil which was at peak popularity at the time.  Eastman’s tryout piece with DD and Leonardo in tandem is, I believe, one of the largest (18 x 24) and most detailed Turtles art as Eastman truly aimed to impress, escaping beyond the narrow page dimensions and manga style of early TMNT art.  Strong Miller influence and blockbuster appeal but Marvel ultimately declined (perhaps a regret in hindsight).  Anyway, here is the art (photographed through framed glass):

Eastman Marvel Tryout DPS

CADF091C-F324-45EB-B5DF-DE720EED9343.thumb.jpeg.9e0aa73de22044c4351c1de055075562.jpeg

Note:  Eastman’s inscription “To Eric - Best Wishes!” is to a fellow boardie and the original owner of the piece. :gossip:

I remember seeing this on eBay years ago, regret not pulling the trigger. I’m the opposite. I love his early work, not so much the current style. 

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10 hours ago, vodou said:

His style leans more towards Junior High than anything else. He's gotten somewhat better the last 35 years though, now it's High School.

But I'm not sure we want these going negative leading threads, really, right? And without out that then, we have the high-five nostalgia echo chamber without anything resembling balance.

Would not be hired by Marvel or DC until after (and never without) Turtles Mania, and then it would be riding on that not talent/skill/draftsmanship.

I'm just telling it like I see it, but I could also stay mum. I probably will next time.

You were more blunt than I was, but yea.

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6 hours ago, Blastaar said:

I’m still amazed by the climb in initial print runs. It’s crazy how fast it took off!
 

TMNT #1 (first printing) - 3,000

TMNT #1 (second printing) - 6,000

TMNT #1 (third printing) - 35,000

TMNT #1 (fourth printing) - 60,000

TMNT #2 (first printing) - 15,000

TMNT #2 (second printing) - 30,000

TMNT #3 (convention edition) - 500

TMNT #3 - 50,000

TMNT #4 - 60,000

TMNT #5 - 60,000

TMNT #6 - 65,000

TMNT #7 - 95,000

I had tried to get a first printing when they were first announced, and they sold out immediately. Ended up with a second printing, and a first printing of issue 2 (as well as the others). The parody concept was so awesome back then, it sold itself.

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4 hours ago, Rick2you2 said:

The parody concept was so awesome back then, it sold itself.

And created a host of copycats.

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11 hours ago, GreatEscape said:

In 1985, just as TMNT began its meteoric rise into Indy comic pioneer / global pop icon, Kevin Eastman pitched Marvel on a Daredevil-TMNT cross-over.   A fascinating concept given that TMNT was a parody of Frank Miller’s Daredevil which was at peak popularity at the time.  Eastman’s tryout piece with DD and Leonardo in tandem is, I believe, one of the largest (18 x 24) and most detailed Turtles art as Eastman truly aimed to impress, escaping beyond the narrow page dimensions and manga style of early TMNT art.  Strong Miller influence and blockbuster appeal but Marvel ultimately declined (perhaps a regret in hindsight).  Anyway, here is the art (photographed through framed glass):

Eastman Marvel Tryout DPS

CADF091C-F324-45EB-B5DF-DE720EED9343.thumb.jpeg.9e0aa73de22044c4351c1de055075562.jpeg

Note:  Eastman’s inscription “To Eric - Best Wishes!” is to a fellow boardie and the original owner of the piece. :gossip:

Thanks for the interesting background info.

i always thought the Turtles were a parody based on Ronin, not Daredevil (shrug)

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I don’t think “skill” or “greatness” is a meaningful way to assess art. Judging on skill tends to imply that photorealism is the ultimate goal. Art would be pretty boring if that were the case. 

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12 hours ago, Blastaar said:

I’m still amazed by the climb in initial print runs. It’s crazy how fast it took off!
 

TMNT #1 (first printing) - 3,000

TMNT #1 (second printing) - 6,000

TMNT #1 (third printing) - 35,000

TMNT #1 (fourth printing) - 60,000

TMNT #2 (first printing) - 15,000

TMNT #2 (second printing) - 30,000

TMNT #3 (convention edition) - 500

TMNT #3 - 50,000

TMNT #4 - 60,000

TMNT #5 - 60,000

TMNT #6 - 65,000

TMNT #7 - 95,000

It's a common misconception that there were only 3,000 copies of the first print of TMNT #1.  In fact, Peter Laird has gone on record to say there were 3,275.  Not a big difference to be sure, but I think it's worth noting.

As for Kevin's artistic ability, I find it impossible to separate the art from the man.  If I had never met Kevin and didn't know the impact he had on the world around him, I'd say the art was not up to the level of many professional artists working in the industry in any era.  I probably wouldn't be a fan based on the art alone.  However, TMNT was huge for me as a kid and I've had a wonderful time collecting and reading the TMNT comics/art as an adult.  Add in the fact that Kevin has been exceptionally cool every time I've met him and I've never once heard any fan say they had a bad experience with him and suddenly I find myself as a huge fan of the art because I'm a fan of the man behind the art.  Is the art objectively great?  No.  Do I like it?  You'd better believe it!

Of course my opinion is biased.  I love the TMNT and have for over 30 years, so take this with a grain of salt.

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1 hour ago, Varanis said:

Judging on skill tends to imply that photorealism is the ultimate goal.

False choice fallacy.

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3 hours ago, jjonahjameson11 said:

Thanks for the interesting background info.

i always thought the Turtles were a parody based on Ronin, not Daredevil (shrug)

I've only heard TMNT described as a parody of DD based on story and similar origins.  There are 3 main allusions that Eastman and Laird made to the Daredevil franchise outlined here:

1. Master Splinter vs. Master Stick

What is a good ninja without a wise Master? Originally the pet rat of ninjutsu Master, Himato Yoshi, Splinter trains the young Turtles into the ninja warriors we love. But, how did Splinter receive his name? Maybe it has something to do with Daredevil’s Stick, who is a Master martial artist and trainer of Matt Murdock, Daredevil’s alter ego.

2. The Foot vs. The Hand

The enemies in both franchises share a special relationship. In the Ninja Turtle world, The Foot Clan is a household name, lead by the infamous Shredder. This is a pretty clear parallel with Daredevil’s The Hand, which originally debuted in Daredevil #174. In both series, both groups of villains are pretty similar as a group of costumed ninja “bad guys”.

3. A Similar Origin

The best for last. The origin of Daredevil is pretty well known, where a young Matt Murdock is the victim of a chemical truck accident. A mysterious chemical splashes Murdock in the face during the accident, blinding him, but also hyper-attuning his remaining senses. The Ninja Turtles were created in a similar accident, where a truck loses a canister of ooze, which hits a young boy exiting a pet store. Although this boy is not hit directly by the liquid, the Turtles fall into the sewer, where they encounter Splinter and come in contact with the mutating ooze. As seen below, there is a pretty clear reference to the Daredevil origin, where a young man is hit in the face by a can of ooze, specifically “near his eyes”.

 TMNT17.jpg

A reference to Daredevil #1 origin...

Image00001.jpg

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3 hours ago, Turtle said:

As for Kevin's artistic ability, I find it impossible to separate the art from the man.  If I had never met Kevin and didn't know the impact he had on the world around him, I'd say the art was not up to the level of many professional artists working in the industry in any era.  I probably wouldn't be a fan based on the art alone.  However, TMNT was huge for me as a kid and I've had a wonderful time collecting and reading the TMNT comics/art as an adult.  Add in the fact that Kevin has been exceptionally cool every time I've met him and I've never once heard any fan say they had a bad experience with him and suddenly I find myself as a huge fan of the art because I'm a fan of the man behind the art.  Is the art objectively great?  No.  Do I like it?  You'd better believe it!

Of course my opinion is biased.  I love the TMNT and have for over 30 years, so take this with a grain of salt.

I think this is the best answer. I feel the same way about Frank Miller and Go Nagai. It is hard to judge these people just as an artist in terms of pencil to paper since they are also writers, creators, etc. If an unknown Frank Miller who never did Daredevil, Sin City or Dark Knight Returns just drew a random person, would I be interested or impressed? Probably not. Would I be impressed by the original art of some of the climatic scenes of Dark Knight Returns - that a huge yes. Same thing with Go Nagai. Would I be impressed with his art if he wasn't the creator or Devil Man and Mazinger Z? No.

I also really like TMNT so I find Kevin Eastman's art just fine - especially being back in the 80's and being a small time indy comic they were getting off the ground. Like someone else above also said, Kevin has always been super nice to fans as far as I've seen. Always taking pictures, signing stuff, talking to people, etc. I've found that it can almost be a problem when trying to see him because he won't move people along and will always take more photos and the such.

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TMNT 1 is dedicated on the inside fc to Kirby and Miller and I've never seen a more appropriate dedication when I look at Kevin's style.  

I think his art has some merit along those lines.   Dynamic like kirby and nice mood like Miller.

Is it the zenith of comic art, no, but its a unique and appealing style.   That counts for a lot even if he doesn't draw like the second coming of... wait for it.... Raphael.   Ahem.

Edited by Bronty

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2 hours ago, Dokstarr said:

I think this is the best answer. I feel the same way about Frank Miller and Go Nagai. It is hard to judge these people just as an artist in terms of pencil to paper since they are also writers, creators, etc. If an unknown Frank Miller who never did Daredevil, Sin City or Dark Knight Returns just drew a random person, would I be interested or impressed? Probably not. Would I be impressed by the original art of some of the climatic scenes of Dark Knight Returns - that a huge yes. Same thing with Go Nagai. Would I be impressed with his art if he wasn't the creator or Devil Man and Mazinger Z? No.

I also really like TMNT so I find Kevin Eastman's art just fine - especially being back in the 80's and being a small time indy comic they were getting off the ground. Like someone else above also said, Kevin has always been super nice to fans as far as I've seen. Always taking pictures, signing stuff, talking to people, etc. I've found that it can almost be a problem when trying to see him because he won't move people along and will always take more photos and the such.

Honestly, I remember when Miller’s Daredevil came out, and I liked it. Don’t forget it was a different time, and in my opinion, there wasn’t nearly as much variation in styles for mainstream books back then. Eastman’s art is adequate, but not in the same category as the big two require. 

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