Friday, August 19, 2011

Awesome Turtle Picture #005

If anyone ever asks me what my all-time favorite piece of Ninja Turtle artwork is, my answer will always be this piece by Michael Dooney:

Originally created as a new cover for the second printing of TMNT (Vol. 1) #4 (recreating the original Peter Laird cover), it would eventually become one of the most reused pieces of art within TMNT merchandising.

If you recognize it from anything, it's most certainly as the box artwork for the first NES TMNT game by Konami:

The art would go on to be used for Tiger Electronics handheld games, on cabinets for Konami's TMNT Arcade game and just about every place else. Thanks to being recycled for merchandising to such a vast extent, it's easily one of the most recognizable bits of Turtle art ever, not to mention one of the best.

There's so much kinetic energy going on in that print, the art nearly leaps off the page and nunchakus you right in the face. And knowing that it was hand-painted the ole fashioned way and not with computers only makes it that much more impressive.


Anonymous said...

I had Dooney autograph my NES cartridge a few years back :-)

Mark Pellegrini said...


That's awesome.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to think they never changed the bandanas to the colors that kids knew at that time. Kinda neat the reds made it through on the cover art.

Alex Deligiannis said...

Memory might be a little fuzzy, but I'm almost certain there were posters of this image, as well.

VforVashaw said...

I bought one of these prints from Mike a few months ago. He didn't advertise it on the blog but I asked what prints he had stocked and this was one of them. He may still have more.

Mark Pellegrini said...


Thanks for the info, man! I'll see if I can hit Dooney up and hopefully he has some left (and they're in my price range). Definately a gotta have for me. I appreciate the tip, man!

Adam said...

Homaged for the 21st Century!

Mark Pellegrini said...


That made my day.

PL said...

Re: this quote:

"Originally created as a new cover for the second printing of TMNT (Vol. 1) #4 (recreating the original Eastman/Laird cover), it would eventually become one of the most reused pieces of art within TMNT merchandising."

The original cover for the first printing of TMNT Volume 1 #4 was actually NOT an Eastman/Laird collaboration. I penciled, inked and created the color overlay for that cover (using a piece of Duo-Shade paper, if memory serves). This was during a time when Kevin and I were alternating cover duties. -- Peter Laird

Mark Pellegrini said...


Thanks! I guess it's a "better safe than sorry" habit to mutually credit you and Eastman together on vintage art.

I made the change to the post for accuracy's sake.

Adam said...

Neat to know the original layout and lines were all Peter's work. So cool that he responded!

I couldn't help but look back onto this today in comparison with the mini-poster print version I recently had framed. My print crops off a bit of the top image and inserts the franchise name over the top.

I'm curious as to whether different version of posters were released of this back in the day. As a kid, I remember having this image pasted on a humongous piece of cardboard (I drew the Ghostbusters logo on the cardboard back side for some reason).

Chris Arndt said...

Tiger didn't have the license for the handheld game. Konami did. I own it.

I still have it even though it stopped working because it just looks so frikkin cool.

Konami also made a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Basketball handheld game, which I also own, and it does work.

Unknown said...

I have this poster from like the late 80s early 90s i never understood it because they all had the same bandanas. Not to be arogrent but is it rare or special..