Friday, August 16, 2013

TMNT Fan-Comic!

Publication date: July 8, 2013
 
Story and art by Caleb Goellner and Buster Moody
 
"TMNT Fan-Comic!"
 
 
Summary:
 
A trio of Purple Dragons are absolutely tickled that they've finally been invited to the annual Foot Clan BBQ.  Only the cream of the criminal crop get invites and the punks figure they're moving up in the world.
 
Unfortunately, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Splinter have chosen to crash the shindig, pummeling the stooges before they can even get their homemade potato salad to the picnic table.  Splinter is especially livid, feeling that the Foot have committed an injustice so great, it requires the Turtles to make an uncharacteristic daytime appearance.



The TMNT lay waste to the gathering of super villains: Leo slices his way through some robot foes (Metalhead, Super Rocksteady, Mighty Bebop), Don flips a picnic table of hungry Foot Soldiers onto the unsuspecting Shogun Shoate/Chote, Mike cleanses the swimming pool (Merdude, Scale Tail, Armaggon) and Raph silences the musical entertainment (Antrax, DJ Krang and the truly villainous Vanilla Ice).

Finally, they confront Chef Shredder and trash his grill.  Why the outrage?  They're incensed that the Shredder would throw a pizza party and not invite them!  Shredder corrects them: This is a barbecue, not a pizza party.  Embarrassed, Splinter and the Turtles slink away as all the villains groan in pain and confusion.


Turtle Tips:

*Buster Moody made this comic viewable over at his blog.  Check it out!  Included are high quality download links, as well.  While you're at it, check out their creator owned comic, Task Force Rad Squad.


Review: 

There are a lot of great official TMNT comics out there, but I thought I'd extend myself a bit and spotlight some of my favorite fan creations (which are often just as entertaining, if not moreso, than many official publications).  This recent offering from Caleb Goellner and Buster Moody really caught my eye and I think it deserves some attention.

Look, I dig just about every iteration of the Ninja Turtle franchise, but I hold a special place in my heart for the weird micro-continuity of the Playmates action figure line.  That shit was just WEIRD; often too weird for even the Fred Wolf cartoon or Archie TMNT Adventures comic book, as they rarely included the toyline characters.  As an end result, many of the bizarre mutants with elaborate backgrounds (chronicled on the card backs) and even more elaborate designs... never got any fiction.

Well, beyond the stories I made up in my head as I played with my toys.  And really, what could possibly top those?

Goellner and Moody come pretty close, with this fan-comic being a really fun romp through the irreverent insanity of the Playmates toyline.  Just about every villain from the toyline is present at the barbecue (and even a few heroes who probably shouldn't be there, like the Fugitoid) and playing "Where's Waldo" with them is 90% of the fun.  I considered listing them all in the Turtle Tips section, but that'd just be ruining the game for everybody. 
 
Some of the details present on the toy-accurate character designs really ought to be acknowledged, though.  I'm talking about obscure stuff such as Pizzaface's meatball-shaped Siamese twin, which was a part of his toy's prototype but dropped from the release sculpt.  Even Tatsu is there, in what appears to be his Konami video game design (he was a boss in TMNT: The Hyper Stone Heist for the Sega Genesis).

The art is lively and chaotic, but not a mess to read.  And the dialogue is a collection of weirdly strung together quips, catchphrases and non sequiturs which make the juvenile strangeness of the proceedings all the more hilarious.  Shredder seems to be the only character with an ounce of self awareness.

It's only 7 pages (8 if you count the spread as two), but it's a really fun 7 pages.  The quantity of Easter Eggs and sight gags give it a considerable re-read value and I've probably spent more time poring over this fan-made short than I have most full-length comics from official publishers (I don't know why I find the toy-accurate wind-up Mouser smoking a cigarette so funny; I just do).  So give it a look and maybe check out some of Goellner and Moody's other stuff.  You can claim you have better things to do, but you're lying.

(Also, I admit defeat in that I can't identify the two robots in the foreground that Leo beheads.)




7 comments:

Adam Winters said...

Hadn't seen that yet, so thanks for sharing!

Toy-inspired TMNT fan art is probably my favorite kind!

I'm curious to see where you'll go with your coverage of fan-comics, but I'm excited. Just brace yourself for all the "Dude, read my fan comic and plug it on your blog!" requests that are sure to be coming your way.

Speaking of which... did you ever read my own 13-page fan comic? Just kidding! hehe

Mark Pellegrini said...

@Adam

I'll cop to the truth: Like the Turtle Soup shorts, I'm branching into Fan Comics so that I have something shorter and quicker to review when I can't sit down and tackle a full issue.

That being said, there are a lot of good ones out there that deserve recognition. I think I'll cover that Raph and Casey vs. Pizzaface one next, because. Pizzaface.

Having a section under the Misc. Publishers index for Fan Comics will also give me a place to catalog Odyssey when it finally comes out, too.

Adam Winters said...

Preparing the way for Odyssey is very good idea!

And, aw man, Pizzaface! It's been so long since I last saw that one!

Did you ever read through Tony Day's "Turtle Turncoat" which he finally finished up a few months ago? That comic started out pretty rough (grammar especially) back around 2001, but Tony really sought help in improving his work over the course of the last three chapters. I think overall it's a pretty respectable Raphael-centric piece where the story matured along with the artist individually and the TMNT franchise as a whole.

Mark Pellegrini said...

@Adam

I had no idea Turtle Turncoat had still been going.

To be honest, I wrote it off when it began as a fetish comic and haven't thought about it in years. It's not very high on my list (and I'm mostly just gonna go for short strips, honestly).

Adam Winters said...

Yeah, that infamous bit with April in the Technodrome was definitely the low point of the book, and I think even Tony came to regret that part soon after he did it.

But the story really picks up with
"Issue 2," which is almost a fresh start but with previous 63 pages serving as background story to Raphael's struggles to find purpose and acceptance after disgracing himself before his father and brothers.

As rough as Issue 1 can be to read, the next three issues are quite a bit different in style and tone. I was able to befriend Tony over the years and he even invited me to advise the direction of the last 110 pages or so of the storyline. I recommend folks do take the time to read the whole story before passing judgment on its quality:

http://www.trydowave.com/

Killer Moth said...

Thank you, Mark, that was most enjoyable. And admittedly, I had a mini-fangasm when seeing Scale Tail. One of my favorite character designs from the original Playmates toyline, yet, as you said with many other weird figures and designs, got no fiction. Just seems so wrong.

As for the two robots, maybe they were from the Manhattan Project video game, as per those big eyes? I mean, of course, those humanoid robots that jump away when you attack them, first introduced in the Technodrome level. But I'm only guessing, so.

Speaking of robots, I do call a little shenanigans on no Chrome Dome. But only a little, as with so many lovely cameos (including Wyrm, Antrax and Scumbug), you're bound to lose some characters.

As for Turtle Turncoat, I'll give that a look. Thanks for the link, Adam.

The Z-Man said...

If I'm not mistaken, the Purple Dragons' designs are based on that gang from Dark Knight Returns. The middle one even says "slice n' dice," which was sort of a catchphrase.