Thursday, August 17, 2023

TMNT (Vol. 1) #8: Remastered Edition


Publication date: August 2023

Art Remaster: Sean Michael Robinson

Special Thanks: Matt Dow, Margaret Liss, Benjamin Hobbs, David Birdsong, Brian West, Joshua Even

Project coordination: Dave Sim


This is a special remastered edition of TMNT (Vol. 1) #8. This project was possible due to the nature of Dave Sim's contract with Mirage during the joint creation of TMNT #8. As that contract was upheld after the Viacom corporation's purchase of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles intellectual property in 2009, Sim retains reprint rights to this issue.

Turtle Tips:

*This publication was preceded by the three-issue Pieces of Turtles 8 miniseries and an Ashcan Preview Edition of this book.

*This comic was made available to preorder through Kickstarter in March 2023. Pieces of Turtles 8 #3 was made available and fulfilled simultaneously with this comic.

*This comic had a print run of 8,750 copies across 40 variants.

*Variant cover artists: Dave Sim, Simon Bisley, Michael Dooney, Jim Lawson, Steve Lavigne, Fero Pe, Brandon Graham, Ciro Nieli, Al Gofa, Kyle Hotz, Federico Mele, Samuel G. Wolfe, Brookes Morris, Sam Heimer, Benjamin Hobbs, Carson Grubaugh, and Sean Michael Robinson.

*Also included during the campaign were Visions of Turtles 8 (a collection of art inspired by this comic) and 75 More Sleeps (a collection of art used in the "T8" trading card series). Enamel pins, prints, postcards, and extra trading cards were also included as stretch goals and add ons.


In my review for Pieces of Turtles 8 #3, I said that the Pieces of Turtles 8 miniseries was my real reason for following the TMNT 8 Remaster campaign and gobbling the breadcrumbs that led up to it. And that was true in terms of my hunger for new Mirage content, even if it was just historical material never seen or expressed before. If it's Mirage and it's new to me, I'm all over it.

But what of the actual TMNT #8 Remaster? Well, first, let's talk about the variant covers. Oh wow, there's a lot of them! Personally, I only got the Michael Dooney and Jim Lawson/Steve Lavigne covers:

I sure do love 'em, though! And if I was made of money, I might have gotten the 38 other covers, too. They were all really cool! But I ain't made of money so I had to go with my favorite Mirage guys.

Ok, Ok. What about the remaster?

Well, it's a very good remaster! Here are some comparisons between the TMNT 8 Remaster and my original copy of TMNT #8:

As you can see, this is the kind of remaster that only seeks to preserve the existing (and intended) image quality. All the lines are there, but with crisper presentation and on paper that doesn't look like tree bark. This is the good kind of remaster. It isn't trying to "improve" the existing book or change things here and there to appease some sort of modern aesthetic sensibility. It's the TMNT #8 you remember only now you can see it better. 

Hell of a lot more preferable to whatever the fuck IDW has been doing to the Mirage comics with their Color Classics reprints. Those slackers don't even look at the covers for color references and just make shit up. I mean, hey look! It's Renet in her CLASSIC red costume! You know? The red costume she's always worn since the very beginning? And don't you just love all those digital lens flares? Really improves the art by hiding it behind blobs of white!

Yeah, this is how comic remasters and restorations should be treated. A shame Sim can't handle the preservation and curation of all the Mirage TMNT comics. Because IDW just could not give a damn. Even their Ultimate Collection hardcovers which present the issues in black and white have no quality control. Multiple issues are missing their duo tones! IDW, are you BLIND!? 

But hey, Mirage isn't guiltless, either. They've done some awful remasters of their own material. Remember Peter Laird's attempt at remastering TMNT #1 with the PBBZ Reprint?

Whole backgrounds are missing!

Anyway, the point here is that remasters can very often go very wrong, even when the creators are involved in the process. So it's more of a blessing than you might think to get a remaster this good.

And if you missed it, well, I have a feeling you'll be able to get a copy of this book on the aftermarket for a reasonable price (at least for the time being). There are over 8,000 copies; you might not be able to get the cover you want, but I'm sure you'll be able to get something. And I'd recommend it, too. It's the nicest reprint of TMNT #8 out there. If this is one of your favorite issues and you find yourself rereading it often, you can finally put your original copy in the longbox for permanent safekeeping and use this one as your new napkin.