Jack and Troy from ZiaComics.com got the opportunity to interview Kevin Eastman at El Paso Comic Con 2016.
(We apologize for the background noise, but there was a vending machine in the room and there was a con going on in the background.)
Kevin Eastman is best known for co-founding Mirage Comics and co-creating the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise alongside friend and colleague Peter Laird. He purchased Heavy Metal Magazine and became publisher of it`s U.S. branch. He is currently co-writing and doing covers for IDW`s current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles run.
While searching for someone to publish his comics Kevin Eastman met Peter Laird. After working together on several projects the two decided to publish their own independent comic book. In May of 1984 they released the first issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles under the company name Mirage Comics. To save on their budget the book was printed in black and white.
The initial print was only 3,000 copies. It was funded by a $1,000 loan Eastman took from his uncle. By September of the following year the first issue had been reprinted five times. With the success of issue 1, demand for issue 2 was much higher. They received pre-orders of 15,000 copies. This allowed Eastman and Laird to work on the series full-time.
In 1985 a How to draw: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles book was released by Solson Productions. They also published several martial arts manuals centered around the Turtles. Shortly after Eastman and Laird began licensing the characters. There were role-playing books and miniatures released by Polladium and Dark Horse, respectively. In December 1987 the first episodes of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series premiered. It was an instant hit leading to a nine year – 10 season run. This led to Eastman and Laird being approached by Playmate Toys. They licensed a full line of action figures which lasted the entire length of the series with new figures being released with each season.
With the series came more comics, toys, roleplaying games, and even video games. This solidified the Turtles as a franchise to be respected.