Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Dean Clarrain Exposé

Summer:1989. The archie book is in utter chaos and on serious brink of
breach of contract. I get the idea to take over the title and dump the
adaptions for new,original stories that meld the Mirage TMNTs with the
animated TMNT and combine the best of both worlds. But I can't do it alone
so before approaching Kev and Pete I go to new-found friend Steve Murphy and
discuss my plans with him and ask if he'd be interested in writing it. He's
reluctant. I explain what a great opportunity this is. He's mum. I force the
issue with him. He's totally emersed in THE PUMA BLUES and all of it's DAVE
SIM, DIAMOND controversy at the moment. Threats are made, arms are twisted
and I berate him until he caves! His only stipulation... that he write
under a pseudonym. We move forward with a story about a new character I've
just created in honor of, and based upon, him! Steve Murphy!! (more on that in a later post)
We pull it all together post haste and approach the Dynamic Duo. They are
ecstatic. We get their blessing, hoo-rah! With time fleeting and everything
due "yesterday" , we hit the ground running trying to catch up to a mess of
already missed deadlines and a totally insane schedule looming on the
horizon. We try to cover all the bases, the cowabungas, the pizzas, the
constant pressure from Playmates to make every damn panel on every
frickin' page a toy commercial. Dire jeopardy reins, but with sleepless
nights, hard work and lots of mountain dew we get The New Direction to the
creative team and history is made...the triumphant issue five of Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures!!


Vaughn Michael said...

I love it and Screw Playmates, they new chucked out the window like a clock! They have been screwing around with this property for to long, they bully people into doing things then they never even make or release toys they had planned based on things from comics and the toon.
Now they are not making new toys for back to the sewer but using the ugly movie turtle sculpts over and over and over.
I've grown so tired of them and they've lost one of their biggest fans if this crap continues, the only things I've been buying are mini-mutants.
They need to get it together and study the toy market at the moment and realize exactly what's going on with other lines and the direction that it's going and that it's not children who make up the majority of buyers of plastic characters these days it's adults.
Sorry but I've grown really tired of the B.s.

Roseangelo said...

Arg, still need to dig up that interview. I believe you guys talk about how you took over the book n stuff...

Neil Vitale said...

It's nice to see that at least the smart employee's know that Playmates is not a good thing for the turtles longevity and future health. But the only thing that will change that is if everyone goes broke.

I'm done ranting. I've got my own properties to think up and lessons to learn on what not to do with them, thanks to the mistakes made in the turtles franchise :).

Nice to see that you where able to get that nice blend between the two universes going. The final season of the show is the strongest, I think as they finally took chances.

Dregg went insane and apparently died. Shredder and Krang, yet no Bebop and rocksteady anywhere. Don and Mike using Krangs Android body, and shocking of all, an appearance with that and the Technodrome all by itself, with no 4 bad buys around to boot. That's what made that final season fun, the writers got to hang loose a bit.

Adam said...

An historic triumph!

Nick Nitro said...

I would love additional stories about the production of TMNT Adventures! this was great.

Ectopaul said...

Just to make sure I'm on the same page as everyone else, Cowabunga Dude! is Ryan Brown right?

Anyway this issue means a lot to me. Actually I had the childrens book version before I got the archie issue 5 which I got in my tween years when I was completing the Archie run. Man completing that run was tough, with no ebay or internet. I was actually on a road trip with my family visiting friends of the family when I decided to look up comic shops in the area. I scored some old Usagi Yojimbo and lots of archie tmnt issues at the one store my Mom would take me to, it was glorious.

Anyway the children's book version was like my favorite thing as a small child so finding out it was an archie issue first was pretty awesome.

Vaughn Michael said...

Btw your work wasn't done in vain you guys have so many fans, in fact it's these comics that had drawn me into turtles I wouldn't have ever even known about the Mirage comics if it wasn't for the Archie ones.
My Heros! :)

Dinoff said...

It's awesome what a stand you took with the book. It was always one of my favorite comics to read, & I wouldn't mind if it came back under Mirage with the same art & storylines that were in the old Archie books!

Question: Why did Steve want to write under the other name? Was he fearing that it would be bad or something?

~ tOkKa said...

-->> ..i'm also glad .. still you guys stood by your cuns on the toon.

Fred Wolf's crew would have f9cked the entire premise of Ray's character.

.. >v<

Unknown said...

I'd really love to see the TMNTA universe back in action. #28-30 is where I really fell in love with the setting, and I eventually tracked down the whole run many years after scooping up those issues at my local bookstore. I want to thank you for some of my favorite stories and characters.

To me Wingnut, Man Ray, and Mary Bones/Cherubae are just as essential to the TMNT mythos as April or Mousers.

zog said...

Wow, I can't wait to hear further stories about the production of TMNTA. Its the most important comic book series in my life!

Topsu said...

I'm glad you took over that series, I loved all those stories, and this was the only TMNT comic released here (with exception of few books of vol1 of mirage) and that's what made me like TMNT more than cartoon.

Later on I learned about other comics too, but Archie ones have special place in for me, and I still use them a lot. Hell, I even planned doing a "untold adventures" fancomic, but gettin a story in comic form just isn't my thing, only could finish few pages of that...

Only bad thing about finnish versions of it was, that mutanimals series's were left out, and some pages were taken off from Cyber samurai story (Hitler's suicide and Raph's shooting in the end), but luckily I got to read those later.

Cat Blackard said...

Despite my overwhelming love for TMNT Adventures and the Mutanimals, clearly I've fallen short. It's freaking January and only now have I found this INCREDIBLE blog and only now is my brain spinning with the ramifications of this revelation.

Dean and Chris' comics influenced my writing and art all through my adolescence. I owe so much to them. Years ago I wrote to Dan Berger asking if I could be put in contact with them - I had so many questions (many of them answered in this very blog) and wanted to express to thank them for how important their comics were to me. Dan said something about how Dean was really hard to get a hold of but he'd forward it to Murph and see if he knew anything. (Ha ha.) And so it turns out the mysterious author who tremendously influenced my creative development as a child was a readily accessible and known personality all along. I'm struggling to overcome the shock.