About this project
Between May, 1984 and August, 1993, Mirage Studios published 62 issues of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Volume I. In 1989, Archie began publishing Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, ultimately resulting in a 72-issue run between March, 1989 and October, 1995. These two TMNT titles are iconic staples in comic book history. The former is the original series that, with issue #1, introduced the world to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The latter is the series that pretty much mainstreamed the Turtles, morphing them into the kid-friendly all-ages animated Turtles that propelled them into pop-culture history.
Over the next several years, there were other Ninja Turtles comic book titles/volumes published but only a couple of them lasted more than a year or two. In 2001, Mirage Studios’ Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Vol. IV saw some success with a 32-issue run between December, 2001 and April, 2015. Then, starting in January, 2004, Tales of the TMNT, Vol. II was introduced by Mirage Studios and it had a fantastic run until May, 2010 when it tapped out at a total of 70 issues.
We’ve now had 33 years of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics (with maybe a few dry years mixed in there). Yet, in that time, no Turtles title has been able to exceed the 72-issue run set by Archie’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures …but that’s all about to change. This August (2017), IDW will release issue #73 of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Volume V and, with that issue, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Volume V from IDW will become the longest-running (issue-wise) Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic ever! This fantastic achievement is six years in the making, beginning its journey in August, 2011 when IDW released the first issue (which, as of now, has 21 cover variants). It’s an epic accomplishment that deserves something very special to mark its significance.
So, while it’s typical in the comic book industry to celebrate the nice round issue numbers like 50, 75, & 100, I want to commemorate number 73…because 73 is truly special and isn’t just a number. 73 issues is a milestone that took 33 years to achieve. And, having been a TMNT comic book collector for 30 years, I can’t think of a better way to observe this occasion than to create a special variant cover for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Volume V, Issue #73.* But not just a regular variant cover. No. This variant cover must be drawn by an artist known to Turtles comic book fans far and wide…a former Mirage Studios Ninja Turtles artist. And this cover art must be unique, original, and one-of-a-kind…never before seen and created JUST for this special occasion. And this variant should be limited so that it becomes a sought-after collectible…yet, not limited to so few copies that its price is far too high. It must be inexpensive…a very reasonably-priced, affordable Retailer Exclusive (RE) variant cover. Yes. This is how it must be done.
So, that’s how it will be done…but only if YOU help make it happen! Backing this project now will ensure that you'll pay the lowest possible price if this variant cover project reaches its funding goal. In return for your minimal monetary support, you’ll be able to own your very own copy of this variant. You can also get one copy to read and one to collect (or to get signed yourself). If you commit to just a few extra bucks, you’ll be able to own this variant signed on the cover by the Mirage Studios-era artist that drew it. Want one copy signed and one unsigned? Got you covered. And, of course, for you hardcore Ninja Turtles comics collectors out there (just like me), I’d be remiss if there weren’t some sort of ultra-rare edition…a version of this variant cover that is hand-colored by the Mirage Studios-era cover artist (plus, of course, an additional raw copy) !!
Excited? I know I am. Want to know who the cover artist is? I bet you do. But, unless we fund this thing together, none of this will become a reality and all this anticipation and excitement will be for naught. So, pass up the Starbuck’s latte for a day or two or pack a lunch and skip the Taco Bell tomorrow. Because those things are fleeting…but a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Volume V, Issue #73 Cover RE TMNT: A Collection is forever!
It’s taken 33 years but it’s now in your hands. Let’s make this happen Turtles fans !!
* LEGAL STUFF: Should this project get funded, I will be creating this variant cover through the normal legal channels that all variant covers get created at IDW Publishing. This project will not be a bootleg or be created without IDW Publishing's knowledge or permission.
This project was funded in just hours after launch...so, some stretch goals were added to increase the value. Read the "Updates" section of this project for more details on each. Here they are:
STRETCH GOAL #1 ($7,573) - ARTIST ANNOUNCEMENT (ACHIEVED 4/23/2017)
- Jim Lawson is the cover artist!
STRETCH GOAL #2 ($8,573) - ARTWORK REVEAL (ACHIEVED 4/24/2017)
- Cover artwork revealed ONLY to backers of this project!
STRETCH GOAL #3 ($10,073) - BAG & BOARD UPGRADE (ACHIEVED 5/9/2017)
- Every copy in all backing tiers will now be automatically upgraded to Mylites-4 bags with full-back acid-free boards!
STRETCH GOAL #4 ($11,573) - COVER PAPER STOCK UPGRADE (ACHIEVED 5/14/2017)
- The paper stock used for the cover will now be upgraded to a premium sketch-quality heavy stock!
STRETCH GOAL #5 ($13,573) - 'MYSTERY' COVER EFFECT ENHANCEMENT (NOT YET ACHIEVED)
- A fun 'nice-to-have' upgrade that that will simply make this variant stand out that much more (e.g., foil logo/lettering, holograms, spot gloss, embossing, etc.)
POST-CAMPAIGN UPGRADE OPTIONS:
JIM LAWSON SKETCH: Backers of signed copies (including hand-colored) will have the option to purchase a B&W sketch by Jim Lawson that will be placed in the back cover sketch area with Jim's signature/name in the 'Sketch By:' panel. If you purchase a sketch and would like Jim's signature on the FRONT cover in addition to the BACK cover signature panel, this will be an option for you at no additional charge. Pricing for Jim Lawson sketches will be as follows:
• $50 - generic Turtles/TMNT sketch determined by Jim Lawson
• $75 - custom sketch by Jim Lawson as requested by backer
CGC SIGNATURE SERIES GRADING: Backers of signed copies (including hand-colored) will have the option to purchase CGC Signature Series grading. Cost for CGC Signature Series will be $60 per book. All you have to do in order to be eligible to upgrade to CGC Signature Series grading is to ensure you're backing a signed copy tier...ONE Signed Copy ($20), ONE Signed Copy + ONE Raw Copy ($25), ONE Hand-Colored Copy + ONE Raw Copy ($100).
Risks and challenges
I don’t anticipate there being any many major challenges other than just simply reaching the funding goal. But one minor challenge will be the logistics of getting the books to and from the cover artist for signature. However, the cover artist is on board and I’ve done this type of thing before so I don’t anticipate any issues.
Another hurdle is, of course, shipping out all these comic books to backers. However, I ship comic books all the time and I’ve handled a major project like this before. If you recall the Indiegogo project TMNT Odyssey, I worked with the creators of that project to develop and implement a shipping campaign that got the books into the hands of backers. I have the demonstrated experience with a project of this size and I’m fully prepared to take it on.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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