Tonawanda News — NIAGARA FALLS, Ontario — Thirty years ago, Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird made a new idea for a comic book into a global phenomenon. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were born, taking on a gritty comic book format before jumping into the worlds of children’s cartoons and live-action movies.
This year, the franchise is enjoying a resurgence, with a popular cartoon show once again treating viewers to half-shelled entertainment while a live-action film, starring West Seneca native William Fichtner, is set to hit theaters this summer.
Celebrating the world he helped create, Eastman is in Niagara Falls, Ontario this weekend at Niagara Falls Comic Con, where fans of all kinds are stopping by to chat and collect his autograph, something the artist said he never tires of doing.
“It’s amazing we’re here still talking about the Turtles 30 years after they came out,” he said. “But the reason I am doing this is because of the fans. And there’s a lot of different types out there. It’s a generational thing now, where adults say they grew up with them and they’re bringing their children with them and they’re now fans.”
Eastman’s involvement in the multiple Turtle properties has come and gone depending on who’s in charge of production. But he’s still involved in the comics world and was delighted to board the upcoming movie as a consultant in the writing process.
He’ll also have a small cameo in the movie, so look for him when it’s released in August, he said.
He wasn’t the only busy celebrity sitting in celebrity row Friday, the first of three Comic Con days this year across the border. Kevin Sorbo, most recognizable as the title character in television’s “Hercules: The Legendary Journeys” from 1995 to 1999, has filmed a handful of movies this year alone, but took some time out of his schedule to meet his fans at one of six conventions he’ll participate in all year.