Eastman and Laird’s Ninja Turtles are back; this time in a new hit movie. It’s not their first time on film but this is the best version to date; a solid entertainment. Since their 1980’s inception they have appeared in every incarnation; form and genre imaginable. Their cross-over success from film to animation to graphic novel and merchandising has varied greatly from medium to medium and from style to style. There is no definitive look or genesis of The Turtles. Their importance also remains largely to the degree ascribed by any viewer or selective non-participant in the phenomenon. To date my personal favorite TMNT look and effort is by artist Michael Zulli and writer Stephen Murphy. Their first work as scribes was a single issue short story featured in Volume One Book 31 July 1990 “Souls Winter.” It ranks among the great works of comic book art. It is in form and fashion possibly the most unique and amazing work created by any artists working in the field of graphic story-telling. In particular it is Zulli’s drawing that takes the tale beyond illustration into the company of the world’s great art; high or low.
Zulli was first noted and responsible for a graphic series “The Puma Blues.” It was a post-apocalyptic vision of man kind’s obligation and place in the natural world. This experience gave Zulli a unique and distinctive vision to apply to the Eastman/Laird project. Zulli excelled, as he took the series to an unexpected place beyond the comic, beyond anything expected or seen before in any graphic book. “Souls Winter’ remains a bench mark.
Nominated three times for Eisner’s Zulli is respected and admired by his peers and followers. He has worked on DC Comic’s Swamp Thing and Sandman with Neil Gaiman. He is current working on a personal project; “Fracture of the Universal Boy: Right Here and Now.” “Fracture” consists of Zulli’s thoughts on life, love and art. What is essentially survival in our misanthropic times is a large part of the theme of the book. Click on the graphic below to see Michael Zulli’s own blog as his artistic life’s journey continues.