Welcome to a very special issue of Hey Kids, Comics! that celebrates one of the greatest success stories in comic book history and the forgettable aftermath in the form of a flood of wannabes that sought to ride the coattails of an unlikely phenomenon. That is, of course, none other than the world-famous Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! From humble beginnings to entertainment powerhouse, there was certainly no shortage of “turtle power” behind the reptilian protagonists of this popular title. Not so much so for the veritable jungle of pretenders to the throne that sought to capitalize on a budding craze.
Blatant rip-offs ran rampant and sparked a parody craze in small press publishing that brought no shortage of titles that rode a parallel wave. Where once there was not shortage of martial artist critters and anthropomorphic super-hero spoofs, only the Turtles remain in the public consciousness. Join Andrew Farmer and Cole Houston, along with their guest (and resident TMNT expert) Eddie Medina as they explore the landslide success of Eastman and Laird’s shared brainchild and the avalanche of garbage that followed in their wake.