Event Review: TMNT: NEW ANIMATED ADVENTURES Signing w/writer Kenny Byerly!

IDW Publishing recently released the new Animated Adventures of Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  This is a new comic book series based on the cartoon.  Much like Archie Comic’s had a comic based on the original cartoon series.  The second issue just came to stores last Wednesday and one Comic Book shop decided that this was something for the fans to celebrate in Pasadena, CA.  Collector's Paradise  did not just bring in the writer for the first two issues of these comics, though they managed to get a Turtle Van to have parked out front and two artist to come in and draw Turtles for the fans who showed up.  This was a welcome surprise to me, since I am currently staying in South Pasadena.  Here is my review of this fun meet and greet!

I was informed about this event from TMNT-L member, zkarlette.  Once hearing about it, I knew I had to go.  I informed Miki, Cynlee and HamatoKameko so they could join in for this TMNT event as well.  We had a few other things to take care of early that day, though headed over as soon as we could.  The parking was full so Cynlee dropped us off near the Turtle van and drove off to find parking.  I used this time to look around at the Turtle van.

Jason Ybarra was there with the van.  Though he seemed busy talking with someone so I was going to wait till he did not seem busy.  I took this time to walk around and look at this Turtle van.  This is my third time seeing a vehicle done up like the Turtle van.  The first time was the bus of used in 2009 to go across country and then there was a Turtle van at the art show Shell Shock in June 2011.  This by far was the van that looked the most like the toy.  It was the right size, which is what helped it a lot.

Sitting in the driver seat of the Turtle van is a Michelangelo.  The head is signed by the original voice actors of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  On the dashboard I realized Kevin Eastman’s autograph.  On top of the van sat a toy Turtle van so people can compare the two.  Walking around I found most of the van to be spot on to the Turtle van toy.  On the back, there was a lack of a big sticker, in it’s place was bumper stickers letting people know where they can get car wraps.  In the front windows there was Shredder signs asking people to not touch.  And signs saying you can get your picture inside the van for a small donation.  Overall it was a cool sight that people could enjoy seeing.  I know it will be a hit at Power Con.

Once Cynlee and Miki returned from parking the car, I headed into the comic shop.  I saw a lot of people wearing Turtle shirts, and a crowd around the table with people sitting there.  It was clear to me which one was Kenny.  He had a TMNT shirt on, and stack of the new TMNT Comics in front of him.  Looking into information about Kenny Byerly, I knew he had written four episodes of the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles show.  With one of my favorites episodes “Never say Xever” being his first, he also wrote “Mousers Attack!”, “The Alien Agenda” and “Enemy of my Enemy”.  The first two of these is on the recently released Nickelodeon TMNT DVD.  This is the item I brought to have autographed as I’ll be picking up my TMNT Comics from “Comics & More” when I return to Michigan. 

I got in what I thought was the line to see Kenny and watched as a kid was talking to him near the table waiting my return.  I noticed Kenny look my way, as he then asked “Are you Michele Ivey?”.  This took me by surprise, as it is rare when people know me before I get up to meet them.  I was then informed that the line I was in was for sketches from the artists that were brought in, so I moved over to the table.  Kenny and I talked a bit about the Turtles as he informed me that he is no longer working on the TV show, but is thrilled to be working on the IDW Comics.  I did ask him for an interview, which will hopefully be coming to Cowabunga Corner soon.

Kenny signed my DVD cover and we talked a little bit longer.  The boy stayed in the conversation as well.  It was great to see a child so interested in Ninja Turtles.  After hanging out and talking, I stepped back so that he can talk to the other fans there and I could look around the comic shop.  There was a lot of cool stuff here at Collector’s Paradise.  Tons of Ninja Turtles stuff up near the autograph table for display and sale.  Very cool toys and books all around.  A lot of eye candy for window shoppers.  And if you have the funds to collect this is a nice stop in Pasadena to check out.

Miki and Cynlee had to leave to get the camera at this point as it was forgotten behind.  Lucky for us the event was very close to where we’re staying.  Kameko and I waited outside for them.  Once again I noticed Jason, though he was leaving with someone else so I figured he must be heading out on a break.  Kameko did some shopping getting Sonic and TMNT comics, very pleased with what she found.  After she was done showing me her purchases zkarlette showed up with her husband.  So the four of us stayed outside talking. 

When Jason returned we were standing behind the Turtle Van talking.  zkarlette has met Jason before, so he came up to say hi to her.  This was my chance to say hi to him.  We started to talk, exchanged business cards and got to talk a bit about his Turtle van.  Miki returned with the camera and we got some group photos around the Turtle van. 

I went in to talk a little more with Kenny, before leaving to get lunch with everyone.  This was a good day, and felt very random.  I highly encourage comic shops across country to have these random autograph sessions with local artists or writers for comic books.  It’s something fans can truly enjoy.  And really most areas across country there are artist and writers that work on something.  It’s just knowing who’s around you and how to reach the public and let them know you are holding this event.

I want to thank everyone at Collector’s Paradise.  This was a fun event where we got to see lots of other fans showing up.  Young and old.  Two girls came dressed as Michaelangelo and Donatello.  The owner of Collector’s Paradise had his daughter there in a home made TMNT dress, her favorite Turtle is Donatello. It truly was a good feeling to see so many new faces enjoying the event.  It would not have been this great if not for a good crew keeping everything in order and putting this all together for us.  I hope to see more events at Collector’s Paradise, I know I will return.  And I heard Kameko say that she wants to start doing her shopping there.

Did you go to Collector’s Paradise and take part in this event?  Have you met Kenny Byerly before?  Have you seen the Turtle Van that Jason has?  Did you know that both Kenny and Jason will be at Power Con?  Please share reviews, comments and questions below.

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