Michaelangelo - The spelling

When Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird created the Ninja Turtles, they named them after the famous artist.  This is known through all of the different medias of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  And through the years there’s only one name that changed in the way they spell it.  From issue 1 of Mirage TMNT Volume 1, Michelangelo’s name was spelled Michaelangelo.  There was an a right after the h.  Though in 2000, there was a change to that spelling.  This was only mentioned once in character, in an area only the online fans know of.  People may notice that I use both spellings of the name, here’s I talk about how I decide to which spelling I use.

After I became a Turtle fan, it was always a joke that Michaelangelo was my favorite Turtle.  If I was to start spelling my name it would match up to his.  When I did Birthday parties and other appearances kids would ask me to spell my real name, I could never get pass the h, before they would yell.  No your real name!  One would think that by taking that extra out of the name, it would be my favorite version of his name.  It would be even closer to spelling my real name.  Though it’s not.

I prefer the spelling of Michaelangelo, it is how I knew his name for many years.  It is how his name is spelled in the first comic, the magazines, and movies.  It sounds out right to me.  Michael-angelo sounds how they pronounce it on the show. Michel-angelo would sound different.  At least that’s how I have seen it.  When I hear his name from other countries, it feels like it matches up more to the new spelling.  When I am writing about Mike, I don’t want the old spelling to fade away.  So I have a method on how choose my way of spelling.  If I’m writing about anything from 2000 on, I will use the new spelling.  If I am writing about anything classic I will use the original TMNT spelling.  And if I’m just writing about him without connecting it to any media, I use the original spelling.  Even my nickname on TMNT-L, has the a in the spelling.  And everytime I use Mikey in the tags, I put both spellings down.

As fans we first learned of the change of his name back in the early 2000’s.  Peter Laird changed it in issue one of Mirage TMNT Volume 4.  On the Official Mirage TMNT website, the Turtles had their letter page area where they would have short write ups, with their own stories and adventures and you could write them.  In 1997 the Turtles fought the Super Ninja through that letter page.  Though when the new comic came out, it was on the letter pages where Mike posted that Don and him were looking through some old books about the painters they were named after and they learned that his name did not have that extra a, and he will now on spell his name the correct way.  These were how the fans learned.  Some fans went with it, others were not too pleased with the change.  I was disappointed in it.

I know that Peter Laird was fixing a spelling error that happened years ago when they did the very first comic.  This was a pet peeve of his through the years, when he realize they spelled the name wrong.  This was a mistake that he wanted corrected.  Though for me, it just matched up to Mike’s character.  He’s the odd ball, the one that does things differently.  He’s fun, creative, and not one to follow the crowd.  His personality screams out that he likes to be an original, and the spelling of his name that came out in that first comic was just that to me.  Original.  He is the true Michaelangelo, and it fit him.

I learned from one of my teachers years ago that the Turtles did not truly match the personalities of the painters.  This teacher was not even my art teacher, he loved old painters though.  One day he approached me in class and said “I have a question that’s been nagging at me, what are the personalities of the Turtles?”  The two of us talked, and the two personalities that stood out to me that he told me was that the painter Leonardo was the inventor, his artwork was before it’s time.  From what I learned, Leo was more like Donatello is of the Turtles.  While Michelangelo had a huge temper, like Raphael.  It was at that moment back in the mid 90’s, that I realized the painters and the Turtles really did not have much in common, besides for their names.  So when Michaelangelo got a name change, it did not feel truly like it was needed.

I know most new Turtle fans know Michelangelo as the correct spelling.  And now we can say that both spelling have been around for just about as long of time and through so many medias.  For me there is no correct way to spell it though, Michaelangelo is the original old school spellings that fans from the past may hold onto.  While Michelangelo has a whole new following that will stand cherish this spelling.

How do you spell Mike’s name?  Michaelangelo or Michelangelo?  Were you a fan of TMNT when the spelling was changed?  What are your thoughts of changing the spelling?  Please share thoughts, comments and questions below.

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