Kevin Eastman may be best known for Teenage Mutant ninja Turtles, but he’s been writing and drawing other comics for years. The latest, big news item just announced at IDW’s panel at SDCC 2012? LOST ANGELES, a six issue mini-series developed with Simon Bisley about a post-apocalyptic LA:
MTV Geek: We’ve read the blurb, but what’s the idea of Lost Angeles – and where did it come from?
Kevin Eastman: It started several years ago, in a brain-storming session with me and Simon Bisley–massive sessions of sharing likes and inspirations, creative mind melts, and kicking around idea’s of really cool stuff we LOVE to draw! I guess that was the start–but I think when I came up with the title, Lost Angeles, I thought; “Man, there is really something to dig into here…” and after a trademark search I saw it was free and clear and I grabbed it before someone else did! Over a year or so of discussion, we developed the story and concept, banged out a bunch of character designs and kind of set it aside a bit to do other stuff–and that is when I showed it to Joe–who promply fiddled about–and came back with some very cool suggestions. Joe and I beat out a treatment, a screenplay, and now I’ll adapt that with Tom and Bobby into the series!
Geek: If you didn’t answer this previously, how’d you get hooked up with Simon Bisley and Joe Pearson? And what’s your working relationship like?
KE: Simon Bisley is my true “Brother from Another Mother!” We have been working together on different stuff for nearly twenty years, and we have the same sensiblities about the kinds of stories we like to write and draw–Lost Angeles completely grew out of that, and we built most all of the pieces together. Joe Pearson is a very talented friend, and someone I have enjoyed working with and bouncing idea off of for more that a decade, and here brought some REALLY cool idea’s to the Lost Angeles structure–so much so I wanted him more fully involved as part of the team. The working relationship is easy and very natural–organic–easy–and that’s what I think be reflected in the story–the pieces fit and work, like the team that brought it to life.
Geek: Just reading the description, I have to ask, since I don’t live in Los Angeles: are there just a bunch of gangs prepping for a post-apocalypse, ready to take over?
KE: Hey, you never know right? All those Strip Malls in the Valley could be secret bases for massing gangs and the end of the world as we know it!!!! Seriously though, it is post apolcalyptic in structure–the gangs a re created out of the enviornment after the end–and this takes place ten years after that….oohhh…don’t want to give away to much here!
Geek: Did you do any scouting in LA, thinking, “Hey, that would be a cool place to destroy.”
KE: After twenty years of living in LA–yes, someplace I wanted to destroy! Hah! Kidding! I think I just got the vide–drawing emotions and inspirations from the place I lived–being there helps you imagine all the possibilities, walk down those same streets and map out the fight or flight stuff. Very cool–like when we moved the TMNT’s out of New York and brought them to Massachusetts in the late 80’s–we wanted to write stories about them where we lived–feed off that inspiration rather than making up NY based stories inspired by Frank Miller NY stories.
Geek: Tell us about Mikal and Angel… What makes them different – or similar – to another pair of Star Cross’d Lovers?
KE: Classic “West Side Story” stuff really–never should have met, shouldn’t be together, pushed apart by family and culture and backgrounds–but fate, fantasy, and a much bigger picture that they ever realized needs them to be together more. I love the idea of that, the “At all costs I would give up everything for you commitment to one another”–pretty powerful stuff–and makes for some great storytelling.
Geek: This is a six issue mini, but are we going to see the world left open at the end for more stories? Or is this a done in one (or rather, six)?
KE: Yes, I want the world to be a place where other stories could grow, thrive, and survive. This will be a very complete series, all the beats, all the arc’s, beginning, middle , and end–but left at a place where I hope people would want to see what could happen next–if I do my job right!
Geek: You’re doing pencils and inks for this… Why take on the art for this project? What drew you to it in particular?
KE: From day one of inspiration/conception of Lost Angeles I said, “Man, I would REALLY love to draw this story!” But didn’t think I would every be able to clear up enough of my commitments with Heavy Metal and related projects to get the work done under a decade! But things changed after I started working on the TMNT stories with IDW–I wanted to clear that stuff up and make the time to take on a project like this–it was and is ment for me to do it–and do all of it–the way i see it in my head–sink or swim–I going in at 1000% committed!
Geek: In a greater sense, this seems like a great show of confidence in your relationship with IDW… What’s it been like working with them so far?
KE: I am a big fan of IDW and have been for a very long time. Their commitment to quality, solid art, and great storytelling is the reason they are the success they are, and exactly what they deserve. Ted opened the door and invited me back to play with the TMNT’s and I have had the best time of my life–I want to keep that vibe going with IDW–and I am already working on what I want to pitch them new–after most TMNT Annuals!
Geek: Just to wrap up, anything you can’t wait for fans to see in the series?
KE: The set pieces, the fight scenes, the scope and the detail–I want it all in there–I want to build a story and universe that people can climb inside and wrap them selves up in and completely get lost on the ride!
LOST ANGELES is coming soon from IDW, but you can check out the covers to issue #1-4 right here, right now: