Ninja Turtles: Shell Shocked!

Here’s my concept on a Ninja Turtle cartoon that would be aimed at children. Despite what fans say, I really enjoyed Nickelodeon’s Rise of TMNT for what it was. It was a departure from what we got previously within the fandom of the TMNT, but sometimes you need change in order for decades old characters to evolve. It was fast, silly, and focused on comedy over action. Sort of a Teenage Mutant Titans Go! If you will. And the background art and animation was just fantastic.

I decided to take a lot of direction (visually) from what Rise gave us, but coupled it with more traditional character design. The pizza, Ninjitsu, and humor would still be present…but we’re dropping the “teenage” as the Ninja Turtles have been teenagers in every iteration of movie/television media so far. The idea of them being “celebrities” akin to say, Iron Man in the MCU, is another direction that could be explored. Social Media personally run by the Ninja Turtles and media appearances booked and handled by April herself could led to some very humorous and interesting storytelling. Not to mention something we’ve never seen before.  

I also think social media could be a very serious danger to younger generations. And certain episodes could deliver the message to young viewers on using this “new” technology safely and responsibly. Akin to the old G.I. Joe or “Sonic Says” safety messages, but updated for a modern generation. 

The series being titled “Shell Shocked!” is because that’s exactly what it is to the IP and something I always strive for in my “reimaginings”. Teenage Turtles? Nope. Now they’re adults. Splinter is dead. The Turtles are big celebrities. No Technodrome. No Dimension X. Shredder is a giant mutant freak. Keep shakin’ it up, dudes and dudettes!  

The TMNT are one of my favorite close personal characters and have been for decades. Yet I’ve never had “my take” on them. So this little concept was a ton of fun for me to do. I believe the Ninja Turtles are characters that are going to be similar to Scooby Doo or the Looney Tunes. They’ll have their peaks and valleys, but always be around for the new generation. I think the concept of them is so bizarre yet gripping that every little boy (or girl) is going to be gripping an empty wrapping paper tube and yelling “Cowabunga!” for decades to come.


Frosty: Agent of I.C.E.

I partook in watching Rankin and Bass’s 1969 Frosty The Snowman cartoon a couple weeks back. We all know the one. I haven’t sat down and watched it in decades. It still looks great to this day and it’s remarkably shorter than I remember. I had Frosty on the mind (brain freeze?) the following days and most of this came to me in a dream. 

I literally woke up in the middle of the night recalling a snowman riding a polar bear. I continued and dreamt of Frosty with a snow-gun violently shooting snowballs. “Agent of ICE” echoed through my head. Perhaps this is a gift from God himself. 

If that’s the truth, it’s good to know he has a sense of humor.  

I’ve really been hitting a stride with my concepts this past year. Though bizarre and ridiculous, I feel like they present a neat little package of my art style and creativity. A snowman isn’t necessarily a Christmas thing. Where there’s snow, there’s snowmen. So an idea of an animated series centering around Frosty working for a secret counter terrorist organization was super enticing to me. Something not as, say, serious as G.I. Joe…but with the same firepower and action. For some reason Captain Planet was in the back of my mind when drawing these. 

Frosty still “laughs and plays”….but around Christmas time. What does he do all those other days? I mean, the magic he has…what is he capable of? He’s inherently good….can he protect us? A shower of solitude fit the other pieces of this into the puzzle. 

When Frosty first melted away, his remains were collected and studied by various factions of US Intelligence. Was it truly “magic in that old silk hat” or a mystery within the very molecules that made up the snowman? The conclusion wasn’t made public knowledge, but it was clear that Frosty was capable of more than “laugh and play”. 

Frosty the Snowman was recruited to the secret counter-terrorist organization International Crime Exterminators (I.C.E). Due to Frosty’s uniquely natural sub-zero abilities, he solely  operates within the winter division overseen by senior director Kris Kringle. 
Frosty’s potential has evolved beyond just ice and snow, as the “magic” he inhabits absorbs the abilities of any hat he wears. Making his set of skills near limitless. A mere fairy tale to us, Frosty the snowman is alive as he can be…and as dangerous. Villains beware, if you notice a sudden chill run up your spine, you’re about to face Frosty: Agent of I.C.E.!

I hope 2023 may be kind, healthy, and generous to us all. Personally speaking, I plan on doing more of the same content (but improving) when it comes to this website. Articles, comics, concepts, and (hopefully) a couple podcast episodes! All that cozy comic culture I’ve been sharing for the past going on 12 (!) years.

Merry (belated) Christmas to all!

Sonic Spin!

I’ve been riding that Sonic The Hedgehog 2 high the past few weeks. I decided to revisit some old drawings I did around early 2020. I packaged my conceptual designs for a mock animated series I called “Sonic Spin”. Another “what if?” project where if a certain IP were in my hands, how would I pitch it? “Sonic Spin” would be aimed at very young children riding the success of the Sonic the Hedgehog films. It would be more in tone to the 1993 Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog rather than the overly complicated, often too-serious anime Sonic shows that followed. Sonic has always been a lighthearted fun colorful character. Which is why children are so drawn to him in the first place.

The heroes of Sonic Spins

When it comes to my actual designs, I went for a light hearted Looney Tunes aesthetic but also simplified designs as modern cartoons tend to do. Today, you’ll see a lot of classic IPs like Ninja Turtles or Thundercats “reimagined” into a wackier tongue-in-cheek animated direction. It never bodes well with the diehards, but sometimes it can be enjoyable for what it is…even though you sort of question how it got this far in the first place.

The Villains Doc Robotnik and his self built sidekick: Metal Sonik

When I shared some of these designs via Reddit in 2020, the consensus from the Sonic fan community was “Amazing skill; Terrible take.” And that’s okay. Because it’s also not aimed at them. It’s a silly fast paced, adventure comedy about a Hedgehog and his friends fighting evil robots aimed at 5-8 year olds. Personally, I loved drawing these characters. I would love to see this realized a bit more. One day maybe. #gottagofast

A Quick (duh) Synopsis for the show…