By Nolan P. Smith
Kevin Eastman helped give the world one of its most beloved pop culture franchises: the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It was a phenomenon that transcended comic books and became multiple animated series, live action films, and a marketing juggernaut. Eastman is back with a new independently published book, Drawing Blood, which takes parts of his life as a creator and flips it on its head.
Shane “Books” Bookman co-created something special long ago, something that became a global hit: the Radically Rearranged Ronin Ragdolls; a comic book about a group of mutated, female warrior… cats. Sound vaguely familiar? But that was seemingly a lifetime ago: the money is gone, the property bought out, and now Shane struggles financially, especially after the death of his business partner, which lands Shane in hot water. Now, not only is he a struggling creator and businessman, he has debts to square up with that involve shady individuals that won’t take no for an answer.
From Eastman along with David Avallone with art by Ben Bishop, this book is a trippy ride down the exaggerated life of a comic book creator. Shane makes some beyond questionable choices, and why not? He’s human like you and me; he screws up and has to live with the consequences. Luckily, when we screw up, we don’t have bullets flying at us from every corner we turn. I love the story inside the story, as the Radically Rearranged Ronin Ragdolls are of course a homage to the turtles, but have a very cool and original vibe to them all their own, enough to warrant their one shot, which is being reviewed soon.
I love the beginning to Drawing Blood: this issue throws us knee deep into a world full of creativity and failure. This is the first book from Kevin Eastman Studios, and everything, from the writing to the pacing to the fantastic artwork, to the paper quality, scream high quality. I am on board for the ride, let’s see how bad things can get for Shane before they get better, if they get better.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10.