John shows he has turtle power
Writer to release edition of his childhood favourite
Burnside writer pens Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tale
A Burnside comic book writer is gearing up to release his latest effort which let him revisit some childhood favourites.
John Lees has penned an upcoming issue of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe, the latest comic series to feature the popular heroes in a half shell.
And John was delighted to write about characters he’d been a fan of for years.
He said: “Like most people my age I was Turtles mad as a kid, and now I’ve been able to write a story for Michelangelo, a character whose action figure I used to own!
“Michelangelo gets involved in the search for someone who went missing in the sewers, and ends up in a confrontation with Wyrm.
“Artist Nick Pitarra and I were tasked with reviving Wyrm, a villain from the old 1980s comics series, and reinventing him for a new audience, which was a really fun challenge.
“Our version of Wyrm is in fact hundreds of mutated flatworms who have merged into one monstrous creature.
“It’s a creepy story, but not too scary for kids to enjoy!”
John has previously written superhero books like the Standard and horror comics such as And Then Emily Was Gone, but a comic like Turtles presents different challenges.
Instead of featuring characters that he is created himself, John was writing something that had to meet with the approval of IDW, who publish the comics, and with Nickelodeon, who currently own the Turtles licence.
He added: “Writing for a licensed property was a really interesting, educational challenge.
“It’s different from working on your own characters, of course, because this world isn’t mine, I’m playing in somebody else’s sandbox. As such, anything me and Nick did had to be approved by IDW, the publisher who hired us, and then they had to get approval from Nickelodeon, who are the license holders.
“So there are multiple levels of oversight to work through, with everyone working to ensure that not only do characters act the way they should, but that our story doesn’t clash with the continuity set up by a previous TMNT story by a different creative team.
“Still, I enjoyed the process, and getting to contribute to this larger world that has existed for decades is rewarding in its own ways.”
John’s career has seen him travel stateside to various comic conventions, but his next venue is rather closer to home.
He will be among the guests at the South Lanarkshire Comic Con, which is coming to Rutherglen Town Hall on Saturday February 4.
He said: “It’s nice to see a comic book event taking place that’s a walking distance from my home.
“It’s set to be a really good show, with guests like Frank Quitely in attendance, and a whole range of awesome comics from local creators for sale.”
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Universe 6 is released on Wednesday, January 25.
Comic book guy John Lees from Rutherglen is no stranger to penning comic tales