John shows he has tur­tle power

Writer to re­lease edi­tion of his child­hood favourite

Rutherglen Reformer - - Front Page - Jonathan Ged­des

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

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