Nostalgia File: “14 Year-Old Genetically-Altered Martial Arts-Trained Slugs”–The Introduction–by Dan Murphy and myself

   There was a lot going on in the early 1990’s….ummm…ok…not really.  That’s probably why FIGHT CLUB’s eventual release resonated so well with our generation.  Anyway, in the early 90’s Eastman and Laird’s TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES were about the biggest thing going.  Being hard-core dorks, longest-time collaborator DAN MURPHY and I knew we had to get in on that action, and so…

DANNO KLONOWSKI:  So like the title of this post reads, this story is just the start.  Dan and I did a couple more over the next few months following this.  The need for physical activity was palpable.

DAN MURPHY:  I remember being psyched doing the Slugs after you pitched me the idea.  I think we did this first story for the Northdale Jr. High “literary” “publication” called “Graffiti”. I drew the cover for that as well, it’s of some happy couple walking past a slumped over bum (no idea why I chose that).

DANK:  I think this was the first one, too.  If not it’s really no big deal.  Over-wrought continuity existed firmly as an idea in my head, but rarely translated well to paper. 

MURPHY:  By 1991 the TMNT b&w boom had been over for like 4 years or something, but the novelty was new enough to us apparently. 

DANK:  I was a huge–HUGE–fan of ‘Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters” by Don Chin and Parsonavich.  My childhood best friend Patrick (who moved away about 5 years before we did this comic) had bought the first issue of ARBBH and it blew us both away.  Neither of us even knew TMNT existed, so we thought Chin and Parsonavich were visionary geniuses.  Anyway, 5 years later I well aware of what ARRBH was (a parody comic) and I was still in love with it.  At this time there were little and big comic-cons going on about every 4 months at various Radissons or where-ever, and I would spend my time at these cons hunting thru the quarter bins for any and all black and white parody comics from upstart publishers of the late 80’s who usually only ever got one or two issues out before folding.  Some of them were good, but most of them were awful.  To this day I think ARBBH is the cream of the crop, and Chin’s writing and Parsonavich’s art were huge influences on what I continue to produce to this day.  In fact, a few months ago I finally purchased online an issue of ARBBH I didn’t even know existed–the last one Chin and Parsonavich did.  I found Don Chin online and sent him a thank-you email.  Sadly, when I asked him if there was any way to contact Parsonavich he knew of none–I guess Parsonavich has disappeared into the ether.   But if you’ve read ARBBH, that “end” for Parsonavich is perfectly fitting.

MURPHY:  For the Slugs stories I invented a lo-fi shading technique of laying a piece of window screen on the page and using a thin sharpie poking a dot through each gap for make-shift zip-a-tone/ben-day dots. Drawing the slugs was fun because I didn’t need to worry much about anatomy, and I was able to get pretty expressive with them. There was a marked  drawing improvement over the MAN-MAN story I drew that you posted. So their “Splinter” was named “Woodtick” and I just drew a pointy circle shape with eyes, this was before google image search so I must have been too lazy to actually look in a book for a reference, even though I’m sure I’d seen woodticks before.   I forgot about the fact we did 3 stories, the last one being a whopping 11 pages!

DANK:  It’s true, Dan!  And we’ll be back with both of those exciting  adventures in the days to come!

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