Read more in “Kevin Eastman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Co-Creator, Takes Over Meltdown Comics for 35 Days.” See more photos in “Kevin Eastman @ Meltdown Comics.”
When Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman took over a portion of Meltdown Comics for “Lost Angeles: 35 Days with Kevin Eastman,” he brought his studio with him. Now, the contents of his space are up for grabs on eBay. Kevin Eastman's Art Studio Auction opened on December 25. As of December 30, the top bid was over $7,000.
Early in December, I met with Eastman at Meltdown to talk about his work over the years. Last Wednesday, I returned to his gallery/pop-up shop with photographer Shannon Cottrell for the 35th anniversary party for Heavy Metal Magazine, which the artist has owned since the early 1990s. While we were there, we took a peek inside the studio.
“I keep telling people that this is like an episode of Hoarders on steroids,” says Eastman.”
Certainly, Eastman's studio is packed with odds and ends, including Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Heavy Metal memorabilia, posters from a variety of movies, CDs and DVDs, toys and original art from notables like Richard Corben. There's even a photo of Mariah Carey, taken from behind, hanging on a wall near his desk.
Eastman explains that, about fifteen years ago, he was at a race track in Connecticut when he noticed an “attractive young lady” next to him. The woman then began talking to the guy next to her, Tommy Mottola.
“I was like, 'Oh my God, it's Mariah Carey,'” Eastman recalls. “So, stealthily, I took my camera out.”
The studio comes complete with Eastman's own drawing board, which is filled with rough sketches, Post-It drawings and other work. He has also included the original storyboards from Heavy Metal 2000, as well as character designs and storyboards from Highlander: The Search for Vengeance. The latter was directed by Yoshiaki Kawajiri (Ninja Scroll) and Eastman says that this collection includes work “that has never been seen outside of Japan.”
You can see the roots of Eastman's personal interest in anime inside the studio. One of the standout pieces is a cell from Serial Experiments Lain, backed by Heavy Metal art.
“[Lain] opened a can of worms that I just feast upon,” says Eastman of the late-1990s sci-fi series. There are also Trigun and Akira posters on the walls.
Amongst the more personal items in the studio is a piece consisting of two drawings of New York City and a U.S. flag. The drawings — one featuring the Twin Towers and one with the Statue of Liberty — date back to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. The flag was added after 9/11.
“Living in Boston, I used to take Flight 11 out of Boston all the time. That was the best route to fly to LA,” says Eastman. “On the 9th, I flew on Flight 11 out of Boston. Then September 11 happened a couple of days later.”
After 9/11, he began flying a flag in front of his house.
“After about a year, the flag got too tattered, so I stuck these two pages on the flag and it's kind of a personal thing to me,” he explains.
Eastman's studio has become a focal point of “Lost Angeles,” offering a rare glimpse into the artist's life and work. The auction ends on January 4 and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Hero Initiative.