It's been a quarter-century since Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird pooled a tax refund with a family loan and self-published the first issue of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book. To celebrate, the cross-country TMNT Party Bus — dedicated to teen mutants Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo and their rat sensei, Master Splinter — rolls into town today to rendezvous with co-creator Eastman, who currently publishes Heavy Metal magazine, a.k.a. “Naked Chicks With Wings Monthly.” After four films (and a newly announced fifth), countless Pizza Hut tie-ins and more Saturday-morning cartoons than you can shake a rotted brain at, the popularity of the Turtles is such that when their species was identified as red ear sliders, so many were bought as pets and subsequently flushed to the sewers when the novelty faded that life imitated art in the most ironic of all possible ways. Cowabunga, dude!

Sat., July 18, 4 p.m., 2009

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