Issue 27: Monsters and Mutants

ISSUE 27: MONSTERS & MUTANTS

Trick-or-treat. Halloween is the ultimate opportunity to get your ghoul on. Not into the scary stuff? Fear not, this holiday is for everyone. From pumpkins to princesses, you can don any costume your heart desires.

There was never any question about it for me. A few snips from a piece of cloth, maybe a hint of green face paint, and the costume was born. For that one glorious day each year, I was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.


Year after year, the TMNT costumes kept coming. Different designs, outlandish attitude.


The landscape of my hometown had the houses spread apart at a sizeable distance. But, that didn’t dim down my desire for Halloween hijinks. Every October 31st, I would proudly march up to each home in the pursuit of candy. My TMNT costumes always proved successful. By the end of the night, my bag would be bursting with sugary treats (except for that one weirdo in town who gave out raisins).


Dressing yourself up wasn’t the only highlight of Halloween – there was decorating the house too. Pumpkins and cornstalks weren’t enough for me. My poor parents had to endure my endless requests for spooky d├ęcor. Our residence was transformed from humble abode to haunted house.

The front yard was accessible to anyone who made the trek down the street. But, what hidden gems remained behind closed doors?

A true Halloween favorite – Ninja Turtles Die Cuts. Simple in structure, but devilish in design. The Sewer Den celebrates the scary season and showcases 10 die cuts that have survived throughout the years. Thick paper stock with a fun bit of felt mixed in make these Halloween decorations an absolute treat.
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LEONARDO 


Forget blood, this guy wants tomato sauce. Leonardo gives it his all and embraces his inner vampire. Fangs, a cloak, the full moon – this mutant pulls no punches. Get out the garlic to protect yourself! And if not, I’m sure Leo would gladly put it on his pizza.

This classic image has been repurposed for Halloween. You can tell that the original pose had Leonardo swinging a sword. But now, the weapon has vanished! Yet, he remains awkwardly in an attack position. The stance is perfect for Halloween – creepy.

For each die cut, I’m going to answer the same two questions – Where’s The Felt? and Spooky or Silly?

Where’s The Felt?
The glowing moon beaming behind Leo is pure felt.

Spooky or Silly? 
He’s got teeth meant to suck blood AND he’s a teenager. That’s spooky. 
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RAPHAEL 


Straight from the sewer, this Turtle is ready for the spine-chilling season. Although he won't be winning any costume contests, Raphael could find himself a title as a heavyweight champion. Do you see the size of that pumpkin?! It's gigantic! Maybe there was a broken canister of ooze down by the pumpkin patch...

Where’s The Felt? 
The world's biggest pumpkin.

Spooky or Silly? 
Silly. Hats off to Raph's super-strength! 
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DONATELLO 


Honestly, I’m clueless on this one. What’s Donatello deal? What’s he doing? There's a heap of candy corn - so it's definitely hitting the Halloween vibe. But, why is he riding it like a broomstick? Palms down, feet up – I can’t wrap my head around it.

Like Raphael's pumpkin, the collection of candy corn is mutated in size. Where do the Turtles trick-or-treat? Because I seriously missed out as a kid. This is no "fun size" Kit Kat.

Where’s The Felt?
The orange layer of the candy corn. Seeing a trend?

Spooky or Silly? 
Spooky. The way Donatello is hurdled on the candy corn makes me uncomfortable. 
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MICHELANGELO


What's scarier? The creepy crawlers or the return of the giant candy corn? Pick your poison, but Michelangelo brings a fully loaded bag of tricks to the table. There's a (normal-sized) pumpkin clutched in his fingers, another batch of mutated candy corn, and a dangling spider with eight ghastly legs. Despite the Halloween season, Michelangelo whips out, what appears to be, an Irish jig. His wacky, green limbs are raised high to the sky. Taking some liberties with the Monster Mash, Mikey?

Where’s The Felt? 
Everything that's orange! Felt overload! The pumpkin, candy corn, the spider, and even his bandanna.

Spooky or Silly?
The essential elements of Halloween are all here. Spooky success. 
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MICHELANGELO (2)


The party dude gets a double dose of hocus-pocus. Michelangelo ditched the whopping candy corn for a colossal pumpkin. This one is so gigantic he can actually fit inside the thing! And I'm not the only one intrigued by the girth of this gourd. Check out that bat! The lil dude is mesmerized.

This is another classic image repurposed for Halloween. This iconic pose originally had Michelangelo poking out of the sewer with a nunchuck swinging in his hand. A wave of the wand and the Turtle's weapon becomes the top of a pumpkin.

Where’s The Felt? 
The massive pumpkin and his bandanna.

Spooky or Silly?
Silly – he's IN a pumpkin. 
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SPLINTER 


Ahoy matey! The Turtles’ captain is pillaging the sewers for candy this Halloween!

One of my favorite TMNT die cuts? You bet. Splinter achieves where most of the Turtles have failed. He embraces the best part of Halloween – dressing up. It doesn’t even take much, but the rat pulled it off. With a simple pirate hat perched on his head, Splinter goes from sensei to spirited.

Far from threatening, is his trick-or-treat bag. While most kids used pillowcases or pumpkin pails, Splinter went with an unconventional boutique shopping bag. It’s a nice one too – something you’d find on Fifth Avenue, not in the sewers. This rat is one fancy pirate.

Where’s The Felt?
The stripes on the chic shopping bag. Oo la la!

Spooky or Silly? 
A (rat) pirate with a purple and orange shopping bag? Silly. 
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MOUSER 


Halloween is all about the ghosts and goblins. That scary side of life that sends chills down your spine. Villains fit this mold well. There’s a dash of evil in all of them. So, why is the Mouser the only villain to get a die cut? No Shredder. No Krang. No Foot Soldiers. (at least in my collection)

How does a Mouser celebrate Halloween? Of course! By turning orange and eating spiders. I guess putting on a pirate hat wasn’t an option for the Mouser.

Also, that spider has no idea what’s about to happen to him…

Where’s The Felt?
The orange spots on the mouser and the doomed spider.

Spooky or Silly? 
That spider has the silliest face, but the Mouser’s agenda is murder. That orange felt can’t disguise his evil. Spooky! 
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FOOD 


Dinner and dessert – almost a five-course meal within these die cuts. The Turtles, Splinter, and the Mouser might have been too bloodcurdling for some. So luckily, the candy corn and pizza are here to restore order.
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CANDY CORN 


Whoever made these die cuts must have really loved candy corn. The sweet has already made multiple appearances and is now getting its own moment in the spotlight. Subliminal messaging? Must eat candy corn…

Where’s The Felt? 
The center is full of felt.

Spooky or Silly? 
Spooky. Why is there so much candy corn?!
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PIZZA 


Well, this sure makes a lot more sense than loads of candy corn. Christmas? Easter? Halloween? It really doesn’t matter. The Turtles will scarf down pizza on any occasion. Even if that pizza does look a lot like Pac-Man.

Check it – there are eight slices in this pie even though one slice is missing…

Where’s The Felt? 
Pepperoni felt. Does it get better than that?

Spooky or Silly?
Forget spooky or silly – tasty! 
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TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 


The culmination of all things spooky and silly! The Turtles join forces and get festive. Decorations fill the frame with fun. There are streamers, confetti, and each Turtle has something special to show off at this party. Donatello goes batty and kicks things off with a costume. Leonardo uses his swords, not for violence, but to carve a jack o'lantern. Michelangelo and Raphael settle our sweet tooth with a bite of candy. Wouldn’t you want to party with these dudes on the 31st? The gang really knows how to celebrate Halloween – with Turtle Power.

Where’s The Felt?
This die cut brought the party AND the felt. Donatello’s bo staff, the pumpkin, Michelangelo’s bandanna, the candy wrapper, the streamers, and yes, the candy corn.

Spooky or Silly? 
PARTY. 
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The Turtles never cease to amaze. Every holiday, the boys are equipped with all the appropriate accessories. Seriously, these dudes never let us down! Did the Turtles celebrate every holiday, every season, and every special occasion known to man? And each time, they bring the noise, they bring the funk. It’s a year round party for the fearsome four.

In all my years celebrating Halloween, I perpetually tried to embody that same fun-loving spirit. From my wacky costumes to my overall enthusiasm when I bellowed “trick-or-treat,” there was Turtle Power.

This Halloween, take after the Turtles. Be silly, be spooky, and eat candy corn.

1 comment:

  1. VERY impressed by the Donatello "Incognito" Halloween costume. Not a completely obscure action figure (believe it was part of the first round of the four turtles in costume, which unfortunately kept going and going and going and ...), but I'd bet it's a DAMN RARE Halloween get-up.

    Kudos on the blog from one turtle fan to another.

    I haven't read all the way through yet, but I'd love to see an entry about the cartoon moments where the wrong voice came out of the wrong turtle. Me and my brother would go BONKERS when that happened.

    Cheers,
    Jimbuktu

    ReplyDelete

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