'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' Co-Creator Turns to Kickstarter for Comic Book Tell-All

He's been working in comics for more than three decades and co-created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with Peter Laird — but Kevin Eastman's new project is a crowdfunded behind-the-scenes comic book story about a cartoonist who's lost the will to make work and burned up all his goodwill in the process.

The 112-page graphic novel Drawing Blood — co-plotted by Eastman with David Avallone, who also scripts the graphic novel — is a project about a 40-something comic book creator called Shane Bookman, trying to recover from his career peaking early (with a very Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-esque property, amusingly enough) and watching his life implode in the process. Art for the graphic novel comes from Ben Bishop, Troy Little and Eastman himself.

Described by Eastman and Avallone as "a rollercoaster of show biz and sex, fame and infamy, controlled substances and uncontrolled artists, genius and goons," the project promises to be a comic book industry tell-all, unencumbered by publisher or editorial compromises — as long as the project gets funding in time, that is. (That's not a great fear; the Kickstarter campaign launched Wednesday and is already almost halfway to its $75,000 goal.)

But why is Eastman, whose career also includes creating the short-lived indie publisher Tundra, editing Heavy Metal magazine and a recent return to the Turtles, choosing now to tell this particular story? "There are only two reasons Drawing Blood exists," he told Heat Vision via email. "My 40 years of insane experiences inside the world of comics — and David Avallone. I could not be more excited by what we've created. This is going to blow peoples minds."

Added Avallone: "Working with Kevin Eastman is an amazing experience, and I am remarkably lucky to have him for a partner and friend. The trust he's placed in me with this project is humbling, and I'm doing my best to live up to his well-established level of excellent work. I hope his legion of fans dig it."

The campaign runs through Aug. 31 here.