Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Celebrate Halloween in “Don’t Judge A Book”

I will always find an excuse to bring up my favorite role playing game of all time, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness. You may ask yourself “What does this have to do with Halloween?” “Is it because the Turtles have been a popular Halloween costume for almost 30 years” “Is it because of the word Strangeness is in the title?” “Is it because the game is built on the Palladium System and can have monsters and horror injected into it without skipping a beat?” All great questions, even though I’m probably the only person that would ask them.

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The reason this dice slinging gem is on the list is because of a mini-comic Eastman and Laird created for the book titled “Don’t Judge A Book.”

“Don’t Judge A Book”  is a fun little story that takes place on Halloween. The story finds the four turtles getting ready for a Halloween party. Each turtle is excited to spend some time out and around humans. Up to this point in the comic series we only got glimpses of the Turtles personalities. Out of the gate of issue 1 the Turtles were on non-stop adventures and this was one of the rarer times when the Turtles were just hanging out in April’s apartment.

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Clockwise from top left: Leo, Donny, Mikey, and Raph.

 

As we see the Turtles preparing for the party they in turn show off their home made costumes. Mikey is dressed as the comic strip character Zippy the Pinhead, Donny as an a Xenomorph from the film Alien, Leo as an old lady, and Raph as a stereotypical Hollywood version of a punk rocker. These scenes are intercut with scenes of burglars sneaking into the building to rob the apartment and April’s antique store, “Second  Time Around”.

Leo answers the door to try out his old lady costume. Things escalate quickly.

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The other brothers attack from the shadows in their get-ups. Raph tumbles down the stairs with one of the burglars, ending in Raph smashing the guys face into the floor by landing on him. Of course my favorite was Donny leaping out as the Xenomorph, scaring the thugs to death before taking them out.

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Afterwards the Turtles look around at their surroundings and themselves, seeing that their costumes are now wrecked beyond repair.

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I love the look on Mikey’s face. It was one of the first times that he was shown as the “little brother” of the group.

The Turtles decide to go to the party anyway, but now they’re wearing something a little more comfortable.

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Since they are sans weapons, I would say they are left to right – Raph, Leo, Donny, Mikey.

In the picture we see April dressed as a jungle warrior type, and a who’s who of sci-fi and comic book charaters the other party goers are dressed as. You can see Darth Vader, Spock, Spiderman, Megaton Man, and Zorro in the crowd with other characters. This was the first time we see the Turtles without disguises mingling in public…well on Earth anyway.

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Published in November of 1985, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness came out between issues five and six of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book. At this time in the narrative of the comic series, the Turtles were in space fighting the Triceratons and teaming up with Fugitoid. Continuity wise I would put this story after the events of issue 7 but before the events of issue 10. After issue 10 the Turtles were in upstate New York at April’s family farm and Leo was recouping from his run in with the Foot Clan and Shedder. Before issue 7, they had only met April in issue 2 and from there were wrapped up in Mousers and T.C.R.I aliens on Earth and in space. Oh, and issue 8 was a time traveling story co-starring Cerberus and issue 9 was a prequel of the brothers as Pre-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. So not a lot of room to fit in side stories, but they did and everyone one them was awesome. They also had Tales of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles…

Anyways, this story has many levels of love from me. Mainly because it’s the Turtles, it’s Halloween, and it’s in my favorite RPG of all time. Makes me want to start up a game again.

Check Out All The Halloween Hijinks HERE

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9 thoughts on “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Celebrate Halloween in “Don’t Judge A Book”

  1. I miss the gaming especially the old Palladium system. We had a great game on the single best Comic book ever written the Nocturnal’s. What a great pull and what a flood of memories. I also really like the new format. Fancy.

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    1. I know you were a big fan of the original format of the site, as was I. Do you really like it? I just wanted to try something different to liven it up a bit. As for the game, I would run a new Turtles game in a heartbeat. Sadly it would be like the old days but with me in now having to wait til bedtime and only having it at my house. Don’t even know who would want to play other than us lol

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  2. I LOVE the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Admittedly, I haven’t read much of their original Mirage run. I met them first in their 80’s cartoon and then followed their Archie comic exploits. But whenever I read about you talking classic Turtles, I get the hankering to go check out some old trade paperbacks or something. As a Turtle fan, I feel bad I’ve read so little of their inaugural run.

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    1. The original Mirage turtles is where I started. I’m planning on writing a little history piece on that oddly enough. Don’t feel bad about not reading the older books…but who am I to talk. I feel bad that I haven’t had the time or money to read any of the new books. All I have is the original ones lol.

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      1. Oooo, I think I might wait until you do your piece on the history then before I consider jumping back to that run. I would like the official My Side Of The Laundry Room into before I start. As to the money for the new ones, I’m with you. I got so hooked I spent a chunk of a tax return getting some of the trades – the sort of bad life choice I make without kids :). But I’ve always wondered about the original Mirage run! So I’ll be excited to see that piece whenever you write it.

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