Those of you who didn't live through the 1980s might not remember this, but once upon a time, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
were, in many ways, the same comic book.
Both were independently published black-and-white comic books whose title characters were anthropomorphic animals who possessed comically cartoonish physical features and predilections toward medieval weaponry, and both titles began as parodies of popular Marvel comics - Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird started out by riffing off Frank Miller's Daredevil
, while Dave Sim was initially inspired by Barry Windsor-Smith's Conan
- so in retrospect, it makes more sense than you might otherwise think that, in 1986, the two titles crossed over, in Eastman & Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
(vol. 1) #8.
Another fun fact that might surprise many modern comics fans? While Sim is now known primarily as That Guy, who devotes extended parenthesis-peppered essays to denouncing The Female Void for consuming, suffusing and leeching off The Male Light, there was actually a time when his work regularly exhibited an uncanny knack for comedy (yes, of the intentional
kind, no less!), and the following crossover between Eastman, Laird, Sim and Gerhard is just such a showcase of that talent.In the opening pages of this issue
, Renet, an Apprentice Timestress to Lord Simultaneous, steals the Sceptre of the Sacred Sands of Time to travel to New York in 1986 (when this story was written), where she meets up with the Turtles. When Simultaneous shows up to bring her and the Sceptre back, the Turtles try to defend her, so to save them all from Simultaneous, Renet tells the Sceptre to take her and the Turtles "anyplace on this Earth before humans recorded time!
The next page opens in what appears to be a Dungeons & Dragons
campaign setting, with this bit of dialogue between two mercenaries:
"Okay, now I know today is Tuesday, but what year is it?
"Hmm... I don't think we record that yet.
As a footnote helpfully informs us, "Yes we do -- it's 1406 - Tarim
," another of the mercenaries cautiously but insistently attempts to rouse the one who hired them, with the following results:( "Cerebus DISTINCTLY remembers telling you not to wake him up until SUNDOWN ..." )