“BOOT THE FOOT” #32: BALLSY. VS. “KIRBY”!
NOTE: ”Kirby” was a potential fifth-turtle concept idea for the live action movies whose name was an homage to Jack “King” Kirby, father of a mass-multitude of superhero and villain characters from both Marvel and DC Comics.
SKUMMBEAST: How would you describe your art style and what influences have helped shape that style?
BALLSY.: I guess I would say my style would be very cartoony or exaggerated, at least when I’m doing artwork for fun—most of my commercial artwork leans much more toward the design oriented or simple illustrative side of things. I’m very big into an economy of line and simplicity, mostly because my natural inclination is to detail the hell out of things to distract the viewer from mistakes, which is something I’ve spent most of my career working through. I’m influenced by pretty much all the normal things, comics, animation, video games. I was pretty much a visual sponge as a kid, so that was helpful in retrospect.
SKUMMBEAST: Share a bit about your history with TMNT, and tell a bit about why you chose this character and decided to interpret it this way.
BALLSY.: My history with the franchise is pretty simple—I’d never heard of the characters or the comic when the first four episode “movie” came on syndicated TV one afternoon. But aside from the animation in that series being above and beyond anything else I’d seen on television up to that point (or in the actual series itself afterward) I was just blown away that such a thing could exist. It was mind-blowing to me that such a crazy concept could be successful enough to warrant a cartoon show, and I think it opened my point of view to a lot of other things I discovered after that. Once I got into the origins of the characters and their roots in b/w indie comics, I was even more impressed. I remember scrawling my own ninja turtle comics in notebooks and such, and they really had that great quality from a character design standpoint that even a little kid could approximate them, which I think cements a young persons connection to a property even more. I chose the Kirby character because I wanted to do a turtle, but didn’t want to add to the numerous pieces depicting the original four that BtF was going to have. I really tried to integrate some of the character aspects from the current show they’re doing on Nickelodeon; I think they add a lot of dynamic range to the turtles and that they’re just really visually appealing.
SKUMMBEAST: Which was your favourite of the four Turtles?
BALLSY.: It’s a toss up between Rapheal and Donatello—I always liked the idea of a loose cannon-type character that was very angry and had a hard time fitting in with others. But I also liked the bookish, introverted nature of Donatello, how he was very deliberate and concise in his actions and inventions. I guess those two cover the extremes of my personality. What the hell, I’ve matured a bit since then, I’ll say Donatello.
Thanks, Phil! You can follow more of PHIL BALSMAN’S work at:
We encourage you to reblog and share each post with others, of course, but we also encourage you to check out the various artists through the links we provide. Follow them, support them, encourage them, and buy stuff from them.
Coming up tomorrow …. “RAPHAEL (Black costume)” by MICHAEL SHANTZI!