Raise Some Shell critically and cleverly examines the origins, evolution, and impact of the Ninja Turtles phenomenon — from its beginning as a self-published black-and-white comic book in 1984, through its transformation into a worldwide transmedia phenomenon by the middle of the 1990s, and up to the sale of the property to Nickelodeon in 2009 and relaunch of the Turtles with new comics, cartoons, and a big-budget Hollywood film. With the eye of contemporary cultural studies and the voice of a true lifelong Turtles fan, Rosenbaum argues that the Turtles’ continuing success isn’t mere nostalgia, but rather the result of characters, and a franchise, that mutated in a way that allowed the to survive and thrive in a post-modern world.
Richard Rosenbaum is a fiction editor at Broken Pencil (Canada’s magazine of the underground arts and independent culture) and a regular contributor to overthinkingit.com. He received his Master’s degree in communication and culture from Ryerson University, and this is what he’s doing with it. He lives in Toronto, Ontario. His favourite Turtle is Donatello.
Published: April 2014
Dimensions: 4.75 x 7 in.
“The second instalment in ECW’s new Pop Classics series does an excellent job contextualizing the origins of Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael, following the trajectory of the various incarnations and permutations of their stories, and intelligently speculates upon their future . . . His analysis is intense yet refreshing, and always delivered with humour.” — National Post
"The highest praise I can give to Richard Rosenbaum is that while his book is quite educational and smartly written he does so in an enormously humorous style, during my first read through I just kept imagining the author and I sitting at a restaurant just chatting about characters that we loved very much." — The Retroist
"It wasn't okay, it was AWESOME! And that's saying something for a book about the world of comics, cartoons and movies that contains zero pictures...Without a doubt my favourite part of this book is the non-stop ride of Nostalgia as well as the countless times I learned facts that completely blew my mind." — The Nostalgia Blog
“By successfully drawing comparisons to Kafka, Rushdie, and Marvel’s X-Men, Rosenbaum, like Nayman with Showgirls, is able to state his case for the continued social relevance of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles unapologetically and without a shred of irony.” — Quill & Quire
"Raise Some Shell is a breath of fresh air as a substantial, accessible discussion of a major trend in pop culture." — BleedingCool.com
"Casual TMNT fans and die-hards alike will find something to like in Rosenbaum's book, as will anyone interested in the world of animation and licensed properties, as the author looks at the Turtles phenomenon from all angles, using various parts of the franchise as opportunities to explore more academic, yet still interesting tangents. That Rosenbaum gets all of this across cleanly and with a sense of humour (exemplified by his great use of footnotes) makes it all the easier to recommend Raise Some Shell." — DVD Talk
“An engaging, entertaining, and highly stimulating read that is sure to satisfy die-hard fans, but also intrigue those who did not grow up yelling ‘Cowabunga!’.” — Libri & Liberi: A Journal of Research on Children’s Literature and Culture