Review of 2012 with Cowabunga Corner

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Every year people go over and reflect the events at the end of the year.  Our good and bad times shine at us as how we’re going to remember that year.  Will this be a year that we will miss or a year that could not have ended soon enough?  Each person has a different answer to that question as we all lead much different adventures from each other.  Here is my overview of 2012 for Cowabunga Corner.

2012 started off very hard for my family.  Seeing broken hearts and tough times, one could only hope that this was not going to be view of the full year for us.  Around this time, I decided to start putting more time into Cowabunga Corner with trying to give the website a story seven days a week.  I did reviews of the IDW Comic Books and had news from the Toy Fair about the new 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle figures coming out.  We realized that there were other stories that could be shared on the website with a much wider range of topics in the stories of my past, movie reviews, other adventures and my friends.

In March 2012, a group of friends joined me on a trip to Mall of America for the opening of the very first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Thrill ride, Shell Shock in Nickelodeon Universe.  While there, not only did we get to ride Shell Shock, but we were able to take part in breaking a World Record.  The display for Shell Shock was the biggest peek the fans had really got to see for the Nickelodeon Turtles, including a look at the new Shredder.  Not only did we see have the display to see the new Ninja Turtles, this was also the first event where the new Ninja Turtle Mascots made a public appearance.  This event was where I decided to retire my Turtle costume, which was made on March 19th, 1993.  Both my mother and good friend, Fugitoid, wrote reviews for this event for the website.

During the month of April, I did start to realize that seven stories a week was far too hard to do.  Even though I did have a handful of advance movie screenings to review, it was going to be a hard schedule to keep up with when the summer traveling was going to start.  This lead me to cutting the stories on here from seven days a week to five.

May was a month of conventions with Michigan Action Figure Expo, Motor City Comic Con and World Steam Expo.  It was a busy month; and not only did I spend time at conventions, I kept going to advance movie screenings, and started to write a handful of other stories which could be posted while I traveled.  This was a month of work on Cowabunga Corner.  Though we made new friends at the cons, some of which are normal visitors of our site, this was also the month we met our first sponsor, The Weird Review.

June was the start of a long journey for Miki and I, as we left Michigan on a cross country road trip.  To help with affording the trip, we stayed at friend’s houses and in my VW bug.  One of our first events we went to on this trip was Fright Night, where I first met Sean Astin.  From there we traveled to some more friend’s homes until we got to San Diego Comic Con International, a weekend full of events, guests, and fellow fans.

At this time, we also started up the Cowabunga Corner Season 5 Kickstarter, which was a very hard thing to do.  Cowabunga Corner can be costly if we want to do this right, and we have been wanting to do this right.  Looking at the cost of the gear, traveling, locations, and so much more, it was very hard.  People are often asking if we can interview different guests, if we could do the interviews in better locations, if we could have mics on the guests, or if we could have our videos in HD.  Though when the idea of money comes up for these things, it makes things a lot harder.  So after going over some of the things that we would need to make our on location filming better, we came up with the sum of $4,000 for our asking amount.  It was a hard month, as we did a lot of posts and asked a lot of people to take part in this.  With people helping us like Ciro Nieli and Kevin Eastman, we had a few good rewards mixed in with the other stuff that we could offer.  Seriously though, we could not have made our goal without all the wonderful people who donated.  Some good friends and many new names helped Cowabunga Corner.  Thank you, everyone.

August was going through with getting things sorted out with Kickstarter.  I made a list of what went where and we did a huge mail order of supplies we needed, from new memory cards, camera batteries and tripods.  We were able to make going to events and covering them a lot easier.  We were also able to pay for gas to drive down to San Diego from LA to interview Tom Waltz at IDW, we got a hotel room for a night where 4 videos were filmed including two interviews with Rob Paulsen!   Every bit of that money went into helping Cowabunga Corner and we hope that our viewers enjoy the outcome of what we were able to do.

In August, we did interviews for Cowabunga Corner Season 5.  We also used that month to go to “Talkin Toons” live events, both of which that we went too were amazing and Rob puts on a great show.  Of course my favorite “Talkin Toons” event was with the cast from the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cartoon.  Not only did we have an outstanding show up of fans at that event, but people like Bill Wolf and Michael Sinterniklaas were in the crowd.  It was an event worth remembering.

In September, Cowabunga Corner held an ebay auction for some rare TMNT toys.  These were donated to help us with our travels.  The auction went over well and these toys found a new home.  At that time, we also did a handful of great interviews that we are still working at editing.  The first set of these interviews were posted at the end of September as they were interviews with some of the fantastic people at Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank who work on the new TMNT series.  Though we’re also still working on our updated interview with Steve Varner, an interview for Playmate Toys, and more of the interview from Tom Waltz!  There’s still so much we have to share on Cowabunga Corner.

October brought us home for two days before hitting the road again, heading out to New York City Comic Con.  This trip was sponsored by VoiceChasers.com “Celebrating Voice Actors and the Craft of Voice Over” and TMNT-L the longest running online community for Ninja Turtle fans.  During this trip, we also visited Shellback Artwork in Wells, Maine.  This is a story that is still to come on Cowabunga Corner.  We learned of the Paint and Pixel event in Northampton which Peter Laird and Jim Lawson were attending.  We got to watch a TMNT artist do an awesome piece in New York City, and enjoyed the company of some of our good friends.  We still have more reviews and interviews coming out of this one trip that we haven’t gotten to post yet.  Sadly, most of our friends were gone by Wednesday night, but Miki and I still had a bit of plans to go through as that weekend we went to both the Paint and Pixel Festival and a Yu-Gi-Oh event, which had a good chunk of the TMNT 4Kids voice actors.  We visited on the east coast as long as we could, but had to head home for another event leaving just before Tropical Storm/Hurricane Sandy hit some of the areas that we did visit.

Once back in Michigan, Miki and I covered both Detroit Fanfare and Youmacon.  These were two events that had Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle guests.  My personal favorite goes to Youmacon, as they had some wonderful panels and a lot of cool Ninja Turtle cosplayers and wrapping up my list of conventions for the year.

In November, the conventions were over, but working for Cowabunga Corner was still going strong as I have a lot of reviews, interviews and more to be worked on.  Our big project for that month was working on episode 100, which is our Blooper episode.  This episode was going to have bloopers from all of Cowabunga Corner, though after days of going through video footage we stopped at episode 15 with over 130 bloopers saved.  Then we sat down and found which ones were worth sharing, deciding that blooper episodes will come again as we make our way through the series.  So, there’s still a lot more laughs to come.

Now we’re at the end of the year with December, where I took the time to work on catching up on reviews that were not published right away.  I started to sort through the many hours of footage we got for 2012 and found a ton of fan interviews, realizing we have enough interviews to go into the Season 5 fan interview episode!  We also covered a lot of breaking news, such as Corey Feldman coming to the Nickelodeon TMNT series as a voice, TMNT Toys at McDonalds, and the Nickelodeon TMNT series being nominated for three Annie Awards!

2012 was a great year for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle news!  We are hoping that our viewers are happy with all of the coverage that we have been trying to do for everyone, with reviews for each issue of the IDW ongoing TMNT series and their Micro issues, reviews for every Nickelodeon episodes, coverage of TMNT products, and interviews with the people who’ve worked on some of the new TMNT stuff we’re seeing out now.  It’s been a good year for TMNT, and that meant a fun and informative year for Cowabunga Corner.

MikeandMike01I hope that everyone here had a great 2012!  We’re looking forward to what 2013 will bring us and hope to meet as many of our friends here as we can.  Look for Cowabunga Corner at Motor City Comic Con, San Diego Comic Con International, New York City Comic Con and Youmacon!  We may be at many more events.  If you wish for us to be at a convention in your area, please feel free to suggest to your local events to bring us in as guests.  We will host panels and bring some cool TMNT memorabilia that is hard to find and rear to see.

Let us know what things you enjoyed from 2012!  All comments and questions are welcomed below!

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