Richard Rosenbaum

Raise Some Shell: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Celebrating the persistence of Turtle Power

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 them to survive and thrive in a post-modern world.




"This is the greatest, and perhaps only, critical consideration of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their place in our culture, society, and also on my blankets and cool lunchbox. I always wanted to consider TMNT in such awesome detail, but never did. This is perfect and I love it. Richard Rosenbaum just saved me a lot of work." -Ryan North, author of Dinosaur Comics and the Adventure Time comic series

  [Raise Some Shell] manages to be both brilliantly insightful and laugh-out-loud funny...Rosenbaum adds a scholarly touch to his fanboy enthusiasm and creates a genuinely engaging look at what the Turtles represent and how they left such a distinct footprint on popular culture for more than a decade...when it comes to TMNT lore, Rosenbaum is untouchable, and he's created a wonderful blueprint for other scholarly pop culture historians to follow.  " -San Francisco Book Review

"By successfully drawing comparisons to Kafka, Rushdie, and Marvel's X-Men, Rosenbaum 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

"If you’re a TMNT fan, or looking to know more about TMNT then this is recommended for you. A great history lesson and a lot of interesting thoughts and opinions." -Order of Books

"Prepare yourself as Rosenbaum takes you on a walk through comic history in his highly intelligent, witty text that is often punctuated with comically hyperbolized bias, humorous footnotes, and even the occasional knock at the modern day hipster." -Worn Pages and Ink

"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 imaging the author and I sitting at a restaurant just chatting about characters that we loved very much, his writing style makes one comfortable." -Retroist

"I thought, cool, it’s a book about Ninja Turtles, it should be okay. Boy was I wrong. It wasn’t okay, it was AWESOME!" -The Nostalgia Blog

"Not only is Raise Some Shell informative, it’s entertaining as hell. The wealth of information available here on the topic of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (in all of their forms: comic, cartoon, game, etc) is impressive enough as it is. Throw in the fact that this book is painstakingly researched and that Rosenbaum is a terrific writer, and you’ve got a book that any nerd or lover of the Turtles would be proud to have on his shelf." -Notes from the Conquistadork

"In true geek fashion, [Rosenbaum] lets his enthusiasm and love for the Turtles franchise shine brightly. His passion is addictive; I want to be a Turtles fan again." -Geek Library

"The weird, consistent appeal of the Turtles is precisely what Richard Rosenbaum explores in Raise Some Shell. 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." -The National Post