Regardless of the slew of action figures, cartoon series and recently a film reboot, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles got their start in comic books. When the green quartet came knocking to New Mexico-based illustrator Andy Kuhn's door, he answered effusively. On Saturday, he presents and signs an exercise in the far realms of the TMNT universe, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Utrom Empire, at Big Adventure Comics.                                                                                                           

Growing up, did you think you'd one day contribute to the TMNT universe?

Growing up in Indianapolis, Indiana, as a youngster I knew that I wanted to be a cartoonist. Later on I realized I specifically wanted to draw comic books. I never really thought that one day I would contribute to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles universe. Now I'm totally psyched to be able to do that. I am constantly amazed at how resilient the TMNT franchise remains after 30 years. It always seems to reinvent itself every few years or so, for a new generation of fans. I'm just super pleased to be to be able to contribute in some small way to the ever growing legacy that is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

What is your take on the TMNT film reboot?

The the only thing I know about the new Turtles movie is what I've seen in the trailer. It looks action packed, and super fun the way a TMNT movie should be. I really think it's going to be great, but I'm just waiting to get a ticket and see it in the theater along with everyone else.

Does living in New Mexico inspire your art?

I can't help but be inspired by New Mexico. It's such an amazing and beautiful place to live. In fact, I was directly inspired for a Mars Attacks! story that I drew which came out earlier this year. The story was set in Albuquerque so I got to draw several of the big ABQ landmarks. I put The Doghouse restaurant in there, and the Albuquerque skyline. I also drew a pack of zombies to look like characters from Breaking Bad. I had a great time making that comic. I love living here, and I draw inspiration from it on a daily basis.