Varner Turtle Sketchbook



In stock



A huge collection of drawings/designs for the original 1990s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles toy lines. Artwork by Howard Chang and Russell Vossler, with Eddy Mosqueda, Glenn Wong, and Gerry Martinez.

From the Introduction:

Varner Studios has been creating toys and action figures since its conception in 1979 and has continued to be a staple in the toy industry for over 40 years. Steve Varner originally started out in the motion picture industry as a prop sculptor, where he moved on to become a sculptor for Mattel in the 70's, eventually forming his own company. In 1986, Playmates approached Steve to create a TMNT toy based off of the comics to pitch to Mirage. The result was this prototype--the original pitch turtle.

Mirage loved it and sent us to work! But before we started the sculpting process, we needed our artists to get to work on 2D concept designs. The two men leading the way behind these concepts were Howard 'Quiggly' Chang and Russell Vossler. Combined they would go on to design hundreds of turtle figures! Also included in this book are artists Eddy Mosqueda, Van Duong, Glenn Wong, Peter Asmar, and Gerry Martinez. Contained in this book are the best of the best drawings that were the guide for all your favorite figures along with some concepts that never the light of day.

Quiggly started working for us when he was 18 years old. Starting out as a cartoonist for his high school newspaper, studying journalism in school, he attended the national journalism conference in Anaheim, CA, entered an editorial cartoon topic contest and came in top of the field. After such a success, he started to look for artist jobs in the Local newspaper and came across our ad looking for sculptors. Having never had any traditional sculpting experience, he went and got some traditional sculpting clay and started to practice. Hired on originally as a mold maker, Quiggly transitioned to concept artist and the rest of his time at Varner would be spent drawing concept art for hundreds of different lines and sculpting as well.

Russell moved from Indiana to Los Angeles in 1972 and got a job at the now fabled Video Archives in Manhattan Beach, alongside Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary. Russ was observed sketching in his sketchbook on the job by a customer and urged to apply for a job at Varner Studios. He took that sketchbook along with a portfolio to the interview and was hired right away. Russ worked for us at Varner studios from 1991 to 2005 as a toy illustrator and designer. Over time he would take up sculpting and became an avid sculptor for us. Russell now calls Madison, Indiana home where he freelances as a painter, illustrator and Sculptor.


Condition & Attributes

Very Fine, issued without dustjacket

Publishing Information

Varner Studios

Physical Description

11.4 inches
9 inches
450+ pages
color and black & white illustrations throughout
pictorial boards

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