A perfect Sunday with...Erik Burnham

Pasta mama, axe murderers and geek history lessons

A perfect Sunday with...Erik Burnham

Every week, a top writer, artist or creator reveals how they’d fill their perfect Sunday, sharing their favourite comfort reads, movies, food… anything that would make their weekend great.

Today it’s the turn of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic writer, Erik Burnham.

Erik’s perfect Sunday… brunch

You know, it’s funny. I love to cook, and I’ve found some of my go-to recipes in off-hand ways. Such is the case with pasta mama; I can’t swear that I’d heard of it before it was mentioned in Star Trek Strange New Worlds, and I was curious about it. Googling led me to bunches of recipes, which in turn led me to cobbling together a recipe of my own taking a bit of this and a bit of that from others. But the pasta plus eggs plus parmesan? That’s checking a lot of boxes from the comfort food hall of fame, right there. This may be the last question I can answer with just one candidate… I will beg forgiveness and thank y’all for your indulgence now.

Erik’s perfect Sunday… read

I recently reread Bob Mehr’s Trouble Boys: The True Story of the Replacements, and I’ll throw that out there as a recommendation. I identify with the band’s self-destruction in the face of success more than I would like (though neither my negative impulses nor my successes are anywhere near the levels they rose to.) The book is funny, heartbreaking, and true, so it has everything. But for a perfect Sunday I’m also content to grab a good oral history.

(And so I’m not leaving fiction off the list, I just came into possession of Chris Claremont’s first novel First Flight and I gotta say it is wild to read his very distinctive prose on the page without it dancing around highly detailed drawings of the X-Men. I don’t know if it’s a perfect read, but, so far, it’s fun.)

Erik’s perfect Sunday… comic

Boy, I’ve been having a time lately going back over some old Marvel graphic novels, so right now I’m high on the Drs. Stange and Doom team up, Triumph and Torment. Roger Stern found a unique story that fit both these characters, and Mike Mignola welded the aesthetics of Ditko and Kirby together perfectly with his own style. It has the soul of a golden-age horror movie, and I adore it for that. I keep seeing fan wishes for this to be adapted into the third Doctor Strange movie; I wouldn’t mind that myself.

Erik’s perfect Sunday… movie

I thought about picking the Princess Bride or Grosse Pointe Blank, but I’m going to go in a wildly different direction and pick So I Married an Axe Murderer. (Otherwise known as Hitchcock filtered through Mike Myers.) I recently got to see this at a revival house and the crowd was into it, though the biggest, most room-shaking laugh of the night came in a place that I didn’t expect. It was when Alan Arkin says: “Was it too much? With the ethnic slurs?” Funny, but the room quaked and I’m glad I was there for it. I love this for the easygoing vibe, the coffee shop in the first scene that reminded me of the places I used to hang out that are almost extinct, and the mix of broad and subtle humor. My brother and I, to this day, will mimic Arkin’s “Yes, I know that part” when we don’t need an explanation. And my gosh, the soundtrack is pure early 90s goodness.

Erik’s perfect Sunday… TV binge

Psych. How’s that? I was able to limit myself! I love the deceptive simplicity of the silly comedy filled with pop culture references and just the right amount of emotional resonance to keep things from being too light. An absolute favorite.

Erik’s perfect Sunday… podcast

I’ve found myself really enjoying Michael Rosenbaum’s Inside of You podcast; the interview format he sticks with isn’t as polished as some shows and I find that endearing. I also love the Geek History Lesson podcast—I’m friends with hosts Ashley and Jason, but I’d be listening anyway just owing to the huge variety of geeky material they cover.

‎Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum on Apple Podcasts
‎TV & Film · 2024

Erik’s perfect Sunday… album

My musical tastes were largely shaped by working at a bush radio station in rural Alaska when I was in high school; because they were the only game in town, they had everything and played everything—so I was exposed to everything. That makes this the hardest question of them all to answer… I’d love to pick Prince, or Dean Martin, or John Williams or Caro Emerald but… I gotta go with eclectic and I’m going to go with the Singles soundtrack. A good mix of loud and quiet, and I absolutely love Paul Westerberg’s track “Dyslexic Heart.”

Erik’s perfect Sunday… treat

Lately, because many of my old hobbies had become part of my day-to-day work, I started playing an instrument. And no, not something that I had started to learn in school (violin in fifth grade, I remember nothing). And not something familiarly mainstream (like a guitar). No, I’ve taken to learning the baritone ukulele. (It is like a guitar with training wheels, same tuning but only four strings.) I make no claims at being adept—or even good—but I can play a few songs and noodling around with that after a good walk through the woods is incredibly relaxing. (And no, I won’t tell you which songs I’ve learned!) As a bonus, it’s still easier than card magic.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Untold Destiny of the Foot Clan #1 by Erik Burnham and Mateus Santolouco is now available from IDW.

Oroku Karai has spent her life in the shadow of lesser men: first her father, then her grandfather, Oroku Saki, the so-called “Shredder.” But no more. Now the Foot Clan is hers to command, and she has grand designs on seeing her clan reach its full potential. Karai has learned that Saki shared mystical secrets with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles—secrets meant only for those loyal to The Foot. As she and those loyal to her set out to master the ancient way of the ninja, she’ll discover that she’s not the only one who lays claim to the Foot Clan’s destiny…

Erik Burnham is a Minnesotan writer and artist. After years working in both broadcasting and retail, Erik finally decided to take a crack at making comics, beginning with the Nick Landime feature in the Shooting Star Comics Anthology.

A positive reception led first to other anthologies, and then to extended work for IDW Publishing on properties like Teenage Mutant Ninja TurtlesTransformers: Beast Wars, and a critically acclaimed, ten-year run on the Ghostbusters line of comic books. He even wrote the official Tobin’s Spirit Guide.

ERIK BURNHAM's been fortunate to work with many companies, including Cryptozoic, Dynamite, IDW, Insight Editions, Opus, and Marvel, on a variety of properties and multitude of genres. Superheroes, science fiction, comedy, pulp fantasy... it’s been an embarrassment of riches, and there’s more on the way. (Which is good news, since he loves his work.)

When not turning out stories for other publishers, Erik fills his time working on the webcomic Downside, trying to learn an instrument (badly), and going for walks (this he does okay at.)

Erik still lives in Minnesota; any rumors about this being because he's completely afraid of the forty-nine other states (and Canada) remain unverified at this time.