Thursday, May 26, 2016

A minor correction

I was just looking at the Comics Journal website, and stumbled upon a neat article about the comics "scene" as it pertains to Northampton, MA, home of Mirage Studios. It's a pretty good piece, but I noticed this error:

"Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird moved here and started Mirage Studios shortly after Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 was released."

While it is true that we moved to Northampton "shortly" after TMNT #1 was released (I guess two years could conceivably qualify as "shortly"), it is not true that we "started Mirage Studios" upon moving to Northampton (in the summer of 1986, by the way). 

Mirage Studios was actually started back in 1983, in Dover, NH, less than a year before we published TMNT #1 in May of 1984. Mirage then moved to Sharon, CT and stayed there for two years before ending up in Northampton. -- PL

Here's the link to the article:

http://www.tcj.com/northampton-ma-scene-report/

Monday, May 2, 2016

Turtles chosen as "family ambassadors" for New York City

     My daughter Emily reminded me today that I'd been quoted in a New York Times article about the Turtles being chosen as this year's "family ambassadors" for New York City. Here's the link she sent me to the story:

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/04/30/nyregion/now-selling-new-york-four-heroes-in-a-half-shell.html?referer=

     It's pretty cool that the TMNT are being employed in this fashion, I think. -- PL

     P.S. There is a link in the fifth paragraph of the piece for "their origin story", which takes you to a page at http://mentalfloss.com/article/30862/complete-history-teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles, wherein one of the first things you read is "Struggling artists Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird were living in Northampton, Massachusetts, when they came up with the Turtles in November 1983." That's a pretty blatant error with which to begin an otherwise decent article -- as true TMNT fans know, while Kevin and I met and became friends in Northampton in 1981, it wasn't until two years later -- when we were living in the same house in Dover, New Hampshire -- that we created the TMNT.


     It's particularly distressing to me because the writer of the mentalfloss.com article states in the first paragraph that "To make sure I got the scoop on everyone’s favorite pizza-obsessed heroes in a half-shell, I went straight to the source—co-creator Peter Laird—who was kind enough to answer our burning questions about the franchise. "


     I can't really remember being interviewed for this article, and I can't find any email record of it, but I know for certain I would never have told anyone that the Turtles were created in Northampton. In fact, I have pointed out this same mistake a number of times when I have seen it online and in print. 


     Other than that, as I mentioned, it's a decent article. It's a long way from the "Complete History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles", but as the last line of its first paragraph states, it's "a pretty good place to start".



Thursday, April 28, 2016

IMPORTANT UPDATE!!! Re: chance to bid on TMNT #1 first printing at Artrageous benefit gala





Hey!


I got an update from my daughter Emily today regarding bidding on the first printing of TMNT #1 which I donated to the Umbrella Community Arts Center for their fundraising gala event called "Artgaeous". Here's what Em had to say about how to bid on this item:

"To have the first opportunity to bid on this piece of comic book history, you'll have to either actually be at Artrageous or buy a ticket to the event. (Tickets to the event can be purchased at http://theumbrellaarts.org/event/artrageous.) If you are unable to be there in person but are interested in bidding, you can purchase a ticket and send Emily your cell phone number. You will get a unique bidder link to join the auction and can bid along with the other gala attendees. However, if the book doesn't sell on the night of the gala, it will be offered on eBay or another online auction website. If you have any questions about the auction, you can contact Emily at emily@theumbrellaarts.org."

So that's pretty cool! By the way, this copy of TMNT #1 first printing has been graded by CGC as a 9.6. A photo of the "slabbed" book which Em just sent to me is at the top of this post. -- PL


Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Peter Laird pottery at FCBD

    As readers of my blogs and Facebook page may be aware, back in 2012 I reunited with a long lost love -- making pottery! I'd done it for one semester in college a little over forty years ago, and then for some reason or set of reasons never put my hands on the clay again until I started taking lessons and classes with Tiffany Hilton, a local "practical potter", as she refers to herself. (Don't let that somewhat modest description fool you -- she's incredibly skilled and a wonderful teacher.)

    I haven't been drawing much in recent years, and the pottery has been a great creative outlet for me. I've enjoyed it immensely. Some friends and family members have dropped hints since I got back into doing ceramics that they wouldn't mind having a piece or two. That's flattering, and I have let one or two pots go, but I have to confess that I am kind of stingy with them -- I want to keep them all!

    But I decided that for Free Comic Book Day this year at Steve Lavigne's "Shellback Artworks" store in Wells, Maine on Saturday, May 7, I would donate a couple of pots for a raffle. One of them is from that first year -- 2012 -- that I got back into pottery, and the other one is from my most recent class in 2016.





    The piece from 2012 is a kind of goblet, although one more suited to eating something like fruit salad or ice cream than having a drink from. The goblet form was one I had a lot of fun making in that long-ago class in college, and I had to try my hand at it again in TIffany's studio. On this particular piece, I also used some rolling-bead texturing tools I'd made to add some funky textures.
    This one measures about five inches tall and five and a quarter inches wide at the top.



    The second pot I will be bringing to Shellback is this bowl from the most recent class I took in 2016. It measures about three inches high and six inches wide at the top. 





     This was one of a few bowls I used one of TIffany's newest glazes on, a yellow glaze which also has some cool light brown elements in it. This bowl would be well-suited to eating soup or a small salad from. (The quarter in the lower left of the photo is for scale.) 



     Here's a top view of this bowl which shows the slash of olive green glaze I used to decorate the inside.




    TMNT fans might be interested to know that in signing each piece before they were fired, I included with my signature a small Turtle head sketch, as seen in this example below.





    I'm not sure how Steve is planning to run the raffle, but I expect the rules will be made clear on Free Comic Book Day. -- PL

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

ARTRAGEOUS! A chance to bid on a first printing of TMNT #1 on May 7, 2016!



     My daughter Emily works for a wonderful nonprofit arts organization in Concord, Massachusetts called The Umbrella Community Arts Center  (theumbrellaarts.org) and they are having their annual fundraising gala, Artrageous, on Saturday, May 7 at 40 Stow Street in Concord.

     There will be a silent art auction at the gala, featuring all kinds of cool things, including a lot of original artwork… and a mint condition first printing of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" #1 (the original Mirage Studios edition, published in 1984). This book has been graded by CGC at a 9.6, and I am donating this copy to the art auction from my small personal collection of TMNT comic books. All proceeds will go to The Umbrella.

     The starting bid on this rare comic book will be $5,000 (five thousand dollars), and I am also offering (if a buyer wants it) to personalize the book with my signature (and probably a small Turtle head sketch) inside the book or on its cover.

    
I got an update from my daughter Emily today regarding bidding on the first printing of TMNT #1 which I donated to the Umbrella Community Arts Center for their fundraising gala event called "Artgaeous". Here's what Em had to say about how to bid on this item:

"To have the first opportunity to bid on this piece of comic book history, you'll have to either actually be at Artrageous or buy a ticket to the event. (Tickets to the event can be purchased at http://theumbrellaarts.org/event/artrageous.) If you are unable to be there in person but are interested in bidding, you can purchase a ticket and send Emily your cell phone number. You will get a unique bidder link to join the auction and can bid along with the other gala attendees. However, if the book doesn't sell on the night of the gala, it will be offered on eBay or another online auction website. If you have any questions about the auction, you can contact Emily at emily@theumbrellaarts.org."

So that's pretty cool! By the way, this copy of TMNT #1 first printing has been graded by CGC as a 9.6. A photo of the "slabbed" book which Em just sent to me is at the top of this post. -- PL

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Not awkward, not weird, but definitely a "family photo". At least they got ONE thing right!


    Sometimes the Internet is just SO stupid. Or, to be more accurate and fair, it's the people who post certain things on the Internet…

    I heard from a friend today that she'd seen the following online at this URL (http://www.fizzdot.com/the-most-awkward-and-weird-family-photos-of-all-time/28/):



    … and she was wondering if she was mistaken in thinking that the guy in the photo was me. I replied and told her she was not wrong, and that this was in fact a photo taken back when the first live-action Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie was being filmed in North Carolina. Fellow TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman and I had been asked to pose for some publicity photos on one of the movie sets with the actor who played Leonardo, garbed in one of the incredible Jim Henson Studio-created Turtle suits.

    Following that session, I asked if it would be okay if I got a shot of me and my wife and infant daughter (who were also briefly visiting the movie set) posing with Leonardo, kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The actor inside the costume (who, if I am remembering correctly, was named Dave, and who told us that he too had recently become a father) was very gracious in agreeing to take the extra time to do this, although he was sweating uncomfortably inside that heavy foam-rubber suit in the sweltering North Carolina summer heat.

    I've always considered this photo to be a cool artifact of that time and experience. I'm glad we got the chance to pose for it, and I wish I knew the photographer's name so he or she could get the proper credit.

    So, for the dumbass who posted this as supposedly one of "The Most Awkward and Weird Family Photos of All Time", here's a fact-check for you:

    1.) We (the people in the photo) love the "Teenage Mutant NINJA Turtles". We understand that they are sometimes called by the more generic "Teenage Mutant HERO Turtles" title in certain other locations, and there's nothing wrong with that, but we've always preferred to think of them by the original title -- "Teenage Mutant NINJA Turtles".

    2.) We didn't hire a Turtle for a day to pose with our infant. See above for the real story, not your invented nonsense.

    3.) The baby is not a boy, she's a girl -- my daughter, Emily, now 27 -- who loves this photo (even if she cannot, obviously, remember being there when it was taken!). She also did not grow up to hate the Turtles.

    So there you go -- wrong, wrong, and wrong.

    It's a useful object lesson, I think -- context IS important. -- PL

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Inks!!!

Eric Talbot emailed me his scan of his inking of the TMNT group shot drawing I did for the print to be offered for the first time at Steve Lavigne's "Shellback Artworks" store on May 7 for Free Comic Book Day...





... and as I suspected, I was not disappointed. Great job, Eric! Now we look forward to Steve working his color magic on this piece! -- PL