Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Blast from the Past #95: Baxter Stockman and April O'Neil sketches

These two design sketches were done by me before Kevin and I started working on issue #2 of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, so that would have been sometime in summer or fall of 1984. Apparently, at the time these sketches were done, two important things had not yet been decided upon -- Baxter Stockman's race, and April O'Neil's name.



As you can see in this piece, I was going for a real "nerd" look for Stockman, whichever color he ended up being. April is just labeled "assistant" at this point. And from the drawing in the lower left of this piece, I guess I was still trying to work out how the Mousers would move when attacking.




This other piece is from a short time later, I suspect -- the looks of both characters are closer to the way they would finally appear in the second issue. I find it interesting that I labeled their footwear... don't ask me why I thought it was important to do so! -- PL

11 comments:

  1. That first image is a little too nerdy! :) That may have come across as funny rather than serious if you had used that look. I'm glad you went with a more realistic approach.

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  2. Very cool to see such an early April. She was always one of my faves.

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  3. Aaaaah, now here's the kind of stuff I love to see you post, Mr. Laird. I'm a sucker for this kind of early concept stuff. I suppose April's jumpsuit in this issue was the basis for the original cartoon's April always having one on?
    -Wil Brendel

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  4. -->> ..the white boy version of Bax here is slightly more remincent of his human counterpart on the original animated show.


    >v<

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  5. Interesting to see that the Mousers went through very little change even at the get go...

    The white Baxter almost reminds me of a toonish Bill Gates for some reason.

    Speaking of which, maybe you can finally clear up this mystery. What was the reason for Baxter in the original toon being a white guy?

    According to David Wise, he said in our interview that Fred Wolf Films originally thought he WAS white.After seeing this drawing, maybe this is one of the ones given to FWF as they designed the character?

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  6. "Wil said...

    I suppose April's jumpsuit in this issue was the basis for the original cartoon's April always having one on?
    -Wil Brendel"

    You suppose correctly. -- PL

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  7. " Neil V said...

    What was the reason for Baxter in the original toon being a white guy?

    According to David Wise, he said in our interview that Fred Wolf Films originally thought he WAS white.After seeing this drawing, maybe this is one of the ones given to FWF as they designed the character?"

    We never sent these sketches to Wolf, and I have to say that I'm surprised anyone would think Baxter was white in his first appearance in the comics.

    I'm not really sure why his race was changed for the cartoon. I can't remember at this point in time if we ever asked or complained about it, probably because -- as you can see from the fact illustrated in the first sketch -- we were prepared to go in either direction when we we created him. His race really wasn't that important. -- PL

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  8. Agreed. He was still a fun character....but I just found that response of his super odd, since they must have been severely color blind or something, heh.

    Although, the Christopher Lloyd 'Doc Brown' interpretation, Murph posted on his blog a while back, of the character might have been fun to see on screen as well..

    Regarding April: Where those Jump Suits super popular back in 1984? I remember seeing one, and only one worn in an episode of Knight Rider. Kitt's technician Bonnie wore it for most of the episode, but I haven't seen one before or since...

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  9. -->> .. as much as ' Bug Baxter ' was classic in his own right, i do prefer the newer incarnation based on his original comic appearance.

    In fact the newer cartoon expands on him more than anything we've ever seen including his childhood.

    There are aspects of Baxter that are showing that he's more than just crazy, evil , and vengeful.

    He's pompous, grandiose, beyond arrogant, and a genius savant of sorts. He also seems much more sinister and somewhat immortal.

    He's much more psycho then we've ever seen him !!

    As of the past six years or so .. i have a whole new appreciation for him.

    >v<

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  10. I agree Tokka,
    The new toon Baxter is by far my favorite character of the series.
    -Vaughn M.

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  11. 1st app of April! I love the mouser pounce pose.

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