Saturday, January 31, 2009

Blast from the Past #67 and #68 reposts: 1992 TurtleCon poster art

(For brevity's sake, I decided to put these two BftP's together into one (re)posting.)

Back in 1992 we held the Portsmouth, NH "TurtleCon", the only "official" TMNT convention to date. Held at the Portsmouth, NH Sheraton, it was a lot of fun. This is something I put together as a free handout at the show. It's one of my early Photoshop experiments (I think I was probably using Photoshop 2.5 back then!). I don't know exactly what the heck that gun Don is wielding does, but it sure looks cool.

Before doing the color work in Photoshop, I "cyberinked" the pencil drawing of Donatello.

I'm pretty sure I have some (pre-digital) photos from that Turtlecon somewhere... maybe I can dig some out and scan them for a future blog post. -- PL

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Blast from the Past #66 repost: Proposed TV Guide cover

This drawing bothers me -- not because I don’t like it, but because for the life of me I don’t know if it was ever used! I believe it was done for a proposed TV Guide cover. I penciled it...

...and Ryan Brown inked it (beautifully, as usual). -- PL

Monday, January 26, 2009

Blast from the Past #144: TMNT spot illustrations on Duo-Shade

Here are two drawings from the VERY early days of the TMNT, quite possibly drawn before the first book was printed. I drew these on some of those scraps of Graphix Duo-Shade we had left over from cutting the page-sized sheets out of the big sheets of Duo-Shade board (we used every little piece of that stuff!).

It's interesting to look at drawings like this to see how the way we drew the Turtles changed drastically from those early days. -- PL

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Blast from the Past #65 repost: Leonardo and Frostbyte

This is a penciled piece I did back in 1992. It's signed by me "To Sam" -- I'm not sure who Sam is. I think this may be the only drawing I've ever done which pairs one of the Turtles with a character from a Funatix! property, in this case Frostbyte™, the leader of the Barbearians™.

(In case you don't know, Funatix! was a toy concept and design group made up of most of the Mirage dudes: me, Mike Dooney, Jim Lawson, Steve Murphy, Eric Talbot, Dan Berger, and for a while Steve Lavigne and Craig Farley. Ken Mitchroney was also one of the founding Funatix! members, but problems due to geography -- Ken lived in Florida at the time -- led to his leaving the group early on. We worked on a bunch of different concepts, but Barbearians™ was one of the first and the most fun.) -- PL

Frostbyte™ and Barbearians™ ™ and © 2009 Funatix! Inc.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Triceraton by Tokka

It's a sad, almost inevitable fact of life that during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, some things fall through the cracks and don't get attended to in as timely a fashion as they should. So it was with this cool gift I got from "Tokka" (aka Dave) last month. He fashioned a wild-looking custom Triceraton -- I think it is based on an existing figure of some sort, customized with additional details in some type of sculpting medium, and painted in Dave's unique style.

The figure has been sitting in my office at Mirage since I got it, and I've been meaning to post photos of it, but it just kind of got lost in the swirl of things. Dave, here's a belated "Thank you!" -- PL

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Blast from the Past #64 repost: TMNT color series #2 cover pencils

Here's my pencil drawing for the cover of the second issue of the Mirage TMNT color series, before Kevin Eastman inked it and I colored it in Photoshop. This is one of a series of "big head" covers that we did for that series, wherein the background of each cover was dominated by a large image of the head of one of the characters in the story.

Last year, I pulled the final inked version of this cover, along with a couple of other covers, out of my files, and Steve Lavigne painted the original artwork in his inimitable style. I'm pretty sure we sold this one at the NYCC in 2008. -- PL

PS: As pointed out in the comments by Tokka/Dave, this is another unintentional "double repost" -- not only did I put this up on the original "Blast from the Past" page on the website, but I also posted it on this blog last year ( D'oh! -- PL

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Blast from the Past #141: Ninja Tribunal ship modification

Sometimes I think I may have driven Lloyd and the other folks at 4Kids nuts with some of the small detail things I requested changes on during the episode development process. This may have been one of those times.

An important vehicle used during the "Ninja Tribunal" story arc was the ship used by the Tribunal to transport the Turtles and Splinter to Japan. When I got the design drawing for the ship, I liked it a lot, except for one detail -- the area hear the bow where it seemed that the side of the ship was so low that waves could easily wash over it. So I suggested this minor tweak. -- PL

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Blast from the Past #140: Turtle design for 2K3 show

Here are some more artifacts from the early days of planning for the 4Kids TMNT tv show. They sent me several sketches to try to work out the basic look of the Turtles as they would appear in the show, trying to keep all the essential element while giving the Turtles a look which would be unique and separate from the way they looked in the original show. What you see here are, from top to bottom, a rough pencil sketch, a tight pencil sketch, that same pencil sketch with a proposed color scheme, and finally my tweaks of that colored sketch.

I can't find the old email referenced in the note on that sketch, but I think I can recall what the numbers are in reference to, as follows:

1.) Remove "peaks" from top plastron segments; make them straight across top.

2 and 3.) Make "connective" areas between plastron and carapace more obvious, and color them differently than either the carapace or the Turtles skin color.

7.) Make belt, wristbands, elbow and knee pads brown, i.e. like leather. (The old show extended the bandanna colors to these pieces, and while it worked fine then, I thought it was a little too silly for the attitude we were going for with the new show. -- PL)

Friday, January 16, 2009

Blast from the Past #139: Evil Utrom designs

Back in the preproduction phase for the 2K3 TMNT tv show, when Lloyd Goldfine and I came up with the idea of the Shredder actually being, secretly, an Utrom in an exoskeleton, we knew that at some point we should reveal exactly what that evil little bugger looked like. I thought that he should look significantly different from the standard Utrom, in some way which would make him stand out and look BAD. So I did these two pages of quick conceptual sketches to try to come up with such a look.

And once we had settled on a design, it was necessary to come up with a restraining device for the flashback scenes which showed how the evil Utrom had escaped on Earth. The following image shows the small tweaks I made to the design submitted to us by 4Kids, which was actually almost perfect -- I just wanted to try to make sure that the squishy little imp could find a way to squeeze himself out of it. -- PL

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Blast from the Past #138: Garbageman's "Whale Sub" sketches

(Hopefully this is not another repeat posting like that last one!)

I can't recall which episode of the 2K3 show this was done for, but 4Kids had sent me a piece of art for a vehicle that Garbageman was going to use. Unfortunately, I can't find it right now, so you can't see what it looked like, but apparently I wasn't happy with it, and did my own version, as seen here. The first drawing shows the "Whale Sub" with its grasping tentacles retracted, and the second shows those tentacles extended.

And here is the final model art as rendered in color by the artists at 4Kids. -- PL

Blast from the Past #137: Ninja Turtles day in Los Angeles

Here's a curious artifact from 1993 -- a proclamation announcing "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Day" in Los Angeles, California. Apparently, this was in conjunction with a benefit showing of the third Turtles movie. Does anyone from the LA area remember this? -- PL

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Blast from the Past #63 repost: Jumper and Crawler

Here are two more mutant animal characters from my sketchbook, drawn sometime in the late 1980's for possible inclusion in the TMNT action figure line. I like them both, but I really like the octopus thing -- I really wish Playmates had gone for that design! -- PL

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Blast from the Past #62 repost: Evil Mutants

I drew these two wacked-out evil mutant animal characters sometime in the late 1980's as part of our continuing efforts to help Playmates extend its TMNT action figure line.

I have NO idea what possessed me to combine a lynx with cyborg elements and add football to the mix, but I think it could have made a cool figure.

"Oscar" the mutant snail guy was a character I hoped would get made -- there's just something about him I like (I think it's his elegant bilateral symmetry). But neither of these dudes made it onto the animated show or into plastic form. -- PL

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Blast from the Past #61 repost: TMNT and Foot vehicle designs

Both of these were drawn by me, probably around 1988 or 1989, and were done as concepts for vehicles in the Playmates Toys TMNT line. The top drawing is of a TMNT helicopter, and one of its interesting features is the lineup of various "landing grippers" -- magnet, suction cup, and velcro -- that would attach to its landing skids. We had considered -- and I think I even did a sketch of it -- making these into accessories for the Turtle figures also, so that they could be stuck to many different surfaces.

The Troop Carrier was intended as a vehicle for the evil Foot Clan to use (I think that's a proto-Bebop at the controls). I think I was inspired by the cool design of the APC in the movie ALIENS. -- PL

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Blast from the Past #60 repost: Donatello and Montana Moo

My good pal Ryan Brown (who, sadly, I do not see very much these days... but I do read his blog!) realized a longtime dream of his when, back in the 1990's, his "CowBoys" concept was made into a toy line, animated series, and a whole bunch of merchandise under the name "Wild West Cowboys of Moo Mesa". I drew this piece featuring Donatello and one of Ryan's characters, Montana Moo, as the basis for a congratulatory card for Ryan.

And here's the "cyberinked" and computer-colored version of this drawing which I sent to Ryan. -- PL

(Montana Moo™ and © 2002 R.E. Bee Inc.)