Friday, March 20, 2009

Blast from the Past repost #89: front cover of special PBBZ Limited Edition reprint of TMNT Volume 1, #1

This is the front cover to a special limited edition (3000 copies) of the first issue of TMNT which was available for the first time at the Portsmouth, NH comic con on May 22 of 2004. What was new about this reprint was that I had retoned and relettered it, as part of a long-term effort to "remaster" all of the old issues of TMNT. There was also an essay by Ralph DiBernardo, who -- 21 years ago -- produced the Portsmouth Minicon at which Kevin and I premiered the first issue of the TMNT.



And for this twenty-fifth anniversary year, on "Free Comic Book Day", Dan Berger, Michael Dooney, Steve Lavigne, Jim Lawson, Steve Murphy, Eric Talbot and I will be doing a signing at Jetpack Comics (Ralph's store) in Rochester, NH from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM on Saturday, May 2. A nice kind of almost perfect symmetry -- Kevin and I attended Ralph's Portsmouth Minicon to premiere the first issue of TMNT on May 5, 1984. -- PL

12 comments:

  1. -->> ..controversy or not..

    that cover and choice of of logo head is damm beautiful.

    >v<

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  2. Man...Wish I could travel up that way and actually meet you guys. I'd love to tell you all
    "thank you" In person for all your hard work over the years, and for creating these charachter's I like so much.

    But Nooooo. I'm in southern Illinois and work would get in the way.lol. It's always something...
    Cool cover Pete...I agree with Tokka on that one.

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  3. "~ tOkKa said...

    -->> ..controversy or not..

    that cover and choice of of logo head is damm beautiful.

    >v<"

    "Controversy"...? -- PL

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  4. ->> yeh remember, some people were upset about the ' remastering ' ??

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  5. I went to that con, and Loved the cover design. My issues hold a special spot in my collection. And if all goes well, I'll be visiting Jetpack on FCBD... I'm fairly certain there's no other comic book shops - Nellie Woe's closed in January - so hopefully you'll have a good turnout.

    ~Amy of Dover

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  6. Many fans were upset about the "remastering," as it seemed very unnecessary (much like Lucas's "remastering" of Star Wars, and I'm sure you know how well that was received). I think most fans realize these are your babies and you're free to do what you want with them. But that said, it does feel somewhat like a slap in the face of TMNT fandom, in some silly way. Since you're posting about this, Pete, could you perhaps take a minute and share your thoughts on why you felt the changes were necessary? What was it that bothered you enough to make you go back and alter issues from two decades ago? Because - and I don't mean this offensively at all - they were good enough to turn the TMNT into one of the greatest creations pop culture has ever seen, so if they weren't broke, why "fix" them? Plus, I suspect that no matter how many revisions there are, they will all be rejected and the original versions will forever remain the "definitive" ones. Acceptance is just one of those things that creators have no control over - it's strictly up to the fans, and fandom seldom (if ever) takes kindly on revisionist history (again, case in point: Star Wars). I think your insight on this would be appreciated by everyone (or at the very least, by me). Thanks, Pete!

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  7. Alex "Toon" Deligiannis said...
    Many fans were upset about the "remastering," as it seemed very unnecessary (much like Lucas's "remastering" of Star Wars, and I'm sure you know how well that was received)."

    I don't recall "many" fans being upset with the "remastering". Perhaps it depends on your definition of "many". -- PL

    "I think most fans realize these are your babies and you're free to do what you want with them. But that said, it does feel somewhat like a slap in the face of TMNT fandom, in some silly way."

    I truly fail to see how my "remastering" experiment could in any way be a "slap in the face" to TMNT fandom, when it DOESN'T CHANGE THE ORIGINALS... which are still around in many copies of the printed comics as well as online at ninjaturtles.com. -- PL

    "Since you're posting about this, Pete, could you perhaps take a minute and share your thoughts on why you felt the changes were necessary?"

    I never said -- or thought -- the changes were "necessary". It was a fun thing for me to do. -- PL

    "What was it that bothered you enough to make you go back and alter issues from two decades ago?"

    As I have mentioned previously, I decided to do the "remastering" because I was tired of looking at the old Duo-Shade tones, and, having gotten some Photoshop toning experience with what I was doing on TMNT Volume 4, I realized that I could create a new, fresh look for the old stuff which would allow more of our original ink work to show through (a lot of which got lost due to the way we used the Duo-Shade tones in the originals).

    To a lesser extent, dong the "remastering" allowed me to tweak some dialogue which, in retrospect, I had grown unsatisfied with. -- PL


    "Because - and I don't mean this offensively at all - they were good enough to turn the TMNT into one of the greatest creations pop culture has ever seen, so if they weren't broke, why "fix" them?"

    I seriously doubt that the original Duo-Shade tones on the TMNT comics are the sole reason for the TMNT's success in the larger world beyond the comics. But, while on the whole you are correct that the originals were not "broke", there some details which in those early issues which --at least to my way of thinking -- ARE "broke". For example -- in issue #1, in the flashback scene wherein Splinter in telling his origin story, there is one panel showing Hamato Yoshi's reaction to finding Tang Shen's lifeless body. His right hand and forearm, in the original, were drawn in a very weird, distorted fashion which has ALWAYS bugged me. Every time I would see it in a reprint I would cringe. Doing the "remastered" version gave me an opportunity to fix that mistake. It's a minor detail, but I thought it was worth making right. -- PL

    "Plus, I suspect that no matter how many revisions there are, they will all be rejected and the original versions will forever remain the "definitive" ones. Acceptance is just one of those things that creators have no control over - it's strictly up to the fans, and fandom seldom (if ever) takes kindly on revisionist history (again, case in point: Star Wars). I think your insight on this would be appreciated by everyone (or at the very least, by me). Thanks, Pete!"

    You might be right. I guess time will tell. -- PL

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  8. -->> ..as stated above ..

    both versions of TMNT #1 are readily available.


    As of 2006 ..both the Special Editions and the original films were available simultaneously on the commercial level.

    .. ..

    it is possible to find balance within' all this all around.

    ..>v<

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  9. Hi Pete,

    I really appreciate your taking the time to share your insight. I hope you aren't offended in any way - I ask only out of genuine curiosity, because I think it's fairly common for artists and creators to look upon their own past work and cringe (I do it daily). Through that, there is introduced a (perhaps natural) desire to change and correct past mistakes, an opportunity that some creators take and some don't. It's interesting to me to see which ones choose to go back and try to perfect things, and what makes one decide one way or the other (Incidentally, I think I find this interesting probably because I'm obsessive to a fault, and my personality tells me that I might part of the former category - if I was in your shoes, I don't know if I could resist the urge to go back and update things. At the very least, I'd have a hard time deciding not to). Plus , the process and inner-workings of the mind of other artists always intrigue me.

    As for my use of the term "many", you are correct - it's all relative. I've seen various pages online dedicated specifically to this topic (I myself learned of your revisions only thru one of these said pages), but the internet community is the most vocal, so perhaps they are indeed but a small minority (though, to be fair, that is also precisely what I mean when I use the word "fan", as the casual reader or TMNT novice probably wouldn't care about - or even notice - those changes, anyway).

    I think it's a bit silly how seriously we can adhere to the things we loved in our youth to such an extent that we are bothered by even the most minor changes to those things. But nonetheless, I suppose those tendencies are part and parcel of this thing called fandom. I wonder (and again, this is a genuine question) would it bother you if Kirby had gone back in his later years and changed early issues of the original Demon series that were near and dear to you?

    Anyway, I thank you again for the reply, and for a great discussion (and I eagerly look forward to the FCBD reprint in May)!

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  10. ""Alex "Toon" Deligiannis said...

    Hi Pete,

    I really appreciate your taking the time to share your insight. I hope you aren't offended in any way - I ask only out of genuine curiosity, because I think it's fairly common for artists and creators to look upon their own past work and cringe (I do it daily). Through that, there is introduced a (perhaps natural) desire to change and correct past mistakes, an opportunity that some creators take and some don't. It's interesting to me to see which ones choose to go back and try to perfect things, and what makes one decide one way or the other (Incidentally, I think I find this interesting probably because I'm obsessive to a fault, and my personality tells me that I might part of the former category - if I was in your shoes, I don't know if I could resist the urge to go back and update things. At the very least, I'd have a hard time deciding not to). Plus , the process and inner-workings of the mind of other artists always intrigue me."

    You're right -- the inclination for artists to go back and correct mistakes or enhance earlier work is a very personal choice, one made for a variety of reasons. As regards TMNT, there is precedent set very early on in the history of the TMNT comics for these kinds of changes -- not so much in the drawing, but we hired Steve Lavigne to do the lettering starting around issue #6 or 7, and then had him go back and re-letter all of the previous issues that Kevin had lettered, so that the reprints we did would look better. Also, I remember an odd occurrence (I think it was for a reprint of TMNT #1) when Kevin inked over his first drawing of a Turtle in an inking style he had developed in the five or so years since he had drawn that Turtle -- making it look completely different from how it would have looked had he inked it the day he drew it. I can't recall exactly why he did this -- in fact, I don't think he ever told me why he did it. But I always thought it was a bit weird. -- PL

    "As for my use of the term "many", you are correct - it's all relative. I've seen various pages online dedicated specifically to this topic (I myself learned of your revisions only thru one of these said pages), but the internet community is the most vocal, so perhaps they are indeed but a small minority (though, to be fair, that is also precisely what I mean when I use the word "fan", as the casual reader or TMNT novice probably wouldn't care about - or even notice - those changes, anyway).

    I think it's a bit silly how seriously we can adhere to the things we loved in our youth to such an extent that we are bothered by even the most minor changes to those things. But nonetheless, I suppose those tendencies are part and parcel of this thing called fandom. I wonder (and again, this is a genuine question) would it bother you if Kirby had gone back in his later years and changed early issues of the original Demon series that were near and dear to you?"

    That's an interesting question, though I can only speculate how I might have felt. I guess I would have been surprised, given that I was so awed by Kirby's work that I couldn't see how he could make it better. I might have been happy to see it, even so, because it would have been new Kirby work, in a sense, and that was always something I looked forward to. I believe I would have at least been intrigued by the effort, given that the man thought there was something worth changing. -- PL

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  11. I believe I would have at least been intrigued by the effort, given that the man thought there was something worth changing. -- PL

    I think this actually gives me a fresh outlook. Thank you.

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  12. Pete - First of all I want to thank you and Mirage for making available the recent reprint of TMNT#1 via ninjaturtles.com art contest. I was fortunate enough to win a copy of the newer version of TMNT#1 a couple years ago with your signature and turtle head on the cover and was over the moon to be able to have one of comic history's greatest origins stored away in a safe spot to enjoy every once and a while.

    I had read all the original duotone versions off of the site and now can show my two year old son - when he gets older - what the original turtles was all about. I doubt he will have the pleasure of loving such an awesome story as the Ninja Turles as things like Ben10 seem the standard these days blech. I guess nostalgia is unforgiving.

    I at first was looking forward to the comic being in the original duotone though now have learnt to love the simple black and white approach of the reprint. I think a lot of artists want to vary their work - even the stuff that first kicked it all off - as to stay dedicated to one universe of characters takes huge determination to not become tired of even the greatest concept.

    I want to thank you for staying with the Ninja Turtles so Hollywood can't totally kill off the franchise through mediocrity, poor ideas. I know you got their green backs.

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