Saturday, October 24, 2009

A few more musings about the sale -- or, more to the point, about reactions to the sale

I've been reading a lot of the comments here and elsewhere on the Web about my recent sale of the TMNT property to Viacom, and a few repeated themes are emerging, almost all of them indicating a woeful lack of basic comprehension of business realities. I have been pondering whether I should try to respond to these comments in an effort to enlighten (as best I can), though I suspect that it could be the classic "exercise in futility", given the obvious absence of a common frame of reference. But I'll give it a shot.

1.) I just don't get all the negative crap that some people have spewed about Gary Richardson, CEO of Mirage. I've worked with the man for over fifteen years, and have found him to be an honest, ethical, hard-working person. We occasionally have not seen eye-to-eye, but that has usually been the result of the divergence of views predicated by the two very different career paths we each took after college, me as an artist/illustrator and Gary as (originally) an accountant. Kind of a left brain, right brain kind of thing.

I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that, without Gary, Mirage may not have survived as long as it has. His level-headedness, knowledge of business, and facility with numbers -- among other skills -- really made a huge difference in the day-to-day running of Mirage. Gary also has an excellent memory and strong organizational skills, which -- if you are going to run a company like Mirage which owned a complex property like the TMNT, with hundreds of contracts with a wide range of licensees all over the world -- are absolutely necessary qualities. The work Gary has done to keep all of that stuff straight and running smoothly is, I think, vastly under-appreciated and poorly comprehended by many people, and particularly the world of TMNT fandom at large.

And the idea that this sale was some sneaky deal cooked up by Gary and somehow foisted upon me is not only ludicrous but insulting to all concerned. It is simply beyond stupid.

2.) Another oft-repeated comment is something to the effect of "Why'd you have to SELL it? Why didn't you just let somebody run it for you, while you went off and did whatever?"

I suppose there are some people in the world who have the ability to compartmentalize their lives in such a way as to be able to shut off concerns about certain key, important things. Personally, I have trouble doing that. It's actually a measure of the confidence I have had in Gary's competence at running Mirage that I was able to let go of concerns about many things having to do with the operation of the business. But there have always been certain aspects of the TMNT business that I could NOT let go of, and Gary understood this, and would always consult with me about them and get my "yes" or "no" before moving on them.

And these would be the things that, regardless of who took over running Mirage for me, I would STILL worry and fret about. It's just my nature. That's why the idea of a sale of the TMNT, with a clean, unequivocal relinquishment of all TMNT-associated responsibilities, was -- and is -- so appealing to me.

3.) Another common comment is that this deal "came out of nowhere" and "happened so fast". I can understand how it may have SEEMED that way to an outside observer, but nothing could be further from the truth. Not only has the idea, the concept of a sale of the TMNT been percolating in my brain for at least the last decade, the actual work on this deal with Viacom has been going on for many months. It was a complicated, grueling negotiation with thousands of details to consider. Even Gary came close to tearing his hair out several times.
And it is a generally-accepted fact of business that when you are negotiating this kind of deal, you don't talk about it in public until the deal is done. One of the things that has been tying my stomach in knots over the long course of this negotiation was that I could not tell my friends and fellow artists at Mirage about it, until roughly a week or so before the actual closing. That was tough.

4.) "You got ripped off -- TMNT's worth WAY more than 60 million!" This is another comment which has been repeated... of course, it is also one which is stated with no facts to back it up. Please keep in mind that I had consulted with smart advisers who know about this kind of stuff, who had studied and researched how to evaluate the dollar value of a property like TMNT in real-world terms.
In one sense, it's kind of flattering that people would think it's worth a lot more... but it also reveals a profound naiveté about the realities of business.

5.) One of the most aggravating comments is the one which can be summed up as "How could you sell TMNT?!!! I would never sell MY property!" That's a very interesting assertion. My immediate reaction is "Great... but come back to me after you've spent twenty-five years living and working with that property to the almost total exclusion of anything else, and then I just MIGHT be able to take you seriously."
People who make this type of comment just have no clue about what it is like to be involved like I was with a property like TMNT for so long. And it is that blithe cluelessness which allows them to make such bold claims.

Finally, I'd like to thank those people who have posted thoughtful comments on this blog in the last few days. It means a lot to see that many of you DO understand what I've done with this sale, and appreciate the many years of TMNT that have passed under the auspices of Mirage... and look forward to the future of TMNT with its new owner. -- PL


  1. Not being able to tell the artists at Mirage must have been the worst part. Hopefully everyone is still on friendly terms.

    I'm excited to see what Nickelodeon comes up with!

  2. Peter,
    I'm only thirteen but have been a huge fan of yours and of the TMNT for a while now and I completely understand your point. I hope the new TMNT will be as great and fun as you made it to be, and I hope you continue to do this blog! Although, I have some questions,

    1. Will NECA be producing anymore figures of the comic-based toys?

    2. Will Mirage still have SOME right to make comics of the Turtles?

    Evan W.W.

  3. I'm really glad you wrote this.

    I've had a very hard time refraining from writing a lot of nasty responses to some of the unbelievably ignorant comments I've read from people since the sale occurred.

    I can only imagine what it would be like to spend 25 years of my life working on the same property. Something that I think a lot of people don't understand from an illustrators perspective, is that you are constantly thinking of new ideas and concepts. I can only fathom how tremendously frustrating it would be, to be stifled from the many obligations running TMNT entailed, and never having the opportunity to do anything with the many ideas I'm sure you've had over the last 25 years.

    I'll be the first to admit that the sale of TMNT certainly caught me off guard, and was saddening as it is truly the end of an era. However, reading your responses since the sale, leads me to believe that you made the right decision for you, and that's really the most important part. I think the fact that you couldn't allow someone else to just run the company unless you washed your hands of it completely, speaks volumes of how involved with the creative process you need to be.

    I look at it now as an opportunity for you to venture in to new territory artistically, and if Nick doesn't hold TMNT up to my standards I'm okay with that because there's 25 years of material out there already.

  4. Evan W.W. said...

    2. Will Mirage still have SOME right to make comics of the Turtles?

    According to Jim Lawson's blog, yes.:

    "It's all true. As of now, Mirage no longer owns the Turtles. Peter though, has retained the rights to publish up to 18 issues a year of the TMNT"

  5. I Really Appreciate Your Work!
    I Know What Its Like And I Would've Sold TMNT Way Back Then!

    Questions: What About The Live Action TMNT (2011) Movie Or Turtles Forever? Are They Still Gonna Happen?? And Are The Original Comics Gonna Continue?

  6. hello peter,

    i love everything you have ever done and you deserve to have the life you want to have, i think selling the tmnt property now could be the best thing you could have done for them to keep going, not just the tmnt but yourself, enjoy life and become what you need to be, i hope you return to your doodlings and scribblings days if thats what you want.

    i have been entertained by you and the mirage gang since 1989, i was only young about 13 and the turtle power house was sweeping the uk, i rememeber those days going into manchester to buy my first teenage mutant hero (back then in the uk) turtles action figure, i bought it from woolworths and there were only two left and april and a bebop, i was disapointed not to get a turtle but hey i loved them toys, i eventually got myself a full set and then i started collecting everything.

    i have close to every single issue of every single series of the tmnt comic, even the oversized uk reprints, i loved the archie comics steve murphy wrote and was very exited when the news of the forever war broke, but hey i wrote my own version in my head many times and if it never happens thats fine, ill have tales to read until 70 at least.

    ill always have a place for the many older versions of the tmnt that have been around over the years and im sure ill love what nick produces, i cant wait again, lol, i get to exited for my own good.

    anyway i have linked your blog to mine i have been following since the start and will not stop, i love your art and i love your stories and ramblings.

    ps, while i am at it many thanks for my turtle head sketch in my tmnt vol 4 issue 29 i tresure it like its the best thing in the world, and dont worry to much about the negative comments i guess some people dont understand.

    thanks peter agian love eveything you do and ill be reading your blog forever.

  7. You need to take into account that those who posted such comments can't conceive of it because it's not something they've experienced. You've "lived the dream" so to speak, and those of us who haven't have a hard time imagining it.

    I even asked Stan Sakai if he'd ever consider it-- because it got me thinking. But your situations are different.

    Plus, I would imagine that all the stuff going on in the past year with gov. bailouts of huge corporations has probably generated a lot of the negativity aimed at Gary Richardson.

    It's true-- those of us out here don't understand a lot of things-- we're ignorant of those things for a reason-- it's not something we're dealing with in our lives.

    As for Nick, there are those of us who want to see the Turtles go forward, not backward. But it's out of our control, like everything else-- which explains some more comments. There are those like me who have a bad habit of getting upset about stuff we can't control.

    Personally, I'd like to know three things:

    First: Lawson says you've retained the rights to do about 18 comics a year (if you feel like it?)-- if you do, do you have to go to Viacom/Nickelodeon for final approval?

    Second: Will we still get to see "Turtles Forever" on 4Kids once the top 10 promotion is over?

    Third: Does this mean that Galen Walker and co are not making the movie after all (yeah, you probably answered these questions somewhere, but with over 80 posts in the other thread, I kind of got fuzzy-eyed searching)?

    Anyway, thanks for everything.

    Cynthia Fluharty

  8. You would think that this all would go without saying.

    I believe that these irrational responses stem not just from ignorance, but a deep emotional tie to the TMNT property that so many people feel. For many, there is sadness and anger and rather than dealing with it rationally and understanding that this sort of thing happens and that it is not necessarily a bad thing, they search desperately for explanation and react without thinking.

    If so many people react so strongly to this sale, more than anything, I think it shows just how important the TMNT have been for so many people.

    I guess all I'm trying to say is, don't let yourself be soured by people's rash responses. Every person who has left a comment, whether thanking you or criticizing you, all have something in common: a love for the characters and stories that you created. I hope that you know how happy you have made people and, at least occassionally, that it makes you smile!

  9. Thank you for defining my childhood and thank you for setting the stage for the inspiration where I draw all my ideas, hopes and aspirations.

    To me, you, Kevin, and all the rest epitomize true success.

    I trust your judgment, as I always have since the beginning. Good luck and enjoy the rest of your life, you've earned it.

    (My only concern is Mirage's TMNTA Forever War. I was quite literally dying to see that come to fruition. And am very concerned it will not see the light of day now.)

    Other than that, be well sir...

  10. I just want to add to the great amount of support aimed at you, Pete. I've been a fan for the last 20 years, sticking mostly with the Mirage publishing side of things, and I fully support your decision to move on and get your life on the track you want it. This property has been around for far longer than most of its peers, and I think it's an incredible accomplishment, for all involved... from you and Kevin to Gary, to all the artists and writers currently putting out the books.

    I hope you feel that there is more support than criticism. I guess as others have said, when something is so personal to some people, they react with only themselves in mind. I'm eager to see what comes next, and am optimistic that we'll at least see Mirage to continue to publish the Turtles for at least the remainder of Volume 4 (and beyond?). Thanks again for posting these updates and keeping in touch with all of us out here. - Chris

  11. I can pretty well visualize where things are going from here, but I still have questions about the movie. I know Nick has full control of it, but can you say what direction they wish to take it?

  12. Thanks a lot for all of the info.

    I feel a little bad for pestering Dan Berger about all the questions I had for the sale, but overall I'm really happy about it. I've always enjoyed every media outlet of TMNT, but the comics have been my favorite.

    I'm super excited about the possibility of Mirage still publishing TMNT comics, and I understand that there may be a break from that after May 2010, but please come back to it. The comics have been so consistently good that it would be a shame for a giant hiatus in the storytelling to occur. Mirage's crew is one of the kindest, most inspiring, friendly, and creative group of people in comics, and I'm excited every month to see what you guys have come up with.

    So, I hope that you'll enjoy your much needed break, but I'd also really appreciate it that, when you're ready, you come back to the comics.


  13. What is going to happen to the current vol. 4 comics?

  14. think,if you were like the Youtube founders or 90% of creators ever,you would've sold the TMNT in '89 or earlier.

    what kind of things did you always yes/no approve?
    thats cool you gave a shit and its kind of unheard of.

    18 issues of mirage a year?(!!!!)
    is it true?..

  15. Neil-- deleting your account is too drastic! And this is probably pointless at this point, as you've most likely already carried through.

    *le sigh*

    Glad you're going to keep blogging, Mr. L.

    Glad to know that you actually kept the option to do some comics still.



  16. I was shocked when hearing about the sell i reacted in a way that was kinda akward anyway the tmnts will be apart of our hearts forever

  17. Peter first let me say what an honor and a pleasure it was to meet you and the Mirage Team at Heroes Con this year. Getting to meet you guys was a dream come true.

    I'm not going to lie and say I'm not sad about all this but I understand why you had to do it. When I first heard the news I dropped to my knees in shock. Turtles will forever be a part of my life and I will never forget how kind you and the Mirage team were to me at Heroes Con.

    I do have a few questions. Will the Mirage Universe book ever get released and do you know if Viacom will release complete season sets of the 2K3 Cartoon Series? Also is there any chance to ever see more collected trades like the Volume 1 that was released a few months back?

    Thank you for 25 great years Peter. I wish you the best of luck and can't wait to see what the future holds for Mirage outside of the Turtles Universe.

  18. -->>.. i think i too am all over the map on what has happened seeing the good and bad, and the toughness of the in betweens.

    An important aspect i do see is Pete's mental and physical well being.

    This too needs to be looked at.

    Does seem like it is by some.

    I hope that is kept near the forefront.

  19. next tmnt movie I am sure will rake in MORE than 60 million at the box-office. lowest it can make will be around 40 million. that with the sales of the toys, DVDs, etc. will probably go over 60 million by the time the 'turtles turn 50.

    i may not have a lot of people working with numbers to confirm that, but i find it very unlikely the movies and all the merchandise won't go over 60 million.

    still, that is a lot of money. not the lowest it could be, either. also great to hear that out of the deal you may be able to create 12 comics out of a year if you desire to do so? right? that's nice to know.

    still somewhat sad by the deal. its understandable for you to sell it off (thanks for 25 years you've given us, by the way), but, why must mirage and 4kids go as well? and, to nickelodeon?

    yes they are successful, business-wise. but quality-wise?

    i do enjoy the kid-aimed '80s ninja turtles show, i just feel nick may take it a bit far too low.

    then again, as you said, just gotta wait and see. hope it turns out well. they will own everything else, so, if the show doesn't turn out well, what could become of how they handle everything as a whole?

    what's done is done, hope it all works out. and best wishes to you and mirage's future. glad to know you'll be getting back to "that guy" you once were. you gave us 25 wonderful years of your life with the 'turtles, for that, I thank you.

  20. I've never known Gary to be anything but professional and cordial, so I am with you on that.

    If you guys make something of the 18 issues a year (even a fragment of it) then I will have nothing to bitch about.

    - Andrew

  21. thundersteven said...

    next tmnt movie I am sure will rake in MORE than 60 million at the box-office

    Okay, I'm sorry, but this is the kind of ignorance that Mr. Laird was refering to in this post.

    Understand then when a TMNT movie is made, Mirage isn't the one MAKING the movie. They simply own the property. There are producers, distributors, investors, directors, actors, and many other factors that go into making a blockbuster film, and believe me, that is where most of the profit goes. When all is said and done, the owners of a property see a fraction of actual profits, and while that fraction does add up with many movies, television shows, toys, games, merchandise, etc. over several years, it is ridiculous to think that more than a small piece of the pie goes to the original creators.

    When a buyout like this occurs, there are a lot of intelligent people on both sides of the negotiation working to determine the value of the property. People don't just sell something as profitable as this at the drop of a hat without considering how much it's worth.

    Viacom was willing to buy the TMNT property for $60 million. Peter Laird was willing to sell the property for $60 million. That's how much the property is worth. And by the way, that's not exactly a small amount of money.

  22. What about neca? i wnat to see more toys produced!!!

  23. Hello Peter,
    I am glad you wrote this. I think a lot of the negativity comes from people who have not had enough experience in the real world to understand what you must have gone through. Not only have you been the sole owner of the property for 9 years, you have worked with it for 25! That says something about Mirage and you in general. Honestly, when I thought about it, I am surprised this did not happen sooner, like after Kevin Eastman sold his rights to you.

    I won't lie. The sale saddens me and makes me worry about the future of the franchise that I have grown to love more than any other since 1988 (when I first saw the TMNT cartoon show), but I totally understand your wanting to get out of it. However, some part of my brain hopes for the best. Nickelodeon did Avatar: The Last Airbender, so my hope is the Turtles get a similar awesome treatment. Stay cool Peter!

  24. I been into the TMNT since I was a kid and they first came out!
    I'm 34 and still love them!!
    I understand what you had to do Peter, you need to think about whats right for yourself and move on!

    I hope this wont be the death of the TMNT and Nick keeps going with them!
    I will always be a TMNT fan!

    Hope the best for you and everyone at Mirage!
    I hope you and the guys stay and work with Nick and help them keep the Turtles alive!!

    TMNT 4LIFE!!


  25. Thank you for addressing some of the concerns people have mentioned. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens with the turtles in the next few years.

  26. Oh Peter... I hope that this does go well and you don’t regret it later. It would be very cool if you and Mirage Studios do come out with a new project. I also really hope this does allow you to be happy and be that guy again. I think you deserve that more than anything.

    I think one of the main concerns that fans’ is- how are they gonna treat the turtles..? I mean, I got happily dragged into the franchise by the 2k3 4Kids series and that was amazing up until the Fast Forwards series. With that series, it became more child like. They shifted the target audience to much younger children... removed any emotional depth beyond “I hate the future” and any serious plot. Back to the Sewers was a bit better but not by much. The fans are probably scared that the target audience is going to be, again, 8 year-old boys when I find that the mass audience is- ins my experience- females from mid teens to 30s.

    Its whether the franchise is going to be handed over to the young male who run around in ninja masks with mass produced pieces of plastic for weapons, or if it’s give to the older generation anf given the serious, yet quirkiness is has been famous for, and loved for as of late.

    TMNT has meant a lot to me. Because of it, I am now engaged to the woman of my dreams. It has also taught me to fight for what I believe in and want. If it wasn’t for that link between me and my love I fear that something may have happened to her by now. I know it seems silly, maybe even immature to say something like that... but the truth doesn’t always sound so serious. It also helped improved my art by leaps and bounds... and gave me a future job to aim for. I know I owe a lot to those four little doofs and they’re creators.

    Maybe one day I can return the favour.

    Thank you

    ~Unny Gorey

  27. @PL

    "I just don't get all the negative crap that some people have spewed about Gary Richardson, CEO of Mirage."

    It doesn't help that he has been slammed by certain people who work at Mirage. You may want to start looking there.

    "the actual work on this deal with Viacom has been going on for many months."

    Was Viacom the only option? Was there any attempt to shop the franchise to other companies, companies that had stronger connections to comics? Why sell to a company that seems to want to focus on a part of the franchise you have tried to keep out?

    Please keep in mind that I had consulted with smart advisers who know about this kind of stuff,

    Would the deal have been worth more if you had gotten the rights to the 80's cartoon?

  28. I'd be lying if I said that my initial knee-jerk reaction wasn't one of SNARL, but after a few moments, I let it sink in, and thought about it from a fellow artists and business persons stand point. And the sale is a good move, especially since you sold the rights to a company that listens to the fans and takes to heart their words as much you and the other in Mirage do. Viacom / Nickelodeon is a good company! So big thumbs up there! I can see them taking the Turtles to a new and good level.

    I've been reading reactions from others over on DeviantART, and some are just... ouch. But some are just too quick to post without thinking about it.

    Seriously, best of luck with the sale and the whole transition! ^__^

    I've been a fan of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles ever since they came out, and I'll continue to follow where ever they go to. And I'm still going to stay a fan of Mirage Studios. You all produce some great stories, and have some FANTASTIC artists!

    By chance, are any of you going to attend the 2010 NYC ComicCon again?

    ~~Debra "Bee" Rohlfs

  29. Pete,
    I hope you get back to 'that person' you desire to be. I can only pretend to know what it's like to work with the same property for 25 years. Good luck with your future endeavors, I hope you one day decide to finish Vol. 4. It is one of my favorite runs in comic history and would love to see a proper conclusion. I hope you enjoy your new found 'freedom'. Thanks for 25 years of amazing work.


  30. If you guys make something of the 18 issues a year (even a fragment of it) then I will have nothing to bitch about.

    - Andrew

    I agree.

  31. Howdy Pete,

    All the best with everything in the future mate. Yes you will be definatly missed, i will admit when i first heard the news i thought "who else can own and do thye turtles justice BUT one of the ORIGINAL creators"..let alone those wacky guys and gals at mirage, who have been a huge asset, especially Dan 'the man'Berger. but when i read your post about the selling i thought that not only was it couragous but also a great great thing knowing now that you will be able to relax and do your own thing without the worry.
    Good on you mate, and again all the best.


    One of the many many many many TMNT fans here in Australia

  32. Since nearly every friend of mine is an artist, with many of them doing just what you described, carrying around sketchbooks and drawing whenever they can, I understand where you are coming from. As an artist, no longer being able to do that artwork, or not being able to devise something new, has got to be horrible. I look forward to seeing your future works.

  33. Hi Peter,

    25 years working on the same thing day in and day out must be a tiring, but rewarding experince. If you think that it is time for you to hand the reins to someone else, then good for you. I can only imagine the weight that lifted off your mind when the deal was passed through.

    Good on you, mate.


  34. -->> Nacho, it looks like all licensing deals .. i . e. Video games, clothing , PlayMates TMNT , ect. are all still on schedule.

    When Viacom got this , it was the whole kit n' kaboodle. Lock Shock and Barrel.

    One thing Nick does do well is nurture nostalgia and i am pretty positive they will milk the classic TMNT brandings for all they're worth.

    I think, FOR NOW's safe to say that the NECA TMNT figs are still on schedule ( despite the sluggishness of NECA with the figs ).

  35. Okay, after a few attempts to try and get this blogging thing to work~


    I've never posted here, but this news... hit me pretty hard. I actually remember back when I was about 6 years old seeing the first movie on the big screen for my birthday with my mother and one of my second cousins, I was hooked and have been a turtle fan on and off since. Since that time, I've read the comics, watch the TV series (even TNM as cheesy as it was...), movies, I've had action figures, played games, etc. The turtles are one of the best things that have been in my life.

    I have had so many thoughts about the sale, most of them not really... impressive. I was angry and felt sick hearing it and am a smidge scared what it'll mean for the Turtles future. But... 60 Mill is a lot (more than I can imagine)... and you're right about everything you've said in response. I'm glad you've posted your thoughts on this, it helped ease my mind for the most part. So, thank you.

    I do have a few questions.

    The same concerns about Turtles Forever, TMNTA, Tales and of course Vol 4, will we see it on the new Mirage site if/when you get books done? I'm hoping to see what happens with Mikey.. :) The comics are by far my favorite series concerning the TMNT, so I hope to learn what I can about their future.

    Another concern is, that I've heard/read that Viacom tends to scout places like Youtube and tear the videos and such down. Is this something we'll have to worry about do you suspect? I do hope it won't be, the fandom for the turtles is something I enjoy even if I don't agree or get along with many of the other fans~

    I suppose that's all I have to say about the Turtles.

    I hope you find what you're looking for. 25 years is a long time to dedicate yourself to one thing. Thanks for a great experience, Mr. Laird.


  36. Mr Laird, or I'd rather say 'Peter' if you'd permit me.

    I'm suprised by what is being said about this sale. There is no indication that it's a bad deal for you or for the TMNT, if anything the property (from a fan-oriented perspective) has more muscle to back it up now, perhaps pushing the Turtles to new heights.

    I understand 100% where you are comming from. Being a professional illustrator myself, I can imagine (not entirely or course) the complexities or managing the TMNT and the draining of energy, espacially the creative aspect, wanting to get back to your pre-TMNT roots. I didn't have any problem with the sale in the frist place, I thought that you might have seen to it that you may have kept a small part to play in the future of the TMNT for yourself, but even now that I know that you haven't I don't mind, it's better for you that way.

    I just hope the people who don't see the potential this deal has for the TMNT property, see it soon.

    Besides, things change. I grew up on a steady diet of He-Man, TMNT and Frank Frazetta artwork. New stuff is coming out only for the TMNT, that doesn't bother me.

    So, people, instead of nagging, what I am doing right now.

    Thanks Peter Laird. Thanks for inventing such a wonderful story, characters, world. Thanks for inventing it with your old pal Kevin Eastman. For having the guts (and that took ALOT of guts) to believe so much in what you had, to take that giant risk back then and self publish, as Kevin once wrote in the Heavy Metal website, the most successfull independently published comic in the history of comics (or something like that). Thanks, for all that and for keeping at it all these years. I am looking forward to your new stuff emerging.

  37. Peter,

    I want to thank you very much for your further musings of the sale. What is great and what I will miss, and I think a lot of people will, is this personal interaction with the people behind the guys in green, and my concern was just wanting to know where you were coming from. I hope any of my previous comments DID NOT come off as rude or to the point of chastising you. I just wanted to see how personally you came to this decision and on those certain issues, and you've now addressed 95% of them and I deeply appreciate that.

    Jim Lawson his blog posted that you were especially keen on doing a buyout of the artists at Mirage, that way they'd make out in the situation too (at least, that is how I took it) and I am so appreciative that you, Kevin, and everyone at mirage was the people behind the turtles up to this point. And as someone who is currently drawing his own stuff, Peter, I DO understand getting burnt out. And I do hope you find that. A good friend of mine, an AMAZING artist, much like yourself, very much so, in a way, to me, feels burnt out and wants to get back to 'that feeling' and I understand what he, and now you, meant. I hope you find it.

  38. couldn't you just say that it's just a very late april fool's joke? I mean, I don't know the hard things that you are and were passing with the tmnt and so, but it's just a way to say that I really prefered so much the tmnt on your hands than in viacon's.

  39. Thanks so much for responding to some of the comments, Peter. I really appreciate it!

  40. Well it is a relief that there will still be some comics, so hopefully we'll get closure (the comics were my main concern as they are all that kept me a fan after FF and BttS started).

    after reading the press release it says:
    "4Kids, Mirage and Viacom will work together so that Turtles broadcast and merchandise licensees can be assured of a seamless transition which is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter of 2010."
    does this mean we should expect a continuity of the 2003 series somewhat, like similar designs and the same voice actors?

    and what about Turtles Forever and the live-action movie that was supposed to somewhat follow the original comic?

  41. Dear Mr. Peter Laird,

    I am 18 years old and I have watched a lot of TMNT dating from the 80s (Thanks to video cassettes and my recent search for the DVD collection) all the way up until the current season and I am still into it. I know I probably can't honestly relate to how tough this negotiation has been, not to mention keeping it from your fellow artists and other people of Mirage. I just want to let you know that I support you in your decision and that I will always be The Female Turtle Titan! (Friends Gave Me That Name lol.)

    P.S. I hope that CW4Kids will still present the newest animated Movie after the Top Ten. I am so looking forward to it and if they don't show it, I will be severely heartbroken. I mean, who can resist three times the ninja action...not to mention three times the Michelangelos!!!! ;)

  42. Hi Pete,

    I haven't read through all the (extensive!) comments, so I don't know if someone's already expressed this sentiment, but even if they have I think it bears repeating:

    One thing you can take away from all these responses, even the nasty and ignorant ones, is that a whole lot of people care about this. You've done something that means a lot to a lot of people.

  43. Mr. Laird, I'm nervous about Nickelodeon owning the Turtles, but who the heck am I to be angry at you for selling them?

    I have enjoyed the Turtles since I was fifteen years old, and now my kids enjoy them too.

    And that wouldn't have been possible without you.

    So all I have to say is thank you Mr. Laird. Thank you for your imagination and hard work.

    Thank you for giving us the Turtles and for guiding them 25 years of absolute awesomeness.

    Thank you for the hours I've spent sitting with my boys watching their adventures, cheering at the same time, gasping at the same time and laughing at the same time.

    Thank you Mr. Laird.

  44. So does this mean that there will be a show on Nickelodeon called "My Life as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Robot"?

  45. Peter,

    Thank you for the TMNT.

  46. Peter,
    I admit I have not been able to read through all of the comments posted here. However, I felt moved to add my voice. My reaction to the sale was a bit emotional, being a lifelong fan of all things Turtles, but mostly of your work with them.
    I adored the cartoon as a child, and grew up with them. As an adult I found great pleasure in knowing The Turtles on a more adult level in the Mirage comics. Learning that there was more to their characters then just “Cowabunga!” and yes they did eat more than pizza. That is where my heart lies with them. Please finish Volume 4! Please bring some closure to the title that so many love as it is. The Turtles of Mirage Comics deserve that and I feel that we as faithful fans deserve closure as well.
    I think the negative reaction people are having is stemming from the fear of change. Fear that The Turtles will no longer be themselves without you. I am open to change, though I admit Nickelodeon makes me nervous. I will mourn The Turtles I know now, but look forward to their resurrection. I also wish you happiness and peace of mind as you go through your own personal transitions.
    Thank you for your work and for your awesome creation!
    Rachel Willson

  47. Dear Peter,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about the sale on your blog. I feel compelled to share as you have; at first I was one those people asking 'why', but I realized something...the reason we want to know why is b/c we have, as you have, known TMNT for 25 years, and for that long, it has become a part of us. I don't mean to sound over sensitive, but when I reminisce on great childhood memories, TMNT is there...the 80's show, the comics, the movies. Loved or hated it, it was in my living room, a part of my life. So, just to remind you, that's we take it personally.

    It came a sudden blow b/c we were not there with you as agonized at night whether you want to gie it up, nor were we there when you began negotiations.

    It would have been nice if you sent a public memo saying that you were having talks about selling, but maybe that is too much.

    Nonetheless, when anything is shared with the world, the world feels it has some ownership over it (whether that's true or not, that how people feel). Well, in the end, all I can say is, thank you for twenty five years of entertainment. ~ Alley

  48. Again, its good to see your view on this. For you being the co-creator of TMNT you obviously know best. Mr Laird this post has enlightened me in some ways but some questions remain unanswered but I wont ask those here.

    I'd at least like to see your name credited on any new series that'll be made. TMNT may now be legally owned by Nickelodeon but sentimentally they still belong to you and us the fans.

  49. Peter,

    I grew up with the Turtles since it started and would have never been where I am today if it weren't for it. I just wanted to thank you and your dedication to this creation and hope you would understand that some of the people feeling bad about this is because of how important and personal it is to them even though they may not understand the reasons. Turtles have brought much imagination, joy and happiness to generations. Thank you for all this, Peter.

  50. Aren't you afraid of what Nickelodeon will do to your franchise... like make some female equivalents or something? I mean... when you sell the rights to a franchise, it is essentially theirs, and they have more money than you do and even if you do sue them, they could exhaust you of all your money in court and you'd end up deep in debt even if you won.

  51. "J. DaCapo said...
    Aren't you afraid of what Nickelodeon will do to your franchise... like make some female equivalents or something? I mean... when you sell the rights to a franchise, it is essentially theirs, and they have more money than you do and even if you do sue them, they could exhaust you of all your money in court and you'd end up deep in debt even if you won."

    It is not "essentially theirs" -- it IS theirs. I harbored no illusions about what I was doing when I sold the TMNT property to Viacom -- I thought about it for a long time. They can do, or not do, whatever they want with it. I no longer have a say in what happens with the TMNT, and that is fine with me.

    The idea that I would attempt to sue the new owners because they did something like make female Turtles is just indicative of a huge lack of comprehension of the nature of a sale like this. To put it simply, that won't be happening. -- PL

  52. Mr. Laird, thanks for the TMNT, I've been a long time fan of this great franchise since the age of three years of age watching the original Fred Wolf Cartoon. I had action figures of Leonardo, Donatello, and Michelangelo, clothing and even the original live-action movies released by New Line Cinema (I still have Secret of the Ooze on VHS) I own all three of them as well as the Paramount reboot on DVD as of right now. I will always be a turtle fan no matter who owns the rights whether it's Viacom or another entity!

  53. By the way, TMNT and I are the same age, they were created on May first of eighty-four, I was born on June twenty-first of eighty-four!


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