I picked up a new MacBook Pro laptop yesterday, and have spent a few hours copying old files onto it, re-installing some key programs, and generally trying to get things back to the way they were -- or at least close to it. So far, it seems to be going pretty well. AOL is working, I can get on the Internet, and I don't think I have lost anything vital (of course, that estimation could change as things progress).
I have made one big decision, though, which I was not expecting… but which I can see now is connected to the continuing series of changes going on in my life.
I have not -- and won't -- copy my "TMNT Stuff" folder to the new computer.
"TMNT Stuff" was a folder I'd maintained across several laptops -- in fact, I think it started on my G4 desktop Mac. I put just about everything and anything TMNT-related into it -- art that I'd scanned, some of which I'd colored in Photoshop; all of the art files for the 2K3 TMNT animated series that Lloyd and his crew sent me for approval; plots and notes for the stories I created for the TMNT Volume 4 comics, as well as the Quark (and later InDesign) files for the comics themselves; various interesting emails and web clippings related to TMNT; some important contracts, various drafts of movie scripts and treatments and outlines; and so on. The last time I checked (about a minute ago) this folder was slightly over ten gigabytes.
(I am not deleting this folder full of files -- I will be keeping it on a back-up external hard drive in case i ever need to refer to it again.)
Lately, I have been feeling the sense that the Turtles are "falling away" from me -- I know that is imprecise and very subjective, but it is the closest I can get to articulating how it feels. After the sale of the TMNT property to Viacom in October of 2009, I felt some immediate relief, some significant lessening of my sense of responsibility to and for the Turtles. But I didn't experience the real -- you know, I'm not even sure how to describe it, but I had this kind of anticipation of a feeling of liberation or something. And it wasn't there.
But now it is.
In the last week or two I have actually found myself breathing more easily, and feeling like my shoulders and neck aren't as tight as they once were. I find myself thinking of the Turtles as something from my past, not something of my future… which is a little freaky, given how long they'd been part of my present, but even as a freaky feeling it isn't unpleasant. It feels… relaxing.
I'm not eradicating the Turtles from my life. That would be foolish -- they are a huge part of my personal and creative history. And someday, maybe I will play with them again. But right now, that day seems very, very far away.
Those of you who were/are fans of my TMNT Volume 4 comics may wonder what this means for the continuation/conclusion of that series. I have been doing some soul-searching about that, and at the risk of disappointing some of those fans, I have to say that I don't think the series will ever be finished as I had originally intended it to be. I just don't have any desire to leap back into it, and in fact, I am a little afraid of trying to do so, given my sense of of trepidation about getting sucked back into the world of the TMNT at a time when I finally feel like I am getting free from it.
So this is my current thinking: The art, scripting and lettering for issue #31 is done, and the inking on the art for #32 is just about finished. I may finish up the final details of these two issues, and publish them not in print form but on the Web.
Following that, I will take the plots that I have written out for what would have been the concluding six or seven issues of the comic book, beef them up a little bit, and post them online, either at the Mirage Licensing site or on this blog, so as to give readers of Volume 4 a clear look at how I intended to conclude that series.
I'll have to double-check to make sure I'm within my rights to do this, but I think it will be okay. And in all honesty, at this point I think it's probably the only way this series will get anything close to its intended conclusion. I apologize in advance to anyone who will be disappointed by this approach, but I sincerely see it as the only reasonable way to go forward, all things considered. -- PL