Friday, February 10, 2012

Ask PL #7



Haven't done one of these since last April, I think... so...

Any questions? I might have answers... then again, maybe not. -- PL

205 comments:

  1. I came across a sketch Stephen Murphy drew of an unproduced toy called "Krang's Gross Dimension X Body". Are more concept sketches from the original toy line available somewhere in one place that you're aware of? I'd love to see concept sketches of figures like Muckman, Pizza Face and Wyrm. How many designers worked on the Playmates toys? Were you able to give input the way you did with scripts? Could you tell who had done a design based on specific qualities that would show up in those designs? Thanks, Peter!

    Kyle Strahm

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    1. "Kyle StrahmFeb 10, 2012 10:52 AM
      I came across a sketch Stephen Murphy drew of an unproduced toy called "Krang's Gross Dimension X Body". Are more concept sketches from the original toy line available somewhere in one place that you're aware of?"

      I wasn't aware Murph drew any sketches for toy designs. There are probably a lot of concept sketches in various locations -- I suspect Ryan Brown has a bunch -- but unless Playmates kept an archive of copies of these things, I don't think they exist in any one place.

      " I'd love to see concept sketches of figures like Muckman, Pizza Face and Wyrm. How many designers worked on the Playmates toys?"

      I really have no idea. I think all of the guys at Mirage who were artists submitted at least one design to Playmates over the years, and probably more than that. I never knew any of the people that Playmates had on staff or freelancing for them.

      " Were you able to give input the way you did with scripts?"

      On the first series -- toys and animation -- I think Playmates listened to us a lot more that Fred Wolf ever did. On the second series, I had a lot of input on and approval rights over the toy designs, which was nice.

      " Could you tell who had done a design based on specific qualities that would show up in those designs? Thanks, Peter!"

      I recall that the folks at Mirage who submitted the most designs -- Ryan Brown, Jim Lawson, and Mike Dooney -- each had very distinctive styles which I could spot right away. I really can't say the same for the Playmates designers. -- PL

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  2. Hey pete, I was wondering if the utrom Shredders history in ancient Japan was ever discussed in detail at all behind the scenes. Thinks like how he learned the martial arts or how he started the foot clan. I know some history was shown in secret origins, but it wasn't a lot. I think it would of been cool if the shredder met the antient one at some point. I think I read somehwere on the foxbox website he used to be the emperors personal assassin.
    Also was there anymore battlenexus storylines planned out they you guys never got too?

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    1. As I recall, Lloyd and I never really got too deeply into figuring out the history of the Utrom Shredder in Japan.

      There were no further Battle Nexus stories that I am aware of, but I think if we had continued on with the series as it was before "Fast Forward", we probably would have had at least one more journey there. It was a fun environment to play in. -- PL

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  3. Dear Peter Laird,
    Right now I'm making a fan-made trailer to TMNT vol. 1 #1. I love that comic so much I can visualize all the brawls on my mind. And they play out like a Bruce Lee Movie! I read somewhere in this blog that you are (or used to be) an admirer of Bruce Lee's work yourself.
    My question is: Which of his movies do you like the best and why?
    In case you would like to see the work so far, my blog is:
    http://tmnttrailer.blogspot.com/
    Best regards,
    FF

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    1. Hey, that's pretty neat! I like how you captured the look of the original Turtle design in the "run cycle" animation.

      My favorite Bruce Lee movie is also the very first one I ever saw -- "Return of the Dragon" (aka "Way of the Dragon"). I thought the setting (Rome) was interesting, and the action -- especially the fight with Chuck Norris in the Colosseum -- was fantastic.

      Early on in that movie there is a short scene where Lee is exercising and he does this thing where he flexes his latissimus dorsi muscles, and they pop out almost like wings. That guy had quite the physique! -- PL

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  4. I know you still harbor some distaste for the classic TMNT cartoon, but I figured I'd try to pick your brain about your involvement in its origin.

    *Do you have any general recollections one when you and Kevin first received the scripts for the 5-episode pilot for the Fred Wolf series. Did you make any suggestions to the story?
    (I think this would make a great post on this blog in the future!)

    More specifically:
    *Did you have any contact with David Wise, Fred Wolf, or other members of the creative team?
    *Was Playmates Toys the primary benefactor of those early episodes, meaning that they funded it out of their own pocket? On a related note, did you and Kevin have much input in the first wave of TMNT toy designs?
    *I've read that you and Kevin maintained "Script approval" privileges throughout the run of the cartoon. Given how broadly popular the TMNT license was back in the early 90s and late 80s, I doubt you guys were able to spend much time worrying about every episode of the show. But do you have any memories of reading a script now and then (even if it was just to pull your hair out?) It seems to me like the 4Kids series offered you a second chance to involve yourself in a cartoon series like you were never able to do with the FW series.

    Thank you again for taking to time to chat with the fans, Peter!

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    1. "Adam WintersFeb 10, 2012 03:22 PM

      *Do you have any general recollections one when you and Kevin first received the scripts for the 5-episode pilot for the Fred Wolf series. Did you make any suggestions to the story?
      (I think this would make a great post on this blog in the future!)"

      I don't have many clear memories about getting those first batch of scripts, but I think we may not have seen any of them until our first visit to the offices of Murakami/Wolf in California. One thing I DO remember quite clearly is shooting down what Kevin and I both considered to be a ridiculous idea that Wolf (or someone writing for him) put forward -- that at the end of the first few episodes, the Turtles would take over the Technodrome and turn it into their lair.

      "More specifically:
      *Did you have any contact with David Wise, Fred Wolf, or other members of the creative team?"

      At first, yes, but not so much as the series went on.

      "*Was Playmates Toys the primary benefactor of those early episodes, meaning that they funded it out of their own pocket?"

      I believe Playmates put up all the money for the first few episodes. I really can't remember details about the financing.

      " On a related note, did you and Kevin have much input in the first wave of TMNT toy designs?"

      Yes, we did, and Playmates treated us very well in that regard, as I recall.

      *I've read that you and Kevin maintained "Script approval" privileges throughout the run of the cartoon. Given how broadly popular the TMNT license was back in the early 90s and late 80s, I doubt you guys were able to spend much time worrying about every episode of the show. But do you have any memories of reading a script now and then (even if it was just to pull your hair out?) It seems to me like the 4Kids series offered you a second chance to involve yourself in a cartoon series like you were never able to do with the FW series."

      It's a sore spot for me that even though we technically had script approval, in reality we ended up getting shut out of the process early on. I suppose if we had really raised a fuss and demanded our full rights, things might have been different. But during those years we were pretty naive about the business, and in truth we had so much other stuff going on that we couldn't -- or didn't want to -- waste a lot of energy fighting what seemed to be a losing battle.

      But you're right about the 4Kids experience -- it was the exact opposite, for two main reasons: I was not the "babe in the woods" that I was during the FW years, and 4Kids was not FW. I had a great time working with them, mostly with Lloyd Goldfine, who was a pleasure to work with. -- PL

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    2. After posting my previous reply, I started thinking about the notion of the Turtles kicking the Shredder out of the Technodrome and using it as THEIR headquarters. I still think it's a silly idea... but it also occurred to me that it might be a fun jumping-off point for a "What if...?"-type story. -- PL

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  5. Two questions, Good Sir...

    Does the film "Turtles Forever" fit into the same continuity as the Mirage stories, or are the two regarded as two separate entities? i.e., the 4kids toon has its own version of the Mirage-verse

    Second question...

    What would your ideal Turtles film be like?

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    1. "L. Travis HoffmanFeb 10, 2012 07:21 PM
      Two questions, Good Sir...

      Does the film "Turtles Forever" fit into the same continuity as the Mirage stories, or are the two regarded as two separate entities? i.e., the 4kids toon has its own version of the Mirage-verse"

      I would think the latter, because the part of "Turtles Forever" which includes the appearance of the black and white "Mirage TMNT" features the incursion of the other two sets of Turtles as well as the Utrom Shredder and characters from the first TMNT TV series DURING the Mirage Turtles' first battle with the Shredder on the rooftop… and as anyone who has read the first issue of the TMNT comics, that incursion never happened.

      "Second question...

      What would your ideal Turtles film be like?"

      Well, I would say first that the movie, which Steve Barron directed -- the very first TMNT live-action film -- was almost an ideal Turtles movie. There are only some minor things about it that I would like to have changed.

      GIven that, I would say an ideal Turtles film (for me, anyway) would be one which drew from the original comics for story ideas. For example, I could see a very fun movie being made which incorporates TMNT Volume 1 comics #1 and #2, and the Raphael micro-series (so that Casey Jones could be included in the mix). The story of April, Baxter Stockman and Mousers could serve as a "first adventure" for the Turtles which is part of what leads up to the climax of the movie, the battle with the Shredder.

      Actually, as I think about this, maybe it's not possible for me that there could be ONE "ideal" Turtles film -- I think in my ideal vision, there would be multiple TMNT films based on the original comic and having threads of continuity that bound them together. I would also like to employ a combination of men (or women) in suits, enhanced by CGI, much like what we planned for the next movie before the sale to Viacom.

      All that being said, however-, it is certainly possible that someone new will come to the franchise and do a new TMNT movie which blows me away in ways I cannot at this time imagine… and THAT could become my "ideal Turtles film". I'm not really expecting it to happen like that… but it is possible. Not probable, but possible. -- PL

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  6. Oh great, I have several:

    1. Volume 4, any update? If I recall, if nothing else there is one more issue "in the can" beyond the one you shared on your blog about a year ago... any plans to put this one up in a similar manner in the foreseeable future?

    2. In your blog previously you briefly mentioned (the specific details elude me at the moment) that you and/or Kevin had talked about perhaps developing a story about how/why Splinter was not a normal rat, even before his mutation. If I recall, you mentioned that as time went on, you either just never got around to tell it or just simply decided against it. Can you talk a little bit more about this, maybe even the broad strokes of what such a story would be about or be like?

    3. Are you reading the IDW TMNT comic book? If yes, any comment there, and have there been any overtures from IDW to you beyond the initial ones you mentioned a while back? IDW has even recently made mention that they do intend on collecting even Volume 4 issues. And on that note...

    4. What are the legalities involving the brand new issues of Volume 4 (or anything else TMNT-related) you create and publish right now with regard to, say, IDW or whoever happens to hold the publishing rights to TMNT from Viacom/Nick at a given moment? I mean to ask, could IDW right now -- with Viacom/Nick's blessing but without yours -- collect or publish TMNT issues you make post-Viacom/Nick TMNT sale?

    5. No more duoshade paper anywhere, it seems -- I've looked. Any clue where one might turn to scoop up additional pages?

    6. In terms of the spinoff material, how were the different/rainbow colors of each individual TMNT's bandannas and garments selected? Maybe this is a Fred Wolf question, but I'm wondering if you have any insight. For example, did you or Kevin have any say in, "Raphael should retain the red bandanna," or was there ever any conversation in regard to the specific color choices?

    7. Kind of a broad one, and please don't misread me as I am only genuinely curious: it's been a few years now since the sale... do you feel your feelings (specifically your reluctance) toward crafting new TMNT stories have changed at all? If not, do you feel you're at or approaching a place when you see yourself being able to?

    Hm... that's all I can think of at the moment, but I know more will come to me.

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    1. "Andrew NDBFeb 10, 2012 07:23 PM
      Oh great, I have several:

      1. Volume 4, any update? If I recall, if nothing else there is one more issue "in the can" beyond the one you shared on your blog about a year ago... any plans to put this one up in a similar manner in the foreseeable future?"

      Andrew, I have no plans right now to do that in the immediate future.

      "2. In your blog previously you briefly mentioned (the specific details elude me at the moment) that you and/or Kevin had talked about perhaps developing a story about how/why Splinter was not a normal rat, even before his mutation. If I recall, you mentioned that as time went on, you either just never got around to tell it or just simply decided against it. Can you talk a little bit more about this, maybe even the broad strokes of what such a story would be about or be like?"

      It never got to the point of being the basis for a story -- it was simply a concept that was mentioned in passing to help to explain the admittedly somewhat bizarre concept of a rat learning martial arts by watching a human being do them. Of course, if for example you can buy the weird idea (one of several!) of turtles mutating into intelligent, English-speaking humanoid beings through their exposure to alien-derived mutagenic waste products, I don't think it is a very great leap to being able to buy that a rat could watch a ninja master from its cage and pick up the elements of ninjitsu.

      "3. Are you reading the IDW TMNT comic book? If yes, any comment there, and have there been any overtures from IDW to you beyond the initial ones you mentioned a while back? IDW has even recently made mention that they do intend on collecting even Volume 4 issues. And on that note…"

      I've read a couple of issues of the IDW comics, and I just can't get into them, for whatever reasons. I think the most off-putting thing about them -- for me, at least -- is that they don't seem very unique, especially as far as the artwork goes. Say what you will about the weaknesses of our original comics as far as the art is concerned -- and I freely admit we had our weaknesses -- at the very least Kevin and I put a lot of effort into what we were doing and tried to make it look different. Or maybe it just ended up looking different because that's all we were capable of doing!

      There is also something about modern color comics which drives me nuts, and that is the unfortunate (as far as I am concerned) tendency towards filling every available space with something -- be it linework and/or color -- instead of taking the classic approach of panels with borders and white space in between. I think the latter approach allows the pages to "breathe", and to my eye, anyway, the former approach is cluttered and generally ugly.

      I am also disheartened by the way the story seems to be developing -- there just seem to be a lot of changes made for change's sake. And the introduction of yet another mutated animal character right away (Old Hob) pushes one of my buttons, and not in a good way.

      I'm thinking that when the first IDW collection of these new TMNT comics is released, I may pick that up and read it all at one sitting and see if my opinion changes.

      As far as wanting my input for any ongoing new TMNT productions at IDW, no, they have not approached me. That's probably a good thing, given the direction in which they seem to be heading. And lest people get the wrong idea, I wish IDW all the best of luck with their TMNT projects.

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    2. "4. What are the legalities involving the brand new issues of Volume 4 (or anything else TMNT-related) you create and publish right now with regard to, say, IDW or whoever happens to hold the publishing rights to TMNT from Viacom/Nick at a given moment? I mean to ask, could IDW right now -- with Viacom/Nick's blessing but without yours -- collect or publish TMNT issues you make post-Viacom/Nick TMNT sale?"

      It is my understanding that they could do that.

      "5. No more duoshade paper anywhere, it seems -- I've looked. Any clue where one might turn to scoop up additional pages?"

      Hah! Good luck with that one. I was recently talking to one of the guys about this, and it seemed like one possible way to approach is would be to contact the Graphix company and offer to buy a HUGE amount of it -- enough to make it financially viable for them to do a custom run. I'm assuming, of course, that making the stuff is not much more involved than printing a few colors on an offset press. There could be more to it that I am not aware of.

      "6. In terms of the spinoff material, how were the different/rainbow colors of each individual TMNT's bandannas and garments selected? Maybe this is a Fred Wolf question, but I'm wondering if you have any insight. For example, did you or Kevin have any say in, "Raphael should retain the red bandanna," or was there ever any conversation in regard to the specific color choices?"

      My memory of this is that there was NO specific discussion about which Turtle should get which color because of how the color went with their personality or whatever. There MAY have been some discussion about it at Playmates and/or Fred Wolf's studio, but I don't recall. Frankly, I would have been happy if the Turtles had all been in red bandanas, but I also see the value of giving them each a distinctive color.

      "7. Kind of a broad one, and please don't misread me as I am only genuinely curious: it's been a few years now since the sale... do you feel your feelings (specifically your reluctance) toward crafting new TMNT stories have changed at all? If not, do you feel you're at or approaching a place when you see yourself being able to?"

      Nothing much has changed for me in that regard. I still love the characters, but I also still feel burned-out on the whole Turtle thing to some degree. Doing this blog is about the most I can get excited about working with them right now. -- PL

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    3. Re: 5. Unfortunately I've contacted the Grafix company directly and I was told, #1, that when they moved buildings that they "destroyed" the very expensive machine used to generate the paper (which is a little baffling to me... why not put it up for sale or something, to offset losses? for some reason I imagine a scene like from "Office Space" with the guys taking the copier out in the field with a baseball bat and I'm kind of left scratching my head), and #2, that it's extremely unlikely there are any outside caches of the paper in stock anywhere, because paper/art supply retailers would only ever place orders with them that their customers specifically special-ordered. So basically, they only created paper on-demand.

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  7. I asked this question to you some time ago, and you had said you wanted to address it at a later date, so I thought I would bring it up again because I think it's a really interesting topic.

    Obviously despite your monetary success, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that the Turtles have had both negative and positive effects of your life. Knowing what you know now, if you could jump in a time machine and stop it all from happening... Would you?

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    1. "Stephan ReeseFeb 10, 2012 07:33 PM
      I asked this question to you some time ago, and you had said you wanted to address it at a later date, so I thought I would bring it up again because I think it's a really interesting topic.

      Obviously despite your monetary success, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that the Turtles have had both negative and positive effects of your life. Knowing what you know now, if you could jump in a time machine and stop it all from happening... Would you?"

      Stephan, this is a fascinating question for me because the choice has such potential to be either really great or really horrible.

      And the first thing to be considered might be thought of as the "Law of Unintended Consequences". To wit: If there had been no Turtles, I would very likely never have met many of the good friends I have made through the twenty-five years that I worked with the green guys. No Michael Dooney, Steve Lavigne (though I guess I might have met him when we lived in New Hampshire, given that he was an old friend of Kevin's and lived in Maine… but I suspect we would not have become as close as we have), Jim Lawson, Dan Berger, and so on. And that's just people within Mirage Studios -- I think it's quite likely that without a TMNT comic, I would never have met and made friends with folks like Stan Sakai and Ken Mitchroney.

      There would definitely be no Xeric Foundation.

      Closer to home, with no TMNT, it is very possible -- in fact almost certain -- that our wonderful daughter Emily would not exist. We might have had another child, but the Emily that we know and love would not exist.

      Depending on my success as an illustrator and/or her success as a writer (a vocation which the Turtles' financial success allowed her to concentrate much more fully on), my wife and I might have had to continue to go where her best job prospects as a teacher were. That's how we ended up in Connecticut in 1984. That alone could have led to huge changes in our lives… who knows where we would be, geographically-speaking, right now?

      If the TMNT had never happened, I am certain I would now be a much more accomplished illustrator. I would have had to work harder to get jobs, and be forced to draw things outside my "comfort zone", and that almost invariably leads to more flexibility and capacity to draw more things well. With the Turtles, both Kevin and I were basically able to just draw the stuff we wanted to draw… and were thus not made to stretch like we otherwise would have had to.

      And then there is the impact that the Turtles had on many other people to consider… all those folks who were exposed to it at a young age and found inspiration in the characters and stories in all the various iterations. We've heard many a tale over the years about how the TMNT helped people get through rough patches in their lives. With no TMNT, how would their lives be different? Maybe better? Maybe worse? Hard to tell… but certainly different.

      There are so many areas which would have certainly turned out differently, and my answer here only scratches the surface.

      I think that if Emily had never existed, and it was possible to do what you suggest -- go back and "stop it all from happening" -- I would seriously consider it. In fact, I would almost certainly do it.

      But I can assure you that I would spend a LOT of time looking at that time machine and thinking it over before pushing the "Go Back" button. -- PL

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    2. That is a fascinating answer, Peter. Good question Stephen, and great response.

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  8. My apologies if this shows up twice, I am having problems with my internet browser...

    1. I know you've made note that the events of "Vol. 3" are not canon with the Mirage universe, which I suppose suggests you are/were not happy with everything that went on in the series. Why did you decide to start over from there rather than cap off the open ended plots? Given the things Tales vol. 2 did for Mirages timeline I feel that it may have been a good venue to sort of bring that era back into continuity.

    2. Despite its historical status, what is/was your overall opinion of that series? The art, storylines, new characters, etc.

    3. From time to time you would post content from your sketchbook, but I've not seen anything in some time. Are you still drawing at all these days?

    4. Provided you still have the desire to work on art, would you ever consider taking commissions (not necessarily of the TMNT but anything in general)?

    5. What was (in your opinion) the most absurd proposition that ever came to you regarding the TMNT? For example Kevin Eastman said many obscure products proposals were turned down, like Yarmukles, but I am curious if you declined anything strange other than merchandise (additional series', whether in comic form or animation, alternative media like stage shows, etc).

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    1. "PowderFeb 10, 2012 07:59 PM
      My apologies if this shows up twice, I am having problems with my internet browser...

      1. I know you've made note that the events of "Vol. 3" are not canon with the Mirage universe, which I suppose suggests you are/were not happy with everything that went on in the series. Why did you decide to start over from there rather than cap off the open ended plots? Given the things Tales vol. 2 did for Mirages timeline I feel that it may have been a good venue to sort of bring that era back into continuity. "

      It was, really, just a matter of taste -- I just didn't care for the direction the Image TMNT comics took, and had no interest in working them into Mirage continuity.

      "2. Despite its historical status, what is/was your overall opinion of that series? The art, storylines, new characters, etc."

      See my above answer… but to expand a little bit on that, there was some interesting stuff, but it just never grabbed me. The art was variable -- some really cool, some pretty rushed-looking.
      Part of the problem could very well be that there are two people in the world for whom the Turtles are sort of like children, and those two people are Kevin Eastman and me. We will always have a "take" on the characters that no one else will -- or, I suspect, CAN -- have. I know, for me, that when other people work with the Turtles, they either "get it" in a way which jives with my innate (and EXTREMELY hard-to-define) sense of what the Turtles SHOULD be, or they don't. I put the Image TMNT books in the latter category.


      "3. From time to time you would post content from your sketchbook, but I've not seen anything in some time. Are you still drawing at all these days? "

      As I pointed out in one of my previous blog posts, I have pretty much used up most of my TMNT artwork. And, sad to say, I do very little -- almost no -- drawing these days. I hope that will change, soon… but I don't expect it to.

      "4. Provided you still have the desire to work on art, would you ever consider taking commissions (not necessarily of the TMNT but anything in general)? "

      Possible, but not likely.

      "5. What was (in your opinion) the most absurd proposition that ever came to you regarding the TMNT? For example Kevin Eastman said many obscure products proposals were turned down, like Yarmukles, but I am curious if you declined anything strange other than merchandise (additional series', whether in comic form or animation, alternative media like stage shows, etc)."

      I'm sure there are any number of stupid offers that I am not at the moment recalling, but I think one of the goofiest was something that came to us while we were still living in Sharon, Connecticut. This was before any of the mass-merchandising of the TMNT -- we were still about a year or more away from meeting and signing with Mark Freedman of Surge Licensing. A movie company -- I think it was New World, but I am not completely certain of that -- contacted us and said they wanted to license the Turtle property for a live-action movie.

      But the way they wanted to do it was to put famous comedians in the Turtle suits, with their faces exposed (painted green, I would imagine, but who knows?). There was, I think, something else about roller-skating nuns with Uzis… but it is all a little vague right now. Suffice it to say, this was NOT any kind of direction we wanted to go with the Turtles, and even though having a movie company interested in our little comic was pretty exciting, we declined the offer. -- PL

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    2. Peter, you and I once went a round about it in the Vol. 4 lettercol about the Image "canon or not?" matter. I've never had a problem with it not being canonical... what I have a problem with is (just my honest thoughts, not taking any jabs here):

      1. The very public way it was built up as a continuation of the Mirage Vols. 1 and 2. The press releases from www.ninjaturtles.com, the interviews talking about them picking up where Mirage left off, etc.. So years later, there's a certain feeling of... I don't want to say betrayal, but maybe bait-and-switch?

      2. That it, well, WAS a continuation of the Mirage material. Specific Mirage issues were referenced and derived from.

      3. That just about every other issue it was touted that you yourself were working closely with Gary, passing back story notes and approvals and all of that. Which kind of brings me to, "If you felt that it was going against the grain of the Mirage universe while it was obviously *trying* to work within the Mirage universe, why didn't you use your position to better massage it on track?" While certainly your right, to me it seems unfair to, years later with Vol. 4, look back and go, "Eh, no... not canon anymore" when at the time you could've made it exactly in line with what would've felt right to you. No?

      What I did (and do) appreciate, though, is how -- either intentionally or not -- nothing you did in Vol. 4 or by mission of action really anything in Tales Vol. 2 for that matter ever directly contradicted the material in the Image Vol. 3. As long as we assume there's a "missing story" about how the Turtles recovered from their late-Image era statuses, it still kind of works.

      And of course labeling "Vol. 4" was a pretty classy move. Had Vol. 4 been "Vol. 3" then it might've seemed like a bootprint on top of the Image series.

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    3. "Andrew NDBFeb 11, 2012 12:25 PM
      Peter, you and I once went a round about it in the Vol. 4 lettercol about the Image "canon or not?" matter. I've never had a problem with it not being canonical... what I have a problem with is (just my honest thoughts, not taking any jabs here):

      1. The very public way it was built up as a continuation of the Mirage Vols. 1 and 2. The press releases from www.ninjaturtles.com, the interviews talking about them picking up where Mirage left off, etc.. So years later, there's a certain feeling of... I don't want to say betrayal, but maybe bait-and-switch?

      2. That it, well, WAS a continuation of the Mirage material. Specific Mirage issues were referenced and derived from."

      Andrew, both of the above statements are correct. However, they also don't reflect the whole reality of the situation. The Image TMNT comic came about during a period when my interest in the Turtles was at a very low ebb. Frankly, I just didn't care that much about them, and -- aside from a few things which Gary Carlson proposed which I nixed outright (and which, unfortunately, I cannot remember specifics of right now), I didn't pay a whole lot of attention to what happened in that book.

      "3. That just about every other issue it was touted that you yourself were working closely with Gary, passing back story notes and approvals and all of that. Which kind of brings me to, "If you felt that it was going against the grain of the Mirage universe while it was obviously *trying* to work within the Mirage universe, why didn't you use your position to better massage it on track?" While certainly your right, to me it seems unfair to, years later with Vol. 4, look back and go, "Eh, no... not canon anymore" when at the time you could've made it exactly in line with what would've felt right to you. No?"

      Yes… and if I had felt as connected to the Turtles THEN as I did when I started Volume 4, I think that is exactly what I -- or Kevin, who was still in the picture as part owner at that time -- could have done. But I wasn't, and I didn't.

      Actually, I don't know for sure what Kevin thought about the Image TMNT books.

      Sometimes the things you read in comics letters pages and editorials and in press releases from comics publishers are -- how should I say this? -- not totally reflective of reality. I think I had two or three telephone conversations with Gary, wherein we hashed out some problematic points, but that was about it.


      "What I did (and do) appreciate, though, is how -- either intentionally or not -- nothing you did in Vol. 4 or by mission of action really anything in Tales Vol. 2 for that matter ever directly contradicted the material in the Image Vol. 3. As long as we assume there's a "missing story" about how the Turtles recovered from their late-Image era statuses, it still kind of works.

      And of course labeling "Vol. 4" was a pretty classy move. Had Vol. 4 been "Vol. 3" then it might've seemed like a bootprint on top of the Image series."

      And that's something I didn't want to do. Eric Larsen did us a favor by publishing the TMNT comic during that period, and I appreciated that. I just felt that when I took the reins of the comics back, I had to do it my way… and that did not involve using any of the stuff which had been developed for the Image TMNT comic. I am happy that you have found a way to incorporate both Volume 3 and Volume 4 continuity in your personal view of the Turtles in those comics series. -- PL

      Delete
    4. All of that is fair. About Kevin, I know he really, really dug the Image series and was even helping to broker a deal with Viacom/Nick to do a continuation/completion of it.

      And because it is in front of me, here's quote from you: "Working with Gary Carlson from the 'approvals' end of things, here at Mirage Studios, I've had the pleasure of watching the book develop from a slightly tentative start to the exciting, innovative comic it is today. This new iteration of the TMNT has heart, soul...and balls."

      Delete
    5. I will comment on this bit:

      However, they also don't reflect the whole reality of the situation. The Image TMNT comic came about during a period when my interest in the Turtles was at a very low ebb.

      It still strikes me as a bit unfair to retroactively punish the Image material because of your low interest in the Turtles at the time. I completely understand the reasons why it was at a low, but I believe -- and you kind of agree above -- had you "attacked" the Image scripts with the same fervor as the 4Kids cartoon scripts we see the notes on now, I'm pretty sure the ship could have been righted.

      Delete
    6. "Andrew NDBFeb 11, 2012 03:11 PM
      All of that is fair. About Kevin, I know he really, really dug the Image series and was even helping to broker a deal with Viacom/Nick to do a continuation/completion of it. "

      It's certainly possible that Kevin"really dug" the Image TMNT series; I can only say I never heard any such enthusiasm from him regarding it. Of course, at that time there were a lot of things we weren't really communicating to each other, so…

      And because it is in front of me, here's quote from you: "Working with Gary Carlson from the 'approvals' end of things, here at Mirage Studios, I've had the pleasure of watching the book develop from a slightly tentative start to the exciting, innovative comic it is today. This new iteration of the TMNT has heart, soul...and balls."

      I actually remember writing that… but it doesn't really change anything about what I have said here, and elsewhere, about how I felt the Volume 3 stuff was not what I wanted to include in the "official", or "canon" if you will, continuity that I was going to be playing with in Volume 4. All of what I said in the bit you quoted is still true (or at least I felt it was when I wrote it)… but I see that "exciting, innovative" comic as something which stands on its own and doesn't have to be included in the continuity I wanted to work with. Simply because I praised it for what it was doesn't necessarily mean I wanted to work with it when I started my own TMNT comic in 2001.

      "I will comment on this bit:

      However, they also don't reflect the whole reality of the situation. The Image TMNT comic came about during a period when my interest in the Turtles was at a very low ebb.

      "It still strikes me as a bit unfair to retroactively punish the Image material because of your low interest in the Turtles at the time."

      I don't agree with your characterization of what I did regarding the Image TMNT series as a "punishment".

      "I completely understand the reasons why it was at a low, but I believe -- and you kind of agree above -- had you "attacked" the Image scripts with the same fervor as the 4Kids cartoon scripts we see the notes on now, I'm pretty sure the ship could have been righted."

      You might be right -- but the point I tried to make is that I just didn't have the interest in doing so at that time. I was definitely suffering from a case of "Turtle burnout". I saw no point in trying to force myself to do something I had little to no interest in doing. I still don't.

      The obvious fact that I was seriously engaged in working with 4Kids on the second animated series is evidence that by that time, that "burnout" phase had -- at least temporarily -- ended, and for the next seven years or so I was excited and energized about a lot of different Turtle stuff. It is, perhaps, unfortunate, that I ever fell into that "burnout" phase during the time that the Image TMNT series was being produced… but I did, and there were good reasons for it. It seems to me, in retrospect, somewhat inevitable. -- PL

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    7. I don't agree with your characterization of what I did regarding the Image TMNT series as a "punishment".

      I do know if anyone was to ask Gary or Frank or Erik, "Do you feel slighted that, when Vol. 4 began, Peter decided that all of your Image TMNT comics were removed from canon?" they have all said about the same answer of: "Not at all, it was an honor and we had a great time working on the book"... but I have to assume there was no disclaimer when they began and they elected to continue the Mirage material (and I know Erik/Gary fully had the option to create a new universe if they wanted to) that, "Maybe down the line, all of what you write might be removed from the overall continuity."

      It seems almost silly of me to write, but I think you can see where I'm coming from. I mean, if they had such a disclaimer, maybe they wouldn't have tried to continue in the Mirage sandbox and would have perhaps created their own which would stand alone.

      As it is now, Image TMNT exists as this strange sort of limbo -- it's a Mirage continuation that doesn't count as a Mirage continuation. It would be one thing if it was always supposed to be it's own universe -- no one would (or could) even question it being retroactively removed from continuity... because it would've never actually been a part of it to begin with. While I don't believe for one moment you now or ever held any resentment for those stories or those creators, the end result still strikes me as... yeah... a bit of a punishment for that series. No, not the kind of punishment a judge might mete out from a pulpit, but a punishment nonetheless.

      Delete
    8. "I don't agree with your characterization of what I did regarding the Image TMNT series as a "punishment".

      I do know if anyone was to ask Gary or Frank or Erik, "Do you feel slighted that, when Vol. 4 began, Peter decided that all of your Image TMNT comics were removed from canon?" they have all said about the same answer of: "Not at all, it was an honor and we had a great time working on the book"... but I have to assume there was no disclaimer when they began and they elected to continue the Mirage material (and I know Erik/Gary fully had the option to create a new universe if they wanted to) that, "Maybe down the line, all of what you write might be removed from the overall continuity." "

      No, there was no "disclaimer" -- but there was also no promise that it WOULDN'T happen. Frankly, it never occurred to me at the time to give it any thought, because back then it wasn't clear to me that I would EVER return to doing TMNT comics. The Image TMNT series could have been the end of Turtle comics, for all I knew.

      "It seems almost silly of me to write, but I think you can see where I'm coming from. I mean, if they had such a disclaimer, maybe they wouldn't have tried to continue in the Mirage sandbox and would have perhaps created their own which would stand alone. "

      Maybe. With 20/20 hindsight, perhaps it would have been a better idea for them to do that -- maybe even to start with a fresh take on the Turtles and see where that went. But the fact is that AT THAT TIME, this seemed -- at least to me, and I have to assume Kevin felt that way also, AT THAT TIME -- like the best approach to take.

      "As it is now, Image TMNT exists as this strange sort of limbo -- it's a Mirage continuation that doesn't count as a Mirage continuation. It would be one thing if it was always supposed to be it's own universe -- no one would (or could) even question it being retroactively removed from continuity... because it would've never actually been a part of it to begin with. While I don't believe for one moment you now or ever held any resentment for those stories or those creators, the end result still strikes me as... yeah... a bit of a punishment for that series. No, not the kind of punishment a judge might mete out from a pulpit, but a punishment nonetheless."

      Andrew, it's pretty clear to me that you have strong feelings about this and will never accept that my not using what was developed in the Image TMNT comics as part of the continuity I wanted to work with in my Volume 4 TMNT comics was not a "punishment" of those books in some way. And from my perspective, you are never going to convince me that it WAS a "punishment".

      The Image TMNT series was an experiment. I can view it almost like one of those "evolution tree" graphics you sometimes see in science books. The Image TMNT series could be seen as a branch off the main "trunk". It's a perfectly viable branch… but it is just a branch. I see Volume 4 as continuing the growth of the "trunk" of that "tree". Not the most perfect analogy, I know, but I hope it serves some purpose. -- PL

      Delete
  9. Hey Pete, I'll ask this even though I have a feeling I know the answer: Have you, even for one moment, regreted your decision to sell them? Also, is there any chance you would ever publish a sketchbook collection from over the years, not necessarily tmnt related, but of other things?

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    1. "Joe DziczkowskiFeb 10, 2012 08:10 PM
      Hey Pete, I'll ask this even though I have a feeling I know the answer: Have you, even for one moment, regreted your decision to sell them?"

      Joe, I have had one or two moments of regret… but only one or two. It was the right decision to make. In fact, the thing I regret most about it is not doing it SOONER.

      " Also, is there any chance you would ever publish a sketchbook collection from over the years, not necessarily tmnt related, but of other things?"

      Possible, though not likely. Why -- are you saying you think there is a market for such a beast? -- PL

      Delete
  10. Hi I hope you can settle something for me. Who created Bebop and Rocksteady? David Wise says he did but other people say it was you and Kevin.

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    1. "DanFeb 10, 2012 09:21 PM
      Hi I hope you can settle something for me. Who created Bebop and Rocksteady? David Wise says he did but other people say it was you and Kevin."

      Dan, I am pretty sure that although Kevin and I did some concept sketches of Bebop and Rocksteady, neither of use "created' them. (Kevin might remember this differently.) Whether it was David Wise or someone else in Fred Wolf's employ, I don't know.

      Actually, just as I finished writing the above, I flashed on this somewhat-hazy memory of something Kevin and I put together in the early days of our dealings with Wolf and Playmates -- some kind of short "bible" about the characters… and if memory serves, we included some sketches of possible mutant adversaries for the Turtles, and one of them was a mutant rhino in armor. Now, it is possible that I am reversing the order of things here -- maybe that drawing (which is pretty vivid in my memory) was done AFTER the concept of Rocksteady was run by us. Maybe someday I will turn this thing up and get some clarity on the issue. Hope that helps! -- PL

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  11. Hey, Mr. Laird!

    Memphis-area cinematographer here. The first TMNT film was a huge reason I became interested in filmmaking during my wacky childhood in Arkansas, and it was also my big introduction to comics. Thanks for the creative inspiration-- something sorely lacking on rural farms.

    I've read bits and pieces about a TMNT mini-series that was in development for the Hallmark channel in the early 2000's, possibly to be directed by Steve Barron. Do you recall anything about the storyline of the mini-series that you can share? Was it planned to be some sort of a continuation of Barron's TMNT film?

    Thanks!

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    1. "wizard_of_osbornFeb 10, 2012 09:34 PM
      Hey, Mr. Laird!

      Memphis-area cinematographer here. The first TMNT film was a huge reason I became interested in filmmaking during my wacky childhood in Arkansas, and it was also my big introduction to comics. Thanks for the creative inspiration-- something sorely lacking on rural farms. "

      I'm happy to hear that the TMNT were an inspiration for you!

      "I've read bits and pieces about a TMNT mini-series that was in development for the Hallmark channel in the early 2000's, possibly to be directed by Steve Barron. Do you recall anything about the storyline of the mini-series that you can share? Was it planned to be some sort of a continuation of Barron's TMNT film?

      Thanks!"

      It's been many a year since I worked on that stuff, and almost as long since I have looked at it, so a lot of the details are a bit hazy. But I do recall we were working with an idea which incorporated a lot of wild action on the "astral plane", a mystic realm. It was not, I don't think, intended to be a continuation of Steve's TMNT movie.

      Rights issues preclude me from doing this, but I would love to be able to post images of the TMNT maquette which was sculpted and painted in England during the initial phases of the project. There was also a very cool five or ten minute long video of an actress dressed in a prototype Splinter costume, stalking around some back alleys in England and demonstrating martial arts moves. The costume incorporated some foot pieces which gave a realistic animal leg appearance -- these were to be later edited out with CGI. It could have been very cool. -- PL

      Delete
    2. Wow... that Hallmark stuff does sound really cool!

      Delete
  12. Why the different Turtle heights in Fast forward? Not that I mind them being different heights, but you'd think it'd have been done from the start, not changed toward the end!

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    1. Neil, I have never cared much whether one Turtle is taller or shorter or heavier or lighter or more muscular or less muscular than any other Turtle -- in fact, I pretty much draw all the Turtles exactly alike in body shape and size. So, given that, I never paid it much attention when designers at Playmates or 4Kids would make some height differentials among the Turtles... and thus, I have no good answer to your question. Sorry! -- PL

      Delete
  13. 1.Was there ever a backstory to further explain how Krang was disembodied and banished to Earth and his connection to General Traag's troops when developing the first five episodes? Anything you had in mind is cannon enough for me.

    2. Of the 2003 series what was your favorite episode?

    3. Sometimes its mentioned the turtles are biological siblings while other times they are just raised as brothers. Which do you perfer? I don't recall it being mentioned but the different shades of green implies they had different parents in the 2003 cartoon or I am wrong in that guess?

    Thanks again. I can say for most of us here its not just that we are Ninja Turtles fans but fans of Peter Laird as well. I hope to see/read any future project you do. It does not have to be TMNT related of course but anything.

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    1. "mikeandraph87Feb 11, 2012 10:36 AM
      1.Was there ever a backstory to further explain how Krang was disembodied and banished to Earth and his connection to General Traag's troops when developing the first five episodes? Anything you had in mind is canon enough for me."

      There may have been some work done on a backstory regarding the elements of which you speak, but I have no knowledge of it.

      "2. Of the 2003 series what was your favorite episode?"

      I liked all of them, and I liked a bunch of them quite a bit, but if pressed, I would have to say it would be a toss-up between "Same As It Never Was" and "The King" for my favorite episode. Actually, if "Turtles Forever" could be considered an extra-long episode, that would be in the running as well.

      "3. Sometimes it's mentioned the turtles are biological siblings while other times they are just raised as brothers. Which do you prefer?"

      I have no preference, really. I think it doesn't matter a whole heck of a lot if they are or aren't biologically "brothers" (born of the same parents), as the really important thing is that they were RAISED by Splinter as brothers. I mean, Splinter is obviously not their biological father… but he IS their father.

      " I don't recall it being mentioned but the different shades of green implies they had different parents in the 2003 cartoon or I am wrong in that guess?"

      To be honest, I don't know what the different shades of green implies. Much like I always draw the Turtles alike, when I color them I also COLOR them alike. The different colors thing has always been a marketing issue more than anything else, as far as I can tell.

      "Thanks again. I can say for most of us here its not just that we are Ninja Turtles fans but fans of Peter Laird as well. I hope to see/read any future project you do. It does not have to be TMNT related of course but anything."

      And I thank you for that. -- PL

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  14. If all of the turtles fought each other who, in your opinion, would win?

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    1. To try to answer that question adequately, I need to know some extra parameters, i.e.:

      -- is the fight to the death?
      -- is it "empty hands" (no weapons)?
      -- is it a melee -- all Turtles fighting at once? or one against three? or one on one?
      -- if weapons are used, are there any limitations? In other words, is it "anything goes"?

      -- PL

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    2. I've never put too much thought into this myself but now that it's out there, I'm kind of curious what you'll say.

      Some scenarios:

      1. Fight to the death in a big open field. The Turtles with no weapons, everyone vs. everyone.

      2. Fight to the death in a big open field. The Turtles WITH weapons, everyone vs. everyone.

      Delete
  15. There was a post above about Duosahde paper which got me thinking...
    The shading style of a lot of your original artwork, in particular the use of Duoshade, is what really attracted me to all your early Turtles and various other comic books. It was like nothing else out there and really made the artwork stand out from the rest of the crowd. However I know that finding Duosahde now is essentially impossible.
    More recently, in your personal blog (and possibly this one) I also recall that you have experimented with Photoshop to colour and enhance your hand drawn pictures.
    To me Photoshop seems like an ideal tool for replicating the Dusoshade paper effect and adding toning to your existing hand drawn artwork. A quick search online reveals several articles on how to reproduce the effect in Photoshop (although I can't find any mention of an official plugin) - have you ever thought about giving it a go?

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    1. "CheesebrushFeb 11, 2012 02:55 PM
      There was a post above about Duosahde paper which got me thinking...
      The shading style of a lot of your original artwork, in particular the use of Duoshade, is what really attracted me to all your early Turtles and various other comic books. It was like nothing else out there and really made the artwork stand out from the rest of the crowd. However I know that finding Duoshade now is essentially impossible.
      More recently, in your personal blog (and possibly this one) I also recall that you have experimented with Photoshop to colour and enhance your hand drawn pictures.
      To me Photoshop seems like an ideal tool for replicating the Dusoshade paper effect and adding toning to your existing hand drawn artwork. A quick search online reveals several articles on how to reproduce the effect in Photoshop (although I can't find any mention of an official plugin) - have you ever thought about giving it a go?"

      I have, in fact, and once spent some time -- not a lot -- trying to figure out how to do it. I think if one is very conversant with how Photoshop layers work (and I have only a rudimentary knowledge of them), it would certainly be possible to devise a technique wherein a Duo-Shade tones exists on a hidden layer, and a specific Photoshop tool causes that tone to appear wherever the tool is used.

      It would never be QUITE the same, unfortunately -- because one of the coolest things about Duo-Shade is that it is a medium with which you employ actual physical tools like brushes, pens, airbrushes or anything else which can apply the developing chemicals (Eric Talbot was well known for using his own fingers to apply the chemicals)… and you could get effects that reflected that actual physical effort.

      I have not looked into it in some years, so I don't know what, if anything, in the way of a plug in or extra tool exists for use in Photoshop to simulate the Duo-Shade effect.

      However, it seems to me that unless the Graphix company has some kind of exclusive rights to the process, it would not be rocket science to figure out how to print, on Bristol board, patterns of various types in an "ink" which would be of a non-reproducible blue nature and also turn dark when a specially-formulated transparent liquid was applied to them. It's just chemistry, it seems to me. And once you have that figured out, it's just a matter of printing. It is certainly possible that there are things I don't know about the process that might make it a heck of a lot more problematic, but for the life of me I can't think of what those might be. -- PL

      Delete
  16. Two more:

    1. How much were you involved in contributing to the Palladium material? Particularly, Transdimensional TMNT and TMNT: Guide to the Universe?

    2. The temporary end of Mirage Publishing at the conclusion of Volume 2 -- I'm sure this has been asked and answered before to varying degrees, but what light can you shed on what was going on at that time? I know there were obvious things like not-so-stellar sales on the superhero books Mirage tried at the time, but then I've also heard things like flooding and other things.

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    1. "Andrew NDBFeb 11, 2012 03:16 PM
      Two more:

      1. How much were you involved in contributing to the Palladium material? Particularly, Transdimensional TMNT and TMNT: Guide to the Universe?"

      I know that Kevin and I did quite a bit of art for several of those role-playing books, especially the first one ("Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Other Strangeness"), but I don't remember much beyond that. Jim Lawson contributed art to "Transdimensional TMNT", and I know I did the cover for "Guide to the Universe". I think we may have supplied them with some basic information about the main characters in the comics, but the vast majority of what was in the books -- as far as text goes -- was developed by the writers hired by Palladium Books.

      "2. The temporary end of Mirage Publishing at the conclusion of Volume 2 -- I'm sure this has been asked and answered before to varying degrees, but what light can you shed on what was going on at that time? I know there were obvious things like not-so-stellar sales on the superhero books Mirage tried at the time, but then I've also heard things like flooding and other things."

      There WAS an incident with flooding at Mirage -- I think it was from one of the apartments above the studio -- that impacted negatively on the publishing of the comics, but if my memory serves (and I must admit that for a variety of reasons, that was a period when I was not really into the whole TMNT comics thing, or at the very least rapidly losing interest in it, so I may not recall as much or as clearly as I would otherwise), the books were not great sellers and neither Kevin or or were terribly interested in keeping them going. I remember feeling like we had gone from publishing the comics because we really wanted to do it for ourselves, to feeling like we HAD to publish them for other peoples' sakes. Not a great situation. -- PL

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  17. How does "Turtles Forever" fit in with the Fred Wolf and Mirage continuities in your eyes? I get that you didn't have all much to do with the old Fred Wolf-produced TMNT cartoon back in the day, but did you or Lloyde or anyone at 4Kids or Mirage see "Turtles Forever" as taking place at a certain point from the perspective of the Fred Wolf turtles? Maybe it took place after the series ended, and Shredder, Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady somehow acquired a new Technodrome, and escaped from Dimension X? Maybe the timeline splits between "Turtles Forever" and the rest of the Fred Wolf series, or something?

    And where does "Turtles Forever" fit in with the Mirage timeline? Is the "Turtles Prime" universe seen at the end of the film the same as the regular Mirage TMNT Universe or could it be something else? Maybe it's the equivalent of the primordial soup from which the rest of the TMNT universe sprang up from, and as such represents only the original TMNT Vol. 1 #1, instead of the Mirage series as a whole( that could explain why in Tales of the TMNT Vol. 2 #58, what happens to be the early, somewhat awkwardly-drawn versions of the early Mirage Vol. 1 TMNT are shown as their own universe, as seen in this picture: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zuEjW4MY7l4/Tb2pyUBG6FI/AAAAAAAAFr0/vGYdtx8UxO4/s1600/ContinuityNightmare01.jpg )?

    And speaking of Tales #58, I have a theory that the events of that issue ended up causing caused a rift or anomaly or something to vibrate through the TMNT Multiverse, and it caused the Techndrome and inhabitants (plus the Turtles who were fighting Shredder at the time) to be transported from the Fred Wolf Universe to the 4Kids TMNT Universe just prior to the opening of "Turtles Forever". Do I get a no-prize?

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    1. "John PannozziFeb 11, 2012 06:01 PM
      How does "Turtles Forever" fit in with the Fred Wolf and Mirage continuities in your eyes?"

      I get that you didn't have all much to do with the old Fred Wolf-produced TMNT cartoon back in the day, but did you or Lloyd or anyone at 4Kids or Mirage see "Turtles Forever" as taking place at a certain point from the perspective of the Fred Wolf turtles? Maybe it took place after the series ended, and Shredder, Krang, Bebop and Rocksteady somehow acquired a new Technodrome, and escaped from Dimension X? Maybe the timeline splits between "Turtles Forever" and the rest of the Fred Wolf series, or something?"

      I can't speak for Lloyd or anyone else who worked on "Turtles Forever", but I know that I never thought too much beyond the basic "Shredder/Krang/Bebop/Rocksteady/Technodrome" setup that I remembered as being the major part of most of the first series. Honestly, I was not at all concerned about the continuity from the FW series beyond that.

      The fact is that I have never even seen roughly half of the episodes of the original series, mostly from the latter half, and I didn't even know that they HAD lost the Technodrome at some point or gotten stuck in Dimension X!


      "And where does "Turtles Forever" fit in with the Mirage timeline?"

      I will answer in part by copying something here that I wrote in answer to a similar question earlier:

      ""L. Travis HoffmanFeb 10, 2012 07:21 PM
      Two questions, Good Sir...

      Does the film "Turtles Forever" fit into the same continuity as the Mirage stories, or are the two regarded as two separate entities? i.e., the 4kids toon has its own version of the Mirage-verse"

      I would think the latter, because the part of "Turtles Forever" which includes the appearance of the black and white "Mirage TMNT" features the incursion of the other two sets of Turtles as well as the Utrom Shredder and characters from the first TMNT TV series DURING the Mirage Turtles' first battle with the Shredder on the rooftop… and as anyone who has read the first issue of the TMNT comics, that incursion never happened."


      " Is the "Turtles Prime" universe seen at the end of the film the same as the regular Mirage TMNT Universe or could it be something else? Maybe it's the equivalent of the primordial soup from which the rest of the TMNT universe sprang up from, and as such represents only the original TMNT Vol. 1 #1, instead of the Mirage series as a whole( that could explain why in Tales of the TMNT Vol. 2 #58, what happens to be the early, somewhat awkwardly-drawn versions of the early Mirage Vol. 1 TMNT are shown as their own universe, as seen in this picture: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zuEjW4MY7l4/Tb2pyUBG6FI/AAAAAAAAFr0/vGYdtx8UxO4/s1600/ContinuityNightmare01.jpg )?

      And speaking of Tales #58, I have a theory that the events of that issue ended up causing caused a rift or anomaly or something to vibrate through the TMNT Multiverse, and it caused the Techndrome and inhabitants (plus the Turtles who were fighting Shredder at the time) to be transported from the Fred Wolf Universe to the 4Kids TMNT Universe just prior to the opening of "Turtles Forever". Do I get a no-prize?"

      I couldn't tell you, because I have never read the issue of Tales you refer to. I think you are over-thinking this whole thing -- I know I'm getting a headache trying to sort it out. -- PL

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  18. Hey there Mr. Laird. Is there any chance of you selling any old Mirage or Archie original art that you worked on that you have stashed away? Is there any way for me to get in contact with you to discuss this? I have a lot of money to spend right now and it always seems like the same three fans in up getting most of the good stuff because they push the rest of us out without giving us a chance. Your work is my favorite of all the comic artists that every worked on the series. Thanks for your time.

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    1. "ReglerFeb 11, 2012 07:04 PM
      Hey there Mr. Laird. Is there any chance of you selling any old Mirage or Archie original art that you worked on that you have stashed away? Is there any way for me to get in contact with you to discuss this? I have a lot of money to spend right now and it always seems like the same three fans in up getting most of the good stuff because they push the rest of us out without giving us a chance. Your work is my favorite of all the comic artists that every worked on the series. Thanks for your time."

      I have no plans at this time to sell any of the Turtle art in my possession. If I ever do, I will most likely announce such plans on this blog. -- PL

      Delete
  19. For the people asking about replicating the duoshade technique in Photoshop, Dan Berger passed along this great and fairly easy to swallow instructional page:
    http://www.catspawdynamics.com/craftint-or-duoshade-style-shading-in-photoshop/

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  20. Hey Peter!

    Thanks for giving us fans the chance to talk to you!
    A few questions:

    1) Venus - How did this character come into existence? Considering you don't like the character, couldn't you have veto'ed this idea if you disliked her so much?

    2) What was the lowest point of TMNT for you? What was the highest?

    Thanks again for being there for the fans, the Turtles were a big part of my life as I was very sick when I was young. They were there while I recovered and made me smile when there was hardly anything to smile about at times.

    Thanks mate!

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    1. "David HeadsFeb 11, 2012 11:57 PM
      Hey Peter!

      Thanks for giving us fans the chance to talk to you!
      A few questions:

      1) Venus - How did this character come into existence?"

      If memory serves, some people from Playmates and Saban brought the idea of doing a "girl Turtle" to us when we were discussing doing the live-action show and the toys to go with it. Kevin was not at that meeting, which was held at Mirage's offices in Northampton, and when they brought up the idea, I immediately shot it down… figuring that given Kevin and I had ALWAYS hated the idea of a "girl Turtle" and had always rejected it when it was brought up in any context, I was on solid ground.

      It was an unpleasant surprise when I learned a short while later that Kevin had changed his long-held position and wanted to let them do this "girl Turtle" character.


      "Considering you don't like the character, couldn't you have veto'ed this idea if you disliked her so much?"

      I won't go into all the particulars of what happened next, because I don't really feel comfortable at this time talking about it, but suffice it to say that I VERY reluctantly agreed to allow this thing to proceed.

      And it turned out to be just as stupid and awful as I had imagined. Maybe more so, even.


      "2) What was the lowest point of TMNT for you? What was the highest?"

      I think the low point is very likely the whole "girl Turtle" thing and the subsequent unpleasantness it engendered. I suppose it's possible that there are other even LOWER points that I am mentally blocking. Maybe at some point in the future I will wake up in a cold sweat and remember them.

      There are quite a few high points -- the first issue of the comic, the first toys, the first animation, the first live-action movie… but I think the one that sticks with me even after all this time is the day I figured out that we were each going to clear $2000 in profit from sales of the first printing of issue #2 of the original TMNT black and white comic. This was, I think, back in late 1984. Suddenly, there it was -- if this kept up, we could make a good living DRAWING OUR OWN COMICS!!! It was a dream come true.


      "Thanks again for being there for the fans, the Turtles were a big part of my life as I was very sick when I was young. They were there while I recovered and made me smile when there was hardly anything to smile about at times.

      Thanks mate!"

      Thats a great story, David. I'm glad the Turtles were a bright spot in your life! -- PL

      Delete
  21. hi peter laird!

    knowing you are such a fantasy science-fiction admirer I wanted to know from you if you ever read some of the superb aliens comics that came out under the dark horse logo?...

    another thing, could you imagine drawing and writing an alien comic?or if that movie is as interesting as it looks right now could jiggle to the idea of doing a prometheus comic?I am not talking about an adaptation of the film but some story that expands the films territory(I confess this is a rather unreplyable question because you cannot judge at the moment if you like the movie or not..)I assume you don't want to get caught into the comicproducing life as you just sold your way out of there, I am more asking myself if you think you would have fun doing something in these aliens universes on a comic book basis?...
    thanks in advance, p.s.:I always wanted to tell ya how much I enjoy your (what I call) super-duty-tough-inking work on your comics...they look like you spend a LOT of time and effort into creating these images and I love that.
    all for now

    greetings from icecold munich

    Marcel

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    1. "cool rayFeb 12, 2012 05:31 AM
      hi peter laird!

      knowing you are such a fantasy science-fiction admirer I wanted to know from you if you ever read some of the superb aliens comics that came out under the dark horse logo?"

      I have read a few of them over the years.

      "another thing, could you imagine drawing and writing an alien comic?or if that movie is as interesting as it looks right now could jiggle to the idea of doing a prometheus comic?I am not talking about an adaptation of the film but some story that expands the films territory(I confess this is a rather unreplyable question because you cannot judge at the moment if you like the movie or not..)I assume you don't want to get caught into the comicproducing life as you just sold your way out of there, I am more asking myself if you think you would have fun doing something in these aliens universes on a comic book basis?…"

      I doubt that -- given the SLOW pace at which I draw these days -- (a) anyone would want to hire me to do such a comic book, and (b) I would not want to take on such a task. Not to mention that while it would be fun to try, I am not at all certain I could do it justice.

      "thanks in advance, p.s.:I always wanted to tell ya how much I enjoy your (what I call) super-duty-tough-inking work on your comics...they look like you spend a LOT of time and effort into creating these images and I love that.
      all for now

      greetings from icecold munich

      Marcel"

      Thanks, Marcel -- in truth, we always DID put a lot of effort into those books. -- PL

      Delete
  22. Hi Peter,

    I was curious about the re-toned/re-lettered (and slightly tweaked dialogue if I recall) versions of the older TMNT issues which we got a sample of with the PBBZ edition of Vol.1 #1. Was the original plan to do just the early issues or all of Volume 1 (the canon issues anyway)?

    Was anything else under consideration for remastering (not sure if that term was ever used). The Tales Vol. 1 Treasury Edition had new frontispieces by Jim Lawson, was there ever any intention to redo the tones in the stories?

    Thanks for all your work on the Turtles, they've provided me with plenty of enjoyment over the years.

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    1. "Dave FrearFeb 12, 2012 08:47 AM
      Hi Peter,

      I was curious about the re-toned/re-lettered (and slightly tweaked dialogue if I recall) versions of the older TMNT issues which we got a sample of with the PBBZ edition of Vol.1 #1. Was the original plan to do just the early issues or all of Volume 1 (the canon issues anyway)?"

      Dave, as I recall, my long-term plan -- if I could maintain my interest level and energy! -- was to make those changes to all of the "canon" issues.

      "Was anything else under consideration for remastering (not sure if that term was ever used). The Tales Vol. 1 Treasury Edition had new frontispieces by Jim Lawson, was there ever any intention to redo the tones in the stories?"

      No, it was just the Volume 1 stuff. The process was pretty work-intensive, and really more of a fun thing for me to try. I started work on issue #2, but I can't remember how far I got before stopping. I haven't done any of that stuff in quite a while.

      "Thanks for all your work on the Turtles, they've provided me with plenty of enjoyment over the years."

      I appreciate your kind words, and am glad the Turtles have been a good thing in life. -- PL

      Delete
  23. oh, I forgot one thing that I wanted to incorporate in my questions:
    I wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed seeing both kevins AND your annotations in the recent tmnt ultimate collection...will you be adding such interesting information and trivia also for the future ultimate collections?that is really great to see your view points presented with the origial material and one can understand what went into making these stories..

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    1. "cool rayFeb 12, 2012 09:10 AM
      oh, I forgot one thing that I wanted to incorporate in my questions:
      I wanted to tell you how much I have enjoyed seeing both Kevin's AND your annotations in the recent TMNT ultimate collection... will you be adding such interesting information and trivia also for the future ultimate collections?that is really great to see your view points presented with the original material and one can understand what went into making these stories."

      IDW is taking some things from my blog, and I have also provided them with a few extra notes about the issues they are reprinting. In fact, I just did that a few days ago, for their second "Ultimate" collection. I'm not sure if they will use any of the stuff I sent them, but it was fun to read Kevin's thoughts and remember some of those days. -- PL

      Delete
  24. Mr. Laird:

    A minor point of contention among fans of the 4Kids Turtles cartoon was the issue of The Shredder and Karai's surname. As you know, the original Mirage books had "Oroku" as Saki and Nagi's surname, following the Japanese convention of "surname first, given name last". The cartoon, however, consistently had people referring to both the Shredder and Karai as "Mr. and Miss Saki". Some fans contend that this is a mistake from the part of the cartoon writers or from the characters, and that their canonical surname is "Oroku" as in the comics, while others argue that the consistent and exclusive use of Saki as a surname means that that is the proper name in that particular continuity. Which makes me wonder: was there any discussion between you and Mr. Goldfine on the issue? You mention it in passing in your correspondence here (http://peterlairdstmntblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/blast-from-past-299-april-30-2004-re-ep.html) but was it ever brought up again in your correspondence?

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    1. "IanFeb 12, 2012 10:39 AM
      Mr. Laird:

      A minor point of contention among fans of the 4Kids Turtles cartoon was the issue of The Shredder and Karai's surname. As you know, the original Mirage books had "Oroku" as Saki and Nagi's surname, following the Japanese convention of "surname first, given name last". The cartoon, however, consistently had people referring to both the Shredder and Karai as "Mr. and Miss Saki". Some fans contend that this is a mistake from the part of the cartoon writers or from the characters, and that their canonical surname is "Oroku" as in the comics, while others argue that the consistent and exclusive use of Saki as a surname means that that is the proper name in that particular continuity. Which makes me wonder: was there any discussion between you and Mr. Goldfine on the issue? You mention it in passing in your correspondence here (http://peterlairdstmntblog.blogspot.com/2011/09/blast-from-past-299-april-30-2004-re-ep.html) but was it ever brought up again in your correspondence?"

      This is one of those annoying little things that seemed to keep popping up, and I could never figure out why is continued to be a problem. I mean, as you can see, it wasn't like we didn't know what the proper usage was… but apparently, somewhere along the line it got screwed up and the dialogue that was recorded featured the incorrect usage. I am pretty sure that at every point during script development, if I found one of these problems I would point it out… but I suppose it is possible that I missed some.

      I suppose, if you wanted to think of it this way, you could imagine that those people in the show who mistakenly referred to the Shredder as "Mr. Saki" were themselves ignorant of the name rules.



      Nah…

      … we messed up, somehow. -- PL

      Delete
  25. Some more questions...

    1. Since you say you don't have any plans to release new Vol. 4 comics in the foreseeable future (or even the one left that's already completed, not even digitally)... how about some carrots for us -- perhaps just a a few clues or hints about where things were going with Mikey, Seri, Karai, Casey, April, Raph, Don, etc.?

    2. It's been said that the Archie comic was selling in the neighborhood of 150,000 copies a month at its peak... do you know about what the peak of the Mirage series was? How consistent were sales on Vol. 1, from beginning to end (#62). Also on that note...

    3. How well was Vol. 2 selling, out of the gate?

    4. Has the Utrom homeworld ever been named? If yes, what is it? It struck me the other day that it seemed it has not.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "Andrew NDBFeb 12, 2012 11:34 AM
      Some more questions...

      1. Since you say you don't have any plans to release new Vol. 4 comics in the foreseeable future (or even the one left that's already completed, not even digitally)... how about some carrots for us -- perhaps just a a few clues or hints about where things were going with Mikey, Seri, Karai, Casey, April, Raph, Don, etc.?"

      I prefer not to… at least at this time.

      "2. It's been said that the Archie comic was selling in the neighborhood of 150,000 copies a month at its peak... do you know about what the peak of the Mirage series was? How consistent were sales on Vol. 1, from beginning to end (#62). Also on that note…"

      The peak seller of the MIrage black and whites was, I believe, issue #8 of Volume One, the Cerebus crossover issue. That one sold 135,000 copies of its first (and only) printing. I actually don't really remember much at this point about the consistency of sales on Volume One, except that they usually rose when Kevin and I worked on the books.

      "3. How well was Vol. 2 selling, out of the gate?"

      I really don't remember, but my gut feeling is that sales were not, as they say, "stellar".

      "4. Has the Utrom homeworld ever been named? If yes, what is it? It struck me the other day that it seemed it has not."

      There is a remote possibility that when we were working on the episode where the Shredder attempts to attack the Utrom home world, we came up with a name for it… but at this point in time, I can't recall. -- PL

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  26. Hi Pete,

    Thanks for your time again.

    1) Ninja Turtles have been developed into four movies and it seemed like both you and Kevin didn't had any cameos in them. Did you and Kevin ever got invited for a cameo role? If so what happened? It just felt weird that Kevin Smith got a cameo in the CGI TMNT film in 2007 but not the original creators or any Mirage artists.

    2) I find it interesting that you guys finally got your cameo in an animated TV movie - Turtles Forever. I have to admit that really caught be by surprised and have that coming to full circle feel to the entire 2003 animated series. Can you share any highlights or comments during that process?

    3) I really liked the 2007 CGI TMNT film. Was really looking forward to a sequel. I'm curious about your thoughts, would have have preferred a continuation of the movie franchise or like a "reboot" movie? Most of the time I feel less interested of reboots because they mostly mean it's the origin again and fighting Shredder for the "first time" again while we all hopelessly wait for Mousers to be written in to the story at some point.

    4) I don't know if you actually collect any Ninja Turtles toys besides the fact that you do get samples from Playmates but do you have any favorite Turtle toys? Perhaps from the 80s, 2003 show, 07 film series,etc? Also what's your thoughts on Playmates 2012 toys?

    Thanks for your time Pete!

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    1. "cloudFeb 12, 2012 11:37 AM
      Hi Pete,

      Thanks for your time again.

      1) Ninja Turtles have been developed into four movies and it seemed like both you and Kevin didn't had any cameos in them. Did you and Kevin ever got invited for a cameo role? If so what happened? It just felt weird that Kevin Smith got a cameo in the CGI TMNT film in 2007 but not the original creators or any Mirage artists. "

      When we were on set in North Carolina during some of the filming of the first movie, Steve Barron invited both Kevin and me to do walk-on roles as trash collectors who would be seen in the background of the scene near the end of the movie where a garbage truck -- the one the Shredder ends up getting "crushed" in -- is prominently featured. I was too shy to do this (something I kick myself for now), but Kevin agreed, got dressed up in overalls and dirtied up a bit, and was filmed. Unfortunately, all you really see of Kevin in the movie is a very blurry figure in the background of one scene.

      "2) I find it interesting that you guys finally got your cameo in an animated TV movie - Turtles Forever. I have to admit that really caught be by surprise and have that coming to full circle feel to the entire 2003 animated series. Can you share any highlights or comments during that process?"

      Well, it was a "cameo" if you stretch the definition to some degree. Neither of us actually appeared in that scene, and we recorded our "dialogue" in separate locations. But I thought it was a nice way to end that movie. I'm glad Kevin agreed to participate. It would have been fun to try to duplicate the setting in which we'd drawn all that art for TMNT #1 -- our living room in Dover, NH -- but there wasn't enough time or budget to do that.

      "3) I really liked the 2007 CGI TMNT film. Was really looking forward to a sequel. I'm curious about your thoughts, would have have preferred a continuation of the movie franchise or like a "reboot" movie?"

      I'm somewhat disappointed that the 2007 TMNT film never got the chance for a sequel, as I think it could have been a lot of fun, and we dropped at least one hint in it that a second CGI movie might bring in the Shredder. I'm not completely opposed to "reboots", but I also felt with the TMNT it wasn't necessary. People know the basic story of the Turtles, and I think it would be fine to just jump into a new tale without redoing the whole origin thing.

      "4) I don't know if you actually collect any Ninja Turtles toys besides the fact that you do get samples from Playmates but do you have any favorite Turtle toys? Perhaps from the 80s, 2003 show, 07 film series,etc? Also what's your thoughts on Playmates 2012 toys?"

      I have a bunch of TMNT toys, but I am not really what you would call a collector. My favorites from the first series include the "Star Trek" Turtles, the Universal Monsters Turtles, and the original basic Turtle assortment from the first year. From the second series, I would say the basic Turtles, various Triceraton figures, and also the Shredder Elite. I also really liked the NECA Turtles -- they were very cool, and so well articulated. But if I were forced to pick one figure, it would have to be the limited edition vacuum-metalized Fugitoid collector figure. That was something I had wanted Playmates to do almost from the very beginning, and as it turned out, it was one of the last things they did while I still owned the property.

      I've only seen some online images of the new 2012 Playmates toys, and generally I think they look nice. My only problems with them have to do with what I consider questionable design choices.


      "Thanks for your time Pete!"

      You're welcome! -- PL

      Delete
  27. i've skimmed through the questions but i hope i'm not missing an instance where somebody asked the same question, but do you have any other stories you want to tell or characters you want to write, something besides TMNT? i'm sure you're enjoying yourself post-TMNT, i know i sure would, i can't imagine doing that for 25+ years, but do you have other things and ideas you want to write about? i want to see some of that!

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    1. Ross, I do have other ideas for stuff beyond TMNT, but nothing has completely jelled for me yet. I am still trying to figure out what to do. It would be relatively simple if I had the same passion for drawing that I'd had for most of my life, but I don't. I hope it returns at some point. Until then, I will keep thinking, blogging and trying to live a positive life. (Just to be clear, when and if that passion for drawing returns, I will most likely continue to do those three things as well!) -- PL

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  28. Out of the variant ninja turtles that were released in the original toy line,what were your least favorite?
    Are there any comic book based movies that you have enjoyed or didn't enjoy?
    Did you and Kevin Eastman have any input on Ninja Turtles 2 or 3 and what did you think of them.

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    1. "rufuswrFeb 12, 2012 10:44 PM
      Out of the variant ninja turtles that were released in the original toy line,what were your least favorite?"

      I think it was probably the "Clown Turtles" -- those were almost unbearably silly.

      "Are there any comic book based movies that you have enjoyed or didn't enjoy?"

      In recent years, I really enjoyed the first "Iron Man" movie, with "Thor" a close second. I also liked the "X-Men: First Class" movie, a lot more than I expected to, actually. The first "Spider-Man" movie was great, too… as were the first two "X-Men" movies. I thought the "Wolverine" solo movie was terrible, but not as bad as "Green Lantern". Close, though.

      "Did you and Kevin Eastman have any input on Ninja Turtles 2 or 3 and what did you think of them."

      We did have input on both movies, but they were not as satisfying as the first one. I thought the second was infantile, and while the third one had some good moments, it was ultimately pretty stupid. -- PL

      Delete
    2. Oh sad! I actually liked Green Lantern and can't understand why so many people dislike it and praise Thor and Captain America instead.

      Delete
  29. thanks for the answers!
    I am happy to hear that we might get more of your comments on your and kevin's stories!!;)
    I am also very charmed by the idea of maybe someday be getting to read another peter laird comic book out on the shelves...in the immortal words of I think cowboy of the furious five:...just tae your time and enjoy yourself and you rock as good as anyone else!!;)
    always a pleasure diving into your comic book work.

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  30. How much are you looking forward to Prometheus? Any thoughts, fears about it?

    ReplyDelete
  31. "Andrew NDBFeb 13, 2012 02:21 PM
    How much are you looking forward to Prometheus? Any thoughts, fears about it?"

    I've enjoyed most of Ridley Scott's movies, and the first "Alien" film is one of my all-time favorites... so I am looking forward to "Prometheus". I don't know enough about the actual story to have any major concerns... yet.

    The movie I am most looking forward to is "The Avengers". I think that is going to be pure geek fun. -- PL

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  32. @PL: thanks for answering! that's great to hear you're thinking about other stuff, i'm sure your batteries will recharge eventually. i know you've got more great stuff in you.

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  33. Hi there Peter, first time I've ever done anything like this before but just wanted to ask a few quick questions:

    1 - You've said before that Don is your favourite of the four brothers, but who is your least favourite, and why?

    2 - I'm a HUGE fan of your artwork (in particular your inking!!), and was wondering - like another question from above - if you'd entertain the idea of releasing a nice deluxe "coffee-table book" of your output that includes the early fanzine years, Gobbledygook, TMNT and everything in between? Perhaps it could showcase stuff that you never had a chance to publish due to being busy with running the TMNT franchise, and be a limited release? Your artwork has always been so inspirational to me, and I know many people who would love to see a Laird-authored companion piece to Kevin's "Artobiography" book.

    3 - Have you seen any of the photos of the painted mural that Kevin and Mark Bode did for the "Lost Angeles: 35 Days Of Kevin Eastman" show in L.A. and, if so, what did you think of it?

    4 - Are you looking forward to the release of the new Nickelodeon cartoon and the accompanying toyline?

    5 - Dan Berger recently stated on the Mirage site that the amount of comics to be auctioned off via eBay's TMNT_Toys account has (sadly) depleted. Do you know if you will be offering any others from your archives to sell?

    Thanks for taking questions, it's so cool that you do this kinda thing for the fans, and I really appreciate this opportunity because you've always been a hero of mine. Best regards,
    James

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    1. "JamesFeb 13, 2012 07:06 PM
      Hi there Peter, first time I've ever done anything like this before but just wanted to ask a few quick questions:

      1 - You've said before that Don is your favourite of the four brothers, but who is your least favourite, and why? "

      I don't think it's possible for me to have a "least favorite" -- although Donatello is my favorite, I think I like the other three equally.

      "2 - I'm a HUGE fan of your artwork (in particular your inking!!), and was wondering - like another question from above - if you'd entertain the idea of releasing a nice deluxe "coffee-table book" of your output that includes the early fanzine years, Gobbledygook, TMNT and everything in between? Perhaps it could showcase stuff that you never had a chance to publish due to being busy with running the TMNT franchise, and be a limited release? Your artwork has always been so inspirational to me, and I know many people who would love to see a Laird-authored companion piece to Kevin's "Artobiography" book. "

      It's possible, but at this point in time I have no plans, and no real interest, in doing something like that. I appreciate your kind comments about my artwork.

      "3 - Have you seen any of the photos of the painted mural that Kevin and Mark Bode did for the "Lost Angeles: 35 Days Of Kevin Eastman" show in L.A. and, if so, what did you think of it? "

      I have seen photos of it, and thought it was pretty impressive.

      "4 - Are you looking forward to the release of the new Nickelodeon cartoon and the accompanying toyine?"

      Somewhat. I have some curiosity, and will probably watch at least one or two episodes of the show. There might be a few toys that I will buy, but to be honest, I have more Turtle stuff than I really need. Who knows -- I might be so blown away by the coolness of the new stuff that I will change my mind… but I am not really expecting that.

      "5 - Dan Berger recently stated on the Mirage site that the amount of comics to be auctioned off via eBay's TMNT_Toys account has (sadly) depleted. Do you know if you will be offering any others from your archives to sell? "

      I have one more pile of miscellaneous MIrage TMNT publications to bring in to the office for Dan and Katie to put up for sale, and will probably do that soon. I think there are some of the old MIrage TMNT collections in that stack.

      "Thanks for taking questions, it's so cool that you do this kinda thing for the fans, and I really appreciate this opportunity because you've always been a hero of mine. Best regards,
      James"

      Thank you, James! -- PL

      Delete
  34. Hey Pete you have said before you think having to many mutants around make the Turtles less unique. Do you feel that same way about alien characters? That having too many of them around makes the Turtles seem less strange?

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    1. "DanFeb 14, 2012 01:13 AM
      Hey Pete you have said before you think having to many mutants around make the Turtles less unique. Do you feel that same way about alien characters? That having too many of them around makes the Turtles seem less strange?"

      The comment I made some time ago about more mutants negatively impacting on the perceived uniqueness of the Turtles has been misinterpreted by a number of fans. I don't think that including dinosaur-like aliens, superheroes, and monsters, for example, in the world of the TMNT has the same effect on that perceived uniqueness as does the inclusion of more mutant animals, especially animals mutated in the same (or similar) fashion as the Turtles were. This seems pretty blatantly obvious to me as a concept, and I am not sure how better to articulate it.

      Does having alien characters around make the Turtles seem less strange? Well, I suppose so, but that is not the same issue. It's actually part of what I was doing with the background story in Volume 4 -- the Utroms' public arrival on Earth and subsequent opening up of an interstellar "way station" on our planet allowed for the introduction of all kinds of strange alien lifeforms… and thus provide an environment in which the Turtles could now "blend in" and not be noticed as they might have been previous to the Utroms' arrival. -- PL

      Delete
    2. Ok thanks but do you feel there should be a limit on such characters? If the Turtles meet aliens and monsters all the time doesn't it make those encounters less special?

      Delete
    3. DanFeb 14, 2012 10:41 AM
      Ok thanks but do you feel there should be a limit on such characters? If the Turtles meet aliens and monsters all the time doesn't it make those encounters less special?

      I'm not really sure what your point is, exactly. Are you saying that if you do the same (or similar) things over and over, it has a tendency to get boring? Like, maybe, Batman fighting the Joker hundreds of times? Superman and Lex Luthor? Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus? Fantastic Four and Doctor Doom? Does each new iteration of such common events make those encounters "less special"?

      Does having the Turtles fight with the Foot over and over make each of those events "less special"?

      I suppose it could be argued that they do… but the saving grace, I would think, is in HOW (and maybe even WHY) they are done. -- PL

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    4. My point is doesn't to many aliens have the same problem as to many mutants does? That the more aliens you have the less unique the aliens become?

      Delete
    5. "DanFeb 14, 2012 02:36 PM
      My point is doesn't to many aliens have the same problem as to many mutants does? That the more aliens you have the less unique the aliens become?"

      When you put it that way, I would have to say yes -- overdoing anything can be problematic in that way. -- PL

      Delete
  35. I was wondering how the Coming out of their shells Music Turtle came about and what your thoughts on them are?
    When the First Ninja Turtles film was being made,did you get to see any rough cuts of the film?
    What was your first reaction when a film was to be made based on a comic book series you did? What did you think when it was to be Live action?
    What would your ideal sequel be to the first film if you could have one?
    Do you think Steve Barron could have pulled of a ninja turtles sequel if he had stayed a board and the producers had kept to the tone of the first film?
    What did you think of Judith Hoag's Performance as April O'Neil and Elias Koteas as Casey Jones?

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    1. "rufuswrFeb 14, 2012 05:13 PM
      I was wondering how the Coming out of their shells Music Turtle came about and what your thoughts on them are?"

      That tour came about near the height of Turtlemania, as I recall, but I don't remember exactly HOW. I suppose someone felt it could be a fun and moneymaking proposition, and I think it succeeded on both counts. I went to see it at Radio City Music Hall in New York, and while it was somewhat silly, and the costumes were not the greatest, I felt much of the music was catchy.

      "When the First Ninja Turtles film was being made,did you get to see any rough cuts of the film?"

      Sadly, no.

      "What was your first reaction when a film was to be made based on a comic book series you did? What did you think when it was to be Live action?"

      We were thrilled, especially when a short time later we learned that Jim Henson's company was going to do the costumes.

      "What would your ideal sequel be to the first film if you could have one?"

      You know, I have never really thought about that. But I suppose it would have been a lot of fun to have done the "mousers/search for Splinter" storyline from the second and third issues, especially if it had allowed us to bring in the whole Triceratons/Fugitoid story. But I suspect that, even though the first film had turned a huge profit, that might have been impossible, budget-wise. And being that that was the pre-CGI era, it would have cost a lot of money to create the effects for those stories. But… can you imagine Jim Henson Triceratons?

      "Do you think Steve Barron could have pulled of a ninja turtles sequel if he had stayed aboard and the producers had kept to the tone of the first film?"

      It has long been my feeling that if they'd managed to keep Steve Barron for a second film, it would have been far superior to the one that actually did come out, and very likely more profitable than that one as well.

      "What did you think of Judith Hoag's Performance as April O'Neil and Elias Koteas as Casey Jones?"

      I thought they both did great work in their roles, and I was extremely disappointed that Judith Hoag was not asked back for the sequels. I think that was a big mistake. -- PL

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    2. Actually I read in an interview that Judith said she was asked back but wanted the “fluff” back in the script, wanted conditions on the set to improve, and wanted a raise.
      http://members.ziggo.nl/rutgergret/hoag%20interview.html

      Delete
  36. Hi Peter,
    I sent you a question on facebook. I would be very, very grateful to have a response from you. Thanks!
    Ross May

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hey again Pete!

    I loved when Mikey talked about history and my favorite Tales V.2 issue was definitely #30, a fine display of Mikey's cleverness concerning his apparent ability to blend historical scenarios with engaging fiction, as a great writer does. Question: After his adventures with the Triceratons in V.4, did you ever plan on diving into this cerebral aspect of Michelangelo further?

    Also, I'm really sorry to bug you with this but as a huge fan I would love to get your opinion on a 5 page TMNT Donatello short-comic completed by my friend Pedro & I. It's based in the Mirage universe and this particular short is called "Donatello: Dark Energy (Part I)". I did the writing, and he did the art, layouts, etc. We recently set up our website with a straight-to-PDF link. No more downloading nonsense as we had before. So, if you have a free minute, please let me know what you think of our general direction. Here's the link: http://betweenthelines.mutantooze.org/comics/TMNT_DE1.pdf

    Thanks for your time, I really appreciate it!

    Sincerely,
    Matt Montelione

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "M.M. MontelioneFeb 14, 2012 06:41 PM
      Hey again Pete!

      I loved when Mikey talked about history and my favorite Tales V.2 issue was definitely #30, a fine display of Mikey's cleverness concerning his apparent ability to blend historical scenarios with engaging fiction, as a great writer does. Question: After his adventures with the Triceratons in V.4, did you ever plan on diving into this cerebral aspect of Michelangelo further?"

      That happens to be one of the many issues of "Tales" I never got around to reading -- or at least I can't remember reading it -- so I can't really comment on that, except to say that no, I had no plans to explore that aspect of Mike in future Volume 4 issues.

      "Also, I'm really sorry to bug you with this but as a huge fan I would love to get your opinion on a 5 page TMNT Donatello short-comic completed by my friend Pedro & I. It's based in the Mirage universe and this particular short is called "Donatello: Dark Energy (Part I)". I did the writing, and he did the art, layouts, etc. We recently set up our website with a straight-to-PDF link. No more downloading nonsense as we had before. So, if you have a free minute, please let me know what you think of our general direction. Here's the link: http://betweenthelines.mutantooze.org/comics/TMNT_DE1.pdf

      Thanks for your time, I really appreciate it!

      Sincerely,
      Matt Montelione"

      I had written up some comments on your "Donatello: Dark Energy" story back in November of 2011 and THOUGHT I had sent them to you. However, I can't find any record in my emails that I had… so I went to the link you provided, found an email address for you, and just sent off what I had written. Hope you get it, and it's helpful! -- PL

      Delete
  38. I have another question Pete, in Tales we sometimes get stories that gives us glimpse of the Turtles' future. It seems really dark and tragic with the turtles all separated and alone. Was this your concept future of the Ninja Turtles universe?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "cloudFeb 14, 2012 11:02 PM
      I have another question Pete, in Tales we sometimes get stories that gives us glimpse of the Turtles' future. It seems really dark and tragic with the turtles all separated and alone. Was this your concept future of the Ninja Turtles universe?"

      Kevin and I had talked some, years ago, about "The Last Turtle Story", which would take place at some time in the future, and it was pretty grim. I can't recall all the details, but one of the main plot points is that at that point in time, the Turtles had long since gone their separate ways, and they were not all very happy.

      It was never worked out in detail, although one thing that seemed to be a given was that Raphael was living in the Everglades as something of a hermit, and he had lost one eye. -- PL

      Delete
  39. When it became clear that TMNT as a comic was going to be a long term success, did you and Kevin decide at one point there would be an "ending" to it all, or was this something that was decided much further down the line?

    An "ending," I mean, vs. like Batman or Superman comics which go on in their continuity indefinitely.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Andrew NDBFeb 14, 2012 11:31 PM
      When it became clear that TMNT as a comic was going to be a long term success, did you and Kevin decide at one point there would be an "ending" to it all, or was this something that was decided much further down the line?

      An "ending," I mean, vs. like Batman or Superman comics which go on in their continuity indefinitely."

      As indicated in my answer to "cloud", above, we had considered doing what you might call "The Last Turtle Story". I can't at this point recall if we wanted that to be the last POSSIBLE Turtle story (i.e. they're dead at the end of it), or if it was just going to be the last thing Kevin and I ever did with them.

      I actually gave some thought to a series set on a future Earth which would continue the Turtles' adventures AFTER their inevitable deaths. -- PL

      Delete
  40. Hi Pete I have another question. When you were working on the 4Kids toon you said you wanted it to follow the Mirage Comics. So how come you let the writers change so many things like turning Shredder into an Utrom?

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    Replies
    1. "DanFeb 15, 2012 04:23 AM
      Hi Pete I have another question. When you were working on the 4Kids toon you said you wanted it to follow the Mirage Comics. So how come you let the writers change so many things like turning Shredder into an Utrom?

      You are right in that I wanted the 4Kids series to follow the Mirage TMNT comics and use as many of the stories in those comics as possible… but I never said that I wanted them to slavishly follow those comics in every particular. I knew Lloyd and his crew would be coming up with some new and cool ideas, and part of the fun for me was trying to integrate those ideas with MY new ideas AND the original Mirage stories. I think it worked quite successfully. For example, turning the Shredder into an Utrom was a fun way to bring two major elements of the Turtles' origin story together in a unique way. -- PL

      Delete
  41. (Asked by my 9 year old son Devin, who is a big turtles fan.)
    How did you decide what weapons to give each turtle?
    How did you come up with the idea for mousers?
    What is your favorite character from the Mirage Ninja Turtle comics?

    Side Note: I purchased the Foxkids cartoon series seasons 1&2 on DVD for him. We have been watching it every night for the past couple weeks. I had no interest in watching a TMNT cartoon after the first cartoon series left a bad taste in my mouth. My son insisted I watch it with him and, I could not say no. It is a great way to spend some time together. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with how good it is. The cool part is some of the story lines seem to be based on the original comics. After watching an episode my son will ask me if it is based on the comic and, if I have the comic, could he read it. A couple nights ago we watched "The King" episode. After we watched it I told him it was based on a Mirage TMNT comic. I let him at my comic stash to read it. I was great to see him be so enthusiastic about comics and, this is a great way for us to have a little bonding.

    Thanks Pete!

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    Replies
    1. Mark HFeb 15, 2012 04:47 AM
      (Asked by my 9 year old son Devin, who is a big turtles fan.)
      How did you decide what weapons to give each turtle?"

      When Kevin first drew all four Turtles in that famous group shot, he gave them each a basic weapon, all ones that seemed appropriate for ninja warriors. I think I may have offered suggestions to him, but I am not sure. As time went on, and we did the comics, we subtly adjusted each Turtle's character to sort of reflect what we thought of as the nature of each weapon.

      "How did you come up with the idea for mousers?"

      That actually originated in an idea I had for a science fiction short story or short comic tale, I can't remember which. Kevin liked the idea, so we incorporated it into the second issue of the TMNT comic book.

      "What is your favorite character from the Mirage Ninja Turtle comics?"

      My favorite Turtle is Donatello, but my favorite character is the Fugitoid.

      "Side Note: I purchased the Foxkids cartoon series seasons 1&2 on DVD for him. We have been watching it every night for the past couple weeks. I had no interest in watching a TMNT cartoon after the first cartoon series left a bad taste in my mouth. My son insisted I watch it with him and, I could not say no. It is a great way to spend some time together. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with how good it is. The cool part is some of the story lines seem to be based on the original comics. After watching an episode my son will ask me if it is based on the comic and, if I have the comic, could he read it. A couple nights ago we watched "The King" episode. After we watched it I told him it was based on a Mirage TMNT comic. I let him at my comic stash to read it. I was great to see him be so enthusiastic about comics and, this is a great way for us to have a little bonding.

      Thanks Pete!"

      That's a really sweet story, Mark -- thanks! -- PL

      Delete
    2. Thanks for taking the time to answer his questions. He was thrilled when he came home from school and I told him you replied. He thought long and hard on those questions.
      That is most kind of you. You just made his night.
      Have a good one Pete!

      Delete
  42. http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/02/14/teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-get-live-action-reboot-director-and-cartoon-reboot-images/ Curious what you think of these preview images.

    Shredder in toy form looks cooler than his animated look. The Foot are OK, but the turtles just look cheap, like a Nintendo 64 design. Hope to be wowed over when they move ;o).

    Also, curious if you've ever seen any of the 'red sky' episodes from the original trilogy, considering they where trying to get more serious? One episode before that season might be right up your alley with Donatello getting an electrical shock to the system, causing him to go on a vengeance fueled rampage (dressed like Batman) against Shredder. It involved giant Robot dino's and triceratons to boot ;o)

    later

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Neil VitaleFeb 15, 2012 07:31 AM
      http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/02/14/teenage-mutant-ninja-turtles-get-live-action-reboot-director-and-cartoon-reboot-images/ Curious what you think of these preview images."

      To use a phrase I employed often during the years of doing approvals for TMNT products and stories, "They don't make me puke."

      Actually, except for what I still (and probably always will) consider silly and pointless additions to the basic Turtle look (the goofy extra wraps around their hands and feet), this stuff looks pretty nice. I think I am actually interested now in seeing them animated.


      "Shredder in toy form looks cooler than his animated look. The Foot are OK, but the turtles just look cheap, like a Nintendo 64 design. Hope to be wowed over when they move ;o).

      Also, curious if you've ever seen any of the 'red sky' episodes from the original trilogy, considering they where trying to get more serious? One episode before that season might be right up your alley with Donatello getting an electrical shock to the system, causing him to go on a vengeance fueled rampage (dressed like Batman) against Shredder. It involved giant Robot dino's and triceratons to boot ;o)

      later"

      I can't recall ever seeing any of those episodes, and the one you describe sounds somewhat intriguing. -- PL

      Delete
  43. Here are a couple of questions:

    1. You say there are a number of issues from Tales you never read, but didn't you have to approve of the scripts (like with the 4kids episodes), before the Mirage staff like Dan or Muprhy or Lawson actually started production on the comics?

    2. What was your thought on General Traag and the Rock Soldiers? It seems the writers of the show wanted Krang to have an army of some kind, but didn't want it to be other brain-like creatures.

    3. According to Nick's press release, they say they are committed to making TMNT as big a success as it was in the late 80's and early 90's again, and confirmed there will be new episodes of the new show through 2015. Given their $60 million investment, I would think they'd definitely want to make that back and then some for their purchase. Given that Nickelodeon is a pretty popular kids channel, do you think the series will make more money than the 4kids show did?

    4. Regarding the IDW comics, I admit the changes to the origin were a little odd at first, but I think what I like about the franchise is there are so many different incarnations of the TMNT now. Just think about how many different incarnations of Batman and Spiderman exist, its good to see the Turtles never feel too "rehashed" when a new version comes out.

    Since you seem to have read the first few issues of IDW, what did you think of:

    a) Raph being separated from his brothers during mutation, so now there's a reason for his anger and loner status compared to always growing up with them. This Raphael has never known Splinter or his brothers while he was mutated.

    b) IDW has brought back Krang as one of the main villains. In this series he seems to be a bit more like Ch'rell than the Krang from the Fred Wolf show. Any thoughts?

    c) April names the Turtles in this series, not Splinter. In a way it gives April this "older sister" or "mother hen" vibe she had, but it is a very big change to how Splinter always named them.

    d) Splinter is now the reincarnated soul of Hamato Yoshi, who was killed by Oroku Saki in Feudal Japan. In a way this is like making Yoshi and Splinter one and the same again, similar to the old Fred Wolf cartoon where Splinter actually WAS Hamato Yoshi. So how do you feel about Splinter being the reincarnated soul of Yoshi instead, with all his prior memories?

    _Scott

    ReplyDelete
  44. "ScottFeb 15, 2012 11:23 AM
    Here are a couple of questions:

    1. You say there are a number of issues from Tales you never read, but didn't you have to approve of the scripts (like with the 4kids episodes), before the Mirage staff like Dan or Muprhy or Lawson actually started production on the comics?"

    That was true at first, but as time went on, that process started to break down, partly due to my lack of interest. So there are a number of those Tales books which I have never read in any form.

    "2. What was your thought on General Traag and the Rock Soldiers? It seems the writers of the show wanted Krang to have an army of some kind, but didn't want it to be other brain-like creatures. "

    It's really not fair for me to say anything about Traag and the Rock Soldiers, because I am pretty sure when they appeared, I had stopped watching the episodes.

    "3. According to Nick's press release, they say they are committed to making TMNT as big a success as it was in the late 80's and early 90's again, and confirmed there will be new episodes of the new show through 2015. Given their $60 million investment, I would think they'd definitely want to make that back and then some for their purchase. Given that Nickelodeon is a pretty popular kids channel, do you think the series will make more money than the 4kids show did?"

    Hard to say. It's certainly possible.

    "4. Regarding the IDW comics, I admit the changes to the origin were a little odd at first, but I think what I like about the franchise is there are so many different incarnations of the TMNT now. Just think about how many different incarnations of Batman and Spiderman exist, its good to see the Turtles never feel too "rehashed" when a new version comes out.

    Since you seem to have read the first few issues of IDW, what did you think of:

    a) Raph being separated from his brothers during mutation, so now there's a reason for his anger and loner status compared to always growing up with them. This Raphael has never known Splinter or his brothers while he was mutated."

    To be completely accurate, I have only read the first IDW issue completely, and skimmed the next couple.

    Frankly, I don't find this new rationale for Raph's "anger and loner status" particularly compelling. In fact, I think it makes him less interesting.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "b) IDW has brought back Krang as one of the main villains. In this series he seems to be a bit more like Ch'rell than the Krang from the Fred Wolf show. Any thoughts?"

      Not really knowing anything about this new "Krang", I won't venture an opinion.

      "c) April names the Turtles in this series, not Splinter. In a way it gives April this "older sister" or "mother hen" vibe she had, but it is a very big change to how Splinter always named them."

      This is one of the things which I think gives this new comic series a significantly different "feel" than the original TMNT stories that Kevin and I created. There seems to be more trying to make things seem -- I don't know -- "realistic"? Like it's easier to buy a human female naming turtles after Renaissance artists than a mutated rat. There seems to be less acceptance of some of the ofttimes whimsical nature of what Kevin and I did… and I find the result somewhat lacking.

      "d) Splinter is now the reincarnated soul of Hamato Yoshi, who was killed by Oroku Saki in Feudal Japan. In a way this is like making Yoshi and Splinter one and the same again, similar to the old Fred Wolf cartoon where Splinter actually WAS Hamato Yoshi. So how do you feel about Splinter being the reincarnated soul of Yoshi instead, with all his prior memories?

      _Scott"

      It does nothing for me, and in fact seems emblematic of a trend -- to make things bigger and more "meaningful" than they really need to be -- that I see in modern comics, especially in new "takes" on established characters. I was just reading something online recently about someone remaking the origin of Spider-Man, I think, so that instead of just being a kid who is transformed by the bite of a radioactive spider, he's actually the latest incarnation of some spider deity or something (sorry if I am messing this up -- I just quickly read the piece and don't remember where to find it again). I think it kind of started with Alan Moore when he reinvented "Swamp Thing" and turned him into a "plant elemental". That worked pretty well, but the problem is most writers aren't as brilliant as Alan Moore often is.

      I also feel that it diminishes the characters of the Turtles and Splinter… like they can't be who they ARE, they have to be like someone else WAS.

      And finally, one of the things about the way we created the Turtles that I always liked was the random, accidental nature of it. For some reason, I find that appealing (possibly because the origin of the Turtles sort of mirrors the creation of that first TMNT comic itself!)… and it's why whenever a new project would come up and someone would suggest redoing the origin of the Turtles and almost inevitably start with "See, there's this firm that's working on genetic engineering, and they take these turtles and -- ", I would shoot that down right away. It always felt so boring to me, so hackneyed. So obvious.

      Now, I say all of the above with this caveat: I have not read all of the IDW TMNT comics. I think someday I will, in collected form, so that I can read a bunch of them all at once, conveniently. Maybe after I've done that, I will change my mind. Not likely, but possible. -- PL

      Delete
  45. I was wondering how the 4kids TMNT show came about and if it was your idea to start a new Ninja Turtles cartoon or if Playmates/4kids approached about it?
    Out of the 7? seasons of the 4kids show would you say is your favorite season?
    In reply to your comment earlier about how cool it would be have seen Jim Henson and his team tackle the Triceratons,I have to say that would have been absolutely amazing.Would have loved to see how Henson would have pulled of leatherhead and Fugatoid had they ever been used in a film.
    Do you have any favorite scifi movies?
    Out of the Original Series Star Trek films,which one is your favorite?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "rufuswrFeb 15, 2012 03:50 PM
      I was wondering how the 4kids TMNT show came about and if it was your idea to start a new Ninja Turtles cartoon or if Playmates/4kids approached about it?"

      It was a combination of circumstances -- Playmates wanted to revive the toy line, 4Kids was looking for a property like the Turtles, and Mirage was ready to jump into it again. The timing was right, and it all came together.

      "Out of the 7? seasons of the 4kids show would you say is your favorite season?"

      I don't have a good answer for that.

      "In reply to your comment earlier about how cool it would be have seen Jim Henson and his team tackle the Triceratons,I have to say that would have been absolutely amazing.Would have loved to see how Henson would have pulled of leatherhead and Fugatoid had they ever been used in a film.
      Do you have any favorite scifi movies?"

      Yes, I do. They include "Forbidden Planet", "Terminator", Star Wars", "The Incredible Shrinking Man", "2001", and "The Andromeda Strain" (the original), among others.

      "Out of the Original Series Star Trek films,which one is your favorite?"

      Probably #4, "The Voyage Home"… but I liked them all, even #5. -- PL

      Delete
  46. Hey Pete, it's been a while. I love reading all the notes you've been posting on the 4Kids series. I loved that show up until Back to the Sewer. I really didn't care for the cyber space stuff. Why couldn't the guys have saved Splinter and killed Cyber Shredder within a couple episodes instead of dragging out the plot through an entire season? I kinda wanted to see the guys get back to their roots. The only episode I really liked from that season was the one where Raphael became a super hero.

    BTW, I was wondering if you'd ever considered making television appearances.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "JephaelFeb 15, 2012 04:12 PM
      Hey Pete, it's been a while. I love reading all the notes you've been posting on the 4Kids series. I loved that show up until Back to the Sewer. I really didn't care for the cyber space stuff. Why couldn't the guys have saved Splinter and killed Cyber Shredder within a couple episodes instead of dragging out the plot through an entire season?"

      Because it would have made for a short season.

      "I kinda wanted to see the guys get back to their roots. The only episode I really liked from that season was the one where Raphael became a super hero."

      "Back to the Sewer", like "Fast Forward" and the previous "Ninja Tribunal" season, were all experimental efforts to bring ratings up and sell more toys. I would have preferred to keep going with the original direction for the show, but sometimes you have to try new things when your partners feel that need.

      "BTW, I was wondering if you'd ever considered making television appearances."

      I'm not sure what you mean. Like, interviews? I've done several of those. -- PL

      Delete
  47. I was reading the Mirage release of the TMNT movie 1 comic adaption and in it has a scene of shredder challenging 4 foot members in the introduction scene of his character. It also has the mentioning of Shredders brother by splinter in the flashback story he tells to Danny. I was wondering if You and Kevin Eastman went by a different script to the movie when adapting it as a comic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "rufuswrFeb 15, 2012 04:41 PM
      I was reading the Mirage release of the TMNT movie 1 comic adaption and in it has a scene of shredder challenging 4 foot members in the introduction scene of his character. It also has the mentioning of Shredders brother by splinter in the flashback story he tells to Danny. I was wondering if You and Kevin Eastman went by a different script to the movie when adapting it as a comic."

      If memory serves, there were some scenes in the movie script which never made it into the finished movie (and even a few which were filmed, but never made it into the movie). We were working from that script when we did the comic. -- PL

      Delete
  48. Thanks so much for answering my questions Peter! I have a few more if that's ok with you?

    1 - What did you think of the 3 minute fan-made "Fight The Foot" film that's proved very popular on youtube? Also, have you seen the fan-made Casey Jones movie and, if so, any comments?

    2 - As a huge fan of your artwork, I'm always interested in noting how it changed and matured over the years. Do you have any pieces of art (either cover or interiors) that you're still especially satisfied with? And are there any that you wish you could change in hindsight, or that you're embarrassed about nowadays?

    3 - Would you work with Kevin drawing together on, for example, a new cover for the IDW series (or some other small thing that would - temporarily - re-join your partnership) ONLY if he asked you personally?

    4 - My best-loved issue from the early Mirage years is the Leonardo one-shot: the action, the contrasting atmosphere (between Leonardo, and the rest of the brothers together with Splinter, April et al.), the muted dialogue of the main narrative, the Shredder reveal, and a simply amazing "To Be Continued..." ending. Do you have any favourite issues in particular that you remember being a highlight to work on back then, or ones in which you are - even now - still proud/pleased with? What do you believe is the absolute pinnacle of your work with Kevin on the early Mirage comics (in regards to both storyline and artwork), and why?

    Again, thank you once again for your time and this opportunity, and I hope Dan passed on the silly sketch I did for you, heh. Best regards,
    James

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    Replies
    1. "JamesFeb 15, 2012 04:43 PM
      Thanks so much for answering my questions Peter! I have a few more if that's ok with you?

      1 - What did you think of the 3 minute fan-made "Fight The Foot" film that's proved very popular on youtube? Also, have you seen the fan-made Casey Jones movie and, if so, any comments?"

      I am always flattered when fans take the time and effort to create their own works based on the Turtles. That said, I was not too impressed with "Fight the Foot". It might better have been titled "Fight the Guys in Gas Masks". The briefly-seen Turtle costume was poorly designed (I hate it when people try to make the plastron look like musculature). But the lighting was nice.

      The "Casey Jones" movie, on the other hand, was pretty cool. I especially liked the attention to details form the comics like the mention of Northampton, Casey's cousin Sid, and Casey's mother calling him "Arnold". I was bemused by the appearance of yellow-jumpsuited April O'Neil, and Krang (I'm thinking the film might have been better served by leaving them out). The Foot ninja in this film actually looked like Foot ninja. And the Turtle costume was quite nice. The shots of Casey whaling away at the junk pile were very sweet. All in all, an impressive "labor of love".


      "2 - As a huge fan of your artwork, I'm always interested in noting how it changed and matured over the years. Do you have any pieces of art (either cover or interiors) that you're still especially satisfied with? And are there any that you wish you could change in hindsight, or that you're embarrassed about nowadays?"

      Yes, on both counts. But I am too tired right now to try to list a bunch of them. Maybe another time…

      "3 - Would you work with Kevin drawing together on, for example, a new cover for the IDW series (or some other small thing that would - temporarily - re-join your partnership) ONLY if he asked you personally?"

      I'm not opposed to it.

      "4 - My best-loved issue from the early Mirage years is the Leonardo one-shot: the action, the contrasting atmosphere (between Leonardo, and the rest of the brothers together with Splinter, April et al.), the muted dialogue of the main narrative, the Shredder reveal, and a simply amazing "To Be Continued..." ending. Do you have any favourite issues in particular that you remember being a highlight to work on back then, or ones in which you are - even now - still proud/pleased with? What do you believe is the absolute pinnacle of your work with Kevin on the early Mirage comics (in regards to both storyline and artwork), and why?"

      I also think the "Leonardo" one issue micro-series was one of our better efforts, but I think the zenith of our work together was the "Return to New York" three-issue arc. The story and the art all came together in a very satisfying way. I have a personal favorite, the "Donatello" one-issue micro series… and I loved doing the "Turtles in space" issues, with the Fugitoid. Those were SO much fun to do.

      "Again, thank you once again for your time and this opportunity, and I hope Dan passed on the silly sketch I did for you, heh. Best regards,
      James"

      I'm not sure if he did. What did it look like? -- PL

      Delete
    2. It kinda looked like a 4 year old had drawn a Turtle blindfolded, ha ha (it didn't have any fingers or legs because I find those bits difficult to draw). You kindly signed some books of mine with silver pen that I sent to Dan (issues 6, 7 and 10 I think) and I put the same identical sketch inside: one for you and one for Dan. I wasn't ever sure it'd ever get to you, and please don't think I sent it just because I wanted one back from you, or something like that! I was just showing my appreciation that you signed my comics for me :)

      Delete
  49. You have said there are some thing in the Fred Wolf toon you wished you didn't say yes to. What things are you talking about? BTW I'm not sure if you saw my question about why exactly you think the Turtles living in the Technodrome is silly. Because I posted it as a respond to an earlier comment.

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    1. "DanFeb 15, 2012 06:21 PM
      You have said there are some thing in the Fred Wolf toon you wished you didn't say yes to. What things are you talking about?"

      Basically, everything painfully silly and/or grossly stupid. One example which comes to mind was the "antique magnet" (not an old magnet, but a magnet which attracts antiques) which featured in one episode. And it wasn't just things we said yes to -- there were MANY things that Kevin and I said no to, and we were just ignored.

      "BTW I'm not sure if you saw my question about why exactly you think the Turtles living in the Technodrome is silly. Because I posted it as a respond to an earlier comment."

      It was basically because a giant, rolling, noisy eyesore like the Technodrome did not at all fit with the quiet, secretive, "Let's hide from public view" nature of the Turtles and Splinter. -- PL

      Delete
  50. Did you follow the Archie TMNT Adventure series when it was going? I know you drew some covers for it, but did you ever read it consistently?

    -Scott

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    1. "Did you follow the Archie TMNT Adventure series when it was going? I know you drew some covers for it, but did you ever read it consistently?

      -Scott"

      I must confess I did not. Someday, I hope to sit down and try to read all of them. -- PL

      Delete
  51. Hi Mr.Laird!

    Firstly, thank you for taking the time to answer all our questions. We all very much appreciate that!

    Now, for my questions:

    - We know what you think of the characters of the 4Kids Series, but I'd really like to know what your opinion is on the voices of the characters! My favorites are the voices of Leonardo and Shredder. What do you think of their voices?

    - Now, looking back, are there things you would like to change about the first few issues of the Mirage series?

    - What is your favorite incarnation of The Shredder?

    Again, thank you very much for answering all our questions!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Besides the original Mirage Shredder that is of course!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. TobTurnFeb 16, 2012 06:20 AM

      Hi Mr.Laird!

      Firstly, thank you for taking the time to answer all our questions. We all very much appreciate that!

      Now, for my questions:

      - We know what you think of the characters of the 4Kids Series, but I'd really like to know what your opinion is on the voices of the characters! My favorites are the voices of Leonardo and Shredder. What do you think of their voices?

      I liked them all. Frankly, I am not as picky as are many people regarding the voices. For example, I know a lot of fans were unhappy with the voice actors chosen to speak the lines for the original series Turtles in "Turtles Forever", but I thought they were fine.

      " - Now, looking back, are there things you would like to change about the first few issues of the Mirage series? "

      Not really. It might have been nice if we had been able to draw certain things a little bit better, but I think what we did n those books suited what our intentions were.
      Actually, let me add one caveat -- I wish we had had more practice with the Duo-Shade board. I think in those early issues we were a bit ham-handed with it.
      Oh, and one more thing -- I wish we had gone lighter with the snow in the "Michelangelo" One Issue Micro-Series.


      - What is your favorite incarnation of The Shredder?*

      Again, thank you very much for answering all our questions!

*Besides the original Mirage Shredder that is of course!"

      Aw, that was going to be my answer! Well, I guess then it would have to be the Shredder from the 4Kids series.

      And my LEAST favorite Shredder was the pathetic creature from "The Next Mutation" -- what a waste! -- PL

      Delete
    2. You mentioned that you have never even seen roughly half of the episodes of the original series, and didn't even know that they had lost the Technodrome at some point or gotten stuck in Dimension X. But didn't you and Kevin still have to read over every script before you approved it?

      Delete
  53. "DanFeb 16, 2012 09:04 AM
    You mentioned that you have never even seen roughly half of the episodes of the original series, and didn't even know that they had lost the Technodrome at some point or gotten stuck in Dimension X. But didn't you and Kevin still have to read over every script before you approved it?"

    That is the way is was supposed to work, and that's what we did for a while. But once it became clear that we were just going to be ignored, we stopped. As I have said before, if we'd been more hip to the way business is done, we quite possibly could have raised a stink and gotten listened to. But we weren't, and we didn't, sad to say. It WAS an educational experience, in any event. -- PL

    ReplyDelete
  54. A while back, in the volume 4 years, you were at a comics show (in Maine? Somewhere in New England anyway), doing turtle sketches. I said I loved the letter column, and asked for a Fugitoid sketch. You said you didn't normally do those, but since I liked the letter column, you'd make an exception! I still enjoy the sketch, and I still enjoy the story, so thanks for both.

    Also, I agree with you about the new TMNT comic. I don't know if I saw them reprinted in the book itself, or online, but Kevin's layouts for the pages have so much more energy than the final product. I wonder if it's partially the art that is really dragging things down. I dropped it after one issue, after having eagerly purchased every issue of volume 4 as it came out.

    I hope someday you jump back into making comic books in some role. I was very into your TMNT comics up until the end, and it wasn't due to nostalgia.

    I realize I haven't asked any questions yet. Read any good comics lately?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Nicholas BurgessFeb 16, 2012 10:08 AM
      A while back, in the volume 4 years, you were at a comics show (in Maine? Somewhere in New England anyway), doing turtle sketches. I said I loved the letter column, and asked for a Fugitoid sketch. You said you didn't normally do those, but since I liked the letter column, you'd make an exception! I still enjoy the sketch, and I still enjoy the story, so thanks for both."

      Nicholas, I vaguely remember that! I think it might have been New Comics Day in Rochester, NH. Of course, I could be wrong!

      "Also, I agree with you about the new TMNT comic. I don't know if I saw them reprinted in the book itself, or online, but Kevin's layouts for the pages have so much more energy than the final product. I wonder if it's partially the art that is really dragging things down. I dropped it after one issue, after having eagerly purchased every issue of volume 4 as it came out.

      I hope someday you jump back into making comic books in some role. I was very into your TMNT comics up until the end, and it wasn't due to nostalgia."

      I appreciate that.

      "I realize I haven't asked any questions yet. Read any good comics lately?"

      Really, the only comic I read these days is Stan Sakai's "Usagi Yojimbo"… and given that it's good every issue, then yeah -- I have read a good comic lately! -- PL

      Delete
  55. Hi Peter,

    I remember you guys from Sharon CT. I used to be a neighbor. I also worked as a printer at the
    Lakeville Journal. I helped print 3 comics books and delivered one right to your house in Silver Lake Shores. I have a press sheet 2-up on the cover of #3 I would love for you to sign it.
    I was just wondering where you are these days.

    Joe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Joe, nice to hear from you! Mention of the Lakeville Journal spurs memories of our time in Sharon, CT, and I have fond recollections of those days.

      We're now situated in Massachusetts, in the Pioneer Valley, Northampton area. Well, Kevin isn't anymore -- he's out in California. -- PL

      Delete
  56. Thank you for writing me back. I have been supervising the Printshop at The Hotchkiss School now for 26 years since leaving the Journal. I have two sons one in the Army and the other a Chinese major in College in NYC. They both grew up on Ninja Turtle everything movies, video games, comic books. We are now living in East Canaan. The log cabin is still in the Shores. We drive down once in awhile just to check out the old stomping ground. Congratulations on your success to both you and Kevin. I'll never forget the day I delivered the comic books to your house, you were very kind and were handing me turtle decals and stickers. I would love to have you Sign this press sheet for me. It is one of a kind. Something we would never part with.
    Thanks
    Joe

    ReplyDelete
  57. 1. How did your friendship with Stan Sakai actually begin? Was it that you were both fans of each others comics, and then met, or did it happen before?

    2. Back in the Volume 1 "guest writer" era, why were such wacky non-canon stories allowed to be published? I am talking about the stuff from Mark Martin and TomMcweeny. They were so ridiculous and off the wall that it made the Fred Wolf cartoon look like a serious drama in comparison.

    3. Did you think the Volume 2 color issues weren't a good fit? I liked the stories, but I am refering to them being colored. The only reason I ask is the series goes back to black and white for both Image and Volume 4.

    4. Over the years, it feels like writers tend to feel like a normal human Shredder isn't menacing enough anymore, so they tend to "power him up" in a way. Examples would be Utrom Shredder with all his exo armor in the 4kids series, Super Shredder from TMNT II, Demon Shredder, Cyber Shredder, I can only imagine what Nick might do.

    Do the writers really feel that a normal kick-ass human Shredder doesn't cut it in today's modern age? As much as I loved the 4kids take on Shredder, I really do miss the days when Shredder was just a normal badass human.

    -Scott

    ReplyDelete
  58. "1. How did your friendship with Stan Sakai actually begin? Was it that you were both fans of each others comics, and then met, or did it happen before?"

    As I recall, we had written to each other before we met for the first time in San Diego. It was a kind of mutual admiration thing -- I thought Stan's "Usagi Yojimbo" comic was great, and I think he liked TMNT.

    "2. Back in the Volume 1 "guest writer" era, why were such wacky non-canon stories allowed to be published? I am talking about the stuff from Mark Martin and TomMcweeny. They were so ridiculous and off the wall that it made the Fred Wolf cartoon look like a serious drama in comparison. "

    That's one of the things that -- if I had that time machine which has been mentioned previously -- I would try to change. Not delete those books from history, but publish them in a different way -- like in a separate "Alternate Tales of the TMNT" or something. We made a mistake putting them in the regular run of the Turtle comic, but that wasn't clear to us -- or maybe I should say ME, because I am not sure what Kevin's opinion is -- at the time.

    The reason they happened is that we wanted to keep to a regular publication schedule with the TMNT comic, but we just didn't have the time and energy to produce that many issues ourselves.


    "3. Did you think the Volume 2 color issues weren't a good fit? I liked the stories, but I am refering to them being colored. The only reason I ask is the series goes back to black and white for both Image and Volume 4."

    Although, ultimately, I prefer TMNT comics in black and white, I had no problem with the Volume 2 series being in color. It was an experiment.

    "4. Over the years, it feels like writers tend to feel like a normal human Shredder isn't menacing enough anymore, so they tend to "power him up" in a way. Examples would be Utrom Shredder with all his exo armor in the 4kids series, Super Shredder from TMNT II, Demon Shredder, Cyber Shredder, I can only imagine what Nick might do.

    Do the writers really feel that a normal kick-ass human Shredder doesn't cut it in today's modern age? As much as I loved the 4kids take on Shredder, I really do miss the days when Shredder was just a normal badass human.

    -Scott"

    There does seem to be that tendency, but it doesn't really seem to be that way in the comics, for some reason. When you get into the animation realm, you have to remember that that is also closely linked to toys, and the more variations you can establish for a main character like the Shredder, the more toys can be produced and sold. -- PL

    ReplyDelete
  59. Hi Peter,

    First of all, I'd just like to tell you how much I appreciate the time and effort you still give to your fans (these Q&A sessions as a perfect example), even long after the property has been sold. Though some fans have criticized your frankness at times, I know it can be a fine line between sincere honesty and arrogance. It's refreshing to me to see someone really try to engage with his fans rather than falling back on calculated "safe" responses. While I may not always agree with your opinions (sometimes that seems to be other people's goal, doesn't it?), I admire that they are typically thoughtful, earnest, and respectful.

    Okay, enough ass-kissing, here are some questions. I'm a big admirer of Bruce Timm (aside from TMNT and its creators, of course), so I thought I'd ask you some related questions. Plus, everyone already took the good questions!

    1) What are your thoughts on Bruce Timm's body of work? Primarily his comic art, animated series such as Batman, Superman, and Justice League, and ongoing DC animated movies? I know you're more of a Marvel guy...

    2) Bruce has, over the years, kind of pushed the boundaries of "acceptable mature serious animated works" to the point where he is now producing DC animated movies which are a standard PG-13 with its fair share of swearing, blood and violence. I think shows like Young Justice and ThunderCats, owe a lot to people like Bruce raising the bar in the 90's. Do you think the turtles could be a part of this trend where you could get away with a mature level akin to early Mirage in an animated or movie format? Would you even be interested in seeing the turtles adapted this way, or do you prefer reserving that version for the comics? Or perhaps at this point in your life, the 4Kids version is as "gritty" as you would care to see them now?

    3) Have you ever met Bruce Timm and/or considered a collaboration in animation?

    4) Was there ever a point where you and Kevin wanted to cut down on the licensing so that it was kept at a manageable level and you two could continue drawing the comics? Or was it simply too exciting to see the turtles take over the world, if you will? With all the legal and business complications, extrapolated by its unbelievable popularity, it's astonishing that you and Kevin are even still sane!

    5) What kind of music do you like? Particular genres or bands/artists? I'm a huge fan of 80's punk and hardcore stuff, and with the turtles' indie/underground gritty roots, it just always felt like a perfect marriage! Newer iterations, not so much, naturally.

    6) What do you think of Frank Miller's more current work (Dark Knight Strikes Again to present) compared to his heyday in the 80's?

    7) Now that you have little interest in comics these days, what do you fill your day with? Movies? Gardening? Blogging?

    Thanks!
    Byron

    P.S. I'm sure it's all very personal and complicated, so I won't get into it, but I'd just like to say I hope things between you and Kevin get smoothed out one day (if not already), if for no other reason other than the fact that I'm a very sentimental person that hates to see difficulty between friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Byron YueFeb 17, 2012 09:56 AM
      Hi Peter,

      First of all, I'd just like to tell you how much I appreciate the time and effort you still give to your fans (these Q&A sessions as a perfect example), even long after the property has been sold. Though some fans have criticized your frankness at times, I know it can be a fine line between sincere honesty and arrogance. It's refreshing to me to see someone really try to engage with his fans rather than falling back on calculated "safe" responses. While I may not always agree with your opinions (sometimes that seems to be other people's goal, doesn't it?), I admire that they are typically thoughtful, earnest, and respectful.

      Okay, enough ass-kissing, here are some questions."

      I have to stop you right there for just a moment. Lately I've seen a number of examples of what I consider a pretty strange attitude about giving someone a compliment, like you just did here for me… and then describing it as "ass kissing". I don't get this. Maybe the definition of "ass kissing" has changed, but it always meant to me an extremely fawning, obsequious, over-the-top level of praise, a goodly amount of which was fake, and always done with the intention and hope of getting something in return. What you did in your first paragraph doesn't even approach that, in my opinion.

      That being said, I thank you for your kind words about my efforts here. I do try -- perhaps not always with as much success as I would like -- to be "thoughtful, earnest, and respectful".


      " I'm a big admirer of Bruce Timm (aside from TMNT and its creators, of course), so I thought I'd ask you some related questions. Plus, everyone already took the good questions!

      1) What are your thoughts on Bruce Timm's body of work? Primarily his comic art, animated series such as Batman, Superman, and Justice League, and ongoing DC animated movies? I know you're more of a Marvel guy…"

      I'm not that familiar with his body of work, unlike some of the other guys here at Mirage. But what I have seen I have liked. I admire his clean drawing style.

      And I am not sure if I am really "more of a Marvel guy" -- I'm curious why you think that.


      "2) Bruce has, over the years, kind of pushed the boundaries of "acceptable mature serious animated works" to the point where he is now producing DC animated movies which are a standard PG-13 with its fair share of swearing, blood and violence. I think shows like Young Justice and ThunderCats, owe a lot to people like Bruce raising the bar in the 90's. Do you think the turtles could be a part of this trend where you could get away with a mature level akin to early Mirage in an animated or movie format? Would you even be interested in seeing the turtles adapted this way, or do you prefer reserving that version for the comics? Or perhaps at this point in your life, the 4Kids version is as "gritty" as you would care to see them now?"

      At this point in my life, I don't really have much of an opinion on the matter… except to say that it would be interesting to see an adaptation of the TMNT done in a PG-13 style (which I think roughly corresponds to what we were doing with the early issues of the MIrage TMNT comics). Ratings don't concern me particularly -- story content does, and as long as it is a good story well told, I could be happy with a PG-rated TMNT production.

      "3) Have you ever met Bruce Timm and/or considered a collaboration in animation?"

      No and no... although if Mr. Timm ever felt like doing something like that and contacted me, I would certainly consider it, not to mention be flattered that he asked.

      Delete
    2. 4) Was there ever a point where you and Kevin wanted to cut down on the licensing so that it was kept at a manageable level and you two could continue drawing the comics? Or was it simply too exciting to see the turtles take over the world, if you will? With all the legal and business complications, extrapolated by its unbelievable popularity, it's astonishing that you and Kevin are even still sane!"

      Are we? I hope so. In truth , things were happening at such a rapid clip that we didn't have much time to really look at the big picture and strategize how we'd prefer things to go. Our lack of experience in all those things didn't help matters, either. It was exciting to see the Turtles explode the way they did, and that was a big part of what swept us along.

      "5) What kind of music do you like? Particular genres or bands/artists? I'm a huge fan of 80's punk and hardcore stuff, and with the turtles' indie/underground gritty roots, it just always felt like a perfect marriage! Newer iterations, not so much, naturally."

      With very few exceptions, I still listen to the music I listened to in my twenties -- Beatles, Dylan, Byrds, Cream, James Taylor, Buffalo Springfield, CSNY, some Motown.

      "6) What do you think of Frank Miller's more current work (Dark Knight Strikes Again to present) compared to his heyday in the 80's?"

      I really liked Miller's work on Daredevil, and thought the first "Dark Knight" series was great. I thought the second "Dark Knight" series was atrocious, with some of the worst coloring I've ever seen. I never got into his "Sin City" stuff, though I have to say some of the art from it that I have seen in various places has some very cool use of black and white. I tried to watch that movie version of "The Spirit" he directed, but couldn't get past the first five minutes. Ugh. I haven't looked at his latest effort, "Holy Terror", but friends have told me I shouldn't waste my time. So I probably won't.

      "7) Now that you have little interest in comics these days, what do you fill your day with? Movies? Gardening? Blogging?"

      Reading, watching movies and TV series on DVD, walking, thinking, blogging, riding my bicycle, spending time with my wife and various friends, occasionally drawing. And making big fruit salads.

      "Thanks!
      Byron"

      You're welcome.

      "P.S. I'm sure it's all very personal and complicated, so I won't get into it, but I'd just like to say I hope things between you and Kevin get smoothed out one day (if not already), if for no other reason other than the fact that I'm a very sentimental person that hates to see difficulty between friends."

      It's nice of you to say that, and I think it is certainly possible. We'll see. -- PL

      Delete
    3. Hey thanks for the reply! As for the "ass-kissing" remark, I made it with tongue-in-cheek and self-deprecation in mind; silly humor to mask my self-consciousness. A lot of people do do that, and it's probably just a lazy attempt at modesty. D'oh!

      Also, the Marvel guy remark was made simply because I've read you write more often about Marvel stuff, and it does seem to fit more with what appear to be your tastes. I guess it was presumptuous of me. D'oh again! Naturally I'm sure you'll read whatever is good. Which obviously isn't the new Frank Millee stuff. Such a shame. Oh how the mighty have fallen!!

      Delete
    4. Byron YueFeb 17, 2012 03:33 PM

      "Also, the Marvel guy remark was made simply because I've read you write more often about Marvel stuff, and it does seem to fit more with what appear to be your tastes. I guess it was presumptuous of me. D'oh again! Naturally I'm sure you'll read whatever is good."

      Byron, maybe I am more of a "Marvel guy" than a "DC guy"… it's hard for me to tell. While I think I have probably read more Marvel comics than DC comics over the years, it's probably not that many more. It's true that the biggest single influence on me in terms of how I approach writing and drawing comics -- the work of Jack Kirby -- was something I first found in copies of second-hand Marvel comics I bought in a local bookstore in North Adams when I was a kid… but then again, it was Kirby's work at DC after he'd left Marvel in the 1970's and created the "Fourth World" books and others like "The Demon" which really pushed me over the edge and made me determined to someday so SOMETHING in the world of comic books. -- PL

      Delete
  60. I'm curious what Mr.Stan thought about Usagi's first appearance in animation? And was he kind of sad there wasn't more in the first series?

    As someone who is really looking for a team of artists he can gel with (and can afford) to get a self published comic going, here is a question. How did you distribute that first comic? through conventions? Or did you have deals with comic shops to sell it? Out of the three ideas I've had, the scripts come most easily with this one. But curious about the whole process after it comes back from the printer.

    ReplyDelete
  61. "Neil VitaleFeb 17, 2012 02:57 PM
    I'm curious what Mr.Stan thought about Usagi's first appearance in animation? And was he kind of sad there wasn't more in the first series?"

    Neil, I'm pretty sure Stan got a kick out of Usagi appearing in the first TMNT Tv series, though I am not sure if he was sad that Usagi didn't appear in more episodes of that series. I am pretty sure he enjoyed Usagi's appearance in the 4Kids series a lot more, as did I. I think it was a more accurate portrayal of the character than in the first series.

    "As someone who is really looking for a team of artists he can gel with (and can afford) to get a self published comic going, here is a question. How did you distribute that first comic? through conventions? Or did you have deals with comic shops to sell it? Out of the three ideas I've had, the scripts come most easily with this one. But curious about the whole process after it comes back from the printer."

    With the caveat that it was almost twenty-eight years ago, and things are certainly somewhat different these days, here's how we did it: We contacted the various direct-market comics distributors with samples of the comic, and they ordered quantities at their wholesale rates (I think it was 60% of cover price). We shipped those quantities to their warehouses, and they distributed them to their client comic shops.

    I suppose it might be possible for a publisher to go directly to the comic shops to sell a book, but it would undoubtedly be a lot more work. -- PL

    ReplyDelete
  62. Another question, Peter: What, if any, were the influences when developing Karai? She's a great character and she seems oddly familiar, though I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe Elektra?

    Also, back to the "Marvel/DC" thing, I haven't seen you talk about indie or underground comics as influences in anything I've read, whereas I've read Kevin Eastman talking about Rich Corben, Vaughn Bode, Heavy Metal, and all this other more alternative stuff. Were there any indie/underground comic book influences with you, and if so, could talk about that a little bit?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Byron YueFeb 17, 2012 09:03 PM
      Another question, Peter: What, if any, were the influences when developing Karai? She's a great character and she seems oddly familiar, though I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe Elektra?"

      Although I don't recall being specifically inspired by Electra when we created Karai, I suspect there is some connection.

      "Also, back to the "Marvel/DC" thing, I haven't seen you talk about indie or underground comics as influences in anything I've read, whereas I've read Kevin Eastman talking about Rich Corben, Vaughn Bode, Heavy Metal, and all this other more alternative stuff. Were there any indie/underground comic book influences with you, and if so, could talk about that a little bit?"

      I was certainly influenced by underground and independent comics, but more for their "anything goes" spirit than specific writing and/or drawing inspiration. I do remember being very taken with a variety of underground comics creators' work -- people like S. Clay Wilson, GIlbert Shelton, Dave Sheridan, Robert Crumb, Rand Holmes, Sheri Flenniken, Gahan WIlson, and others whose names I can't recall at the moment. Reading those comics also very likely gave me a greater appreciation for what could be done with black and white in comics. -- PL

      Delete
  63. mr laird

    I wanted to ask this after mikey who was created next or were they all created at the same time.

    Thomas
    P.S my favorite turtle is Raph

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "mr laird

      I wanted to ask this after mikey who was created next or were they all created at the same time.

      Thomas
      P.S my favorite turtle is Raph"

      Thomas, the first Ninja Turtle to be drawn was the one that Kevin did, and that one had nunchakus strapped to his forearms, so I guess you could say Mikey was created first.

      Of course, he did not at that point have a name… and it wasn't until later -- later that day, I think -- that Kevin did a "group shot" drawing in pencil which I then inked, and that one featured four "Ninja Turtles", as Kevin was calling them then, all still without individual names.

      They didn't become "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" until I suggested adding the words "Teenage Mutant" to Kevin's "Ninja Turtles"… and they didn't get their individual names until we created the comic book a short time after that.

      So that's the long answer. The short answer is that the other three were created at the same time, after the first one was created. Hope that helps! -- PL

      Delete
  64. Back in the early/mid 2000's, I remember seeing posts about Mirage pushing for some sort of TMNT/Spiderman crossover with Marvel.

    Was there any truth to this, or was this just a fandom rumor that got out of control? Any details on why Marvel would be interested or am I misremembering things?

    -Scott

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    Replies
    1. I know Kevin and I talked at various times about how fun it would be to do stories featuring some of our favorite Marvel and/or DC characters with the Turtles, but I don't think it ever went beyond that. But I do have a vague memory about Steve Murphy looking into doing a Spider-Man crossover.

      As for why Marvel might be interested in such a thing?

      Let's see... fun, publicity, money. How's that?

      Of course, I have no idea if they ever were interested. It's quite possible they were not.

      -- PL

      Delete
  65. heres another in the new series will there be any more big fights between Raph and leo like what was seen in TMNT.

    ReplyDelete
  66. "tgd84Feb 18, 2012 11:44 AM
    heres another in the new series will there be any more big fights between Raph and leo like what was seen in TMNT."

    I have no idea. -- PL

    ReplyDelete
  67. would there ever be a possible sequel to turtles forever in the near future cause i remember karai hinting that the shredder would return. also would it be possible to get a picture of raph

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I doubt there will ever be a sequel to "Turtles Forever", but I could be wrong. -- PL

      Delete
  68. Hi Peter, got another question!

    Within the collaborative TMNT works with Kevin, what were some unused story or character ideas? Any that ended up being used later down the road? It'd be interesting if some of those discarded concepts ended up in the IDW series!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I have written about a few such things from time to time on this blog, but at the moment I can't think of any. -- PL

      Delete
  69. where did the running gag of hitting mikey in the head come from, in the last series i thought it was funny, also looking at how raph was potrayed in both the original series and the 2003 series, why was he potrayed as a wise guy in the original series instead of his usual hotheaded self.
    also would be possible to get a picture of raph.
    thomas

    ReplyDelete
  70. "tgd84Feb 18, 2012 08:15 PM
    where did the running gag of hitting mikey in the head come from, in the last series i thought it was funny"

    I'm not sure how that started -- probably it was because Mike could be kind of irritating, and Raphael (who is not one to restrain himself, generally speaking) would whap him. Obviously, it was never done to really injure Mike, just get his attention.

    ", also looking at how raph was potrayed in both the original series and the 2003 series, why was he portrayed as a wise guy in the original series instead of his usual hotheaded self."

    Not really sure about that, but I suspect it was because at that time, a "good guy" with anger management issues might not have seemed like a great idea in a kids show.

    "also would be possible to get a picture of raph.
    thomas"

    If you are asking about getting a sketch of Raphael from me, I generally don't do that these days, except at comic conventions and store signings. -- PL

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    Replies
    1. And I should add that even then, I typically don't do full-body Turtle sketches, but do head sketches instead. Occasionally, I will do a full-body sketch, but I usually avoid that because it takes too much time. -- PL

      Delete
  71. on facebook im playing that sims social, and my sims name is oroku saki thought id pay homage, plus im doing a crossover story for my seminar class that features the turtles from the 2003 series and batman.

    ReplyDelete
  72. JamesFeb 15, 2012 04:43 PM

    "Again, thank you once again for your time and this opportunity, and I hope Dan passed on the silly sketch I did for you, heh. Best regards,
    James"

    I'm not sure if he did. What did it look like? -- PL

    JamesFeb 18, 2012 02:58 PM

    "It kinda looked like a 4 year old had drawn a Turtle blindfolded, ha ha (it didn't have any fingers or legs because I find those bits difficult to draw). You kindly signed some books of mine with silver pen that I sent to Dan (issues 6, 7 and 10 I think) and I put the same identical sketch inside: one for you and one for Dan. I wasn't ever sure it'd ever get to you, and please don't think I sent it just because I wanted one back from you, or something like that! I was just showing my appreciation that you signed my comics for me :)"

    ReplyDelete
  73. hi peter

    do you perhaps remember a drawing that was a real pain in the behind to ink or to pencil in the first place out of all your comics work?...like was there any picture that you wanted to do but the gods know why just couldn't bring down on paper?if so would you mind sharing that with us?
    do you still sometimes feel like draing dinosaurs?;)
    last question(okay a two parter...)
    is there a most wonderful memory for you personally in your comics career?maybe did you and kevin get to know jack kirby a little better or perhaps seeing the tons of boxes filled with your first comic?...
    what is your favourite memory about volume four turtles comics?

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    1. "cool rayFeb 19, 2012 04:37 PM
      hi peter

      do you perhaps remember a drawing that was a real pain in the behind to ink or to pencil in the first place out of all your comics work?...like was there any picture that you wanted to do but the gods know why just couldn't bring down on paper?if so would you mind sharing that with us?"

      Nothing really stands out in my memory right now. There were some small things, like inking all those darn bricks in the sewer walls in the first part of "Return to New York"… inking zombies in TMNT #8 (fortunately we had MIke Dooney helping us out on that one)… and trying to keep all those drawings of Utrom exoskeletons constant from panel to panel in those early issues featuring the TCRI aliens. But nothing really horrible springs to mind. Maybe I just need to ruminate on that question a while.

      "do you still sometimes feel like drawing dinosaurs?;)"

      Occasionally.

      "last question(okay a two parter...)
      is there a most wonderful memory for you personally in your comics career?maybe did you and kevin get to know jack kirby a little better or perhaps seeing the tons of boxes filled with your first comic?…"

      One of my fondest memories comes from when we were planning to do the "Donatello One-Issue Mirco-Series". I'd plotted and laid out a story featuring Jack Kirby as a character, but of course we weren't going to do it without his approval. So I found his mailing address somehow (I think Steve Bissette may have given it to me) and I sent Jack copies of the entire book in layout form, along with a letter explaining what Kevin and I wanted to do, and telling him that we would like to split the profits on the book 50/50 with him.

      I think it was about a week later the phone rang in my house, and it was freaking' Jack Kirby! I was so thrilled -- I probably sounded like the geeky starstruck fanboy I was. But Jack was very nice, and he was happy to let us use him as a character in the book. He just had two caveats -- first, he wanted us to keep all the profits on the book (though he thanked us for making the offer to share profits with him), and second, he wanted us to remove the cigar I'd drawn the Kirby character with (a cigar being a sort of Kirby "trademark" in all or most of the portraits I'd seen of him over the years), because he'd kicked the habit some time earlier, and he didn't think it was a good thing to have characters smoking (I think he said something about it being a bad influence on kids).

      When I got off the phone with him a few minutes later, I jumped in the car and blasted up to Kevin's apartment to tell him about that call. What a great day!


      "what is your favourite memory about volume four turtles comics?"

      I think the my favorite memory was just starting the whole thing. I was excited once more about working on Turtles, for a number of reasons, and excited to be doing comics once again. -- PL

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  74. wow, that FEELS like it was a great day for you even from your memory!than you for sharing this with us...last year I finally got my copy of kirby:king of comics from mark evanier and I think it draws a good picture of the man, of the character jack has been...one thing I always liked about him was that he stayed innovative and thoughtfull, imaginative his whole career, well his whole life span that is then....
    oh, I wanted to ask if you and kevin had any explanation in mind to how the tcri aliens controled these exeskeletons?because seeing krang in his android body maneuvering this robot from his belly all the time seemed a little exhaustng to my eyes;)but the utroms don't even use any joysticks etc....please note that such things are no real headscratchers to me, I was just curious if you had worked on that idea ever?

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  75. "cool rayFeb 20, 2012 01:23 AM
    wow, that FEELS like it was a great day for you even from your memory!than you for sharing this with us...last year I finally got my copy of kirby:king of comics from mark evanier and I think it draws a good picture of the man, of the character jack has been...one thing I always liked about him was that he stayed innovative and thoughtfull, imaginative his whole career, well his whole life span that is then…."

    I only had a few interactions with Jack Kirby, but each time he was such a wonderful, down-to-earth, humble person.

    "oh, I wanted to ask if you and kevin had any explanation in mind to how the tcri aliens controled these exeskeletons?because seeing krang in his android body maneuvering this robot from his belly all the time seemed a little exhaustng to my eyes;)but the utroms don't even use any joysticks etc....please note that such things are no real headscratchers to me, I was just curious if you had worked on that idea ever?"

    That's one of those incidental details that we never really talked about… and in all honesty, I never gave it a lot of thought, beyond the basics -- that this technology was so advanced, they could very well have been controlling the exoskeletons with their minds through some highly sophisticated brain/machine interface, possibly via surfaces within the "stomach" cavity of the exoskeleton which would press against them and make the link.

    I suppose there could be some other functions -- or maybe "backup" functions -- which could be controlled physically by the Utroms through use of their tentacles. -- PL

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  76. After the eps finished, was there anything in the 4kids series you particularly didn't like? I am talking about after the scripts were all done and the eps were aired. I know you had them extend the ending of The King to how Don's sadness of losing Kirby.

    Basically what I am asking is were there any particular episodes you didn't like or characters that were created that you didn't care for?

    Lastly would you have loved to see 4kids adapt some Volume 4 material of the show lasted maybe one season more?

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    1. "After the eps finished, was there anything in the 4kids series you particularly didn't like? I am talking about after the scripts were all done and the eps were aired. I know you had them extend the ending of The King to how Don's sadness of losing Kirby."



      The ending of the episode "The King" was particularly important to me for a couple of reasons. I felt that story needed that bit of poignancy at the end, much as the original comic book story (upon which it was based) had. And that line -- "Life at best is bittersweet" -- is a quote from Kirby's "New Gods" character Darkseid, in the last issue of "Mister MIracle" that Kirby wrote and drew… and I always loved that line, for some reason. So tweaking that episode was worth the extra effort and expense to me.

 I can't really think of any episode that stands out as extremely unsatisfying. Sure, there were always some shortcuts in the animation that I wish had not been taken, but were necessary due to budget and time constraints. And some episodes read better on paper than they ended up being on screen. 

Honestly, it's been long enough that I have forgotten the specifics of a lot of the episodes. Unlike some dedicated fans, many -- probably most -- of those episodes I only watched once. I should probably go back and watch them all over again some day.

      

"Basically what I am asking is were there any particular episodes you didn't like or characters that were created that you didn't care for? 

Lastly would you have loved to see 4kids adapt some Volume 4 material of the show lasted maybe one season more?"

      

That could have been fun, though I am not sure how well that would have worked. -- PL

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  77. what was the idea behind making the shredder an utrom in the last series, because that caught me off guard, and could that be possible in the new series as well
    thomas

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    1. I sort of answered the first part of your question earlier in an answer to "Dan" -- here's a relevant quote from that answer:

      "I knew Lloyd and his crew would be coming up with some new and cool ideas, and part of the fun for me was trying to integrate those ideas with MY new ideas AND the original Mirage stories. I think it worked quite successfully. For example, turning the Shredder into an Utrom was a fun way to bring two major elements of the Turtles' origin story together in a unique way."

      As for whether the Shredder could possibly be an Utrom in the new Nick series, I suppose it's possible, but I seriously doubt it. Just so it's clear, I have nothing to do with the new series. -- PL

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  78. i got one suggestion for the upcoming movie, in terms of the cast, have denis leary as raph, because he already has the anger, would this be a good idea for raph

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  79. uhm, I'm going to be nice here because you could be a young fan, but tgd84, you do realize that peter sold the franchise and has no control and could probably care less about what happens, right?

    back to on topic stuff....something I was thinking about after reading another interview. After all the things that have happened over the past 25 years, the stress, the aggravation, the down right weirdness... would you say you're in a better place now than you where 25 years ago? If you couldn't alter history, Would you do it all over again knowing what was ahead of you?

    Also, everyone who ever has come in contact with him doesn't really speak any good about Fred wolf. The guy seems to be such a control freak that they even joked about it in his own show 'Who do you think you are, a cartoon producer?' Was the guy as...whacky I guess is the word... as these interviews are making him seem? Who in their right mind would sue the creators for 50% of profits for pete's sake? :)

    NTV

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  80. "Neil VitaleFeb 21, 2012 10:41 AM
    uhm, I'm going to be nice here because you could be a young fan, but tgd84, you do realize that peter sold the franchise and has no control and could probably care less about what happens, right?"

    Neil, thanks for pointing that out, but I must take issue with something that you said -- actually, with something that I think you MEANT to say, but used the wrong word (a common error). I think you meant to say that I "COULDN'T… care less", implying that it doesn't matter to me at all what happens with the Turtles.

    That's not EXACTLY true. It IS true that I certainly DON'T care as much as I used to… but I don't think there will ever come a time when I have no concern about how the characters are treated. I doubt I will be losing sleep over it, but I am somewhat concerned.
    



    "back to on topic stuff....something I was thinking about after reading another interview. After all the things that have happened over the past 25 years, the stress, the aggravation, the down right weirdness... would you say you're in a better place now than you where 25 years ago?"

    That's a difficult question to answer. The short answer is -- in some way, yes; in other ways, no. Or are you asking me if I believe I am in a better place now, having had the Turtles happen, than I would be had they never happened at all? That's even harder to answer. Impossible, really. Having given it significant thought over the last few years, I think that there would very likely be some areas of my life which would be richer and more satisfying.

    "If you couldn't alter history, Would you do it all over again knowing what was ahead of you? "

    If I am understanding your question, you are asking if I would want to relive the last twenty-five years as a powerless observer, unable to do anything to change the course of events… just watch them happen. Aside from the obvious pleasures of reliving some of those years of my relative youth, I think that going through that again with no ability to intervene would be maddening -- tortuous, really. If it were possible to write stuff down as it was happening -- something I wish I'd done more of -- I think I might be able to bear watching it all happen again. But if everything had to play out exactly as it did, then I guess I'd say no.

    

"Also, everyone who ever has come in contact with him doesn't really speak any good about Fred wolf. The guy seems to be such a control freak that they even joked about it in his own show 'Who do you think you are, a cartoon producer?' Was the guy as...whacky I guess is the word... as these interviews are making him seem? Who in their right mind would sue the creators for 50% of profits for pete's sake? :)"

    I can't really say much about Fred Wolf and whether anyone who has worked with him has anything good to say about him. I don't know if he qualifies as "whacky". I do know that I had problems with him, and derived no great pleasure from my association with him and his company. I am grateful that he produced a show which helped to make the Turtles hugely successful in the mass market, but I think there could have been any number of different animation houses which could have done as good a job or better.

    The less said about the preposterous lawsuit, the better. A very low point, it was. -- PL

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  81. As it seems others have sent you their own "fan works" it occurred to me to send you my own. You know my feelings about the Image series/Vol. 3, and you may or may not have heard of my own continuation/conclusion of those stories in a 2 issue conclusion (TMNT #24 and TMNT #25) with some involvement from various creators including Gary and Frank themselves from Image. If you would privately send me your shipping address to devilbanex@yahoo.com, I would be more than happy to mail you a copy of each one.

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  82. are the triceratons suppose to be based on a real triceratops, because i work for jack horner who is doing research on triceratops, the triceratons look like the large juvenile triceratops based on the horns. i could imagine what a triceraton would look like if had the horns of a full adult.

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    1. Obviously, the Triceratons are based on the Triceratops dinosaurs of our distant past. But the key idea there is "based on" -- I took the key elements which we identify with Triceratops (the bony frill, the two long horns and the shorter nasal horn) and used them in the design. -- PL

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  83. Pete, I guess i should have clarified that one question: If you could relive the past 25 years, and knowing what was about to happen, would you still go through with it all, knowing you couldn't change the events themselves....or would you choose to take a different course in life?

    In the hopes of one day making my creation even 1/3rd as popular, I wonder if anyone who wants to create something will ever be ready for the madness if it gets lucky enough to go somewhere and get big :)

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  84. "Neil VitaleFeb 23, 2012 07:09 AM
    Pete, I guess i should have clarified that one question: If you could relive the past 25 years, and knowing what was about to happen, would you still go through with it all, knowing you couldn't change the events themselves....or would you choose to take a different course in life? "

    Neil, that's a really tough question to answer, but as I said earlier in my original response to Stephan's question:

    "I think that if Emily [our daughter] had never existed, and it was possible to do what you suggest -- go back and "stop it all from happening" -- I would seriously consider it. In fact, I would almost certainly do it.

But I can assure you that I would spend a LOT of time looking at that time machine and thinking it over before pushing the "Go Back" button. -- PL

    Really, it is just a "thought experiment"… but the thing I keep coming back to is that in this purely hypothetical idea, there has already been a timeline or universe in which I went forward -- with Kevin -- and did the TMNT. That world existed, and the good and bad of it existed. Those people for who the TMNT were important HAD them in their lives i that universe.

    So why WOULDN'T I want a chance to see what would have happened if I hadn't gone forward with the TMNT? I get to relive all those years, and see what might have been… and who ever gets that opportunity?

    Now here's another wrinkle -- what if, though I pick the "other path", I still remember what happened in THIS timeline, wherein I co-created the Turtles and all that stuff that happened, happened? How would THAT feel? I think it would be pretty weird.

    But I don't think I would want to live in a world in which Emily had never been born. -- PL

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  85. i work for the museum of the rockies and its cool to see a triceratops in the turtles series, because we have alot of those here, the triceratons look like the large juvenile version of triceratops, based on the two brow horns, which is a growth series, would it be possible to redesign the triceratons to look more like the full adult triceratops which have forward facing brow horns and a stumping nasal horn. Thomas

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    1. I'm not sure I understand some of your terms -- "growth series", "stumping nasal horn". In any event, the look of the Triceratons were never meant to be associated with any particular growth stage of the Triceratops, though I suppose it is possible to draw them with the look you suggest. I like them the way they are, actually. -- PL

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  86. Hey Pete!

    Quick question...

    1) Did you or Kevin ever have plans concerning what happens to Mikey in the future? It seems like the other three Turtles got "future" spotlight in Tales or in the main title, but Mikey's was slim.

    Thanks!
    -Matthew

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    1. I think we did discuss Mike's future a little bit, and if I am remembering correctly, he became a sitcom writer in Hollywood.

      No, seriously. -- PL

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    2. Heh, awesome! Thanks Pete!

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  87. someone told me this the other day that raph's personality is suppose to resemble wolverine's from x men, i do notice some similarites,is that true

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    1. I think it is safe to say that the character of Wolverine had an influence on how we wrote Raphael in the TMNT comics. In fact, the way Kevin would often draw Raphael holding his sai with two fingers tucked into the spaces between the center prong and the side guards, you can almost see Wolverine's three claws. -- PL

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  88. where did the concept of having pizza as the turtles main food come from, in the original series it was well noted,in the last series it was played down alot, thomas

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    1. The pizza thing was conceived when the first TV show and toyline were in the planning stages -- it was thought that giving the Turtles this particular food craving would make them seem more like teenagers.

      It was cute and funny at first, but it got really overdone as time went on. That's one of the reasons I made sure it didn't play much of a part in the second series. -- PL

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  89. here's one... what's your thought on the 'multi verse'? Good idea, or cheap gimmick to make up for bad writing?

    I'm looking at the new 52, and they are ALREADY introducing paralel earths, despite the fact that we just started following one with the reboot. almost like the writers are saying 'OK, after 50+ years, we are out of ideas!' ;)

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    1. I think it can be a great thing when used properly, and a big part of that is not OVERusing it. -- PL

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  90. where did the idea for the coming out of their shells thing come from, because i remember that was a big hit in the 90s, i used to have it on tape, would there ever be a chance of it come out on dvd soon.

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    1. "tgd84Feb 27, 2012 07:33 PM
      where did the idea for the coming out of their shells thing come from, because
      remember that was a big hit in the 90s, i used to have it on tape, would there ever
      be a chance of it come out on dvd soon."

      As I replied to "rufuswr" -- who asked a similar question -- earlier:



      That tour came about near the height of Turtlemania, as I recall, but I don't remember exactly HOW. I suppose someone felt it could be a fun and moneymaking proposition, and I think it succeeded on both counts. I went to see it at Radio City Music Hall in New York, and while it was somewhat silly, and the costumes were not the greatest, I felt much of the music was catchy.

      As for if it might come out on DVD soon -- I have no idea! I am no longer involved with any of that. -- PL

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  91. Hi Peter: How are you? Question: How old are the TMNT? Is Hamato their family name since Master Splinter was Hamato Yoshi's pet? Just curious.

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  92. "margui118Feb 27, 2012 11:57 PM
    Hi Peter: How are you?"

    Pretty well, thanks.

    "Question: How old are the TMNT?"

    That depends. When we did the first issue of the original comic book, I think we considered them to be around fifteen years old. When I started Volume 4 of the comics in 2001, I had it in my mind that they were in their early thirties. In both animated TV series, I believe they were meant to be in their teens. I have no idea how old they are supposed to be in the upcoming TV show.

    "Is Hamato their family name since Master Splinter was Hamato Yoshi's pet? Just curious."

    We did use that idea in one or two episodes of the 2003 series, and I think it works well. So, yes. -- PL

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    1. Thank you so much for answering my questions. My doubts about the boys' ages is clarified now. I didn't notice that you use Hamato as their last name and I saw the entire 2003 show. Do you remember the episodes' names? I have to watch them again.

      According to Nickelodeon, the boys will be teens again. I don't know if they will be in their early, mid or late teens. April will be their same age. If they grow up the name TMNT would be MNT without the first T.

      According to the director of the 2007 TMNT movie, the boys were 18 or 19 years old. What is your opinion about this movie?

      Delete
  93. im trying to get my friend in to the turtle craze, because he missed out on the original series as well as the 3 movies that came out in the 90s, i thought why not start with the comics and work his way up, do you where i can find copies of issue 1 in original print, cause id like to start him with that, also i noticed this, the guy who did the music for the original series is the producer of another show that i watch two and a half men Chuck lorre, i found that just weird, its like a part of my past has come back so to speak.
    Thomas

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  94. "tgd84Feb 28, 2012 07:20 AM
    im trying to get my friend in to the turtle craze, because he missed out on the original series as well as the 3 movies that came out in the 90s, i thought why not start with the comics and work his way up, do you where i can find copies of issue 1 in original print, cause id like to start him with that, also i noticed this, the guy who did the music for the original series is the producer of another show that i watch two and a half men Chuck lorre, i found that just weird, its like a part of my past has come back so to speak.
Thomas"

    Thomas, I think first printing of the original first issue of TMNT are pretty expensive -- in the range of five or six thousand dollars for mint copies. But a much more attainable version can be had -- along with some of the other original stories -- in the beautiful hardcover collection IDW put out recently. Below is a link to it on amazon.com. -- PL

    http://www.amazon.com/Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles-Collection/dp/1613770073/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1330451924&sr=1-1

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  95. Hi,

    It's great to finally be given this opportunity to ask you questions about one of my all time favourite franchises so apologies for the amount of questions I'm asking:

    1) It seems as well as developing you’re concept and comics into script form for television the writer of the original series David Wise wrote a huge amount of stories for the show’s 193 episode run (probably 70%). For the amount of work he did on the series because 'it's that Turtles thing' he never receives much credit. What are your opinions of working with him?

    2) It's a fan wish definitely but if the 1980s Fred Wolf series was brought back with the same animation style, same voice-over artists, same supporting characters however with a more darker atmosphere, less humor would it still work today on a network like Nickelodeon?

    3) With the disappointing reception that the third Turtles live action film got the proposed fourth film by Golden Harvest wasn't made. If you and Kevin Eastman had been able to make another live action film made the same way (with help from Jim Henson's Creature Workshop) what would the plot be? Would Shredder have returned? Would it be based on one of your comic book stories?

    4) Last question I have to ask: why is Ninja Turtles generally treated unfairly by critics and corporations. For something that's as popular as Transformers it's never supported properly in any incarnation either through video games, DVDs, etc. Why?

    Thanks for answering these questions Peter.

    Pedro

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    1. "pferreiraFeb 28, 2012 12:22 PM
      Hi,

It's great to finally be given this opportunity to ask you questions about one of my all time favourite franchises so apologies for the amount of questions I'm asking:

1) It seems as well as developing you’re concept and comics into script form for television the writer of the original series David Wise wrote a huge amount of stories for the show’s 193 episode run (probably 70%). For the amount of work he did on the series because 'it's that Turtles thing' he never receives much credit. What are your opinions of working with him?"


      I don't remember working with David that much. I think he was basically working for Fred Wolf, and getting his direction from Wolf, not us.

      
"2) It's a fan wish definitely but if the 1980s Fred Wolf series was brought back with the same animation style, same voice-over artists, same supporting characters however with a more darker atmosphere, less humor would it still work today on a network like Nickelodeon?"

      I am really not the person to ask that question of, but I am really not sure if something like what you describe would work today. I just know I wouldn't watch it!

      

"3) With the disappointing reception that the third Turtles live action film got the proposed fourth film by Golden Harvest wasn't made. If you and Kevin Eastman had been able to make another live action film made the same way (with help from Jim Henson's Creature Workshop) what would the plot be? Would Shredder have returned? Would it be based on one of your comic book stories?"

      At this point, it's really hard to say, though I am pretty that if we had any say, we'd move it away form goofy humor and silliness and more toward action and adventure. I suspect that the Shredder would NOT have been in it, and we would likely have tried to employ some of the story ideas we'd used in the comics.

      

"4) Last question I have to ask: why is Ninja Turtles generally treated unfairly by critics and corporations. For something that's as popular as Transformers it's never supported properly in any incarnation either through video games, DVDs, etc. Why?"

      I'm not sure I fully agree with your opinion -- I guess it depends on how you define "properly". But to address the gist of your question, I don't really know. It's a very different type of property than "Transformers", definitely.

      

"Thanks for answering these questions Peter.
      Pedro"

      You're welcome! -- PL

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    2. Hi Peter,

      What I meant in my last question was that the concept of the Ninja Turtles is never taken as having any value by critics or the general audience. The concept of the Turtles is satirical but people can't get past the money making and violence of it. They feel the title in itself is too far fetched. For instance, it's in my opinion that the original series as well as the 2003 series has never been treated properly on DVD compared to shows by Warner Bros or Shout Factory. It's quite sad actually.

      But anyway thanks again for taking the time to answer my questions. If I have any more I'll post them here.

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  96. heres an interesting question, some people have ask me who would be the toughest villain for batman to face i told them Ch'rell the Utrom shredder, who would you think would win in that fight batman vs the utrom shredder/

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    1. That's a tough one. I'd say it would come down to chance -- who made a bad move, and allowed the other one to capitalize on it. -- PL

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  97. here's another set.... how come the Dreamwave TMNT comic didn't last very long? Poor sales, or other licensing issues?

    Also, where the 4kids actors ever considered for the CGI movie? the VA's chosen weren't bad, but they did sound alot closer to the 4kids series VA's. With the first movie, series it was a bit more of a noticeable difference in sound

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  98. I think the Dreamwave TMNT comic didn't last long because it wasn't -- in my opinion -- very good. (Not that it was horrible -- I just thought it wasn't very good.) I don't know what sales were like.

    I don't know if the 4Kids voice actors were considered for the CGI movie. It's possible that Kevin Munroe wanted to get a unique sound for the voices... I'm just not sure. -- PL

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  99. heres my opinion i think the TMNT comics should be the official state comic book of Massachusetts, would you be cool with that if it happened, i myself am from the bay state, but i go to school in montana, and i think its long overdue considering the comics are published in the commonwealth. thomas

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  100. Hello Mr. Laird. I'm a huge fan so let me just say thank you for all the hard work you put into this franchise. You sir, have my respect for everything you have had to go through.

    Now, I was wondering if you could possibly comment on the authenticity of this auction?

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/120862860461?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649

    It looks legit, from the work to your signature on the back. I'm just not used to seeing airbrushed pieces by you so I wasn't sure. You and Kevin didn't make prints back in '85, did you? Is this an original piece? That particular pose you gave Raphael is a very common one and I see that pose being used in alot of turtle books.

    I appreciate any info you could give me,

    Thanks very much! : )

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    1. Nick, thanks for the kind words -- I appreciate them.

      It is close to impossible -- well, it actually IS impossible -- for me to evaluate the piece for sale on eBay, as to whether it is an original or not. It DOES look like a drawing I did. However, while it is possible that I airbrushed an original pin-up drawing of mine and then sold it to someone, it strikes me as unlikely. Not impossible, just unlikely. I have done very little airbrush work in my life. There are also some little details about the way it is colored that make me unsure that is is something I did. Again, it could be -- I am just not sure.

      Even if I DID color this piece, it is possible that it is a copy which I colored. That is something that I have often done, to preserve the original drawing in case I screwed up the coloring. But, again, it is impossible for me to tell just by looking at the image onscreen if that's a copy with color on it. And it could be a copy which someone else colored. Or it could be an original that someone else colored.

      I wish I could be more sure about this, but in all honesty I can't. Sorry! -- PL

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  101. Hey Peter, I have always been a fan of the characters of Bebop and Rocksteady, so my question is this. If someone put a gun to your head and told you to create a new incarnation of the turtles that you could do however you wanted with the one stipulation being that you had to include a new take on the characters of Bebop and Rocksteady what would your most ideal way of doing it be? No cheating by opening up the multiverse doors and bringing the Fred Wolf ones over. These would have to be new characters. I know you have no interest in seeing a dark spin on the Fred Wolf versions, but is there any conceivable way in which they could be re-imagined in a way that you would be satisfied with?

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    1. "surfingthechaosFeb 29, 2012 09:02 PM
      Hey Peter, I have always been a fan of the characters of Bebop and Rocksteady, so my question is this. If someone put a gun to your head and told you to create a new incarnation of the turtles that you could do however you wanted with the one stipulation being that you had to include a new take on the characters of Bebop and Rocksteady what would your most ideal way of doing it be? No cheating by opening up the multiverse doors and bringing the Fred Wolf ones over. These would have to be new characters. I know you have no interest in seeing a dark spin on the Fred Wolf versions, but is there any conceivable way in which they could be re-imagined in a way that you would be satisfied with?"

      There might be such a way, but at the moment, I can't think of one… or a reason why I would WANT to spend the energy to think of one...

      … other than, of course, possibly saving my life because someone has a gun to my head demanding that I come up with a way to include a "new take" on Bebop and Rocksteady in a new incarnation of the Turtles.

      Wow… there's a vision of Hell, truly. -- PL

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  102. Hi Pete, question just why do you hate the idea of a girl turtle so much?

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    1. "DanMar 1, 2012 01:50 AM
      Hi Pete, question just why do you hate the idea of a girl turtle so much?"

      Because -- in my opinion, at least -- it's a stupid, pandering idea, representing just about the lowest possible level of creativity. -- PL

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  103. Hi Peter!! I love the background music of the 2003 series. Who compose it? About the 2003 theme song I like the second version when Mikey said : "we shred, Shredder" or something like that.

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