Monday, April 23, 2012

Ask PL #9



I was just about to do another post of emails from the development of "Fast Forward" when I realized that I'd posted the last one from 2005 yesterday. So rather than jump right into 2006 today, I thought it might be fun to do another "Ask PL". Got any questions? -- PL

68 comments:

  1. This isn't a question so much as an observation. Many of the scripts you critique in your Blasts from the Past seem to be fairly unprofessional - misspellings, improper usage, etc. I would say a lot of your comments have to do with that, and with what seems to be a lack of a grasp of each character's individual traits.

    Is that par for the course in the world of children's entertainment? Were the Fred Wolf series scripts similar? I guess I'm kind of surprised at their relative lack of quality (versus the show itself, which turned out pretty good overall).

    Also - when it came to licensing, an agent found you guys after the comic had taken off, right? You didn't go soliciting for a licensing agent.

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    1. "Miserable DreamerApr 23, 2012 07:09 AM
      This isn't a question so much as an observation. Many of the scripts you critique in your Blasts from the Past seem to be fairly unprofessional - misspellings, improper usage, etc. I would say a lot of your comments have to do with that, and with what seems to be a lack of a grasp of each character's individual traits.

Is that par for the course in the world of children's entertainment? Were the Fred Wolf series scripts similar? I guess I'm kind of surprised at their relative lack of quality (versus the show itself, which turned out pretty good overall)."

      I don't remember that much about the nature of the Fred Wolf scripts regarding the issues you mention -- it's been a long time since I've looked at them (and, to tell you the truth, I have no desire to look at them now).

      I know that a lot of times, the deadlines for the 4Kids script work were pressing and the writers had to work very fast, and that inevitably led to certain errors -- misspelled words, words dropped out, typos, etc..

      But the things that I found most aggravating had to do with some writers not really knowing much about the characters they were writing. For example, in a recent BftP I posted an email with Lloyd in which I commented a number of times about a writer who had Splinter referring to Michelangelo as "Michael"… multiple times!

      And lack of logic really bugs me, as well.

      I think you can credit Lloyd Goldfine's oversight for much of how well the show turned out, even given all of these problems.


      

"Also - when it came to licensing, an agent found you guys after the comic had taken off, right? You didn't go soliciting for a licensing agent."

      No, we didn't -- in fact, I don't think it ever occurred to us to do so. Mark Freedman of Surge Licensing sought us out, found us, and the rest was history. -- PL

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  2. Hello.

    I figured you'll get far too many TMNT questions, so I'll try not ask a lot regarding those, to keep it a bit refreshing. Here goes.

    1) Knowing that you aren't the biggest fan of the 80's cartoon series, is there something in it that you like or don't mind? Had been watching it a month or so ago, wondering why I kept watching it, only to figure out that I was more fond of the villains. Still pretty goofy.

    2) You have met the likes of Jack Kirby and Stan Sakai over the years, but is there still somebody you still wish to meet, or wish you could've met if they're sadly no longer with us?

    3) Would you say you learnt more about Martial Arts and Asian cultures the more you worked on TMNT, or not really?

    4) Any favourite genres, and would you make a new story based on those genres?

    5) Any advice for up and coming artists attempting to get into the comic biz?

    6) Ermm... how are you today?

    Can't think of any other questions, but I hope these would do. Also would like to mention that some time ago, when I was showing my parents a documentary about Jack Kirby (Classy, right~?), Mum told me that when I was very young, I did nothing but scribbles and doodles, then suddenly I started to draw Ninja Turtles. Apparently it impressed the kids and teacher at Kindergarten. Not much of a story, but I thought I'd share it, 'cos you know, Ninja Turtles.

    Thank you for your time and hope you have a good time, too.

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    1. "FrobmanApr 23, 2012 07:11 AM
      Hello.

I figured you'll get far too many TMNT questions, so I'll try not ask a lot regarding those, to keep it a bit refreshing. Here goes.

1) Knowing that you aren't the biggest fan of the 80's cartoon series, is there something in it that you like or don't mind? Had been watching it a month or so ago, wondering why I kept watching it, only to figure out that I was more fond of the villains. Still pretty goofy."

      I like the fact that it introduced the TMNT to a wider audience. There are some bits and pieces of some of the early episodes that I found entertaining, but in truth, it's been so long since I've watched much of it that I can't really remember specifics. However, I remember enough to make me certain that I DON'T want to go back and watch much of it.



      "2) You have met the likes of Jack Kirby and Stan Sakai over the years, but is there still somebody you still wish to meet, or wish you could've met if they're sadly no longer with us?"

      In the world of comics? I would have liked to meet Russ Manning.

      

"3) Would you say you learnt more about Martial Arts and Asian cultures the more you worked on TMNT, or not really?"

      Somewhat more.



      "4) Any favourite genres, and would you make a new story based on those genres?"

      Yes, and yes.

      

"5) Any advice for up and coming artists attempting to get into the comic biz?"

      Work hard, and be passionate about your work.



      "6) Ermm... how are you today?"

      Good, thanks. -- PL

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  3. 1. Do you regret selling TMNT?

    2. Have you read the new series? If so do you like it?

    3. Are you happy to see Kevin working on the turtles book so at least in some ways its being influenced by an original creator?

    4. Ever think of starting a new comic? I'd buy it. ;]


    Lastly just a thank you, for creating the turtles and giving me a great childhood and four cool roll models!...Well five (master splinter) Its crazy how big the turtles got and they are still around almost 30 years later for me to enjoy. Thanks!

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    1. "1. Do you regret selling TMNT?"

      Only that I waited so long to do so.



      "2. Have you read the new series? If so do you like it?"

      If you're referring to the new IDW TMNT comic book series, I've read one or two issues. It's not my cup of tea.



      "3. Are you happy to see Kevin working on the turtles book so at least in some ways its being influenced by an original creator?"

      I'm happy that Kevin seems to be happy doing it.



      "4. Ever think of starting a new comic? I'd buy it. ;]"

      Yes, but I doubt it will be anytime soon. Thanks, though.



      "Lastly just a thank you, for creating the turtles and giving me a great childhood and four cool roll models!...Well five (master splinter) Its crazy how big the turtles got and they are still around almost 30 years later for me to enjoy. Thanks!"

      You're welcome. -- PL

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  4. I've had a question on my mind for awhile, and I'm not sure if this was ever fully addressed on the show.

    Why did the Foot Clan have the grotesque mutated Shredder clones?

    I once figured they were an attempt at creating a fully human guise for Ch'rell, but I suppose they could also have been just freaky creatures genetically engineered to be soldiers for the Foot. And if so, why the Shredder armor? They were always pretty cool in my book, and the the cool factor trumps the need for any logical explaination in this case, but I am curious so any insight on their creation would be much appreciated.

    Sayonara,

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    1. "I've had a question on my mind for awhile, and I'm not sure if this was ever fully addressed on the show.



      Why did the Foot Clan have the grotesque mutated Shredder clones?

      

I once figured they were an attempt at creating a fully human guise for Ch'rell, but I suppose they could also have been just freaky creatures genetically engineered to be soldiers for the Foot. And if so, why the Shredder armor? They were always pretty cool in my book, and the the cool factor trumps the need for any logical explaination in this case, but I am curious so any insight on their creation would be much appreciated."

      In the original comics, specifically in the "Return to New York" three-parter, those were "leftovers" from the process used to bring the Shredder back from the dead, using the "colony worms". While we never got into it in that story, I think we assumed that even though those "Shredder clones" were failures, they were useful enough that the Foot kept them around, and the Shredder used them as "guard dogs".

      In the 4Kids TV show, I think we intended that they would serve the same purpose, though -- because the Shredder in that show was an Utrom in a robotic exoskeleton and was never cloned -- they did not have the same origin. I don't think we ever really worked out an origin for them, but they were too cool to leave out of the adaptation of "Return to New York". I have to say I kind of like your suggestion -- that could have worked. -- PL

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  5. Hi, there was a story you worked on called "Snapper" in Turtle Soup (Vol. 2) #2. Just wondering why is April black in that story?

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    1. "DanApr 23, 2012 12:38 PM
      Hi, there was a story you worked on called "Snapper" in Turtle Soup (Vol. 2) #2. Just wondering why is April black in that story?"

      I believe that is the one I colored in Photoshop -- my first such experience with doing that. I've never envisioned April as black, so if she looked like that to you in that story, it might be because of the way the artist drew her, or some failure on my part in the coloring, or just something about the way you perceive it, or some combination of the above. It was certainly not my intention to color her in a way as to make anyone think she was black. -- PL

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    2. BTW here's a picture of what I'm talking about.
      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-R5fdtjuZoG4/Tm-dEAi2W_I/AAAAAAAAGvo/5ZUBxMv6Ieo/s1600/RaphaelSnapper2.jpg

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    3. It has been many years since I looked at that color art, in its original form (i.e. on the screen of my computer), so it is possible that the image you found is a scan of the printed version, which could have affected the actual colors that I laid down.

      It is also possible (probably likely, given my lack of experience at the time) that when I colored it in Photoshop, what appeared on screen did not correspond exactly to the way it was later printed. (I think anyone who has used Photoshop -- especially the earlier versions --- for projects like this is familiar with this phenomenon.) Very often, light colors printed much more darkly than they looked on the computer screen.

      I have said a number of times that I never imagined April as black, thus there would be no reason for me to color her in a way which would suggest that she was. -- PL

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  6. Hello Mr. Laird,

    I was just wondering what you think of Stan Lee. I know you adore Jack Kirby more than any other comic book person...do you think its Stan Lee's fault he didn't get enough credit. Does Stan Lee deserve any credit?

    Also, can you tell us any interesting stories about Jack Kirby? I recently saw a picture of you, him, and Mr. Eastman. Anything you have never told us readers?

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    1. "I was just wondering what you think of Stan Lee. I know you adore Jack Kirby more than any other comic book person...do you think its Stan Lee's fault he didn't get enough credit. Does Stan Lee deserve any credit? "

      Stan Lee deserves a LOT of credit. However, in my opinion, I think he has sometimes (not so much recently, but in the past) grabbed more credit than he fairly deserves, and especially so where it concerns the work he did with Jack Kirby.
      However, while I used to have a lot of negative feelings about Stan Lee as a result of that, I must say my attitude towards him has softened in recent years, and in large part that's because -- believe it or not -- his part in that "reality" show from a few years back, "Who Wants to be a Super-Hero?" (I think that was the title, anyway.) He evinced such charm in that show that I found myself liking him despite myself.


      

"Also, can you tell us any interesting stories about Jack Kirby? I recently saw a picture of you, him, and Mr. Eastman. Anything you have never told us readers?"

      My favorite Jack Kirby story comes from the time when the Mirage guys -- I think it was me, Kevin, Mike, Jim, Steve and maybe Ryan -- were invited to be guests at Jack's seventieth birthday party in San Diego. At one point, we all clustered around Jack like star-struck fanboys to wish him happy birthday and tell him how cool we thought he was and how much his work meant to us… and he said to us in that gravelly voice of his, "I consider you all my sons!"

      Yeah, we were floating on that for a while afterwards. I always thought we should have made a "Sons of Kirby" t-shirt. -- PL

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  7. Sorry for double posting...but I really would like to take advantage of being able to talk you Mr. Laird!

    In your opinion, what is a worthwhile existence? Is it simply living...everybody's life is equally satisfactory? Or perhaps is it one in which you do not only experience life, but also contribute to the cosmos. For example, you read and enjoyed comics, but then you went out and made your own artwork…you actually DID something with your experience. Who is more accomplished, a guy who starts a family but never leaves his hometown or a single guy traveling the globe his whole life? It could be a lot of things, do you have any thoughts?

    Sorry for being so existential…too much Sartre!

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  8. Hey, you often say how you wanted to keep the number of mutants low. But how come when you and Kevin were coming up with characters for the Playmates toy line it seems like you guys were creating tons of mutant characters. In fact most of the extra mutants seem to have been created by you, Kevin, or other people who worked at Mirage.

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    1. "Hey, you often say how you wanted to keep the number of mutants low. But how come when you and Kevin were coming up with characters for the Playmates toy line it seems like you guys were creating tons of mutant characters. In fact most of the extra mutants seem to have been created by you, Kevin, or other people who worked at Mirage."

      There is no contradiction here. You have to keep in mind that the time period during which I contributed designs for mutant characters was in the EARLY days of the Playmates toy line and the Fred Wolf show. As the years went by, I started to become weary of the "Mutant of the Day" nature of that first show, and thus determined that when I had approval over the 4Kids show, I would not make that same mistake. -- PL

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  9. If I am not mistaken, you said you would work with Kevin if he asked you. He has said the same thing, just in reverse about you.

    Is there anyway we (the fans) could get a definitive ending to the TMNT, like the first issue?

    Is there any expectations on vol4 completion?

    Hows life?

    I just wanted to say thanks for all the hard work you (and others) have done. Also I wanted to say that i found a copy (once in a life time chance) of issue 1 volume 1, 1st printing... Too bad I had to sale to pay bills, but its wonderful to know I got to hold one in my hands. Thanks again!! I look forward to your next installment.

    Thanks

    Franklin Fritts

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    1. "If I am not mistaken, you said you would work with Kevin if he asked you. He has said the same thing, just in reverse about you. 

Is there anyway we (the fans) could get a definitive ending to the TMNT, like the first issue?"

      I suppose there might be… but if anything like that ever happens, it will be because Kevin and I mutually agree to make it happen… and I don't see that transpiring anytime soon, if ever.

      

"Is there any expectations on vol4 completion?"

      Sorry, no.

      

"Hows life?"

      Not too bad.

      

"I just wanted to say thanks for all the hard work you (and others) have done. Also I wanted to say that i found a copy (once in a life time chance) of issue 1 volume 1, 1st printing... Too bad I had to sale to pay bills, but its wonderful to know I got to hold one in my hands. Thanks again!! I look forward to your next installment. 

Thanks

Franklin Fritts"

      You're welcome. -- PL

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  10. Why did Leo lose his scar in the redesign?

    Thanks for everything.

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    1. I really don't know, though I suspect it was from a desire to have a "fresh look". -- PL

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  11. The idea for a Ninja Turtles film reboot, happened before you sold the franchise. Did you have any desire to stick around so you could make the "perfect" Ninja Turtles film?

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    1. No. Given what I know from some experience dealing with Hollywood, it would have been a fool's errand to hang around for that. -- PL

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  12. Why did you originality make Baxter Stockman black, and did you every worry about being accused of racism by having an african american villain?

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    1. If I am remembering correctly, we -- or I think I -- did two different versions of Stockman in sketch form, one white and the other black. I don't think there was any particular reason why we chose the black version -- could have gone either way, really. Maybe we were thinking that it would be a good idea to make our developing cast a bit more diverse... I don't know.

      As for being accused of racism because of having a black villain.. well, people have been called racists for far more stupid reasons, so I guess it might have been possible. I don't remember either of us being that concerned. -- PL

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    2. Oh BTW, do you know why they made Baxter white in the old cartoon? I always figured that was the reason, that they didn't want a black character portrayed as a villain.

      Delete
    3. What's racist about having a minority play the villain?

      Shredder is Japanese!

      Delete
  13. I think I know the answer to this... but do you ever read fan-fiction, you know, just to see what's out there? Not just ninja turtles (I should think it would be difficult to enjoy reading someone else's take on the TMNT), any fiction generated by fans, perhaps of some other franchise you also enjoy?

    And, have you considered speaking at writers' conferences?

    Thanks so much for the chance to express our curiosity. :) I hope this finds you well.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "I think I know the answer to this... but do you ever read fan-fiction, you know, just to see what's out there? Not just ninja turtles (I should think it would be difficult to enjoy reading someone else's take on the TMNT), any fiction generated by fans, perhaps of some other franchise you also enjoy?"

      Actually, during the period when MIrage owned the TMNT property, I deliberately kept away from fan fiction to avoid any potential rights issues. But in truth, except for a few "Star Trek" things I read years ago, I've never delved into that area. Maybe I should start.

      

"And, have you considered speaking at writers' conferences? "

      I have not -- public speaking makes me anxious, and I am not sure what I would have to say to a writers' conference."


      "Thanks so much for the chance to express our curiosity. :) I hope this finds you well."

      You're welcome, and thanks! -- PL

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  14. 1. If there ever comes a point where you are 100% certain you will never return to Vol. 4, would you object to giving the plot ideas for the conclusion to IDW to finish it? So while you wouldn't be the writer, IDW would still make the conclusion based on the way you wanted it to end?

    I think IDW would even hire Jim Lawson to do the art based on them being open to past artists. They hired Michael Dooney to do some covers recently if you didn't know.

    2. Do you still enjoy updating the TMNT blog? Or do you enjoy your "real-life" blog a lot more?

    -Scott

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    1. :1. If there ever comes a point where you are 100% certain you will never return to Vol. 4, would you object to giving the plot ideas for the conclusion to IDW to finish it? So while you wouldn't be the writer, IDW would still make the conclusion based on the way you wanted it to end?"

      RIght now, I would say that I would not want to do that. And honestly, I don't think I ever would be. But I suppose that attitude could change with time.

      

"2. Do you still enjoy updating the TMNT blog? Or do you enjoy your "real-life" blog a lot more?

-Scott"

      I like doing them both, though the TMNT blog generally requires less thought and effort (except when I am doing one of these "Ask PL" things). -- PL

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  15. I just wanted to ask what your ideas for the new Ninja Turtles reboot were in reguards to the storyline, and characters before you sold them. I also wanted to say thank you so much for sticking around, and giving fans what we want for so many years even though you didn't want to do the turtles anymore. You, and Kevin have inspired me to work for a career in comics. :)

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    1. I'm not entirely clear what you mean by "your ideas for the new Ninja Turtles reboot". The movie that was in the first stages of development at the time I sold the property was NOT a "reboot". If it had happened, it would probably have followed -- more or less -- the continuity established in the first live action film and the CGI film. -- PL

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    2. Interesting, because the press releases from shortly before you sold the franchise, seems to suggest it was going to be a reboot

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    3. I don't recall that. Could you point me towards one or more of these press releases? -- PL

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  16. I've been following both of your blogs ever since I discovered them. As much as I like the TMNT notes and sketches, I found reading about your other work and hobbies very enjoyable.

    And I think alot of fans and artist would like to see an art book of some sort from you.

    Especially artists in the illiustration field, to have made such an impact on American culture. Many illustrators have given lectures at Uconn during my undergraduate years and it was very inspirational. Hearing about their struggles and hardwork and inspirations made me more headstrong about my own work. I'm more interested in history than advice. Murray Tinkelman's lecture was both educational and entertaining, it was fun watching him use an old slide-projector.

    I read earlier that you were uncomfortable with lectures but a nice 13x14 art book with a nice long intro/bio would be a golden relic.

    Thankyou for the oppertunity to AskPl.
    Live Long and Prosper.
    -Rishi

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    1. Thanks for your interest. I may do something like that at some point in the future. -- PL

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    2. Kevin Eastman recently made a comment that "fans should check out issues #2-3 of the originals because there are possible hints that the turtles could be alien" do you have any idea what he's talking about? BTW, I'm not sure if you saw my last question but do you know why Stockman became white in the old cartoon show?

      Delete
    3. "Kevin Eastman recently made a comment that "fans should check out issues #2-3 of the originals because there are possible hints that the turtles could be alien" do you have any idea what he's talking about?"

      No idea at all. I do know that when Kevin and I wrote and drew those books back in the early 1980's, we never had a single discussion even remotely implying that the Turtles were alien.

      That being said, anyone who reads comics knows that ANYTHING can be "retconned" -- for example, look at what I did with April's origin in the Volume 4 TMNT book.

      The only alien connection Kevin and I ever discussed -- and, in fact, implemented -- was that the ooze which mutated them was a by-product of activities of the Utroms while they were building their transmat -- and as we all know, the Utroms were aliens.


      "BTW, I'm not sure if you saw my last question but do you know why Stockman became white in the old cartoon show?"

      I suspect it was Playmates' choice, but I don't really remember. -- PL

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  17. Whoops didn't didn't mean to make that last question a reply. Also do you know why Krang wasn't an Utrom in the old cartoon show?

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    1. I don't really remember the exact reason, but I suspect it was because those making that show wanted to have something that didn't require much thought to understand, and incorporating the Utrom backstory must have been seen as too complicated. -- PL

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  18. Hi Peter: In season 5 of the show, when the boys turned into dragons, why Donny's and Mikey's dragon avatars did not have wings like Leo's and Raph's?

    How old are they(TMNT)? I don't remember if I ask you this question or not.

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    1. "Hi Peter: In season 5 of the show, when the boys turned into dragons, why Donny's and Mikey's dragon avatars did not have wings like Leo's and Raph's?"

      I don't remember why… possibly to make them look different.



      "How old are they(TMNT)? I don't remember if I ask you this question or not."

      How old are they WHEN? In the original comics? In the first TV show? In the second TV show? In the movies? In Volume 4 of the Mirage comics? Please be specific. In any event, I don't believe we ever establish an exact age for the TMNT in any incarnation. -- PL

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    2. Ok!! In the first and second TV shows and in the movies.

      I have doubts and the boys' ages are confusing. In the beginning of the second show when Master Splinter and the boys are moving from their original home to the second one, Leo told Raph that they were living in the original lair for fifteen years.

      Hovewer,in the 2007 movie Raph calls Leo "Big brother"and on a previous scene Leo calls Mikey "little brother".

      I hope you can understand me. I'm sorry for not make the question with more details.

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  19. Hi! I have a few questions for you. I'm currently going to college to become an art teacher, so a lot of them will probably involve education.

    There's the basic one, which variations of it have already been asked, but I'll ask it anyway. What advice would you have for anyone wanting to take up art as a career?

    What do you think is most important for art students to learn today?

    (I'm personaly biast on this next one. I have my own, but I'm always curious to hear how others answer it) Do you think art education is important in public schools, and if so why (or why not!)?

    Lastly, I'd like to thank you (and while he'll probably never see it because this isn't his blog, Kevin Eastmen as well) for playing a part in developing a life long interest in art from an early age. Trying to re-draw pannels from some of the early comics for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was probably among the earliest attempts by me to learn how to draw outside of school.

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    1. "What advice would you have for anyone wanting to take up art as a career?"

      Be prepared to struggle. The old cliche of the "starving artist" is not all that far from reality. And don't bother doing it at all unless you are passionate about it.



      "What do you think is most important for art students to learn today?"

      The basics -- techniques. Build a solid foundation.



      "(I'm personaly biast on this next one."

      It also doesn't hurt for artists to be able to spell properly (personally, biased).

      " I have my own, but I'm always curious to hear how others answer it) Do you think art education is important in public schools, and if so why (or why not!)?"

      I absolutely think art education is vital in ANY school. I believe there is an old saying from the Bible that "man does not live by bread alone". It's necessary to feed the soul and spirit as well, and that's where art comes in.



      "Lastly, I'd like to thank you (and while he'll probably never see it because this isn't his blog, Kevin Eastmen as well) for playing a part in developing a life long interest in art from an early age. Trying to re-draw pannels from some of the early comics for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was probably among the earliest attempts by me to learn how to draw outside of school."

      You are welcome, and good luck with your art education career. -- PL

      P.S. It's spelled "panels". And Kevin's last name is spelled "Eastman".

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  20. Mr Laird,
    I'm very sorry to expand on Scott's point and that you may have to repeat yourself, but I hope this comment will put his in a lighter perspective.

    The editor of all things TMNT at IDW has recently expressed interest in finishing Vol.4. I have done my research and found out that you did the scripts, toning and lettering. On this blog, you have repeatedly said that if Vol.4 doesn't get finished in comic form, you would post the scripts for the remaining 6 or 7 issues on this blog.

    If IDW were to approach you and offer to finish Vol.4 and use your scripts and Jim Lawson's art (he's already doing some work for IDW) to finish Vol.4, would you agree to it? I don't know about Eric Talbot doing the inking and toning (although I'm sure he would jump at the oppurtunity), but IDW can easily use one of their own letterers.

    I'm exhausted and I think I'm finished. I don't know if you keep up with IDW forums, but Mr. Curnow is very nice and IDW is doing basically everything the fans want at the moment. I'm sorry for such a long post, but please do reply. I hope I have altered Mr Scott's post enough to perhaps alter your view. You could even get in touch with IDW!
    Jamie.

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    1. I do not read the IDW forums. If someone at IDW is interested in "finishing" Volume 4, I suppose they could do that if the rights holder (Viacom) allows it. I'm not sure I see the point of it, but maybe I just have a blind spot regarding this subject.

      I think at one point I mentioned that -- instead of going to all the work of actually drawing, toning, and lettering the remaining issues required to wrap up my vision of Volume 4 -- I could just post the scripts for those remaining issues. And I think I subsequently followed that up with an "Ooops!" comment wherein I said that I had double-checked what I had already written and discovered that I only had notes on the stories, and not full scripts, or even full script outlines (as I would give to Jim Lawson before he would start penciling the books).

      So even if I wanted to give someone at IDW my existing scripts so they could find a writer/artist team to "finish" Volume 4, I couldn't, because those scripts don't exist. And in point of fact, I DON'T want to do that. If I ever "finish" Volume 4, it will be in the way I want to do it under the "reserved rights" I still have to do TMNT comics. If IDW or some other future comic book licensee of Viacom wants to "finish" Volume 4, they can certainly do that... it just won't be with my ideas and/or assistance.

      From the beginning of Volume 4, back in 2001, I saw it as a personal project, and I still do. I have no interest in making it anything other than that. -- PL

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    2. That's a shame, but I fully suport Mirage finishing Vol.4 rather than IDW. How far into 'production' is #32? Is there any chance of seeing it on the blog?
      Jamie.

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    3. The art for #32 is at least partially inked -- I have to check with Eric Talbot to see how far he has gotten on it. There is a chance of seeing it on this blog at some point in the future, but I am not sure when. -- PL

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    4. Hi Mr Laird!
      I'm sorry for all the Vol 4 questions (please say so if you're getting sick of it!), but here's another one! From your notes on Volume 4, can you deduce exactly how many issues are left to be done?

      A non-Vol 4 related question (phew!):
      Please excuse me if this sounds rude or nosy, but what is the reason for Mirage's current hibernation state? Was it your decision to close down operations; because the $60 million for the Turtles seems like quite enough to keep Mirage running for a couple of years!
      Jamie.

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    5. "Hi Mr Laird!
I'm sorry for all the Vol 4 questions (please say so if you're getting sick of it!), but here's another one! From your notes on Volume 4, can you deduce exactly how many issues are left to be done?"

      I can't say exactly, but it's probably between six and twelve issues, if I ever get around to it.



      "A non-Vol 4 related question (phew!):
Please excuse me if this sounds rude or nosy, but what is the reason for Mirage's current hibernation state? Was it your decision to close down operations; because the $60 million for the Turtles seems like quite enough to keep Mirage running for a couple of years!
Jamie."

      MIrage Studios had a lot of work to do back when I owned the Turtles. Now that I have sold them, there is not very much left to do, and thus MIrage is sort of in "hibernation", as you put it. If I get excited about another comic project or some kind of licensing, Mirage might "wake up" and become busy again. I don't know about the likelihood of that, as I am still trying to figure out where to go with my creativity post-TMNT.

      The long and short of it is that it doesn't really matter if I have enough money to "keep Mirage running for a couple of years" -- if I don't have something for Mirage to be working on that I am excited about, I'm not going to pump money into it just to keep it "running". I have discovered that life is too short for that. -- PL

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  21. I was saddened to read this morning of Maurice Sendak's passing. He, in my opinion, was an excellent artist. I still remember when I was a boy reading a copy of “In the Night Kitchen” and marvelling at the beautiful illustrations.
    I'm curious, what did you think of Mr. Sendak's work? I know he was a fellow New Englander, he lived in Connecticut I believe, did you ever get the privilege of meeting Mr. Sendek?

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    1. Although I liked his artwork, I was never a huge fan of his writing, and I never met him. -- PL

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  22. What was the print run on vol 4?

    I know the print run was 1000 on 29-30

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  23. I just finished reading Fugitoid #1. I really enjoyed it. I just have a couple quick questions about it. Will you ever consider making Fugitoid #2? Who's idea was it to put C3P0 on page 27? I thought that was a neat "kudos" to Star Wars!

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    1. I can't remember whose idea that was, but I think it was probably mine.

      As far as doing a second issue of a Fugitoid comic, that's all in Viacom's hands now -- they own all rights to the character, as part of the TMNT deal. -- PL

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    2. Hi! If you can't make a Fugitoid #2, does that mean Fugitoid can't be in the rest of Volume 4? Also, why did you/Jim Lawson decide to have the recent Tales mini-series (Blind Sight, Bad Moon Rising, The Third Kind & The Brain Thief) as sperate issues rather than incorporating them into the main Tales series? And since the Leo one was called Tales of Leonardo: Blind Sight, why were the others without the Tales of?
      Jamie.

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    3. While I can't do a Fugitoid comic, I could still have him appear in the rest of Volume 4.

      You'd have to ask Jim about the other questions -- I really didn't have anything to do with the choices you refer to. -- PL

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    4. How so? Are the only rights for the character you have are printing him in Vol 4?
      Jamie. (New Blogger Name)

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    5. My understanding is that if I decide to produce any TMNT comics, I have the right to use any character (including the Fugitoid) which was part of the property at the time of the sale to Viacom. --- PL

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  24. I gave Fugitoid #1 another look this morning. Is that R2D2 on page 27 in the same panel as C3P0? Is that Thor on the middle of page 34? His back is towards the reader. He has the winged helmet, hammer and, cape. That has to be Thor. I keep finding little Easter eggs now. I love it!

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  25. Hey Pete,
    One more quick question. Your OK right? I read this news story this morning. I know you like to ride your bike around Northampton. I'm just worried because I have not seen any postings in the past couple of days. Just wanted to check in with you. Make sure you and your bike are in good shape.

    Car collides with bike at busy Northampton intersection

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    1. Mark, that wasn't me -- I am fine. But it does make me think I should be more careful when riding downtown. -- PL

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    2. I'm very happy to hear that it was not you! I may not know you personally but, you seem like a nice guy. I would not want any harm to come your way. From what I have read it was a bad accident. I hope the cyclist is not too badly injured and, will have a speedy recovery.
      Stay safe!
      -Mark

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    3. Hi Peter: How are you? I have a doubt. What is the correct spelling of Donatello's nickname? Is it Dommy (ended with "y") or Donnie (ended with "ie")

      Could you clarify me this question?

      Take care,

      Margui.

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    4. Margui, I actually prefer "Don" as his nickname, but either "Donny" or "Donnie" are okay too. -- PL

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    5. Thank you so much, Peter!! :)

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