Friday, August 17, 2012

Blast from the Past #576: May 14, 2002: Re: Turtles in progress, May 16, 2002: Re: Turtles' lair/underground story, and May 17, 2002: Re: Turtles' lair/underground story

Subj: Re: Turtles in progress
Date: Tuesday, May 14, 2002 12:52:02 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 5/13/02 3:51:56 PM, Lloyd writes:

Howdy all -

Take a look.  We're still working on it, but I'm really liking this.

Lemme have your comments soon as you can.



PS - Ignore the mask color!


Not sure what you mean by "Ignore the mask color!", but if you mean that the belt, kneepads, elbow pads, and wristbands will be colored like they are leather instead of the same color as the mask... well, great!

Acknowledging that this is a work-in-progress, it's only one pose and we haven't seen the back yet, I basically like this drawing, and only have a few comments.

1.) I'm not crazy about the "pointy" look of the upper plastron. I prefer the simpler "shield" shape as in the current comics.

2.) The sides of the plastron which connect to the back shell appear green here -- they should be yellow/brown, much like the plastron color. 

3.) Also, assuming you're not going to give the turtles their tails, there should probably be a little connective strip of plastron material between their legs which connects the plastron to the rear shell (I don't see it in this drawing).

4.) The overall "attitude" is very good. I like the knotted belt.

5.) I'm not entirely sure about the "nose" line running down Don's face. Is that just to indicate contour/shape in this sketch? I think if it were to be a permanent drawn feature of these animated turtles it could look really weird.

6.) Again, this is said without seeing a rear view, but I think the rear shell looks just a tad smallish.

7.) The overall size of the elbowpads and kneepads is fine, but I'd like to see a more defined differentiation in the detail of the front and back of the pads -- that is to say, for example, on the kneepads the front (the part that covers the patella) is a three-lobed pad, while the back is more of a flat strip with a few creases. Right now (and I know this is a rough sketch) the pads look like they are pads all the way around the elbows and knees.

That's about it... I'm going to try messing with this art in Photoshop to give you a better visual idea of some of these comments, and I'll attach it to this email.



Subj: Re: Turtles' lair/underground story
Date: Thursday, May 16, 2002 12:19:44 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 5/15/02 9:13:34 PM, Lloyd writes:

Me again!

I’ve been thinking about the lair/underground story I asked you about in my previous e-mail and I think I’ve changed my view of it a bit.  I still think it’s cool to have the genetically altered “monster-thingies” attack the turtles’ lair, but I don’t think the lair has to be a former Foot genetics facility.  I think the creatures can attack the turtles’ lair because they fear it is the Foot starting up another facility, but the turtles will prove to the genetic freakies that that’s not the case.  In the turtles’ investigation of “what the hell was that that attacked our lair,” they can explore the underground and come across the original abandoned Foot genetics lab (as you and I discussed).

Better?  Worse?  I just can’t stop thinkin’!

Lemme know your thoughts.

Thanks Pete!



I appreciate the fact that you're giving a lot of thought to this issue (and all the others!).

My gut feeling is that the turtles (and our viewers) need to have a sense of security and "home" when the turtles are in their lair, and any story we hit them with right off the bat that has them getting attacked in their lair by monsters on the first day they move in is not going to give us/them that feeling. It sets up a "bad vibe." I also don't think that EVERYTHING in this show which threatens the turtles has to or should have a connection to the Foot or the Shredder (which one of the [many] failings of the Fred Wolf cartoon series). 

I like what you said in your last email -- "...there is more to the lair than meets the eye, and that the story of the lair develops over the course of the show into something we never could have anticipated...". With that in mind, I would suggest that we make the space they find and turn into their lair be somewhat more mysterious than I originally envisioned -- not an abandoned water project or forgotten pork-belly project, but some kind of underground facility that SOMEONE or SOMETHING deliberately created a long time ago. When the turtles find it, it's nearly empty... dusty... cobwebs... maybe a few bizarre broken artifacts lying about, some incomprehensible carvings in some of the walls -- all weird enough to comment on, and wonder about, but because it seems long abandoned, and they REALLY need a place to live, the turtles take it in stride and move in. Over time we can drop hints of what this space might once have been. Then, a couple or three years into the series, IF we decide that it makes sense to do so, we can bring that backstory to the front and have a big shake-up of the status quo wherein all hell breaks loose and the turtles and Splinter are forced out of their home through some catastrophic event or series of events. (Not to get too STAR TREK here, but remember when the Enterprise self-destructed and burned up in the atmosphere in the "Search For Spock" movie? For any fan of the series, it was an emotionally wrenching moment -- and it wouldn't have been if the Enterprise hadn't been built up over the course of the series and the first two films as the safe home base for our heroes.)

Some possible origins of the lair space:

-- built by aliens
-- built by vanished subterranean Indian tribe
-- built by "Golden Age" superhero or supervillain group as their headquarters
-- built by vanished geomancer (geo·man·cy: Etymology: Middle English geomancie, from Middle French, from Medieval Latin geomantia, from Late Greek geOmanteia, from Greek geO- + -manteia -mancy. Date: 14th century: divination by means of figures or lines or geographic features)... or magician, sorceror, etc.
-- built by "Black Ops" or "Black Budget" military group (Manhattan Project 2!)
-- built by robots from the future (okay, that one's a little wacky...)

Even taking this direction, I still think your original idea of the turtles getting mixed up with the old Foot lab and its monsters/critters is a good one and can be done to good effect. But I would prefer to see it as a story which spins off the turtles' further explorations of the vast underground beneath New York City -- something which I think can serve as the basis for many of the stories in this new series. The turtles are continuously exploring the underground, something they do out of curiosity and a sense that knowing what's around them will help them survive. There's nothing that says this story can't be told in the first season.

Keep pluggin'!



Subj: Re: Turtles' lair/underground story
Date: Friday, May 17, 2002 12:51:19 AM
From: Peter Laird
To:   Lloyd Goldfine

In a message dated 5/16/02 12:44:13 PM, Lloyd writes:

Hey Peter -

This is my last swing at this, I promise!

I never meant to propose that "right off the bat" we would do a story "that
has them getting attacked in their lair by monsters on the first day they
move in."

Okay... somehow I got the wrong impression -- I think probably from our phone call.

In fact, I don't think it needs to be "trashed," just "breached."

Would you define "breached" as "semi-trashed"? I guess I got the idea from our discussions that when these monsters attacked there would be a certain amount of fighting and chaos within the lair, leading to at least a semi-trashed state.

I was thinking of doing this story somewhere around episode 13, when we have
established the lair as their home, and we do feel safe there (which would
make it all the more impactful).  At the end of the storyline, it would be
clear that the lair would be safe once more, and that the monsters are no
longer any threat to them; if anything they could even become be allies in
some way.

That makes a little more sense, but I have to ask if it's a good idea to have two stories in the same season where the lair gets breached/trashed/whatever (this one and the first episode)... or will it look like we're repeating ourselves?

I also never meant to propose that "that EVERYTHING in this
show which threatens the turtles has to or should have a connection to the
Foot or the Shredder."  I think you already know I don't want to do that

I think I do know that... just wanted to reiterate it for the sake of clarity. I'll probably do this a number of times as we go forward, so please bear with me.

I just thought since the story we were discussing had "monsters"
and a "genetics lab" in it, and since the Foot had a Genetics' Division,
this might have been an opportunity to connect them, and an unexpected one
at that.

I get where you're attempting to go -- I just am not comfortable with it. There's something about the turtles' home having been a Foot installation previously which makes me kind of queasy... it's sort of like wearing somebody else's dirty underwear.

Anyway, I'm still thinking.

Can't complain about that!


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