Sunday, May 11, 2014

Letters of comment

If you have read TMNT Volume 4 #32, you may have seen my note about my intention to do a print edition of TMNT Volume 4 #31, and my suggestion that it might be fun to get letters of comment about #31 to use in the letters column of #31. It would also be kind of fun to have letters of comment about this newly-released issue, #32, and #31, which was released a few years ago, in #31. Years from now, archeologists of comic books might be scratching their heads wondering about what temporal anomaly made this odd order of events came to pass.

(Nah... not really. I intend to put an editor's note in the print version of #31 explaining it.)

So if you want to write a letter of comment about TMNT #32, or #31, and/or the dual 30th anniversary signings on Free Comic Book Day weekend, or anything else TMNT-related (keeping in mind I have no part in either the new animated series, the new movie, or really pretty much ANYTHING new having to do with the TMNT), feel free to drop me a missive here on my blog. Please remember to make a note somewhere in your comment that it is okay for me to include your letter in the comic. -- PL


  1. I wrote this in your "Free Comic Book Day" blog posting but, It was more of a comment on issue 32. I hope you don't mind me re-posting here. It seems more appropriate to have this posted in the "Letters of comment" thread.

    Hey Pete,
    I just read issue 32. Awesome job! I enjoyed it. It really came out great. Over the past few years I have forgotten some of the details. It was very courteous of you to remind the reader of the major plot points in the introduction. Your writing is fantastic and, you really hooked me at the end. (I will not give any details that will spoil it.) I hope you don't leave us hanging for another five years but, I do know that if you do, I have the patience to wait. (wink) I enjoyed the writing and seeing Lawson's awesome stylized TMNT pencils again. Michael Dooney did a great job with the cover as usual. I just wanted to say thank you to all the Mirage folks for another great read. They say good things come to those who wait. I don't really believe that saying is always true but, in this case, I will agree with it. Again, I just want to say thanks for making this happen Peter.

    -Mark H.
    North Brookfield MA


    (ok to print/ edit if you want)

  2. I doubt lightning will strike twice but it's worth a shot right?

    - To Mr. Laird, I'm glad to see you adding more to the original version of the TMNT story. I'm interested in Karai and her apparent mind-games with Casey. Iussue 32 continued to tease around with 'did-she. didn't-she' with Casey, leaving the big lug with doubt. Seem Karai just likes to stir the pot, wether it's with a clan of ninjas out to rule the city... or mess with a married man's head.

    As for Raphael, it was good to see him get back to normal. I do wonder if Donnie will soon regain his normal size. Maybe volume 4 ends on a major threat that requires the team together again to take it down? Either way, the ride has been fun every step of the way. Let's hope it doesn't take too long to reach our destination. We've been enjoying the view so far. Thanks for not kicking us out over our constant yells of 'are we there yet'? over the years.

    -ok to print-

  3. Hey Peter and the gang at Mirage

    Volume 4 had been a lot of fun to read and getting a new issue after 5 years is great! Issue 31 brought on a great twist ending, to leave us all suspense for the past 5 years, finding splinter in the battle nexus and leads into issue 32 with Leonardo investigating the battle nexus further. I loved the battle nexus from the 4kids tmnt series so I'm looking forward (hopefully) to seeing what happens. That brings me to the formatting of volume 4 compared to previous volumes. I enjoy the split story lines that are taking place, although it makes the individual stories take longer to play out. Its almost like we have 4 issues of tales of the tmnt taking place during the same time but rather than reading 4 separate comics, they are interwoven. For the most part, the rest of the series (volumes 1 and 2) follows the group together, so the story was much more to the point. e.g. issue 1 volume 1 follows all the turtles going off too *spoilers* kill the shredder. Seeing the turtles apart makes me want to see them together again and having this comparatively different style brought some freshness the comics. I'm hoping we will see the turtles get back together in the battle nexus, Mikey winning in the 4kids championship created some of the funniest moments from the series, but I think Raph could make for great champion also since he would be so humble about it (<-sarcasm). So thank you Mr. Laird for giving us at least one more issue of this awesome series and I hope you continue it soon!

    -Tommie Riccio

    Clark, Nj

    ok to post.

  4. Dear Peter,

    I just finished reading issue 32. Without giving anything away, I have to say that was an outstanding cliffhanger. I enjoyed returning to Leonardo’s story and learning more about the intentions of The Virtuous and a little background on their culture. I appreciated the historical context explaining their belief system and possible reasons for attacking the Foot Clan. Issue 31 did a great job of set up some of the scenarios that were later played out in Issue 32. My favorite part of that issue was Donatello’s dream of fighting the Shredder, ending in an enigmatic revelation about April’s current mindset. Because of that great scene, I went back and read TMNT Issue 21 from the first volume for the climactic confrontation between Leonardo and Shredder. Michael Dooney and Jim Lawson did again on art. Please keep adding to this awesome story.

    Bradley Williams
    Dallas, TX

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Please feel free to print and/or edit.

  5. Peter,

    Is there a way to send you a picture so that you can print it in #31? I wanted to send you a picture of my tattoo that I had done after you signed my shoulder at FCBD.


  6. Dear Mr. Laird,
    First of all, this is OK to print. I was one of the people who was lucky enough to be within driving distance to the Free Comic Book Day event at Shellback Artworks in Maine. I drove around 6 hours from the Binghamton NY area to meet you all. I had a blast and a half, even though when you were signing my stuff I was a little "shellshocked" as my wife put it, and barely said anything to you. In fact, I said what I meant to say to you to Steve!
    Basically, it was that the 2003 TMNT animated series was my favorite comic adaptation of all time, and how much I enjoyed it, and I know from reading your blog that you had a ton of creative control over it. Oh well, I wouldn't be a super fanboy without some embarrassing story to tell!
    Anyhow, I am psyched you are working on Volume 4 again, and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for it. You mentioned at one point in time that you could wrap this up in 6 issues. Is that the current plan, or do you foresee doing more of it?


  7. Dear PL,
    Let me start by saying what an honor it is to even get the chance to write a letter to the co-creator of the most influential stories in my life. I truly admire what you, and all the Mirage guys have done over the years.
    For a good lump of time now ive been wondering if issue 31 would ever see the material side of comics, and I missed my chance to see you guys on Free Comic Book Day, so needless to say I'm extremely excited to know that both #31 AND #32 will be available through mail order!
    After re-reading #31 and thankfully getting to read #32 (then goin ahead and re-reading the rest of Vol. 4 again) I must say you have managed to never disappoint me as a fan. I love how the story isn't just chunked off into an issue or 2 then resetting every so often. It gave me slight goose-bumps when it FINALLY showed what Don's purpose was for cutting off a piece of Splinter's fur... I wont spoil anything for those who haven't read it, but its THAT kind of storytelling that keeps "on the edge of my seat". I love how this story is turning out and I cant wait to see what's next.
    Thanks again, Peter, for keeping the real turtle spirit alive.


    Please print-

  8. Hi Pete

    This letter is fine to be used in an upcoming printed version of a comic, you have my full permission.

    In a way, I’m being slack, I could/should/will go back and re-read all of Volume 4 from the start but my question is about the Ninja Turtles in Volume 4 and their chest Tattoo’s. I can’t remember when/how they got them (Utrom’s from memory) and if they got rid of them as I didn’t see them in my skim over #31 or #32 but my question:

    From a creative point of view, how much thought/design went into the design of each tattoo? I think from memory Raph had a ball and Leo had a paw print looking one. Was their influence for these outside of the TMNT world? Do they mean or symbolise anything or were they simply something you just came up with?

    For the record, I thought they were cool and I hope they were not forgotten.

    Jesse in Melbourne, Australia.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Pete, Thanks so much for all of you and your team's hard work. Boy, I don't know where to begin, what with this issue being printed after issue #32 is out, this book having been on your blog since 2010, and ordinarily letters discuss at least the previous issue. I feel like I'm caught up in one of Renet's time debacles!

    Over the past couple months, I've been on a quest to track down and read every turtles comic ever published, one-shots, micro series, crossovers, and all. I don't have to tell you, after 30 years of publishing, that's a lot of comics, and I must say, out of all the tales that have been told, Volume 4 is my absolute favorite. Its consistency, your long-form storytelling with interwoven plot threads and world changing developments, and beautiful artwork by Jim Lawson make it a joy to read.

    Seeing issue #32 come to fruition was total wish fulfillment. Living in Illinois, I couldn't make it out to see you at Shellback Artworks and pick up a copy there, but after looking at the pictures of the lines down the street, it sure looks like you had more than enough folks to handle that day. I was able to order the book from Steve Lavigne and his wife.

    It really warmed my heart to see pics of you and Kevin Eastman together again after all these years. That was pretty special. I hope there is enough love between you to prompt more artistic collaborations sometime in the future.

    Regardless, after having been the torchbearer of your beloved turtles' stories for many years, I do hope fondness for your babies brings you back to telling new tales once again, like the (following) issue says, "Hopefully sooner than five years from now!"

    Splinter (or some version of Splinter) is in the Battle Nexus, and the one who the turtles mourned is not the one they knew, there's an untold tale of doppelgangers, Casey may or may not be in some hot water re Karai, the Guardifriends have reached the toy store shelves, and Mikey's actively engaging in genocide! You sure know how to tell em. Inquiring minds need more to satiate our lust.

    -Fitz Doubet
    Peoria, Illinois

    (Ok to print, and feel free to edit for space, as I know it's long. I just felt I had a lot I wanted to say.)

  11. Thank god for time machines right? A letter about #32 in #31. I love cliffhangers. TV shows make you wait months. Monthly comics, 30 days of suffering. TMNT? Years, now I love build ups, just watched Godzilla while I was in the future(btw, awesome), but please don't make us suffer to long.
    Chris Aaron
    Clovis, California

    (Ok to print... And edit because I'm sure i made errors)

  12. Peter,

    Feel free to use this in any publication you plan to put out...if it is worthy. Don't hesitate to edit as needed.

    My best friend and I were reminiscing the other day about how we became best friends about 14 years ago...the topic that sparked it all was the Ninja Turtles! We showed off our massive Turtles toy and memorabilia collection and comics and everything else that was Turtles related. We are both on the cusp of 30 (I've already crossed the bridge actually), so we have essentially grown with the Turtles. It is hard to believe the impact the Turtles had back then and still have today. Congratulations sir, you have created a phenomenon that has stood the test of time in an amazing way!

    I have recently introduced my girlfriend's 2 year old son to the Turtles including part of my Turtles collection. He is having a field day with the Turtle Van Dashboard, action figures, and some of the other toys that I have made available to him (in particular I love that he calls Metalhead, "robot turtle"). He typically asks to watch the original series instead of the Nickelodeon series, but we do keep current with the Nickelodeon series. We are on Season 4 of the original series. It's especially fun to watch episodes that were never released on VHS.

    I have my Volume 4, Issue 32 on order and I can't wait to read it! While I am waiting for it to be delivered, I am going to refresh myself on the previous issues. I really hope you keep up with this amazing comic series!

    My best friend and I are going to meet Kevin for the first time at the 2014 Richmond Comic Con. That will complete half of our lifelong dream; which is to meet BOTH of the creators of the TMNT. Hopefully we will meet you at a signing soon!

    Thank you so much for all the joy you have brought to me. It makes my day to share that joy with others!


    Matt Spiegel
    Pittsburgh, PA

  13. Peter why did it take so long for you to finish tmnt vol 4?
    Why did you sell TMNT?
    What have you been doing with your free time?

    WHat plans do you have to finish TMNT vol 4?
    I would enjoy seeing my letter printed

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. Dear Peter,
    On Saturday May 3rd I was standing in a long line for free comic book day lamenting to one of the guys at my local shop how I couldn't make it to Jet Pack Comics for the "Mirage Reunion" when he nonchalantly dropped on me that you decided to finally print issue #32 of vol 4. I froze. I couldn't believe my ears. I couldn't believe him. Surely he was mistaken? So I had him repeat himself. He told me again that you decided to print a book, he wasn't sure which 31 or 32, and it would be out on the following day for sale at your appearance in Maine. I was elated and devastated all at once. I surely believed you would sell out and I'd never have a copy. (I'm still looking for a 29!) Fast Forward and not only is my copy en route as I write this (Thanks Katie!) but I've already got to read it thanks to you digitally printing it. Like all issues of Vol 4 I loved the book. The fight between Raph and Don was great, and I had genuine concern that Don was going to be ripped to shreds. Oh, and the best ends with "to be continued". REALLY?! I can't wait five more years. =) Even if you gave us two issues a year I'd be thrilled. I saw in the Turtle tracks that you've considered making TPB's of Vol. 4. PLEASE do that! It would be amazing. Would that cut into your issues you are allowed to print in a year with your Viacom agreement? I've always heard you can still print 18 a year. Is their truth in that?

    As for issues 31 possibly being printed, the completionist inside me loves you. I loved that book. The fight with Don and Casey in Don's dream was beautifully drawn. Love the Robin Hood look of it all, not to mention Michael's amazing cover. I also love how April has stayed so strong as a female character. Her catching that beer bottle made me grin knowing that she was about to throw down (speaking of throwing down, good luck Casey Jones, you'll need it when April gets back and finds out about Karai). I will however say the use of chemical weapons by the Triceratons disturbed me a bit. No one deserves a fate like that which befell the styracodon on page seven. Michelangelo was tortured by them, and I still think he agreed with me.

    I guess in closing I want to just say thank you. You and Kevin created something that is, for you both, an everlasting legacy. Regardless of who owns the property, it will always be both of yours. And you can rest easy knowing that we the fans are the custodians of that legacy and we will always protect it. At least I know I will. I'm 34 and it's amazing when I think that these four Turtles have been a part of my life for 27 years. I've read and re-read their adventures over and over...I'll continue to do so.

    With respect and admiration,
    Jon Randall
    Simpsonville, SC

    p.s. Please come back south for some Comic Conventions. Would be wonderful to see you at Heroes Con again!!

    Feel free to edit and print any portion of this letter. Would be honored to have it in issue 31.

  16. The following is ok to edit or print.

    Dear Mr. Laird,
    I have never written in to a comic before, so what better publication to start with than my lifelong favorite franchise, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I'm 25 years old, and the TMNT have been a big part of my life the whole time. I grew up with the original cartoon and movies, and I discovered the original comics around the time of the 2007 movie. This was great timing, as the more mature nature of the comics was quite appealing to the more mature sensibilities I had developed by this time. While I have read most of your material by this time, I first encountered your vision of the TMNT through V4. To this day, V4 remains my favorite volume of the original Turtles. The complex interweaving plot has always kept me hooked and waiting for more. Thank you so much for giving us all so many years of quality entertainment. Issue 32 was great, I loved that we got resolution to a few hanging plot threads, while having still more mysteries emerge. Issue 31 was also a lot of fun, the mixture of Robin Hood and Shakespeare in Don's dream sequence was brilliant. I don't want to babble too long, so I'll wrap this up quickly. Thank you for a lifetime of entertainment and inspiration. I'm an aspiring independent comic artist, and I can safely say I wouldn't be chasing my dream without the inspiration your comic has provided. I wish you much happiness in your retirement, and should writing this story become a source of joy for you again, I assure I will be there to keep following the story.

    An obsessive fan,
    D.J. Dambach
    Stockton, MN

  17. Hello Peter and the rest of the Mirage Gang,

    First off, thank you so much for continuing Vol. 4, I'm sure that creating a comic book takes quite a bit of time and lots of hard work. Also, thanks for posting the complete issues on your blog for everyone to read, and for still printing them for us to purchase!

    I've recently re-read all of Volume 4 (fantastic read back to back by the way) to get back up to speed for issue 32 and I have a couple questions and comments.

    The first is a question about the story. Way back in issue 20 Leonardo noticed something odd about Karai, like she wasn't herself. Later on When Leonardo goes to the Battle Nexus he is told about alternate realities. Could the Karai that he's been dealing with actually be a double from an alternate reality? Can't wait to find out!

    Second, who comes up with the character designs? For example, Alligator Turtle Raph, Fugitoid's transformed body, the Bodies for the crash landed Utroms, Don's Mech Body, etc. Is it you or Jim Lawson? Only reason I ask is that they're very creative and fantastic. What's the thinking process when having to create these designs?

    I'm loving the Michelangelo side story. I guess its safe to say that hell hath no fury like a Michelangelo scorned. This story has been so well thought out and fleshed out that I can't wait to see what happens next. It started as something so simple as Michelangelo wanting a part time job to pass the time, to something so completely epic! Spoiled "betraying" princesses, alien dinosaurs, pissed of Michelangelo in the middle of a Galactic war. This story has it all!

    Finally, what are the chances of more Mirage Tales issues? I really enjoyed reading issues with new talent almost every month, and that was such a great series. I remember reading somewhere that you're still allowed to print 18 TMNT issues a year. I know it doesn't mean much, but one or two new issues of Tales a year would be like waking up on Christmas morning as a kid to that gift you've wanted all year under the tree. Not sure if I laid it on thick enough ;)

    Thanks again for all the hard work, and for always keeping us up to speed on your blog. Keep enjoying life!

    Marco Garcia
    Tampa, FL

    Okay to print or edit as needed.

  18. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Mr. Laird,

      Greetings! I received my copy of #32 and felt the need to reach out and offer a few comments. Please do excuse my rambling in advance!

      My earliest memories of being engulfed in Turtle Power begin in 1988 with the cartoons and the Archie Comics series. My fandom hits an all time high in 1990 with the release of the first film. My exploration into Mirage Studios begins around this time also with the comic adaption of the first film. The art by yourself, Mr. Eastman, and Mr. Lawson instantly grabbed me. The narration was much darker than the film and I was hooked!

      It wasn’t until 1993 that I had a good idea of what was going on in the City at War story arc and was eagerly anticipating Volume Two. Some of the Mirage artists were releasing their own creations and by this time I was a total fan boy. I had so much Mirage material around me, I was engulfed in it. From Xenotech to Stupid Heroes, to Plastron Cafe I was reading it all. It was such a treat to be entrenched in the Mirage-verse!!

      By late ’93 early ’94, I was catching up with and ordering back issues of Volume One and was a serious member of the Mirage Publishing fan club. In appreciation, I had received a signed copy of Gobbledygook #1 that was autographed by you and Mr. Eastman which I still own to this day. That gesture had a significant impact on me as youth. Mirage Studios was always and still are good to their fans and supporters. This further cemented my growing appreciation for Mirage Studios.

      Fast forward twenty years later, and I have since made it quite the habit of collecting as many back issues as I can with the tremendous and dedicated assistance of Katie from the shipping department!

      Today, I am simply awestruck by the amount of work and quality of work that you folks were able to output during your run is simply staggering and would leave any comic publisher green with envy (no pun intended).

      I have since received my copy of TMNT v4 #32 and interestingly enough the release of TMNT v4 #32 before #31 reminds me of a similar instance in which McFarlane released Spawn #21 non-chronologically.

      I have to thank and mention each individual for they all had a significant and profound impact on my childhood. Not only are they the most true and astute pioneers in the realm of independent publishing, but they are also some of the most accomplished artists and authors to have blessed the comic book world and are heralded masters of science fiction and fantasy.

      Thank you: Peter Laird, Kevin Eastman, Jim Lawson, Eric Talbot, Michael Dooney, Steven Bissette, Ryan Murphy, Rick Veitch, A.C. Farley, Dan Berger, and to anyone else who’s name I forgot to mention.

      Feel free to print whatever you see fit. Thanks again!

      Ravi Padiyar
      Reading, PA