Thursday, October 9, 2014

Ask PL #13



If memory serves, it's been almost a year since I did on of these "Ask PL" posts... so I thought it might be time to do another one. If anyone has any questions, please ask! That is, unless they are questions about whether I have seen the new TMNT movie -- the answer is no, I haven't, and probably won't until it is released on DVD/BluRay. Also, I have not watched the new season of the TMNT TV show or read any of the IDW TMNT comics. -- PL

211 comments:

  1. Any update on another issue of Volume 4?

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    1. Nothing as of the moment, sorry. -- PL

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  2. What are your favorite tools for coloring an inked piece directly on the original art? Or do you generally just scan and color on a computer these days?

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    1. Due to the fact that pretty much since working on the "Planet Racers" graphic novel trilogy with Jim Lawson back in the 1990's, essentially all of my inking has been done with one type of brush marker/pen or another… and except for the Pigma Micron brand (which I generally don't use because the tips seem to last half an hour), none of them have ink which is waterproof. So I almost never color a piece of original artwork -- instead, I make copies of the black and white artwork, either the same size or enlarged, on some kind of heavy paper stock, and color on those. This allows me the freedom to make horrible mistakes and start over without ruining the original. I typically use water colors, with occasional use of acrylic pain and colored pencils.

      Once I have finished that stage, I often scan in the colored piece and continue to work on it in Photoshop, using its tools to do things which are much more difficult to do (for me, anyway) in physical media. -- PL

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  3. Same as Robert Simmons, whats the latest on V4? Also do you know how long that DVD grab bag will be available on the mirage site?

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    1. Re: the grab bag -- sorry, I don't know. -- PL

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  4. Alright Peter lets see what I can come up with.
    - After the awesome last team-up, can we look forward to more team-ups of you and Kevin in the future?
    - Ok so this one I found online but it ultimately stumped me which is rare but reasonable, ultimately I think it depends on the Turtle-verse but "Which turtle is most likely to go insane and why?"
    - I'm hoping to come up again this next year for FCBD, and I wasn't able to make it last year (Florida distance and all....) but I was wondering if you guys will team up with Jetpack again to make it a comic book weekend?
    - Alright, so Donatello #1 and the episode The King showed an entire world made by Jack Kirby where he becomes trapped. Have you ever expanded more on that story? Would you? You know just for the sake of awesomeness.
    ~Thinking up more in this heat,
    Mel

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    1. "After the awesome last team-up, can we look forward to more team-ups of you and Kevin in the future?"

      Good to hear from you, Mel!


      As of right now, there is nothing planned, but I would be up for it, if it was fun and schedules allowed.


      
"Which turtle is most likely to go insane and why?"

      That question assumes that none of them are insane right now. :) Actually, I would guess it would be a toss-up between Raphael and Donatello.

      
"I'm hoping to come up again this next year for FCBD, and I wasn't able to make it last year (Florida distance and all....) but I was wondering if you guys will team up with Jetpack again to make it a comic book weekend?"


      Possible, but I would say unlikely -- that was kind of a special 30th anniversary thing. But you never know.

      
"Alright, so Donatello #1 and the episode The King showed an entire world made by Jack Kirby where he becomes trapped. Have you ever expanded more on that story? Would you? You know just for the sake of awesomeness."


      If you go to this URL:

      http://peterlairdstmntblog.blogspot.com/2008/12/blast-from-past-56-repost-kirbyship.html

      … you will see a previous blog post in which I wrote about a project which never got off the ground, but would have featured "Kirby's World". I have pondered going back there, several times, including in Volume 4. You never know…! -- PL

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    2. 1- Awesome!
      2- Best answer I've heard yet! :D
      3- Either way I'll look forward to seeing you guys, location regardless!
      4- That's brilliant! Though the idea seems based for Archie, a constant character through the verses would be a cool way to tie them together (considering the difficulty of making multiple turtle-verses interact). However on a side-note, you should do a one-shot on the world he stayed in! After all, there seems to be plenty of adventures there we're missing out on.
      ~still thinking up more questions~
      Mel

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  5. You have already kindly answered my "how many toes" question. I worry my follow ups might be too personal, or too distant and specific.

    How long do we have to compile them, please? :)

    Mike from New Brunswick

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    1. I generally try to answer every question, regardless of when it is posted. But it's probably best to get them in sooner rather than later. -- PL

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  6. Your fictional NYC always felt so legitimate (not that I would know). Did you spend much time there in the 80s? Or is it derived from sitcoms, films, or other comics?

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    1. Thanks! I have spent very little time in NYC, and most of what I brought to our depiction of it in the TMNT comics comes from other portrayals in different media like comics and movies. -- PL

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    2. As the saying goes, the city is another character in the story! I wonder if it felt legitimate to me because - never having been there - I was comparing it to the some of the same media that inspired it. Are you also a fan of "Night Court"? :)

      Related question: favourite city you've visited, home and/or abroad?

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    3. I remember watching "Night Court" and enjoying it. As far as favorite cities visited, I would have to saw San Diego. -- PL

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  7. Do you read comics at all nowadays?

    If you're a book reader: Favourite authors, classic or modern? (I remember a mention of Poe in a Halloween issue of Tales, I believe?)

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    1. I really don't read comics anymore. I recently tried to read the Marvel collection titled "Age of Ultron", but found it quite disappointing, though the art was pretty nice.

      A list of my favorite writers would certainly include (but not be limited to) Robert Heinlein, H.P. Lovecraft, Clifford Simak. Dan Simmons, and Robert McCammon.

      I also read a lot of non-fiction, mostly about science and history, and in that area one of my current favorite authors is Mary Roach. -- PL

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    2. Can't deny there is some pretty art out there, but I feel let down in the story department. It's like they don't even try to hide its a money grab any more. Invincible, Savage Dragon, and your TMNT when I can get it. That's the holy trinity.

      Thank you for the reply. :)

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  8. Can the ninja turtles speak Japanese?? (Not only ninjutsu terms)

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    1. We never really got into this in the comics, but I think it is safe to say that Leo speaks it fairly well, Don also, but Mike and Raph only know some words and phrases. -- PL

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  9. I am new here, hope you don't mind. Thank you for having this space to ask you questions and all.

    Well, a while ago I found an scan of an early comic issue where you sowed the very first figures of the turtles ever made. Since the scan was not very emm neat I couldn't saw them properly and I was wondering if you still have a copy of them or a picture. I think I am just curious, for some reason the scan made me kind of nostalgic... I can only imagine how you felt at that moment.

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    1. Arlin, I'm not sure exactly which image you are referring to, but it might be the two-page ad spread form Playmates showing the first TMNT action figures they produced. I can't recall which issue that was in, but I remember that it was very difficult for me and Kevin to keep that project a secret, which we had to do for a while. -- PL

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    2. I just remember awesome pewter or lead figures...or did I imagine that?

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  10. hi peter!thanks for another round of ask pl;)..

    I would like to ask you:
    -do you have a specific favourite or more of jim lawsons pannels so far?
    -which season of the 2k3 tmnt cartoon was your personal favourite?
    -if you sit back and think about tmnt vol4 issue#32, are you satisfied that the comic series continued now for another issue?it appeared from your comments around that time on the blog and in the intro to the issue that you had sort of a new hunger for playing in that sandbox again, or am I misstaken about this?do you feel like stretching a lil bit more into volume fours storyline perhaps these days?
    -is there a chance that you and jim will continue the wonderful planet racers story?
    thanks for the moment.I had so many interesting questions along this year (interesting to me at least) but at this moment I cannot recall any of them, so I WILL be back;)
    greetings and a huuuge thank you for printing my letter in issue 32(made even more incredible after fixing my mistakes, thank you very much for its inclusion!this made my day)
    mars

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    1. "-do you have a specific favourite or more of jim lawsons pannels so far?"

      Jim's drawn so many great ones, it's hard to pick! But one page which stands out in my memory is from an issue of the original TMNT comics -- I can't recall which one, but I think it might have been around the beginning of the "City at War" story arc. It's technically a full page, not a single panel (or are they one and the same? hmmm….), and shows a drunken Casey Jones confronting Donatello, who is sitting on a dead tree spanning a small brook. Jim managed to somehow fit in three views of this scene, with the tree criss-crossing itself in an abstract yet totally readable fashion. I've always been amazed at the creativity and cleverness of that.

      
"-which season of the 2k3 tmnt cartoon was your personal favourite?"

      You know, that's difficult to say… in part because it's been a while since I've watched the episodes, and can't recall at the moment which episodes are in which seasons! But I really enjoyed the "Battle Nexus" and "Turtles in Space" arcs, and have a special fondness the "The King" and the four-parter in which "Ultimate Draco" shows up and sends each Turtle into a different time/dimension.

      
"-if you sit back and think about tmnt vol4 issue#32, are you satisfied that the comic series continued now for another issue?it appeared from your comments around that time on the blog and in the intro to the issue that you had sort of a new hunger for playing in that sandbox again, or am I misstaken about this?do you feel like stretching a lil bit more into volume fours storyline perhaps these days?"

      Honestly, it is kind of a chore to get my head back into that world. I'm not entirely sure why, but it doesn't at all feel as appealing to me as when I was doing it on a regular basis. Perhaps that will change, but for now, it's probably not a good idea to expect a new issue form Volume 4 sooner than every four or five years. That being said, it did feel good to get issue #32 out for the "Free Comic Book Day" weekend this year.

      
"-is there a chance that you and jim will continue the wonderful planet racers story?"

      It is certainly possible. Is it likely? That, I don't know. Jim and I have kicked around a few ideas for a return to "Planet Racers" over the last decade, but none of them really seemed to fire us up and get us committed to another shot at that world. I would like to do it -- I had a blast doing that series with Jim, and really like those characters. We'll have to wait and see! -- PL

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  11. Peter,
    Thanks for doing another Ask PL!
    I started reading Vol. 1 again. In the fan letters, some readers were pretty straight forward about their disgust with the direction of the series when you and Kevin started alternating issues. Did this “hate mail” ever discourage you or any other Mirage artist? Did this ever worry about the future of the turtles?
    What is the future of Mirage Studios? The website says it has been “ramping down” for a few years now. Is the plan to sell/auction off what’s left and move Mirage back into your house like in the early days?
    Where do you keep your favorite/rare turtles stuff? I can just image you having a giant bank vault somewhere filled with turtles stuff!

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    1. "I started reading Vol. 1 again. In the fan letters, some readers were pretty straight forward about their disgust with the direction of the series when you and Kevin started alternating issues. Did this “hate mail” ever discourage you or any other Mirage artist? Did this ever worry about the future of the turtles?"

      I don't remember it being that discouraging, which is not to say we enjoyed reading it. I believe that at the time, those comments seemed more or less irrelevant to what we needed to do to keep the studio and our partnership moving forward.

      
"What is the future of Mirage Studios? The website says it has been “ramping down” for a few years now. Is the plan to sell/auction off what’s left and move Mirage back into your house like in the early days?"

      It's not clear what the future of Mirage Studios will be, but I am pretty sure I won't be moving it into my house. We will continue to sell the merchandise we have left, as long as people continue to want to buy it. I am actually considering going through my collection of TMNT toys and picking out a goodly number of items to add to the stock we're selling.
      But as far as Mirage's future as a publishing and/or licensing company goes… I'm just not sure.


      
"Where do you keep your favorite/rare turtles stuff? I can just image you having a giant bank vault somewhere filled with turtles stuff!"

      My stash of TMNT stuff is large, but not quite as large as some would imagine. In fact, I think there are some TMNT collectors who have bigger collections than I do. But most of it is kept in a storage area underneath my studio. -- PL

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  12. Hey Peter

    Like someone asked before me, are we going to see more of vol4? If yes then are we going to see mikeys kids/eggs? Those he had with seri (or she maybe lied to him. Only you and maybe some others know)

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    1. No one knows but me (so far)... and not to be cryptic or anything, but sometimes even I don't know. As for Volume 4... see previous answer, above. -- PL

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  13. Some completely un-TMNT related questions.

    1. Where is your favorite nature setting to relax in the beach, the woods, etc? Personally for me it depends on the season, but the beach in the summer and fall in the woods are my favorites.

    2. When you do your photography, do you do any editing to the photos, or just leave them as they are/were?

    3. When doing your art, what type of environment do you like?I know that it was said in the TMNT doc that Mirage was pretty crazy. Was that ever hard to work like that? Do you prefer being alone and working, or with people and have it quiet or loud or whatever?

    Thanks as always for taking your time out to do your blog and share all the TMNT art.

    By the way I need to show you me and Katie's engagement photos at your next appearance....you can see my love for Katie (and TMNT) in them, haha.

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    1. "1. Where is your favorite nature setting to relax in the beach, the woods, etc? Personally for me it depends on the season, but the beach in the summer and fall in the woods are my favorites."

      I love the ocean, but I am less of a beach person and more of a rocky shore type. I love clambering over big rock formations by the water and peering into tidal pools. I also love being in the woods, albeit not in DEEP woods -- more the kind of stuff you find in our area, where civilization is never more than a few miles away. I really enjoy riding my bicycle (or motorcycle) on a well-packed dirt path (especially one which runs near a river or brook) or fire road… especially at this time of year.

      

"2. When you do your photography, do you do any editing to the photos, or just leave them as they are/were?"

      My editing is generally restricted to cropping, straightening, and occasionally color-correcting. But most often I just leave them as is.

      

"3. When doing your art, what type of environment do you like?I know that it was said in the TMNT doc that Mirage was pretty crazy. Was that ever hard to work like that? Do you prefer being alone and working, or with people and have it quiet or loud or whatever?"

      Back in the somewhat crazy days of the Mirage "group studio", it was sometimes difficult to concentrate with all of the other guys there. It was also easy to get distracted and join in the fun of the moment. In general, I prefer a quiet, isolated studio space. However, I do very little drawing these days, and much of what I do -- as little as it is -- is done in a sketchbook while sitting in a coffee shop.

      

"By the way I need to show you me and Katie's engagement photos at your next appearance....you can see my love for Katie (and TMNT) in them, haha."

      I look forward to it! -- PL

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  14. 1) What current TV shows do you watch?

    2) What do you think was the wackiest TMNT novelty item/toy that was ever produced?

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    1. "1) What current TV shows do you watch?"

      I don't watch any current TV shows -- at least, not on TV. My habit now is to buy season sets when they are released on DVD or Blu-Ray, as I find watching episodic TV once a week frustrating -- I like to be able to watch as many episodes in a row as I have time or inclination for. I just last week finished watching the first season of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.", and this week the second season of "Arrow". I've enjoyed "The Walking Dead" as well, though I am beginning to lose patience with its meandering pointlessness. Another favorite show for me (and my wife) is "Call the Midwife", from the BBC. And she and I are currently about halfway through watching the whole series of "The Sopranos" on DVD.

      

"2) What do you think was the wackiest TMNT novelty item/toy that was ever produced?"

      It's hard to say. Some of the smaller licensees did some really goofy stuff like toy TMNT shaving sets and fishing kits. There was a TMNT suntan lotion dispenser which was wacky. But probably the least expected and -- to me, at least -- also most enjoyable TMNT product was the four Turtles as original series "Star Trek" characters in the action figures produced by Playmates Toys. I mean, how can you top Leonardo as Captain Kirk, complete with hair?

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  15. So Hun and Renet are confirmed for appearing in the new show, and the Earth Protection Force has already made an appearence.

    My question is, before this, were you afraid that most of the new material coming out after you sold the franchise would only draw inspiration from the 80's cartoon and the first two movies (like it seemed it did for a little while), or were you sure the other stuff like the 00's cartoon and of course your own comics would still be a source of inspiration?

    Also, do you know who to credit a lot of those old toy designs to? I like some characters like Slash but it feels weird to not know who created them.

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    1. "So Hun and Renet are confirmed for appearing in the new show, and the Earth Protection Force has already made an appearence. 

My question is, before this, were you afraid that most of the new material coming out after you sold the franchise would only draw inspiration from the 80's cartoon and the first two movies (like it seemed it did for a little while), or were you sure the other stuff like the 00's cartoon and of course your own comics would still be a source of inspiration?"

      Given the powerful pull of nostalgia for the original TMNT animated series, I was pretty sure the new owners, and those they hired, would not be able to resist using a lot of the ideas from that series in whatever new TMNT projects followed the sale.

      Was that a good plan? If you're asking me, I'd say I would have preferred to have seen a fresh look at the whole property, instead of dragging in things which -- to me, at least -- were not terribly interesting the first time around.

      It seemed logical to me that at least some of the things we created for the 2K3 TMNT series would eventually be used in the new iterations of TMNT, as I think there was quite a bit of good stuff generated for that show.


      

"Also, do you know who to credit a lot of those old toy designs to? I like some characters like Slash but it feels weird to not know who created them."

      I don't at the moment remember all the details of who created what, but I do know that several of the old Mirage Studios crew (including myself) created a number of those toy designs. If you have watched the recently-released TMNT video documentary, some of these are mentioned therein. -- PL

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  16. And another thing. What do think of the rather arrogant statements made by David Wise? He keeps claiming to have created the turtles' personalities, that April would never have been a major character without him and other similar notions.

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    1. I don't know David, so it is hard for me to judge what his motives are. He definitely had a part in the shaping of some of those early episodes of the first TMNT animated series... but I do find some of his claims baffling, as they are clearly contradicted by what existed in the comics prior to the series conception. -- PL

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  17. Star Trek or Star Wars? Favourite non-trek/wars SciFi TV show or film?

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    1. "Star Trek", of course. Well, not the current incarnations, which are "Star Trek" in name only, and generally painfully stupid.

      As for the second part of your question -- I'm drawing a blank... probably because there are so many to choose from, and nothing is jumping out as a "favorite". -- PL

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  18. Were there any Mirage characters you weren't as fond of as Kevin? I know you've said you didn't care for Radical or Complete Carnage and that's why they weren't in the 4kids cartoon.

    Were there any other major Mirage characters you didn't care for that some of the other artists/writers introduced? I'm not really referring to one-shot characters or characters in the "guest issues" of Volume 1, but mainly the main recurring cast and villains.

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    1. Honestly, none come to mind at the moment. -- PL

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  19. Where did the inspiration for the Fugitoid come from?

    Where did the idea for Shredder coming back as a mass of worms (neat idea by the way) come from?

    Why was it decided that Shredder would be an Utrom in the 2003 cartoon (aside from the whole, "can't decapitate a human on children's TV" reason), and do you stand by that it was a good decision?

    Is there any character aside from the Turtles that you are especially proud of?

    And finally (for this post at least), is the rumor true that your buyout contract with Nickelodeon states, "that female turtle can't used"?

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    1. "Where did the inspiration for the Fugitoid come from?"

      I can't recall where the story idea came from, exactly, but the look of the Fugitoid was definitely a big tip of the hat to the wonderful work of Russ Manning on the old "Magnus, Robot FIghter" comic books.

      

"Where did the idea for Shredder coming back as a mass of worms (neat idea by the way) come from?"

      That was something I came up with from some readings I had done about experiments with tapeworms.

      

"Why was it decided that Shredder would be an Utrom in the 2003 cartoon (aside from the whole, "can't decapitate a human on children's TV" reason), and do you stand by that it was a good decision?"

      If memory serves, it was something we thought would be a cool way to more closely connect the origin of the Turtles to both the Shredder AND the Utroms. I still think it was a good idea (and not just because it was mine!).

      

"Is there any character aside from the Turtles that you are especially proud of?"

      Noe that I can think of at the moment.

      

"And finally (for this post at least), is the rumor true that your buyout contract with Nickelodeon states, "that female turtle can't used"?"

      I would have to re-read the entire deal to be absolutely certain, but I am pretty sure that rumor has no basis in fact. -- PL

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  20. I hope the fall weather is to your liking and all is well with life and the family. As many of fans have previously expressed, thank you for taking the time to do these Q&A's. And, many thanks for making your two appearances the weekend of FCBD back in May. I imagine the turnout on Sunday at Steve's shop was more than anyone could've anticipated. I'd like to partake in the Peter Laird brain picking if it's ok...

    1) Would you be able to offer a brief synopsis on the inception of Saurian Design? I know it was your early publishing moniker, but haven't been able to find any detailed information about it's formation. I'm curious to know if it was a joint family venture or if you were solely responsible. I'd also like to ask if there were any other publications aside from Barbaric Fantasy #1, Ten Penny Funnies and the 1978 "Calender of the Gods"(many thanks again for the calendar, I look forward to hanging it in 2017) published under Saurian Design?

    2) Marvel recently settled with the heirs of Jack Kirby over the rights to a large group of characters. I have mixed feelings about the situation. I feel things may have turned out somewhat differently had Marvel known the SCOTUS would pass on reviewing the Shuster/Siegel vs. DC case. But, that's solely my opinion. Given you're a self and publicly proclaimed Kirby fan, I'm very curious to hear any artist/creator based thoughtsor opinions you'd be willing to offer.

    Quick #3) Do you hold the original art for TMNT volume one issue 2? It's pretty much the only early issue whose OA has not surfaced for sale or public viewing. I have a private volume one OA database and am asking for reference.

    Thank you for your time and consideration,

    Michael B.

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    1. "1) Would you be able to offer a brief synopsis on the inception of Saurian Design? I know it was your early publishing moniker, but haven't been able to find any detailed information about it's formation. I'm curious to know if it was a joint family venture or if you were solely responsible. I'd also like to ask if there were any other publications aside from Barbaric Fantasy #1, Ten Penny Funnies and the 1978 "Calender of the Gods"(many thanks again for the calendar, I look forward to hanging it in 2017) published under Saurian Design?"

      I believe you have listed everything I published under the "Saurian Design" name. Saurian Design, as I recall, was a name I came up with around the time I opened my :Little Used Book Shop" in Northampton, MA in 1976 for what I had hoped would be a series of collaborations between me and my brother Don, but the "Calendar of the Gods" was really the only thing we worked together on.

      

"2) Marvel recently settled with the heirs of Jack Kirby over the rights to a large group of characters. I have mixed feelings about the situation. I feel things may have turned out somewhat differently had Marvel known the SCOTUS would pass on reviewing the Shuster/Siegel vs. DC case. But, that's solely my opinion. Given you're a self and publicly proclaimed Kirby fan, I'm very curious to hear any artist/creator based thoughtsor opinions you'd be willing to offer."

      I don't know all the details of the case, and I doubt anyone except those directly involved with it do, but from what I have read, it sounds like a good, albeit not exactly timely, resolution of the conflict. It would have been nice if it had happened while Jack was still alive, but what can you do? It is what it is.



      "Quick #3) Do you hold the original art for TMNT volume one issue 2? It's pretty much the only early issue whose OA has not surfaced for sale or public viewing. I have a private volume one OA database and am asking for reference. "

      Yes. -- PL

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  21. Hi Mr. Laird! I have a few questions for you, if you don't mind answering:

    1. Besides Raph, which of the turtles would be the most frightening angry or losing control?

    2. What is your opinion the relationship between Leo and Karai in the 2k3 series? Why did Leo give her another chance after she tried to kill his family?

    3. If you've seen the first season of the new TMNT show, what are areas you feel the show succeeded in as well as areas of opportunity?

    4. What book genres would each of the turtles enjoy? Does Raph even enjoy reading?

    Thank you!!!

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    1. "1. Besides Raph, which of the turtles would be the most frightening angry or losing control?"

      Donatello.

      

"2. What is your opinion the relationship between Leo and Karai in the 2k3 series? Why did Leo give her another chance after she tried to kill his family?"

      It's been some years since I was working on that show, so I don't remember all of the reasons we had characters act in a certain way, but I think Leo probably gave her another chance because he felt there was some essential element of goodness in her which could be nurtured, given the right circumstances.

      Leo and Karai had a relationship of mutual, albeit wary, respect. And they had a commonality in that Leo was the first among equals, if you will, of Splinter's "sons"… and Karai was the Shredder's only "child".


      

"3. If you've seen the first season of the new TMNT show, what are areas you feel the show succeeded in as well as areas of opportunity?"

      Briefly, I think it has succeeded in capturing well, for the most part, the personalities of the Turtles and Splinter, and the overall charm of the whole group. I am not quite as fond of the frenetic pace and ofttimes video game feel of the animation. And I think the design work on some of the new characters is lacking somewhat.

      

"4. What book genres would each of the turtles enjoy? Does Raph even enjoy reading?"

      Leo and Don would probably read a significant amount of non-fiction, while Mike would read comic books. And Raph would steal MIke's comics, but only to look at the pictures. (Kidding -- Raph would just borrow them.) -- PL



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    2. That about the books.

      Dosen´t Mikey read a lot fiction book when he do research for his novels?

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  22. Pete, yer gonna roll your eyes and clutch at the heavens with this question, but I gotta know: has your stance on human girls and the tmnt mellowed out at all? Stay happy! ;D

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  23. what is thoughts on the turtles new design in the new series?

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    1. I generally like them, but there are some changes -- such as the extra wraps on their arms and legs and the way their feet look -- which seem sort of pointless to me. -- PL

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  24. I am a Shadow Jones fans and I was wondering if you continue volume 4 if we were going to see any story in the future that has her in any significant way?

    Also can you talk about Shadow in general? How you came about the character? Her relationship with the turtles and Splinter? How come she never really called April mom? Anything would be fine, I just really like that character and I doubt IDW and Nick are going to do anything soon with her for obvious reasons, so I'll take what I can get.

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  25. Peter... the resurgence of all things TMNT over the past 2yrs has reawakened a 20yr dormant love of comics and drawing them. One of my favorite things about the B&W original run was the details in the shading. Ironically, I never knew about duoshade and unishade as a kid. I just thought you and Kevin were meticulous cross-hatchers!

    Since Graphix discontinued the line 5yrs ago, I was wondering if you know of any software techniques/plugins to do the trick. I prefer doing all my pencils/inks/colors by hand, but I wouldn't be against scanning my B&W art in order to do the tone work on the computer. Thanks! -John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do not know of any plug-ins that would allow for a simulation of Graphix Duo-Shade, but I think there may be a technique in Photoshop which might work. I don't know how to do it myself, but I believe it includes creating what is essentially a large sheet of a Duo-Shade tone pattern, perhaps using Photoshop tools, filling a Photoshop layer with that tone pattern, and then using one of Photoshop's tools -- maybe the eraser? -- which would reveal that tone pattern wherever you swipe the tool. I wish I could be more specific about the technique, but it's something I read about some years ago, and unfortunately I don't remember where. But it seems to me that someone with good Photoshop skills could get something like this to work.

      One thing to consider is that creating the tone pattern in Photoshop might now give you quite the same line feel as the original Duo-Shade would, as the Duo-Shade has a slightly rough and more organic feel to it.

      Good luck! -- PL

      Delete
  26. So I've watched an interview with Tom Waltz (the main writer for the IDW series) in which he was asked about you probably having a problem with IDW's comics, his response was something along the lines of that it would "not be human" of you if you didn't have any problem at all with your characters being used by someone you didn't know. As an example he brought up himself, that he always feels weird when characters he created were being put into the hands of writers he didn't know personally.

    Do you think there's some truth in that?

    ReplyDelete
  27. What ideas in the TMNT franchise, that you had nothing to do with, do you like?

    On the flip side, which ones don't you like?

    Which TMNT contributors do you consider to be the best ones?

    Which ones do you consider the worst? (Don't answer that if you don't want to insult anyone).

    Aside from TMNT, what other comics have you worked on?

    What is the worst direction you'd think the TMNT franchise could go?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "What ideas in the TMNT franchise, that you had nothing to do with, do you like? 

On the flip side, which ones don't you like? 

Which TMNT contributors do you consider to be the best ones?

 Which ones do you consider the worst? (Don't answer that if you don't want to insult anyone)."

      Sorry, but all of the above questions are either too wide-ranging and work-intensive, or impossible to answer without being insulting, so I will respectfully decline to answer them.



      "Aside from TMNT, what other comics have you worked on?"

      "Grunts", "Stupid Heroes", and "Planet Racers". I might be missing something, but I think that's all of them. I am not what one would fairly describe as "prolific" in the comics field.

      

"What is the worst direction you'd think the TMNT franchise could go?"

      Hmm… well, how about a ridiculous, poorly-designed and silly live-action TV series with a girl Turtle? Oh, wait… that's already happened.

      In all seriousness, that's a question that I don't want to waste any brainpower pondering, as I see no real point to it beyond making my stomach hurt. Sorry! -- PL

      Delete
  28. I was just wondering if you'd caught up on any of the unread Tales Vol. 2 issues yet? If so, did anything impress?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not yet read those issues of Tales Volume 2. -- PL

      Delete
  29. Alright, round 2:
    - Since early mutant comics it's generally been depicted that if mutants were discovered the government would kill/experiment on them (i.e. the turtles) or other superhuman powers etc. Do you believe that, with all the rallies for x-rights (animal) and such, has changed at all?
    - Don builds all things of all shapes and sizes, but is there anything he absolutely would not ever build?
    - Alright so I've already asked Steve (Shellback) this but we're still not sure so hopefully three can get the right number. If the turtles don't die from any possible foot/krang/triceraton etc. thing, what would be their life expectancy? (we're from 100-250 right now starting to settle 150, years)

    Mel

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "- Since early mutant comics it's generally been depicted that if mutants were discovered the government would kill/experiment on them (i.e. the turtles) or other superhuman powers etc. Do you believe that, with all the rallies for x-rights (animal) and such, has changed at all?"

      In real life? No.

      
"Don builds all things of all shapes and sizes, but is there anything he absolutely would not ever build?"

      I'm sure there are, Here's one example -- a device to pointlessly cause harm to innocent beings.

      
"Alright so I've already asked Steve (Shellback) this but we're still not sure so hopefully three can get the right number. If the turtles don't die from any possible foot/krang/triceraton etc. thing, what would be their life expectancy? (we're from 100-250 right now starting to settle 150, years)

Mel"

      Your guess could be as good as -- maybe better! -- than mine. But I would be comfortable with the 100 to 125 year range. However, that being said, we have to remember that these are MUTANT Turtles… so the sky could be the limit! -- PL

      Delete
  30. Are there still plans to do a print version of issue 31?

    Has there been any thought in doing a small second print of the later issues that are sold out, ie 24-30?

    Would you be able to release an Omnibus of all 32 issues?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1.) Yes, but there has been no firm date scheduled for it.

      2.) Yes.

      3.) I think I have that right, but I would have to double-check my agreement with Viacom. It could be fun to do that. -- PL

      Delete
  31. Would you consider Mirage publishing a Peter Laird sketchbook containing rare and or unpublished works such as the kay-bee pages shared here earlier this year? Perhaps a sketchbook of other Mirage artists as well? I would love to own a Peter Laird sketchbook in either comic or hardcover edition.Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've thought about it from time to time, and may someday do it. -- PL

      Delete
  32. - Are you a fan of Jim Steranko's work?
    - What inspired you to add the words "Teenage Mutant" to Kevin's original turtle drawing all those years ago?
    - Is there anything you wished you would have done with the TMNT franchise that you didn't get to do?
    - You have yourself said the Turtles are not interested in girls. So why did you have Mike have a relationship with Seri?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Are you a fan of Jim Steranko's work?"

      Yes, very much so.

      
"What inspired you to add the words "Teenage Mutant" to Kevin's original turtle drawing all those years ago?"

      I'm not entirely sure, but I suspect that I felt it matched up well with both the absurdity of Kevin's "ninja turtle" concept, as well as having the same kind of gentle satirizing of then-current fads in comics.

      
"Is there anything you wished you would have done with the TMNT franchise that you didn't get to do?"

      If I gave it a lot of thought -- which I haven't, and probably never will -- I'm sure I could come up with some things. However, given all the things that I have done, and seen done by others, with the TMNT, I'm satisfied that there was enough.

      
"You have yourself said the Turtles are not interested in girls. So why did you have Mike have a relationship with Seri?"

      I've said that the Turtles are not interested in HUMAN girls as love/sex partners, beyond the possibility of intensely close platonic friendships.

      I think if any reasonably intelligent person ponders this even slightly, it is quickly apparent that a love/sex relationship between a mutant Turtle and a human female is quite ludicrous, no matter how many "shippers" might disagree. Although not a perfect match -- being, respectively, a mutant Turtle and an alien dinosauroid -- Michelangelo and Seri were MUCH closer to being a workable love match. -- PL

      Delete
  33. So the first TMNT cartoon was a little before my time but I was exposed to some leftover merchandise as a kid, and the 2k3 cartoon was probably my first real exposure to TMNT stories. So given what little I knew about the first cartoon, people turning into monsters and alien brain monsters, I was pretty shocked to see it was just a weak comedy instead some kind of child friendly horror cartoon. No really, that's what I expected, some kind of horror like creation, I was not expecting much comedy.

    Has anyone ever told you a similar story?

    ReplyDelete
  34. Cowabunga Mr Laird
    A caps locked, exclamation marked ‘THANK YOU!’ for printing my letter in Issue #32; it is my sincere hope that the mint copy I have bagged/boarded and prepared for the overhead luggage compartment of my International flight can be autographed in person come FCDB 2015, as I venture from the city of Melbourne, Victoria here in Australia to shellebrate my fandom. It would be an impossibly AWESOME experience to meet yourself and Mr Eastman at Jetpack Comics and/or Shellback Artworks in May.
    And a further thanks for the opportunity to ask my following questions; I would love to learn the answers!
    The superb TURTLE POWER! Documentary has inspired me to turn the clock back to the origin story of TMNT licensing…thanks in advance for your clarity on my collection of ‘Vital Tortistics!’
    1. Were there any alternative ‘in-house’ concepts you toyed with before selecting T-Shirt Iron-Ons as the initial bit merchandise offered in Issue #1, 2nd printing?
    2. Were there any licensing deals that were actively considered, but ultimately rejected, either prior to the Dark Horse Miniatures, or between these Miniatures and the Glow-in-the-Dark t-shirts (first advertised in the Donatello Micro, I think)?
    3. May you share how Palladium approached Mirage Studios, and if you did then, or indeed have since, played any of their TMNT RPG?
    4. The #142 plastic bag/stapled to the generic ‘Dark Horse 25 MM Fantasy Miniatures’; do you recall how surreal it was to see your Co-Creation in 3 Dimensions, from the panels of your pages to a tangible set?
    5. Would Mirage Studios have offered any specific direction/s in regard to character selection/sculpted poses/assortment per pack, be it for this initial set or the packs that followed?
    6. Was it your hope that Playmates, in their debut assortment of 10 Action Figures, would adhere to the degree of detail and likeness to your original source material that Dark Horse illustrated?
    (I imagine that from your view there may have been a subversive layer of cool if, perhaps shining through the Fred Wolf Miniseries prism, you were in a position to voice your preference for a (still kid friendly) character design closer to the Comics?
    7. How receptive was Playmates to the Mirage Studios perspective; did you feel that your voice was audible and resonated with the fellow members of their meetings?
    8. The Turtle Force Fan Club (as advertised in the paper insert, and cardbacks, of the initial Playmates Action Figures) welcomed membership with the Fan Club Kit; was it Mirage (or AJM Marketing Enterprises Inc.) that selected (with the exception of the Fred Wolf logo) a very Mirage aesthetic? (for example, the ‘Mutant Power’ sticker, membership card/wall certificate and Ashcan sized Comic illustrate the all red eyemasks. I wondered if this was a further example of subversiveness, or perhaps an entry point for new fans, introduced to Turtles via the Miniseries/Action Figures to then radiate toward Mirage Studios publications)
    From the Shellback Artwork print, through to the ‘Ten Seconds Later’ Issue #, it is with joyous fandom that I hope you and Mr Eastman team up for even more ‘Eastman and Laird’ TMNT art in the 31st Anniversary year, and beyond.
    Your fan(atic),
    Kevin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "‘THANK YOU!’ for printing my letter in Issue #32; it is my sincere hope that the mint copy I have bagged/boarded and prepared for the overhead luggage compartment of my International flight can be autographed in person come FCDB 2015. It would be an impossibly AWESOME experience to meet yourself and Mr Eastman at Jetpack Comics and/or Shellback Artworks in May."

      Kevin, I currently have no specific plans for Free Cmic Book Day in 2015, but if Steve asks me to appear at Shellback, I will certainly consider it, given good health and no schedule conflicts. If I'm there, I will be happy to sign your comic.

      
"Were there any alternative ‘in-house’ concepts you toyed with before selecting T-Shirt Iron-Ons as the initial bit merchandise offered in Issue #1, 2nd printing?"

      None that I can recall. I think we chose the iron-ons because we could have them made as we filled orders, given that they were essentially color copies produced one at a time at a nearby copy place. That meant we did not have to invest in a lot of stock, which would have been impossible dude to our then-impecunious circumstances.

      
"2. Were there any licensing deals that were actively considered, but ultimately rejected, either prior to the Dark Horse Miniatures, or between these Miniatures and the Glow-in-the-Dark t-shirts?"

      I don't think so, though there was a button deal somewhere in or around that timeframe.

      
"3. May you share how Palladium approached Mirage Studios, and if you did then, or indeed have since, played any of their TMNT RPG?"

      I can't remember exactly, but I suspect that they contacted us through the mail. I have never played an RPG, TMNT or any other.

      
"4. The #142 plastic bag/stapled to the generic ‘Dark Horse 25 MM Fantasy Miniatures’; do you recall how surreal it was to see your Co-Creation in 3 Dimensions, from the panels of your pages to a tangible set?"

      It was really exciting, as we had never thought when we started TMNT that it would ever go that far. I really loved what Dark Horse did with those miniatures -- the sculpting was amazing. It was a trip to be able to hold our Turtle characters in our hands.

      
"5. Would Mirage Studios have offered any specific direction/s in regard to character selection/sculpted poses/assortment per pack, be it for this initial set or the packs that followed?"

      Did we? No. Would we have? Probably not.

      Delete

    2. 
"6. Was it your hope that Playmates, in their debut assortment of 10 Action Figures, would adhere to the degree of detail and likeness to your original source material that Dark Horse illustrated?"

      Not really, as it was pretty clear from the first meetings we had with Playmates that their take on the characters would definitely involve "softening" them in certain ways. That being said, they did a really good job on those initial Turtle figures.

      
"7. How receptive was Playmates to the Mirage Studios perspective; did you feel that your voice was audible and resonated with the fellow members of their meetings?"

      Playmates did listen to us; Fred Wolf, not so much. However, we knew that Playmates had certain requirements to sell their products in the venue of kids toys, and we were prepared to make compromises to see that happen.

      
"8. The Turtle Force Fan Club (as advertised in the paper insert, and cardbacks, of the initial Playmates Action Figures) welcomed membership with the Fan Club Kit; was it Mirage (or AJM Marketing Enterprises Inc.) that selected (with the exception of the Fred Wolf logo) a very Mirage aesthetic? (for example, the ‘Mutant Power’ sticker, membership card/wall certificate and Ashcan sized Comic illustrate the all red eyemasks. I wondered if this was a further example of subversiveness, or perhaps an entry point for new fans, introduced to Turtles via the Miniseries/Action Figures to then radiate toward Mirage Studios publications)"

      I wish I had a good answer for you on that one, but I don't recall much about that stuff.

      
"From the Shellback Artwork print, through to the ‘Ten Seconds Later’ Issue #, it is with joyous fandom that I hope you and Mr Eastman team up for even more ‘Eastman and Laird’ TMNT art in the 31st Anniversary year, and beyond.
Your fan(atic),
Kevin"

      Thanks! I hope KBE and I can do more stuff together in the future. -- PL

      Delete
  35. Why haven't you seen the new TMNT movie yet?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Basically, lack of interest. -- PL

      Delete
  36. Hi Mr Laird,

    What would you consider to be your personal favorite art work / story pre turtles?

    Thanks
    Ivan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Fugitoid chapters Kevin and I did, if you are talking about comic book stuff. -- PL

      Delete
  37. 1. Are there any characters from the Mirage comics that didn't get adapted into other media that you wished did?
    2. I saw someone say that you didn't want the Fred Wolf toon but Kevin did. So Kevin wrote the Fred Wolf toon and you couldn't do anything because he had full control of the franchise. Is that true?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "1. Are there any characters from the Mirage comics that didn't get adapted into other media that you wished did?"

      None that I can think of at the moment.

      
"2. I saw someone say that you didn't want the Fred Wolf toon but Kevin did. So Kevin wrote the Fred Wolf toon and you couldn't do anything because he had full control of the franchise. Is that true?"

      I've heard some wacky rumors over the years, but this just about takes the cake.

      For the record:

      1.) Neither Kevin nor I "wrote the toon" during the Fred Wolf years.

      2.) I wanted the original cartoon as much as Kevin did, though I think I may have become disenchanted with it sooner than he -- it's hard to say.

      3.) There was never a moment in the history of the TMNT property when Kevin "had full control of the franchise." -- PL

      Delete
  38. Hello,
    1) I am curious about Rocksteady and Bebop. Is there anything you could tell about the creative process how they ended up being for the toon/toys?

    2) Also is there any truth to ending up disliking the characters so much, that you did not want them in other versions of the Turtles (like live action sequel)?

    3) As a child I especially loved the animal choice of rhino for Rocksteady, but I was surprised that the character was really human turned into rhino form (wanted him to be as cool as the turtles, who always been turtles). Do you recall reasons why go this route for some of the characters?

    I do apologies if the subject has been covered. I did not manage to find much reliable information about the subject. Thank you for your time!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "1) I am curious about Rocksteady and Bebop. Is there anything you could tell about the creative process how they ended up being for the toon/toys?"

      I don't have too much to say about them, though I think I was the one who first did designs for a mutant warthog and mutant rhino in the TMNT universe, though I am not absolutely sure if my drawings came first, before the appearance of these characters in the scripts for those first few episodes of the animated series. I'm pretty sure my drawings came first. There is a video clip in the TMNT documentary, footage taken at our first meeting at Playmates Toys, which supports this.



      "2) Also is there any truth to ending up disliking the characters so much, that you did not want them in other versions of the Turtles (like live action sequel)?"

      It is true that I didn't want them in any of the movies, which is why instead of Bebop and Rocksteady in the second movie (The Secret of the Ooze") there were Tokka and Rhazar. If memory serves, Kevin was equally opposed to the inclusion of Bebop and Rocksteady in the movies.

      It's not so much that I disliked the characters so intensely, but more that I found their constant one-note shtick in the first animated series to be extremely annoying and silly to the point of being stupid. That was, unfortunately, a consistent aspect of that whole series -- mind-numbingly dopey repetition.


      

"3) As a child I especially loved the animal choice of rhino for Rocksteady, but I was surprised that the character was really human turned into rhino form (wanted him to be as cool as the turtles, who always been turtles). Do you recall reasons why go this route for some of the characters?"

      I suspect it was for convenience. The Turtles became the characters they are, with intelligence and skill and human-like traits, over the course of a number of years. That would have been problematic within the framework of the animated series, so I think it was easier to start with humans and turn them into animal mutants, instead of the other way around.

      

"I do apologies if the subject has been covered. I did not manage to find much reliable information about the subject. Thank you for your time!"

      No problem -- I appreciate your questions. -- PL

      Delete
  39. What do you think of DC and how they are trying badly to catch up to the greatness that is the marvel movies of late? I'm a DC fanboy, so everything marvel is new to me..and the fact that I am enjoying those more bothers me LOL. That Superman movie was so not superman. he's supposed to be a symbol of hope for the human race, yet he did just as much building damage as zodd did ;o). Even Christopher Reeve's 'campy' superman knew to stop the battle and take it away from the city ;o).

    have you seen the new TMNT movie or any of the new tv show? there are things that bother me on the new show beyond belief, but unlike the new movie, it entertains me, so I'm willing to forgive the crazy direction it's going for now ;o).

    I'm also curious if you have time to do comic cover commissions and hope that the price wouldn't break the bank if you did ;o).
    thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "What do you think of DC and how they are trying badly to catch up to the greatness that is the marvel movies of late? I'm a DC fanboy, so everything marvel is new to me..and the fact that I am enjoying those more bothers me LOL. That Superman movie was so not superman. he's supposed to be a symbol of hope for the human race, yet he did just as much building damage as zodd did ;o). Even Christopher Reeve's 'campy' superman knew to stop the battle and take it away from the city ;o)."

      I'm actually more concerned about the future of the Marvel superhero movies, which to my mind hit a recent high point with "The Avengers", and then started to slip with "Iron Man 3", "Thor: The Dark World", and especially "Captain America: The Winter Soldier", which was very disappointing.

      I'm not a fan of "Man of Steel", for a number of reasons, one of which you point out. I'm hoping "Dawn of Justice" turns out well, but… we'll see.

      Actually, I really like what is being done with some of the DC characters on TV, specifically "Arrow". I have to say that I got excited when a character with the last name of "Blood" was introduced in the second season of "Arrow", as I thought that might somehow tie in with one of my favorite Jack Kirby DC creations, Jason Blood aka Etrigan the Demon… but it turned out not to be so, alas. I think the Demon would do well in a TV series, given all the interest in supernatural adventures on the tube.


      

"have you seen the new TMNT movie or any of the new tv show? there are things that bother me on the new show beyond belief, but unlike the new movie, it entertains me, so I'm willing to forgive the crazy direction it's going for now ;o)."

      As I have already mentioned, I have not seen the new movie, and have only watched the first season of the TV show, which was interesting and entertaining, albeit not without its flaws.

      

"I'm also curious if you have time to do comic cover commissions and hope that the price wouldn't break the bank if you did ;o).
thanks :)"

      Sorry, but I am not currently doing any TMNT or comic-related artwork commissions. -- PL

      Delete
  40. 1. Though the original late 80's/early 90's "turtlemania" will never happen again, one could argue that we're in an era that is probably the closest we've ever gotten to recapturing that sort of vibe. I mean, there's virtually no store that doesn't have TMNT merch in it right now. Not sure if you ever shop at Wal-mart or not but to use them as an example, you see the turtles EVERYWHERE in there. Right from the front of the store, where they have balloons at the registers, and kiosks with beach accessories. There's TMNT branded food, clothes, toys, etc, but also certain wacky items akin to the 90's stuff like dental care packages, first aid kits, soap, paddleboards, cameras, flashlights, you name it. I guess what I'm working towards is, how do you feel about the property being so widespread again? I know the 4kids show had it's fun in the sun, but it wasn't really as massive given it didn't have a huge company like Viacom backing it. I imagine you're happy your creation is flourishing & bringing joy to new generations, but does it leave a sour taste in your mouth that they're not "your" turtles, per se? Hope I'm making sense. It must be somewhat strange seeing them all over the place without being a part of it.

    2. If this is too personal of a question, I'll understand if you wish to ignore it. It's been rumored over the years that it was not just creative differences & issues with the business end of things that drove you & Kevin apart, but rather an isolated incident or two that caused a falling out that was quite heavy. Since the two of you have collaborated on a few pieces in recent years, as well as appeared together not only at a con but to visit the remains of where you two created the turtles, does that mean whatever it was that drove you apart has been resolved, or are you guys just being civil & friendly out of a respect for the fans/30th anniversary/nostalgia?

    3. On the topic of Kevin Eastman, it's interesting seeing his solo efforts at IDW, he's written/drawn two annuals for them & aside from having in-series continuity they pretty much read exactly the same as his Mirage stuff. His turtles look & talk just as they did 25 years ago, which is for me, bittersweet. It's great to have him on board for modern offerings, but it makes me long for a new age of Mirage content & miss the old stuff that much more. Anyway, not sure if it's been brought to your attention already but in his most recent annual, he introduces Renet, & it is more or less implied that she is the same Renet from the Mirage universe, & that in this story, the IDW turtles have gone back in time/hopped dimensions & actually created the Battle Nexus Tournaments. So I guess he's technically tried to have a brief return to Mirage continuity. How do you feel about that? Do you feel a certain ownership over that timeline, that he should have consulted you before etching something into it?

    4. Would there ever come a day where you felt comfortable enough to put the Mirage turtles into the hands of say Jim & Dan to continue telling stories in that universe? Like a Tales vol. 3 or something like that? Alternately, how would you feel if IDW were to create a sort of "Tales Of The Turtleverse" series, in which they do stories across all the different comic series', (much like their 30th anniversary special)?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1.) Part of the preparation I had to do for the sale to take place was to get myself to a state of mind wherein I would not be torn up by any new iterations of the Turtles which the new owners would come up with. I think I have more or less successfully done that, so really when I see all the Turtle stuff in stores, I smile. However, I think you are entirely right when you say that the original "Turtlemania" will never happen again.

      2.) There were many stressful things which affected our relationship, mostly having to do with business. If I want to pick one thing -- something that could be pretty accurately described as "the straw that broke the camel's back" -- it would be the "girl Turtle" debacle of the "Next Mutation" era (a very short era, as the show only lasted one season). It certainly wasn't just that one thing, but I see it as a pretty clear demarcation.

      It's difficult to say exactly where Kevin and I are at these days, although it is undeniable that a lot of the angst which kept us apart for many years has faded, allowing us to enjoy each other's company. However, given that he and I live on opposite sides of the country and have very different lives, I'm pretty sure we will never have the kind of friendship we once had. That being said, I am glad things have changed -- I hope we get more opportunities to see each other in the future, and maybe even collaborate again on something.


      3.) I have no problem with Kevin using any aspect of TMNT in the comics he's doing for IDW -- I have no ownership of any of that stuff anymore, and besides, I think it's cool that he is having fun with it. -- PL

      

4.) I'm not sure I will ever get to the point where I want Mirage Studios to start up more publishing of TMNT comics beyond those which I have the rights to do -- it would just take a level of commitment on my part that I just can't summon up at the present time. As for IDW, I suspect they have enough on their plate with the new iteration of the Turtles' world that they have created. For my part, I have no interest in getting involved with anything like that. -- PL

      Delete
  41. (Hope you don't mind a few more)

    5. When I watched Turtle Power, I learned that the first film was originally going to be shot in Hong Kong, with Chinese stunt actors & a supposedly traditional kung-fu approach. When they say this, does that mean they were simply going to go about producing it differently, or would it have had an entirely different story/plot that took place in Hong Kong, like a Bruce Lee flick? That'd sure be something else.

    6. You always seemed very attached to Fugitoid, as he (to my knowledge, anyway) predates the turtles & appeals to your love for sci-fi. Forgetting his connection to the TMNT, is that a character you would ever see yourself revisiting, say for solo stuff? Do you have interest in creating stories/comics/etc in general these days? I think you said you had hoped separating yourself from the property would help you reconnect with the medium (if I'm remembering old blogs correctly), so I'm wondering if it's had the desired effect at all.


    7. How the heck are ya? How are you feeling these days? Is life treating you well? Still soaking up nature every now & then? Thanks for your time! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 5.) I'm not sure what their intentions were in that regard, as we were never consulted about it. I think those ideas were very preliminary, and relatively quickly abandoned, so we were never involved with discussions about them.

      6.) I do have great fondness for the 'Toid, but as he was part of the TMNT universe and thus an element of the sale to Viacom, the only way I could really do anything with him would be in the context of any future issues of TMNT Volume 4 I might produce.

      As for working on new comics, I don't have much interest in that right now. The medium of comics doesn't have the same appeal to me as it once did.

      7.) I'm doing okay, getting older, feeling that age, but still enjoying life for the most part, and still trying to get out in nature whenever I can. -- PL

      Delete
  42. In the notes for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Ultimate Collection, Kevin mentioned that in City at War, Karai disguises herself as her father The Shredder. Is that true? Because I always thought The Shredder being Karai's father was something that was created for the 4KIDS series.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have to go back and carefully re-read all of those "City at War" issues to be absolutely as sure as I could be, but I am pretty sure we did not make Karai the Shredder's daughter in "City at War". I can see at least two reasonable explanations for this apparent confusion:

      1.) WIthout sharing it with me for whatever reasons, Kevin had the idea while we were doing those issues that Karai was Oroku Saki's daughter.

      2.) Like many of us as we get older and accumulate a long trail of experiences, perhaps Kevin is unintentionally conflating what we did in "City at War" with later TMNT stories such as those in the 4Kids TV series. -- PL

      Delete
  43. Hey again.

    In tales of tmnt vol 2 comic 55, the one where we see what the turtles and splinter do on a day. Where Mikey fixes Raphs Teddy Bear. In the end of that comic Raph says something like Good Night Mikey, where ever you are, and we still haven´t got an answer to that question. So where was Mikey?

    This is maybe one question you really don´t know either. And sorry for the gramma. I´m from Sweden.

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    1. I'm sorry to say I don't remember reading that issue, so I can't answer your question. -- PL

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  44. So the first cartoon had a lot of changes from the comics, most of which I know were made in the best intentions I'm sure, but what about the somewhat pointless ones? Like how Krang's minions could easily have been Triceratons but for some reason they invented Rock Warriors, or having April be a reporter when a scientist would have been fine.

    Are there any changes you found to be especially pointless?

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    1. I'm sure if I were to go back and watch those episodes, I would find a lot of pointless changes. However, not having the patience to do that, I will just mention this one -- making Baxter Stockman a white guy in the cartoon, when he is black in the comics. -- PL

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  45. Have you seen Guardians of the Galaxy yet?

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    1. No, not yet. I may wait for the Blu-Ray. -- PL

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  46. 1. Back in 2001 what compelled you to start a new TMNT comic series with Volume 4? Mirage could have just stopped with Volume 2 and never made another comic, so what made you want to get back into it?

    2. Even before you sold the rights in 2009, you had a lack of interest in Volume 4 around 2007 when you were working with Kevin Munroe in the 4th movie. I remember there was like a 1 year hiatus or two between new issues, and that was even before the sale to Viacom. Was it simply a lack of interest in continuing the comic, or not being interested in completing the storylines you started?

    3. Volume 4 started in 2001, which is now remarkably, 13 years ago. If you could go back in time now to your younger self back in 2000-2001, would you have bothered to start Volume 4 with the knowledge that you would lose interest in finishing it a decade later?

    P.S. I loved watching the TMNT documentary, including all that old footage from the 80's of you and Kevin. The part where you guys opened up a bottle of champagne and poured it on your head (or Kevin did I forget who) was heartwarming like a, "We finally made it, we were a success!" kind of thing.

    - Scott

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    1. "1. Back in 2001 what compelled you to start a new TMNT comic series with Volume 4? Mirage could have just stopped with Volume 2 and never made another comic, so what made you want to get back into it?"

      I've written about this before in this blog and also in the letters pages of TMNT Volume 4, but basically it was timing -- I had been away from it long enough that I had gotten the hunger back, and also after buying out Kevin in mid-2000, the idea of creating a TMNT comic series which I would have complete editorial control over was quite appealing.



      "2. Even before you sold the rights in 2009, you had a lack of interest in Volume 4 around 2007 when you were working with Kevin Munroe in the 4th movie. I remember there was like a 1 year hiatus or two between new issues, and that was even before the sale to Viacom. Was it simply a lack of interest in continuing the comic, or not being interested in completing the storylines you started?"

      It was more a feeling of "Turtle burnout". Having been so involved in the 2003 4Kids TV series, the 2007 movie, the Volume 4 comics, and other things related to the TMNT property during those years after buying out Kevin, I had just lost the passion for working on the comics.

      

"3. Volume 4 started in 2001, which is now remarkably, 13 years ago. If you could go back in time now to your younger self back in 2000-2001, would you have bothered to start Volume 4 with the knowledge that you would lose interest in finishing it a decade later?"

      Yes, because for several years, I had great fun with it and really enjoyed the process. Working with Jim Lawson was a joy.



      "P.S. I loved watching the TMNT documentary, including all that old footage from the 80's of you and Kevin. The part where you guys opened up a bottle of champagne and poured it on your head (or Kevin did I forget who) was heartwarming like a, "We finally made it, we were a success!" kind of thing.

- Scott"

      Scott, I'm glad you enjoyed the documentary. For me, watching those scenes is a trip back in time, and makes me wish I had documented more of if on video and in writing. If only digital cameras and the Internet had been around in those years...! -- PL

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  47. Hey, hope your doin' well,

    Thinking back on the 2003 cartoon series, is there anything you would of done differently? I always personally felt April, and her relationship with the turtles, could of been a little more explored.

    Thanks

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    1. Before I answer your question, my inner copy editor requires me to point out to you that your usage of "could of" (used twice here) is incorrect -- it should be "could have", or if you prefer the contraction (which sort of sounds like "could of", but really isn't) you could use "could've".

      Anyway, there isn't a lot I would have done differently, given the circumstances. If you are asking me what might I have done differently had I (a) total control and (b) a lot more time to play with stuff, I would say that I would probably have given more thought to some of the plots, tried to be more involved at the storyboard stage, and tried harder to dissuade my then-partners (Playmates and 4Kids) from doing the "Fast Forward" and "Back to the Sewers" seasons, as well as the "Acolytes" season, and just stuck with the ongoing continuity we had established in the first four seasons. And I agree with you that the relationship between April and the Turtles (and April and Splinter, and April and Casey) deserved more attention. -- PL

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  48. In the 2003 cartoon what ethnicity is Casey supposed to be? He looks like he could be part Native American.

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    1. I'm pretty sure that it never came up, due to it being essentially irrelevant to the stories we were telling. That being said, I suppose he could have some American Indian ancestry... or not. -- PL

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  49. I was just wondering about Kirby the fifth Turtle, was there ever a backstory for him?

    Thank you for reading.

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    1. We did create some kind of backstory for that character, but for the moment I only recall that he was from another dimension -- something I was adamant about, so as to avoid the dumb-ass "There was a another turtle in the bowl!" idea. I may have notes kicking around somewhere, but I am not sure where. -- PL

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  50. Would you have any interest in being more involved with the current TMNT comic series or show? Or are you enjoying the major success you have already had and enjoying the "retirement"?

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    1. I think I'm happy with things the way they are. -- PL

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  51. I know it might be too late right now, but thank you Peter.
    For the chance to ask questions.

    Did you and Kevin worry about the future that people might not to known what TMNT originally looks like when the first animated series on air? Because since then, it feel like every cartoon series of Turtles is made for younger audience. But 2K3 series is a different story.

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    1. If I am understanding your question correctly, my answer would be "No". What happened over the years was that most people got introduced to the TMNT via some mass market thing -- the cartoons, the toys, the video games, the movies -- and later, if they stuck with it, they discovered our original comic book Turtles. I suspect that as long as the TMNT exist as a continuing property, this will continue to be the case.

      Kevin and I always viewed the comics as something separate in spirit and approach from all the other incarnations of the TMNT. -- PL

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    2. Thank you Peter! what a relief.

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  52. Thank you for answering my previous questions, Mr. Laird! I have a few more, if you don't mind.

    1. If Leo had to choose between saving a friend or his brothers, who would he choose and why?

    2. How do you think Leo would get along with Jotaro, Usagi's son? Would Jotaro be a potential student of Leo's in the future?

    3. What traits do each of the turtles find most admirable in their friends?

    4. Does Karai have a crush on Casey? She seems kind of happy about their night together!

    Thank you!!!

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    1. "1. If Leo had to choose between saving a friend or his brothers, who would he choose and why?"

      It would depend on the circumstances., but I think that -- generally speaking -- he would lean towards his brothers, because they're family.

      

"2. How do you think Leo would get along with Jotaro, Usagi's son? Would Jotaro be a potential student of Leo's in the future?"

      I think they'd probably get along. As for Jotaro being Leo's student… I'd not sure why he would need to be, given who Jotaro's dad is!

      

"3. What traits do each of the turtles find most admirable in their friends?"

      Discretion.

      

"4. Does Karai have a crush on Casey? She seems kind of happy about their night together!"

      She might… but it's always difficult to pin down Karai's motives and feelings. -- PL

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  53. 1. Other then the original Comics published by Mirage, what would you say your favourite incarnation of the TMNT is?

    2. It's been over 10 years since I got into this franchise, but now I gotta know, how the shell do the boys get their money?

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    1. "Other then the original Comics published by Mirage, what would you say your favourite incarnation of the TMNT is?"

      Off the top of my head, it would be a toss-up among the following -- the Dark Horse lead miniatures, the Playmates Toys action figures, the first live-action movie, the NECA action figures, and the 2003 4Kids animated series.

      

"2. It's been over 10 years since I got into this franchise, but now I gotta know, how the shell do the boys get their money?"

      You seem to be assuming that they would NEED money. It's surely possible that they could have gotten on quite well by clever scavenging, using their ninja skills.

      In any event, we never got into the money thing, specifically, because it seemed there were so many possibilities that it wasn't that important -- it was kind of an extraneous detail.

      You might recall that in some early issues of TMNT Volume 4, I had the Turtles discovering in an obscure corner of the underground an old armored car with money in it. If they kept it, that would be one way to have lots of money. They could have saved someone early on who was so grateful that they rewarded the Turtles with cash gifts. They could have gathered cans and bottle and gotten the deposit money for them. They could have found employment with some people/organizations who would overlook the fact that they were Mutant Turtles because of the value of their unique skills. They could have stolen from evildoers, and given to the poor (which would have included them).

      Need I go on? I guess it's fun to think up different scenarios, but I really think it is not very important to the whole story of the TMNT. -- PL

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    2. Thanks for the replies Peter! I appreciate it!

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  54. hi peter,
    thanks for answering my first questions...
    I just thought of another few..

    1.) first of all I have to say right away that I never read any daredevil myself, so I am in part just assuming in my question,
    when you connected the story of the turtles with the origin of daredevil the cannister still came from a truck that was driven by utroms in human skin suit disguises.(like we learned in issue 7 I think)..was the fact that whoever drove that truck that carried also the cannister that was responsible for affecting daredevil(don't know his alter ego citizen name right now) ever adressed in the daredevil comics to your knowledge(back then I mean)?..did they give another exploration of what the source for altering matt murdock's state(yes, THAT was his name;)..) had been in those comics?
    having never read daredevil books your homage slipped by me for a couple of years until I read it in an interview with you guys..I only had the slight impressino that for some strange reason your origin story seemed a bit...maybe unnecessarily loaded..in that part;)...but after seeing what you did there I found it both amusing and charming,,
    2.) so, in all these years after the comics were created have you ever talked-however briefly-with frank miller about the turtles at all?what was his position on your heroes?
    3.)I have seen in pictures over the years that you and kevin got to meet the great jack king kirby at conventions.he even drew or inked a pin up in one of the turtle soup books I think to remember.did he see what you were borrowing from him with your use of dynamics and page layout etc?what did he have to say to you about the turtles?..if you want to share with us

    thanks again!
    always interesting

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    1. "1.) first of all I have to say right away that I never read any daredevil myself, so I am in part just assuming in my question,
when you connected the story of the turtles with the origin of daredevil the cannister still came from a truck that was driven by utroms in human skin suit disguises.(like we learned in issue 7 I think)..was the fact that whoever drove that truck that carried also the cannister that was responsible for affecting daredevil(don't know his alter ego citizen name right now) ever adressed in the daredevil comics to your knowledge(back then I mean)?..did they give another exploration of what the source for altering matt murdock's state(yes, THAT was his name;)..) had been in those comics?"

      I have no idea if any Marvel comic, DAREDEVIL or any other, ever touched on that connection.

      "having never read daredevil books your homage slipped by me for a couple of years until I read it in an interview with you guys..I only had the slight impressino that for some strange reason your origin story seemed a bit...maybe unnecessarily loaded..in that part;)...but after seeing what you did there I found it both amusing and charming,,"

      When we did that little bit -- the boy saving the old blind man, etc. -- it was never meant to be a heavy-handed connection to the origin of Marvel's Daredevil… in fact, the way we did it can be taken to have no connection at all, especially if one was not aware of the DAREDEVIL origin story. It was just a fun "tip of the hat" to a comic book we both liked.

      "2.) so, in all these years after the comics were created have you ever talked-however briefly-with frank miller about the turtles at all?what was his position on your heroes?"

      I can't speak for Kevin, but I'm pretty sure I've never met Frank Miller -- at least, I have no memory of doing so. There is a photo taken at our first San Diego convention which (if I'm remembering correctly) depicts Frank holding up one or more TMNT comics in front of our table there, but I can't recall if that was taken by Kevin or me, and whether I was at the table at that moment.

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    2. "3.)I have seen in pictures over the years that you and kevin got to meet the great jack king kirby at conventions.he even drew or inked a pin up in one of the turtle soup books I think to remember.did he see what you were borrowing from him with your use of dynamics and page layout etc?what did he have to say to you about the turtles?..if you want to share with us"

      I wish I'd had more opportunities to spend time with Jack Kirby, but I treasure those few brief moments when I interacted with him. I'm not sure what he perceived in our work that was inspired by him -- that would have been a fun conversation to have.

      My favorite memory regarding connecting with Jack was around the time we were preparing to do the "Donatello One-Issue MicroSeries", back in 1985, I think. I had come up with the story, which dealt with a character named Kirby, a tenant in the basement apartment in April O'Neil's building, who looked like the real Jack Kirby and was a talented artist. I had laid out the book with pretty detailed thumbnails. I made copies of these and -- using a mailing address supplied by Steve Bissette -- I sent them to Jack, explaining what we were planning to do, and telling him that if he was okay with our plans for the story, we also wanted to cut him in on the profits from sales of that issue (I believe we planned to give him 50% of net). I also made it clear that if he DIDN'T like what we were planning to do, we wouldn't do it.

      Some time went by -- a week, maybe two, I can't recall exactly at the moment -- and I got a telephone call in our little rented log cabin in Sharon, CT. It was Jack Kirby! He was calling me to let us know he didn't want any of the profits, though he appreciated the offer, and he was okay with the story and would give us his blessing if we changed one thing: I'd drawn the character of Kirby with a cigar in a number of panels, as that had been a kind of signature thing I'd seen in photos of Jack and self-portraits he'd drawn over the years. He wanted it changed, because he had given up the habit and didn't think it was a good thing for the kids to see. I, of course, agreed immediately. That call was quite a thrill for me -- I wish I had a recording of it! -- PL

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  55. So you had previously stated that an early pitch for a TMNT movie was to have comedians in green make-up.

    What did you think of that idea and why do you think they wanted to take that approach?

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    1. I thought it was incredibly stupid, and I suspect they thought it was "hip" as well as something that would be cheap to produce. I am glad we passed on it. -- PL

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  56. Had you never created TMNT or if it never took off, what would you career have been like over the last 30 years? Also with the change of the industry from the 80's, to 90's, to 2000's and the change of technology, what do you think you would have been working on?

    Would you have worked for DC or Marvel as an artist? Or nothing to do with comic books at all?

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    1. That is a fascinating question, and one I have considered several times. My best guess is that I would have continued my career as a freelance illustrator, getting better at it and slowly building up a client base which would have allowed me a modest standard of living. I'm not sure if I ever would have been able to get into comics, except in the realm of self-publishing.

      But who knows?

      I would have loved to work for Marvel or DC, and possibly get a chance to play with some of my favorite characters. But I think that ship has sailed. -- PL

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  57. Hi Peter,

    Ive loved all your work for a long time and just came across your blog this week.
    Is there any chance of doing animated films the same way DC and marvel have?
    I think it would be amazing, and you could go back to a more adult theme.

    Thanks for taking the time to reply (if you can),


    Ive loved the turtles since my childhood.. Im 27 now and nothing has changed.
    (Personally I didnt like the 2014 film)

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    1. I no longer own the TMNT property, and thus have no say in whether or not things like this are produced. That being said, I agree that it could be cool, if done correctly. -- PL

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  58. So I have noticed that American comics can be a little odd to collect, not really hard, just odd.

    As an example we'll take how IDW is handling TMNT trades. While I am happy that they're reprinting the old comics since it would be too hard for a non-American such as myself to find them, it's a bit strange how they went about it:

    Ultimate Collection are the core issues of volume 1 in their original black and white format.
    The Works are the core issues of volume 1 in color.
    Classics are the other issues of volume 1, volume 2, side stuff and possibly even more material, all in color.
    Tales collects both volume 1 and 2 in color.
    The Mike Zulli stuff will be in it's own collection in color.
    And finally, oddly enough they decided to put the Fugitoid as bonus in the Utrom Empire trade, a mini-series for the IDW series which of course has nothing to do with the Mirage continuity.

    All of this seems really odd and needlessly complicated. Why only give the Original/Color option on the some issues? Why give the Mike Zulli stuff it's own collection, while the clearly non-canon Mark Martin stuff gets lumped together with volume 2?

    This actually a pretty mild example, other publishers can be far more confusing. Does this seem weird to you as well? I know you have nothing to with their decisions, I'm just asking for your opinion.

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    1. I haven't studied this as completely as you have, but it does seem a little confused. Perhaps there is some overarching plan which is not immediately apparent. However, the weirdest choice that I have seen vis a vis IDW's reprinting of the old Mirage TMNT stuff is their decision to color over the Duo-Shade artwork.

      That being said, I have to say that I really like their large-format straight black and white reprintings. -- PL

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  59. Hi Peter!

    Sorry I'm a little late to the party here. I loved reading your responses. Forgive me if you answered this question in the past...

    1. Any chance you'd let Jim finish up the writing of Volume 4 so we could all have some closure on the characters? Do you have a basic outline of the story that Jim could work off of?

    2. Also, (I know this is personal so feel free to ignore away!), but what kind of impact has being involved in such a huge franchise affected your family life?

    3. What is your favorite state park to visit in the MA &/or CT area?

    Thank you in advance!

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    1. 1.) No, and no. And I have nothing against Jim -- it's just that TMNT Volume 4 is a personal project, and if it gets finished, it will be finished with me writing and lettering and toning it (and hopefully Jim penciling and MIke Dooney doing the covers!)

      2.) I prefer not to get into that.

      3.) I'm not sure. -- PL

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  60. Hey Peter, if the folks at Nickelodeon asked you to do a voice of a character on the current animated series like Kevin Eastman did, would you consider it?

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  61. Hi Peter!

    Sorry that I'm late to the party and you probably had nothing to do with it but I'll ask anyway. What happened with the 2K3 series DVD's? They're a mess and as soon as it started to get straightened out they stopped producing them. I wish they had just release them by season like regular tv shows. Thanks Pete!

    Brian

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    1. While I would agree that it would have been better to release them in a more complete, coherent and consistent manner, I would not call them a "mess". And you're right -- I had little control over how they were released. -- PL

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  62. Peter, please forgive me. I am admittedly not a true TMNT fan (although I wouldn't say I have anything against them either!) But my fiancé and my son are both enormous fans of your work. Actually, the Turtles are more than just a cartoon, in our home. You see, my fiancé, Jamie, was sexually abused as a child for three years by his own father. He loved the TMNT comics, cartoons, and movies. So much, that he was showered with Turtle toys, games, and clothes for every holiday until the first wave of TMNT toys went out of style. Even still, he remained a true and loyal fan. So much so that when I met him, at the age of 25, his room was still filled with every toy he had collected throughout his childhood. (Now, I know what you're thinking, but he actually IS really well adjusted, social, and outgoing... haha.) Eventually we moved in together, and despite my best efforts, the thousands of Turtles and friends (/enemies) came with (except for Scratch, of course... I see him fawn over images of the Scratch toys online almost daily). Over the course of living with him though, I have come to realize, though he doesn't express it, that the Ninja Turtles help him remember the better parts of his childhood. They help him get over the negative experiences, and allow him to look back on fond memories. Jamie, two years ago, founded a nonprofit organization for victims of rape and sexual abuse to allow others to learn to cope with their experiences by talking openly about their stories, without fear of shame or judgement. While the sexual abuse is a huge part of his past, I think for him, the Turtles were such a positive part that they are able to overshadow that. He now has a sleeve of Turtle tattoos on his left arm that he wears proudly and shows off every chance he gets. Our basement is still lined with shelves of TMNT toys, and the movies still play somewhat regularly in my home. But even with all of the items in his collection, I still wish I could give him more. He does so much for everyone else and never asks for anything for himself, and we live paycheck to paycheck, so I couldn't afford to give him much even if he did ask. But I was wondering if you ever do any personal gifts for fans. Letters, autographed photos... even just a phone call. Christmas is coming up, and while I've filled a small box with some of the newer, more affordable toys that I could find, I feel like he deserves more. I hope you don't take offense to this request. I know this AMA is more for Q&A type questions. But if I have a chance to do something for him, the way he constantly does for others, than I hope you understand that I HAVE to take it. Please accept my apology for my forwardness, and please accept my thanks, for creating something that allowed such a sweet little boy to overcome the trauma that was inflicted upon him. All the best, Peter. --Pinky (pinky@avoicefortheinnocent.org)

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  63. we where discussing this in another forum..but i'm curious if you thought tmnt kind of lacked marketting vision, so things would be a bit more organized. for instance, 4kids releasing things in confusing volumes for the DVD releases...only to stop halfway through once they finally got to season sets. or that Turtles in Time Remake for the XBox, where they used the 4Kids voice actors instead of the original series voice actors. or the Fred Wolf DVD's, with confusing artwork (all the same) on various volume releases and then also going to season sets finally.

    It just seems to me the marketing partners don't put alot of effort to into tmnt releases to do things right the first time, partly probably because it's a kids property that doesn't get as much respect as say, a batman release would. i s this something you've noticed as well?


    Also, regarding your DC TV comments..... I felt like I wasted ten years of my life on smallville. the producers of that show basically made a tween drama with some superman elements thrown in and turned clark kent into a depressed teen (just like superman returns turned him into a depressed stalkerish adult). So I skipped Arrow on the basis that I thought it'd be more of the same. However, that being said, I really like Flash, so I gave them one last chance. SO FAR.....the Flash TV series seems to be pretty darn good. more exciting and interesting than smallville was in it's first season. So now i'm wondering if I should give Arrow a chance...

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    1. When I look back at my days with the TMNT, at least as far as the licensing aspect goes, I think it might have been a good idea if I had been more on top of some of the things our licensees were doing (or not doing, as the case may be). It might have helped clear up things like the confused release of DVDs of the 4Kids episodes. Of course, hindsight is, as they say, 20/20.

      If I were you, I would give "Arrow" a shot (no pun intended). One thing which you might find startling is that for the entire first season, Oliver Queen/Green Arrow (although they don't call him "Green Arrow", and not even "Arrow" until the second season) is, essentially, an assassin. He basically goes around killing people he thinks have failed his city. It's pretty hard-edged, and they tone it down quite a bit in the second season. But the action is great, the acting is solid, and they're not afraid to use comic book-style costumes, albeit a little freshened up for contemporary eyes.

      There are significant amounts of time spent on interpersonal drama in "Arrow", but I never felt the action part was given short shrift -- I think "Arrow" strikes a nice balance. -- PL

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  64. So I noticed that both the 1987 TMNT cartoon and the 2003 TMNT cartoon had unusually long lifespans, typically cartoons of their kind last 26-65 episodes, while they both had over 150 episodes.

    Why do you think they lasted as long as they did?

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    1. I think the simple answer is that the Turtles are just very appealing characters. -- PL

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    2. What's the more complex answer? Someone could canceled them for a number of reasons that have little to do with their ratings, that sort of thing actually happens more often than one would suspect.

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    3. You're right -- in fact, if memory serves (and in this case, it very well might NOT, as I distanced myself from this project), I think the awful "TMNT: The Next Mutation" show actually got decent ratings, but still only lasted one season.

      As for the 2003 show -- I'm sure there were a number of rationales behind the decision to cancel it, rationales that I was not privy to. But my best guess is that our two partners in the show -- 4Kids and Playmates --- looked at the numbers and decided, on balance, it wasn't worth the money we were all putting into it. But that's just my guess... I could be wrong. -- PL

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    4. This is interesting to hear. I kind of assumed (without ever looking into it properly) that one of the reasons the 2003 series came to an end when it did was that Nickelodeon bought the Turtles franchise in 2009. But since you say you were "not privy to the rationales" behind cancelling the show, I assume then that all details regarding its cancellation were worked out prior to - or at least independently of - Nick buying the Turtles property from Mirage.

      By the way, I just gotta add here that the 2003 series is by far my favorite TMNT cartoon. :) In my book, no TV series - and probably no filmed adaptiation, period - has come as close to capturing the dark, unpredictable and often also very funny spirit of your and Kevin's original comic books. And of course, from what I've read, capturing the spirit of the original comics is exactly what you were aiming for.

      I've admittedly only watched a season and a half so far (and I'm currently taking a break because I intend to read the "City of War" story before watching the TV adaptation -- waiting for the "Ultimate Collection" volumes of the original issues to reach my mailbox right now:). But most of what I *have* watched has been fantastic, and I especially loved the multi-parters, which really had that effect of making me want to press "play" on the next episode the moment the credits rolled. The ten-episode arc "The Search for Splinter/Turtles in Space/Secret Origins" was a particular high point for me.

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    5. ...and I just noticed that I somehow managed to write "City *of* War" instead of "City *at* War". Ah well. Consider this my correction.

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    6. "This is interesting to hear. I kind of assumed (without ever looking into it properly) that one of the reasons the 2003 series came to an end when it did was that Nickelodeon bought the Turtles franchise in 2009. But since you say you were "not privy to the rationales" behind cancelling the show, I assume then that all details regarding its cancellation were worked out prior to - or at least independently of - Nick buying the Turtles property from Mirage."

      I'd have to ask other people who were involved -- Gary or Lloyd, maybe -- to get more clarity about why 4Kids decided to stop doing the show. But it is intriguing to contemplate what might have happened if 4Kids had not gone in the direction that they did, with "Fast Forward" and "Back to the Sewer", and instead had kept plugging away with episodes based on the continuity we'd established in the first four seasons of the 2K3 show. It's somewhat possible that my energy level and interest in continuing with the property might have picked up… and I might not have sold it to Viacom when I did.

      

"By the way, I just gotta add here that the 2003 series is by far my favorite TMNT cartoon. :) In my book, no TV series - and probably no filmed adaptiation, period - has come as close to capturing the dark, unpredictable and often also very funny spirit of your and Kevin's original comic books. And of course, from what I've read, capturing the spirit of the original comics is exactly what you were aiming for."

      Thanks! I'm happy to hear that. 



      "I've admittedly only watched a season and a half so far (and I'm currently taking a break because I intend to read the "City of War" story before watching the TV adaptation -- waiting for the "Ultimate Collection" volumes of the original issues to reach my mailbox right now:). But most of what I *have* watched has been fantastic, and I especially loved the multi-parters, which really had that effect of making me want to press "play" on the next episode the moment the credits rolled. The ten-episode arc "The Search for Splinter/Turtles in Space/Secret Origins" was a particular high point for me."

      There are enough departures from the original "City at War" comic book arc that it probably isn't necessary to read those stories before watching the adaptations. -- PL

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  65. In the 2003 cartoon, how much older would you say Casey and April are compared to the Turtles?

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    1. That's a great question. That's the biggest stretch for me. While I love the new show & totally understand Nick's reasoning behind making April & Casey younger, I always preferred the older versions from the original comics. It made for a unique & offbeat camaraderie. The 2003 turtles show remains one of the best animated series' of all time. Sorry, just had to throw my two cents in there.

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    2. I don't think we ever had a specific age in mind, but I would guess mid to late twenties. -- PL

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  66. Peter, any plans to work with IDW in the future on any of the turtle books? I know you & Kevin contributed to the cover for their recent anniversary special.

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    1. I know of no such plans at the moment. -- PL

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  67. Was Hun created as a subsitute for Tatsu from the movies? I rewatched the entire 2003 series this year after having watched the first movie all the way through for the first time, and I noticed some parallels in the cartoon that were not in the comics. April's first visit to the lair was more like the movie rather than the comics and the point of Splinter scratching someone when escaping his cage.

    Which led me to wonder if Hun was intended to be Tatsu but it was changed for some reason like copyright infringement or that it didn't work in the story, because they both fill similar roles. So was he?

    As a side note, I didn't like the movie that much, I felt the turtles were too similar in personality to each other, they relied too heavily on dopey comedy like in the first cartoon, Raph was really the only one of them who got to shine and the story did not feel right crammed into less than two hours. It's not a terrible movie and the good parts are good, but I don't really think it works that well as a movie.

    What's your opinion of the movie?

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    1. I don't recall any conversations with anyone working on the 4Kids TMNT TV show having to do with Tatsu. I think it is purely coincidence that both characters are big bruisers.

      What movie are you referring to? As I pointed out earlier, I have not yet seen the 2014 movie. -- PL

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    2. I referred to the movie from 1990, the first one.

      The short version of my opinion is that I felt it was crammed, all the the turtles except Raph felt the same to me and the way they were depicted annoyed me.

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    3. I agree that it is not a perfect movie (how many movies are, really?), but for a first live-action attempt to bring the TMNT to movie screens, with a relatively skimpy budget, I thought it was pretty darn close to perfect. I was not annoyed at all with how the Turtles were depicted. -- PL

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  68. So the original Utrom story was a sort of "Don't judge a book by it's cover" story, the turtles attacked them because things looked bad and that got them stranded in space and only found out that the Utroms were on their side when they got back.

    With that in mind, how do feel about the push to make them bad guys, with the "Utrom Empire" angle IDW is pulling and the "Kraang" in the new Nickelodeon cartoon?

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    1. I've only watched the first season of the Nick show, and I just don't feel that the "Kraang" are Utroms. For one thing, they're too annoying. Some physical similarities aside, they really seem like much different characters.

      As for what IDW is doing with them, I find it difficult to comment, having not followed the IDW TMNT stuff beyond the first issue. But if you want a general observation, I find it a little disappointing, as one of the reasons we made the Utroms "good guys" (if you want to call them that) in the Mirage books was that we were playing against stereotypes. I always found that appealing. -- PL

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  69. It's been about a year since I asked you if you would be willing to do an appearance in Dallas. I know that you are not doing many, if any, con appearances but I would love to explore the opportunity with you. Would you be kind enough to contact me via our website? Thanks.

    Chris

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    1. Chris, thanks for your interest, really. However, I am not at this point in time making plans to do any appearances as far away as Dallas. Sorry! -- PL

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  70. Hello Peter,
    I was fortunate enough to meet you last year for the 30th anniversary @ FCBD and would just like to say thank you for giving the fans that opportunity. It's a memory I will always cherish.

    Speaking of 30th Anniversaries Ghostbusters shares theirs as well this year.
    Now I know you don't read the new comics but I was wondering if you were aware of the recently published TMNT/Ghostbusters crossover mini series?

    Is there any past proposals that would have combined both franchises besides the Playmates toys? I do recall a line of TMNT figures wearing GB suits.

    Also a personal question. After seeing your reply about inking "So I almost never color a piece of original artwork -- instead, I make copies of the black and white artwork.." I was hoping I could convince you to ink this really neat penciled piece by Kevin from 1985 (and then colored by Steve of course) -http://imgur.com/a/pQXuG#8

    What I love about this the most is who I assume is Donnie finding a Dare Devil comic. What this was drawn for I have no idea as does Kevin but I have envisioned this piece inked and colored the moment I saw it. If you are up for this I would be eternally and monetarily in your debt!

    Thanks Peter.

    -Don

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    1. "Hello Peter,
I was fortunate enough to meet you last year for the 30th anniversary @ FCBD and would just like to say thank you for giving the fans that opportunity. It's a memory I will always cherish. "

      You're welcome, and thanks for saying that.



      "Speaking of 30th Anniversaries Ghostbusters shares theirs as well this year.
Now I know you don't read the new comics but I was wondering if you were aware of the recently published TMNT/Ghostbusters crossover mini series? "

      I'm aware of it, but have not seen it.



      "Is there any past proposals that would have combined both franchises besides the Playmates toys? I do recall a line of TMNT figures wearing GB suits. "

      I don't recall TMNT figures in "Ghostbusters" suits, but it's possible, I suppose. I don't think there were any attempts to do a crossover between the two back when I was involved, at least none that I can recall.

      

"Also a personal question. After seeing your reply about inking "So I almost never color a piece of original artwork -- instead, I make copies of the black and white artwork.." I was hoping I could convince you to ink this really neat penciled piece by Kevin from 1985 (and then colored by Steve of course) -http://imgur.com/a/pQXuG#8 

What I love about this the most is who I assume is Donnie finding a Dare Devil comic. What this was drawn for I have no idea as does Kevin but I have envisioned this piece inked and colored the moment I saw it. If you are up for this I would be eternally and monetarily in your debt! "

      I am afraid I must disappoint you, at least for now. I do very little inking these days, and I generally reserve it for things that have some special meaning to me. -- PL

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  71. Peter,

    I had the amazing privilege to meet Kevin Eastman this summer. Half of my TMNT related bucket list is complete! That said, are you planning any appearances in the near future? I am more than happy to travel to meet you.

    Thanks!

    Matt

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    1. Matt, I'm glad you got a chance to meet Kevin. I have no appearances planned, though it is likely I will make another one at Shellback Artworks in Wells, Maine at some point in the next year. -- PL

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    2. Thank you Peter! Definitely something to look forward to in 2015! I'll be traveling from Virginia, so the more notice I have to plan for my trip, the better :)

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  72. Peter, are there any plans to put out any other limited artwork/posters or misc. merchandise though Mirage Studios online ordering page? I already purchased 2 sets of the "City @ War" & AC Farley posters a while's back but was curious if we'll be seeing anything else on the website. The AC Farley TMNT poster has got to be one of my all time favorite pieces. It's like the Conan of Frazetta & the "City @ War" poster hangs framed & proudly in my living room.

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    1. There are no plans right now to produce any NEW material, if that is what you are asking. As for collectible items, I have been thinking of winnowing my TMNT collection and offering a bunch of things -- most likely Playmates Toys stuff and some other merchandise. That might happen in the next few months, depending on my energy level. -- PL

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  73. So IDW made the decision early on to have Angel be a major character in their series (you know, the would be Purple Dragon kid from the 2003 series), which I found to be an odd decision since she seemed like such a minor character to me.

    Are there characters you found to be more popular/utilised than you initially expected?

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    1. To which iteration(s) of TMNT are you referring? -- PL

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    2. I first referred to how IDW decided to put a previously minor character in the spotlight and how I thought it was weird.

      For my actual question, I did not refer to any iteration in particular, it was more of a question about any characters in any iteration being used more frequently than you thought they would be.
      Wheter they show up more than you expected in a single incarnation or if they show up in more incarnations than you expected is not an important distinction to my question.

      Concrete examples: "Did Bishop show up more in the 2003 cartoon than you expected?" and "Did Hun show up in more incarnation of TMNT than you expected?".

      Of course my actual question refers to any characters, not just Hun or Bishop.

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    3. Hun and Bishop are two characters which fit your parameters. I would also add Baxter Stockman in the 2K3 show. As for the first animated series, I would add Bebop, Rocksteady, Krang and the Shredder. I can't really think of any such characters from the comics. -- PL

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  74. I apologize for being late to the game. What are the plans for the Mirage turtles once you're done (not just volume 4 but the turtles enitrely)? I'm speaking of the turtles from the Mirage universe that you started 30 years ago. I hope you continue writing for us fans forever, but I know this is highly unlikely. If you're not doing it, who will take over? Will you give your successor any directions on where to take the turtles next? I'm sure you have plans to pass the baton to someone. If not, then the door will be open to Nickelodeon/IDW to possibly continue the original turtles universe in anyway they want (which would be very weird). Or fans form all over to write their version of the original turtles continuing where you leave off. I can see this getting very messy after you leave. Some direction on your wishes post PL Turtles would be nice. I apologize for sounding morbid.

    Thanks for everything.

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    1. Thanks for your question -- I don't see it as "morbid", really. What a lot of people don't understand (and perhaps it is my fault for not articulating it properly) is that when I struck the deal with the new owners of the TMNT property which allowed me to do up to eighteen issues of a TMNT comic book per year, it was not my intent to have this right so I could start publishing TMNT comics by other people… this was really to allow me, if the spirt moved me, to have fun with the characters I co-created with Kevin Eastman in a way similar to the way Kevin and I had fun with them in the beginning. I'm not really interested in working on TMNT comics at Mirage Studios in any other way, at least at the present time (and probably for a long while to come, and maybe always… who knows?).

      It's my understanding of the deal with Viacom that -- if they wished -- they could authorize a publisher to create TMNT comics set in the "Mirage universe", using the continuity we established in the Mirage books, and continue in that vein. I could be wrong about that, but I don't think I am. In any event, at this time it appears they have no interest in doing that. -- PL

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  75. So IDW recently announced they will start something akin to a revival of the Mighty Mutanimals or at least something very similar to Mighty Mutanimals, while someone out there is surely overjoyed by the idea it's worth noting that the original Mighty Mutanimals kind of flopped.

    Do you think TMNT will ever have a successful spin-off, or do you think most TMNT characters are too obscure and/or too closely associated with the TMNT brand in the eyes of the public for that to happen?

    Also, what do you think Ryan Brown feels about his Mighty Mutanimals concept possibly being revived?

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    1. I see no particular reason why TMNT could not have a successful "spin-off" -- all it would take, I think, is inspired creativity.

      I haven't been in touch with Ryan Brown for a long time, so it is hard for me to tell how he would think about "Mutanimals" being revived. I guess it would have a lot to do with HOW it was done. -- PL

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  76. I just watched the Turtle Power documentary, what did you think of it?

    I thought it was really bad as a documentary, especially for one labeled "the definitive history" since it mostly just covers the Fred Wolf cartoon and the first movie. The worst sin it commits is that almost everything released after 1994 seems to be lumped together in this vague statement about TMNT "living on".

    For a "definitive history" it sure seems eager to avoid the last two thirds of the history it's documenting and dance around most of the first...

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    1. Much like the "Ultimate Visual History of the TMNT" book, I think the "Turtle Power" video documentary suffers from (to paraphrase the old saying) trying to fit ten pounds of stuff into a two-pound container. There's just no way to cover it all adequately in the space allotted.

      I do think there are some egregious gaps in the "Turtle Power" documentary, which is unfortunate. And I think there are some spots where the small amount of time available is wasted on stuff which -- while interesting and not without its charm -- could have been trimmed quite a bit to allow mention of other important TMNT history. I'm thinking specifically of the long segment with the voice actors from the first TMNT animated series. Fun stuff, but it went on too long. Maybe it would be great to have in a three or four hour-long documentary, but not in something with this short a running time.

      It is is my hope that Randall and his talented and dedicated crew get to put together and release an extended version of the documentary, as they have the material to do so, and I expect it would be much more satisfying to true TMNT fans than the one which has been released.

      That being said, I am glad they were able to do this first one. And due to the fact that there are no other documentaries about the history of the TMNT, this one is, in a way, actually what it claims to be -- the definitive history of the TMNT, on video.

      At least for now. -- PL

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  77. I agree. It would be great to see 4 plus hours of unseen footage. After watching it I immediately wanted to email you with questions but I'm sure you've covered them all in your blog. So I'll read some of the old posts. Are you still reading comics? Do you fish?

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    1. I generally do not read new comics. And I don't fish. I do eat fish, though. -- PL

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  78. So having watched the watched the first season of the Nickelodeon cartoon, you might have figured out that the April in that show is not quite a normal human, likewise the IDW series has some hints about April not being quite normal (though I might just misinterpret that).

    Do you think these instances might have been inspired by your controversial decision with April's origin in volume 4 or do you think turning April away from "everywoman" status is something that comes naturally to writers?

    Speaking of that controversial decision, I noticed a brief line between April and Renet in the 2003 cartoon that seem to hint at that story, were there talks about adapting it into the show?

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  79. "So having watched the watched the first season of the Nickelodeon cartoon, you might have figured out that the April in that show is not quite a normal human, likewise the IDW series has some hints about April not being quite normal (though I might just misinterpret that).

Do you think these instances might have been inspired by your controversial decision with April's origin in volume 4 or do you think turning April away from "everywoman" status is something that comes naturally to writers?"

    I really have no idea.

    

"Speaking of that controversial decision, I noticed a brief line between April and Renet in the 2003 cartoon that seem to hint at that story, were there talks about adapting it into the show?"

    I'm not sure what line it is to which you are referring. As far as I can recall, we never discussed adapting the origin for April which I used in the Volume 4 comics. I suspect it would not have been a good fit. -- PL

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    1. I believe the line referred to is in the return of Sevanti where April's saying "i know you don't know me but I'm april and..." Renet *interrupting* "oh of course I know you april i was the one who told you.....oh wait that hasn't happened yet."
      ~Just as curious about the answer, and perhaps what Renet was referring to.
      Mel

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    2. Mel, I am pretty sure that bit was simply a reference to the fact that Renet, as a "Timestress", moves in and out and backwards and forwards in time, and -- often portrayed as being a bit of a "space cadet" -- often can't keep it all straight. I don't recall ever discussing with Lloyd of any of the other writers on the 2K3 show the idea of folding the April origin story form Volume 4 into the TV series. -- PL

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    3. Haha I figured, but if I was missing something, it was worth a shot. Thanks!

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  80. First of all, thanks for continuing to do this for so long.

    I would like to know what comics (if any) you were into at the time of the early development of TMNT. I know of the Miller and Daredevil connection and I'm aware of your fondness for all things Kirby, but can you recommend something from that era? If the answer is none, I'll settle for any series that was special to you prior to the 80s or after the mid-90s.

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    1. "First of all, thanks for continuing to do this for so long."

      You're welcome.

      

"I would like to know what comics (if any) you were into at the time of the early development of TMNT. I know of the Miller and Daredevil connection and I'm aware of your fondness for all things Kirby, but can you recommend something from that era? If the answer is none, I'll settle for any series that was special to you prior to the 80s or after the mid-90s."

      It's funny -- I know I was really enjoying reading comics at that time, but right now, I can't remember what they were! I suspect that if I looked at a list of comics published in 1983 and 1984, I could pick out ones I was into back then, but -- embarrassingly -- none really come to mind. I do know that I was reading a number of books put out by the "independent" publishers.

      That being said, I can wholeheartedly recommend Jack Kirby's "Fourth World" comics which he did during his short-lived return to DC -- "New Gods", "Forever People", and "Mister Miracle" -- and also his work on "Jimmy Olsen" at that time. Kirby's "Kamandi" and "The Demon" were also highly entertaining. I can't think of any period in comics history when that much ingenuity and creativity and imagination, in both writing and artwork -- came out of one person. It truly was a heady time to be a Kirby fan. -- PL

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  81. Is there any particular reason the Federation in Mirage/4kids look like normal humans despite being aliens? I know series like Star Wars do the same thing (humans not from Earth), but I'm wondering what the decision was to make them human instead of some other type of alien creatures to battle the Triceratons instead?

    Also was the concept of the Neutrinos from the original cartoon based on the Federation? They were humanoid and given elf like ears, but the Neutrino starmobile is loosely based on the flying hovercars the Turtles used in the "Turtles in Space" arc in Mirage and 4kids.

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    1. "Is there any particular reason the Federation in Mirage/4kids look like normal humans despite being aliens? I know series like Star Wars do the same thing (humans not from Earth), but I'm wondering what the decision was to make them human instead of some other type of alien creatures to battle the Triceratons instead? "

      I think we were following in a long and proud tradition of making aliens look like humans, as in movie like "Star Wars" (as you mention). It also may have been, at least in part, to have a simple visual distinction between the two sides.



      "Also was the concept of the Neutrinos from the original cartoon based on the Federation? They were humanoid and given elf like ears, but the Neutrino starmobile is loosely based on the flying hovercars the Turtles used in the "Turtles in Space" arc in Mirage and 4kids."

      I don't recall being part of the discussion when the Neutrinos were being designed, so I rally can't say. However, given that Fred Wolf and the people who worked for him on the TMNT show had access to all of the TMNT comics produced at that time, it's possible that someone saw the hovercars in the Mirage comics and was inspired by them in designing the starmobile. -- PL

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  82. to be honest, I thought that bit with renet was a volume 4 tie in mention as well, since I think they both came out at the same time.

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  83. Sorry to have missed the boat on this thread... Some great questions, and great answers here!

    Raphael or Donatello would "go crazy"? Really? lol I find it odd to contemplate a mental breakdown in a character. It's actually quite unlikely, even given their... colorful... lives, unless there was some genetic predisposition... Unless by "crazy" you mean PTSD. I don't define it that way, but I know some people do.

    As to the new movie... well, as a long-time fan (I got into a playground fight after the 80s cartoon premier, because some fool was referring to the TMNT as "those karate frogs" lol!), I've seen the movie 3x.

    But... I wouldn't recommend bothering too much with it. There were too many logic fails. I expected changes from the original. Heck, there have been changes in nearly every incarnation... but yeah. I'm sure you'll see for yourself, so I won't bother recounting every detail that drove me crazy.

    At any rate, I hope things are well on your end of the wires. Take care.
    Mary

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  84. I am a member of a TMNT Facebook fan page and a member recently posted their "fan art."
    https://scontent-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10176131_549031611882145_6528805190858231336_n.jpg?oh=3ea55858ca1df21411d229d99e307c1e&oe=54E6BD5B
    When called out on the pilfering of your art, they said that it was indeed theirs...but they were inspired by your piece.
    Thoughts?

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    1. It's hard to be absolutely certain due to the low resolution of the image, but it sure looks like someone just took my black and white drawing of a group shot of the Turtles and applied their own colors to it... and not very well, in my opinion.

      "Inspired"...? Hmmm... -- PL

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  85. In the early days doing TMNT, were you thinking about an audience?

    Also, as an artist I spend a lot of time alone. How were you able to meet other people, such as meeting your wife, etc?

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    1. "In the early days doing TMNT, were you thinking about an audience?"


      Yes -- we wanted the book to appeal to enough people so that it would sell. But I think we figured there were enough people like us that we could follow our basic instincts as we worked on the book, which were to make it appealing to US, first and foremost… to make it a book which WE would like to read.

      "Also, as an artist I spend a lot of time alone. How were you able to meet other people, such as meeting your wife, etc?"

      I've never been what you would call an incredibly sociable person. I do not have a large number of friends and/or acquaintances, and do best in small groups. I have always found parties to be kind of annoying and boring, especially if I don't know many people at them (of course, parties typically tend to be loud and smelly, two of my less-than-favorite things). Dealing with the typically common presence of drunk/high/stupid or nearly-drunk/high/stupid people at a typical party is also pretty low on my "fun" list.

      But I am not, and never was, a complete hermit. I think one of the things which worked for me to some extent during the years when I was just starting out as an illustrator was having my little used book store in Northampton. I would sit at my desk and draw during store hours, interacting with customers as needed. I met several of my friends and business contacts that way, leading to adventures both personal and professional.

      I also got involved (contributing ideas and illustrations) in the early 1980's with an organization of like-minded individuals who were protesting the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and made a number of friends that way… and you might even say it led, pretty directly, to getting together with the woman who has been my wife for the last thirty-plus years. -- PL

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  86. Do you find it kind of sad that it takes a release by a big company like paramount to make a huge hit out of a turtles movie? I see that first post of yours that the dreadful new movie made $400 million. I then remember how the much better 2007 film only made about $50 million and I kind of get sad that so many people seem to prefer the bay turtles..over something more true to form. Mako was my favorite splinter so far...he had a great voice and was actually Japanese!

    Also, do you have any Front/Side/Back referance drawings for the turtles from the earlier mirage issues? Issue 10 and 1-3 specifically? I am finishing up my recreation of TMNT 87 episodes in CG form...and now I'd like to move on to CG art. replicating a few pages from those first few comic issues exactly in CG would be a fun project. I spent countless hours trying to draw by hand/eye coordination jim lawson art form return to New York and the issue 10 cover alone ;o). It was my way of self teaching art...

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  87. "Do you find it kind of sad that it takes a release by a big company like paramount to make a huge hit out of a turtles movie? I see that first post of yours that the dreadful new movie made $400 million. I then remember how the much better 2007 film only made about $50 million and I kind of get sad that so many people seem to prefer the bay turtles..over something more true to form. Mako was my favorite splinter so far...he had a great voice and was actually Japanese!"

    Well, it kind of depends on your definition of a "huge hit". The first TMNT live-action movie could, I think, fairly be described in that way (made for about $15 million, raked in about $135 million -- and that was in 1989). Having not yet seen the new 2014 TMNT movie, I can't make a fair judgement as to what its level of quality is. But I will say one thing, and that is that I wish the 2007 movie had gotten the kind of promotional push that this new one did -- the advertising budget for the 2007 movie was pathetic (at least judging from the amount of advertising that I saw).

    

"Also, do you have any Front/Side/Back referance drawings for the turtles from the earlier mirage issues? Issue 10 and 1-3 specifically? I am finishing up my recreation of TMNT 87 episodes in CG form...and now I'd like to move on to CG art. replicating a few pages from those first few comic issues exactly in CG would be a fun project. I spent countless hours trying to draw by hand/eye coordination jim lawson art form return to New York and the issue 10 cover alone ;o). It was my way of self teaching art…"

    Sorry, but no -- except for those few very early drawings we used in our first press release, we didn't really do studies of the characters. We used all of our energy drawing the books. Good luck with your project! -- PL

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  88. Just curious, I stumbled upon a site regarding the Turtle Force (TMNT Fan Club) and there was a P.J. Van Egeren. Is that a made up name or....? Was that someone actually with Mirage or was that something handled by another company during the midst of the TMNT Mania and thus, you do not have a lot of recollection on it? (If this has been asked before, apologies!)

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    1. The name doesn't ring any bells. -- PL

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    2. If memory serves, we (Mirage) did not run that TMNT Fan Club -- that was all handled by a licensee. -- PL

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  89. Also, you mentioned above and I am paraphrasing a great deal but back in the day, you yearned to work at the big two, DC and Marvel, and now, not so much.

    I wanna theorize a bit with you, if you'd allow.

    Generally What turns you off from comic books today? Do you ever pick-up a book every once and a while to give it another shot? And if so, what publisher (Marvel or DC) and what drew you to it? What made you hate it?

    If what you dislike is a general culture thing in the marketplace (i.e: the way things are done/or just ran today) what would you do to combat it?

    It seems superheroes are not your bag anymore (understandable) but why is that you think?

    And if someone from Marvel or DC came to you and said "Pete, we don't care about anything else but what you wanna write about, just use one of our characters" and they worked with you, almost giving you 95% of what you wanted to do, ask for, etc, or, heck, let's even say 100%...

    Could you hypothesize what Marvel character you'd do a story on? And if so, what would it be about?
    Could you hypothesize what DC character you'd do a story on? And if so, what would it be about?

    I am curious about what you look forward to in a comic book today. Like for example, I tend to lean more Marvel than DC, but really dig some of the writers, and the stories with-in, then just fanboying a bit. (Though, I do love me some Spider-man).

    Ideally, in my geek-fevered brain, I would love someone from DC and Marvel to read this and go, "Hot damn. Get Peter Laird on the phone and get him to write us a story ASAP." :) But also I am intrigued as you have a sincere love for the books and characters, at least up to some point. It is what helped the creation of the TMNT from you and Kevin (Stick = Splitner, etc) so I am genuinely intrigued by your thoughts on the whole thing.

    Thanks for taking time to answer these questions Peter!

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  90. Hi Peter: I have a doubt, What is the correct spelling of Mikey's name? It is Michelangelo or Michaelangelo? Because a friend insist is the second one.

    Thank you, so much.

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  91. The correct spelling is Michelangelo. We stupidly spelled it wrong when we started doing TMNT, and that incorrect spelling -- Michaelangelo -- persisted until around 2000, when I became sole owner of the TMNT property and decided that we should correct that flaw. -- PL

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  92. "Generally What turns you off from comic books today? Do you ever pick-up a book every once and a while to give it another shot? And if so, what publisher (Marvel or DC) and what drew you to it? What made you hate it?"

    I started to lose interest in most mainstream comics -- speaking purely of the visuals -- when artists started to fill the gutters between panels with artwork. I think the result almost invariably looks cluttered, sloppy and distracting. Around the same time, the art in most comics from Marvel and DC started to get an over-rendered look which made me yearn for the days of Kirby, Buscema, Colan, et al. And it's only gotten worse. The weird thing is that in a lot of ways, many of the new artists can draw (and especially render) rings around the Golden and Silver age artists, but somewhat paradoxically, the result is less interesting (at least to me).

    Probably the best and most annoying example of this is the change in cover art -- I can't tell you how tired I am of seeing comics covers which feature a looking-down-at-a-slight-angle view of superheroes posing with their arms crossed. BORING! Almost as bad is the plethora of covers which look like pin-up pages, with characters simply posing like models. By and large, it seems that the days when covers would tell part of the story (Jack Kirby was a master at this kind of cover)are mostly gone. I find that sad.
    



    "If what you dislike is a general culture thing in the marketplace (i.e: the way things are done/or just ran today) what would you do to combat it?"
    I really couldn't begin to say, given how low my level of interest is at this point.

    

"It seems superheroes are not your bag anymore (understandable) but why is that you think?"

    I have nothing against superheroes per se, but I think a combination of saturation and maturation helped to lead me to the point where my interest in them declined to the point it is at now.

    

"And if someone from Marvel or DC came to you and said "Pete, we don't care about anything else but what you wanna write about, just use one of our characters" and they worked with you, almost giving you 95% of what you wanted to do, ask for, etc, or, heck, let's even say 100%...

Could you hypothesize what Marvel character you'd do a story on? And if so, what would it be about? 
Could you hypothesize what DC character you'd do a story on? And if so, what would it be about?"

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    1. There was a time when I would have absolutely leaped at the opportunity to do a story featuring some of my favorite Marvel and DC characters, and there still is a part of me which would get a big kick out of, say, a crossover story featuring the Thing from the "Fantastic Four" and Jack Kirby' Etirigan, the Demon. But I really don't know if I could engage the level of interest which would be required to do something like that now.

      I have to confess that a large part of it has to do with the fact that over the years I realized that I really don't like to do comics all by myself -- I prefer to have a collaborator. And right now, I don't have that.


      

"I am curious about what you look forward to in a comic book today. Like for example, I tend to lean more Marvel than DC, but really dig some of the writers, and the stories with-in, then just fanboying a bit. (Though, I do love me some Spider-man)."

      As I don't really read comics these days, it's hard for me to say. I guess what I look forward to in those rare moments when I read a comic is being surprised by something… and it could be a wild and imaginative concept (like Kirby did so often and so well, especially in his "Fourth World" books) or some rendering of honest emotion in a compelling fashion… or both.

      

"Ideally, in my geek-fevered brain, I would love someone from DC and Marvel to read this and go, "Hot damn. Get Peter Laird on the phone and get him to write us a story ASAP." :) But also I am intrigued as you have a sincere love for the books and characters, at least up to some point. It is what helped the creation of the TMNT from you and Kevin (Stick = Splitner, etc) so I am genuinely intrigued by your thoughts on the whole thing. 

Thanks for taking time to answer these questions Peter!"

      It's quite true that there was a time -- and it was a substantial part of my life span to date, probably three-quarters of it or so -- when comic books were hugely important to me, and I found great satisfaction in reading them and later attempting to create my own, by myself or with others (like Kevin Eastman and Jim Lawson). Without that exposure to all those comics I read, the TMNT would never have happened. Maybe someday I will find that former passion again, but for now, that flame has ebbed substantially. -- PL

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  93. I may have showed you this before, but you may be interested in my comic cover.. https://scontent-a-lga.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/17747_10151769435165211_1218339756_n.jpg?oh=a742b5fda43c70a95c3d29fb66e5dba8&oe=551C8972 This cover doesn't actually happen this way in the actual story, instead, it's a combination of the end battle sequence and the first one found on the first few pages.... All the temporary covers I've designed so far, have this element in place. all the elements of the story combined into one image...

    The one thing I find boring about comics today, is the general story telling and the way women are drawn. Most women are drawn as D cups and would need super powers to hold themselves up. As for story telling, it's gotten to be a joke. No character stays dead for long..things are rebooted after 20 years, only to tell the same stories over again (albeit slightly different)

    Turtles has started to reach the reboot wear and tear as well. When I saw that image of Leo going through the window in the season 3 preview, it wasn't a shock anymore. We have seen it at least 4 times before. Movie, 4Kids, Comics, now NickShow. eventually somethings going to be rebooted so much people just won't care to get involved anymore...

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