Sunday, December 21, 2014

Snippets #18: May 17, 1984

       This is from a May 17, 1984 letter to my brother Don:

       "Things are happening here in Turtleland, albeit somewhat slowly. . We are still selling single copies through the mail, getting an average of about five orders per day. We did manage to sell about 250 copies at the convention on May 5th, and made contact with some dealers who bought some more last Sunday. Kevin and I also talked at length with two other artists who were guests of the convention, Steve and Darla Woron. They do a comic book called "The Survivors" for a new company in Connecticut, and this past Sunday when I was talking to Ralph DiBernardo, one of the dealers at the weekly flea market in Newington, Ralph mentioned that he had gotten a letter from Steve Woron saying that Spectrum Comics (his publisher) might be interested in publishing our book How real that interest is will have to be seen, but doing the book that way would certainly eliminate a lot of the hassles for us.
       For me, especially. I am currently doing all the bookkeeping, mailing, banking, etc. for Mirage Studios. Kevin is no longer around to help with this stuff. Last week he left to go back to work at the lobster restaurant in Ogunquit where he has worked for the last three summers. I can't say I didn't have an inkling that it might happen, because I knew that the manager of the restaurant was making a lot of appealing overtures to Kevin to get him to come back to work at the restaurant. You see, the problem was thus: The restaurant had been jointly owned by two partners, one of whom actually ran the business, while the other one was a silent partner. Well, last year the active partner sold out to the silent partner, leaving that guy with a restaurant to open in the summer and no real experience in doing it. Kevin, having worked there for three summers, did have that experience, and the new manager wanted him to come back. Kevin originally agreed to, then changed his mind when he got the job at the hotel in Dover a couple of months ago. But the restaurant manager kept after him, finally offering him a very lucrative deal: To work there for the summer, Kevin would be paid $7.00 per hour ($11 per hour for overtime), with a $400.00 bonus at the end of the summer… and Kevin would be given room and board free. This greatly appealed to Kevin, who had been concerned about making enough money this summer to be able to move to Connecticut with us in the fall. He wasn't sure if he could make enough by working at the hotel. The flip side of all this is that if he did take the Ogunquit job, any Mirage Studios work would be effectively ended for the summer. Also, because of the nature of the Ogunquit job, he would have very little, if any, time to draw… whereas working at the hotel in Dover he was finding it possible to do quite a bit of drawing on the job.  In addition, he just wasn't working as many hours in Dover as he would be in Ogunquit. So you can see that it was not an easy decision to make.
       And while I can understand why he made the decision that he did, I am still disappointed. I wonder now if he will come with us to Connecticut, so Mirage Studios can continue. He has said he will… I guess it's the sudden change that has left me feeling uncertain.
       Anyway, now that Kevin's not here, I am doing all the MIrage Studios work. Kevin and I worked out a scheme before he left where I would get paid a nominal amount for the work I was doing: 10% of gross receipts, payable each week. It's not much, but it helps somewhat."

       [Obviously, a deal with Spectrum Comics never happened, and I don't think we ever actually got a real offer from them. But it is interesting to consider what the fate of the TMNT property -- and, indeed, Spectrum Comics -- might have been like had we done a publishing deal with them. -- PL]


  1. Hey Peter,

    Have you considered publishing these into a book of some sort? These make for quite the interesting read.

    1. I haven't considered that, because I am not sure I have enough "Snippets" to fill more than a very slim volume. But now that you've mentioned it... I'll have to think about it. -- PL

    2. I would certainly love to read a book about the founding and heady early years of Mirage Studios, incorporating all the fascinating details from these snippets. Maybe a collaborative effort with Kevin someday. That would be amazing.