This is from a November 8, 1983 letter to my brother Bruce:
"Having Kevin here is a definite inspiration. We've just finished the second ten pages of our robot story, "FUGITOID", and will be sending it off to whoever wants it. We sent the first ten pages off to three different "alternative" comics companies last month, and so far have heard from one -- they thought it was nicely done, but it didn't fit into their publishing scenario."
The following two snippets are from a January 23, 1984 to my brother Don:
Gahonk! It is already the twenty-third day of the new year, and I am not a millionaire yet. What am I doing wrong? I thought for sure by this time some wise and enterprising publisher would have snapped up "FUGITOID", and ol' Kevin and I would be relaxing in our hot tub at our studio near the ocean. I guess I'll just have to wait a few more weeks."
"Kev and i have completed the next chapter of "FUGITOID" and I will endeavor to send you a copy with this letter. We have also started on another comic book project called -- are you ready for this? -- "The Teenage Mutant NInja Turtles"! I know it sounds bizarre, but I think it will be a lot of fun. The title is kind of an "in-joke", understandable to regular comics readers; it refers obliquely to the proliferation recently in comics of teenage mutant superheroes and ninjas. Maybe I'll send you the character sheets that we have worked up."
[The line in the second snippet from the January 23, 1984 letter, above, is the first mention of the TMNT which I have found during my letter transcription project. However...
... I could have sworn that about a year and a half ago, while looking through old letters, I came upon one -- and it was another letter to Don -- from November of 1983, and in it I mentioned the new concept that Kevin and I had come up with -- "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". I also remember that letter as being from the 23rd of November, 1983.
Unfortunately, I cannot now lay my hands on that letter, and I am wondering if I mixed up the months... and THIS is the letter that I thought I'd written in November of 1983.
In any event, it's only a difference of two months -- and it IS still possible that Kevin and I had come up with the germ of the idea in late November of 1983, and only started really working on it by late January of 1984. I'm going to continue to keep my eye out for that letter... and hopefully it will turn up. -- PL]