Thursday, December 4, 2014

Snippets: February 24, 1983

Lately, I've been slowly continuing a project I started a few years ago -- transcribing old letters I'd written, with the intention of creating a searchable digital archive. Before computers, I wrote quite a few letters, and I saved copies of many of them.

What has been particularly interesting  (to me, at least) are the bits and pieces in these letters, especially from 1983 onward, which reference the very early small steps Kevin and I were taking towards creating Mirage Studios, and the gradual acceleration of events as the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" business picked up. I wish I'd written, and saved, many more letters from those early years, but as things got busier, I had less and less time (and energy!) to do so. But these small pieces are interesting, showing as they do a kind of wide-eyed, innocent energy and naivete as we coped -- or tried to cope -- with the initial "will it work?" aspect of the business, followed by the "holy cow, I guess it DID work!" times.

The letters were mostly written to my parents (who I referred to as "Mom and Pop"), my sister Chris, my brothers Don and Bruce, and a smattering of others -- friends and business contacts. I've collected these segments, and plan to post one per day (approximately), beginning now.

This first little bit is from a letter to Mom, Pop and Chris, written on February 24, 1983:

"Chris, I like the blanket a lot. As a matter of fact my friend Kevin used it when he came down from Portland last week for a visit, and he said it was very warm and cozy. Actually Kevin may be moving down to Ogunquit soon (in the next couple of weeks) to work for the sign painter he worked for last summer), so hopefully I'll get to see him more often."

This letter was written in the sixth month of our (Jeannine's and my) two-year stay in Dover, New Hampshire. I believe at the time Kevin was living in Portland, Maine, and Ogunquit -- where Kevin had a summer job cooking lobsters at the "Johnny's Oarweed" restaurant -- was about forty miles south of Portland. 

       Having met Kevin and become friends with him in 1981, in Northampton, MA, it seemed an unexpected stroke of good fortune that, in moving to Dover with Jeannine when she started graduate school, I was suddenly within fairly easy driving distance of Kevin. And having agreed with Kevin earlier that we really wanted to collaborate on something, at some point in the future, this appeared to make that much more of a possibility. -- PL


  1. I wonder what blanket it was! One I'd crocheted, maybe, in that other life where I crocheted? :-) Love, Chris

  2. Maybe this time my effort to get in contact is blessed with success. :)

    Dear Mr. Laird,

    I recently approached Dan from Mirage Licensing to ask him for the best way to make contact with you. He promised me to redirect my request to you, but he also suggested that I should communicate it via the comment section of your blog.

    The reason is an article on my own blog about the Turtles and how they influenced my childhood and probably my relationship to popcultural media in general. Those four green individuals also forged my - I guess we can call it - 'passion' for the turtle as an animal. A certain linguistic incident involving my former English teacher is also a part of this article.

    So, to cut a long story short, I would like to ask you and I would really appreciate it, if you are interested in sharing this article about the Turtles via your blog. Currently the article is online only in German, but I would consider it an honor to translate it into English for the sake of your international readers. And the Turtles, of course ;D.

    So, if you are interested in my suggestion and you would like to hear more (I can surely elaborate on this), I would be delighted.

  3. It's always cool to see what has shaped the lives of the creators that one has grown up admiring. Even if it's something as simple as a short letter to your folks.

    Posts like this reminds me of a Jack Kirby interview that I read a few days ago while on a lunch break. It was cool because it wasn't generally about his comic book work, but about how he grew up.

    I guess I'm slow to the game because the article was posted back in 2011, but then again, the interview was held back in 1990. It's worth the read though!

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