Monday, January 5, 2015

Snippets #30: May 29, 1985

This is from a May 29, 1985 letter to my friend Stan Wiater:

"Dear Stanley,

Before any more time slips by, I want to thank you for the wonderful interview/article; Kevin and I think it's the best one yet. Very clear and concise and, best of all, sympathetic to the subject matter and the interviewees. We particularly appreciate the fact that you made us sound halfway intelligent, unlike what some other writers have done. So… THANKS!!! Thanks also for sending along the copies; we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of at lest one copy after we heard it was out. We finally did get several copies not only from you but from other friends in Amherst, and from my sister in Hartford. And get this, Stan -- your writing was so effective and engaging that it made a fan from Hartford call us up and drive out from Hartford the same day because he had read the article and just "had to have" those little metal figures of the turtles for a fantasy gaming convention that weekend. It takes all kinds, don't it…?

Kevin and I just made our biggest office equipment investment, plunking down five grand for a Canon copier. That's a hefty amount of the old green stuff for a fledgling operation such as ours, but we think it will prove to be a worthwhile choice. I think I have already bent our ear with sad tales of the difficulty in finding a copier locally -- driving 50 miles (round trip) to make good copies, etc.. So this will virtually eliminate that kind of wasted time and effort. This particular copier is set up to do almost everything we need -- it copies on 8 1/2 by 11, 8 1/2 by 14, and 11 by 17 size papers, and does reductions and enlargements from 65% to 121% -- in 1% increments. Fantastic! It will be hard to avoid just playing with it… but I'll try.

Right now, we are in the middle of getting the artwork for book #4 done for a June 15 deadline; it's going to be tight, but I think we'll make it. Our new printer finished shipping off 52,000 copies of the Raphael special issue last week, so that should be hitting the stands across the country pretty shortly. I can't tell you what a joy it is to think that all those copies went out without our lifting a finger to help pack them. After doing all that work for the first three issues (six printings in all) we deserve a break!

Well, we're definitely heading out to the big San Diego Comicon in August. Kevin spoke by phone with the organizer of the event, and we will be getting a free table or part of a table in the artists' room. We'll be paying our own airfare and everything, but I think it'll be worth it. This is the big convention of the year, and we'll probably be lost among the crowd of big names.

By the way, I am enclosing a signed first edition of TMNT #2 and a signed first edition of Raphael for your collection. I mean to do this for as long as we publish the book, so if I forget, let me know! Things have been known to slip my mind.

That be all for now… oh, wait -- I just remembered something else. Kev and I are scheduled for another signing in MA, this time at That's Entertainment in Worcester. It will be July 14, so if you're interested…"

     [Getting that copier made our lives SO much easier -- it was well worth the money we laid out for it. And it was the biggest expense we'd ever incurred as far as office equipment. I recall that it felt great that with the money we were making on the TMNT comics, we could not only afford to buy one of these things, but we could buy it outright.

       As referred to in the letter, one of the big reasons we loved having the new copier is that prior to purchasing it, to make good (i.e. print-quality) black and white copies of our TMNT comic book artwork (which we always did right after inking, before applying the grey tones, so that if we ever did color versions in the future -- which, in fact, we DID do -- we'd have clean, open black and white line work copies onto which to apply color), we would have to make a roughly thirty-five mile round trip to Torrington, CT to make said copies, there being no such facilities in or near Sharon to do so. And with the crappy cars we had at the time, that was not often a relaxing experience. Having our own copier, and one which could do ALL of the things we needed in that regard, was bliss.

     I know I've mentioned it before, but I was so happy that we were able to hook up with John DeSanto and the crew at Southern Duchess News in Poughkeepsie, NY, who became our third printer and the first one to do our shipping for us. What a treat that was! -- PL]


  1. I have been loving the snippets. Pretty cool to read this deep into the turtles. I came across these two signs in Colts Neck, NJ. It's Eastmont Orchards and Lairds Apple Jack. I found it kind of funny.

    1. I went to the URL, but for some reason the image just flashed on the screen for a couple of seconds and then disappeared. -- PL

  2. Hm -- the color reprints IDW's putting out look like they just colored over the tones, to my eyes.

    Of course, coloring is an entirely different process now than it was 30 years ago.

  3. I appreciate the effort IDW put in on coloring those reprints over the grey tones, but if you were to ask my opinion, it should not be done. It ends up looking muddy and dull, which is why Kevin and I made and saved those non-toned copies to begin with. -- PL