Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ask PL #14



     Got any questions? I might have some answers. Can't guarantee they'll be good ones, though. -- PL

112 comments:

  1. I'll ask the same question I always ask :). Any word on the next issue of volume 4?

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  2. Do you still enjoy reading comics? If so are there any that you follow?

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    1. I don't follow any current comics. It's not so much that I don't enjoy reading comics -- I just don't have a lot of interest in them these days. -- PL

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    2. If you're not reading the new stuff, does that mean you've been reading old stuff? I've been amazed by the quality and quantity of classic comics that are in print now. I got a great deal on the two-hardcover Complete Don Martin set a couple of years ago, and Craig Yoe's been putting out some great collections of everybody from Segar to Gross to Ditko.

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  3. Good Morning,

    Thank you, again, for offering your Q & A. I, and others, look forward to seeing you at Steve's shop in May. I'd like to make the following inquiries:

    1) Would you be able to give a close guesstimate as to how many issues of SCAT magazine were published. It seems there have only been 2 issues the fan base can account for.

    2) Aside, from Jack Kirby, what artists influenced you throughout your career. The responses don't need to be limited to comic book artists. I'd like to know who you felt most akin with in your work.

    3) This may have been asked before, though I couldn't find any direct question or response. Have you ever considered what profession/trade you may have been in had you not become an artist? If you didn't pursue an art undergrad degree at UMass, would there have been another course of study for you?
    -----

    Thank you again for the offer to pick your brain. Best to the family.

    Mike B.

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    1. 1.) I was only involved in the Scat project for a few issues -- four or five, I think, though I could be misremembering -- but I am pretty sure it got up to around twenty issues. Again it's been a long time, and I didn't pay a lot of attention to it once I'd left the project.

      2.) Russ Manning and Barry Smith are probably two of my biggest influences beyond Jack Kirby.

      3.) I was originally planning to enter some science-related field. Maybe I would have gone into computer stuff, which could have had some interesting aspects. -- PL

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    2. From one would be scientist to another, many thanks for the response.

      Take care

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  4. 1. Did you catch the new Netflix Daredevil series yet? Any thoughts? I ask because I know you were a fan and the comics influenced the creation of TMNT.

    2. I read somewhere that Peter Chung (Aeon Flux) was the lead animator for the intro to the original TMNT cartoon series. Was that true? I did see he listed the series on his Wikipedia bio.

    3. I've always been a big fan of Karai. I know you and Kevin collaborated on her creation but whose idea was she mainly?

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    1. 1.) I have not seen the "Daredevil" series yet, though I got a rave review from Steve Lavigne a couple of days ago. I will probably wait until it is released on DVD.

      2.) I have no idea.

      3.) Karai was mainly mine and Kevin's idea. Seriously, she was a joint creation, like many of those in the TMNT books, and I can't recall either of us having significantly more to do with her than the other.-- PL

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  5. Not really a question. Just wanted to say that I'm a 28 year old guy from Belgium and The Turtles were my number one heroes. Whenever they were on TV I would drop everything I was doing. I also remember really liking the movie because of the grittyness it had. I used to get a comic issue here and there, whenever my aunt happened to notice there was a new one out (dutch translated versions). A year ago I figured .. hey, let's see if I can find those original comics again .. and now I'm completely hooked again!!... I have to say .. it's been AMAZING rediscovering them as an adult now, those comics are great!
    Anyway, just wanted to say .. even after so much years, still love your work! Hope you can still feel proud! And perhaps you'll find to time to come to F.A.C.T.S. over here in Belgium sometime? Would love that!

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  6. 1) How it the pottery going??

    2) What happens to Mirage studios in the future? Is there still a lit of stuff in the archives....or is it drying up?

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    1. 1.) I'm still having a great time with the pottery... and in fact just finished up an eight week "open studio" class. Next up are a handbuilding class and an intermediate wheel class. Love it! -- PL

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    2. Glad to hear that, Peter! I was going to ask that question, too. Hope someday soon I'll be able to see your pottery in an art gallery, and to buy one of your creations.

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  7. Hey Pete, have you ever thought about doing a video blog on YouTube? I bet a lot of people would love to know your opinions on certain things.

    I know your daughter is still pretty young, but whenever she starts a family are you looking forward to telling stories to your grandchildren about the Ninja Turtles?

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    1. 1.) I have not considered doing a video blog. I have enough trouble keeping up with this text one!

      2.) If and when my daughter has children, and if an when those children express any interest in hearing stories about grandpa's long-ago days working on the TMNT, I will certainly tell those stories to them... as long as I can remember them. -- PL

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  8. Steve Lavigne mentioned on Facebook that a printed issue #31 may be at free comic book day this year at Shellback Artworks. (See https://www.facebook.com/ShellbackArtworks/photos/a.620572664691292.1073741825.398162080265686/806898512725372/ ) Can you provide any more info about this?

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    1. Only that, if things go as planned, there will be a print edition of issue #31 of Volume 4 for sale. Dan Berger has been working on putting that together, and while I don't know for sure if it will be on sale for FCBD, I am pretty certain it will be. -- PL

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    2. Thanks! I really enjoyed seeing you at Shellback Artworks last year. I don't think I will be able to make it there for this year's FCBD, so hopefully they'll be available to order after the event.

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  9. I'd like to know when and how you became interested in photography. So grateful for the ways in which you influenced my own passion for storytelling with a camera...

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    1. Melodye, I believe it was the advent of digital cameras which really fired my interest in photography. I found the idea of essentially unlimited and free (once you'd bought the camera card) "film" which didn't need to be developed (and you could immediately see your photos) appealing, in ways which traditional film photography never had been for me. -- PL

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  10. I'm glad to see you're doing another one of these!

    Since you spent most of your life involved with comic books, what do you believe to be the best way to store comic books? Graded/slabbed by a company like CGC? Bagged? Bagged and Boarded? In a folder in a file cabinet?

    You've mentioned motorcycles before and with spring around the corner, I know I'm ready to get mine out. Do you still ride? Are/were you more of a long distance rider or just a day tripper? Any places you'd recommend traveling to on a bike?

    One last question. You might have clarified this somewhere before, but what is the proper pronunciation of "Mouser?" is it Mouse-er, or mOW-zer?
    Thanks!

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    1. "Since you spent most of your life involved with comic books, what do you believe to be the best way to store comic books? Graded/slabbed by a company like CGC? Bagged? Bagged and Boarded? In a folder in a file cabinet?"

      Bagged and boarded in a three-ring binder with plastic sleeve inserts which each hold one or two comics, said binders able to be shelved like books.

      "You've mentioned motorcycles before and with spring around the corner, I know I'm ready to get mine out. Do you still ride? Are/were you more of a long distance rider or just a day tripper? Any places you'd recommend traveling to on a bike? "

      I do still ride -- in fact, I just got back from a ride up to Shelburne Falls, MA for lunch. I am more of a day-tripper than a long-haul rider, though I did once ride cross-country out to the San Diego ComicCon and back with Jim Lawson, Ken Mitchroney, Craig Farley, and a few other friends, and that was a great experience.

      There are so many great places to ride that I would not know where to begin, really, But in terms of local rides, the Mohawk Trail between Greenfield and North Adams, MA is a wonderful ride, with beautiful scenery (especially in the Fall) and lots of curves.


      "One last question. You might have clarified this somewhere before, but what is the proper pronunciation of "Mouser?" is it Mouse-er, or mOW-zer?
      Thanks!"

      The way I pronounce it is "mOW-zer". -- PL

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  11. 1.) Why did the original Turtle film, have April working at Channel 3, instead of Channel 6 like in the cartoon?

    2) If the Turtles were offered the chance to become human, would they take it?

    3} Do you watch any of the current comic book shows on TV?

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    1. 1.) I have no idea.

      2.) Some of them might.

      3.) I wait for them to be released as series sets on DVD. I've been following "Arrow" and "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.", and look forward to "Gotham" and "Flash". -- PL

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    2. Re #2: Can you expand? Who would be more likely, and why?

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  12. Have you seen this portrait of Kevin and yourself from the Nickelodeon Animation Studios?

    https://www.facebook.com/NickelodeonAnimationStudio/photos/a.10152097691870920.1073741844.174434350919/10152097721970920/?type=3&theater

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    1. No, I had not seen that. Kind of weird -- it makes me look sort of like the "George Costanza" character from "Seinfeld". -- PL

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    2. Actually. I've always felt you look like Dennis Franz from NYPD Blue.

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  13. Hi Peter, do you have any thoughts on the big happening in IDW's Turtles#44? Did you have a strong reaction due to your personal connection to Donnie, or are you just completely checked out from that series? For my part, I'm confident that things aren't quite as they seem and will return to status quo before too long, but it was nonetheless a pretty gut-wrenching story to read.

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    1. I don't read the IDW series, so I have no idea what events you are referring to... and thus have no opinion. -- PL

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    2. Gotcha. It's kinda making headlines, so I figured you would have heard about it, but I guess that answers my question. I'm just being coy to avoid spoiling it for anyone, although anyone who is going to read it has probably heard about it already.

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  14. Hey Peter! Glad to see you back.
    To add to Rob's question while I think up my own, do you think SAINW may be returning in the near future?
    ~ Mel

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    1. Sorry, Mel -- I don't understand your question. -- PL

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    2. No problem Peter ^_^ , but bear with me a sec because my first question is for a Fan-comic I'm working on (hopefully to have a few pages to show you guys for FCBD as I promised a couple years ago) which would mix the recent events of Donatello's possible death (we don't know if he's died in IDW and i'm partially afraid to find out FCBD) in an alternate universe from IDW leaning to Same as it Never Was (SAINW) theme where Don's brought back, but he doesn't necessarily remember everything, being dead and all. Until he regains all his memories of his brothers the war etc. I was thinking his first memory be the latter part of Kirby's farewell letter in Donatello #1 and "The King" episode, and so he takes on the name Kirby as he doesn't recall his own yet. I'd like to know what you think about Don possibly taking on Kirby's name (temporarily).

      Alright back to my usual questions. XD Sorry for the jumble my mind is in overdrive.

      ~I noticed in a previous question by Dan about taking the chance to become human the reply was some of them might, so now my curiosity is peaked. Which turtle do you believe would be most likely to go for that deal?

      ~Lately, entertainment seems to be focusing on comics. Is there any comic book that hasn't been live-action interpreted yet that you'd like to see on the big screen?

      ~Finally (for now :) ), what is your favorite thing about ceramics?

      ~Mel

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  15. Hello Peter.
    This question is about video game, I like to know is there any reason for Konami to stop making video gmaes for TMNT? Yes, I know Ubisoft is the next company had the right to do it, but I just can't figure out why.

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  16. Hi Pete,

    Thanks for taking our questions. I have a few quick questions listed below.

    1. Do you like to see the turtles in black and white or in color?

    2. Did you have any other creations that you thought were better (for lack of a better word) than the TMNT?

    3. What's your favorite piece of TMNT art?

    4. Have you ever thought of doing a virtual (or video) tour of your home/studio focusing on all the TMNT art you own?

    5. I'm getting married next month, do you have any advice?

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  17. 1. We all know the obvious reason the Turtles were given multi-colored masks for the adaptations, but why was the red color initially chosen?

    2. Ever had any ideas for TMNT you decided to scrap?

    3. Do you know why Steve Murphy went under the psuedonym "Dean Clarrain" while working for Archie?

    4. Was the Demon Shredder created because of the negative response to Ch'rell or did that twist just feel natural?

    5. While we'll probably never see Shredder depicted as an Utrom or a Demon again, the revision that he's ancient got it's way into IDW's comics and maybe the most recent movie, why do think they went with that?

    6. Paradoxically, revisions of the Shredder as something other than a mortal man tends to get negative reception, yet such revisions still keep happening (the aforementioned IDW Shredder being the most recent) and have been happening sine the reveal of the magic worms back in the 80's. Do you think the fans and creative teams have differing opinions on how Shredder should be depicted or do you think the creative teams re-evaluate their opinion of the Shredder and thus decide to reimagine him?

    7. Ok so a question you might hate since I know you don't like Krang. Designs of Krang signed by you either the 31st of March or August (it's a little hard to see if it's a 3 or an 8 there) 31st)

    https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2052/2310673125_204cd3fbdc_o.jpg

    So the question is, was Krang created you, someone at Playmates or David Wise? I know David Wise claims to have created Krang but his story seems backwards and only involves Utroms if someone else mentions them, so I don't really trust his claims.

    8. Aside from a few gags, the 4Kids series avoided influence from the Fred Wolf series as much as possible, I'm curious, was the attitude during production "That time is over" or was it more like "This needs more of it's own identity"?

    9. Although I imagine there was probably someone there who really wanted to use stuff like Bebop and Rocksteady, was there anyone like that there?

    10. So Nickelodeon's first DVD re-release of the 4Kids series will be the last six episodes of season 1 sold separately. This plan has not been received well by the fans, what do you think?

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    1. "1. We all know the obvious reason the Turtles were given multi-colored masks for the adaptations, but why was the red color initially chosen?"

      The red bandana was a "tip of the hat" to what Kevin and I both thought was one of the goofiest comics of the early 1980's, "Skateman", which featured a guy wearing a red bandanna while fighting crime on skates, if I am remembering correctly. I think Neal Adams had something to do with that comic.

      

"2. Ever had any ideas for TMNT you decided to scrap?"

      Yes, a few. Am I going to say what they were? No… they were scrapped for a reason.

      
"3. Do you know why Steve Murphy went under the psuedonym "Dean Clarrain" while working for Archie?"

      I think you'd have to ask Murph to get the best answer to that queston.

      

"4. Was the Demon Shredder created because of the negative response to Ch'rell"

      No.

      " or did that twist just feel natural?"

      Yes.

      

"5. While we'll probably never see Shredder depicted as an Utrom or a Demon again, the revision that he's ancient got it's way into IDW's comics and maybe the most recent movie, why do think they went with that?"

      Because it's a cool idea? I really don't know..



      "6. Paradoxically, revisions of the Shredder as something other than a mortal man tends to get negative reception, yet such revisions still keep happening (the aforementioned IDW Shredder being the most recent) and have been happening sine the reveal of the magic worms back in the 80's. Do you think the fans and creative teams have differing opinions on how Shredder should be depicted or do you think the creative teams re-evaluate their opinion of the Shredder and thus decide to reimagine him?"

      I think the answer to both parts of your question ("Do you think the fans and creative teams have differing opinions on how Shredder should be depicted" and "do you think the creative teams re-evaluate their opinion of the Shredder and thus decide to reimagine him?") is "yes".

      Interestingly, I don't recall any fan complaints about Kevin and me bringing the Shredder back as a creation of Foot science and sorcery.

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    2. "7. Ok so a question you might hate since I know you don't like Krang. Designs of Krang signed by you either the 31st of March or August (it's a little hard to see if it's a 3 or an 8 there) 31st)

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2052/2310673125_204cd3fbdc_o.jpg

So the question is, was Krang created you, someone at Playmates or David Wise? I know David Wise claims to have created Krang but his story seems backwards and only involves Utroms if someone else mentions them, so I don't really trust his claims."

      I think there was input from several sources on the creation/development of the character of "Krang". The basic look of the character -- a brain-like, tentacled alien about the size of a basketball -- is incontrovertibly drawn directly from the visual appearance of the alien Utroms in the early issues of the TMNT comic book, as is the notion that these brain-like aliens were carried in the "stomach" cavities of humanoid robot bodies.

      The drawings in the link you sent were rough designs drawn by me in 1987, quite possibly while the final look of "Krang" in his robot body was being discussed, or perhaps they were done to try to convince Playmates and MWS to change the silly look they'd gone with. I don't really remember. It's interesting to see the handwritten note about the "exhaust vents" on Krang's robot body's shoulders as something the Turtles could crawl into -- obviously a reference to the fact that in the animated series, Krang's robot body was supposed to be able to grow to a huge size -- the only way any of the Turtles could have fit through those vents.


      

"8. Aside from a few gags, the 4Kids series avoided influence from the Fred Wolf series as much as possible, I'm curious, was the attitude during production "That time is over" or was it more like "This needs more of it's own identity"?"

      It was basically reflective of my general dissatisfaction with the first animated series, which started out strong but quickly (to my mind, anyway) devolved into a show which featured ludicrous slapstick and recycled plots.

      

"9. Although I imagine there was probably someone there who really wanted to use stuff like Bebop and Rocksteady, was there anyone like that there?"

      If you are referring to anyone at 4Kids who was a big fan of Bebop and Rocksteady, I never got that impression. I can't recall anyone agitating for using those characters… which, in my opinion, was a good thing.

      
"10. So Nickelodeon's first DVD re-release of the 4Kids series will be the last six episodes of season 1 sold separately. This plan has not been received well by the fans, what do you think?"

      It's quite possible that there is an art and/or science to the proper release of material on DVD that I am unaware of. That being said, I don't really understand why -- if you have a series which had continuity through each season -- you don't just start at episode one along with the next X number of episodes in sequence (however many you deem appropriate to fit on each disk). I have to say that the idea of a first release of the series being the last six episodes of Season One (if that is in fact, their plan) kind of baffles me. And if by "sold separately" you mean sold as individual episodes and not as a group of six, that's even odder. -- PL

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    3. I should probably have been a little more clearer about the DVDs, it's two DVDs sold separately with three episodes each.

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    4. Even the "good" episodes of TMNT were actually in large part recycled from scripts David Wise had written for other cartoons. E.g., the one where the Turtles go inside of an enlarged Krang was recycled from an episode of The Transformers (including some identical dialog) where shrunken Autobots went inside of Megatron.

      http://tfwiki.net/wiki/David_Wise#Recycle-o-matic

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  18. Is your disinterest in TMNT similar to actors feeling burnout after they play one particular character in a series or movies for years and don't like being, "typecast" in the role? Such as Leonard Nimoy publishing a book saying, "I am not Spock" and then decades later making another book saying, "I AM Spock."

    Is it a similar burnout feeling where you want to be distant from the franchise for a while, like how actors want nothing to do with a role they played for years....but then years later they change their minds and come back? I also recall Harrisson Ford saying he wanted Han Solo to die in "Return of the Jedi" since he didn't want to be typecast as Han Solo forever. And now lo and behold Harrisson Ford agreed to come back for the new Star Wars film.

    On that note, did you see the trailer for the new Star Wars movie that just came out? Thoughts?

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    1. It's hard to say, really. I have a great and abiding fondness for the TMNT characters that Kevin and I created, but for whatever reason I just can't get myself excited about them these days. I'm not completely sure why that is.

      I did see the trailer for the new "Star Wars" movie, and it was mildly interesting. However, I keep remembering that the director is J.J. Abrams, who did such a poor job bringing "Star Trek" back to movie screens (at least in terms of appealing to THIS particular "Star TreK" fan's notion of what "Star Trek" is, or should be), so I have a feeling he might do something similar with "Star Wars". I would be happy to be proven wrong. -- PL

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  19. Thank you for taking the time to possibly answer a few questions Mr. Laird

    1) Looking back on the years is there one particular moment in your career that you would like to have changed?

    2) Being a lifelong resident of Dover, NH and having the turtles created here, do you know if the City of Dover NH ever had plans to do any sort of monument to TMNT such as dedicating a wing to the turtles in the Dover children's museum?

    3) Thank you for printing issue 31 of TMNT. Looking ahead do you think you'll finish the series in some form yourself or would ever let other Mirage alumni finish the series?

    Thank you, Kindly. - Robert

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    1. 1.) Probably several.

      2.) I don't know if the City of Dover, NH ever had any such plans. I only know that I have never been told of any. I always wished that Dover would buy and preserve the house on Union Street where Kevin and I created the TMNT, but that sadly never happened, and never will -- it was demolished a few years ago. Perhaps, if you are a lifelong resident of Dover, you should start a movement to have some sort of monument to the TMNT erected in that town. -- PL

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    2. 3.) I'm not sure when or if I will finish the Volume 4 series. I am not now inspired to do so... but that could change. I doubt I would ever let anyone finish the series without my input and direction. -- PL

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  20. Thanks for doing another one of these! Here's something I've been wondering for a little while:

    As I understand the story of the TMNT's creation, each of the four was given a weapon first, then a name, then a personality, and finally a (unique) mask color. That seems like a pretty unorthodox way of creating characters, yet everything fits together logically and symbolically. My question is, do I have the timeline right, and either way, how much of this synchronicity came about on purpose rather than as a happy accident?

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    1. The "(unique) mask color" part actually came about years after the creation of the TMNT, mostly because Playmates Toys wanted more ways for kids to easily tell the Turtles apart. But everything else is pretty much as you describe.

      I would have to say that most of the early Turtle stuff that Kevin and I did was not all that planned out, and much of it WAS, in fact, happy accidents. -- PL

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    2. Hooray for happy accidents, then! One more question, if you don't mind; it's completely irrelevant but has been bugging me for years.

      The Herrell's in Northampton has a sign listing famous people who have been spotted there. Nobody from the Mirage gang is on the list. I've always wondered whether you all hate ice cream, or whether you have such low profiles that you go unrecognized in your own town. Please resolve this burning mystery: Have you or have you not ever patronized Herrell's?

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    3. I don't hate ice cream. In fact, I love it perhaps a bit too much. And I was actually just in Herrell's a few days ago with a friend, getting a cone and complaining about their stupid practice of giving people tastes of ice cream, which slows down the line WAY too much.

      We do keep a pretty low profile here. -- PL

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    1. Only a small number of the #31 issues were sold via FB afaik. I'll be amazed if the issue isn't sold at FCBD @ Shellbacks, and then the rest sold via the Mirage website afterwards. I secured one (hopefully) through Steve but that's only because I live outside the US, and wasn't certain how likely I'd get one if I left it until later.

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    3. Steve sold two via eBay. Some other d-pickle sold two he bought from Steve (for well over $100 bucks each)...
      Steve got the okay to sell some.
      People in general want to not wait. So let those crazy fools spend $150. Find someone who is going to Shellback on FCBD to buy you a copy.

      Or follow Steve's page for up to date info... Or miss out. Whichever.
      Some folks didn't want to 'pay via FB' or some such... So eBay was used.
      Can't make everyone happy.

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    4. Rest of the issues are going up on the Mirage website on May 6th apparently.

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    6. Sorry, wrong date, May 4th (be with you) actually. Someone messaged Dan Berger, and he replied to them with that information.

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  22. http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_nkw=tmnt+volume+4+31&LH_Complete=1&LH_Sold=1&rt=nc

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  23. Why were volume 4 issues 29-32 limited to 1,000 copies? They seem to be the most requested issues. Why print such a small number if you know you can sell more?

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    1. What's that line from the old Rolling Stones song -- "You can't always get what you want"?

      I decided to try this new publishing model back when I was still doing the book on a sort of regular basis, but wanted to have some more flexibility than was offered by the traditional distribution route. I decided to try something different -- to create a collectible right out of the box -- only print 1000 copies, and sell them each for $10 (to try to cover production costs and make some profit as well), but at the same time release the book online in a digital form which could be downloaded and read for FREE.

      Is this a good model? I'm not entirely sure. It's an experiment. It allows some people to purchase something which is a pretty limited edition collectible (nothing new there, really -- publishers have been doing that for many years), while simultaneously everyone in the world with Internet access can read the issue for free, the same day it is released. And isn't the reading the whole point of comics? -- PL

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    2. Where can 29-32 be downloaded from?

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    3. #29 http://www.miragelicensing.com/comics/mirage/volume04/29/interior/pg01.htm

      #30
      http://peterlairdstmntblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/tmnt-volume-4-30.html

      #31
      http://peterlairdstmntblog.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/tmnt-volume-4-31.html

      #32
      http://peterlairdstmntblog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/tmnt-volume-4-32-digital-edition.html

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  24. How do you feel that in all the cartoons the Turtles have some type of truck they drive to get to places, like the Turtle Van, Battle Shell, the trucks they used in Next Mutation and the Nick cartoon, etc? In the Mirage comics they never had a truck they would drive around it, they would usually just use April/Casey's Van if she had to take them places.

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    1. I didn't mind that the Turtles were given some sort of vehicle to get around in, though I often thought the "party Van" in the first animated series was pretty goofy. -- PL

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  25. Hey Mr. Laird,

    I've been a huge fan of yours for a long time now, and I'm sending a friend of mine to shellback on FCBD. Do you charge if I give him a blank cover TMNT book for you to draw a sketch on?

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    1. I do very quick single Turtle head sketches for free. For more elaborate ones, I charge somewhere between twenty and forty dollars, depending on my mood, though I have been considering raising the price. I don't do full figure TMNT sketches, except in rare circumstances, and those almost never occur at signings -- more so for family and friends. -- PL

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  26. So you have previously described MWS as "shutting you and Kevin out early on". Why do you think they did that?

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    1. You would have to ask those in charge at MWS at that time to (possibly) get the most accurate response to that question, but in my opinion it was mostly their desire to not have interference in what they wanted to do with the show. They had an approach that they thought was the best one, and they wanted to do it that way. Was it the best way? Well, the show was very successful... but it might have been even more successful if our input had been considered. Or it could have been less successful. It's impossible to say at this point.

      I think there may have also been a certain amount of disdain on their part for Kevin and me, these two independent comics creators with their goofy little black and white self-published comic book. Who the heck were we to be offering ideas to people with actual experience in producing animation? Again, this is just my opinion. -- PL

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  27. Hi Peter, How are you? I have a doubt , what are the age of the TMNT in the original comics, the 2k3. ( 2003) series and the 2007 movie?

    Many people said that Leo is the oldest and Mikey the youngest or they are same age?
    How they learnt to drive?

    Where did you get the name Casey for Raph's best friend? It 's not a common name and it actually can be a unisex name. Girls have that name, too. Which I found weird, because I associate Casey as a guy name only.

    How Donnie developed his gifted intelligence...and cuteness? :)

    In the 2007 movie, who got the idea on giving Donnie his job as IT ( computer assistant) consultant?

    Leo's answer to April about Donnie's job was a kind of a "slap in the face" for all the IT people. But many of them took it with humor. That job is really horrible. Poor Donnie!

    What brand is Raph motorcycle in the 2007 movie?

    That's all.

    Take care!

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    1. "I have a doubt , what are the age of the TMNT in the original comics, the 2k3. ( 2003) series and the 2007 movie?"

      Good question, but I don't think we ever really worked out what ages they were. Let's just say they were teenagers in the first volume, but in their twenties or early thirties in Volume 4.



      "Many people said that Leo is the oldest and Mikey the youngest or they are same age?"

      I've always thought of them as roughly the same age. To be honest, it isn't something that matters too much to me in terms of storytelling.

      
"How they learnt to drive?"

      I think they probably figured it out by trial and error.

"Where did you get the name Casey for Raph's best friend? It 's not a common name and it actually can be a unisex name. Girls have that name, too. Which I found weird, because I associate Casey as a guy name only."

      I think that Kevin -- who created Casey Jones -- gave him that name as a nod to the famous American railroader.

      

"How Donnie developed his gifted intelligence...and cuteness? :)"

      A little bit of nature, a little bit of nurture.

      

"In the 2007 movie, who got the idea on giving Donnie his job as IT ( computer assistant) consultant?"

      I can't recall. I don't think it was me.

      
"What brand is Raph motorcycle in the 2007 movie?"

      The look of that motorcycle was based on the KTM "Adventure" model. -- PL

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  28. Dear Peter laird,

    You probably hear this all the time. But thanks for creating the TMNT you were a big inspiration on me. I just wanted to return the favor so to speak. I just made this light hearted parody of the TMNT for you and Kevin and whoever else wants to read. I had a couple of friends read it they liked it. I spent a few days on it. I am not asking for any hand outs or whatever. That is the last thing anybody wants. I just wanted to say thanks by making the tmnt. This is where it is http://mutantninjaturkeys.blogspot.com/ you can see it if you want. If not its all good. Kevin already he saw it.. his reply was "fantastic". Anyway, thanks again. Hope you get a laugh or two out of it. I made it really simple for simpler audiences to read. Sadly a lot of people now a days don't have large attention spans all multi-media driven. Anyway take care....

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, James. I did look at your "ninja turkeys" piece, thought the drawing style was charming, and in fact got several laughs out of it, though I found some of the misspellings distracting. Thanks for the link! -- PL

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  29. Peter you made my day. Thanks very much. By the way I went back and removed the misspellings. Also, I added some grey "screen print" to the artwork so it helped the atmosphere. I am handing out a few issues for free comic book day. By the way I made a second issue that is almost done. If you want check it out again. If not I understand. Your a busy man. Thanks again for making my day. Means a lot.

    James Lichtenberg

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  30. Pete,

    First, thanks so much for creating the TMNT. Truly, the TMNT have helped shape who I am, and that probably won't ever change.

    Second, throughout each of the 3 main runs of TMNT--late 80s, 2K3, and now--there has been a glut of merchandise, some truly bizarre and some absolutely fantastic. From any of those eras, is there any single product or piece of merchandise that stood out to you as especially terrible or especially cool/brilliant?

    Thanks for your time, and one more, know that I appreciate all of your work through the years.

    Adam

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    1. Adam, thank you for the kind words.

      There have been some less-than-stellar TMNT products over the years, but to be honest, none (at least right now) jump out at me as especially terrible. But on the "especially brilliant" side, I have to say the NECA figures were really great -- it was such fun to see the original comic book TMNT look reproduced in three dimensional form, and in really well-sculpted and beautifully-articulated action figures. -- PL

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  31. Hello Peter,

    I know the Mirage is in the "ramping down phase", but I was just wondering, have you ever considered using the TMNT Vol. 4 model to serve as a publisher for new creators?

    For example, the Mirage site would be used to read stories by creators online, and only 10,000 will be printed for the collectors depending on the popularity of the story. Exactly how you did with issue #32. I would imagine there would be a selection process for quality control, that way people would want to come back to read new stories.

    I'm by no stretch of the imagination a business man, so I may be very naive in asking you that question. I just think something like that is very fitting for a studio with the name "Mirage". It would also be a great avenue for creators like myself to get their stories seen, and possibly find other creators to collaborate with.

    Thanks for your time Peter. Hope all is well, and keep enjoying life!
    Marco

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    1. Marco, it's an interesting idea, though I am not sure how many fans would be willing to pay $10 per copy for comics by "new creators" (which I take to mean those who have not yet made their names in the comics field). That doesn't mean someone shouldn't try it, though I don't think Mirage Studios will.

      Also, we did not print 10,000 copies of issue #32 -- we printed 1000 copies. -- PL

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    2. Hey Peter,

      Yeah, you definitely got a point there.

      Thanks for the reply!
      Marco

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  32. So it seems that Hun became the break-out character of the 4Kids series, seeing how he appears to be the one character from that series everyone is using now. Why do you think he got so popular?

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  33. Mr. Laird , I got in contact with Dan and sent in my autograph request. It was actually delivered on April 22nd to the Mirage Studios. I was just wondering when you're going to be back in Northampton to sign my item. Thanks....COWABUNGA!!!

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  34. Why didn't Steve Barron direct the first film sequel?

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    1. I might be able to shed some light. I met Steve Barron a few years ago and asked the same question. He said he didn't like that the studio wanted to go with a lighter tone or something like that. In short, creative differences.

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  35. PL

    Is there anywhere you post signings or do you post them with a few months notice? It's on my bucket list to meet you and get a few books signed but I need to make sure its economical with work and school and family. Thanks!

    James

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    1. James, I don't do a lot of appearances, although I have been signing at Steve Lavigne's "Shellback Artworks" store in Wells, Maine once or twice a year for the last couple of years. Typically, I try to post an advance notice about any such signings here on this blog. -- PL

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  36. Hi Mr. Laird,
    Forgive me if you've answered this question before. Is there a comic book that if given the opportunity you would consider a dream project, if that's even a possibility considering the success you had with your own creation?

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  37. I asked Kevin about this, he said he was exclusive with IDW now, so the answer was pretty much no. But, I was wondering if you would like to make an issue of the "Third Aged Mutant Ninja Turkeys" or take control of the property to create a new series with me. It would really be cool to see one of the creators of the "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" parody their own creation. If I was a creator of a hit like TMNT I would do it, but that is just me. Of course I am really "a no name" so coming from me is a bit strange. But as they say no question is a dumb question. Even through its a bit strange. Anyway thanks for your time. If no. Its all good.

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  38. I'm late to the game thinking that once you sold TMNT there were no more comics, but am so excited that I was wrong. I see the last two are posted here and I found 29 at the Mirage site. I was wondering though, since I could not find them, where if they are online, are earlier issues posted? I don't see a good chunk of them even available to order through Mirage. Thanks

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  39. Hi Peter! I was wondering if I have a piece of TMNT memorbilia and I would like to somehow get it signed, is that even possible? Would I send it to you? Do you charge money? I grew up with the TV show and the comics and I just thought it would be really cool :) jamieboe1986@gmail.com Thank you

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  41. As a less intense question, perhaps, you said previously that Don's favorite sci-fi movie would be The Day the Earth Stood Still. Would would be the overall favorite movie or genre of each of the turtles?

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  42. Donny Osmond has been saying that you and Kevin named Donatello after him. Is there any truth to his statement? http://extratv.com/videos/0-n07vlkfu/

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    1. No. The idea that we named Donatello after Donny Osmond is ridiculous. -- PL

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  43. Not sure if you're going to see this post, but is your lack of blog activity in the last couple of months a sign you're getting bored with this blog? I remember you used to have a new post just about every other day either about what you were doing in life or something TMNT related, and now both blogs barely have any new activity.

    Just merely out of curiosity, have you grown uninterested in blogging online?

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    1. I'm not really disinterested in blogging, per se, but at least with this TMNT blog, given that I am no longer involved on a day-to-day basis with the Turtles, I don't have much to say about them. -- PL

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  44. Just wondering? Why four turtles? Did you and Kevin have plans for less or more? Also was there an alternative to Master Splinter being a rat? Maybe a squirrel, snake, or alligator?

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  45. In large part, it may very well have been that when Kevin penciled that first group shot of the "Ninja Turtles", to which I added my inks and the two words "Teenage Mutant" to the title, he employed four Turtles, possibly because it made for a good composition... and it stuck. Four Turtles always seemed to me to be a good, solid team number to me -- like the Fantastic Four, you know?

    As far as I can recall, Splinter was always going to be a rat. -- PL

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    1. That is really cool Peter how you guys hammered out the turtles. I have always loved how things come into being and are formed by creating. In your case and Kevin's how one thing Like Daredevil, satire and turtles all formed a new creation. It lives up to its name "Mutant Turtles" It Evolved. Its a kind of magic! I believe its that same kind of magic that helped the franchise sell in the first place. What I understand you guys didn't think you would sell a single issue. That makes me a laugh. It was a kind of magic!
      Yeah your right Four is a solid number for a team. Seems to work with a lot of stuff like you said with the Fantastic Four. As for Splinter you are right He was always a Rat. hmm? I also wanted to say also how the TMNT reminds me a lot of those old Chinese stories about people shown as animals. I think they were political satires they would show leaders as animals and stuff so they wouldn't get in trouble. Its the whole animal Anthropomorphic thing I guess. Its like the soul of the old Chinese stories transformed its soul to your creation Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles. I hope that made sense. Anyway thanks for the reply. James L.

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  46. Mr Laird. I've recently picked up an early tmnt group shot you pencilled and Kevin inked done in 1984. You have it listed as your blast from the past #85 titled, 'Tmnt fight a robot'. I'm trying to place this piece in the tmnt art timeline. Do your remember if this piece was done before tmnt #1? Anything else you might remember about the piece?

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  47. Hello Mr. Laird,
    My fiancé is quite possibly your biggest fan! He and I have been together for 8 years, long enough for me to become quite familiar, if not another expert of the comics, TV shows, and movies. He was so inspired by your work that he became a successful comic illustrator and has shown his work at the San Diego comicon, NYC and Raleigh. My fiancé is the sweetest, kindest, funniest and most wonderful person, and he deserves more than I could ever give him. We are getting married in a month, and if it is not too much trouble, I know that he would appreciate a few kind words of advice from you, his creative hero. I would like to make him as happy as he has made me for 8 years, and I believe that this would make him the happiest groom in the world.

    Thank you,
    Katey the Bride

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  48. Hi Peter!

    Thank you first of all for taking the time to make this blog and answer fan questions. I love reading your criticisms of things like Krangs dorky body and next retardation. It's very nice to see our similarities and differences in opinions.
    Second of all an actual question:
    What is the best way to send something to you and/or Kevin directly?

    I'm working on a TMNT script for a t.v. series that's not for kids. I don't expect it to go very well since it's been marketed to kids for over 20 years, but dammit I have hope. I want to really honor other versions of TMNT especially yours, therefore your input would be priceless to me. So far I have an outline in progress, a character list in progress, an oodle of notes and a bunch of ideas that need organization, I'd be happy to share it all with you and see what you think.

    Here's my e-mail if you want it Andoryuu.Bushido@gmail.com
    BTW my name is Niji! Thanx again for your time. Me and my older brother are huge fans of TMNT!

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  50. Hello Peter,
    When you first did the Turtles, can you elaborate on any goal tracking system to make sure that you were keeping progress? Did you have deadlines?

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  52. @Peter Laird
    From: Michael Leone

    hi Peter,
    long time fan since the early 90's

    i've been frantically looking for a copy of TMNT vol 4 issue 29
    and was wondering if you'd ever consider posting it digitally here on your blog?

    thank you ^__^
    Michael

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  53. Hello, Mr. Laird. I'm sorry for being a bit late to the punch here, but I was wondering if you ever accepted new character ideas for the TMNT universe? I would like to make a story and I'm getting better for writing a story, but I'm horrible at art. When you and Kevin Eastman wrote your original comic, which one of you did the artwork and which one of you wrote the story?

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    1. Kevin and Peter *both* worked on both the writing and drawing of the original, first issues of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Read up on it on the web, there's lots of info about it to be found easily through interviews etc. (as well as on this blog).

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  54. Hello Peter: Who had the idea of choosing Donnie or Donny and Mikey as nicknames for the very Italian names Donatello and Michelangelo?


    Thank you.

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  55. I just wanted to show you what I fonud yesterday.
    It's a comission on DeviantArt for TMNT secret Santa. ^^ http://tmnt-secret-santa.deviantart.com/

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  56. Hey Peter,

    Its me again. The Turkey guy. I saw a documentary on you and Kevin. It talked about how you guys were "flattered" that people were parodying the Turtles back in the 1980s. I was wondering if you would like a copy of, The Third Aged Mutant Ninja Turkeys, Issue 1? By the way I have made more adventures. Anyway. I had another question? Did you guys ever think about keeping with the original design for the turtles? The short stubby Michelangelo? If so would that have made the story more of a comedy? Thanks for your time. If you do decide you want a copy you can post like "A where to get an autograph address here?" or find me on facebook. If not I totally Understand. Thanks again.

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  57. Hello peter,

    I'm just a 15 year old and I have watched TMNT for as long as I can remember and it has inspired me to draw amazing things ever sense then and God has gifted me with the gift of drawing and someday I would like to work for Mirage Studios in any way possible but mainly comics if possible but I would like to send you art to you or Dan and hopefully you would keep me in mind.

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