(TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES and all related titles, logos and characters are trademarks of Viacom International Inc. © 2009 Viacom International Inc. All Rights Reserved.)
All other material ©2011 Peter Laird unless otherwise noted.
Hello Mr. Laird!I know you're probably sick of questions about Volume 4, so all I will say on the matter is that if/when you decide to pick it back up, I will be ready and willing to plop down my money for it.My real question is will you be attending any comic conventions this year?Anyways, hope all is well and that you have a great 2017!-Dan
Thanks, Dan! I currently have no firm plans for convention appearances this year. -- PL
Hi Mr. Laird. Could you try and come to Canada for a convention? I'll travel to where ever you want to visit.Best regards.
I've been to Toronto twice for comic conventions, and enjoyed it. I suppose it could happen again. -- PL
Isn't this Ask PL #16? :-)My real question: Are you doing anything special for Free Comic Book Day this year?I hope you're doing well! Have a great 2017!
You're right, it is! I should fix that.No plans to do anything special for Free Comic Book Day this year, unless Steve Lavigne decides to reopen Shellback Artworks! (But I doubt that will happen._ -- PL
Peter,Would you be willing to process a live Q&A? If yes, I would love to speak more regarding this opportunity. I know you don't do much public appearances, but I had to ask. I am grateful for any consideration. My email is email@example.com. Thank you,
Hey Peter!Big longtime fan here, first time asking a question. Wondering if IDW has the reprint rights to the b&w stuff you currently put out as volume 4, or if you retain those comics produced since the merger? And if you retain them, would you ever collect them?Matthew LeDrew
Matthew, it is my understanding that IDW does not have the rights to reprint Volume 4. I am not certain Mirage has the rights to do collections of Volume 4. -- PL
Mr. Laird,Do you happen to have a secret stash of the "Commandosaurs" mini-comic set of 8? I have been trying to find a set for a long time! Also, as you got older did you run into any physical limitations with drawing? I.e. constant cramps, arthritis,etc.? I would think knocking out a ton of sketches, or even just signing tons of stuff would become quite cumbersome. Just curious!Thanks for taking time to post, and please post more often!-Ryan
"Do you happen to have a secret stash of the "Commandosaurs" mini-comic set of 8? I have been trying to find a set for a long time!"Sorry, but no."Also, as you got older did you run into any physical limitations with drawing? I.e. constant cramps, arthritis,etc.? I would think knocking out a ton of sketches, or even just signing tons of stuff would become quite cumbersome. Just curious!"Sadly, I draw so little these days it is hard for me to answer that question. I can say that doing long signings can be very tiring, hunched over the table. It's probably why I don't do too much of that these days, either. -- PL
Simple question, what is a typical day being Peter Laird?Thanks, Dustin
Hi Peter.I've been reading the mirage series, for some time, and I've always been quite curious about the tools you've been using. Like what tool did you guys use to ink the pages, what did you use to colour the comics(covers), etc.?
In the early years of working on the art for the TMNT comic books, we would use a variety of tools for inking, but mostly brushes (typically small white Taklon) and crow quill and other dip pens. We would also sometimes employ technical pens, like those in the Mars line. In later years, I began using a variety of brush markers, as more of these became available from Japan.I didn't do much color work, but when I did I used a variety of media including Dr. Martin's Dyes, various watercolors, and some liquid acrylic paints.During the production of Volume 2 of the TMNT comics, I used Photoshop to color most of the covers for that series (not terribly successfully, if you want my honest opinion). -- PL
Mr. Laird, who owns the rights to the 2003 TV Series right now?
Like he said. -- PL
Nick pretends that this awesome series does not exist :( #2k3 4ever
You had talked before about releasing a calendar of gods you had drawn years ago. I'll be embarrassed if I missed it, but is that still a thing? (I'll be even more embarrassed if I imagined it.)Side note: if you never create more original TMNT content, I will be so grateful for what you've done. The B&W comics were my childhood, and from what I can tell you are the one that gave it it's heart. Thank you.Mike
I wish I'd remembered at the beginning of this year that the "Calendar of the Gods" which I and my late brother Don did together was once again valid -- the dates cycled back around! But I have no plans to re-release it, at least not at this time. I should dig at least one out of storage and hang it up -- I have eight more months of 2017 during which I could use it. Actually, I am not sure how many of those things I still have. Thanks for the reminder! -- PL
You know some of your fans are pagans (I blame you), and would be curious to see your take on things. Just saying... :)
What's your favorite kind of sandwich?
I tend to like those "Thanksgiving" sandwiches, which typically include sliced turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce. There's a place nearby called Barstow's which has a great version of this, which they call "The Costello". -- PL
I'm shocked that someone other than my Dad enjoys those, and that they're available at restaurants.
Let's start off with a few lighter questions:1. I don't know how far you got into the Nickelodeon but it eventually turned out April psychic powers came from her being a human/utrom hybrid, what did/do you think of that twist?2. A related twist, Bishop showed up (an utrom in that show) and revealed the Kraang were brainwashed utroms? Thoughts on that?3. Did you watch the movie from last year?4. The curent show will conclude sometime next year and be replaced by a TMNT show the same year, called "Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". Does it seem worrysome that they're planning on making a different show right after previous one ends?5. Back when the 2003 show was made, any Mirage you would have liked to see adapted but weren't?Alright, so the real question I wanted out:When Fred Wolf tried to sue Mirage over the ownership of TMNT, are there any details you can give about it? What was their argument? What do think their motive was? Etc. The only reason I can some up with is that they wanted to prevent eventually losing their license but that's just speculation on my part.
"1. I don't know how far you got into the Nickelodeon but it eventually turned out April psychic powers came from her being a human/utrom hybrid, what did/do you think of that twist?2. A related twist, Bishop showed up (an utrom in that show) and revealed the Kraang were brainwashed utroms? Thoughts on that?" I think I've only watched the first season, so I have no opinions on these topics."3. Did you watch the movie from last year?" Yes."4. The curent show will conclude sometime next year and be replaced by a TMNT show the same year, called "Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles". Does it seem worrysome that they're planning on making a different show right after previous one ends?" It's not worrisome to me! I have no involvement in the show, and have no idea what the plans are for it. Maybe they have a great idea for an awesome follow-up to their first show. Maybe it's a desperation move. I don't have any idea!"5. Back when the 2003 show was made, any Mirage you would have liked to see adapted but weren't?" I cannot right now think of any."Alright, so the real question I wanted out:When Fred Wolf tried to sue Mirage over the ownership of TMNT, are there any details you can give about it? What was their argument? What do think their motive was? Etc. The only reason I can some up with is that they wanted to prevent eventually losing their license but that's just speculation on my part." I'm not sure how much I can and/or should say about that matter, so I think I will say nothing for now. -- PL
In the 2003 show, was there going to be any kind of development on Ch'rell/Utrom Shredder's history? For instance, how he got his scar? Or what happened to him to make him believe that his fellow Utroms had persecuted him his *entire* life (implying that it had been happening since he was a child)?Also, was there any development on Utroms as a society and as a species that had been written down, but for whatever reason, never made it to the TMNT lore up front?
"In the 2003 show, was there going to be any kind of development on Ch'rell/Utrom Shredder's history? For instance, how he got his scar? Or what happened to him to make him believe that his fellow Utroms had persecuted him his *entire* life (implying that it had been happening since he was a child)?"I suspect that if the show had gone on for a few more years, we likely would have covered topics of that nature."Also, was there any development on Utroms as a society and as a species that had been written down, but for whatever reason, never made it to the TMNT lore up front?"I can't recall any such development of backstory ideas for the Utroms. Again, I think we may very well have explored these things in more detail if the show had continued. It could have ben a lot of fun! -- PL
My questions were brought to mind by this old interview with you and Eastman featured in a late 1980s issue of Comics Scene:http://forums.thetechnodrome.com/showthread.php?t=57229It provides a rare behind-the-scenes look at the early days of the Fred Wolf toon show, when it still leaned a bit closer to the source material and listened to creator input. Good call on vetoing the hero-turn of Baxter Stockman into the Turtles' pal and custodian of the Technodrome. I can't imagine how much different the show and toyline might have been if that shift had become the new status quo. Baxter probably would have stepped on Donatello's turf, but it might have been fun to watch them play off each other. I'm also glad Shredder and Krang remained distinct characters instead of being combined into one entity, as their chemistry plays better off one another. Plus, that allowed for more dialogue from both Pat Fraley and the late James Avery.Probably my favorite part of your TMNT blog is when you posted your production notes for the 4Kids series episodes. Therefore, I enjoyed reading your thoughts on early looks at Fred Wolf second season episodes in the article. Do you recall if you provided the interview after viewing early versions of the episodes or just upon scripts, storyboards, or production notes? Do you remember if the Fred Wolf toon had considered any more major changes to existing characters that might have become permanent after the 2nd season, like keeping April as a cat woman mutant?I appreciate anything you are able to remember about those early days of the TMNT media juggernaut. I recently bought a copy of a complete episode storyboard through Shellback Artworks and it's a delight to see how things changed between production and the final episode.
"Probably my favorite part of your TMNT blog is when you posted your production notes for the 4Kids series episodes. Therefore, I enjoyed reading your thoughts on early looks at Fred Wolf second season episodes in the article. Do you recall if you provided the interview after viewing early versions of the episodes or just upon scripts, storyboards, or production notes? Do you remember if the Fred Wolf toon had considered any more major changes to existing characters that might have become permanent after the 2nd season, like keeping April as a cat woman mutant?"If I had that interview in front of me, it might jog my memory of the sequence of events back then, but as it stands right now I don't recall where we were in the process of the creation of that first show when we did the interview.I can't recall any consideration of keeping April as a cat woman mutant. Of course, Kevin and I weren't kept "in the loop" as much as we would have liked. -- PL
Thank you for your response, Peter! I apologize for not remembering that attached images at that forum can't be viewed without a login access. If you are interested, the scans can be downloaded from Google Drive in .rar or .cbr formats:https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0ByVhFBG-fJHEbGwxTjVDR19YWTA?usp=sharing
Hi Mr. Laird, hope you are doing well.I was wondering, have you seen the episode "Red Sky" episodes of the the Fred Wolf Cartoon? Basically, the last 3 seasons of the show went for a visual overhaul and a darker feel to gain back the popularity it once enjoyed, but without any success? What are your thoughts? Do you like the idea of the show going a different direction by doing things like replacing the Shredder with Lord Dregg and giving the Turtles super Mutations that turned them into raging beasts?
>I pretty much stopped watching the first animated series after the first few seasons, when it became clear that it was just going to be repetitive silliness (or at least I perceived it as such), and our input was not valued. So I don't think I have ever watched any of the "Red Sky" episodes, and thus can't offer an opinion on them. -- PL
Since Dover Publications has published collections of comics from Mirage veterans (Steve Murphy, Jim Lawson, and Don Simpson), would you have any interest in them reprinting some of your past non-TMNT comics work (Terrorsaur & Commandosaurs mini comics, Planet Racers, Stupid Heroes, some material from Gobbledygook, and maybe old material from Snarf and Barbaric Fantasy)?
That could be interesting, but given that Dover has expressed no such desire, I doubt it will happen. -- PL
Hi Mr. Laird.1) I understand you are not a big fan of Complete Carnage and Radical, I have to ask why, as you seem to like the other Mirage superhero characters enough to bring them back in Volume 4.2) In Volume 4 #28 when T’Zirk mentions the Prime Leader Mike fears it might be Zanramon, but T'Zirk says that Zanramon was deposed. My question is why would Mike think Zanramon is still alive when he saw him die, and how the heck is he still alive?3) In Volume 4 T'Zirk is called a commander but in issue 30 all of a sudden he is referred to as a captain. What gives did he get promoted or something?4) What advice would you give to someone who isn't a big fan of the TMNT stuff Viacom is putting out?5) I know Usagi Yojimbo/TMNT crossovers happened because you are good friends with Stan Sakai. How do you feel that they are still going on, even though you no longer own the franchise?6) Why was Panda Khan part of the old toy line yet never had a cross over with the Turtles in the comics or cartoon?
"1) I understand you are not a big fan of Complete Carnage and Radical, I have to ask why, as you seem to like the other Mirage superhero characters enough to bring them back in Volume 4."I guess it was because they always seemed painfully generic to me, with little or no personality."2) In Volume 4 #28 when T’Zirk mentions the Prime Leader Mike fears it might be Zanramon, but T'Zirk says that Zanramon was deposed. My question is why would Mike think Zanramon is still alive when he saw him die, and how the heck is he still alive?"If memory serves, back in issue 7 of TMNT Volume 1, Mike may have seen Zanramon getting SHOT, but I don't think he necessarily saw him DIE."3) In Volume 4 T'Zirk is called a commander but in issue 30 all of a sudden he is referred to as a captain. What gives did he get promoted or something?"No, I just made a stupid mistake."4) What advice would you give to someone who isn't a big fan of the TMNT stuff Viacom is putting out?"Wait! There's bound to be something new coming down the pike."5) I know Usagi Yojimbo/TMNT crossovers happened because you are good friends with Stan Sakai. How do you feel that they are still going on, even though you no longer own the franchise?"If Stan is happy with it, I'm happy with it."6) Why was Panda Khan part of the old toy line yet never had a cross over with the Turtles in the comics or cartoon?"That's a good question, to which I have no good answer. Panda Khan would certainly have been a nice fit for the TV show. -- PL
Hey Pete,I've been playing TMNT Smash Up with my nephew on my sister's Wii and while it's a lot of fun, I feel like it really missed the mark by not allowing more popular characters from certain iterations, especially Bebop and Rocksteady, and of course Leatherhead. Then you got the whole gamete of characters from the toyline and Archie Comics. If you had it to do over again, would you have allowed the game developers to incorporate more of those types of characters?
Maybe, though I would probably have avoided characters from the MWS show (like Bebop and Rocksteady). -- PL
Unfortunate update: my sister's Wii console seems to be having a hard time reading the disc. At first I thought the game itself might be getting old, but that wouldn't make much sense since I only started playing the game for the first time a couple months ago with my nephew. Of course the game itself came an entire year before he was born, and the console itself has been in their basement some time longer. It's possible there might've been water damage from the time their basement flooded, but who knows?The real bummer about all this is we were having a lot of fun sparring with each other in all sorts of combinations, sometimes playing as the same character, which my nephew enjoyed doing more than me. It got even more fun when we played enough times to unlock the Rabbid characters. Guess Usagi was out of the question for some weird reason? I guess nothing is meant to last forever, sadly.
1. Daredevil has been out on DVD for a while now... have you checked it out?2. Is there any moments of time, at all, in your day to day life where you miss what your role in the TMNT was? Say, around 2003?3. Had you to go back in time, back to the original bargaining table with Viacom/Nick at the sale... seeing what they've done with the IP now -- good or bad -- or even just having the benefit of 8 years now to think or rethink what you should or shouldn't have done (in terms of the nitty gritty of the finer details therein, not whether or not you should have sold or not), would you change anything or do anything differently?4. It's been a year since we've really heard from you on it at all. As of today, April in 2017, do you feel there a light at the end of the tunnel for the Volume 4 completion? Is there anything the fans can do to entice you? A Change.org petition, maybe? A letter-writing campaign (people still do those, right?)?5. I'm not quite sure how to word this question in a way that couldn't be construed as rude in some way. I'm just genuinely curious... no new TMNT Blog posts in almost a whole year. Does this speak to a disinterest in even going down memory lane with the TMNT these days, a disinterest with the TMNT in general, or something else? Personally, I'd be fascinated to see some of the opening conversations that began the Viacom/Nick sale, ala the 4Kids cartoon E-mail stuff. To name just one example. Honestly, I just enjoy seeing new stuff from you talking about the TMNT. In an era where it's all about Bebop and pizza and Michelangelo doing dumb stuff, it'd be a breath of fresh air.
"1. Daredevil has been out on DVD for a while now... have you checked it out?"I didn't know it had been released -- I check new DVD releases at the local Barnes and Noble every week, and have not seen it. I would like to watch that series."2. Is there any moments of time, at all, in your day to day life where you miss what your role in the TMNT was? Say, around 2003?"I miss some of it -- the early days of working on the TMNT comic with Kevin, for example, and working on the 4Kids show, and a few other bits and pieces. But all in all, I am content with the way it is now."3. Had you to go back in time, back to the original bargaining table with Viacom/Nick at the sale... seeing what they've done with the IP now -- good or bad -- or even just having the benefit of 8 years now to think or rethink what you should or shouldn't have done (in terms of the nitty gritty of the finer details therein, not whether or not you should have sold or not), would you change anything or do anything differently?"There are a few details I would have changed -- or TRIED to change -- but I would not change the basic decision to sell the property."4. It's been a year since we've really heard from you on it at all. As of today, April in 2017, do you feel there a light at the end of the tunnel for the Volume 4 completion? Is there anything the fans can do to entice you? A Change.org petition, maybe? A letter-writing campaign (people still do those, right?)?"Nothing has changed for me vis a vis Volume 4 since I last discussed it. I can't really say that a petition or letter-writing campaign would or wouldn't have any effect, though my guess would lean toward "little to no effect"."5. I'm not quite sure how to word this question in a way that couldn't be construed as rude in some way. I'm just genuinely curious... no new TMNT Blog posts in almost a whole year. Does this speak to a disinterest in even going down memory lane with the TMNT these days, a disinterest with the TMNT in general, or something else? Personally, I'd be fascinated to see some of the opening conversations that began the Viacom/Nick sale, ala the 4Kids cartoon E-mail stuff. To name just one example. Honestly, I just enjoy seeing new stuff from you talking about the TMNT. In an era where it's all about Bebop and pizza and Michelangelo doing dumb stuff, it'd be a breath of fresh air."Thank you! It's not disinterest so much as not having a lot to say. I am not working on new TMNT material, and really don't expect to in the foreseeable future, so there is nothing new TMNT-wise for me to talk about. -- PL
What was your career like before TMNT? Any pre-TMNT comics you worked on?
I made a fairly skimpy living as an illustrator, mostly for local clients in Northampton, but desperately wanted to get into comics. I did a little bit of pre-TMNT comics work -- I self-published a comic called "Barbaric Fantasy: when I was in college, and also some mini-comics when I had my used book and comic store in Northampton. -- PL
Hello,Let me start by saying "Thank you" to you and Kevin Eastman; without your comics I would have been deprived of one of my favourite shows growing up (the 4Kids series from 2003) and one of my current favourite comics. I really enjoyed reading your original Mirage comics too both for seeing the roots, so to speak, of this franchise and for their own quality and charm.Now onto my questions:During the "City at War" arc Karai had a daughter, but as far as I know she was never named. Did you or Kevin have a name planned for her?And next I am curious about the character of E'ro'chk from the volume 4 comics; I love her design and it's always awesome to see more LGBT+ characters in media I love. I am curious though about why she was referred to by a different name, Soowiiksa, when she first appeared. Why is that? Is one of these names a surname?Thank you for your time, I wish you all the best.-PB
"During the "City at War" arc Karai had a daughter, but as far as I know she was never named. Did you or Kevin have a name planned for her?"I don't recall that we'd come up with a name for her.
"And next I am curious about the character of E'ro'chk from the volume 4 comics; I love her design and it's always awesome to see more LGBT+ characters in media I love. I am curious though about why she was referred to by a different name, Soowiiksa, when she first appeared. Why is that? Is one of these names a surname?"I would love to claim that one of those is her first name, and the other her last, but the truth is I made a mistake. But now that you pointed it out… yeah, one of them is her first name, and the other is her last name. Yeah, that's the ticket! -- PL
Are we ever going to find out what is up with that other Splinter in the Battle Nexus in Volume 4? Don also claimed the fur he analyzed from the Splinter who died back in issue #10, "wasn't the same one who raised us." Making it seem like the "real" Splinter is the one Leonardo was going to meet in the Battle Nexus, but the one we saw from I assume the start of Vol. 4 was either a "clone" or "fake" or "alternate reality" Splinter.This all is really confusing as you can tell. Are we ever going to see this mystery solved? Personally I found it to be the most interesting plotline brewing in Volume 4 from where we left off at, and I hope we get to see some resolution to it someday.
A couple more...1. Around 2000, Kevin Eastman sold you his half of the TMNT rights. Not a whole lot has been said about about that, and a whole lot less was said about it when it all kind of became moot with your later 100% sale in 2009. Was that something you requested him to do back in 2000, or something he came to you and wanted to do? Can you shed any light on this? I've just always been curious.2. Your answer earlier to a fan about you don't think IDW can reprint Vol. 4... that makes me curious. I mean, it makes sense. You could pump out 18 issues of Vol. 4 tomorrow... surely IDW couldn't just start reprinting them next month, simply by virtue of their deal with Nick? Or is the deal, whatever issue # of Vol. 4 was already published at the time ink hit the contract with Nick/Viacom, that was the very last comic of Vol. 4 Nick/Viacom could consider "theirs"?3. Were someone, hypothetically, to send you the script to "TMNT: Origin" (sort of a follow-up but prequel to "Odyssey"... pretty much all-out space adventure to the center of the universe), would you be willing to look it over and give notes? Or would that be the equivalent of asking someone to sit in a chair and rake nails across a chalkboard for a few hours?And yeah, Daredevil season 1 at least has been out on DVD for a while. I do know that all the Marvel TV shows are a bit behind, though. I'd really love to hear your thoughts on Daredevil, as I can't watch that show -- and it's awesome -- without imagining a Mirage-esque TMNT Netflix show in that same vein being phenomenal.
How would you rank each of the tmnt films, from best to worst?
From best to worst, I would say:First live-action movie2007 CGI Imagi movieThird live-action movie ("Turtles in Time")Second live-action movie ("Secret of the Ooze")I don't think I can include the two recent Michael Bay-produced films in this comparison because I don't see the characters in them as representing what the TMNT should be. They're more like mini-Hulks with bandanas. -- PL
I was just wondering if you are a sports fan? If so, what is your favorite pro team?
Except for enjoying the occasional motorcycle race, I have little to no interest in sports, especially team sports. -- PL
Hello, I seem to remember your Daughter being involved in the business in some capacity. Was she in a position to take over if the sale had not happened. How do you think she might have changed the future of TMNT if she had the chance? Thanks
Emily had a short-lived position working at Playmates Toys (a job which disappeared when the person she was working for got fired). I suppose if I and my wife had died before the sale happened, Emily would have become the owner of the TMNT property. -- PL
When the world flooded in the future tales, did April's baby drawing get destroyed in all the water? And if so, does that mean she lives on in Kirby-land?If this has already been made clear then I apologize.Thank you, Tim
I'm not sure I really understand the question. - PL
I apologize for wording that question horribly.I remember reading an issue a while back where April and Renet travel back in time as cockroaches and discover that April was created as a drawing the same way the monsters were created in Donatello #1 with Kirby.In some of the Tales of the TMNT issues that jump into the future, the world (or a good portion of it) is depicted as being flooded and relatively destroyed with Casey and Shadow off doing their thing, the turtles are off on their own, Mikey still in space, and no real mention of April (that I remember anyway.)I was wondering if the reason she's gone is because her drawing that brought her to life got destroyed in the flood, or am I reading way too far into it?Thank you again,Tim
Mr. Laird, I'd be interested in hearing your opinion on the Image series (volume 3). Love, hate, never read? Personally I loved it but I know it's not everyone's favorite. Any information you could give about the Image series overall would be awesome. Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. Brian
I don't think I have ever read ALL of the Image TMNT comics. My basic feeling about that run was that they were competently executed comics, but because they took the Turtles in directions I would not have, I never felt like it was the "real" TMNT. I'm not sure if that completely and accurately represents my take on the Image TMNT comics, but that's what I can say about it right now. -- PL
Dear Mr Laird, I recently reread the original tmnt comic and I was wondering about Hamato Yoshis history in the foot clan. Was he supposed to be a good guy or a villain with standards like karai?
That's a very astute and interesting question, and I have to confess that I never gave that much thought beyond Yoshi's being an "honorable ninja", whatever that means. (Can one be an honorable assassin?) As far as his being a "good guy", I suppose you could say it's a relative thing -- but he was clearly a "better guy" than Oroku Nagi! -- PL
Hello Mr. LairdI would like to know how you feel when you do not have the rights to the turtles?I apologize if it touches you
Generally, I feel fine with it. -- PL
I want to add my voice to those asking (begging) you to return to volume 4. My wife and my 10 year old son say to add them as well
Are the Turtles Plastrons supposed to be part of their body?
Yes. -- PL
Glad to see the blog updated!!A question from one illustrator to another. As I get further along in my career as a freelance illustrator I find myself taking on gigs I wouldn't ordinarily want to bother with, just to keep work coming in. How do you feel about this? Or, how would you feel, if there'd not been a TMNT and you'd worked as an artist? Would you be a "work is work" kind of guy or would you rather have a day job and pick and choose the kind of stuff you want to work on?If you HAD to have a day job, what would it have been?Thanks!
I recall from my pre-TMNT days as a struggling illustrator that I took on almost any illustrating job that came my way. A lot of those jobs were illustrating things I had no interest in. But they served two important functions -- one, they kept bread on the table, and two, they expanded the scope of my illustrative abilities.I would say it's very important to have enough work to survive on, but at the same time not so much that you don't have the time and energy to hone your skills on the kinds of things you really WANT to be illustrating. It can be difficult finding this "sweet spot", but I think it's worth the effort.If I had to have a day job, right now I would say I'd be a potter. -- PL
Hi Mr Laird. I really hope you are doing well.Thanks for updating the blog - always great to read about the history of the Turtles! I just wanted to appeal to you again - I lost copies of artwork (the turtles and shredder) you sketched for me in Toronto about 15 years ago, in a flood. I'm a pediatric neurologist and I have lots of turtle decorations (kids love it) hanging in my clinic. I would really love to put these sketches up in my clinic. Would you please consider resketching these for me? It would mean to much to me.Please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.Thanks again - for everything.
Where did Tokka and Rahzar's names come from.
I'm not 100% sure about this, but I think Kevin Eastman came up with those names. -- PL
Hello, Mr.Laird.First, I want to thank you, Kevin Eastman, and the rest of the Mirage crew for bringing us so many good years of TMNT.Anyway, I'm curious about how the Archie series came to be. Mainly, where did the decision to have a separate comic series (initially) modeled after the cartoon come from? And, how did Archie Comics get involved?Was it a way to keep the Main Mirage series "pure" so there would be no pressure to work cartoon elements into it?Anyway, I love what Steve Murphy evolved that series into, and the cover art you contributed to it was great.Also...If you ever get back to Volume 4, have you considered a "print on demand" publishing service such as IndyPlanet as a way to get the print edition out (assuming that doesn't violate the deal with Viacom)?What would you say are the merits of Black and White comics over color comics, and vice versa?Sorry, if that's too many questions, I'd be happy to see an answer to any one of them.
"First, I want to thank you, Kevin Eastman, and the rest of the Mirage crew for bringing us so many good years of TMNT."You're welcome! I'm glad they have meant something to you."Anyway, I'm curious about how the Archie series came to be. Mainly, where did the decision to have a separate comic series (initially) modeled after the cartoon come from? And, how did Archie Comics get involved?"It was a part of the whole merchandising program for the TMNT which happened in concert with the first animated TV series and toy line. We knew we would want to have a "kid-friendly" comic book version of the TMNT as part of that licensing program, and knowing Archie Comics had a solid reputation in that area, it made sense to approach them to see if they were interested in the license."Was it a way to keep the Main Mirage series "pure" so there would be no pressure to work cartoon elements into it?"Although that was not the main rationale, it did help in that way."If you ever get back to Volume 4, have you considered a "print on demand" publishing service such as IndyPlanet as a way to get the print edition out (assuming that doesn't violate the deal with Viacom)?" I have considered something like that, but I would have to look into the details of a deal of that nature to make sure I could legally do it. To be honest, even if I could, I am not sure that I would. It's something I would think about, though."What would you say are the merits of Black and White comics over color comics, and vice versa?"One approach is not necessarily better or worse than the other, though I think that black and white allows for one's imagination to fill in the missing elements, and sometimes that can be more interesting than colored artwork. Also, there is something appealingly basic about black and white artwork. Of course, that preference of mine may also have something to do with the fact that I have never been very skilled with color! -- PL
Hello Mr. LairdWould you like to come to some festival to meet with fans?You met with Eastman or not?Would you like to return to TMNT or not?In teenage mutant ninja turtles animated series 2003 could be disclosed who were the parents of Karai?(I just think this is Teng Shen and Hamato Yoshi) I here tormented by the question as season 8 of the teenage mutant ninja turtles animated series 2003 could be or not?
Hello Peter, is this print http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Teenage-Mutant-Ninja-Turtles-TMNT-Vintage-Retro-Style-Framed-Art-Print-Gift-/321931486638?hash=item4af49ca5ae:g:qcsAAOSwcLxYLjv2 genuine or fake?
I have no idea if this is a "genuine" or "fake" print. It appears to be the artwork of Kevin Eastman, so it would probably be better to ask him. -- PL
What do you think of the current state of comic movies/TV shows?
Generally, I find them to be entertaining, and it is great to see the heroes I enjoyed reading about in comics during my youth finding their way onto the big (and small) screens. Thanks to the advent of CGI, superhero characters are now possible to render convincingly on screen. And I find the "shared universe" thing -- exemplified so well by the first "Avengers" movie -- to be a whole lot of fun. -- PL
The IDW comics revealed that there is only one Renet in the multiverse, do you think this is a good idea or not?
It's hard for me to comment on that, as I do not read the IDW TMNT comics, and thus have no idea of the context of that concept. -- PL
Hiya Peter!I'm so happy you're doing another one of these!! It's been a while since I had seen you post. I've got a few for you.1. How've you been? Find a good use for the fan I brought you a while back?2. I had a conversation with Steve when I visited for a week last summer in Maine regarding Diamond Comics and Comic Distribution. I was wondering what you might consider the biggest difficulty of working with Diamond as well as any difficulties you may have had with self-distribution?3. How has the pottery been going?4. Has Mirage as a group been included in the recent works such as Jim's "Box City Wallops"?5. Have you been looking towards any new comic creations?And lastly,6. My art has much improved a lot since you'd last seen it, and I'd love to get your opinion on some pieces of mine that I'll also be sending Steve for his opinion as well. I would be happy to message you on Facebook should you have Facebook messenger or email them to you even should that be preferred if you would like to see them. If so, in your reply just let me know!Your favorite Friendly Floridian,~Melanie Servidio
Nice to hear from you, Mel!1.) Pretty well, and not yet.2.) It's been a while since I have dealt with any of this stuff, and things may have changed, so I am not sure I have much of value to say about it.3.) The pottery has been going well -- in fact, I just two weeks ago started another eight-week hand-building course. Love it!4.) I'm not sure I understand this question.5.) If you mean have I been working on any new comic ideas, the answer would be "no".6.) Sure, send it along! -- PL
Hello Mr. Laird again1. I wanted to ask you to think about the movies teenage mutant ninja turtles now?2. You had the idea to return to the turtles?3. Why did you decide to leave the path of the turtle, meaning that refused to do them?4. Wanted you to attend an event in a country, meet fans, sign autographs and so on?PS you are the best-Arseniy-
Peterjust wanted to say how much fun i had reading the volume 1 run of the comics and how did it feel closing out the first run of the comicsP.S have you seen the black and white mega bloks sets for your turtles as they are one of my favourite sets
I was not aware that Mega Bloks did black and white sets. Sounds cool! -- PL
Thank you for all your hard work. 1. Is there any particular things you do when you have writers block or any sort of brain storming exercises?2. I know you don't read comics as much, but do you have any thoughts on DC comics rebirth?3. Was there any TMNT action figure you are particularly fond of?
1.) No, not really. I generally wait and hope for the best!2.) No.3.) In the Playmates toy lines, there were many that I enjoyed, but I loved the "Star Trek" Turtles, the "Universal Monsters" Turtles, and of course I have a soft spot for the original four Turtles that Playmates put out.I also thought the highly-articulated TMNT figures that NECA released were pretty amazing. -- PL
Hey Mr Laird,Big fan of your work, no question here, just a little tribute a couple of friends did of TMNThttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u3JazQk_bYw
That's pretty cool! -- PL
I know there was artwork for Palladium Books' Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness back in '85 or '86 that bears the signatures of you and Kevin Eastman, though if I understand correctly, original characters in those books were wholly original to Palladium publications and never considered for the Mirage continuity, right? But that's not my real question. I was always fascinated by the Bio-Spawn character art for Doc Feral, Karl and Igor and their gruesome laboratory environment. I also found the text description of Otto Rattus interesting, but none of the books seemed to have any illustration of him at all, let alone one drawn by you or Kevin. Did either of you ever create any artwork of Otto, perhaps that went unpublished?
I am pretty sure all the drawings we did for Palladium Books were in fact published. -- PL
Even stuff for the never-released "TMNT & MORE Strangeness" RPG book?
Dear Mr.LairdI have long been a fan and admirer of your work since I first saw and advertisement in the COMICS BUYER'S GUIDE back in 1984. I remember mail ordering it and getting it in the mail. I loved it instantly and became a fan. In fact it was you and Kevin Eastman that opened the door and provided the inspiration to start my on publishing company, ANTARCTIC PRESS.I am the creator and artist of NINJA HIGH SCHOOL. There were many times I wanted to write to you about a possible cross-over back in the day but never got the nerve to ask. Now, after all these years I was wondering what the possibility of doing a cross-over with NINJA HIGH SCHOOL would be. I know this is probably a long shot, but nothing ventured nothing gained. Thank you for your time.Sincerely, BEN DUNN email@example.com
Ben, thank you for the kind words. I am not sure if I would legally be able to publish a crossover title with the TMNT and your "Ninja High School". Perhaps you should approach IDW Publishing with this idea -- they seem to be going great guns with their TMNT comics publishing. Good luck! -- PL
Dear Peter Laird,I liked very much the 2003 series of TMNT. Is it still possible to find and buy some cels of the cartoon?Regards,Etienne
Good question! I am not sure if there ever were any actual painted cels created for the 4Kids series -- they may have been colored using computers. -- PL
1. How tall are each of the Turtles?2. What are the Turtles eye colors?
1.) I'm not sure.2.) I'm not sure. -- PL
Hello Peter, sorry if you get asked all the time but are there still plans to continue TMNT Vol 4? I really love this series. I apparently falsely assumed that you wouldn't / couldn't publish anymore once the IDW series started up (and there was a long gap in tmnt vol 4 at that point) and missed my chance to buy 32 and 31 when they came out (because I wasn't paying attention anymore) so I had to pay through the nose for them later.. Would this blog be the best place to check for any news regarding issue #33? Also, are there any other Mirage projects in the works? Thanks also for the great communication!
I'm glad to hear you have enjoyed TMNT Volume 4. I currently have no plans to continue with it, though I hope to at some point.This blog, though not often updated, is probably a good place to check for news about any continuation of TMNT Volume 4.As of right now, there are no other Mirage projects in the works, as far as I know. -- PL
Hello again Mr. Lairdyou have no background headquarters shredder 2003 of season 1 and all that are there?just would like to see them
1.Can you make another volume 4 issue?2. Where can I find issues to volume 4 I am missing? Possible reprints? Can I read them online?3. Do you still draw?
1.) I have the legal right to, but at the moment I am not inspired to do so.2.) I'm not sure. You might want to direct this question to Dan Berger at the miragelicensing.com web page.3.) Not really. -- PL
People generally think of Splinter as having a Japanese accent (probably because the cartoon has forever cursed Splinter with sounding like Mr. Miyagi). Within the Mirage universe, would Splinter have known Japanese first, or English? Would he even know Japanese at all? If so, would he have the general Japanese accent normally associated with him in other media?
I believe Splinter would have learned Japanese first, then English. -- PL
Dear mr Laird my name is jason iam a huge movie fan and of TMNT's, iam contacting you in the hope that i can get a PERSONAL signed picture of yourself with the Turtles please. Many thanks for reading my email kind regards Jason J kempster 56 south avenue Prestatyn Denbighshire LL198TH Uk
Well, hello first. (Also my english is not very good, im from Chile and we speak spanish)I damn admire your tmnt mirage work, and in my opinion you are the best writter of my favorite comic series, so thank you.As a fan, im damn waiting or wishimg maybe for something new in the 4 volume, since I also love Jim Lawson's art. I mean, what's up with splinter in the battle nexus? I just need to see Leo fighting (omg I love how he goes and goes like a damn cold and silent perfectionist warrior), well question time:1-Do you read good old tmnt comics time to time? Like city at war arc, for example.2-Do you miss the turtles too? Being all so different and complex characters... i mean, in your case, do you miss thinking on how they would react, evolve, act? I understand it could be tiresome, but still.3- i watched the 2003 series and it was pretty good. At least the first seasons, before the ninja tribunal, everything was so fun. Gotta say Donnie was so super cute while sass. Do you like the series now? 4- just thank you for the work you have done so much! I would like to see what happens in the future with the original comic story, Mike being on space, Leo in another dimension, Don still tiny (oh no! And whats up with the utrom?) Poor Raph having so much physical changes while being so emotional... what s up with April? She is in the middle of a existential crisis... Casey and Karai?Well, thank you for the awesome ride anyways! You already did a lot for us fans.Very very grateful for your work, Carmen.
Carmen, thank you for the kind words!1.) I occasionally read an old TMNT comic.2.) I haven't done much with the TMNT in a long time, and I have to say I don't miss them too much. Of course, it is probably the case that they are so much a part of me that they are never too far away.3.) I feel somewhat like you do about the 2003 series -- really liked the first four seasons, then things go a little too goofy. But there are still some good moments in those later seasons.4.) I hope to someday return to finish up the story lines in Volume 4, but when that will be, I have no idea. I can only hope that when I get around to it, Jim Lawson will still be willing to draw it! -- PL
Hello Mr. Laird. Let me first thank you for all the joy you've given me from my youth until today. I first came across your work as a teenager in 1987 and was able to get TMNT 1-10 and even the #3 NYCC issue (I got real lucky at my tiny local shop). Not only did I get to enjoy the Turtles, but now my 4 year old daughter loves them too. She's a Donatello fan and it's great being able to share this with her. Since this is "Ask PL" let me ask you this:1) I remember first seeing the TMNT advertised in Dragon magazine around 1984. Am I crazy or do you also remember a Turtle knockoff that was comprised of Hamsters? Something like Adolescent Something something Hamsters. 2) I only recently started getting my books I've had for decades signed. So I was about to make my first pilgrimage to Maine in May to meet you and try to get my books signed. I was disheartened to learn that the studio had already closed. I read that you have no plans for any signings this year. If/when you decide to have a signing where is the best place to learn about it? Here, Shellback's FB page, elsewhere?3) You're always asked about the Turtles. I know you've moved on to new things, like your pottery and other endeavors. If you had your druthers, what topic would you like people to ask you about?Thank you so much.Scott Williams
1.) I believe that was "Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters". I don't recall that we ever advertised in "Dragon" magazine, though.2.) If I ever do more appearances, this blog would be a good place to look, and Facebook also.3.) I'm open to just about any kind of question... with a preference for ones I can give a good answer to! (Probably my least favorite type would be sports questions.) -- PL
(Might be too late to ask this question. If I don't get this question addressed this year, I guess there's next year.)How many different underground lairs have the turtles had as a family? I had previously assumed there'd been three that the story covers, but now I realize I can't be sure.I know the lair shown in volume 1 #1 was compromised in volume 1 #2 by a Mouser attack. For the sake of convenience, I'm calling this the "first lair" (whether or not it was actually their first lair).After "Return to New York", they seemed to get a second underground lair (which for convenience I'll call the "second lair"), and let Leatherhead live in what remained of the first lair.But in "City at War", when they left Northampton again and came to New York, they didn't move into an underground lair, but lived in that water tower that Karai later destroyed. They seemed to finally find another underground lair at the beginning of volume 2 (which for convenience I'll call the "third lair"), which seems to be the same lair they have in volume 4.But chronological order of stories isn't always clear, despite the best efforts of fan sites like TMNT Entity to assemble a Mirage continuity timeline.Are the second and third lairs actually intended to be the same location, and stories like "Leatherhead" and "Leatherhead, Too" actually took place after the events of volume 2, rather than during the events of volume 1 as is often assumed?Or, if the second lair and third lair are actually different locations after all, then why was the second lair abandoned? We know why the first lair was abandoned, and we know how the third lair was found, but the circumstances surrounding the discovery and abandonment of that second lair are vague.I also realize there could even have been four or more different underground lairs, as the first lair shown may have not been the first, among other considerations.
Dermot, I really wish I could help you with this question, but I don't know, exactly, how many underground lairs the Turtles have occupied. You probably have a better guess than I do! -- PL
Thanks for your answer, either way. :)
Mr Laird.I see a long list of over a hundred questions in this thread alone, I won't be offended if you don't get to mine, but I have a simple question.I was able to catch Kevin at HeroesCon a couple years back, and I got him to quickly sketch and turtle on my forearm (complete with sig). I got it tattooed on me the following day.I'm saving a little piece of space on that same arm with hopes of meeting you and requesting the same. Is that something you think we could ever make happen?Sincerely, a huge fan (aka Sulfur--I like doing TMNT tributes like this: https://youtu.be/f4q7gNMfYAg )
That's pretty cool! I would have liked to have seen subtitles, though, so I could catch all your rhymes.Regarding drawing on your arm for later conversion into a tattoo -- I would probably do it, given time and proper circumstances, with the following caveat:Although I have several dear friends who have multiple tattoos, I am not a fan of the practice. I have yet to see a tattoo which looks better than the skin it has been inked on.But that's just me.I don't do many public appearances these days, but if I do show up at a convention or signing which you attend, remind me of this exchange, and we'll see what we can do! -- PL
Thanks for your reply!Good idea on the subtitles--I'll certainly keep them in mind for future videos :)I haven't made any in a couple years, but the last I did was a step-by-step on picking a lock with 2 paperclips and 2 quarters (https://youtu.be/pR07un9UArc). Though I think you'd understand even less of what I say--it does at least have text explaining the technique lolI appreciate sharing your thoughts on tattoos, and I respect the opinion. My grandfather and father certainly shared it, though I felt differently and as such grew up to be who I am. Needless to say, I asked about the possibility to make sure the space I'm saving on my forearm isn't in vain--I am rather covered already to be honest. :)Mr. Laird, I appreciate all you've done over the years and the work you and Kevin did in creating my favorite comic book characters/story of all time. They've always been a positive influence and big love in my life.I look forward to saying the same in-person sometime in hopefully the not too distant future. Hope this finds you well!
If you were reliving the early days of TMNT, knowing what you know now, would you still license TMNT out to tv shows and toys and movies and such so early, or would you focus on the comic itself instead?
Mr. Laird,I have 5 books that I am trying to get your signature on for my family,collection. With appearances few and far between for you, especially since Shellback closed is there any way I could mail them to you for a signature? Or a public place I could meet you someday in the not so far off future? Thanks!-James
Hello Peter, this may be too late for answers but I just wanted to say thank you for your part in the tmnt. You always added an element to the art and storytelling that was distinct and really rounded them out when you and Kevin were rolling. I have 2 questions:1. Who was the Tarzan fan who put "kreegah, bundolo" in Raph's dialogue as he swung across in volume 1, issue 4? I loved ERB as a kid and I loved seeing that back in the day.2: What is the official species of the TMNT? I would have loved seeing a box turtle variant (looks like war paint)Thank you Sir for your hard work and imagination...and enjoy quasi retirement.Mike