Monday, September 29, 2008

Triceraton with crow quill pen

I'm not sure why I drew this Triceraton in 1984 holding a crow quill pen, but it was probably for fun. I was trying out my airbrush around this time, too -- I used it for some of the shading on this piece.

Incidentally, I used to do a lot of my inking with crow quill pens. I had one favorite nib that I think I used for about five years, before the tip finally got bent and thus useless (a typical fate for these pen tips). -- PL

Blast from the Past repost #18: "Team Mirage" Hare Scrambles Turtle

From 1992, this was one of the first of the series of amazing drawings Jim Lawson did for Team Mirage, the motorcycle racing team which I sponsored for several years in the mid-1990’s.

The drawing represents an off-road style of racing called “hare scrambles” -- as a matter of fact, the first racer signed by Team Mirage was a hare scrambles ace named Tom Norton. I designed the turtle-head graphics and color scheme for Tom’s race bikes, which were Hondas that first year. -- PL

(The following promotional blurb was included with the original posting of this "Blast from the Past" back in 2001. Seems like it was only yesterday... -- PL)


As of this past week, Jim Lawson has started penciling, from my plot, the first issue of the all-new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comic book series which should see print sometime this year, hopefully late summer or early fall. I'm not sure what kind of publishing schedule the new book will have -- possibly bimonthly like the original TMNT comic. It will be black and white, and the first issue (at least as it stands now, in rough layout form) will be thirty-two pages long. I'm very excited to be working on a turtle comic book again, and even more so to be working with my good friend, motorcycling buddy, and PLANET RACERS collaborator Jim Lawson. Now I have to go start inking...!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Blast from the Past repost #17: Archie TMNT Classics digest #2 cover

Some of the Archie TMNT Adventures comics were reprinted in digest-sized editions. For this one, TMNT Classics Digest #2, Steve Lavigne drew this rough cover layout...

... which I referred to when I penciled the cover (below). Ryan Brown inked these pencils (I think he may have inked all of the covers I did for the Archie TMNT comics).

And here's the final cover:

It's a little weird for me to look at these covers, as -- when I did them -- I had to make myself conform to the style of the animated Turtles, i.e. no tails and eyeballs, among other things that I would not ordinarily draw when I drew the Turtles. -- PL

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Blast from the Past #16 repost: Wistariahurst Museum "The Art of Mirage Studios" show poster

In the summer of 1988, we had the great pleasure of having the work of the Mirage Studios artists of that time -- Michael Dooney, Eric Talbot, Jim Lawson, Steve Lavigne, Ryan Brown, Kevin Eastman, and me -- showcased in a wonderful exhibit at the Wistariahurst Museum in Holyoke, MA (just down the road from Northampton). It was a lot of fun, and this is the poster from the event (with an image by Jim Lawson and Ryan Brown) -- signed by all of the exhibiting artists.

Hmm... I wonder if anyone took any photos of the event? I can't recall seeing any. It's kind of startling to think that this happened twenty years ago! Damn, I'm old... -- PL

P.S. If you're interested, more information about the museum can be found at:

Blast from the Past #97: Gizmo and a Turtle play cards

This is a charming piece from the early 1980's, I would imagine... a pin-up drawn by Michael Dooney of his robot character Gizmo Sprocket playing cards with a Turtle (it's not clear which one). I like how The Turtle apparently has won Gizmo's cap in one hand, while Gizmo took the Turtle's bandana in another. -- PL

Friday, September 26, 2008

Blast from the Past repost #15: TMNT montage painting

I don't think this was ever used for anything, but I like the rendering I did of the smaller “floating” turtles. Can’t say I’m digging the color choices I made for the Shredder and Casey Jones... what the heck was I thinking?! At least the Triceraton is the right color.

I think this was one of the few times I used liquid acrylics in one of my pieces. -- PL

Thursday, September 25, 2008

"Blast from the Past" #96: Sketches for Foot robot from "City at War"

The robot which the tech faction of the Foot created to fight the other Foot factions in "City at War" went through a couple of design changes. This is my first sketch for the robot.

I kind of liked the odd, asymmetrical layout of this design, but I was also not really happy with the fact that it didn't look very dangerous. So I thought about it some more. and decided to go with this sleeker, more buglike version, which is pretty much how the robot ended up looking in the comics. -- PL

Blast from the Past repost #14: "Return to New York" collection cover, preliminary drawing by A.C. Farley

I stare at this pencil drawing by A.C. Farley in awe. This is a sketch he did for the cover he was to paint for the “Return To New York” collected book published by Mirage Studios. The painting turned out to be extremely beautiful (typical Farley work), but this pencil drawing is amazing to look at for the composition and detail.

-- Peter Laird

Monday, September 22, 2008

Blast from the Past repost #13: Rejected Shredder playset idea

This was done back when we were trying to help Playmates out with some toy ideas. I devised this little vehicle/playset for the Shredder in 1988 -- unfortunately, it never made it to production. -- PL

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Blast from the Past repost #12: "Frustrated Turtle"

I can’t recall exactly what incredibly frustrating business meeting this came from, but I doodled it in ballpoint pen on a yellow legal pad during the meeting as a way of working out some tension. I think there were several meetings like this during the decade of the 1990's... but thanks in large part to the able leadership of Mirage CEO Gary Richardson, mega-stressful meetings like that are generally a thing of the past. -- PL

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Laird colors on "Early Triceraton"

A while back I posted an image of an early "proto-Triceraton" that I had drawn and Kevin had colored. This new image is of that same drawing, but with my colors, including an abstract background incorporating a fun new technique that someone (can't remember who) had told us about -- sprinkling salt on the art while it was still wet. Although the art still has the 1983 date, this version was probably done a year or two later. -- PL

Special 2007 TMNT movie posting coming...

I can't do it right now, because I am at Mirage Studios and don't have access to what I intend to post, but when I get home in a few hours I will be posting something (assuming that I can figure out how to do it) that should be of interest to fans of the 2007 TMNT movie. Heck, it might even interest those who didn't like the movie, too. -- PL

UPDATE 9:21 PM: Okay, this is a little embarrassing -- I can't find the file I was going to put up. Got ahead of myself a bit, I guess -- I should have located it BEFORE I annouced that I was going to post it. I'll keep trying to find it, but it might take a while... maybe not until tomorrow sometime. Sorry! -- PL

UPDATE 3 -- Thanks to Dan Berger, the file is now posted! Go to, and you will find the last version of the script for the 2007 movie that Mirage Studios signed off on. There were some changes made after that in what was described to us as a "shooting script", but this was the one that we approved. -- PL

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Blast from the Past #95: Baxter Stockman and April O'Neil sketches

These two design sketches were done by me before Kevin and I started working on issue #2 of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, so that would have been sometime in summer or fall of 1984. Apparently, at the time these sketches were done, two important things had not yet been decided upon -- Baxter Stockman's race, and April O'Neil's name.

As you can see in this piece, I was going for a real "nerd" look for Stockman, whichever color he ended up being. April is just labeled "assistant" at this point. And from the drawing in the lower left of this piece, I guess I was still trying to work out how the Mousers would move when attacking.

This other piece is from a short time later, I suspect -- the looks of both characters are closer to the way they would finally appear in the second issue. I find it interesting that I labeled their footwear... don't ask me why I thought it was important to do so! -- PL

Blast from the Past #11 repost: "The Art of Mirage Studios"

This makes me kind of sad to think about. “The Art of Mirage Studios” was a project that I put a lot of work into, back in the early 1990's, and which -- for a variety of reasons -- never quite came together. It was to be a hardcover “coffee table” type book featuring representative samples of artwork by the various artists at Mirage Studios, along with short bios of each artist and some candid photos. For the cover, I drew this black and white rough...

...which I then split up into eight overlapping segments. The segments were distributed among the artists to be finished in their individual styles, and the only rule was that they had to keep the basic positioning and shape of the turtle(s) in each section.

After everyone had finished their segments, I composited them together. Below, from left to right: Steve Lavigne, Eric Talbot, Dan Berger, Mike Dooney, Ryan Brown, Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird, and Jim Lawson. It’s too bad this project didn’t see print... it would have been a neat book. -- PL

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Blast from the Past #10 repost: Jack Kirby birthday turtle

I did this drawing as the basis of a birthday card for my hero Jack Kirby, incorporating images of some of the characters Jack created into the frosting on the cake. From left to right, they are the Thing (although I guess technically Kirby co-created this one with Stan Lee -- but the Thing always seemed like quintessential Kirby to me), Destroyer Duck, Etrigan the Demon, and Darkseid. I'm pretty sure I did a color version of this card and sent it to Jack. I think I drew this in the late 1980's. -- PL

Friday, September 12, 2008

Blast from the Past #94: Fugitoid birthday card

I know I drew this for someone's birthday card, but I can't remember who. Kind of a funny image. -- PL

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Blast from the Past #93: TMNT group shot

I don't think this drawing was ever used for anything. It's one that I drew just for the heck of it back in 1985.

It's interesting for me to look at the inking on this piece, as it was done back in the days when I still used a brush and bottled ink, as opposed to now when I generally only use brush pens. -- PL

Blast from the Past repost #9: Kevin Eastman TMNT group shot

I believe this color piece from 1988, done in markers, was created by Kevin to sell at a comic convention -- I’m not exactly sure how I ended up with it, but I think he gave it to me because I liked it so much. -- PL

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Blast from the Past #92: Fugitoid iron-on

Kevin and I did this piece to use for t-shirt iron-ons back in 1985. I am pretty sure Kevin penciled it, and I did the inks and colors. -- PL

"Back to the Sewer" rumor control

I have noticed some comments online regarding the upcoming "Back to the Sewer" season of the 4Kids TMNT animated show that have posited that when the Turtles return from the future world of the "Fast Forward" season, they have not actually returned to the world/time they left, but have somehow ended up in an alternate reality or parallel dimension.

This is incorrect. When the Turtles come "back to the sewer" in the first episode of this new season, they are back -- and back to stay -- from whence they came, the same universe that has been their home since the beginning of the 2K3 series. -- PL

Monday, September 8, 2008

TMNT as Marvel characters

This is a drawing from 1984, probably done around the time the first issue came out. Kevin and I used to goof around doing wacky stuff like this, just for fun. At the time, we were big fans of the Marvel Comics characters whose costumes these six (?!) Turtles have appropriated. I believe Kevin penciled this and I inked it, but I can't remember if just one of us toned it -- it's possible that we both toned it, like we used to do with the comics.

It makes me think that it would have been a lot of fun to do a story for that old Marvel "What If...?" comic using this idea: "What if... every person in the Marvel Universe was a mutant turtle?" -- PL

Blast from the Past repost #8: Dodecahedron ornament

At one time I liked to do somewhat elaborate personal Christmas cards, especially ones which included some kind of design which required construction. This is one of those, done in 1985. When carefully cut out, folded, and assembled, it forms a dodecahedron (twelve-sided solid) which can be hung as an ornament on a Christmas tree AND used as a desk calendar (only for the year 1986, unfortunately... although I suppose that eventually we will have a year with matching dates... I just don't know when that will be). What fun! I designed this one and drew all of the little seasonal Turtle illustrations.

Below is the instruction sheet for assembly of the dodecahedron TMNT calendar/ornament, penciled, inked, and hand-lettered (yuck!) by me. If I were to do something like this today, it would be a lot easier -- and the lettering would look much better -- using my computer. This particular design was done back in the days of physical "paste up" -- in fact, in some places you can see the shadow lines created in the photocopying process. -- PL

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Early Triceraton

Here's another one of those early Laird/Eastman collaborations from 1983. This one is obviously a precursor to the Triceratons which showed up in both our "Fugitoid" one shot and the TMNT comics. Note that here, the predominant body color is green and not orange. -- PL

Friday, September 5, 2008

"Blast from the Past" repost #7: Richard Corben color sketch for cover of TMNT Volume 1 issue #2 third printing

Richard Corben (one of Kevin Eastman's all-time favorite artists) did an amazing fully-painted cover for the third printing of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 1, issue #2, and he worked up a few color sketches in preparation for it. This is one of them, and a cool piece it is -- we probably could have printed this as the cover! (Trivia alert: In the last episode of Tom Selleck’s “Magnum, P.I.” TV series, the Magnum character was shown reading this very issue of the comic!) -- PL

Birthday gift from Eric Talbot, 1992

This is pretty neat -- recognize the drawing? It's one of the three that I did for my "cyberinking" experiments back in the early 1990's. Eric Talbot took that drawing and inked and toned it in his inimitable style, and gave it to me for my birthday in 1992. Thanks, man! -- PL

Thursday, September 4, 2008

"Four Reptiles and a Rodent" portfolio -- now available!

Back in June of this year I wrote about the "Four Reptiles and a Rodent" portfolio of artwork by me (pencils), Dan Berger (inks) and Steve Lavigne (colors). The portfolio consisted of five 8.5" by 11" full-color prints -- one of each Turtle, and one of Splinter. Well, they will be going on sale shortly. Dan is putting up the relevant information on the site today. Basically, the cost will be $20 plus $5 shipping and handling, and people ordering from outside the US should query Dan about shipping. Katie has come up with a way to ship the portfolio which should keep complaints about damage to a minimum (I'll keep my fingers crossed, but I think it should work). All of the prints are signed by the three of us. -- PL

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"Blast from the Past" repost #6: Donatello with android on rock

I remember starting this drawing on a big piece of illustration board at a convention, just for the heck of it, then taking it home with me to finish inking it later. It’s another “Donatello in jeopardy” drawing, of which I have done quite a few... usually featuring some kind of wacky alien or robot (this one is a bit of both, I think). -- PL

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"Blast from the Past" repost #5: Angoulême mini-poster/1992

I made this mini-poster (11” by 17”) to go with my Mirage buddies when they flew to the famous comic show in Angoulême, France in 1992. I had a lot of fun with this one -- I “cyberinked” the pencil drawing of the turtles and the machines, then colored it in Photoshop. There are even two photos of me which I incorporated into the artwork.

Below is the pencil drawing which I “cyberinked” for the Angoulême mini-poster. -- PL