Friday, February 27, 2009

Blast from the Past #80 repost: TMNT #5 -- Anatomy of two pages

While going through some old files, I came across some photocopies of a few pages from our preliminary work for the original Mirage TMNT comic #5, in which we took the Turtles into outer space and had them meet the Fugitoid. It's a pretty good example of how Kevin and I used to collaborate on the creation of those original comics. (I've picked two pages -- 34 and 35 -- and reproduced first Kevin's thumbnail layouts, second my dialogue polish, and third the final inked and lettered versions of those two pages.)

First we would get together and talk out the plot, trying to construct a story which held together and covered all of the points we wanted to get across in that issue. Once we were satisfied with the plot, Kevin would do rough layout drawings, breaking down each page and roughing in dialogue.

Second, I would take Kevin's layouts and do finished dialogue.

(At both the layout and finished dialogue stages, we would confer on what we had each done and address any problems either of us had with the choices we'd made.)

Third, we would pencil the full-size pages, based on Kevin's layouts, on pieces of Graphix Duo-Shade board. After the lettering had been done on the penciled pages (in this case, I believe it was Steve Lavigne who did the lettering), we'd do the final inking, and after that the toning. -- PL

Thanks, Isaac!

This image of me is from the interview footage done a few weeks back for the upcoming TMNT fan documentary ( I asked the man behind the documentary, Isaac Elliott-Fisher, to send me a copy of the raw interview footage, and I just got it a couple of days ago (along with a copy of his other documentary about Toyota Land Cruisers and a t-shirt for that documentary).

I watched the footage last night, and was relieved to see that, for the most part, I did not sound like an idiot. Here's a still shot from the footage:

I apologize for the bad quality of the image -- I couldn't figure out how to do a screen grab while iDVD was playing (my computer kept giving me warnings that it couldn't be done), so I finally resorted to taking a digital photo of my laptop's screen, which -- as you might expect -- introduced distortions and odd color artifacts into the picture. The actual footage looks great, and I am looking forward to seeing the finished product. -- PL

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Blast from the Past #78 repost: TMNT drawing on tablecloth scrap

Sometimes when you do a signing or a convention, you get a little bored or punchy near the end of the day. I think I was a little of both a few years ago when I doodled this group shot with a Sharpie® marker on a scrap piece of the vinyl tablecloth in front of me.

I guess I liked it enough to cut it out and take it home with me. -- PL

Monday, February 23, 2009

Blast from the Past #156: another iron-on TMNT group shot

Here's another piece of art created to be used to make iron-ons during the early Turtle days. This one I did all by myself.

This is one of just a handful of pieces from the old days on which I used my airbrush, a tool which I was never very competent with, but almost always had fun using. -- PL

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Blast from the Past #77 repost: Iron-on TMNT group shot with logo

I’ve always liked this art done for a t-shirt iron-on back in 1984. We based this on a piece of black and white art Kevin and I did for promotion of the first issue of the TMNT comic. I’m pretty sure we both inked on a pencil drawing by Kevin, and then Kevin colored it. It’s one of the first things we ever did showing the turtles in color.

This image is actually a "flipped" version of the original art, which we did with the logo in reverse, so that when the iron-on was applied to a shirt, the logo would read properly. These iron-on's were fun to do -- we made them at a copy shop in Portsmouth, NH which had the first color copier we'd ever seen -- but even when applied perfectly, they didn't last too long. After a few washings, they started to crack and peel and look pretty bad. -- PL

Friday, February 20, 2009

Blast from the Past #76 repost: PL as Turtle, with pencil

I drew this self-portrait in 1985 (I still had hair on top of my head) as a spot illustration for an interview in some magazine... I think it might have been the now-defunct COMICS INTERVIEW. -- PL

Thursday, February 19, 2009

TMNT sketch for sale

Remember that Donatello sketch I did at this year's NYCC to benefit the Inkwell Awards (I blogged about it a few days ago)?

Mike Dooney just alerted me to the fact that it is currently listed on eBay:

Check it out! -- PL

UPDATE 02-21-09: Apparently, this piece went for $189.50. Not bad! -- PL

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

TMNT Volume 4 update

I have finished toning, and just started lettering, issue #30 of TMNT Volume 4. I expect that it it will take at least a couple of weeks to finish.

If anyone wants to write a letter to the Editor for possible inclusion in this issue, the deadline for such is probably about three weeks from today -- let's say March 15. -- PL

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Blast from the Past #75 repost: Donatello fighting robot, pencils

Donatello’s fighting another robot (android? cyborg?) in this pencil drawing I did for a proposed (but never finished) TMNT portfolio, sometime in the early 1990's, I think. One of these days I’ll get around to inking it! -- PL

Monday, February 16, 2009

Blast from the Past #74 repost: Jim Lawson color pencil TMNT pinups

Jim Lawson did these four very cool color pinups in 1989 to make color prints to sell at comic shows. They demonstrate Jim’s talent with colored pencils -- beautiful! -- PL

Blast from the Past #153: Turtles fighting Triceraton

Here's yet another thing I found during my efforts to organize my collection of Jim Lawson artwork. I can't remember exactly why I did this drawing, but it's kind of fun. -- PL

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Blast from the Past #73 repost: Large TMNT group shot, pencils

I think I started this pencil drawing on a large piece of paper during a Mirage business meeting in 1992... something I used to do to try to accomplish two things at once. I'm not sure if it really worked, though.

I find it interesting that I drew Leo's scabbard straps crossed over his chest in an "X" -- not how I've always drawn him in the comics. -- PL

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blast from the Past #151: Anthrocon 2005 pencil art

Last summer, I posted a few pieces of art that I did back in 2005 when I was "Guest of Honor" at Anthrocon in Philadelphia. Today, while working on organizing my collection of Jim Lawson artwork, I ran across some copies of the pencil art I did for two of those pieces... here they are. -- PL

Blast from the Past #150: rough sketch for cover of Volume 1, issue #4

This sketch was done by me to work out the composition for the cover of the fourth issue of Volume One of the TMNT comics. This cover was to be the last of our two-color covers before we moved to the full color ones. (The continuing success of the comic had given us the funds to allow for the more expensive photographic color separation process -- all the two-color covers were created using handmade separations.)

It's interesting (to me, at least) to note by this sketch that at the time I drew it, I had yet to work out the final design for the Utroms' hand weapons. -- PL

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Blast from the Past #72 repost: TMNT #50 cover pencils

This was fun -- an updating of the original TMNT #1 cover for our fiftieth issue. I had a great time doing these tight pencils back in 1992, and Kevin did a great job of inking (and then painting) them. It’s funny to compare the way the turtles looked in the first cover to the way they look here -- definite changes over time.

Astute readers of TMNT comics will likely recognize this as the art that I used for that special PBBZ reprint of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 a few years ago. -- PL

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

NYCC: Day Three addendum

I forgot to mention this in yesterday's post. At big shows like the NYCC, I never have the time (and, frankly, the energy) to walk around the place and look at everything. It's just too big, there's too much stuff, and the crowds make it difficult. So I usually end up coming home without buying anything.

But this time I got some help from a couple of my Mirage buddies in finding something to take away from the show. I think it was either Mike Dooney or Jim Lawson who saw it the first day and mentioned it to me -- "it" being a small original watercolor of a Triceratops by Jeff Jones (an artist whose work I have always admired). And near the end of the first day, Steve Lavigne offered to go pick it up for me while I was busy at the table. (He even managed to get the dealer to come down a bit on the price.)

I think I'll be hanging this piece in my pool room, alongside some other nifty Triceratops artwork I've gathered over the years, including several works by Jim Lawson and my friend Rob Engman. -- PL

Monday, February 9, 2009

NYCC: Day Three

Day three of the 2009 NYCC was much like the first two days -- busy! Not quite as insanely busy -- or as crowded -- as Saturday, but we were signing and sketching right up until we walked away from our tables for the last time.

Here are a few images from day three.

I got Mirage Studios CEO Gary Richardson to pose with two Turtles at the Playmates booth.

This very nice couple -- I believe their names are Jessica and Mauro -- stopped by and showed me two very cool Turtle items they had crafted. (The hand-painted thing on Mauro's necklace is either a flashlight or an MP3 player... I can't remember which.) Very well done stuff.

Remember the "Munden's Bar" story that Kevin and I did way back when for an issue of "Grimjack"? No? Well, this gentleman did, and he was asking people who had worked on "Munden's Bar" stories to autograph this t-shirt, and I was happy to oblige.

About an hour before we left, I finished this drawing which I was asked to do -- I think it is to be part of an auction to benefit the Inkpot Awards.

And the last thing I did before we left the show at 3PM was to sign this fan's t-shirt.

All in all, a good show. I met lots of nice people, got to hang out with my Mirage buds (including Steve Lavigne, who I don't get to see as often as I like since he moved back to Maine), spent a little time with Lloyd Goldfine (always a pleasure), and did more drawing than I've done in a while. I'll probably do it again next year (in October, I believe), but possibly just for one day. We'll see...! -- PL

Saturday, February 7, 2009

NYCC: Day Two

We had another long, tiring, and productive day at the NYCC. Many items were signed, hands shaken, and sketches sketched. We met and talked with a lot of fans, old and new, including Vaughn Michael, frequent TMNT forum and bog commenter... nice guy.

I think I did four or five different video or audio interviews, three of them in the space of about fifteen minutes! That was kind of intense.

My brother Bruce -- the original #1 Turtle fan -- came to the show today, the first time he has been to a large comic convention. It was an eye-opening experience for him! But I think he had fun, sitting with us at our tables. I even convinced him to try his hand at doing Turtle head sketches, and he sold two of them! (Bruce is no stranger to drawing Turtles -- over the years, he has sent me something in the neighborhood of a hundred postcards and greeting cards decorated with his original drawings of the Turtles.) Here's a photo of Bruce at work drawing a Turtle.

We also had one dude stop by in his cool Turtle costume.

And this dude came over several times to show us his cool customized figures. Very nicely done!

Near the end of the show we were visited by Casey Jones and April O'Neil, who posed with us at our tables.

One more day to go! -- PL

Friday, February 6, 2009

NYCC: Day One

I'm back in my hotel room, taking a break after the first tiring but good day at the New York City Comicon. The other guys are doing a panel discussion right now, and I'll be meeting them for dinner shortly.

It was a pretty busy day, right from the moment we found our tables. We were signing stuff and doing sketches almost immediately. A lot of nice Turtle fans came by the tables to say hello and get things signed. I'd like to single out two in particular, both of whom surprised me with thoughtful gifts.

The first was this gentleman who gave me this cool drawing of Donatello and Etrigan the Demon that he had drawn. Nice!

And the second was this young lady who brought me a nifty toy Triceratops. It's the small version of that big Kota from Playschool. I have the big one at home, but I wasn't even aware that this one existed! It's definitely going to join the collection when I get home.

I have both of these nice folks' names... but I left them at the con! Hopefully I will remember to bring those names back with me tomorrow so I can give them their due credit. Thanks again!

I also spent some time today signing at the Playmates booth, and after my hour there I got my photo taken with April O'Neil and Casey Jones. -- PL

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Blast from the Past #149: Demon Turtle

Regular readers of this blog know of my admiration for Jack Kirby and his character of Etrigan, the Demon. I found this unfinished sketch of a Turtle as Etrigan in one of my old sketchbooks. -- PL

Blast from the Past #71 repost: Early Splinter

Hey -- where's his tail?! This is a very early painted piece from 1984 by Kevin Eastman, depicting the Turtles' sensei, Master Splinter. It is probably a design study done before the printing of the first issue.

In any event, I'm glad we decided to make Splinter's robe a little less ragged in the comics! -- PL

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Blast from the Past #70 repost: Design for "Wacky Ooze Buggy" toy

This is a neat design that Jim Lawson drew in 1994 for consideration as a TMNT vehicle for the original toy line. It never got made, but I think it would have a had a lot of "play value" -- especially if there had been something designed in so that you could make the vehicle spray ooze as you pushed it along. Or maybe not -- that probably wouldn't have gone over well with parents. -- PL

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Blast from the Past #147: Triceraton archaeologist

This is a fun drawing from back in 1983, quite likely pre-TMNT. I think I may have done it as an entry in the "Fandom Directory" art contest, but I'm not sure. -- PL

Monday, February 2, 2009

Blast from the Past #69 repost: Unfinished ad for TMNT #2

This is a "Blast" from WAY back. I started -- but obviously never finished -- this ad for the second issue of TMNT Volume 1. Thinking back, this was probably done during that period of about a year when I was living in Connecticut, coordinating all of the printing and shipping activities and dealing with the distributors. Kevin at that time was still living in Maine, and we were doing the artwork together through the mail.

This is clearly something that I started and drew on my own, without Kevin's involvement (I can recognize my drawing style and my bad lettering), and for some reason, halfway through the inking process, gave up on it. Maybe Kevin came up with a better idea for the ad, and we went with that. Who knows? -- PL