Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blast from the Past 213: "The Good Ol' Days" in Sharon, CT

While looking for those old San Diego photos I posted last week, I also found these goodies from our days in Sharon, CT. These were taken at a time when we had not yet grasped the idea that, if we supplied a list of addresses and how many copies were supposed to go to which addresses, our printer could ship all of the books. Instead, we had the printer -- which at the time was in Lakeville, CT, one town over -- ship all the books to my rented house (or maybe we picked them up from the printer in my car, I can't remember). Here's a photo of Kevin taking a break on a stack of TMNT #2 in the living room of our house.

My wife didn't really care to have these boxes cluttering up the house, so we'd haul them down to the basement, where we'd begin the laborious job of counting out each order, then reboxing them to be shipped out to the various distributors. One of the reasons we did this instead of just depending on the count the printer put on the outside of each box was that we had discovered when looking through one of those early printings of TMNT #2 that it suffered from random bad trimming -- at some point in the binding and trimming process, something went wrong and some of the copies ended up trimmed at weird angles, rendering those copies unsaleable (and unreadable, in some cases). So, just to be sure none of our customers got any of these bad copies, we hand inspected each one before they went out. It was a giant pain in the butt.

Steve Lavigne moved down to Sharon around this time, becoming the first Mirage Studios employee. We put him to work helping us go through the boxes of comics, inspecting and counting and reboxing. Here he and Kevin are hard at work in the basement, packing copies of TMNT #3.

And here's Kevin doing the same thing with issue #2, in the living room.

But this grunt work wasn't the only thing occupying our time -- we also had to continue working on the drawing of the book itself. Here's Kevin working on issue #3 during the short time he lived with us in our rented house by Silver Lake.

Occasionally, the need would arise for goofy hijinks and silliness -- witness "Conehead Kevin".

Kevin would often do stuff like this, usually to make me laugh... and usually succeeding. -- PL


  1. those are some really nice pictures. It looks like although it may have been tough at the beginning of the turtles putting stuff together. You guys sure did have a good time working and living together. Very cool and great vintage pics. Thanks Pete

  2. He did say it was his job to distract you when you were watching certain t.v. shows.... :D

    Wow, all that work! You guys certainly kept at it-- this is the kind of thing others need to see (especially my students)-- a very excellent example of how if you truly want to achieve something, you must work hard at it.


  3. I LOVE seeing this! The story behind the turtles is just as interesting to me as the turtle story itself. You and Kevin both are a major inspiration to me. Seeing all the hard work and love you put (and still do) into a comic book is amazing. You guys are proof that anything can be done! Thanks for all the hard work!!

  4. -->> ..guesstimate , how many issues were in those boxes ?!

  5. I always really enjoy looking at historical TMNT artifacts such as these. I'm sure I've only said like 10 million times what an inspiration your success has been to me as an illustrator, but I must once again tell you that your blog and posts like this are really a driving force in my continuing to work towards achieving my goals everyday. I often wonder if you and Kevin are truly aware of not just the fandom side of things but more so the crop of aspiring artists and entrepreneurs you've spawned as a result of the TMNT. You should feel very proud of the profound effect I'm sure you've had on so many people all over the world.

  6. Who would guess that trimming comics would be just a pain.
    I really admire how the TMNT worked so hard to get the early TMNT issues ready and kept going.
    Thanks for sharing these memories

  7. It is always cool to see where it all began. Thanks for posting.

  8. haha
    thats just cool.
    back when it was mirage "studios" i guess.
    looks like fun.
    these autobiographical posts are real interesting.
    thanks for posting it

  9. MEBS! This is UN-Acceptable! These Comic Carts must not be allowed in our living domicile!

    I can see why the misses was none to happy with them!

  10. hi peter great pics nice to see some behind the scenes of tmnt ,do you have any more cover art or pages? i realy like the pencil and ink stages,it would be great to see a comic by you and kevin again do you think that could happen?

  11. This is really off-topic, but it was great seeing the Mirage guys at San Diego.

    And thank Eric for posting that super Usagi drawing on his blog. I can't post comments there.

  12. "damien said...

    it would be great to see a comic by you and kevin again do you think that could happen?"

    That is highly unlikely. -- PL

  13. Kevin mentioned the huge stacks of boxes for #2 in his panel @ SDCC but didn't have a good photo to show it. Now that rather shows it!

  14. Does the documentry that was done, touch on any of this, or does it breeze by it a bit as far as you know? Or maybe a book with both accounts of the beginning days? (i know of Kev's artobiography[sp?])

    I know you and Kevin perhaps not on best of terms, but to see a biography on the beginning, consistently, like in these pictures, good times, and perhaps see both sides and not just one side when you speak/blog/do panels, etc. maybe from another writer, would be really neat.

    I find it all facsinating, and intriuging the both good and bad that occured to get TMNT up and going back in the early days.

    I guess myself especially I recently had a falling out with a former partner/good friend, and recently found pictures of 'early days'... it just got me thinking, so this post especially struck a nerve with me (but in a good way).
    Thanks for sharing this with us, as always, good sir! :)

  15. Wow, what great pictures! It's realy cool to see stuff like this from the early days.

    Thanks so much for sharing them! :)

  16. I love these little peeks into the vintage times. Great stuff Peter.

  17. Blast from the Past 213: "The Good Ol 'Days" in Sharon, CT I like to read. dojin