Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"Ten Seconds Later"

A couple of months ago, Kevin Eastman had a cool idea for an upcoming cover for one of the IDW TMNT comic books -- he "reimagined" the cover of the very first Mirage Studios TMNT comic book, with a slightly different scene. This new version depicted the Turtles in different poses -- as Kevin described it, "ten seconds later", after they'd briefly paused on that rooftop on the first cover, and then leapt into battle.

He asked me if I would ink it, and I took him up on it. The process was much like the last few things we've worked on together -- he scanned his pencil drawing and sent me the file, which you see here...

I downloaded that file and printed it out on an 11 by 17 sheet of white card stock, using the color printer at Mirage to render it in as close a hue to "non-reproducing Photo-Blue" as I could approximate.

I inked this version, using a couple of different fine-point brush pens, and I tried to get close to the way Kevin inked the drawing on that first Mirage TMNT comic book. It required a LOT of little hatch marks, and took quite a while, but I liked the way it came out. Here's the scan I made of the inked drawing, showing some of the blue lines…

… and here it is cleaned up and turned into a purely black and white bitmap version.

The finished, printed cover featured nice colors by Ronda Pattison, with a palette similar to that of the original cover, and here's what it looked like. -- PL


  1. Hi
    I work for the magazine GEEK in France ( here’s our website, ). We’re the french version of the US magazine GEEK.
    We would love to interview M. Peter Laird for our September issue.

    Would this be a possibility?

    Thank you for your time.

    Christian Ung

    1. Christian, thank you for your interest. I would be happy to do an email interview.

      Probably the best way to set that up is to go to the Mirage Licensing contact webpage:

      ... and email Dan Berger, who will pass it along to me. -- PL

  2. Hello,

    I have a TMNT poster that was given to me from my in-laws while we were cleaning out their home to get ready for their moving sale.

    It is still in the original plastic wrapping, is marked Western Graphics Corp, 1988, TMNT No216, etc.

    I have been searching for more information on it, but can't seem to find it anywhere. The artwork is the same as the cover of the 1st Archie comic, but other than that, I have nothing. My mother-in-law has no idea how they acquired it, and I was hoping to find out more.

    Would you be able to help? Any information would be greatly appreciated, as I have a collector interested in it, but I have no history to give him.

    Thank you,


    1. Kristen, I wish I could help you, but I don't have any information about your poster. Sorry! -- PL

  3. It's so great to see that you and Kevin are working together again. As a fan, I can only hope to see more in the future.

  4. Hello Peter,

    Thanks for posting the play by play for your projects! I love seeing your thought process on how you do things. I'm sure you hear this all the time, but you and Kevin have influenced me much like Jack Kirby influence both of you. I remember drawing the Ninja Turtles like crazy when I was a kid and wanting to draw just like the comic book movie adaptation. Little did I know as a kid that Jim Lawson did the pencils to that issue, becoming one of my influences as well.

    Anyway that moved me onto other comics and other artist and other influences, one being Jack the King himself. I didn't become a comic book artist like the dreams of my childhood, but I did become a graphic designer all thanks to four mutant turtles.

    If you don't mind, I'd like to pass on a little something I've learned along the way to you. I'm not sure how you set up your non photo blue print, but I've come up with a little trick that I've had to do a few times at my job.

    I imagine you're using Photoshop. What I usually do is: desaturated the image completely, then I go into the channels and copy a channel, it could be any channel once it's desaturated, then I make sure that the channel is set to selection. Afterwards I make a selection out of that channel and I go back to Layers. I set the color to R:164 G:221 B:237 for RGB or C:33 M:0 Y:5 B:0 for CMYK.

    Once you have all that set you can "option/delete" to fill the color into your layer and print! You get a perfect non photo blue printout that wont show up when you go to scan again.

    Always looking forward to more of your work,


    1. Marco, thank you for the kind words. It's always a joy to hear that our efforts inspired others in their endeavors.

      Thanks for the Photoshop tip as well, and I may try it in the future... however, the current color copier/printer at Mirage has a weird quirk -- it refuses to make 11 by 17 color prints! (There is a rumor that Mike Dooney knows how to get it to do this, but I am not sure if it is true.)

      In any event, what I had to do was use the "Copy" function of this copier/printer, combined with it's ability to take a black and white original and print it in different hues, replacing the black with a user-chosen color. In doing so, I had to approximate the color I wanted. Perhaps if I do it again, I will try to see if there is a way on this copier to input the RGB and/or CMYK values you specified. -- PL

  5. love that you guys didn't forget Donatello's extra sword.

  6. I'm just seeing this now. This is great! It's wonderful to see you two rekindle your friendship and creative partnership.