Showing posts with label peter laird. Show all posts
Showing posts with label peter laird. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Free Comic Book Day 2013 Appearances



Free Comic Book Day isn't until May 4th, but comic book stores are already putting together exciting plans to encourage people to visit their shops on that day. And there are two events that should be of particular interest for TMNT fans.

At Steve Lavigne's Shellback Artworks shop in Wells, ME, Peter Laird and Jim Lawson will be appearing, along with "at least one more mystery guest." Follow the Shellback Artworks Facebook page for updated details.

Just a short drive away in Rochester, NH, Kevin Eastman and Tom Waltz will be appearing at Jetpack Comics. Keep watch on the Jetpack Comics website for updated details (the info currently on the website still reflects last year's event).

Friday, October 19, 2012

TMNT Artists to Appear at Paint & Pixel Festival Tomorrow



Several Mirage Studios TMNT artists will be appearing at the Paint & Pixel Festival in Northampton, MA, tomorrow, October 20, 2012.

Artists scheduled to be in attendance are Peter Laird, Jim LawsonMichael DooneyDan Berger, and possibly Eric Talbot.

According to Peter's Laird's blog, he will be selling a portfolio of non-TMNT prints titled "Treefaces: Five Prints of Drawings of Trees With Faces." He will also be happy to sign any TMNT items that you bring with you.

Get complete event information!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Mirage Studios Artists to Appear at Shellback Artworks August 11




Steve Lavigne's Shellback Artworks shop will be hosting an appearance and signing with many of the old Mirage Studios crew on August 11. Scheduled to appear are TMNT co-creator Peter Laird, Jim Lawson, and Dan Berger. Michael Dooney may also be present, although he is not currently confirmed.

The event is scheduled from 11am-4pm.

Shellback Artworks
1509 Post Rd.
Wells, ME 04090
(207) 251-4340

Most of these artists have not been making convention appearances recently, so this is an excellent opportunity to visit and maybe pick up some art!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Peter Laird Appearing at Shellback Artworks Saturday, June 16




Former Mirage Studios employee Steve Lavigne is opening a combination art supply store, art gallery, and comic book/memorabilia shop this Saturday, June 16. The shop, titled Shellback Artworks, should of particular interest for TMNT fans.

While the specific offerings of the shop still aren't known, Peter Laird has revealed on his blog that he has given Steve the TMNT life-size figures that once hung on display in Kevin Eastman's Words & Pictures Museum. And as a show of his further support of Steve's new business venture, Peter will be appearing at the shop on Saturday to sign autographs from 12-3pm.

Scan thanks to tOkKa/terrible2z on Flickr.

Location:
Shellback Artworks
1509 Post Road
Wells, ME 04090

If you go, send in a report!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

TMNT Creators Weigh-In On Bay's Turtles



Kevin Eastman drawing secret stuff.
Photo by: Jonathan Liebesman
When Michael Bay posted a comment to his official message boards responding to the outrage over the revelation of "alien" Turtles, he mentioned that he was working with one of the original creators on the project. It was easy to speculate that that person was Kevin Eastman, but Kevin has now confirmed that with a brief update to his Facebook page.
Hey Guys, Sorry to have been away for so long--completely swamped with work--but it is some pretty exciting stuff. I had been invited to check out the TMNT film development by my friend Scott Mednick over the years, and a while back had a full look behind the curtain at what writers Appelbaum and Nemec, director Liebesman, and producer Bay are doing--and trust me--it IS AWESOME. I'm officially on board, and will share more as I'm allowed… thanks all!
So, it looks like Kevin is behind the project 100%. And that's good enough assurance for me.

Meanwhile, Peter Laird has posted some of his own musings on the topic on his blog, although he has no personal involvement in the project and knows only as much as the rest of us do. He also drew a cute little alien Turtle.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

What Happens Now: Questions and Some Answers



Obviously, questions are flying furiously since yesterday's out-of-the-blue announcement that Peter Laird has sold the entirety of the TMNT property to Nickelodeon/Viacom. I've managed to track down a few answers that may help provide some insight on what's about to happen.

First, a few people have released public, personal statements on this transaction:
  • Peter Laird - Co-creator of the TMNT, who allowed this sale to happen.
  • Jim Lawson - Long-time and beloved TMNT comic book artist.
  • Jake Black - Freelance Tales of the TMNT writer and source of inspiration for several fund raising efforts this year.

Some fans have noticed that certain parts of NinjaTurtles.com have disappeared, among them the catalog through which you could buy stuff directly from Mirage. Dan Berger reports, "We'll be starting a new web site soon where we're selling all the stuff we used to have posted."

Concerning the future of TMNT comic books, as Peter alludes to in his blog, some rights to publish comic books have been maintained. Dan was able to clarify that "Peter maintains the right to publish up to 18 TMNT comics per year that can be sold via the direct market and/or web site." To further clarify this, Dan states that Tales of the TMNT Vol. 2 will continue through to and conclude with issue #70, scheduled for next year. TMNT Vol. 4 will continue at a pace that only Peter Laird will be able to decide. Beyond that, they are (likely) allowed to do reprints, so long as they are between 32-48 pages, which rules out the publication of any trade paperbacks.

The inability to publish TBPs is why the "Mirage Universe" book, which had been scheduled for a December release, has now been canceled (as reported via Jake Black on Twitter and Facebook this morning).

When asked about "The Forever War" being published, Dan wasn't optimistic about its release, but added, "That's Murph's project." When asked, Steve Murphy's answer was, "I'm not sure."

While the TMNT have been sold lock, stock, and barrel to Nickelodeon/Viacom, Peter Laird stresses that he did not sell Mirage Studios. As Jim Lawson reported, Peter will continue to allow the artists to use their studio space, should they wish to. However, they would do so independently and not as Mirage Studios employees.

Dan states, "Mirage as an employer ends on December 31 of this year," then ads, "but the regular crew will be here at least 'til May as independent contractors." Dan himself forsees sticking around through at least the end of 2010.

Moving to the future as Nickelodeon has it planned, very little is known. There have been some unspecific reports that they already plan to head in a direction along the lines of the original 1980s cartoon. However, this has not been verified (and who knows if Nickelodeon is even 100% sure about which direction they'll be taking).

As for what happens with the current licensing deals already in place, a representative at Nickelodeon has stated to GamePro, "We plan on fulfilling all current obligations." This would apply to the current toy contract with Playmates Toys, as well as the video game contract with Ubisoft, among others.

The biggest unknown at the moment remains the fate of the planned movie. While a movie has been announced to be released in 2012, it is not known if this will be the same movie that had previously been on track for 2011 or if Nickelodeon will wipe the whole slate clean and begin anew. And if they do that, what direction will they take it? That is a question that remains unanswered for now.

Monday, March 9, 2009

TMNT Flashback: 1989 Comic Book Store Signing



In a real testament to the idea that "You can buy anything on eBay," I recently acquired some photographs out of of someone's personal collection. The idea of buying someone's personal photos is a bit creepy, but these seemed interesting enough for me to get past that. And I'm glad I did, because in addition to being a truly fantastic blast from the past, there are some really interesting details hidden in the background. These pictures appear to be date stamped August 12, 1989 - nearly 20 years ago!



These first two pictures are pretty similar and feature Steve Lavigne behind the table. I think you can also see a piece of Peter Laird's head in the first picture. What is really great though is in the background there appears to be pictures of the Turtles and Splinter costumes for the then-upcoming movie. The movie filmed in September 1989, so this was even before then!



Here we have one more picture of Steve Lavigne, then a shot farther down the line looking back at both Steve and Peter. In the second photo you can get a slightly better look at one of the photos on the wall.



And here we have a better look at Peter, and finally Kevin Eastman as well. Now we can see a few more pictures on the back wall as well as some comic book covers (and cereal boxes!).



Last, but far from least, we see the end of the autograph line with Jim Lawson, Michael Dooney, and Steve Murphy.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Rewriting TMNT25.com: About Mirage Studios



Savvy TMNT fans were watching TMNT25.com on January 1, when the site relaunched itself with loads of new content. However, and rather sadly, the content on the site is poorly written, features bad grammar and punctuation, and, most unbelievably, is full of inaccurate information.

If the TMNT25 team doesn't believe in the use of editors or fact checkers, that's their choice to poorly represent the TMNT brand. As easily as I could, I'm not going to tear apart the site to show off its poor use of design, poor writing, inaccuracies, etc. However, there is one page so greatly misleading that I cannot ignore it.

You would think the "About Mirage Studios" page would be the easiest page for the TMNT25 team to write. But it only took a quick glance for me to find glaring errors. As such, I did a bit of digging into my personal TMNT archive to find references and do some fact checking. The result is what you find below. I realize that this is a lot more depth than the "About Mirage Studios" page was intended to have, but if you compare the two you'll see the conflict in information, especially with certain dates.

ABOUT MIRAGE STUDIOS

Steve Lavigne, high school classmate and friend of Kevin Eastman, as well as the real-life inspiration behind Michaelangelo, was Mirage's first employee, hired in 1985 to help with lettering duties beginning with issue #5 of the original TMNT comic book. His duties would expand to coloring comics and art and penciling licensing art that was used on thousands of TMNT products sold around the world. Lavigne left the studio in 1995 to return to his home state of Maine. He still does occasional freelance work for Mirage when asked.

After giving Eastman and Laird a piece of fan art at a comic convention in Detroit in 1985, Ryan Brown was asked to "get in touch" with the studio in the letters column of the 4th reprinting of TMNT #1, published in September 1985. He did so immediately, resulting in an inking tryout for a short comic titled "New York Ninja" that would later see print in the back of the TMNT RPG supplement book titled Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures!

Passing that test, Brown was then invited to join the studio, making the move to Northampton, MA in September 1986. He would eventually use his inking skills on most of the licensing art drawn by Lavigne, as well as some comic covers. A life-long love of toys made him a perfect match for the role of the in-studio Toy Coordinator after Playmates launched its line of highly successful TMNT toys and action figures. Brown left the studio in 1995 to return to his home state of Ohio. He still does occasional freelance work for Mirage when asked.

Around the same time Brown set foot in Massachusetts and after a successful portfolio presentation, Jim Lawson was invited to move up from his home in Connecticut to join Mirage. Lawson and Brown then teamed together to draw and ink, respectively, a new companion comic title, Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Lawson would also contribute to licensing art and penciling of the regular TMNT comic book series, becoming the main penciler starting with issue #48 of original series, a role that he maintains today with Volume 4 of the series.

Michael Dooney wrote a fan letter to Eastman and Laird after the original publication of the very first TMNT comic book. Dooney, an inspiring comic book creator in his own right, kept in touch with Mirage and would pencil issue #9 of the comic book, released in September 1986, while still living in New Jersey. After moving to the studio full-time, Dooney contributed art to more issues of the original comic book, full-color paintings for the official TMNT magazine, and some of the early issues of the Archie comics TMNT series among other things. Dooney remains with the studio today, contributing art for licensing, comic books, and toy design in collaboration with Playmates Toys.

In mid-1989, after the first few issues of the Archie comic series, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures, which were simply adaptations of the TMNT cartoon series, the book was horribly late and in danger of breach of contract. Seeing an opportunity, Brown asked his friend and roommate, Steve Murphy, to collaborate with him to create original stories for the comic series. Murphy, who was writing his own comic series, The Puma Blues, and doing proofreading and editing for Mirage, was hesitant to commit to the project, but finally agreed to take on the writing duties under the pen name Dean Clarrain. Murphy left Mirage with the end of the Adventures series in 1995, but would return in January 2002 as Creative Director of Licensing and Managing Editor of Tales of the TMNT Volume 2 when the title was established January 2004. Murphy resigned from his duties as Managing Editor in August 2007, but remains in the position of Creative Director of Licensing.

With Adventures back on track, Brown and Murphy needed a permanent inker for the book. Brown contacted his old roommate in Ohio, who had just graduated from art school, and asked him to join the team. Dan Berger came to Massachusetts in August 1989; his first Turtles work was TMNT Adventures #8, published in February 1990. He has also contributed to the original TMNT comic book, licensing art, and the daily TMNT newspaper comic strip. Berger has been the Webmaster of ninjaturtles.com since 1998 and Managing Editor of Tales of the TMNT Volume 2 since Murphy's resignation in 2007.

Like Lavigne, Eric Talbot was a high school buddy of Kevin Eastman. His first work with the TMNT came with issue #17 of the original TMNT comic book, published November 1988. He would continue to contribute to TMNT comics and various licensing endeavors throughout the duration of the TMNT's popularity in the 90s and continues working with Mirage to this day.

Riding on the success of the TMNT, Kevin Eastman bought Heavy Metal magazine in 1991. His last TMNT work was the comic Bodycount, published by Image in 1996. In 2000 he sold the creative rights of the TMNT to Laird so that he could focus completely on Heavy Metal. However, this separation was not the end of his involvement with the TMNT. In 2002 he published his TMNT "Artobiography" under the Heavy Metal label and in 2005 he gave Mirage the connection they needed, with Imagi Animation Studios, to make a new big-screen TMNT adventure a reality in 2007. In 2008 he sold his remaining TMNT holdings to Laird, but with plans to republish a handful of classic TMNT stories, the first of which, Bodycount, was released the same year.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

BREAKING: Kevin Eastman 100% Bought Out of the TMNT



Just released on ninjaturtles.com, you can click the image on the left to read the full press release. The contents of the release are transcribed at the bottom. The bottom line is this: The TMNT are now 100% owned by Peter Laird.

You may be asking the question, "Didn't Peter already buy out Kevin's share of the TMNT?" Well, that is certainly what Peter has lead everyone to believe ever since the mentioned June 1, 2000 date. It wasn't until just last year that we learned that Kevin still had a financial stake in the franchise due to materials written by Kevin and interviews given.

So what changes now? Nothing, really. The TMNT have been creatively Peter's since June 1, 2000.

What will never change: Kevin Eastman's work on the TMNT is forever and always Kevin Eastman's. The art, the writing, and everything else he did is his work. Peter Laird may have the legal right to do with that what he wants, but changing it will never be the morally right thing to do. And IMO, it is beyond insulting to even attempt to sell these sad and pathetic efforts to the fans.

Northampton, MA (March 12, 2008) - Dear Fans, Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman wish to let you all know that on March 1, 2008, Peter and The Mirage Group completed the buyout of Kevin's entire right, title, interest and income participation in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property and the four Mirage corporations involved in the ownership, management and protection of the TMNT. This latest event finalizes a transaction that began on June 1, 2000, when Peter and The Mirage Group purchased all of Kevin's ownership interest in the TMNT property and the corporations, except for a small continuing income participation.

Commenting on this latest transaction, Peter said, "I want to take this opportunity to once again thank Kevin for working side by side with me in creating the TMNT and moving them from the pages of Mirage's humble comic to the heights of success they achieved in animation, movies, toys, video games and other TMNT products and entertainment. Couldn't have done it without you, dude! It was an amazing and wonderful experience."

Kevin echoed these sentiments by commenting, "When I think back to the old days, two Jack Kirby fanboy artists, the living room studio in Dover, New Hampshire, my first sketch, our first page, the first issue stacked in the living room.. sure we'd never sell a copy.. ahhh, those were the days! Peter and I lived the dream, lost some along the way, but together built a foundation, heck, an empire that lasts and still resonates with kids around the world today. I look back at this gift, this partnership, with only the fondest of memories.. knowing Pete and Mirage will take excellent care of the boys, while I seek other artistic callings."

And this announcement is probably a good place and time for us to jointly thank all you fans for being so great in opening your hearts to our characters and making the Turtles and us a part of your lives. Neither of us could have done it without you. THANKS!

[Kevin Eastman] [Peter Laird]