Showing posts with label tales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tales. Show all posts

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.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"Tales of the TMNT" #62 Preview



Ryan Brown sent in this fantastic preview image from Tales of the TMNT #62, to be released later this month. I'm all overwhelmed by the adorableness of it all.

Pencils and colors: Fernando Leon Gonzalez, Inks: Ryan Brown

From NinjaTurtles.com:
"Adventures in Bunnysitting" - Michelangelo's Utrom friend, Klag, asks the good-natured ninja to take care of his pet bunny while he's away. Unfortunately for Raphael and Mikey, Klag was unaware that the rabbit was a test subject for mutagenetic studies - and once the little critter gets agitated, things go from bad to worse - much, much worse! Based on a true story... well, kinda...


You can read one side of the true story over here.

And now for a public service announcement, because this seems like a good opportunity to give a spiel on something rather important to me.

Rabbits make for the MOST awesome house pets!

Note the special emphasis on "house." Rabbits have a reputation for being animals that you keep in a hutch in the backyard where they stand all day on a floor of wire, but there really is no good reason for this and if you bring the rabbit into the house to live with the family you will discover a companion pet as fantastic as any dog or cat. Like cats, rabbits can be litter box trained, making the stereotypical wire floor cages completely unnecessary.

Like cats and dogs, it is essential that rabbits be spayed/neutered to not only help control the pet population, but also to increase the animal's overall quality of life. And it is also extremely important to adopt a rabbit from a shelter or rescue organization rather than buy one from a breeder or pet store or a farmers' market or flea market or any other questionable place. For a bargain adoption fee you'll get an already fixed animal and you'll save a life rather than support the unethical selling of animals for profit.

When I was looking for a companion pet last year and my living situation didn't allow for a dog and allergies keep me away from cats, I learned about house rabbits and ended up adopting a rabbit from a local rescue organization. Owen was overlooked for a long time because of his "plain" looks, but now everyone who meets him falls in love because he's one of the sweetest, friendliest bunnies you'll find. He is totally and completely the bestest thing I could have brought into my home.


For more information on house rabbits, you can visit the House Rabbit Society at rabbit.org.

There is also a good introduction to house rabbits video on YouTube:

Monday, January 19, 2009

The End of "Tales of the TMNT"?



It has been made widely known that the Tales of the TMNT comic book title exists on the whim of Peter Laird, who has continued to publish the book, for the most part out of his own pocket, even though it doesn't sell enough copies to support itself. As such, TMNT fans head toward each new year wondering if Tales will still be around. As of right now, there is no confirmation for Tales' existence--or non-existence--in 2010; however, it seems that Diamond Comic Distributors may have made that decision for Mirage already.

Newsarama is reporting today that Diamond has raised its purchase order minimum from $1,500 to $2,500. This means that in order for Diamond to list and distribute a title, it would need to generate $2,500 of revenue for Diamond (not total). The break down of this is basically that "a typical $3.00 comic would have to sell over 2,100 copies to meet the benchmark." Tales currently sells for $3.25/book.

The most recent sales data available, for November 2008, lists estimated sales of 2,381 for Tales. In comparison, the January 2008 estimated sales were 2,684. In the months in between, at least the ones where Tales was ranked in the top 300, a steady decline in sales can be seen. Thus, it can be concluded that Tales hangs dangerously close to being below Diamond's newly required threshold.

There are about three possibilities for titles that do not currently meet the new threshold:
  1. Raise the cover price.
  2. Find different means of distribution.
  3. Cancel the title
Some titles are likely to move to Web-only, but as we've seen with TMNT Vol. 4, TMNT fans want their Turtles on paper, making that an unlikely option for Mirage. It appears that this new change is immediate, although a grace period to allow publishers to achieve the newly required numbers is likely. This will make it extremely difficult for Tales to even get to the end of 2009, and, given Mirage's publishing history, makes cancelation come 2010 nearly certain.

That said, nothing is set in stone. And if you don't pick it up already, now is the time to go to your comic book shop and let them know that you want Tales of the TMNT!

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.


Monday, December 15, 2008

A Look Ahead: TMNT Comics in 2009



Comic Book Resources has the low-down on some of next year's TMNT comic book releases:
Next year is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the first “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" series. The original first eleven issues and individual character solo one shots, long out of print, are being collected in hardcover for May publication from Mirage.
This will be accompanied by an Official Handbook To The Mirage Universe style book, profiling Turtle and spinoff characters in all their various forms.
The “Forever War" story from the Archie "TMNT Adventures" comics will be published and completed, written by Steve Murphy who wrote the originals under the pseudonym of Dean Clarrain, with art by Chris Allan.
A Donatello mini-series to close out the yearly individual Tales series is entitled "Brain Thief."
Archie Comics will also reprint the original three-issue mini-series from Michael Dooney in their manga trade size with all new colouring.
Even factoring in Mirage's continued refusal to put their books in bookstores (very stupid), all of this is very good news! The biggest question mark is the Donatello mini-series. The series itself is a predictable part of the '09 plans, but hopefully it'll actually be about Donatello (unlike the Michelangelo series) and also hopefully it'll actually be good (unlike both the Raphael and Michelangelo series).

Thanks to both Jake Black and Will Tupper for the heads-up!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Tales of the TMNT #58 Color Cover



Ryan Brown has revealed the finished, colored cover for Tales of the TMNT #58 via his Wild West COW-Boys of Moo Mesa blog.

Tales #58 concludes the story began in Tales #52. Cover and interior pencils are by Dario Brizuela and the cover colors are by Steve Lavigne.

You can check out the cover, in full, here.

Dude-abunga, cows!

Friday, November 7, 2008

C.O.W.-Boys to Return to 'Tales' in 2009



Next week, the C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa will make their third appearance in the Tales of the TMNT title with the release of Tales #52. (Note: TMNT Adventures fans don't want to miss this issue, as it also features the legendary Cudley the Cowlick!)

This week, Ryan Brown, creator of the C.O.W.-Boys and creative force behind too many TMNT projects to list here, revealed that the C.O.W.-Boys will return for a fourth and final time next year in Tales of the TMNT #58. Like past crossover issues, Dario Brizuela will be contributing his fantastic skill and style to the pencils for the issue. He's already completed the cover, which you can check out in full--along with more awesome pieces of art--over on Ryan's C.O.W.-Boys blog.

And don't forget to sign the C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa DVD petition while you're at it!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Tales of the TMNT #48 Now Available



Tales of the TMNT #48, “The Decider,” is in comic shops today.

Be sure to check out the fantastic pinup art in this issue by the one and only tokka!!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Tales of the TMNT #46 Now Available



Oops, I think I've slacked on posting comic releases lately.

So in case you weren't aware, Tales of the TMNT #46, "Temps" by Dan Berger and Jim Lawson, was released to comic shops last week. This story is set in the middle of the Volume 1 arc "City at War" and is one of the stronger issues of Tales we've seen lately.

If you haven't yet sporked your local comic shop into carrying the title, you can get it direct from Mirage at ninjaturtles.com.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Tales of the TMNT #45 Now Available



Tales of the TMNT #45, a tale of terror told and illustrated by Jim Lawson, arrived in comic shops yesterday. If your shop still isn't ordering it even after showing them all of your best ninja moves, you can get it direct from Mirage at ninjaturtles.com.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Tales of the TMNT #49 Preview



Tales of the TMNT #49
Ship Date: August, 2008

Format: 32 B&W pages, full color cover, standard size comic
Retail Price: $3.25

Cover art by Jim Lawson and Steve Lavigne; script by Jake Black, art by Jim Lawson

“Mind Games ” - In this issue we finally discover what actually happened when the TMNT went west to save Raphael from the clutches of D.A.R.P.A. (as seen in TMNT Volume Two)! Mr. Braunze returns to New York with a deadly pack of villains on his trail, and only the Turtles can save him from a fate worse than death! It's a psionic shootout of epic proportions!

Tales of the TMNT #48 Preview



Tales of the TMNT #48
Ship Date: Late July, 2008
Format: 32 B&W pages, full color cover, standard size comic
Retail Price: $3.25

Cover art by Jim Lawson and Steve Lavigne; script by Jake Black, art by Jim Lawson

“The Decider ” - a brutal crime wave wrecks havoc upon the streets of Springfield, Massachusetts and all evidence points to the perpetrators as being giant turtles! Leo, Don, Raph, Mike, Casey Jones and Master Splinter struggle to solve the vicious robberies and find the real mastermind behind the crime wave before the TMNT are revealed by the local media!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

UK TMNT Comic Magazine #12 Now Available



Hero checks in with some scans from TMNT Comic magazine #12, the latest issue of this UK-exclusive publication.

This issue features part one of the story first published in Tales of the TMNT #38, now is full color. It also features the first part of a time-twisting Fast Forward tale penned by acclaimed Transformers writer, Simon Furman, and illustrated by the one and only Diego Jourdan.

The cover to the issue is pictured above. Below is a scan from each of the two comics as well as the toy attached to this issue.

If you're in the UK, you can click here to subscribe to the magazine or order back issues.

     

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tales of the TMNT Michelangelo Mini-Series Covers!



My buddy tOkKa got an exciting email from long-time TMNT artist and colorer Steve Lavigne with cover art for all four issues of the upcoming Tales of the TMNT Michelangelo Mini-Series attached! The covers are penciled by Jim Lawson with colors by Steve.

The cover to issue #1 is featured to the left. You can check out all four covers over at Mikey's.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Tales of the TMNT #44 Now Available



Tales of the TMNT #44 is available in comic shops as of yesterday (Wednesday). This issue contains the story of "The Amulet," by Jake Black and Murphy, as well as the backup story, "The Lessons," by Dan Berger.

If your comic shop doesn't carry Tales of the TMNT, whack 'em with a foam nunchuck and click over to NinjaTurtles.com to get yourself a copy.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Tales of the TMNT Collected Book #5 Bookplate



Here's a look at the exclusive bookplate with new art by Jim Lawson that you'll get if you order the Tales of the TMNT Collected Book #5 from PanelToPanel.net. The bookplate will come signed by Jim, Murphy, Dan Berger, and Peter Laird.

John at Panel to Panel also reveals that starting with this book, the bookplates will no longer come tipped in/attached to the book. This is so that you can enjoy the art outside of the book as well. Sounds like a plan to me!

Tales of the TMNT Collected Book #5 should have arrived at comic shops this past Wednesday. Panel to Panel will begin shipping them next week.

Tales of the TMNT #43 Now Available



Tales of the TMNT #43, featuring Casey Jones's proposal to April O'Neil, shipped to comic shops this week and is now available.

If your comic shop doesn't carry it, whap 'em on the head and force 'em to! If that fails, you can order directly from Mirage.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tales of the TMNT Collected Book #5 Pre-Order Now Available



Tales of the TMNT Collected Book #5 is now available for pre-order at PanelToPanel.net. As with all of the previous collected books, PanelToPanel is offering this one with an exclusive, signed bookplate (while supplies last).

Tales of the TMNT Collected Book #5 collects Tales of the TMNT Volume 2 issues #2, #9, #15, #17, and #25. It is expected in stores March 5.

Tales of the TMNT #47



From NinjaTurtles.com:

Tales of the TMNT #47
Ship Date: June, 2008
Format: 32 B&W pages, full color cover, standard size comic
Retail Price: $3.25

Cover art by Jim Lawson and Steve Lavigne; script by Jake Black, art by Jim Lawson

"The Secret Origins of the Super Turtles" - this issue takes us to an alternate dimension where we discover how the super hero Turtles (featured in "TMNT" Volume Four #7) came to be! Alien invaders must be stopped - can Dr. Shreddarius' army of Terrorkinetics™ prevent certain doom - and just whose side are they on? A titanic Turtles tale featuring an epic battle between good and evil that harkens back to the stunning Silver Age of super heroes! 'Nuff said, pilgrims!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Tales of the TMNT #42 Now Available



Tales of the TMNT #42 arrived in comic shops this past week. This tale, titled "The Curious Case of Mr. Jones," features a script by Dan Berger and art by Jim Lawson.

As always, if you can't find Tales of the TMNT in your local comic shop, you can order it directly from NinjaTurtles.com.