Sunday, November 30, 2008

Blast from the Past #45 repost: Portsmouth Minicon poster

This is the 8.5 by 14 inch photocopied "poster" that Kevin and I put together to promote our very first public appearance on May 5, 1984 with issue #1 of the TMNT comic. It was a small show at the Holiday Inn, put on by Ralph DiBernardo, in Portsmouth, NH, and we had a blast... even sold some books! It's somewhat bizarre to think that next May it will be twenty-five years since we sat there with our stacks of TMNT #1 first printings and hopeful faces. (At that point, I don't think we even thought about it as a "first printing" -- for all we knew, it would turn out to be the ONLY printing!) -- PL

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Blast from the Past #122: Leonardo with one sword

This is another pinup drawing I did, back in 1986. I like the inking of it.

Curiously, I drew Leonardo here without his usual accoutrements of dual scabbards, chest straps, and belt... not sure why. Maybe I was just feeling lazy. -- PL

Friday, November 28, 2008

Blast from the Past #121: "Rhino Mutant" rough sketch

I found this one in an old sketchbook. I can't say with absolute certainty, but I'm pretty sure this was probably done before the first animated series was produced, quite possibly during our first visit to Fred Wolf's offices.

Kevin and I each did a number of conceptual sketches to try to visually flesh out some of the ideas in the treatment for the new show that we were shown when we went out there. This proto-Rocksteady was likely one of them. -- PL

Monday, November 24, 2008

Blast from the Past #119: "Nano" designs

In the first season of the 4Kids TMNT tv show, we introduced what would become a recurring character -- "Nano", the sentient cloud of nanoscale robots. Jim Lawson helped us out with these cool designs for the three basic stages of Nano's development in his first appearance on the show.

And below are the final show-ready designs, adapted by the artists at 4Kids from Jim's drawings.-- PL

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Blast from the Past #118: Design for evil mutant's vehicle -- "Hover Trike"

This is a toy design I proposed to Playmates back in the late 1980's, I believe.

Looking closely at it, it's interesting that I not only used Rocksteady as the pilot but garbed him in some kind of Samurai-type armor. -- PL

Friday, November 21, 2008

Blast from the Past #44 repost: Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

This single drawing -- penciled by me in 1992 -- showing the turtles (along with Ray Fillet and Mondo Gecko) battling the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse was actually split into three separate pieces for three separate covers for the Archie TMNT book... and it was brilliantly inked by my pal A.C. Farley. I remember having a lot of fun coming up with the designs for the Four Horsemen. -- PL

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Blast from the Past #43 repost: Donatello firing Mac-10

This pinup of my favorite turtle doing something uncharacteristic was penciled and inked by me. I think I may have drawn this one after getting a paintball gun which was a cool replica of a Mac-10 submachinegun (I think it was a present from Kevin); it actually fired paintballs from plastic cartridges packed with gunpowder, and would do so on full-auto fire. What a racket it made! -- PL

(My original posting of this artwork on the "Blast from the Past" pages also included this note about various things that were going on with the TMNT back then (I think it was originally posted sometime in 2001) -- I include it here, slightly edited, for its historical interest. -- PL)

"For everyone who has come to the "Blast" pages and seen nothing or next to nothing, I apologize -- as I understand it, our ISP has been making some server changes which have caused some minor technical problems. We're working to get them squared away, and I expect it to all be back to normal soon. Thanks for your patience!

Now for some good news and bad news. The bad news first -- it looks like the TMNT TV show which we are hoping to get on the air in the next couple of years will NOT be CGI. I am very disappointed, but for whatever reason, the powers that be at the networks which have shown the most interest in a TMNT show don't want a CGI one. I don't really understand their reasoning, but at the present time if there is to be a TMNT show on TV, it will be some style of cel animation.

However, there IS something of a possible silver lining in this cloud, and that is that there may be an opportunity to do some kind of CGI turtle project down the road -- maybe a direct to video thing. I would dearly love to do something in CGI with the turtles.

Next bit of (sort of) bad news -- due solely to my own absentmindedness (i.e not being totally on top of scheduling/planning) and slowness in inking, the first issue of my new TMNT comic book will be in the Diamond Previews catalog for a December 2001 release. On the other hand, the GOOD news is that it is DEFINITELY going to be in Previews, and WILL be published in December.

Now for the good news -- I finished inking TMNT #2! This week I completed the last few pages, erased all the stray pencil lines, and will shortly be starting to tone the pages. Other good news -- Jim Lawson has been pencilling issue #3, and today is up to page 20 (and this issue is going to be 40 pages!). I may have to enlist the help of one or more of my studio pals with inking from here on out, but I'm not 100% sure of that yet.

I've also settled on a title for the new book -- it will be called simply "TMNT" (possibly with "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" as a very small subtitle), and it will be published by Mirage Publishing.

-- Peter Laird"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Blast from the Past #117: Splinter character sketches

I can't recall exactly why or when I did these sketches of Splinter, but I suspect it was probably either for Playmates or for 4Kids, to be used as "model sheets" (although these drawings are considerably rougher than most of the model sheets I've ever seen). -- PL

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Blast from the Past #116: TMNT group shot cyberinking experiment

From 1991, here's another of my experiments with "cyberinking".

First, the pencils...

... and then the "inks". -- PL

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blast from the Past repost #42: Mirage TMNT color series #1 cover pencils, unused

I remember being disappointed that this cover drawing wasn’t used, but I got over it. I penciled this as a possible cover for the first issue of the Mirage-published TMNT color series. This was during a period when I was doing a lot of my penciling in photoblue pencil (the kind that is invisible to stat cameras), because I found it to be physically less messy that regular lead pencils.

The problem was, being photoblue pencil, it was difficult -- if not impossible -- to copy on our Canon copier. I solved this by figuring that if I took a thin sheet of transparent yellow plastic and laid it over the blue pencils, the copier would perceive the pencil lines as green, and thus be able to copy them. It worked! -- PL

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Blast from the Past #115: Crab mechanic mutant

This is another drawing I did back in the early days of working with Playmates to come up with ideas for characters to extend the TMNT toy line. It wasn't completely fleshed out, but the idea was that this would be a mutant crab with a "mechanic" theme -- one of his large claws would be replaced with a mechanical one, and he would have tool belts and such. This idea was never used. -- PL

Friday, November 14, 2008

Blast from the Past #114: Donatello about to throw bo staff

This is another early pinup drawing I did, back in 1984... old-school style. -- PL

Blast from the Past repost #41: Elite fights Foot / pencils

I penciled this depiction of one of the Shredder's elite guard fighting a bunch of Foot soldiers around the time we did “City at War”, as another “cyberinking” test. I don't believe it was ever used for anything. -- PL

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Blast from the Past #113: Illustrations for our ad for the Dark Horse miniature lead figures

One of the most exciting things that ever happened in the early days of the TMNT was the introduction, by a company called Dark Horse Miniatures, of a line of very detailed small lead figures of the Turtles and some of their supporting cast. I believe this was our first or second licensing deal (glow-in-the-dark t-shirts may have come first).

This was the first time we'd ever seen our characters rendered in three dimensions, and it was a big thrill. The sculpting was perfect and the poses they chose were excellent.

The artwork above is something I drew, using the figures as reference, for an ad we ran in the early TMNT comics in an attempt to sell some of these figures through mail order. I can't remember how many we sold, but in a way it was irrelevant -- I just love the fact that these things existed at all! Dark Horse (not related to the comic book publisher of the same name) went on to do several more variations, including a wicked cool Triceraton in a flying harness, and a bigger Turtle figure (about two inches tall, as I recall). I'm not sure if the company is still in business. -- PL

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Donatello with...? pinup

Here's an interesting oddity I turned up while looking for some stuff in my old studio yesterday. It's a pinup drawing from back in 1986 that I drew and Michael Dooney inked.

I'm pretty sure the female warrior Donatello is trying to give the apple to is an anthropomorphic character from someone's comic book, but for the life of me I can't remember whose book it was or what the character is called. Anyone know? -- PL

Blast from the Past #40 repost: Raphael's new look

This is the last of the proposed redesigns for the unfilmed fourth live-action TMNT movie. One of our ideas was to give Raphael the ability to “morph” into what we were calling “Raptor Raph”, complete with big gnashy teeth and claws to complement his big gnashy personality.

This was not much of a stretch, obviously. In retrospect, while this new approach was probably appropriate for Raph, it was also uncomfortably close to what we were proposing for Splinter.

Years later, during the Volume 4 run of my TMNT comic, I decided to (temporarily) transform Raph into a beastly-looking thing with some similarities to this iteration (minus the "morphing" powers). However, I think the look that Jim Lawson came up with for what some fans call "GameraRaph" is a lot cooler looking than this. -- PL

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Blast from the Past #39 repost: Michelangelo's new costume

This is one more of the proposed redesigns for the unfilmed fourth live-action TMNT movie. Here we gave Mike a more “street” look because his new mutation gave him the ability to project a human appearance onto his turtle features, allowing him to interact freely with humans.

This reminds me a little of an even earlier idea Kevin and I toyed with for the TMNT comics. We had this (admittedly more than a bit goofy) plan to have Donatello make "human disguises" which the Turtles could wear that would allow them to move around undetected in public. These disguises would not have survived really close examination, though... for example, to accommodate the Turtles' three-fingered hands, they would wear special latex gloves which from a distance would look like human five-fingered hands, but actually had the index finger and middle finger fused into one, and the other two fingers also fused together in this way. I think I have a quick sketch of this somewhere, but I haven't seen it in a while. -- PL

Blast from the Past #112: Leonardo pinup

Here's another pinup drawing, done by me in 1987. I like the pose and the exaggerated foreshortening of the sword in this one. -- PL

Monday, November 10, 2008

Blast from the Past #38 repost: Splinter's new look

Here's another design idea from the unfilmed fourth live-action movie. We wanted to give Splinter a much more active part in the battles that the Turtles fought, and so he was going to have the ability to morph into a big, lithe, muscular “super rat mutant” type of thing.

Okay, it’s lame... I admit it. -- PL

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Blast from the Past #37 repost: Leonardo's new costume

Here's another proposed costume redesign for the never-produced fourth live action movie.

The “rising sun” bandana on Leo in this version actually comes from a much earlier costume redesign session, when we were toying around with changing the costumes for the Turtles in the comic books. I kind of dig the “utility belt” Leo has in this drawing. I believe Leo’s new mutation was the ability to morph his skin into a kind of nearly impenetrable chrome-like surface (shades of Ben Boxer from Jack Kirby’s “Kamandi” comics!). -- PL

Friday, November 7, 2008

Blast from the Past #36 repost: Donatello's new costume

This is one of five pieces which were drawn by me and inked by Kevin (in the late 1990's, I think) as possible new takes on the main characters of the TMNT universe, as part of the development process for the never-filmed fourth live-action TMNT movie. We had put our heads together at the request of the movie studio and came up with some tweaks for the guys -- we were calling it “TMNT: The Next Mutation”. (This was before the live-action TV show.) The general idea was that the mutagen was continuing to change the turtles and Splinter, giving them new abilities -- and new problems.

Don was given the least obvious mutation -- growing telekinetic and telepathic abilities, unfortunately counterpointed by diminishing eyesight (hence the vision-enhancing goggles). We also provided him with an updated “techno” version of his bo staff.

In retrospect, I'm glad this never happened. -- PL

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Mirage Universe cover inks

Here is the inked version of the "Mirage Universe" cover pencil drawing that I posted a little while ago.

We're still planning to do it as a "flip cover" book, and I had drawn the pencil piece in exactly that orientation, but I cut the artwork in two in order to make it more convenient to ink. Also, it's easier to see all of the artwork when presented this way. -- PL

Monday, November 3, 2008

Boston ComicCon, November 2, 2008

Yesterday I attended -- along with Mike Dooney, Jim Lawson, Dan Berger, and Steve Lavigne -- the Boston ComicCon held at the Back Bay Events Center. (Eric Talbot and Steve Murphy had planned to come, but unfortunately couldn't make it.) Steve Lavigne came down from Maine, along with his whole family, and met us at the show. It was fun -- a mellow, old-school kind of comic convention. We were pretty busy the whole time, and met a lot of nice people.

This photo of Mike, Jim and Dan -- posing by the poster for which Jim drew the art -- is one I snapped just as we arrived at the Expo Center.

Here we are at our table, seen from the perspective of my seat -- Steve was sitting next to me so that we could more easily collaborate on our full-color TMNT head sketches. Curiously, we didn't actually do any!

One of the nice fans we met was this young woman, Kellyanne Lynch, who showed up in a nifty Turtle costume which she said a friend had helped her sew together. I wish I had gotten a photo of the back shell they had made -- it looked great. The whole costume looked very comfortable -- just the kind of thing to wear all show long.

By far the coolest thing we saw at the show -- in fact, possibly the coolest thing we'd seen in a long time at ANY show -- were Jesus Colon's hand-decorated sneakers. (That's Jesus in the above photo, holding the sneakers.) He told us he had done all the drawing on these shoes in a marathon all-nighter the previous day, basing all of it on the first two issues of the comic. Here are a few close-up views of the shoes.

Cleverly conceived, creatively executed -- well done, Jesus! -- PL

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Blast from the Past #111: Donatello with computer

Here's one of many "pinup"-type drawings I did years ago, this one from 1985. It's interesting to look at these early pinups, when I was still drawing the Turtles as they appeared in the first few issues of the comic book.

There are a few interesting details about this one which are worth pointing out. First, this is one of only a few drawings of a Turtle that I've ever done which show him without the signature mask, belt, wristbands, knee pads and elbow pads. (I think it was because of the idea behind this drawing -- Don's at home, working on his computer, "at ease" if you will. It's actually something I wish we had been more cognizant of while doing the comics, the movies and the tv shows -- that the Turtles, realistically, would not ALWAYS wear their gear. Sometimes it gets kind of ridiculous -- when you see them sleeping in it, for example!)

It's funny to look at the computer Don's using -- obviously state-of-the-art at the time, but looking pretty dated now, with its bulky CRT monitor and dual five inch floppy disk drives.

Also, this drawing somewhat obliquely references something that I had given some thought to but never really did anything about, preferring to just let it slide... and that is the fact that, given the size and shape of the Turtles' fingers, it would be very difficult for any of them to type on a standard computer keyboard! I remember that this is why I drew this one with Don holding that pencil -- I was thinking that he could use that to press the keys with so his big green fingers wouldn't mess things up.

I even, at one point, did a few little sketches for "typing caps" -- little plastic doodads which could be slipped over a Turtle's fingertips. These caps would have small, normal finger-sized projections which would allow for more easy typing.

But I don't think anyone ever complained about it, so I let it go. It still does bug me, though... but just a little bit. -- PL

Blast from the Past #110: Unused TMNT color logo

This color version of the original logo for the first TMNT comics may have been created for use as an iron-on, but I don't recall if we ever made any.

I also don't recall which one of us did the colors on this one, though I suspect it was Kevin. As for the original logo design, I think Kevin came up with the basic look and I did the finished letters. (But I could be wrong... hey, it's been almost twenty-five years!) -- PL