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Old 02-09-2011, 08:09 AM   #201
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this was so weird. lol.

I'm glad i read it just because it was Mirage people and it's a neat piece of turtle history.


But now everytime i see donatello and mikey together i'll flashback to this.. lol
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:05 AM   #202
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I wonder where this fits in the Archie timeline.
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:18 AM   #203
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I wonder where this fits in the Archie timeline.
Well speak of the devil! That's exactly what I was referring to in the "gay characters" thread of the General TMNT Discussion!
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Old 12-08-2011, 04:14 PM   #204
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Archon, do you still have the scans of this book? I had a friend who was interested in viewing it..
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:26 PM   #205
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Hi all, this is Bill Fitts here – finally discovered this thread and thought I’d fill in on the story a bit

My association with TMNT began in the mid-80’s when they hit it big, and I was working with Mark Bode on his “Miami Mice” comic series. At one point we hooked up with Kevin and the gang to do a story for issue #4 with an appearance by the Turtles as well as Dave Sim’s “Cerebus”. That was a lot of fun and started a friendship between us on the west coast and them in Mass.

Having grown up back east, on one of my visits back there I went to visit Kevin in Northampton, who was still living in a little apartment with Steve Levigne. They’d sit on beat up couches watching tv and drawing pages for the comic on their laps; we ordered pizza delivery for lunch. At one point, Kevin asked “You have issue #1?” and tossed me a copy out of his closet, where he still had a box of them

Then in 1989 Mark and I travelled to Northampton to visit the gang at the new studio set up in the building that eventually became Tundra Publishing. They had just gotten their money from the deal with Playmates, and the gravy train was rolling, TMNT was flush with funds. Was a stark contrast to the visit to the apartment a few years before.

Forward a couple years – Mark was given the opportunity to move to Northampton and get in on working for TMNT and Tundra. I was hesitant to join him, but after some discussions and some thought, I realized it was a good opportunity for me to move back there and get into some comic work for a very successful company. While working with Mark at the Tundra art studio on various comic stories, I also started working for Kevin doing prep work on translations for graphic novels from Europe that Tundra would be publishing. That was a lot of fun and had the chance to meet and work with many luminaries in the biz like Simon Bisley, Mark Martin, Steve Bissett, and many others at Tundra.

In 1991 I was contacted by Cheryl Pringle at Mirage about an opening – Archivist for the TMNT product/toy collection. I had previous experience in collecting and archiving my own vast collection of underground and independent comics, as well as being the archivist for Vaughn Bode’s estate. I jumped at the chance, obviously Basically, I was “Chief Toy Collector” for the company, really a dream come true! I spent the next 2 years collecting, archiving and preserving every item ever made with the TMNT name. Much of the reason for this was that the last archivist they had left the collection as it was in a sorry state with much missing due to attrition and give-aways. So I set out and contacted every company we didn’t have samples for, and got them to send us what they have, with great success. I created and maintained a database for the collection and stored the collection to preserve it throughout time. Because of this work, I was invited first by Kevin, then Peter, to archive their home collections and personal papers that related to TMNT. Was very enlightening and was able to really see how the arc of the TMNT’s success started and played out.

Aside from being the Archivist, I also worked part of my time for Mirage Publishing, attending trade shows and helping produce the comics themselves. Additionally, as archivist I was part of the licensing department, and attended the NY Toy Fare and other trade shows. Was a total blast Without a doubt, being head toy collector and working in other capacities at Mirage was the best, most enjoyable job I have ever had. Hanging out with the artists every day shooting the breeze, going to lunch and just talking comics and art all of the time was so much fun.

In 1993 it was apparent to most of us that the IP was heading downwards; the books weren’t selling as well, the studio attempted lots of interesting but not well received side projects like Xenophiles and Stupid Heroes and TMNT crossover books with Savage Dragon and other such things. While it went unsaid, we were kind of pulling at straws there. So, many of us saw the end was coming at some point, and since my wife and I always had planned to end up back in California before we had a child, we decided to get the ball rolling on that. She moved back in late ’93 to get her new job and a place for us, and I stayed to wrap up my work with the archives and other projects, including my doing 2 stories for the Ninjara Special Issue of TMNTA, which I was very happy to get to be involved in. In early 1994 I made plans to move back to California, and as a special gift to the studio, I decided to do this little comic. In secret I had Dan Seneres do the pencils, and got Steve Levigne to do the lettering so it would look “official”. Since I worked in licensing I had access to the linelook/templates for TMNTA and used those for the cover. I produced the book, 50 copies, and the office printers, and one night came in and left them on everyone’s desks as a surprise. Everyone loved them (though Peter of course was sort of “ooookay” but did laugh heh). I numbered every issue with a blue pencil. I didn’t think much else about it after I moved that summer, until some TMNT fans I met back in California went ape over the copies of the comic I still had. I gave away all but 3 copies of it, thinking nothing of the fact that I hardly had any left.

Fast forward to 2008, when I was alerted by Mark Bode to the fact that a copy had sold on ebay for $600. WHAT?? I was stunned! I’ve published nearly 100 comics on my own over the past 30 years, and never had one sell for anything much more than the cover price. Wow. So, I was contacted by Steve Reese, who I wold one of the last 3 copies to, followed by a friend of his who bought the second to last. I now have only my “reading” copy, which I have to keep now that all of the original art is gone as well.

Quite the journey for a little book that was done as a lark
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:29 PM   #206
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Hi all, this is Bill Fitts here – finally discovered this thread and thought I’d fill in on the story a bit

My association with TMNT began in the mid-80’s when they hit it big, and I was working with Mark Bode on his “Miami Mice” comic series. At one point we hooked up with Kevin and the gang to do a story for issue #4 with an appearance by the Turtles as well as Dave Sim’s “Cerebus”. That was a lot of fun and started a friendship between us on the west coast and them in Mass.

Having grown up back east, on one of my visits back there I went to visit Kevin in Northampton, who was still living in a little apartment with Steve Levigne. They’d sit on beat up couches watching tv and drawing pages for the comic on their laps; we ordered pizza delivery for lunch. At one point, Kevin asked “You have issue #1?” and tossed me a copy out of his closet, where he still had a box of them

Then in 1989 Mark and I travelled to Northampton to visit the gang at the new studio set up in the building that eventually became Tundra Publishing. They had just gotten their money from the deal with Playmates, and the gravy train was rolling, TMNT was flush with funds. Was a stark contrast to the visit to the apartment a few years before.

Forward a couple years – Mark was given the opportunity to move to Northampton and get in on working for TMNT and Tundra. I was hesitant to join him, but after some discussions and some thought, I realized it was a good opportunity for me to move back there and get into some comic work for a very successful company. While working with Mark at the Tundra art studio on various comic stories, I also started working for Kevin doing prep work on translations for graphic novels from Europe that Tundra would be publishing. That was a lot of fun and had the chance to meet and work with many luminaries in the biz like Simon Bisley, Mark Martin, Steve Bissett, and many others at Tundra.

In 1991 I was contacted by Cheryl Pringle at Mirage about an opening – Archivist for the TMNT product/toy collection. I had previous experience in collecting and archiving my own vast collection of underground and independent comics, as well as being the archivist for Vaughn Bode’s estate. I jumped at the chance, obviously Basically, I was “Chief Toy Collector” for the company, really a dream come true! I spent the next 2 years collecting, archiving and preserving every item ever made with the TMNT name. Much of the reason for this was that the last archivist they had left the collection as it was in a sorry state with much missing due to attrition and give-aways. So I set out and contacted every company we didn’t have samples for, and got them to send us what they have, with great success. I created and maintained a database for the collection and stored the collection to preserve it throughout time. Because of this work, I was invited first by Kevin, then Peter, to archive their home collections and personal papers that related to TMNT. Was very enlightening and was able to really see how the arc of the TMNT’s success started and played out.

Aside from being the Archivist, I also worked part of my time for Mirage Publishing, attending trade shows and helping produce the comics themselves. Additionally, as archivist I was part of the licensing department, and attended the NY Toy Fare and other trade shows. Was a total blast Without a doubt, being head toy collector and working in other capacities at Mirage was the best, most enjoyable job I have ever had. Hanging out with the artists every day shooting the breeze, going to lunch and just talking comics and art all of the time was so much fun.

In 1993 it was apparent to most of us that the IP was heading downwards; the books weren’t selling as well, the studio attempted lots of interesting but not well received side projects like Xenophiles and Stupid Heroes and TMNT crossover books with Savage Dragon and other such things. While it went unsaid, we were kind of pulling at straws there. So, many of us saw the end was coming at some point, and since my wife and I always had planned to end up back in California before we had a child, we decided to get the ball rolling on that. She moved back in late ’93 to get her new job and a place for us, and I stayed to wrap up my work with the archives and other projects, including my doing 2 stories for the Ninjara Special Issue of TMNTA, which I was very happy to get to be involved in. In early 1994 I made plans to move back to California, and as a special gift to the studio, I decided to do this little comic. In secret I had Dan Seneres do the pencils, and got Steve Levigne to do the lettering so it would look “official”. Since I worked in licensing I had access to the linelook/templates for TMNTA and used those for the cover. I produced the book, 50 copies, and the office printers, and one night came in and left them on everyone’s desks as a surprise. Everyone loved them (though Peter of course was sort of “ooookay” but did laugh heh). I numbered every issue with a blue pencil. I didn’t think much else about it after I moved that summer, until some TMNT fans I met back in California went ape over the copies of the comic I still had. I gave away all but 3 copies of it, thinking nothing of the fact that I hardly had any left.

Fast forward to 2008, when I was alerted by Mark Bode to the fact that a copy had sold on ebay for $600. WHAT?? I was stunned! I’ve published nearly 100 comics on my own over the past 30 years, and never had one sell for anything much more than the cover price. Wow. So, I was contacted by Steve Reese, who I wold one of the last 3 copies to, followed by a friend of his who bought the second to last. I now have only my “reading” copy, which I have to keep now that all of the original art is gone as well.

Quite the journey for a little book that was done as a lark


Howdy doo and welcome, Bill! Would you mind if the unofficial title of this silly thing was called "Teenage Mutant Horny Turtles"?

On a more serious note, do you perchance happen to have a digital copy of the archives up to the time of your departure? It would be amazing to learn of all the different things carrying the TMNT license back then, if not to just see how daunting a task you upheld.

You guys who worked at Mirage back in the heyday all share one common theme - that is was probably the most fun atmosphere to be in back then.

Thanks for being a part of TMNT history, Bill.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:54 PM   #207
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Quite the journey for a little book that was done as a lark
I think that it is quite amusing and would be a fun addition to a collection. I have been keeping my eye out for one since I learned of it's existence, but have not yet been able to find one.
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Old 01-10-2012, 02:54 PM   #208
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Howdy doo and welcome, Bill! Would you mind if the unofficial title of this silly thing was called "Teenage Mutant Horny Turtles"?

On a more serious note, do you perchance happen to have a digital copy of the archives up to the time of your departure? It would be amazing to learn of all the different things carrying the TMNT license back then, if not to just see how daunting a task you upheld.

You guys who worked at Mirage back in the heyday all share one common theme - that is was probably the most fun atmosphere to be in back then.

Thanks for being a part of TMNT history, Bill.


Thanks!

As far as the archive list, I have it printed out in a big book. Back when I was there, we were using crappy pre-win95 boxes and not much in the way of digital archiving. It's saved in a database (hopefully still exsists or was converted) and as a large book of the printed out list, and each archived box has a packing list of it's contents. Lord knows what they did with the collection since the studio closed down *shudder* Hopefully all of my work wasn't for naught and the collection still exsists somewhere I probably managed to collect and store 98% of everything ever made, but there a few items we were unable to get. Peter and Kevin donated some of the items that were missing as they were able.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:02 PM   #209
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Thanks!

As far as the archive list, I have it printed out in a big book. Back when I was there, we were using crappy pre-win95 boxes and not much in the way of digital archiving. It's saved in a database (hopefully still exsists or was converted) and as a large book of the printed out list, and each archived box has a packing list of it's contents. Lord knows what they did with the collection since the studio closed down *shudder* Hopefully all of my work wasn't for naught and the collection still exsists somewhere I probably managed to collect and store 98% of everything ever made, but there a few items we were unable to get. Peter and Kevin donated some of the items that were missing as they were able.


Wait a sec, you mean the collection Kevin wanted to sell in one drop wasn't the only one of that magnitude? :EEK!: Wow! I hope it still exists somewhere too, for the sake of posterity.

There was a poster a couple of months back who acquired a nice collection from (who we deduce to be) Murph, the guy relaying second-hand that when Mirage began shuttering they were literally throwing things out in the Dumpster and he (presumably Murph) got what he could because he didn't want to see all of it just be carried to the dumps.

What a tale the Turtles biz make!
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:07 PM   #210
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Awesome story Bill thanks for sharing and giving us all a behind the scenes look!
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:14 PM   #211
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Thanks for posting, Mr. Fitts. :) Fascinating read. Sad to think of the possibility of all your hard archiving work being done away with in the end. As said, hopefully the collection still exists despite Peter Laird's selling off of everything TMNT-related from his own collection and I assume whatever's left of Mirage's stash.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:43 PM   #212
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What a great story. Thank you so much for sharing. It would be amazing to have every single TMNT item ever made.

-ms
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:00 PM   #213
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Wait a sec, you mean the collection Kevin wanted to sell in one drop wasn't the only one of that magnitude? :EEK!: Wow! I hope it still exists somewhere too, for the sake of posterity.

There was a poster a couple of months back who acquired a nice collection from (who we deduce to be) Murph, the guy relaying second-hand that when Mirage began shuttering they were literally throwing things out in the Dumpster and he (presumably Murph) got what he could because he didn't want to see all of it just be carried to the dumps.

What a tale the Turtles biz make!
Yikes I hadn't heard about the throwing out. I doubt the collection in the archives went, it was probably all of the junk we had in the studio The stuff I archived went into sealed archival bags and then into uniform sealed boxes.

I hadn't heard that Peter let go of his stuff too. Jeez what is it with people connected to TMNT trying to divorce themselves from their past? It's pretty sad to say the least. I'll never understand that (said the lifelong collector of things, lol).

Was what Kevin sold in one drop a toy collection? He had his collection at the Northampton airport, where he kept part of his vast auto collection as well.
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:42 PM   #214
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Yikes I hadn't heard about the throwing out. I doubt the collection in the archives went, it was probably all of the junk we had in the studio The stuff I archived went into sealed archival bags and then into uniform sealed boxes.

I hadn't heard that Peter let go of his stuff too. Jeez what is it with people connected to TMNT trying to divorce themselves from their past? It's pretty sad to say the least. I'll never understand that (said the lifelong collector of things, lol).

Was what Kevin sold in one drop a toy collection? He had his collection at the Northampton airport, where he kept part of his vast auto collection as well.
I believe so, it was like 50 giant boxes containing every Playmate toy and other things too. There wasn't a extensive list of the contents but it in the east coast warehouse.

Never realized Kevin had a car collection, that's pretty awesome! Wonder if he has a DeLorean?

From the postings Peter has made on his blog, I don't think he has ridden himself of everything, but is severly cutting back and de-cluttering as a form of catharsis and moving forward with his life.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:16 PM   #215
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I believe so, it was like 50 giant boxes containing every Playmate toy and other things too. There wasn't a extensive list of the contents but it in the east coast warehouse.

Never realized Kevin had a car collection, that's pretty awesome! Wonder if he has a DeLorean?

From the postings Peter has made on his blog, I don't think he has ridden himself of everything, but is severly cutting back and de-cluttering as a form of catharsis and moving forward with his life.
ahh heh understood. Not sure if he had a Delorean, but he had around 80 cars when I was there - everything from mint condition 60's-70's muscle cars to 1930's and on antiques, as well as the usual Ferraris and such...the year the Acura NSX came out, Peter and Kevin each bought 2 - one red, one black. Peter had his in his studio-barn-palace thingie, heh. The first year you could buy a hummer (the army type, not the silly ones out now), he bought one right after Arnold Shwartzeneger did, lol. Was fun at that year's xmas party and he took us out in a field next to where the party was for some tipsy deepsnow driving Also of note was Peter's enormous motorcycle collection, with a working staffed bike shop under his barn and around 50+ bikes
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:57 PM   #216
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what is it with people connected to TMNT trying to divorce themselves from their past?
It's a bit of a commonality, isn't it?
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:31 PM   #217
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From the postings Peter has made on his blog, I don't think he has ridden himself of everything, but is severly cutting back and de-cluttering as a form of catharsis and moving forward with his life.
I could be wrong, but I thought I had read, at least in terms of comics, he was getting rid of everything save for whatever copies of the first issue (first print) he had, for the sake of memorabilia, it being what started it all. I thought everything else got loaded up and sent to Mirage to sell.

I haven't checked out Laird's blog in a year, though, and this was around the time he was getting really extreme with the idea of "purging" himself from everything, so maybe his feelings have changed.
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:58 AM   #218
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It's a bit of a commonality, isn't it?
Sadly, yes. They must have REALLY been super burned out by it heh.
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Old 01-11-2012, 11:32 AM   #219
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Sadly, yes. They must have REALLY been super burned out by it heh.
Or do you think they are trying to get noticed from something other than the Turtles?
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:26 PM   #220
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Totally reviving this thread in the hopes that SOMEBODY reactivates the scans link! This is a REALLY weird yet cool piece of Turtlemania that I need to see! Help me, TMNT fans!!
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