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Old 03-09-2021, 08:37 PM   #41
Leo656
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It's pretty apparent to me that for Laird, TMNT is a huge albatross around his neck and that he's slightly ashamed of or embarrassed by it all. It's good for "us" that TMNT became a big huge thing, but lest we forget that he once had aspirations to be successful as a "real" writer and all of that had to go away once he forever became "That Ninja Turtles Guy". This silly comic he came up with in college wasn't supposed to be his life's work, or the sole thing he was known for, but it became so overpowering that there was nothing he could do about it. Good for Us, bad for him.

He's pretty similar to George Lucas in some ways, but one key place in which they differ is that Star Wars was always Lucas's "magnum opus" but for Laird TMNT was just a thing he did for a few laughs and to make a buck before breaking out and doing "real" work. They both became defined by their One Big Thing, to the point where nothing else they ever attempted would ever be treated fairly on its own merit... but Lucas was mostly fine with that, while Laird I don't think ever was.

Laird has even implied that he almost wishes he'd never created TMNT in the first place, and that he only can't commit to that because his life might have been very different and his daughter may not have been born. So if not for his daughter, his wording made it sound very much like he would in fact wish TMNT out of existence. Which isn't the kind of thing you say when you're immensely proud and satisfied with your life's work.

I do kind of wish he was more at peace with all of it, but... well, given what so much of TMNT has turned into, even back when he HAD some say in it, I can't really blame him for feeling the way he does. Nor can I blame him for saying "I've had enough" and walking away once the money was right.
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Old 03-09-2021, 08:46 PM   #42
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This is just me, but I really think the fandom was what killed it for him. It's all right there in the Vol. 4 lettercol, in particular. He may have said that he was doing the book just for his own enjoyment and nothing else, and I'm sure that's the overriding reason... but c'mon, the guy is human. He was putting out a book every month or so that was losing money while getting all these hate letters about this or that, making fun of the decompressed nature of Vol. 4, how he should stop talking about politics in his own book, how he's making all these bad decisions for the TMNT and he needs to wake up, etc.. Nobody wants to get that. Sooner or later a guy like that is going to look in the miror and go, "Why am I doing this? For who? For what?" and I think that's kind of how that went south.

In one of the Q&As I asked him if he regrets the kind of fans he ended up with. I can't remember what he said verbatim but it was in the "no" arena.
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Old 03-09-2021, 08:55 PM   #43
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That may have been "the last straw", or one of them, sure.

Much of the blame for Vol. 4 can be shouldered by nobody but him, though. He put out a bad book and charged above-market price for the "privilege" of reading a boring slog - which wasn't helped one bit by Tales Vol. 2 coming out at the exact same time and being a much better product which was much better-received by the audience. If he had just bent a LITTLE bit on the book's content - at least having Stuff Happen more than occasionally; he didn't need to throw in Bebop and Rocksteady and Krang like people kept bitching about but for god's sake let SOMETHING of substance happen - then people wouldn't have been so pissy. Tales was more of "what a TMNT comic should be" in most people's minds and thus was much better received. I respect the man for "adhering to his vision", but like I've said before, if you're charging people $4 an issue for "your vision" and they don't like it, either be more flexible or start a Blog and give it away for free. Comic books are a commercial medium.

I wouldn't blame him for being ashamed of "the fanbase" in general, though. We don't need to name names, but look how some of the more "fanatical" ones are like. Would you claim them? If your "life's work" inspired THAT, would you be proud or embarrassed?

I do think the fans were a factor for him wanting to be done with everything but I think that was true long before Vol. 4, I think that may have just been an acute thing but the problem was festering long before then.
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Old 03-09-2021, 09:26 PM   #44
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I love going through the letters column in vol. 4, I think if anything, he was just disappointed about the Republican corner of the fanbase and their inability to "get it" after all these years. I mean, I don't see how it's possible to read Mirage (or really any) TMNT to that point and not absorb a general leftist teaching from it. Growing up through the late 80s-early 90s, it baffles me that anyone from my generation would ever grow up to take the side of capitalists, imperialists, and racists. That's like the foundation of every "villain" I've ever known.

If I was Laird I'd cut 'em off too, they simply don't deserve more vol. 4. I'm not surprised that he just completely stopped writing for the entirety of the Trump era seeing what kind of horrible people right-wingers will openly be given the opportunity. I kinda suspect he's more of a "lib" which is boring, because the establishment Democrats are every bit as scummy albeit better at masking it, but if he ever does come back I hope he takes a hard antifa angle and *really* lets them know they're not welcome.
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Old 03-09-2021, 09:33 PM   #45
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Yeah it does seem like Laird rather resents TMNT. Not the fact he created them alongside Eastman back in the day, but what the property has become.

Originally it was just meant to be an independent comic book series. As for the cartoon deal, he probably did not expect for it to become the world's biggest phenomenon for a few years. And what became popular was not his vision but something completely different. I guess that's why it's also considered a "deal with the devil" sort of thing in retrospective.

With the 2k3 series Laird had some creative control on how things went, but it still wasn't quite his vision. Whole the series is the closest to Mirage a TMNT cartoon has ever gotten it's still not Mirage. It's still a 20 minute toy advert. It's not "dark and gritty". And it has things like Utrom Shredder and Fast Forward. And Michelangelo was completely unbearable.

I guess he just felt burnt out by the end of it all. He definitely enjoys the money TMNT made him, but he doesn't really take well to how the most profitable parts and known elements of TMNT weren't part of his vision for it. He never intended his characters to become pizza loving surfers who shout things like "Cowabunga" or "Booyakasha".
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Old 03-09-2021, 09:57 PM   #46
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I remember both PL and Murphy (in the Tales letters column) were constantly ranting how much they hated George W. Bush and how they wished Al Gore became president. They would also constantly talk about global warming and how they "feared for the future."

Now keep in mind this was in the early 2000's, so between 2002-2008 or so. Even back then that's all they talked about. I can't imagine what things would have been like if the comics were still going when Trump became president.
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Old 03-09-2021, 10:31 PM   #47
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That may have been "the last straw", or one of them, sure.
I think it's more fundamental than that.

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Much of the blame for Vol. 4 can be shouldered by nobody but him, though. He put out a bad book and charged above-market price for the "privilege" of reading a boring slog - which wasn't helped one bit by Tales Vol. 2 coming out at the exact same time and being a much better product which was much better-received by the audience.
That probably didn't help, yeah. Though it's important to recognize when talking about "the failure of Vol. 4" in terms of Peter's handling of the TMNT franchise... it is a non-issue. Even if Vol. 4 had been selling "really good" by early 2000s Diamond standards... it wouldn't matter. Comics don't make good money. Not now or then. It's thousands of dollars a month (if it sells well) vs. the tens/hundreds of millions involved in things like a big budget movie, or a new cartoon, or toys, or any of those things. Probably less than 0.001% of the residuals or royalties or profits from this or that trickling in every month even back in 2009 would cover whatever losses it was to print Vol. 4 every month.

Would he have had the chance to make another cartoon, or another TMNT movie reboot after TMNT 2007? Of course. They may have even been really good (I'd bet they'd be way better than the Bay stuff or Rise at least, for sure) and it can be guaranteed they wouldn't have a million mutants or a Jennika. Or a "Mutant Town." He just didn't want to do that anymore.

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I wouldn't blame him for being ashamed of "the fanbase" in general, though. We don't need to name names, but look how some of the more "fanatical" ones are like. Would you claim them? If your "life's work" inspired THAT, would you be proud or embarrassed?
I don't think so much he was ashamed of them as much as... the kind of fans he thought he was writing for, they just didn't exist. Or existed less and less as time went on until his lettercol was like a reverse echo chamber of Hell.

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I do think the fans were a factor for him wanting to be done with everything but I think that was true long before Vol. 4, I think that may have just been an acute thing but the problem was festering long before then.
I dunno...

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With the 2k3 series Laird had some creative control on how things went, but it still wasn't quite his vision. Whole the series is the closest to Mirage a TMNT cartoon has ever gotten it's still not Mirage. It's still a 20 minute toy advert. It's not "dark and gritty". And it has things like Utrom Shredder and Fast Forward. And Michelangelo was completely unbearable.
I'm glad somebody else other than me realizes that. Like, those E-mails he shared with us on his blog appeared to be his only real dialogue with the 4Kids cartoon people. Yeah, he shut some things down but he was hardly heavy handed... it seems like they kind of just showed him stuff, let him say whatever back, sometimes they'd heed his notes (sometimes not), and at the end of the day they'd just end up doing whatever.

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Old 03-09-2021, 10:58 PM   #48
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I think it's more fundamental than that.



That probably didn't help, yeah. Though it's important to recognize when talking about "the failure of Vol. 4" in terms of Peter's handling of the TMNT franchise... it is a non-issue. Even if Vol. 4 had been selling "really good" by early 2000s Diamond standards... it wouldn't matter. Comics don't make good money. Not now or then. It's thousands of dollars a month (if it sells well) vs. the tens/hundreds of millions involved in things like a big budget movie, or a new cartoon, or toys, or any of those things. Probably less than 0.001% of the residuals or royalties or profits from this or that trickling in every month even back in 2009 would cover whatever losses it was to print Vol. 4 every month.

Would he have had the chance to make another cartoon, or another TMNT movie reboot after TMNT 2007? Of course. They may have even been really good (I'd bet they'd be way better than the Bay stuff or Rise at least, for sure) and it can be guaranteed they wouldn't have a million mutants or a Jennika. Or a "Mutant Town." He just didn't want to do that anymore.



I don't think so much he was ashamed of them as much as... the kind of fans he thought he was writing for, they just didn't exist. Or existed less and less as time went on until his lettercol was like a reverse echo chamber of Hell.



I dunno...



I'm glad somebody else other than me realizes that. Like, those E-mails he shared with us on his blog appeared to be his only real dialogue with the 4Kids cartoon people. Yeah, he shut some things down but he was hardly heavy handed... it seems like they kind of just showed him stuff, let him say whatever back, sometimes they'd heed his notes (sometimes not), and at the end of the day they'd just end up doing whatever.
Yes I read some of that stuff as well because there was a thread about it here with links to Lairds blog.

I remember it was Laird's idea to tie in The Ultimate Ninja with the Battle Nexus tournament. The writers just wanted to make him a one off character or something at first. But Laird actually made the character interesting with that idea.

Some people thought Laird was overtly harsh and rude with the writers at times but to me he was just a man trying to fight for his property and being protective of what he created.
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Old 03-09-2021, 11:14 PM   #49
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I remember both PL and Murphy (in the Tales letters column) were constantly ranting how much they hated George W. Bush and how they wished Al Gore became president. They would also constantly talk about global warming and how they "feared for the future."
I made a comment on these forums after the release of the Vol. 4 issue that ends with one of the Turtles holding an Al Gore coin. All I said was that I hope this isn't a sign that the book is going to get political. I think that is a fair comment to say in response to a comic book. While the TMNT books certainly do have a history of showcasing environmental issues, which these days is considered to be left-leaning, I think it's a whole different issue when a book looks like it's about to start complaining about who is president (especially in a fictional world that could make up its own fictional president).

Anyways, the next issue featured a page-long rant that made it very clear that he had leap-frogged off of the comment that I made here. Didn't think that was necessary.

While in retrospect I feel that everyone could have held themselves better in communicating back then, ultimately, Peter doesn't take criticism well and there was never going to be a happy ending between him and the vocal fans. What he wanted to do with the TMNT just wasn't what a majority of people wanted, and his decision to sell and move on was the right thing to do.
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Old 03-09-2021, 11:16 PM   #50
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I remember both PL and Murphy (in the Tales letters column) were constantly ranting how much they hated George W. Bush and how they wished Al Gore became president. They would also constantly talk about global warming and how they "feared for the future."

Now keep in mind this was in the early 2000's, so between 2002-2008 or so. Even back then that's all they talked about. I can't imagine what things would have been like if the comics were still going when Trump became president.
I've thought about that. Yeesh. It'd be interesting to note what he would have said though I wouldn't have ever, like, written in to try and change his mind or anything.

Though honestly, back during the initial run of Vol. 4 all the way into 2009... I really wasn't into politics at all. I'd look at this or that, but I was generally assuming that much of the "Hollywood Elite"'s stance on Obama and all of that were correct, and that Bush was dumb and so on. None of that mattered to me because I didn't really see it in my day to day. Ideology wasn't bleeding into anything (particularly the arts) so I was more than happy letting people talking whatever politics they wanted to.

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Some people thought Laird was overtly harsh and rude with the writers at times but to me he was just a man trying to fight for his property and being protective of what he created.
Of course.
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Old 03-10-2021, 12:20 PM   #51
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Frank Fosco script is still yet to leak, right? Has anyone heard anything about it besides Kevin Eastman's vague praise?

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I made a comment on these forums after the release of the Vol. 4 issue that ends with one of the Turtles holding an Al Gore coin. All I said was that I hope this isn't a sign that the book is going to get political. I think that is a fair comment to say in response to a comic book. While the TMNT books certainly do have a history of showcasing environmental issues, which these days is considered to be left-leaning, I think it's a whole different issue when a book looks like it's about to start complaining about who is president (especially in a fictional world that could make up its own fictional president).

Anyways, the next issue featured a page-long rant that made it very clear that he had leap-frogged off of the comment that I made here. Didn't think that was necessary.

While in retrospect I feel that everyone could have held themselves better in communicating back then, ultimately, Peter doesn't take criticism well and there was never going to be a happy ending between him and the vocal fans. What he wanted to do with the TMNT just wasn't what a majority of people wanted, and his decision to sell and move on was the right thing to do.
So you think Peter read this forum back in the day? Interesting, but I guess I shouldn't be shocked, if true. I'd be curious if I were Peter.

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Old 03-10-2021, 12:58 PM   #52
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Anyways, the next issue featured a page-long rant that made it very clear that he had leap-frogged off of the comment that I made here. Didn't think that was necessary.
Yeah, I remember that. Seemed excessive to me.

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Some people thought Laird was overtly harsh and rude with the writers at times but to me he was just a man trying to fight for his property and being protective of what he created.
I have to respect that fact. That said, communication is a fine art. There are "a million wild and wonderful ways to say no," after all.
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Old 03-10-2021, 01:00 PM   #53
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Laird would've sold sooner rather than later, people were mad at the lack of 1987 influence and how if it wasn't his way he didn't do it but in hindsight the Laird years were great and we'll never get something like it again.

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While the TMNT books certainly do have a history of showcasing environmental issues, which these days is considered to be left-leaning,
Only in the US and a few select countries, most of the world doesn't politicize this and realizes that harming the environment is bad.


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I think it's a whole different issue when a book looks like it's about to start complaining about who is president (especially in a fictional world that could make up its own fictional president).
Fictional worlds should always have fictional presidents, with some very few exceptions.
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Old 03-10-2021, 01:04 PM   #54
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As much as I respect Peter for what he did during the "Laird years", none of it really stuck for me.
There are some issues of volume 4 I do enjoy.
But who just said that the 07 movie was basically a cartoon episode? You're totally right and that's what I've been trying to say forever. It is actually pretty good, but it left me cold as far as a feature film goes.
4kids doesn't do much for me either. Someone else here also summed that up well - It's trying to be Mirage, but it's still feels like a toy commercial at the end of the day. It's neutered.

Y'all are on point, in my book, but that's a summarization of how I feel.
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Old 03-10-2021, 01:07 PM   #55
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When I joined these forums in early 2009, TMNT seemed to be close to dying. The 2k3 series was about to be over and we didn't know what the future of the franchise was going to be like.

Then, suddenly, the Viacom sale occurred later that year and there was a new sense of excitement around these parts. A new cartoon series and movie were about to come a few years later.

Now, in hindsight, I think I'd be OK if TMNT had died around 2010. I don't identify with Nick's/Viacom's/Platinum Dunes vision of TMNT.

The 2k3 series felt like a new approach and turning point in the franchise's direction, but Nick's vision seemed to be a step back with trying to recreate a modern equivalent to the FW series.
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Old 03-10-2021, 01:13 PM   #56
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The 2k3 series felt like a new approach and turning point in the franchise's direction, but Nick's vision seemed to be a step back with trying to recreate a modern equivalent to the FW series.
Neither the 2012 or Rise were like the original cartoon though. They use certain old characters, sure, but it's all different.

I feel like IDW tries too hard to revive 80's characters into modern comics though.
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Old 03-10-2021, 01:22 PM   #57
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Neither the 2012 or Rise were like the original cartoon though. They use certain old characters, sure, but it's all different.

I feel like IDW tries too hard to revive 80's characters into modern comics though.
I'm aware. But what I'm trying to say is, 2k3 tried to distance itself from the OT as much as possible. While it seems like Nick's stuff used OT as inspiration and ignored 2k3. It's like they wanted to replicate OTs success, which is fair and all since that's what makes them money, but not something I'm interested in.
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Old 03-10-2021, 02:56 PM   #58
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I'm aware. But what I'm trying to say is, 2k3 tried to distance itself from the OT as much as possible. While it seems like Nick's stuff used OT as inspiration and ignored 2k3. It's like they wanted to replicate OTs success, which is fair and all since that's what makes them money, but not something I'm interested in.
If the majority weren't interested, they wouldn't keep trying to replicate FW's success. Like it or not, TMNT will never step out of Fred Wolf's shadow. It IS TMNT, it's life blood. Everything else? A bonus.
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Old 03-10-2021, 03:02 PM   #59
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If the majority weren't interested, they wouldn't keep trying to replicate FW's success. Like it or not, TMNT will never step out of Fred Wolf's shadow. It IS TMNT, it's life blood. Everything else? A bonus.
Where did I say I was speaking for the majority in that post of mine you quoted? Read it again.
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Old 03-10-2021, 03:20 PM   #60
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If the majority weren't interested, they wouldn't keep trying to replicate FW's success. Like it or not, TMNT will never step out of Fred Wolf's shadow. It IS TMNT, it's life blood. Everything else? A bonus.
You sound like you're just championing FW.
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