Thursday, December 31, 2009

Cyber Don and the BSR

This was sort of an interesting one. The buyer of this commission piece wanted the Baxter Stockman Robot as he appearred in the Donatello mini-series hanging out and trading glances with the Donatello from the Image comic books.
It's definitely different and makes for kind of a neat piece, if you ask me.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rat King

Talk about good timing- I just happened to have a Rat King commission waiting in the wings.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sunset Groupshot

Sergio's second commission. As I stated in the preceding post, a peaceful, sort of sentimental sunset scene is repeated.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Reflective Mike

This is one of 2 commissions that I did for Sergio. I'll post the second tomorrow, which is a groupshot- but for this one, Sergio wanted Mike, kind of in repose, with a skateboard and a notebook watching the sunset.
The sunset is a recurrent theme in this and the following drawing, and I can only assume that it symbolizes the ending of the Mirage era.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Mutant Don Raffle

tOkKa emailed me yesterday with an announcement/request that I could let folks know that he is raffling off a genuine tOkKa-ized MIB Mutated Don figure to help promote and celebrate the 10th anniversary of his website. If you want your mind blown, definitely check out the website and I'm sure details of the raffle are available there.
Following is tOkKa's email to me.

-->> W.I.P. .. not just a figure .. a One-of-a kind art piece by tOkKa to be auctioned off in the first quarter of 2010.

Mutated Donatello ( sometimes known as GAMERA-DON ) is based on the hyper-Mutated TMNT designed by Jim Lawson for the TMNT comics and the 2003 cartoon series.

The card is signed and authorized by Jim Lawson and when completed will be signed by tOkKa.

Please stay tuned for details, i'll post them when the piece is completed.

This item will be given away in a traditional RAFFLE-style contest to celebrate Tokka's - 10th anniversary !! !!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Future Don and Raph

As of this writing, this drawing is heading it's way to Japan. As I was addressing the envelope, I was wondering, how does something like this get delivered? I mean, if a package was addressed to me in Japanese, who translates it so that the delivery can be made? Wacky.
Thanks Kat, for asking for the commission.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Turtles vs. Mousers

Another commission drawing, this time for Pedro Lajud.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Ninja Faceoff

Hey. I got away for the Thanksgiving holiday last week- to Florida to be exact. My family and I went to visit some relatives and do some tourist-type stuff. Highlights have to include feeding manatees at the Mote Aquarium in Sarasota and drinking margaritas on the beach at Honeymoon Key as the sun set...
All that's fine but I've got work to do. This is a commission drawing for Bobby Verdin- who wanted a drawing of Casey and Raph facing off against a group of ninjas.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Recently, I've been asked to do a couple of email interviews. This is the first one that I've done and the longer of the two but I thought that I'd post it here. The interviewer is a guy named Elliot, and it occurs to me now that I never asked him just what this was for. Pretty typical for me.

Interview with Jim Lawson.

Recently, on your blog, you addressed the issue of the TMNT purchase from Nickelodeon, and briefly mentioned some of your possible future plans. Have you further thought about your options since then?
>>Not really. It’s been kind of overwhelming emotionally since the announcement of the sale—I think only now that the dust is beginning to settle and I can start thinking about the future. As I sit here right now, I can’t honestly say just what it is that I want to do.

Do the possibilities still remain to finish up the Paleo TPB and even release more Paleo comics?
>>Yeah, definitely. Paleo was published under the Zeromayo partnership between Peter (Laird) and myself. Whether Pete still wants a relationship and involvement in that, that’s unclear to me. However, I don’t see that there would be anything preventing me from finishing the TPB myself.

You also mentioned that the thought of doing a children’s book has been in your head for awhile, do you have any ideas that you might want to share about what this would involve? Dinosaur themes or something similar to your work from on the Turtles Comics?
>>The children’s book idea is something that’s always appealed to me- and now that I’m playing around with colors, even more so now. Nothing concrete, storywise- but you’re correct, dinosaurs are absolutely a direction that I would like to go.

How did Peter Laird break the news about the deal to the writers and artists, or how did you find out about the deal?
>>I think that it was October 13—Gary (Richardson) called us all into a staff meeting here at Mirage. Everyone was there including Pete. It was then that we were told that a deal to sell the Turtles was nearly complete. Some details of the sale were talked about and Pete discussed his situation and reasons for my he felt he had to make this decision. Contracts were given us to review and sign. It was pretty emotional.

You explained your personal account of what it was like for you to walk around the Mirage office after hearing about the deal (as a zombie), were everyone else’s reactions similar to yours?
>>I think so. Everyone seemed sorta paralyzed by the news. But conversely, I think that we all knew in the back of our minds that this day was coming.
I’m happy for Pete—it’s been tough watching him struggle for the past few years with regards to his loss of enthusiasm for the comics. I hope this unburdens him and he can rediscover the creative person that he once was.

I’ve always enjoyed how stylistically and minimalist your artwork has been especially in depicting action, how did you develop this style that has almost become synonymous with the TMNT?
>>Lots and lots of drawing. I’m asked occasionally why my style changed so dramatically over the run of the TMNTs. I can’t say that it was my intention to draw the way I do now-it just naturally happened. I really like that it’s such an evolving thing- it’s very exciting for me as an artist.

I’ve noticed that the pacing and beats in all of the miniseries that you have both written and drawn have had a lot of downtime, scenic, mood-setting moments (most recently in the Donatello miniseries) which is quite impactful stylistically. What’s some of the inspiration behind these moments?
>>That’s an interesting question. In response to that, all I can say is that I try for a sense of realism in my stories. I very much want to try to convey a character’s mood or emotion- I want to really get in their head and to know what an individual’s thoughts are. It’s during my own quiet times when I’m introspective and reflecting so I think that that’s what I try to bring into my writing.

What is your creative process like? Do the writers leave you plenty of room for your own interpretation?
>>It changes from writer to writer, but for the most part, yeah- in my experience the writers that I’ve dealt with have allowed me a lot of freedom. Perhaps it’s because Mirage was what I consider a small-time publisher- everyone pretty much knew each other so I think there was this sense of familiarity and trust.
As for my creative process, there’s no trick to it really. I’ll usually have some germ of an idea and write it out more or less in outline form. Often, certain scenes that I want to highlight I’ll try to dialogue at that early stage. Occasionally, I’ll even have ideas about how I want to end the story and I’ll have to backward engineer events leading up to that.

Do you have any special pencils or pens that you like to work with, and what is your view on digital pen tablets?
>>Yeah, every artist has their favorites. The pencil that I like right now is something called a Black Warrior. My favorite paper is Strathmore Bristol. With pens, I’ve been using some Japanese brush pens for the past few years- my favorite is the Zebra FD-301. More recently, I’ve taken to using the Pentel Pocket Brush—it features a waterproof ink that is required for use with watercolors.
I have no view on digital pen tablets, as I’ve never used one.

For the younger generation of Comic readers today, you were a participant at the Creator’s Bill of Rights drafting, could you explain your influence in the couple day event?
>>In all honesty, I don’t think that I had much of an impact on the Creator’s Bill of Rights. Peter and Kevin were the influential ones- myself and the other Mirage artists wre more secondary characters, in my opinion.

How was it like working with Tristan Jones for the first time on Tales #64 (out now)?
>>Awesome. Tristan’s a hell of a nice guy, as well as being a very talented writer. His enthusiasm for the Turtles is infectious. I’m gonna miss him a lot.

Can you hint at anything that might catch our eye in the second two pieces to the Donatello miniseries?
>>Not really. In the Don mini, my intent was to give a view of the character that might be a little different than what most people might think. The darker side of Donatello, if you will.

Currently, you’re working on quite possibly the last comic of the TMNT at least for a decent amount of time with Tales #70. You stated that the story is set in Return to New York and that you’re replicating the process and feel of those comics back in the 80s. Are there any other exciting things that this issue may contain?
>>The story will feature Raph, almost exclusively. Eric and I have in mind a fight scene that will be unlike anything that I’ve ever done, so I’m looking forward to how I’m going to choreograph that in the pencils. The book will also be done on the old school Duoshade paper so that should give it a classic RTNY feel, I hope.

Over the last 20 years you have drawn plenty of frames in comics, are there any that stand out to you as a favorite? Or any issue that you had a lot of fun on?
>>A standout most certainly has to be the Leonardo mini-series, Blind Sight. Much of that book was done in white silhouette, and that gave it definitely a different look. As well, it was a real challenge to my drawing and design sense, as far as actually creating the art. Unquestionably the most memorable book that I’ve done.

You often post commissions on your blog, will you continue to do commissions and how would someone go about getting one? What is the average cost?
>>I’ll continue to do commissions until I leave Mirage, most likely. When that day is though, I’m not entirely sure. That said, folks who want a commission need only to contact me at my email: Prices vary with the number of figures and complexity of the drawing. As far as a range, commissions are generally from $50.00 to $250.00. Most are in the $100-$150 neighborhood.

Despite having your job as a TMNT writer and artist for the last 20 years, are you excited for the break to try something new?
>>Absolutely, and I think that’s why I’m uncertain about the whole comics thing—part of me is really hungering for a new adventure, something totally different. It’s hard to imagine a future without drawing as being my bread and butter, but that certainly is a strong possibility.

Just for some general questions that you may have fun at:

What’s your favorite music/band/musician?
>>No question, REM is my favorite band.

What type of Motorcycle do you ride?
>>Right now, I have 4 motorcycles—they are:
2005 Yamaha FJR 1300
2007 Moto Guzzi Griso
2009 BMW F800 GS
1979 Honda Ratwing

What are you currently reading?
>>I very recently finished “Endless Horizons” by Dan Walsh. Walsh is a sometimes columnist for several motorcycle magazines and this is his travelogue about a journey that he took to South America.

What is/are your favorite film(s)?
>>Films that feature some kind of adventure, I guess. But within that, everything from Hildago to The Road Warrior to Up to Kun Fu Hustle to Army of Darkness.

What is the comic that continues to inspire you?
>> Usagi Yojimbo amazes me. How Stan (Sakai) can continue to generate stories that are of a consistently high quality after all these issues- it’s stunning. I just bought the little hardcover/color comic that he just published, Yokai. It’s absolutely beautiful.

Thanks so much for doing the interview, and I hope to get a commission from you soon (thinking Leonardo… I really need more artwork in my apartment).

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

RTNY Fightscene

This has to win the most characters in a fight scene award. This was a commission piece for Daniel Schwarz- who I'm assuming is a fan of the Return to New York series.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mike on Bike

Yow- it seems like it's been awhile since my last post. Neglectfulness aside, I'm still here and continue to crank out comics. Right now, I'm nearing the end of inking the fourth issue of the Don mini-series. In addition to that, there's a short list of commissions to do and this is one of those. This, I think, is going to be a Christmas present so I hope I'm not spoiling anything by posting it but I can't help myself - it features 2 of my favorite things- Ninja Turtles and motorcycles.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


This is a commission for Rutger, from the Netherlands.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Tales 68/ Page 13

The TMNTs get ready to do battle against Robyn's cancer as Glurin looks on.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Tales 68/Page 9

In this scene the Turtle Nanobots ( I hope they're everyone's favorite characters- I know they're mine) get ready to go into battle as April and Robyn's doctor look on.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Sale of the TMNTs

In the comment section of my last posting people were starting to write with some of their thoughts regarding the sale of the Turtles. Along with that, I've been getting emails about that same subject. Those emails- the ones that I've answered today, I've included a little form type letter, which goes as follows:
It's all true. As of now, Mirage no longer owns the Turtles. Peter though, has retained the rights to publish up to 18 issues a year of the TMNT.
For me personally, I guess that I'm no longer a Turtle artist. There was a buyout with the artists- so I walk away from here with a bit of money. What I'm going to do now, I'm not really sure. It's all too new, and my head is still spinning. Pete is going to allow us to continue to use our studio spaces, should we choose. Maybe I'll work on some non-Turtle project with Pete, if he wants- or I've thought about trying to do a children's book. Or maybe get a real job like at Barnes and Noble. I don't know....
For the immediate future, I've still got 2 comics that need to be finished and beyond that I hope to wrap up the Paleo TPB that is now, only half done. I'm excited about the changes but somewhat nervous at the same time.
With that said, right now I'm walking around the studio in a semi zombie-like state. I'm having difficulty processing the enormity of it all. The thought that I might not ever do another show seems odd. I was looking at my drawing table though. It's pretty much beat to shit. The legs are all wobbly from me rubbing up against it and resting my feet on it. The drawing surface has a huge spot ground into it where, it's my best guess, thousands of pages of comic art has passed by. Kneaded eraser residue has formed a disgusting slime, just off to the side of there. And I'm thinking, yeah- perhaps it IS time.
I don't know really where I'll be a year from now. I guess I'll just wrap this up by thanking everyone who has contacted me, or who has visited this blog. I believe the Turtles, and their fans are really something special and I've been very lucky to have been a part of that.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Jungle Groupshot/Color

As promised, this is the final art for Elias.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Jungle Groupshot

This commission measures 14.5 x 17 inches, making it among one of the largest groupshots that I've ever done. Our local Turtle fan and collector- Elias, stopped by the studio last week and asked me to do him a color drawing of all the Turtles together. Elias didn't actually ask that the drawing be this big, but I started sketching on a vast piece of paper and this is what came out. With the coloring too, I'm noticing that I'm more comfortable when the art is of a size that allows me a little more room to play.

I don't know when I'll actually get into the coloring- most likely not until next week but I'll post the final art when that happens.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mike and Klunk

This is a commission sketch for Jennifer, who contacted me all the way from Belgium.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Tales 68 Cover

This is for the Jake Black written story-"Heroes In A Half Cell". The multi-talented Steve Lavigne will be handling the colors.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Color Groupshot

I'm not sure why the colors appear so washed out but this is the finished commission groupshot that I posted the B&W version of last week.

Monday, October 5, 2009

My Weekend Pre-Birthday Party

Well, it's actually a little over 4 months away- my birthday, that is. That being said, my wife threw me a 50th birthday party. It was combined with a friend of mine's, who turned 50 last week. Hey, it felt a little weird but it was an excuse to get together with some good friends and hoist a few beers so there. Plus, I get to do it all again in February.
The Mirage crew was invited but most of them (let's put it kindly) were unable to attend. Admittedly, Dan was going to join us, but got lost trying to find the place. Steve Lavigne came down from Maine with his lovely wife Denise and Dooney was there, displaying his awesome dance moves. Lastly, former Mirage employee, Yurix Peralta joined us with her husband, Myrt.
We all had a great time, I think. I danced a lot (yikes) and even sang a couple of karaoke tunes (urp). We forced the DJ to stay til the bitter end and got home in the wee hours.

Mike took this photo. From L to R- it's Steve, Denise and me.

Friday, October 2, 2009


This groupshot pretty much apes one that I did a few weeks back. That one- the earlier one, was done on tone paper and this one shown here is going to be done in color. The drawing here went a little quicker than I thought- I'm sure basing it on a previous piece of art allowed me to go at it without a lot of positioning of characters and composition concerns.
It's occurring to me that, once colored, this might make a nice piece to turn into a print to sell at shows next year. When finished, I'll post the color version.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Raphael On Rooftop

I'm nearly done pencilling Tales 66- I should be able to wrap that up this week, hopefully. In the meantime, I've only got a few commissions left to go on my list and this is one of them.
This is for Michael.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Canadian Waterfall

This photo is from my recent trip to Quebec. I wish I could remember just exactly where the heck this was. To the best of my recollection, it was just south of a town called Mattasini. Or was it Mattagami? Anyways, after getting lunch there, we hopped on the bikes for a short distance and stopped. The sound of flowing water filled the air and just beyond the parking lot was this incredible vista. I have to admit, it took my breath away.
So yesterday, I took Pete's little panorama maker thingie and loaded the photos that I took. I was a little confused about how to get the program to work but after some messing around the result is, I think, pretty incredible.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Don on Rooftop

This is a commission sketch done for Melinda. She asked for a Don, and it seemed that she wanted him in something other than your normal fighting pose- she pretty much left it up to me. This is my first real "scene" painting, and I was a little nervous about having to cover a large piece of blank background. Hopefully it came out ok.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Casey Jones/Boba Fett

Since my return, I've been trying to give some attention to the short list of commission sketches that I have to do. This is one of those and it was a fun one- Casey Jones in Boba Fett's armor.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I'm Back...

...from my little bike trip/vacation. I had a great time- no one fell down and I've got a few stories to tell but for now I thought that I would post a few choice photos and let the pictures speak for themselves.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Random Duoshade Drawings

The combination of having at my disposal both Duoshade paper and my new Pocket Pen, is proving irresistable to me. These are a few of the drawings that I've managed to bang out over the last few days.

As a side note- this will be my last post for awhile.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Super Secret New SaiNW Cover Revealed

Back in the Spring I think it was, Arseniy Dubakov emailed me and asked if I would create a cover for his fan fiction TMNT-sourced comic SaiNW. Arseniy has been a great and helpful friend to me and I'm thinking in particular of his Russian translations of my PALEO series. This he has done for no financial gain- just as a service to myself and the Russian fans that he thought would enjoy reading the comics.
Anyways, back to the cover. Arseniy told me what he wanted and with a little art direction from him, this is the piece that I delivered. It features a despondent Leo, kneeling before Splinter's grave. This, as I understand it, is reflective of a scene taken from the 4Kids cartoon. Like I've said before, this comic is a very edgy take on the Turtles and I'm a huge fan. Find out more about it here.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


This is the second of the 2 commissions that I got done yesterday. Becky asked me to do her a Raphael in color.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Don and Klunk

This is a short week for me. Today's a holiday, and although I'm here, I'm gonna blast out early. Friday, I leave on my Great Canadian Adventure- a 9 day motorcycle ride into the remote regions of Northern Quebec. I must be psyched for the ride, as the bike is sitting in the garage, practically already packed.
Anyways, especially since the Toronto show, I've gotten a few commission requests. To all of these people, I've told them that I couldn't really find the time to work on any drawings until I get back. However I did, find some time that is. So I got a couple done and this is the first. It's for Marie, and she asked if I would do her a Klunk and Don in color. To Marie, I hope you like it and I'll send it out soon.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Brush

When I was in Toronto, I got a new brush. It's called a Pocket Brush, and it's made by Pentel- I thought that it might be ideal to use with the watercolors as it uses a permanent ink. I played around with it a little bit at the show, and found it to be a little tricky. It's point is long and tapered to a fine tip (good) but it is so soft and juicy that it takes a very delicate hand to get the best out of it (bad).
Combined with this new inking weapon, when I got back to the studio on Monday there was a big box of Duo-Shade paper waiting. Duo-Shade is the stuff that Kevin and Pete used to use on the original TMNT comic. It's really very cool to work on and it's neatness was kind of resurrected in my brain after the recent job that Eric and I did for Ubisoft (the cutscenes from the Turtle Smash-Up game). Anyways, I wanted to play around with both so just for fun, I cranked out this Turtle Groupshot.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Bromance

Becky was nice enough to send me this picture and I just had to post it. It's from FanExpo- Sunday night specifically, and it's me and Dooney gettin' it on.

I wasn't drunk, really.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Mike Dooney and I flew back from Toronto yesterday. It was a pretty uneventful day, other than we both got to stand in line for customs with Bruce Campbell. Mike even got up the nerve to compliment him for his role on BURN NOTICE. In acknowledgement of that, Mike recieved a small smile and slight nod from the mega star. Nice.
Back to the show. The crowds were big- but not crazy big, and there were lots of costumed characters in attendance (which this show seems particularly good for). Many fans came by- some of whom we hadn't seen in a year, and some that we hadn't seen in only a few weeks. Dooney and I were squeezed a little bit- as we had in the booth space what amounted to one Artist's Alley table, but we made out ok. It really was a good show.
The panel on Sunday went fine. I'm not really comfortable in that type situation, but Mairead and Lea said that it (the panel), they thought was better than the one we did in New York, so good there. At the panel, 4Kids showed a preview of the TURTLES FOREVER animation. It was great seeing the movie again, even in this highly-edited form. And- speaking of previews, the TMNT documentary guys showed an early cut of some of FROM MIRAGE TO REALITY. It really was cool to see this early look at what the documentary is going to be like and there's some obscure nuggets of Mirage history there. Scary.

Speaking of scary, a scary hot April came by the booth. Her name is Carol Zara, and if you like what you see, more of her can be found at She really is a very nice person, and she seemed genuinely happy to meet us. Business at the booth seemed to increase somewhat while she was there...I can't understand why.

This is a commission for Coral. It's Mikey and Coral's character, who as I understand it, have some sort of thing going on. I kept it PG for the kids.

Me and Coral and her drawing.

Lastly, this is (from L to R)- Mairead, Lea, Coral and Becky. I think I speak for Dooney too, when I say that it was great getting to hang out with this group. Miss you guys already. Thanks to everyone who came by the booth and yes, I got my wake up call.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lea's Leo

This is it- Dooney and I leave for Toronto tomorrow and final preparations are being made. I'm dreading somewhat the panel on Sunday but maybe I'll just let Mike do all the talking.
Anyways, I wanted to make one last post before we leave. This is one of the advance commissions that I got. It's from Lea, and she asked me to do her a Leo meditating. My first thought was to just do a single figure of Leo, seated in a lotus position type thing- but thinking a little more it seemed that a nice scene might be better. This is the result.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Color TMNT Groupshot

Since last week, I've been real antsy about wanting to play with the paints some more- so, over this past weekend I inked up a Turtle groupshot with the idea that I would color it and take it with me to Toronto. Even though there's probably other things that I should be doing, yesterday afternoon I went downstairs to the official Mirage Studios lunchroom ( I needed a big space) and spent a few hours with my watercolors.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tales 66 Cover

Right now, I'm going slightly crazy, what with getting ready for the Toronto show. The fourth issue of the Don mini is nearly pencilled and I've been extra busy with advance orders for commissions for that event (FanExpo). It's good though, I really like doing it this way- it's better for me as I can draw without any distractions, and I think that the person getting the sketch gets a better quality drawing.
In the midst of this, I've been forgetting that Dan needs the cover for Tales 66 for solicitation purposes. This morning, after getting to work, I reread his script and this image sorta came to me. I think what I like best about it, is that it's a little different than most Turtle covers and that it's the first Tales/Turtle cover that has no TMNT imagery on it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Mike for Rosemary

When we were in San Diego, Roseangelo asked me to do her a commission sketch. The thing about this sketch was that she wanted it in color. Now, I have to admit that I'm having difficulty remembering the last time that I colored anything, but I agreed to it.
It was fun. I got out my ancient and somewhat dried out set of watercolors and went at it.
So thanks Rose, for pushing me to do something that I probably ordinarily wouldn't have. Your sketch is on it's way.

The scanner's down here- so I took a photo of the finished sketch.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Casey and Raph

Becky sent me an email last week with a request. FanExpo is next week and I will be seeing her there, but she asked me if I couldn't set aside some pages for her that she wanted and along with those, if I could do her a commission of Casey and Raph together. This is that drawing.