Friday, January 30, 2009

"The Final Frontier"... of geekiness

One of the upsides of "pack rat" behavior (and there aren't many) is that occasionally, in the piles of mostly worthless junk one holds onto, one will find a gem. So it is with this item from my teenage years, back when the original "Star Trek" series was on the air in its first run. I was hooked on this show the moment I first laid eyes on it.

Back then, there was not a lot of "Star Trek" merchandise to be had. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the series, saw an opportunity to fill that void (at least partially) and created Lincoln Enterprises, a mail-order outfit which sold a variety of items related to "Star Trek", including bound scripts, glossy photos, gold-plated U.S.S. Enterprise pendants, and so forth. I saved some of my meager earnings from my paper delivery route and ordered a few of these treasures, one of which was this certificate.

Although it purports to be a document which commissions the holder as a "flight deck officer" on board the Enterprise, I see it it more as proof positive (if any such proof is ever needed) of my bonafides as a true "Star Trek" geek. -- PL

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Blast from the Past #145: The Christmas Snail

Though this would probably have been better posted around Christmas, it's still kind of seasonally appropriate (especially given that today we are getting even more snow here in Northampton... about five inches already and it's still coming down). I likely would have posted it in December, but I actually just stumbled across it last week.

Of all the various Christmas cards I have made, this is probably the quirkiest. It was drawn in 1982, the first year we were living in Dover, NH, which probably inspired the beach setting. But what possessed me to draw an anthropomorphic Christmas tree riding a giant snail, I can't say at this point in time. I will say that it is still one of my favorite drawings. -- PL

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blast from the Past #143: Weird meeting doodle

I stumbled upon this oddity yesterday while out in the old studio looking (unsuccessfully) for something else. It's a wacky doodle I made during some meeting at Mirage -- I'm not sure if it was a TMNT- or Funatix!-related meeting. The brief notes I scrawled in the upper left are obscure in meaning, although I think the reference to "louvered blinds vs. roll-ups" refers to the shades we chose for Mirage years ago. (Although I suppose it could refer to shades for the Funatix! office space we briefly rented in Florence, MA... who knows?)

One kind of interesting thing about this drawing is that I did it on the back of a piece of scrap paper which had an image printed on the reverse side. You can partially see that image through the paper. Anyone recognize what it is? -- PL

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Patrick McGoohan 1928-2009

While driving to Northampton today, I heard on the radio the sad news that Patrick McGoohan had died at the age of eighty. I have never seen the old "Secret Agent" show in which he starred and first gained great fame, but his follow-up TV series, "The Prisoner", blew my mind when I saw it for the first time in the late 1960's. In the realm of extremely cool and memorable shows, it was a very close second to the original "Star Trek" series in my estimation. -- PL

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Blast from the Past #136: more unused gag cartoons

I found a few more single-panel gag cartoons I did back in the early 1980's, which I was never able to sell (perhaps for good reason).

I do like the "club sandwiches" one, though. -- PL

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blast from the Past #135: "Freshman Year"

This drawing is undated, but from the style of drawing and the inking technique, I'd guess that it was from the mid to late 1970's. Not only can't I remember exactly WHEN I drew this, but I can't recall WHY.

It's possible that it was done for "Hampshire Life", the weekly supplement to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, for which I did drawings over a number of years. I drew on my own experiences at the University of Massachusetts for inspiration. -- PL

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Blast from the Past #134: sample comic page

Here's another one of those sample pages I used to do, years ago, when I was trying to break into comics. For this one, I went in a sci-fi direction, with the alien bar obviously heavily influenced by the great cantina scene in the original "Star Wars". -- PL

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Blast from the Past #133: spot illustrations for the CBG

Back around the time that Kevin Eastman and I were starting work on the first issue of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" (late 1983), we were also having fun doing small spot illustrations for The Comics Buyers Guide. I don't think we were ever paid anything for these, but we got a kick out of drawing various comic book characters and seeing our art published in the CBG. We did drawings individually and occasionally collaborated on them.

Below is a group of these drawings that I did by myself. I present this group exactly as I came across it in a folder of old artwork, which is to say that this was a sheet of 8.5 by 11 typing paper with the artwork on small pieces of Graphix Duo-Shade board glued to it.

You see, that Duo-Shade paper was, at the time, very expensive for us to buy, and so we tried to use every square inch of it. And, after managing to get three comic page-sized pieces out of each big sheet of Duo-Shade, there were inevitably a few small, odd-sized scraps left over, which we would then divvy up for our own use.

Although I know at least some of these drawings were published in the CBG, I can't recall which, at this point in time. -- PL

Friday, January 2, 2009

A highly logical Christmas gift

I had a very pleasant Christmas this past year (2008), and received many nice gifts, but two stood out as very memorable. First was a lovely quilt my wife made for me, and second was this painting by my brother Bruce (posing with his work in the photo below).

Bruce knows, from way back, that I am a huge fan of the original "Star Trek" tv series and of Leonard Nimoy's "Mr. Spock" character in particular... and so decided to paint this for me. I love it! And it is now hanging in a prominent place in my home (replacing a piece of TMNT art that had been hanging there for almost as long as we've been living in this house). - PL