To this day, my favorite, and arguably the best, comic book / cartoon / movie / toy lines is the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I still have vivid memories of being a young kid in the toy aisle of this store called Roses, seeing those first toys on the pegs. After that came the cartoons, Archie comic books, coloring books, movies, and years of my elementary school art teacher begging me to draw something other than a ninja turtle.
Last summer, on a trip up to Wells/Ogunquit Maine with the wife, we drove by this shop called Shellback Artworks on Rt 1. The distinctively TMNT branded signage immediately drew me in. Turns out it's owned by an artist named Steve Lavigne. He is known for his lettering and coloring work on the older Mirage TMNT comics. He wasn't there that time, but we took a spin around the shop, the art gallery upstairs, and met his wife.
Recently on Facebook, he announced a signing at the shop. Peter Laird, as in the Laird of "Eastman and Laird's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles" was going to be there along with TMNT artist Jim Lawson. I definitely couldn't pass that up. So I gathered up a few belongings to get signed and drove up for the afternoon. It was amazing!
I'm kind of shy, so I didn't really say much to them. But in the off chance that Peter Laird ever reads this, I wanted to say "Thank you for the Turtles. The characters have brought, and continue to bring, me hours of enjoyment in all their various incarnations."
Some pictures from the event and the items I got signed are below.