Sort of Interview with Dan Berger, and the sale of the TMNT property to Nickelodeon

24 Oct

In case you haven’t heard (or, to some of my friends, care) the TMNT property has been sold to Nickelodeon for roughly $60 million.  Well, every month I send to fanmail@ninjaturtles.com my reviews, and Dan Berger who manages the site politely links to the blog (netting in 222 views on this blog yesterday alone) if my reviews are positive (which consistently are).  There are also some responses to my reactions on my review of Tales of the TMNT #63, and Dan Berger’s writing of Marlin.  Anyway, since I was at the source of a lot of info, I couldn’t resist asking Dan some questions through e-mail, and here are some of his replies:

And here’s where the interview sort of begins:

MechanisticMoth:  I worked a bike convention for Specialized Bicycles of the summer and worked with a guy from the great land of Oz, and… I don’t know, he may have uttered one or two of those (Aussiesms) underneath his breath.

Dan Berger:  Oh, I went out of my way searching google to collate as many “sayings” as I could – and then crammed every one of them into the script. My bad. 🙂 I did play up Marlin’s Aussie-isms a lot – I was doing it as an inside joke for Tristan Jones (I expected him to write me and say “We don’t actually talk like that, mate!”) – in retrospect, it probably was not a wise thing to do – but I was having a bit of fun (apparently too much 🙂

MechanisticMoth:  I heard about the whole Nickelodeon deal, and it sounds really exciting.  Although, it’s surprising for me to hear that they’ll be taking over the site.

Dan Berger: Actually, I don’t know what their plans are, but at some point soon, Mirage will not be in charge of the domain name. What Nick decides to do with it, I have no clue – but it gets pretty good traffic (7,500 unique visitors per week), so they may keep it going to take advantage of that.

MechanisticMoth:  I figured it was more so them handling the cartoon properties.

Dan Berger:  Nope – they now own the TMNT lock, stock and barrel.

MechanisticMoth:  So, Nickelodeon owns the rights to the comics properties/Mirage, as well?

Dan Berger: Nick owns the TMNT property, but they do not own Mirage Studios.

MechanisticMoth:  What’s the future (if there’s even any idea of it amongst you guys) of the comics, then?

Dan Berger:  Peter Laird maintained the rights to publish up to 18 TMNT comics per year, but at this time all we plan to do is to continue publishing “Tales of the TMNT’ up to May, 2010 (#70). Beyond that, we don’t have any plans for publishing (outside of finishing off the Donatello mini- series and publishing the full color reprint of TMNT #1).

MechanisticMoth:  I haven’t checked Peter Laird’s blog for the last couple weeks… is that probably a good idea to get an idea of the change-ups?

Dan Berger:  That’s a very good idea. 🙂

MechanisticMoth:  As a side note, I know it’s a ways off (April-ish), but it’d be really great for some of you Mirage guys to make a stop at the Seattle comic-con or at least submit a print like Jim did a couple years ago.

Dan Berger:  I don’t foresee anyone making the trip, I’m afraid. Mirage is closing its doors on December 31, so they won’t be paying the artists’ way to shows anymore, thus we would have to pay out of pocket, and that’s a long and expensive trip to make for any of us. But never say never. The print thing is a possibility, though, if the show approaches anyone.

MechanisticMoth: Yeah, East Coast to West is a pretty big trip, and that’s completely understandable.  I’ll try to pester the people who are running the thing to pester you guys then.

 

 

Alright, just to let you know, some of this is actually out of order to how the e-mail correspondence went, but I wanted to group things thematically to make sense of everything.  For those of you who want to find out more information on the Nickelodeon deal, check out Peter Laird’s Blog (he’s so far at 2 posts explaining his reasoning behind the deal) at: http://plairdblog.blogspot.com/ .  Also, you can check out the press release from Viacom (who own, through various organizations, Nickelodeon) at: http://www.viacom.com/news/Pages/newstext.aspx?RID=1344566 .

I really hope the comics keep coming out from Mirage, even if there’s a bit of a hiatus after issue #70.  The comics are just so great on such a consistent basis that it would be a shame, but judging from Peter Laird’s blog, he needed a huge break which is pretty damn understandable.

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