Last month during my trip out east to debut The TMNT #1 Production Negatives, my good friend Peyton and I decided to stop in Biddeford, ME before we headed to Manchester, NH. We figured it might be cool to pay a visit to The Journal Tribune – the newspaper where the first TMNT comics were printed and the origin of The TMNT #1 Production Negatives.
Our GPS took us to a very small building in Biddeford, ME; a building much too small to have ever housed large printing presses. There was a single car in the parking lot and the door to the building was open so Peyton recommended we check things out. Once inside, we were met by David – the very friendly general manager of Mainely Media, LLC. We chatted for a bit and told him about The TMNT #1 Production Negatives that were in my truck outside and that we were looking for The Journal Tribune printing plant where the negatives were created. We were disappointed to learn that The Journal Tribune had folded in 2019 and the printing plant is no longer functioning. However, we did learn that the building that housed the printing operations and presses is still there and is now the home of the Maine Dept. of Health & Human Services.
David provided us directions to that building and (after a bit of driving around), we finally found it. I went inside to ask if it was OK for us to take some pictures of my truck (with The TMNT #1 Production Negatives in back) outside the building. After a bit of confusion and “skepticism” about what was actually going on outside, we did receive permission. And so, since we couldn’t take The TMNT #1 Production Negatives inside, I took some pictures of them returning to their birthplace the only way I could – inside their case, which was sitting in the back of my truck outside the building. No fanfare – just a low-key (albeit slightly odd) photoshoot outside the building that used to house The Journal Tribune. After 38 years, The TMNT #1 Production Negatives had returned to where they were created. And maybe for the last time.
What was meant to be just a little “side trip” turned into a very meaningful and special event – something I was so glad could be shared with my good friend Peyton. This little event apparently makes a pretty neat human interest story – and so it made the paper. Check it out! If you’re in the Northeast, you can find it in print Oct. 13 in the Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier or Oct. 21 in the Kennebunk Post.
Gotta admit – that’s pretty darn cool.