by Mike Hansen
There aren’t too many comics series that I actually collect anymore. For most series, simply having the story in book form is enough. One of my few exceptions is the original 1980s-1990s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, which have that handmade, “Look, anybody can do this” feel along with stories that remain both alive with fun and vibrantly different than anything else of the era. I’m a sucker for great packaging, and these comics had the exact right dose of quality and enthusiasm that told me that TMNT creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird both love comics and appreciate their readers.
I’ve managed to get my hands on just about every single published TMNT appearance, but a handful of rarities have eluded me: TMNT #1 (1st and 2nd printings), #2 (1st printing), and the very first TMNT appearance in the insanely rare photocopied/hand-stapled minicomics Gobbledygook #1 & 2 (of which only 50 of each exist).
I’ve just discovered that not one, but two sets of Gobbledygook are on eBay. One set is ungraded (as CGC doesn’t grade photocopied minicomics); the other is graded by PGX and claims to be the highest-graded copies available (if not the only ones ever professionally graded). This is a Big Deal because these are among the rarest and most historically significant comic books of all time. Forget those early superhero comics of the 1930s-1960s (most of which have been reprinted and thus have widely available contents); Gobbledygook #1-2 are the real Holy Grail of comics, and the prices offered for these have finally started to reflect this. And as much as I hate seeing comics sealed up and graded, anything that helps preserve something this rare and important is probably a good thing.
Considering the extreme rarity of these minicomics (these belong in a museum!), I could actually live without them: IF all of the material in them has been reprinted elsewhere. My guess is that the contents were all reprinted in the 1985 Fugitoid and 1986 Gobbledygook one-shots (two of the most common 1980s TMNT-related comics, still easily available cheap). Anybody know for sure?
And if not, can anybody with $13,000-18,000 buy them for me?