Tag Archives: Peter Laird

Anybody got $13-18K to buy the 1st TMNT comics?

29 Dec

by Mike Hansen

Gobbledygook #1 cover

Can I has?

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).

Gobbledygook #2 cover

Please?

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?

Gobbledygook #1-2 back cover

Coming soon!

Unseen TMNT art by Kevin Eastman from the new (dead?) film

14 Dec

by Mike Hansen

UPDATE: These weren’t from the new Michael Bay film; they’re from an earlier unproduced film. Oops!

Awesome! Here are some designs that, sadly, were never used from a fourth 1990s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles live-action film:

Evil AprilKirby bwSuper ShredderFootKaseyLawsonNano Spyder colorKirby color

Many more HERE.

WANT: the very first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles drawing, auctioned TODAY! (UPDATED)

11 May

by Mike Hansen

TMNT original drawing 1983

The drawing that changed the world.

UPDATE: It sold for $71,700. Congrats to the lucky winner, and to the Hero Initiative for being able to put this money to a good cause.

ICV2 ran this story about this historic event:

…the original drawing of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that was created in Dover, New Hampshire in November of 1983 will be auctioned off this week by Heritage Auctions.  Online bidding has been going on this week with bids topping $50,000.

USA Today has more:

The first-ever illustration by TMNT creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird— drawn and inked one night in Dover, N.H., in November 1983, before the quartet of anthropomorphic shelled reptiles became a pop-culture phenomenon — will be up for auction this week by Heritage Auctions. Online bidding is going on now and will conclude with a live auction in Dallas on Friday. (Watch a live video feed at HA.com/Live.)

“It’s time to let go of a lot of really cool, awesome Turtle memories,” says Eastman, who was 21 and trying to break into comics when he took pencil to that 8½-by-11 sheet of paper.

Proceeds from the sale will go toward The Hero Initiative, an organization Eastman works with that helps comic creators who are without benefits pay medical bills, rent and other necessities.

…Vintage comic books at auction can go for millions of dollars — an Action Comics No. 1, featuring 1938’s first appearance of Superman, was sold for $2.1 million in December. Though the TMNTpiece is far younger, it’s one of a kind.”It is pretty unusual for the first art of any major character to come around,” says Barry Sandoval, director of operations for Heritage Auctions.

TMNT First Comics vol. 1

If you grew up in the ’80s, you either owned this or knew somebody who did.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was a huge, huge deal for me as a kid. I discovered the black-and-white comics just before the cartoon and toys became a phenomenon, and while I thought the merchandising stuff was alright, the original comics were a massive inspiration for me: you mean, comics don’t have to be in color or published by Marvel or DC to be cool? A ton of my classmates at school had copies of the classic First Comics-published color TMNT volumes – they weren’t even seen as “comic books” so much as cool books like the Calvin & Hobbes strip collections.

The first 21 or so issues of TMNT (plus Tales of the TMNT, Turtle Soup, etc.) were a huge breath of fresh air for me, and for the comics industry. The “anything-goes” approach – They’re fighting ninjas! They’re in space drinking space beer! etc. – was the first brush I’d had with the Do-It-Yourself, punk approach to art and publishing. Continue reading

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