First Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles drawing to go up for auction
The first full drawing of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will go up for auction this May.
According to Heritage Auctions in Dallas, the image was created in late November 1983 by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird. It will be part of Heritage Auctions’ May 10-11 Vintage Comics & Comic Art Signature® Auction. The drawing is being consigned by TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman, and is expected to bring more than $50,000.
“Peter and I were sharing a studio – our living room – in Dover, NH,” said Eastman in a news release. “One work night, in an effort to make Peter laugh, I drew a sketch of this character I called a ‘Ninja Turtle’ and threw it onto Peter’s desk. He did laugh – and did a version of his own, to which I needed to take it one step further and did a pencil sketch of four different Turtles, each holding a different weapon. I gave it to Peter, who wanted to ink it in. When he did, he added ‘Teenage Mutant’ to the ‘Ninja Turtle’ part of the logo and we both fell off our chairs!”
According to Heritage’s news release, the next day the pair decided they needed to come up with a story about the characters and began to hammer out the details, making it an homage/parody of some of their heroes and inspirations. Working through the winter of 1983-84, and after finding a local New England printer, they borrowed money from Eastman’s uncle and printed the first 3,000 copies, including the now legendary premiere at a local Portsmouth comic convention on May 5, 1984.
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