First Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Illustration Offered at Auction
Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird: First-Ever Drawing of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1983).
The first-ever artwork of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – the illustration that launched one of the most successful character franchises in history – created for fun one night in late November, 1983 by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird will cross the auction block as part of Heritage Auctions’ May 10-11 Vintage Comics & Comic Art Signature® Auction.
The drawing, expected to bring $50,000+, is being consigned by TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman.
“Peter and I were sharing a studio – our living room – in Dover, NH,” said Eastman. “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!”
“From that day forward, through the next 30 years and through this very day, the TMNTs have been a worldwide phenomenon, entertaining hundreds of millions of children and generating close to a billion dollars in revenues,” said Barry Sandoval, Director of Operations for the Comics Department at Heritage. “There have been numerous movies, cartoons, live action shows, toys, you name it. There’s a CGI-animated show being made right now and there’s a major motion picture planned for next year. I can’t think of the last time the first artistic rendition of a major franchise has been offered for public sale. All TMNT fans have seen this piece reprinted in books and articles over the years, and I’m sure they assumed Kevin would never part with it.”
You can read the full article via ArtDaily here.
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