How much would you pay for an authentic piece of turtles history? Would you pay over $50,000? Because that was the starting bid at Heritage Auctions for the first drawing ever made of the iconic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The humble beginnings of these shelled heroes is a matter of geek folklore which still inspires and amazes to this day. So how did this drawing officially come about? Well, co-creator Kevin Eastman himself had a few words to say on that subject matter:
“Late in November 1983, Peter Laird and I were sharing a studio (our living room) in Dover, New Hampshire. 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 — and gave it to Peter, who wanted to ink it in — and when he did, he added “Teenage Mutant” to the “Ninja Turtle” part of the logo, and we both fell off our chairs!”
Who knew that a little joke could go so far? The unintentional beginnings of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles eventually developed into the huge success that we see today, with a whole new cartoon series and movie in the works for the near future. Who knew that roughly 30 years after they first got together and had a little fun, the product of that goofing around would become such a huge phenomenon?
The artwork eventually sold for $71,700 to an anonymous internet bidder. For just one small piece of turtles history, that’s pretty radical! Even more awesome is that all proceeds will be going to The Hero Initiative, which is an organization that helps comic creators without benefits and in need of support for medical bills, rent, and other such necessities. Isn’t it nice to see artists like Eastman doing their part to support other artists in the industry?