Hake’s Auctions’ premier Auction #232 is stacked top to bottom with amazing collectibles for pop culture and Americana collectors. Among the standout offerings are multiple Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles lots, including the biggest keys and original art.
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were created in 1984 by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman, originally published by Mirage Studios. Starting with their initial battles with petty criminals, mutated creatures, and alien invaders, the Turtles grew into a popular multimedia franchise in cartoons, films, action figures, other merchandise, and many more comic books.
Topping the lots at Hake’s is the TMNT #5 comic cover original final color art by co-creator Kevin Eastman that was used for the first printing cover. The 10-5/8” x 14-1/4” thin sheet of art paper features mixed media original final color art for the wraparound cover of the October 1985 issue.
Kevin Eastman spoke to Hake’s about the original final color art saying, “I wasn’t sure of the best way to color this piece – the ‘first’ full color cover – I did in fact copy it, and color the photocopy – which WAS used to scan for the printing of the ‘First’ full color TMNT cover ever printed – as well as the first issue that was printed in traditional ‘Comic Size.’ This in effect, actually is an original – the original – a full color painting (even on top of a photocopy – it is a fully original painting) and this one was specifically used for that cover. It wasn't done after the fact – it was the original scanned and used for that issue’s cover.”
The vibrant full color original art depicts an action packed scene of the four Turtles, along with Professor Honeycutt/Fugitoid, fighting on the planet Peblak in a scene that is similar to the famous Star Wars cantina scene. Raphael and Michelangelo shoot with pistols and rifles while Leonardo and Donatello are using their traditional ninja weapons.
The comic section is anchored by Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 CGC 9.2 first printing. Published by Mirage Studios, this issue houses the origin and first appearance of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Splinter, and Shredder. Featuring story and art by Eastman and Laird with a wraparound cover by Eastman, it is among the most sought after Cooper Age keys.
Joining the Turtles’ debut issue is Gobbledygook #1 CGC 9.0 signed and sketched by Eastman and Laird. Containing the first appearance of the Fugitoid, it has a back cover ad for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1, predating their first appearance. The interior cover features signatures and Turtles sketches by the co-creators, which were authenticated by Eastman.
The auction also includes Gobbledygook #2 CGC 8.5 with signatures and Turtles sketches by Eastman and Laird on the inside front cover, plus an ad for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 on the back cover. Other featured books are Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 CGC 9.6 (second printing) and a CGC 9.8 (third printing), Turtlemania Special #1 CGC 4.0 (silver edition, signed by Eastman and Laird), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #2 CGC 9.8 (first printing, first April O’Neil and Mousers), and Raphael #1 CGC 9.6 (first Casey Jones).
Hake’s is offering Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #5 comic page original art by Eastman and Laird. The 8-1/2” x 12-5/8” Craftint artboard with pen and ink original art is for page 15 of the October 1985 issue. It contains four panels from the “Teaming Up with Fugitoid” story that shows General Blanque angrily reacting that his soldiers lost the captive Fugitoid.
From a few issues later, they have the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #11 comic page original art by Eastman and Laird from the June 1987 issue. The 8-1/2” x 12-1/2” Craftint artboard with pen and ink original art for page 31 has seven panels from the “True Stories” story showing April O’Neil breaking through a frozen pond and yelling for Leonard to help her.