Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Dover origins of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!

Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, creators of the cartoon superheroes, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, were living in Dover, NH in November 1983 when the idea of the fearless martial arts foursome came to them as they were joking around one evening. With some seed money from Eastman's uncle, the pair printed 3,000 copies of the TMNTs first adventure and it premiered at a Portsmouth comic book convention on May 5, 1984.

The first full drawing of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles will go up for auction this May. According to Heritage Auctions in Dallas. The drawing is being consigned by TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman, and is expected to bring more than $50,000.

Over the next 30 years and to this very day, the TMNTs have been a worldwide phenomenon, entertaining  millions 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."

Peter Laird used to visit the Dover Public Library several times a week and our staff got to know him quite well in the early '80s. "A struggling artist" we thought, "but a great reader!" In fact, I got a note from him last spring when he was back in Dover for a visit. He came by his old haunt, the DPL, and although I wasn't here that day, he left this kind greeting:
Just thought our readers and patrons would get a kick out of knowing that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were invented right here in Dover! Good luck with the auction, guys!

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