Heritage Auctions is reporting that a piece of art purported to be the first-ever image of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by creators Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird has sold at auction for over $70,000.
Lost in all of the controversy over their depiction in the upcoming film Ninja Turtles by Michael Bay is the fact that America’s favorite heroes in a half-shell began their lives as an indie comic book series. It’s a life that continues to today, where Eastman draws them for IDW, even though the creators sold the rights to the characters to Nickelodeon a few years ago.
A drawing dated 1983 and featuring all of the characters plus the logo sold for $71,700, according to the auction house. In the years that followed, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles became a pop culture staple, leading to a popular toy line as well as a number of movies and TV series. The most recent film, TMNT, was a CGI-animated movie that was met with warm reviews but didn’t set the box office on fire, leading to a reboot of the series which will reportedly reinvent the Turtles as members of an alien race.
The auction house is also reporting that a group of investors have bought a copy of Batman #1, the first appearance of Catwoman and The Joker, for a record $850,000.