Publication History

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” was published by Mirage Studios in 1984, both of which were created by writers and artists Kevin Eastman and Peter Laid for$1,200, combined from a tax refund ($500)and  loan from Eastman’s uncle($700). The book was published in an over sized magazine-style format using black and white artwork on cheap news print (3000 copies). The original concept was a drawing done by Laid, that featured a short, square turtle wearing a mask with nunchaku  strapped to its arms. The first issue was advertised in issues #’s 1 and 2 of their comic “, Gobbledygook” and the 547th issue of the Comics Buyers Guide and mad their first appearance at a Comic book convention at the Sheraton Hotel in Portsmouth, NH. The  limited run made the comic an instant collector’s item making over 50 times their cover price, eventually the original run was succeeded by two more runs that sold out at 15,000 then 35,000 copies. The success led to a number of knockoffs during the 80’s including the “Adolescent Radioactive Black Belt Hamsters’ and the” Pre-teen Dirty-Gene Kung Fu Kangaroos”. Mirage also published “Tales of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”,  a bi-monthly comic was released in alternating months with the regular books.(1987-89). The art was provided by Ryan Brown and Jim Lawson. The book also helped to fill the gaps in the series and provide continuity.. The phenomenon that followed in other media; books, toys,animated series,

est…;pushed Eastman and Laid out of the day-to-day writing and drawing of the series, to deal with licensing agreement and. They eventually returned in 1993 to bring the series back to its original continuity which it strayed away from the various guest artists brought to the series.The second volume, in color, only lasted 13 issues due to falling sales. The third volume done by Erik Larsen allowed for the characters to interact with Image Comics characters such as Savage Dragon. It returned to the black and white drawings of the original but with a faster pace and more intense action. The fourth volume (2001-2010) featured the turtles in their 30’s living among humans, posing as aliens, but disregarding the events of the third volume. In October 2009 Eastman and Laid sold the franchise to Viacom.


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