Kevin Eastman has sold the original art for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 on eBay for a winning bid of $250,099. The auction, which ended on March 25th, provides some idea of the potency of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as a cultural phenomenon. The latest TMNT film topped the weekend box office derby last weekend, earning over $25 million (see 'Turtles Win the Race').
Kevin Eastman and his friend Peter Laird, who created the first TMNT comic back in 1984, made a brilliant blunder by printing 3,000 copies of their original Turtles comic that parodied the X-Men (and Frank Miller's Ronin) before they received orders from distributors. When the orders came in well above 3,000 a shortage was created that soon had the first printing TMNT comics selling for over $100, and the black-and-white boom was underway. But the Turtles not only initiated the B&W boom, they outlasted it thanks to aggressive licensing and a popular cartoon series.