Some pretty amazing news in the TMNT comic world as a poster over at the CGC Forums recently just showed off a tremendous lot books he was able to pick up. All the heavy hitters are present: Both Gobbledygooks, #1 first print, #3 NYCC edition, Silver Turtlemania, and the biggie, the rarest of the rare, a Gold Turtlemania. As if the sketch wasn’t cool enough, it’s also #1 out of 10! All books seem to be in immaculate condition and by the tone of his post, it sounds like these books might be going up for sale soon…
First up, we have the heavy hitter. Easily the most important TMNT artwork ever created. And at auction, it lived up to the billing. It raked in the most money ever for TMNT artwork outside of Kevin’s $250,000 ebay auction where he sold the entirety of TMNT issue #1 (covers, interiors, etc.). And like that auction, this piece likely has ended up with someone who is not necessarily a TMNT fan, but simply a fan of comics history. What a fantastic piece…
FINAL PRICE PAID (including buyer’s premium): $ 71,700
Next up, we had an interesting piece of TMNT lore: the fabled check that helped jumpstart the careers of two fledgling comic artists. Without this check, the turtles would likely not be here…and the world would be a much sadder place because of it. Also in the auction is a copy of that first image, plus a copy of issue #1 (printing edition unknown)
FINAL PRICE PAID (including buyer’s premium): $2,390
FINAL PRICE PAID (including buyer’s premium): $3,883.75
This lot had a number of very interesting pieces in it. A first printing of the First’s graphic novel is no easy book to come by. Additionally, you get some neat newspaper clippings of which none are lilely still around. The office trademark for the TMNT is also included, along with a recreation Kevin did of the first turtle back in 2011.
FINAL PRICE PAID (including buyer’s premium): $597.50
Now, I have to admit this price came as a COMPLETE shocker to me. Sure this auction included the very first edition (1/1000) of a rather rare hardcover. But what makes this book is the fantastic Laird art drawn on the inside. Unlike Eastman, Laird art is pretty tough to come by…but tough enough to justify this price? This book reached a price that was strictly reserve for the rarest of TMNT collectible books: TMNT #1 first print, Gobbledygooks, Turtlemania Gold. Welcome to the four figure club!
FINAL PRICE PAID (including buyer’s premium): $3,883.75
FINAL PRICE PAID (including buyer’s premium): $2,151.00
FINAL PRICE PAID (including buyer’s premium): $1,912.00
FINAL PRICE PAID (including buyer’s premium): $1,075.50
FINAL PRICE PAID (including buyer’s premium): $448.13
And the final piece, another great image of Kirby.
FINAL PRICE PAID (including buyer’s premium): $567.63
Well folks that concludes the auction. For those keeping count, that’s nearly $90,000 in Turtles dollars total for this auction. Whew! Seems like the Turtles collectible market is as strong as ever with some awesome pieces fetching some stratospheric prices. So did anybody win? Any thoughts? Comments?
Man, that was fun!
If there is ever an item destined for the TMNT Treasures section, this would be it. There are plenty of rare TMNT items out there – Gobbledygooks, Silver Turtlemania, and many others – but this book is truly the rarest of the rare. I know I was not alone in thinking that my collection could not be complete without having this book, and frankly, I was 99% certain that there was no way it even still existed.
With a print run of only 10 books, the chance of finding one over 20 years after publication was slim at best. But at last one of these little buggers has finally come to light. As far as I know, this is the ONLY existing copy. And now it resides in my collection!
So let’s take a look at the book, and its Silver and Regular Edition brothers.
As you can see there are some obvious differences. All of the differences in these books take place just in outer covers; the interiors are identical. The fronts of the books are identical as well, except for the color paper. It’s the back where things get interesting.
The regular edition is the plainest of the bunch and features only the pre-printed sketch on the back. On the Silver you see the same thing, except this guy is numbered, as well as signed by Kev & Pete. The gold takes it a step further and adds all of the Silver’s traits, plus an awesome sketch.
Let’s talk about the Gold book, shall we? The condition of this book is stunning, and really, is WAY better than my Silvers and Regular Editions. The sketch is fantastic. I knew that the Gold edition would have a sketch, but for some reason I really didn’t expect it to be so large and detailed. As a collector of early TMNT artwork as well, I can say that a sketch like that, from 1986, and from Pete, of which there are surprisingly a lot fewer early sketches than from Kev, is also a rarity. All in all, just a very cool, historic piece. And at last, we can see that at least one of these books has survived the times.
In this photo, you can see my painted inside cover piece by Kev (and how it looks in black and white published in the open Regular edition) along side the Silver & Gold. The plan is to frame all 3 books, along with the artwork, in one frame. Should make for a nice display.
It’s obvious that the art on the Gold is Laird, so I wonder if they took turns, maybe each drawing 5 sketches? Did they draw characters other than the Turtles? I suppose we’ll have to wait and see if another copy comes to light…if one does.