The creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has consigned the first drawing of the 80s cartoon heroes to an auction on May 10-11, 2012.
The drawing comes from the pen of comic book artist Kevin Eastman, who created the characters to make his work friend and co-creator, Peter Laird, laugh.
"Late in November 1983, Peter Laird and I were sharing a studio (our living room) in Dover, New Hampshire. One work night, in an effort to make Peter laugh, I drew a sketch of this character I called a 'Ninja Turtle' and threw it onto Peter's desk," said Eastman of the momentous occasion.
"He did laugh, and did a version of his own - to which I needed to take it one step further, and did a pencil sketch of four different Turtles, each holding a different weapon - and gave it to Peter, who wanted to ink it in - and when he did, he added 'Teenage Mutant' to the 'Ninja Turtle' part of the logo, and we both fell off our chairs!"
The pair worked through the winter of 1983-84 to make their characters come alive in the first issue of their new comic book. Borrowing money from Eastman's uncle, they premiered the work at a Portsmouth, New Hampshire comic book fair.
Eastman and Laird unwittingly spawned a billion dollar empire that has seen a numerous cartoons, films and toys of the Ninja Turtles, with another major picture planned for 2013. The unique drawing is expected to make in excess of $50,000 in the online auction.
The lot is set to be one of many firsts at the online sale, read Paul Fraser Collectibles preview of the event here to find out why.
For cartoon collectors, Paul Fraser Collectibles has an amazing array of signed drawings and sketches. This drawing of Fred Flintstone comes signed by Bill Hanna, the genius who created The Flintstones, Scooby Doo and The Smurfs.