Were you a kid in the late 1980s or 90s, who spent about an hour or two every day reading, watching, or playing with your favourite 4 dark green, uber cool, adolescent reptilian martial arts super experts with an irregular DNA, an unhealthy obsession with pizza and saucy one-liners?
Then you were not alone. The teenage mutant ninja turtles became a rip-roaring success the world over after their first comic launch. The television series had kids glued to the idiot box every single day, come hell or high water!
But you’d be surprised and fascinated with the story behind the origins of these super popular and utterly lovable turtles.
Let’s dig in.
The History of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
According to the co-creator Peter Laird, he and his partner Kevin Eastman were struggling artists before the TMNT phenomenon happened, and one late night in November, 1983, Eastman drew a funny sketch of a human-ish turtle with a mask, standing in a ninja pose, with nunchucks strapped on its arms. He scribbled ‘Ninja Turtle’ on top and passed the sketch as a joke to Laird. He laughed and drew a better version in turn but with 4 turtles, instead of Eastman’s one.
Soon after the joke lost its humour as they realised how potentially profitable and interesting these characters could be and they decided to launch a comic book based on them.
Eastman and Laird began to flesh out the turtles and to give them names, they opted to not go for Japanese ones, and decided on naming the cute creatures erthe great Renaissance artists instead – Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo.
In May 2012, that original sketch of the Turtles sold at an auction in the US for $71,700.
Have a hankering for all things green and turtle-ish? Watch free ninja turtle movies or cartoons online, or grab a comic and get lost in the world of turtles, pizza, ninja action and a giant rat.