So, as if it weren’t enough that Gobbledygook #1 & #2 are at the center of the debate about the first appearance of the TMNT, there’s still a second debate that just adds to their mystique. This debate is all about the authenticity of these comics.
As you learned in the previous post, Eastman & Laird hand made both Gobbledygook #1 & #2 (on a photocopier). That may sound odd but remember, this was 1984 and E & L had both already shelled out their entire savings in order to have 3,000 copies of TMNT #1 professionally printed. As you can imagine, these little photocopied gems were easy targets for counterfeiters. Given that they are only black and white, all a person needed to do was disassemble them, lay them out on a photocopier, and then assemble the copies just as the originals.
As the TMNT grew in popularity, counterfeits of Gobbledygook #1 & #2 began to make their appearance in the market. However, for whatever reason, the counterfeits that were made (at least those known to have been made) were done using yellow paper, making them yellow and black. In addition, the counterfeiter(s) added some fake and extremely poor autographs of “Kevin Eastman” on the inside front page along with some numbering (e.g., 100 of 500) for added credibility I suppose.
It’s such a mystery to me why someone would go to the trouble of counterfeiting these but make them look so obviously different from the originals. It’s almost as if this person (or these people) wanted to ensure that the counterfeits would remain easy to spot in the future while still retaining the ability to pass these off for some quick money. These were so ultra-rare that most people had only heard of their existence (or seen them in the add on the back page of TMNT #1). Also, since TMNT #1 was black and white (except for the cover) and the Gobbledygook #1 & #2 add was on the back inside cover, only Eastman & Laird would have known that they weren’t truly yellow and black. Maybe there’s a simpler explanation and all the counterfeiters had access to was yellow paper. Whatever the reason, it just further adds to the Gobbledygook mystique.
So, given it’s known that someone went to the trouble of making yellow counterfeits, it’s definitely possible that someone made black and white counterfeits too. Anyone that is fortunate enough to own a black & white copy of Gobbledygook #1 & #2 would be lying if they didn’t sometimes wonder if they were holding counterfeits instead of the originals.
If that’s the case, how then can anyone know that a copy of Gobbledygook #1 & #2 is authentic? Well, there are only two ways I can think of. One is to have them personally authenticated by either Eastman or Laird. The other way? You’ll have to wait for the launch of http://tmnt-ninjaturtles.com/ to find out.
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