SILVER(gray cover) = 100 copies, each hand-numbered and autographed by Eastman & Laird on back cover
GOLD(yellow cover) = 10 copies, each hand-numbered with original sketch on back cover with signature of Eastman or Laird (5 copies were sketched by Eastman; 5 by Laird)
However, a few years ago, a new variant of Turtlemania Special surfaced and came to my attention. Since then, I’ve been working to validate its authenticity and track down and acquire a copy. Today, I’m pleased to be able to confirm that this new variant of Turtlemania Special does, in fact, exist. In addition, thanks to the graciousness of a fellow collector, I’ve finally been able to add this edition to my collection. This new variant is known as The Hand-Colored Edition.
The Hand-Colored Edition is unique in that it doesn’t have a different-colored cover paper stock to distinguish it from the other Turtlemania Special editions. The Hand-Colored Edition is actually just a Regular white-covered edition that was hand-colored by Don Oropallo (the artist credited inside the books with the green color-overlay on the covers – page 5; note that Don’s last name is misspelled inside the book). Since the Hand-Colored Edition isn’t mentioned as a variant inside any of the Turtlemania Special books, its existence was only previously known to Don Oropallo and the select few that owned one of the 100 Hand-Colored copies.
100 copies of the Hand-Colored Edition were made. These 100 Hand-Colored copies were taken from the print run of the 3,000 Regular white-covered copies so there are not an additional 100 books in existence (i.e., there were still only 3,110 total copies of Turtlemania Special printed).
Each Hand-Colored copy was personally hand-colored on the front cover by Don Oropallo. From what I’ve seen, Don utilized a nearly identical coloring-scheme for each of the 100 Hand-Colored books. The coloring on the cover looks professional (neat and clean) and includes areas of color-shading / gradients that would be difficult for a novice to reproduce.
None of the 100 Hand-Colored copies were individually hand-numbered (as was done with each of the Silver and Gold editions).
Most of the 100 Hand-Colored copies were NOT originally signed by Don Oropallo (on the cover or inside). However, some of them may have been initialed by Don with a hand-written “Don O.” on the cover. Some copies may have Don Oropallo’s signature or initials on the interior page 5, near Don’s name. This would have likely been done by Don at the request of one of the Hand-Colored book owners (as is the case with my Hand-Colored copy).
TMNT: The Last Ronin Design Archive #01 from IDW. Oversized format 7.1″ x 10.875″ and 52 pages. Original IDW solicitation details below. Available September 08, 2021 November 10, 2021. Cover Regular (Kevin Eastman) – regular cover