Issue , Published by



magazine size 7 5/16″ (7.313″) x 10 7/8″ (10.875″), glossy cover; CGC #4430273001 – Grader’s notes: Back Cover Lite Fingerprints, Left Top Back Cover Crease, Spine Stress Lines Breaks Color

A true counterfeit copy of TMNT #1 by Mirage Studios (a “Full Counterfeit”). This counterfeit would be nearly impossible to detect without knowing a LOT about the TMNT #1 books and without direct comparison against an authentic copy of TMNT #1.  This counterfeit has interior newsprint pages and a cover that is near-identical to an authentic (i.e., with the “Gobbledygook” ad on the inside back cover, glossy cover stock).  However, there are key areas that identify this as a counterfeit (or, at least different from an authentic TMNT #1 1st printing).  Please refer to the pictures for visuals of these differences; NOTE that the counterfeit is always the raw / ungraded copy in the pictures where a CGC graded copy appears.  Magazine size 7 5/16″ (7.313″) x 10 7/8″ (10.875″), glossy cover.

  • The lighter red color, which appears almost as a dark pink when compared to an authentic copy of TMNT #1.
  • The absence of the very tiny red or red/white cross-hatching in the dark shadows of the front and back cover artwork; on the background buildings, the Turtles’ bodies, and (most notably) in Shredder’s shadows. The counterfeit renders these dark areas completely black with no red or red/white cross-hatching.
  • In certain areas of the front cover where the red color meets the black, there is a very slight separation between the red and black where you can see white.  This is most clearly seen within the second “T” of “TURTLES,” around the sword blood within the “S” of “TURTLES,” and down along the entire right edge of the front cover artwork.  While this same separation seems to exist on authentic copies of TMNT #1, the separation is much more exaggerated on the counterfeit.
  • Across the middle of the back cover (from left to right) there are scratch marks in the fully black portion that then progress into smudging within the artwork.  This likely was damage that occurred to the master image / negative used to produce this counterfeit cover, causing all copies of the counterfeits made using this method to have this issue.
  • The front and back cover images and lettering are positioned just slightly higher than an authentic TMNT #1.  This is very hard to see unless compared directly with an authentic TMNT #1.
  • The Gobbledygook ad on the inside back cover is just slightly cut off on the right side.  The upper right corner of the Gobbledygook #2 image is cut off.
  • Both staples are positioned approx. 1/2″ higher than the staples in an authentic TMNT #1 (at least, when compared with my copy of TMNT #1).  However, this would likely not be a reliable method of identification since stapling location is probably somewhat variable, even among two authentic copies of TMNT #1.

Multiple different types of TMNT #1 counterfeits have been identified over the years.  Most are fairly easy to spot since they typically are actually 2nd or 3rd printings that have had their printing designation on the inside front cover bleached out / erased.  Those can be easily spotted by simply looking at the ad on the inside back cover and/or the address listed at the bottom of the inside front cover.  I actually don’t even regard these as “true” counterfeits since they are really just “damaged” 2nd or 3rd printings.  There is also another counterfeit version I’ve heard of that is supposed to have very white non-newsprint body pages but I’ve never seen a copy of that counterfeit before (and I’m not sure it even really exists since it would be super-easy to identify from the stark white pages alone).  This specific counterfeit is the most highly sought-after counterfeit of TMNT #1 given that it is a truly identical reproduction in all aspects, including newsprint pages, no printing designation, the Dover, NH address, and the ad for “Gobbledygook” on the inside back cover.

Here are the three different counterfeit classifications for TMNT #1:

  1. Full Counterfeit – cover and interior pages were reproductions. The entire book is a forgery / re-creation.
  2. Cover Counterfeit – cover is counterfeit and placed over body pages of 2nd or 3rd printing (usually 3rd printing).  Only the cover is a forgery / re-creation.
  3. 2nd & 3rd Printing “Counterfeit” – 2nd or 3rd printing copies with their printing information on the inside front cover bleached out or erased.  None of the book is a forgery / re-creation – it is a fully original 2nd or 3rd printing copy.
    • These are just vandalized 2nd and 3rd printing copies and shouldn’t ever get labeled as counterfeit because they are counterfeit only when trying to be passed off as a 1st printing – but they aren’t reproductions. They are damaged original 2nd or 3rd printing copies.


Latest Post

The TMNT #1 Production Negatives – 2024 Scheduled Exhibitions

Here’s a running list detailing the scheduled appearances of The TMNT #1 Production Negatives exhibit in 2024. Come out and see comic book history in person! Hope to see you on the road in 2024 to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of TMNT in the most unique and authentic way possible! April 5-7 – Vegas ToyCon […]

Bring The TMNT #1 Production Negatives Exhibit To Your Local Convention / Event !

It’s time for your convention / event to receive an upgrade !!! Are you a convention or event organizer looking to feature something unique while also enhancing the overall experience for your attendees? Maybe you’re a pop-culture fan with a favorite local show where you’d love to see something different and extraordinary. When it comes […]

TMNT Vol. VI #01 TMNT: A Collection Exclusive – On Sale NOW!

Today is a big day Turtles fans! It’s new comic book day and the much-anticipated TMNT Vol. VI #01 is now available at your local comic shop. And while there are numerous variant covers for this first installment of the new series, one of the coolest and most unique is available exclusively at TMNT: A […]