So, what exactly is inside the orange box? Of course, the short answer is ‘The TMNT #1 Production Negatives’ but that’s obviously much too vague.
Put simply (or as simply as possible), the orange box contains six large sheets of yellowish-gold paper (a.k.a. flats or, more specifically, goldenrod flats), each with cutouts where the negatives (each one a page from TMNT #1) are arranged side-by-side and taped within the cutouts in the goldenrod flats. Four of the six sheets (which, for ease of reference, I assigned numbers to – 1, 2, 3, & 4) are larger and those contain eight negatives each; four negatives along the bottom half and four negatives (upside down) on the top half. Two of the six sheets (also numbered by me – 5 & 6) are smaller and those contain four total negatives each; two along the bottom and two (again, upside down) on the top half. Each of the goldenrod flats has a “partner” goldenrod flat (and together they form a signature, which I’ll detail in a future article). In other words, Goldenrod Flats 1 & 2 are “partners,” as are 3 & 4 and 5 & 6. It’s also helpful to think of the odd-numbered goldenrod flats as the FRONT of their even-numbered “partner” goldenrod flat (which are the BACK). Again, much more to come on this in a future article.
In all, forty unique negatives, each one containing a different page of TMNT #1, every one of them arranged side-by-side in page-sets exactly as they would need to be for printing. In addition, the size of each negative is larger than typical silver age or modern comic book pages. This is a key distinction because, as you may or may not know, the first three printings of TMNT #1 (1st / 2nd – 1984; 3rd – 1985) were not standard comic book size but instead were oversized, similar to the size of a magazine. More to come on this as well.
All of this is very difficult to envision through words alone so take a look at this visual aid which will give you a better understanding of what The TMNT #1 Production Negatives consist of as a whole; the red numbers indicate each of the six goldenrod flats and the green numbers are the page numbers of TMNT #1, oriented as they appear on the goldenrod flats.
Sources: - PrintWiki - The Free Encyclopedia of Print