The TMNT #1 Production Negatives: Part 22 – Conclusion



Please be sure to read the previous articles in this series.


This series documenting the provenance, details, and history of The TMNT #1 Production Negatives has now reached its end, but only after providing a full accounting of everything known (and a few things yet unknown) about these 40 relics from the past.  There’s no better way to honor and celebrate the 35th Anniversary of TMNT #1 than to revisit 1984 through The TMNT #1 Production Negatives – the source of nearly 10,000 printed books that started it all!

TMNT #1 Pages 02 & 03 Comparison

Over the course of this series, so much has been covered (and uncovered).  If you’ve not yet had the chance to read this entire series about The TMNT #1 Production Negatives, I encourage you to do so at some point in the future.  Only by reading the entire series will you truly be able to appreciate and understand the importance of these negatives.  Plus, you’ll absolutely want to know the details that exist behind these fantastic truths:

  • The TMNT #1 Production Negatives were responsible for the creation of the 1st & 2nd printings of TMNT #1.
  • The seemingly strange arrangement and layout of The TMNT #1 Production Negatives was done on purpose.
  • The offset printing industry is complex, yet remarkably fascinating.
  • The TMNT #1 Production Negatives have a long and storied past which began at The Journal Tribune in Biddeford, ME.
  • The covers and the body pages of TMNT #1 were printed by different printing companies and only later assembled together to form the complete books.
  • The first three printings of TMNT #1 are not all exactly the same size and the size of the books is one method used to authenticate The TMNT #1 Production Negatives.
  • The printed pages of TMNT #1 1st, 2nd, & 3rd printings (and counterfeit) in comparison with The TMNT #1 Production Negatives reveal indisputable evidence regarding the origin of TMNT #1.

TMNT #1 Page 29 Comparison

In the interest of full disclosure of the source material I’ve used in my research, I’m providing comparison images of the pivotal pages from the printed books for reference.  In addition, I’ve listed a summary of the similarities and/or differences that were identified on the key pages used to authenticate The TMNT #1 Production Negatives.  A fitting conclusion that honors the 35th Anniversary of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by returning to the actual pages of the book that were ultimately responsible for unlocking the mysteries behind The TMNT #1 Production Negatives – the pages where history was made; where it all began – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1.

  • Pages 02 & 03 – the gutter between Pages 02 & 03 exists only in the 1st & 2nd printings, the break between the pages exactly matching the left and right-most edges of their respective negatives.
  • Page 18 – in the lower left corner, the fur detail on the front of Splinter’s face is identical to the negative in only the 1st & 2nd printings; the 3rd printing is much less detailed; the counterfeit is more detailed than the 3rd printing but not as detailed as the 1st & 2nd printings (or the negative).
  • Page 20 – mostly similar; other than page image size and darker / lighter tones, no major identifying differences.  The negative can be laid over the printed page image from the 2nd printing, matching exactly in every proportion and detail.
  • Page 21 – mostly similar; other than page image size and darker / lighter tones, no major identifying differences. The negative can be laid over the printed page image from the 2nd printing, matching exactly in every proportion and detail.
  • Page 22 – in the lower left corner, the sai is identical to the negative on the 1st & 2nd printing and counterfeit; the 3rd printing has the inclusion of printing anomalies around the sai handle and the sai contains additional shading & detail not present in any other printing (or the negative).  Streaks along the bottom of the page exist only in the 1st & 2nd printings; inconclusive as to whether these streaks came from the negative (although the negative seems the likely source – or possibly the same printing plate).
  • Page 29 – in the lower right corner, the line to the right of the foot soldier’s hand is missing from the 1st & 2nd printings and counterfeit (and that line is masked on the negative by red lithographers tape); the 3rd printing is the only printing that renders the full connected line.  The blemish on the back of the foot soldier exists only in the 2nd printing and also doesn’t exist on the negative.
  • Page 33 – in the upper left corner, the streak to the left of the bounding box line is present only in the 1st & 2nd printings and the negative.  Shredder’s fist in the bottom left panel is only rendered completely in the counterfeit and the negative but is cut off at the little finger knuckle in the 1st, 2nd, & 3rd printings.
  • Page 35 – at the bottom of the page below the bounding box line, two streaks exist only in the 1st & 2nd printings and the negative.
  • Page 37 – at the top of the page, the sword the extends the page boundary is sharp (pointed) on the 1st & 2nd printings, the counterfeit, and the negative; the 3rd printing depicts a dull sword.  The lines representing blood at the end of the sword are distinct and defined in the 1st & 2nd printings, the counterfeit, and the negative; the 3rd printing lines are diminished and run together.  The gap in the line on the bottom left bounding box is present only in the 1st printing and the counterfeit; that gap is not present in the 2nd & 3rd printings or the negative.
  • Page 38 – the background shading in the top box is missing from the 3rd printing but is present in the 1st & 2nd printings, the counterfeit, and the negative.  In the 2nd printing, two dashes exist below the bottom bounding box line which were caused by defects on the negative; these dashes don’t exist in the 1st & 3rd printings or the counterfeit.  A printing anomaly exists (line break – warping) only in the 1st printing and counterfeit along the left-most bottom bounding box line – which also is the cause of the two missing dashes at the bottom below the line; this anomaly is not present in the 2nd & 3rd printing or the negative.

Inside an orange box, forty page negatives were forgotten by time.  Now re-discovered, their provenance has been proven.  Each and every one of them fully and completely documented – all now safely archived; preserved for generations to come.  The mysteries that once existed have now been solved – the revelation of forty priceless pieces of comic book history, carefully pieced together into six goldenrod flats.  The authenticity of The TMNT #1 Production Negatives has finally been validated.  Their home, TMNT: A Collection.

Sources: 
- The Collection of Mat Allen - TMNT #1 1st printing page images (used with permission)

2 Responses to “The TMNT #1 Production Negatives: Part 22 – Conclusion”

  1. Ryan - Host, Turtle Power Podcast

    This was a fascinating documentary. Very cool that you included your meeting with Kevin too. Thanks for sharing all of this, it looks like it was a labor of love. We’re going to mention this on our next episode to let others know to come over and check out your hard work.

    • rich

      Thanks Ryan! So glad you liked it. Appreciate you sharing it. I really enjoyed writing all about my quest for the truth. It was definitely a labor of love.

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