In 1984, the heroes in a half shell -Turtle Power!- burst onto the comic scene, and the sewers would never be the same.
Kevin Eastman, originally from Portland, Maine, met artist Peter Laird and his wife one summer and moved into their house in Dover. They started sketching the ninja turtles in the kitchen one goofy night, going back and forth, trying to one-up each other. When Peter inked Kevin's original pencil drawing, he added "Teenage Mutant" to Kevin's "Ninja Turtles." The rest, as they say, is history. Neither of the artists had any idea of the mega hit they had on their hands.
Ralph Di Bernardo owner of Jetpack Comics in Rochester, New Hampshire, is a friend of Kevin and Peter. Ralph helped launch the very first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle comic which premiered at a May 5th, 1984 comics convention in the Portsmouth traffic circle.
You can listen to Virginia's interview with Kevin about the origins of TMNT below.