I know this isn’t the original cover but I couldn’t find a good quality version anywhere!

In 2019 Shelfdust asked over a hundred comic book critics, podcasters, vloggers and commentators to pick their personal, subjective favourite ‘first’ comic book issues of all time. From their choices we counted down the top fifty entries, which you can find here! But we’re not leaving it there. Now the list is over and we know which comics made the list, we’ve invited critic and podcaster Matt Lune to host a weekly show right here on Shelfdust! Each week Matt will be sitting down with a different comic critic to look at every comic which charted into the top fifty, one issue at a time.

This week brings us four young ninjas who are also turtles, as we look at the comic in 33rd place: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 by Kevin Eastman, Peter Laird and Steve Lavigne.

One of the most unexpected success stories in comics started off with four turtles, some mysterious chemicals, and a surly rat. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is exactly what it says it is, only far darker than anyone might have predicted for a comic with that title. Originally intended as a pastiche on several other comics published at the time, the first issue instead caught the mood of a nation – and the television and toy industries – and turned a silly one-off issue into a mega-franchise which made the careers of both Eastman and Laird. This week Matt is rejoined by Sara Century to talk about the issue!

You can listen to the episode:


Come back next week….. as Matt will be talking about Love & Rockets #1 with Osvaldo Oyola!


Sara Century is an artist, writer, and filmmaker, among other things. She’s the co-founder of the Queer Spec publishing company and its anthology Decoded Pride as well as being a cohost of the podcast Bitches On Comics. Check her website for more or follow her on Twitter here!

Matt Lune is a critic and podcaster who has written for publications including PanelXPanel, The MNT and Multiversity. You can find him on Twitter here!


This podcast is made possible thanks to the Shelfdust Patreon page! To find out more, head to our Patreon page here!