So, we were talkin’ Turtles, and how the first (and even second and third) prints of the early issues became valuable very quickly, and were always legitimately scare. (Which we hit on in our CGC article.)
Then that conversation led into the two issues of Gobbledygook, which some construe as the first Turtles appearances — well, first in print at least — having been published right before TMNT #1 hit. An excerpt from a two part article (here and here) that does a nice job explaining it:
“What causes the debate in the industry (and not just for the TMNT) is how one defines ‘first appearance.’ I think it was originally designed to be the first time a character appeared in the story line of a comic book. If that’s the definition, then Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1 is the first appearance of the TMNT. That is the first comic book in which the TMNT appear within the confines of a story line. However, if you define ‘first appearance’ as the first time a character appears in a comic book period, then Gobbledygook#1 is the first appearance of the TMNT. That is the first comic book in which the TMNT appear. Their appearance is on the back cover of the comic in an ad for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #1.
Gobbledygook #1 & #2 (both have the TMNT #1 add on the back cover) were created by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird at the same time or just a short while before TMNT #1 was to go on sale. Kevin and Peter simply photocopied some of their artwork onto 8.5″ x 14″ paper and then hand assembled and stapled them together. They placed an ad on the back covers of Gobbledygook #1 & #2 to generate some buzz about the release of TMNT #1.”
Supposedly each issue was limited to only 50 copies, however because of the photocopied nature of the book, it was way prone to counterfeiting; when copies do become available on the market, Eastman & Laird have been known to take a look and authenticate them as the original real deal.