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Season 4, Episode 7

Turtle Time

Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, brings in his earliest sketches of the turtles to the Stash.

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"I'm hungry for food and I'm hungry for answers," Kevin says to Walt, Bryan, Mike and Ming at the podcast. Ming starts to tell Kevin about a guy who came in that week with a piece of Ming's childhood...

A man walks into The Stash and plops two figures on the counter: Ultraman Great and Ultraman Powered from 1997. Walt says he's a big Ultraman fan, even if it's a little cult in the U.S. The man explains that his friend who worked in Japan needed to smuggle the figures out, since, according to him, they were not allowed out of the country. "You're looking at some contraband," he says. Walt isn't so sure he believes the story, but he asks the man how much money he wants for them. The man wants $100 a piece, but Walt admits he doesn't know enough about Ultraman merchandise to argue, so he calls over resident pop-culture and kaiju expert, Robert Bruce. Walt asks Rob Bruce if $100 is a fair price, but Rob Bruce explains that Walt could probably only sell them in the store for $65, so if he wants to make a profit, he shouldn't spend more than $25. The man asks if Walt will take one for $65. Walt counters with $40, the man counters with $60; Walt says $45, the man asks for $55. Walt agrees to meet in the middle at $50, and they shake hands.

Later, a special guest walks into The Stash: Kevin Eastman, the one of the original creators of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. At the podcast, Ming tells Kevin that he and the guys from The Stash have been rubbing elbows with some famous comic book creators while at various conventions, and they were able to ask Kevin Eastman to come by the store with a very important sketch.

As promised, Kevin Eastman swings by the store with a brief case. He tells the guys that the Turtles story began as a purely independent comic - Kevin and co-creator Peter Laird emptied their bank accounts to publish the first issue, and neither saw the Turtles craze coming. He opens his briefcase and pulls out the original layouts for the very first Ninja Turtles issue. Kevin explains that Turtles originally started as a joke: "What if Bruce Lee was an animal - what's the dumbest animal he would be?" And when Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird tried to "out-dumb" each other with sketches of turtle martial artists, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was born. In the briefcase, behind bullet proof glass, Kevin Eastman shows the guys the image that started it all: the very first pencil sketch of Michelangelo. He wants to sell it someday to raise money for charities - to the tune of $2 million. "So this was your first stop for the independent buyers?" Bryan quips. Walt, Mike, Ming and Bryan all thank Kevin Eastman for his time, and for showing them a piece of comic book history.

Later, a woman comes by The Stash to check out the figure of the Swamp Thing. At the podcast, Kevin explains how the high caliber of the Swamp Thing comics, despite the dopey premise, is what made him want to write comics of his own. Back at The Stash, the woman explains that she likes Swamp Thing because it helps her deal with the darkness of her job -- as a mortician. She and Walt settle on $85 for the detailed Swamp Thing figure, and Walt wraps it up for her.

After, a man walks up to the counter with a very rare, vintage piece: a Star Wars banner from 1977 that hung in a theater when Star Wars was first released. The man got it from his father, who was a friend of movie theater owner. He says he's even gotten it appraised by LucasFilms for $7,500. Walt concedes that it is very rare, but counters with $3,500. The man can't part with it for such a lower price. He wraps his banner back up, but spends a few more minutes with Walt and the guys to talk about the eagerly anticipated new Star Wars installments.