When Did the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles First Eat Pizza?

Mark Freedman was a licensing agent who thought that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a great opportunity for licensed products and so he worked with Eastman and Laird and got them their first toy line with Playmates and, of course, with a toy line back in those days (and probably today, as well), you need a cartoon series and so they worked with the Murakami-Wolf-Swenson animation studio, plus designers and writers at Playmates and writers for the cartoon to develop the expanded Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles universe and a big part of it was pizza. Eastman and Laird ate a whole lot of pizza when they were working on the comics and so they were involved in making pizza-eating a big deal with the newly developed Turtles franchise and so when the cartoon launched at the end of 1987, the Turtles were big pizza eaters...

After all, the cartoon couldn't very well have the Turtles all in on drinking beer, ya know?

Mirage Publishing (Eastman and Laird's company) cut a deal with Archie Comics to do a comic book tied into the cartoon and so the first issue of that series (by writer/penciler Michael Dooney and inker Dave Garcia, based on the script for the cartoon by David Wise and Patti Howeth) was the first time that the Turtles ate pizza in a comic book. That came out in mid-1988....

The Turtles have obviously eaten a whole lot of pizza since then, but that is the origin of them and pizza.

Happy National Pizza Day, everyone!

If anyone else has a suggestion for a comic book first, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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