I ran across this story detailing a behind-the-scenes retrospective of many of the obstacles that were faced in the making of the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. I've only been a marginal fan of the franchise, but I enjoyed it enough that I bought some of the comics, and could easily see why they were so appealing. For one, they were one of the first independent black and white comics in the mid-80's that sort of fueled the independent comic wave. I'm sure there were independent comics before the turtle craze, but I don't think they were as popular, because right off the top of my head, I can't recall what it might be. Granted you had underground comic that were more or less independent comics, but that's like a totally different thing. I guess Harvey Pekar's American Splendor came out perhaps about the same time or maybe a bit before, but again, didn't have the same popularity. There was Heavy Metal magazine, but I don't necessarily think of it as independent. I think of it more as a showcase anthology for foreign comic talent.
At any rate, TMNT were a pretty big hit at the time. I enjoyed the simple of art of it, and I think that was part of the draw (no pun intended), and the story and the turtles origins seemed fresh, fun, and easy enough to follow. I remember the early back issues during the mid-80's were always expensive, and they even had gone into multiple printings, so you'd see prices for a first issue run, or a 2nd, or 3rd issue run. It got kind of ridiculous, but that's how it was back then. You'd think that a movie on such a hot property would be a given, but you'd be wrong. I found this article on what a struggle it was to get the first film made. I found it interesting, coming from a Hollywood perspective. If interested you can find it here.