Decentralized Arts #18: Comics and NFTs
BanklessDAO Weekly NFT and Cryptoart Newsletter
Dear Bankless Nation,
We’ve talked about NFT art. We’ve talked about NFT collectibles, which led us to discussing Sport NFTs. But, what are we missing? Oh, Comics and NFTs!
Comics are a memetic and recognizable art form, in which the creators' imaginations often follow the costumes of the era in which they are made. These costumes evolve over time as do the comics themselves. Comics are inherently culturally driven, as many social and human rights achievements have been celebrated and quickly assimilated in comics by managing to reach the eyes of sections of the population who are often not interested in following the news stream. Who doesn’t love a good comic strip? Visual. Consumable. Fast-art.
Comics debuted early in the NFT world, mostly in the form of collectibles. However, there are several ongoing experiments to bring the format into a new mode of use and market share.
Our search for new technological expressive forms does not stop.
Welcome to Decentralized Arts.
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Artist of the Week
🧑🎨 Artist: Satoshi’s Mom
🏦 Auction Type: Open Edition
💰 Price: 0.0269 ETH
bDAO: How did you start in this space?
SaM: I started in December of 2020 collecting my first NFT (which went to zero of course). Then I found out about generative collectibles and cryptopunks and thought they were sick and immediately understood the technology and the reason people were collecting and spending big $$ on them. So I decided to teach myself pixel art and started out working in 24x24px. I fell in love with how the limited amount of space available in the art piece would force the artist to really become creative and use each pixel like a puzzle piece to figure out the best way to create the image or meme. It started with my first character, STONEY, which was my first NFT on Rarible. That was about 8-9 months ago and now today I have launched my first 240x240px piece in my own ERC1155 smart contract, permanently cementing it into the blockchain forever. This piece (NFT LAND) is definitely my favorite piece I’ve created to date.
bDAO: What is your impression on the current state of NFTs?
SaM: We are still insanely INSANELY early to NFTs. The general public is just now learning about NFTs and we are only scratching the surface. There is plenty of liquidity in current drops and collections allowing for profitable trading, but you have to be careful and skilled. Buying what you like is always a good bet and realizing if you buy something you like you will ultimately always be pretty happy you own it. Currently, the NFT market is collectibles and profile picture projects and now metaverse land is becoming more popular and play to earn games and all of this stuff, but it is just scratching the surface for what provable digital ownership and trustless residuals can do for many industries. All industries will eventually incorporate NFTs. It’s a new technology like the Internet was. It will take time to fully integrate, but we are here early and along for a fucking AWESOME ride in the most fun game i’ve ever been a part of (the NFT game).
bDAO: Are there any projects you are working on at the moment?
SaM: I am working on a generative project called “STONEYs by Satoshi’s Mom” which is a generative, animated, 24px gif project of 4,269 pieces of work, containing hundreds of animated traits, all randomized and layered together through an algorithm. It’s been about 6 months of solid work put in to develop the art and gather a small team (only me and one developer!). I’ve poured my heart and soul into this project, so I’m really stoked to put it out there and see how the world reacts to it. I love to create extremely clever work that makes people laugh and makes people really get a kick out of seeing it, while also appreciating the patience and high effort detail and time that it takes to create it. That’s how I see STONEYs. I’m super stoked about it.
bDAO: Tell us more about the piece you are dropping with BanklessDAO?
SaM: This 2400x2400px piece has been meticulously put together featuring some of the dopest creators in our space:
@cryptoadzNFT, @coolcatsnft, @doodles, @XCOPYART, @punk2476, @beaniemaxi, @opensea, @rarible, @punk4156, @larvalabs, @BoredApeYC, @hicetnunc2000, @McDonalds, and many more references all throughout the piece.
I want to also mention that Perchy is a fkn legend. His maps, as well as @eBoyArts, as well as “Where’s Waldo,” all inspired this piece massively. I love how you really have to stare at this piece for a while to see everything, and even then you will still come back and look again and still notice more. I’m rly stoked on this piece - its my first 240x240 design (blown up to 2400x2400) cemented into the blockchain. 🤓
Curated NFT News
Bored Ape Yacht Club Plans A Play-To-Earn NFT Game
Yuga Labs, the creators of BAYC, have announced that they are developing a play-to-earn game in partnership with Animoca Brands.
There are not many details available at this time, but the game is expected in Q2 of 2022.
A Yuga Labs spokesperson commented: “We’re excited to work with Animoca Brands to grow the BAYC universe and expand the utility and benefits offered to all Bored Ape NFT holders”. “Animoca Brands is a trailblazer in the blockchain gaming space with a proven track record of delivering. We can’t wait to share more with the community about what we’re building.”
“NFTs have emerged as a store of culture. There are very few icons that are able to represent the surging world of NFTs as powerfully as Bored Ape Yacht Club, which is why we, as a group and in aggregate, hold a significant number of them. We are incredibly excited and proud to collaborate on a game for this cultural milestone,” said Yat Siu, co-founder and executive chairman of Animoca Brands
Twitch Co-Founder Justin Kan Launches Gaming NFT Marketplace
The new platform called Fractal will be available on Solana and it aims to become the primary marketplace to buy NFTs from game companies to use in-game, as well as a secondary marketplace to buy and sell gaming NFTs from other players.
“Whether it's starships or magical swords, or characters that are playable in NFT games, we want to be a primary and secondary marketplace,” Kan said. “Our goal is to be that primary and secondary marketplace for all the endgame things that developers sell before or after they launch a game.”
He also commented that Fractal has partnerships with gaming studios that will be dropping non-fungible-tokens on the platform in the near future.
“I’m not particularly that interested in creating a marketplace where people are gambling on prices going up and speculating on NFTs,” Kan said. “I think what’s really interesting is how NFTs interact with the world and how people build experiences on top of NFTs that can go beyond the game. Maybe you can craft an awesome sword and lend it out like someone renting a Ferrari for a birthday.”
Coinbase to Bring NFT Functionality to its Wallets
Last Tuesday, the cryptocurrency exchange company announced that they are adding a new tab called “NFTs” to the Coinbase Wallet for desktop where people can access the non-fungible-tokens related to the wallet address.
Coinbase @coinbasegm frens! In case you missed the news last week, you can now access your NFT collection in the @CoinbaseWallet browser extension. Download the latest version of the extension from the Chrome webstore today! https://t.co/rEIMEeXT4T https://t.co/gddEgvC1go
NIKE Buys Virtual Sneaker Company RTFKT
The sportswear multinational agreed to buy RTFKT, a company founded in 2020, for an undisclosed amount.
“This acquisition is another step that accelerates Nike’s digital transformation and allows us to serve athletes and creators at the intersection of sport, creativity, gaming and culture,” says John Donahoe, President and CEO of NIKE, Inc. “We’re acquiring a very talented team of creators with an authentic and connected brand. Our plan is to invest in the RTFKT brand, serve and grow their innovative and creative community and extend Nike’s digital footprint and capabilities.”
Comics and NFTs
The world of comics and NFTs have been wooing each other for some time.
As we all know, the world of comics is historically very fond of unique and rare pieces and NFTs have become a new iteration of that, arriving as a new fetish of collectors who are willing to pay extremely high figures for NFTs by mythical and mystical authors like Frank Miller.
Frank Miller redesigned the Batman universe and created an unforgettable series in Sin City. With his unique drawing style and extraordinary skills as a screenwriter, he has become a point of reference for the entire comic industry.
To celebrate 30 years of Sin City, Frank Miller has partnered with gaming art studio Concept Art House and industry-leading blockchain gaming platform Gala Games to produce a series of NFTs based on the Sin City franchise.
Working with Frank Miller's original artwork, Concept Art House created ten pieces containing both movement and sound design.
Last October, the NFT "I Love You, Nancy Callahan" was sold at a record price of $840,986.16. That would be the highest price ever for a comic book art NFT. “I Love You, Nancy Callahan” is an animated piece with sound design that uses the original comic panels to highlight one of the most profound stories in the Sin City universe: the death of Detective Hartigan.
This 1/1 collectible was sold to the highest bidder within 24 hours in partnership with OpenSea. Participants used the Gala coin for their offerings. One of the parameters of the auction was that any bidding made in the past five minutes would add another 10 minutes to the total time, to ensure correct participation for all would-be buyers. With three active bidders in the final countdown, this rule extended the auction by another two hours.
According to Heritage Auctions Hall of Fame Highlights for Comics & Comic Art, "I Love You, Nancy Callahan" is the third most expensive comic ever sold. In a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, Miller said, “I am so honored to see my fans, of Marv, of Sin City, participate in this new world. One thing you never get from doing comics is the three-dimensionality (of NFTs). It's something you aspire to when you draw, but to really see things form and move like in “I Love You, Nancy Callahan,” is truly wonderful.
Marvel will also launch its first NFT comics, on the Veve platform. Following the success of Marvel Entertainment, the officially licensed NFT digital collectibles based on Spider-Man and Captain America, on August 19 this year VeVe launched the inaugural NFT series of classic Marvel Comics. Spider Man's 60,500 NFTs, Marvel's first NFT, sold out in just 24 hours. The second NFT offering, Marvel Mightys, sold out in less than 30 minutes. The pieces are available in five levels of rarity: from Common to Secret Rare. To help you understand how precious this Marvel initiative has been, let’s look at which were the first NFTs sold.
The first Marvel comic ever released, Marvel Comics # 1, launched on VeVe on Thursday, August 19th. This digital comic is fully readable and contains the first appearances of the original Human Torch and Namor, the Sub-Mariner. Journey Into Mystery #85 launched on Friday, August 20, with the first appearance of Loki, Heimdall and Asgard. The third comic, Fantastic Four #1 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby launched on Saturday, August 21. In this piece we saw the first appearance of the Fantastic. Marvel Comics #1 and Fantastic Four #1 have 60,000 editions, Journey into Mystery only has 50,000. This makes Loki's debut a little more exclusive than the others. The common 'Classic cover' will have 40,000 pieces, while the rare 'True Believer Variant' will have only 500 versions in the pool. Each comic was available with five variant covers in blind box format for $6.99.
The highlight of Marvel, however, is unfolding these days. In honor of what would have been the late Stan Lee’s 99th birthday on Dec. 28, his digital estate is promoting likenesses of both the late comic books legend and Marvel’s first superhero of Indian descent, Chakra the Invincible, in NFT form.
"From championing diversity to embracing new tech, Stan was one step ahead of the curve," read a post to the official Twitter account for Lee, who died in 2018. "To honor his innovative spirit, Stan's 1st Indian hero, Chakra The Invincible, debuts in his own NFT (digital art) collection from 7:30 PM PT on 12/27 to 12pm PT on 12/29! ". The tweet was quoted nearly 24,415 times with 13,329 likes in support.
Chakra The Invincible, created by Lee and illustrators Sharad Devarajan and Gotham Chopra, chronicles Raju Rai, a young boy from Mumbai. Raju and his mentor Dr. Singh develop a suit that activates the mystical chakras of the body, unleashing superhuman powers and unique abilities. When Raju dons the suit, he begins to use his new powers to protect the city and the world from a variety of criminals, including Boss Yama.
Orange Comet has created 6865 unique NFTs that are curated smart contract-generated artpunks featuring the first-ever Hollywood-meets-Bollywood Superhero co-created by Stan Lee.
Orange Comet is dedicated to blockchain sustainability, running on green servers and building a carbon-negative solution in the NFT space.
This NFT drop will be launched on the eco-conscious Polygon blockchain. Polygon is a climate sustainable blockchain that is over 99.99% more carbon efficient than Ethereum.
Another NFT phenomenon that erupted in May 2021 is Punks Comic, which has attracted attention and capital from across the industry. Punks Comic is a project led by collector and influencer NFT Beanie and Pixel Vault, a media company formed around the creation of the comic.
From the beginning, Punks Comic has been a one-of-a-kind NFT comic. Created by Josh Blaylock and Chris Wahl, the protagonist of the comic is Beanie, a version of CryptoPunk #8146 and his corresponding personality di lui. Beanie is obsessed with finding the "Lost Robbies" —which are based on a real set of artificial intelligence-generated NFTs created by Robbie Barrat, which many assume are lost, held by inactive wallets or dead.
Consisting of 10,000 NFTs at a cost of 0.2 ETH to mint, the Punks Comic team launched in May 2021. Upon purchase, collectors received an NFT depicting the comic's cover and a fully downloadable PDF version of a true digital comic.
From the beginning, Punks Comic presented a unique opportunity as a first-of-a-kind NFT comic that provided utility to its collectors. Punks Comic launched with a comprehensive roadmap that included giving owners the option to either hold, burn or stake their NFT and receive various rewards.
During the first week of December, Adidas revealed a deal with Punks Comic, along with Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and Gmoney.
As the world of Comics and NFTs continue to court one another, we can certainly see the explosive potential of this collaboration. Comics collectors are already hardwired to be project loyalists, super aware of variations in editions (traits), and have the time and energy to be promoters (fans). The amount of finance that will pour into these big name collaborations is only tapping the surface of how impactful this hybrid of Comics and NFTs will truly be.
Bankless DAO NFT Updates
🖼 Last week’s weekly showcase numbers
Artist Satoshi’s Mom made a total of 2.7976 ETH in sales with the NFT “NFT LAND”.
Call to Action
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