Is $100m Enough Funding to Decentralize Mickey Mouse?
Pixel Vault, Astro Boy, Substack, Doodles and zombies, lots of zombies.
Gm and welcome to a new issue of Thndr Frens - the newsletter at the nexus of NFTs, entertainment, comics and animation put together by @casey_lau.
As soon as I send out a newsletter, all this news drops the next day - well this is a round-up of the specifics that affect us IP creators in the Web3 space!
NEWS: I will be speaking in a Twitter Space this weekend about this very newsletter and some of the companies, projects and ideas found here. So definitely check it out on Saturday February 19th at 3pm PT/6pmET - find the invitation at the DragonForge Twitter account or mine.
Pixel Vault raises $100m for ‘Decentralized Disney’
Investors’ latest NFT bet is on a startup called Pixel Vault — a massive NFT collection of superheroes that has the goal of growing into a decentralized Marvel-esque empire. The NFT startup tells TechCrunch it has closed a whopping $100 million in funding from Adam Bain and Dick Costolo’s 01 Advisors and Velvet Sea Ventures.
This is what this newsletter is all about, I’m excited for this deal and all that it will bring to others in this vertical of Web3.
This is a good piece on the history and thinking behind Pixel Vault:
Every medium has its master storytellers. I was attracted to NFTs because of how they empower creatives to own their stories more than ever through digital ownership. And while many projects that we know and love started with art, GFunk put the power of storytelling at the center. His story will provide a model to other media companies that want to empower their fans.
Also hot on the heels of this news is the rumour that A16Z is looking to put A LOT more money into the creators of the Bored Apes Yacht Club.
Meanwhile, and crazy timing, Disney is now officially looking to hire an in-house NFT person and its breaking the internet.
Substack vs Mirror.xyz
I started covering the new movement in digital comics and even dropped $300 on one of the new Substacks (same as an entry point NFT) though its not Web3 related specifically it is still an interesting way to distribute comics while branding a newsletter startup.
ICYMI: Substack is paying comic creators enough money in grants to decline working exclusively for the Big 2: Marvel and DC. A handful of super-creators took the bait and are making comics via the Substack platform.
This past week they announced a handful of new creators to develop new comics on their platform with the biggest names including my heroes specifically Grant Morrison (literally one of comic books Supergods) and Brian K Vaughn (co-creator of Y the Last Man and Saga) joining.
I am all for this new distribution platform, but I can’t help but see the hole that they left on the table with NFTs. I want to dive deeper into this at a later date, but this is something I think is the future and my friends are already telling me Substack is out, and Mirror is in.
What is Mirror? It's a Substack/Blogger-like platform/publishing tool for writers, which leverages crypto and blockchain technologies. Mirror. xyz provides tools for writers to earn in cryptocurrency rather than through typical cash transactions. The most important thing is that you aren’t the product anymore, you’re the owner and this will be very very exciting for creators going forward.
Have a look at what they have now:
You can mint an NFT.
You can crowdfund.
You can auction.
You can launch a digital collectible.
You can distribute tokens.
All around your writing. Developing.
The Superbowl was yesterday and there were a handful of crypto ads. This one for FTX starring Larry David was pretty, pretty good. The Coinbase ad was also clever. Which one was your favorite? One thing I learned by the stars of the ads and the halftime show is that the Superbowl is targeted at old people :-)
NFT Now has a great Ultimate Guide to Doodles so you can see how this 10,000 generative NFT collection by a Vancouver team created and grew their project to be a blue-chip project. Read it here.
Check out The HUXLEY Saga by Ben Mauro if you haven’t yet - issue 2 NFT is out now. HUXLEY is more than just an NFT project. It is the culmination of Halo Infinite senior concept designer Ben Mauro’s life’s work. A story 10 years in the making that transcends the meta and physical worlds. The first Web3 franchise with a AAA video game, film, television series, merch and much more on the way.
Rebel Rabbits is another cool comic NFT. Issue 1 is out now and the NFTs are affordable.
Much of the controversy surrounding NFTs in the gaming space stems from their unwarranted inclusion in online experiences, but Konami is going ahead with their plans for more after the success of their Castlevania NFTs in January - so they are going to do more with some of their iconic brands like Metal Gear Solid (my fave!), Silent Hill, Contra, Frogger, Dance Dance Revolution and Bomberman! Memberberries will get you in some form or other.
Elsewhere in Japan, Tezuka Productions who owns and licenses Astro Boy is also launching an NFT collection.
Macroverse launched the pre-mint of their first NFT project called DeadTown Zeds, the neat thing about these ones is you as the buyer gets to customize what your ghoul looks like. Comic book series coming up soon that allows NFT holders to help shape the story.
Speaking of zombie NFTs, the comic book series prologue to George A. Romero’s iconic horror film Night of the Living Dead, THE RISE is being published as a series in Heavy Metal Magazine and as an NFT line.
The DeviA.N.T.s are coming
The teaser site is live now for The DeviANTs - sign up now to get a chance to get on the Whitelist of my first NFT project - years in the making! www.thedeviants.com follow on Twitter too: @theDeviants_
Thanks for reading - see you in 2 weeks!