Cartoonist and comics author Matt Kindt, who co-wrote the Keanu Reeves comic BRZRKR that sold to Netflix over the weekend, is jumping into the non-fungible token art world.
Kindt, the creator of comic Mind MGMT, which was published by Dark Horse Comics from 2012 to 2015, is bringing back the comic for a one-issue special that will only be available as an NFT.
Mind MGMT: The Artifact will only be available to the winner of the auction, which launched today on opensea.io. The winner will be able to keep it for their eyes only, or as the author says, share it with the world.
The art world, including the comics industry, is still trying to process the concept of non-fungible tokens. Yes, there was that now-famous sale of the collage by Beeple for $69 million. In the comic world, 1970s Wonder Woman artist Jose Delbo, now 87, made $1.85 million earlier in March when he sold images of licensed characters. The latter development prompted DC to warn its artists about getting into the NFT business with a strongly worded letter.
Kindt appears at this stage to be the first artist to have crafted a comic created and distributed as an NFT.
But, as with NFTs, there are a few conditions. As the cartoonist notes on his auction page, “While the winning bidder can choose to share the story online, Matt Kindt retains ownership of all intellectual property rights, so with the sole exception of selling the NFT’s themselves, the story can only be shared in a manner that is strictly ‘not for profit.’”
And because NFTs are known to leave a big carbon footprint thanks to cryptocurrencies emitting greenhouse gases, Kindt also said that part of the proceeds will go to an environmental agency.
“I have no intention of ever publishing Mind MGMT: The Artifact in a traditional way,” said Kindt in a statement making the announcement. “The highest bidder for the auction will determine what happens next. Will they share it online? Will they read it with family and friends? Will it be erased? Does the value of an idea come from the owning of it? Or the sharing of it? That’s up to the one who possesses it. I don’t entirely know what happens next, except that a percentage of the proceeds is going directly to an environmental agency to offset the impact that generating an NFT has on the environment. We’re going to leave this place better than we found it.”
In some ways, Mind MGMT could be a perfect way to explore the idea of NFTs. The comic told of a journalist investigating a mass amnesia event who discovers the existence of a secret spy organization whose agents have psychic abilities. Ideas of implanted memories, questions of what is reality abound in the work.
“I wanted to create an original MIND MGMT comic book narrative that would explore the nature of belief and the value of ideas and their intangible nature as a way of exploring the idea of NFTs,” said Kindt, adding, “It is both a real apple… and a drawing of an apple.”