There’s a Reddit post as of August 2013, where an alleged time traveler shared a dystopian future sparked by the spread of Bitcoin in 2025. “It looks bleak here and some of you will have blood on your hands,” the time traveler warned readers, telling them of a world of great inequality and economic decline. The Bitcoin Earlies live in fortified cities as governments no longer exist due to the difficulty of enforcing taxation.
This is the inspiration for the setting created by ENCODE Graphics, a comic book publisher be committed to “express the myths of the crypto scene and the metaverse in narrative form.”
Part of the vision is to breathe life into the comics industry, which took a crypto hit last month after DC Comics blocked his artists from creating NFTs with all DC Comics intellectual property. This means that they cannot shape any art with Batman, Wonder Woman, or Superman.
Still ENCODE The DC and Marvel artists are teaming up with crypto artists around the world to create a new “universe of well-designed characters that will in turn form the basis for many more sub-projects.” Everything will be based on the concepts of crypto in one style based, which could be referred to as “cryptopunk”. An ENCODE spokesman told the magazine:
“The vision to establish a comic project that offers comic artists a wonderful basis to create works of art in the spirit of Bitcoin, CryptoArt and our crypto community. This universe, with its beautifully designed characters, offers potential that goes well beyond the creation of comic book literature. “
Who is behind the mask?
ENCODE Graphics is run by an Austrian artist under the pseudonym PR1MAL CYPHER who started out as a solo artist and is now better described as the artistic director of his project.
Originally familiar with oil painting, he focused on digital CryptoArt with an element of social criticism. He took an interdisciplinary approach to combine text with digital art on the SuperRare, MakersPlace and Nifty Gateway platforms and produced a range of silver coins funded at 0.01 BTC that are reminiscent of SATOSH1. Its five part NFT series “RIOT DAYS” with George Floyd is an example of his socio-political approach.
According to PR1MAL, the aim of ENCODE is “to take a look into the future – a project that still guarantees the professionalism of the old publishers, but wants to do justice to the symbols of CryptoArt and Metaverse with new technologies.”
While PR1MAL understands that there is no intention of competing with the big names in the comics world, it states that the company “wants to be a pioneer in this area” by leveraging the “possibilities of the blockchain and the digital world in general “uses. We will succeed. “This could certainly bring a unique benefit in developing a new generation of crypto-indigenous comic book fans – and collectors – too.
While the rest of the line-up of writers and visual artists are not yet fully public, it does include a number of personalities from the DC and Marvel experience. Some authors are Eisner Prize winners Mike Baron;; Chuck Dixonwho is known for Batman and The Punisher; Aaron Loprestiwho has written extensively for both Marvel and DC; as well as Scott Beattywho has written encyclopedias based on DC Comics characters in addition to his work for the publisher.
Comic artist Will Conrad and Mark McKenna are represented on the visual side along with a range of new talent. McKenna is already well known in the NFT scene released digital works of art on MakersPlace in December 2020. Despite the impressive display, as the organizer of the project there are indications of more conditions that “many of the already involved artists with high standing and name are currently under secrecy.”
The aforementioned time travel title, also known as 2084The focus is on the recently returned Satoshi Nakamoto. According to PR1MAL, SATOSH1 is investigating a “distant dystopian version of the future of our earth after the” Big Reset “, in which the large companies and citadels have power”. The ongoing series aims to depict “an epic of CryptoArt” set in a fictional, polarizing future and filled with symbols and characters related to the culture of cryptocurrency, which is intended as a recurring theme. 2084 is expected to remain in the production phase until summer 2021.
“At the center of ENCODE is the publication of stories that on the one hand take up the symbols and memes of crypto culture, but also the vision of the present that will be the reality of the future.”
Another title METATALis a black and white graphic anthology made up of a series of short stories by various artists. Some of them are about crypto, while others are “more socially critical and represent our society in terms of technological developments”. The release is planned for the beginning of June.
METATALES – a comic anthology https://t.co/myelPiqDJR
Curious what our anthology about #nftcommunity will be?
Eisner Prize Winner Mike Baron @BloodyRedBaron
Chuck Dixon @dixonverse Aaron Lopresti @aaronlopresti and many more … # Comics # NFT # NFTs # nftcollector #cryptoart pic.twitter.com/cJ5chV5J7b
– ENCODE Graphics (@ENCODE_graphics) April 10, 2021
The comics’ distribution has not yet been announced, but has been named an NFT drop GENESIS in connection with 2084 took place on April 17th on Nifty Gateway. The decline of four Open Edition works with SATOSH1 resulted in 148 sales, raising nearly $ 97,000 for the project.
“The GENESIS drops help us with the financing. Artists want to be paid, ”says PR1MAL. A second decrease is planned for June 4th.
The Nifty Gateway platform is owned by the Winklevoss twins and was previously selected as the main platform for Michael Winkelmann, better known as Beeple, for its drops because it allowed anyone to participate with a credit card or wire transfer instead of being strictly in the chain.
The start of GENESIS The NFT series before the start of the actual comic is interesting from a crypto-history point of view, as the setup appears to be an echo of the coin offering phenomenon common in 2017. Pre-ICOs were an opportunity for investors to take part in a “ground floor” project that uses, at least in theory, funds raised to create a valuable product. With this in mind, the GENESIS NFT Drop was kind of a pre-bid, or kickstarter, for the art project.
According to ENCODE, one focus is on giving up-and-coming young artists access to the NFT scene. PR1MAL states that a portion of the NFT proceeds will be used for an “artist fund” to support young talent who “should be given an opportunity to gain access to the NFT scene and a fair share of ENCODE publications. “
“We would like to give the Kubert School in Dover a scholarship for a young talent every year,” adds PR1MAL, referring to an animation school in New Jersey.
Are you interested in what is really behind our mask design? Is it a Guy Fawkes mask? All answers can be read here: https: //t.co/sNRixgYSoT
Call @LuchoPoletti #NFTart # Comics # NFTcommunity # NFTcollectors # NFTcollector # Cryptoart #bitcoin pic.twitter.com/sAJGDWzqmD
– ENCODE Graphics (@ENCODE_graphics) March 30, 2021
Visualize the future
Physical comics are part of the picture, of course – but with a modern twist. Some next-generation physical comics will “contain NFCs with ETH key pairs and NFTs” that “work in harmony with Web 3.0”. NFCs refer to near field communication devices used in applications such as tap-and-go payment cards. The covers of each comic will also be available as NFTs.
According to PR1MAL, this is also a special goal of ENCODE Graphics – the innovative construction of bridges between physical work and the new digital possibilities of the blockchain.
The vision of creating comics that represent the 21st century appears to be supported by plans for an exclusive set of 21 Founder Tokens. “The tokens will be like a contract for 3 years. Owners get a lot for what they pay for, digital and analog items: all editions and variants, including a special founder variant. Plus some potential film rights, limited founder NFTs, a physically printed “yearbook” after a year, prints, original art, etc. ”, PR1MAL lists in addition to other loot. There are also plans for a trading card game called CITADELS with characters out 2084.
With so many plans on, it’s worth questioning whether releasing two recurring releases in such a short amount of time might prove too snappy to chew on. Despite the workload, PR1MAL says “everything is on schedule” and that issue 2 of both comics is in progress.
When ENCODE Graphics becomes a success to the point that its characters become representative of the global epic of crypto, the possibilities are quite considerable. PR1MAL wants to expand in five years 2084 “To the extent that it would even be ripe for a film.” There is also the potential to somehow integrate the storyline into the actual metaverse using platforms like Decentraland or Cryptovoxels, to name a few.
PR1MAL comes to the conclusion: “ENCODE guarantees the professionalism of the old publishers, but wants to do justice to the symbols of CryptoArt and Metaverse with new technologies.”