Comic book creator Mike Deodato was one of the first comic book creators to come out firmly in favor of using NFTs for digital comic book artwork, and has been criticised severely for doing so, mostly but not solely down to the environmental impact and energy use of blockchain certification of such items. His point was, however, that comic book artists for Marvel and DC were allowed to sell their original physical artwork pages, but companies like Marvel and DC were not allowing their artists to do the same with digital NFTs, reserving the right to do that themselves.
Today, Mike Deodato's current publisher AWA issued their own statement, supporting Mike Deodato's stance, stating that "in contrast to the approaches of major legacy comic book publishers, AWA's policy allows artists to make and market NFTs featuring AWA characters and creates an AWA's artist-centric program pro-actively supports those efforts. Specifically, AWA artists may make NFT's from AWA comic covers and pages and also draw new, original, art with AWA characters and make NFT's from those pieces. Artists may do that on their own or opt to have AWA handle NFTs for them."
"AWA was founded with faith in the principle that offering creators attractive deals along with extensive editorial and marketing support would bring out the best in them. So far, so good," said AWA CEO and former Marvel publisher Bill Jemas, "In approaching the burgeoning NFT market, our first steps were to form an Artist Council to help us understand what our artists want and need and to retain Gui Karyo, former Marvel CTO and COO, to guide us through the technical complexities involved in making and marketing NFTs."
"AWA was founded to give artists and writers the best platform to tell bold and original stories in which they have a real stake. Our decision to embrace NFTs is an extension of our core philosophy. AWA's Artist Council includes many of the industry's leading artists, including Mike Choi, Kaare Andrews, Jonboy Meyers, Frank Cho, and Mike Deodato Jr., who has been an outspoken critic of DC's restrictions on NFT art. We feel privileged to work with them and we embrace this new development as a means to help them," says Axel Alonso, AWA's Chief Creative officer, former Marvel EIC, and DC Group editor.
"I think NFTs and their growing applications are a really new landscape in the mainstream and everyone top-to-bottom is just figuring it all out. But AWA has done and continues to do the research, and is allowing us as artwork creators to be (or not be) involved, addressing our concerns on NFTs and the whole blockchain-business, and applying them to how we handle it as a company. Giving us the permission right off the bat to tokenize our digital works as if we were selling original art, should we choose to, is a sign to me that they're not only trying to stay ahead of the curve on this developing technology, but are also trying to respect our individual business interests from the start. I think this in turn incentivizes us to be more creative with this new medium and platform when making new works for AWA" says Mike Choi, artist of AWA's Moths.
"I am excited to investigate and explore new avenues to share original art! I welcome AWA's commitment to art, artists, collectors, technology and innovation," says Kaare Andrews, writer, and artist of E-RATIC.
"I think it's a very forward-thinking and progressive move for a publisher such as AWA to support its artists' (pencilers, inkers, and colorists) ability to sell their original art in the growing NFT digital market. I'm very happy to see AWA working to set a standard on how its artists can sell their original works in the NFT market," says artist Jonboy Meyers.
"AWA's policy about NFTs and creators is one that should be followed by the whole industry. They have been an example since day one on how to treat creators with the respect they deserve and continue to do so with this new opportunity for artists." said Deodato,