Comic Creators React To DC Comics And Their NFT Plans

Earlier today, Bleeding Cool leaked the letter sent to DC Comics freelancers last night regarding the use of NFT non-fungible tokens for selling artwork containing DC Comics characters, after one artist made almost two million dollars from his Wonder Woman art. Basically, it read a) we have our own NFT plans for DC Comics characters and b) so you had better not have yours.

We also looked at what appears to be the first DC licensed NFT line to Veve Collectibles for a Batman Black & White line, as well as looking at some of the objections to this merchandising option. Firstly, the insane amounts of energy that blockchains and NFTs use. And secondly, an intentional recreation of the worst aspects of art collection, including money laundering and tax evasion. And comic book creators, a number of whom had received the letter from DC Comics had their own comments to add (though none of those listed below leaked it to Bleeding Cool)

Fraser Campbell: I hope this news that DC Comics are allowing themselves to become involved in NFTs isn't true. If it is, no more money from me.

Joe Glass: Ooof, where have you heard that? It will be a massive let down if DC start getting involved with NFTs as it's a massive disregard for the future of this planet and the people on it. It's downright offensive

Colin Maxwell: They've got to make money somehow after pouring it down the drain to make movies. But, yeah, NFT is shitty for the environment, so na na na na na na na naaa, Batman!

Trish Mulvihill: NFT Policy Update just received from DC Comics. The world is changing so fast, I gotta get up to speed on all this stuff.

Thomas Mauer: From what I can tell, this NFT thing is now hailed as an alternative to regular gallery art sales with the argument it'll lead to a utopian future for artists. But the thing is, the energy consumption for 1 NFT is a lot higher than the average NFT sale earns the artist.

John Lucas: Well, comics and other media are moving that way, too. Being an ink-stained dinosaur, I don't like it, but it does seem inevitable.

Joe Glass: So disappointed to see colleagues and contemporaries doing this whole NFT thing, completely disregarding the environmental damage it causes. It's disgusting. Immediate unfollow from me if I see it from anyone

Bevis Musson: I keep seeing mentions of them having environmental impacts or bad carbon footprints, but I don't understand why. Aren't people just spaffing stupid amounts of money on a digital token that has no actual physical existence or impact?

John Reppion: Like all crypto currencies, the process of making the art digitally unique purposefully requires a ludicrous amount of computing power. We're talking the equivalent of decades and decades of a household's yearly electricity use to "mint" a single NFT. Also, the content and quality of the art is irrelevant. The art is just a token. People are doing it with screengrabs, with memes, with Tweets even. It's just high-tech money laundering. Nothing to do with art.

Joe Glass: And again, people spending ludicrous amounts of money on these things aren't even really getting anything. The art is often still available online, in prints or just as a jpeg you view. For example, the one Grimes sold, one buyer spending $389000, contained images & video. None of which was exclusive. People buying it aren't only people who can see those pics and vids, they are freely and readily available online anyway. So ultimately it's for bragging rights for rich idiots and that's all. And all they're bragging about is how much they threw away

John Reppion: It's a scam that allows vast, untraceable, sums of money to be moved around. Money used for all kinds of weird, and terrible things.

Bevis Musson: So essentially the same as the physical art market, but easier to do and harder to be caught since you don't actually have physical art to keep hold of to insure the money spent.

John Reppion: Yes. Sadly, this is the justification a lot of people are using. "If a millionaire can invest in an artist's oil painting as a way of laundering money, and pay them loads of money, why shouldn't I get into this NFT thing where dark web child traffickers can invest in my art?"

Si Spurrier: Awake to a creator mailout from a major comics publisher getting all steamy about the possibilities of NFT and saying not a single word about the literally planet-f-cking energy costs.

Chris O'Halloran: Really disappointed reading it. 'We're doing it. Hope you'll be on board. Money. Money'

André Lima Araújo: "And don't even dare using our IP without telling us."

Chris O'Halloran: Exactly that too I presume.

Si Spurrier: Yeah. That certainly felt like the message within the message.

Elsa Charretier: Trust people to always fall for the latest get rich quick scheme.

Emma Vieceli: Oh no

Mike Henderson: Got it just before bed last night and wished I'd waited to read it.

Chris Hazeldine: It's really depressing. Everyone is pushing ahead with it, even after warnings that our best efforts to reduce carbon emissions are still likely to result in cutting the ecosystem in half. This speculative rush is more dangerous to the world than any warmonger, and no-one cares

Joe Glass: F-ck, for real? That is appalling. I can't understand why people still think there's a debate here or how they can even contemplate doing these things. How can people be THAT greedy & shortsighted?

Jason Song Quinn: People putting on blinders and running as fast as they can when they see a pile of money. What could go wrong? When this bubble bursts, the fallout is gonna be something.

JH Williams III: This whole NFT thing is turning into a hell pit. I'm trying to see if there is a way to prevent it from happening. And I'm not even sure how one would know their work has been ripped off in this way.

Jonathan Glapion: Rich people have gotten so f-cking rich they are buying JPEGs from the poor just for fun. #NFT

Augie De Blieck Jr: Is anyone else concerned that DC's language on NFT sounds very close to « You can't sell your original art created for a DC comic? I don't know if NFTs are going to take off, but the artist should still own the rights to their own artwork, as they do with physical art now.

Tom Shapira: Hey DC Comics – there's still time to reverse course on this Crypto Art / NFT thing.
It's ruinous to the environment and it's harmful to artists. Don't do this.

PJ Holden: Took a look at makersplace.com (know your enemy it\s an NFT website) saw a whole bunch of DC characters with art by sale from a DC artists. So … er.. there's going to be trouble… You know if you're making NFT's that's pretty morally dubious, but let's let put that to one side. if you're making NFTs of things that belong to other people – that's just trademark infringement and any owner of trademarks HAS to chase you down. It's playing with fire.

2000 AD Comics: Go in for NFT? Nah, we make comics about things that are horridly dystopian but we actively try to avoid participating in them…

Comic Creators React To DC Comics And Their NFT Plans
2000AD cover, not an NFT, yet.

Although from a few days ago…

Jonah Weiland: A lot of people complaining about big, power consuming server farms for NFT/Blockchain/Bitcoin/etc. "It's a waste of energy." I get it, I'm not interested in NFTs, seems a waste, but… Are you aware how many power hungry servers were used so you can browse Twitter right now?

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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