Serial #1 of the first installment of Ben Mauro’s 6-issue graphic novel series, HUXLEY, is now the most expensive digital comic ever sold – bought for the 17th highest price of any comic ever purchased. So in a Marvel and D.C. dominated space, how did this new project rise to the top?
NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, have taken the art world by storm, as blockchain-enabled collectibles have catapulted into the mainstream, stirring a new digital craze that is changing lives and forging a new path for collectors and fans. NFTs enable creators to sell digital assets like art or comics directly to their communities, and buyers to securely verify ownership, with chain-of-title safely and immutably stored on the blockchain. In addition to provenance being clearly delineated by blockchain protected metadata, the digital assets also remain pristinely preserved – an enormous benefit for works of art, and especially comic books. NFT technology is leading the transition from Web 2 into Web 3 for a variety of industries, establishing a new frontier comparable to the rise of the internet. In the last year, Bored Apes Yacht Club (BAYC) created and sold 10,000 generative NFT profile picture avatars (PFPs) creating more than $200 million in global sales. RTFKT, a digital design studio that specializes in Metaverse wearables like digital sneakers, was recently acquired by Nike, a strong step forward for the evolution of the space. Comics are following suit. Punks Comics, a tongue in cheek derivative of Larva Lab’s NFT project CryptoPunks, and pioneer of a unique gamified structure called tokenomics, recently announced a partnership with Adidas. And now HUXLEY, created by Halo Infinite senior concept designer Ben Mauro, has firmly entered the conversation. Mauro, who has also worked on Elysium, Call of Duty, The Hobbit Trilogy, and more, has been perfecting the HUXLEY series over the last 10 years. He has painstakingly hand-illustrated each and every panel, creating an immersive narrative that transports readers into the post-apocalyptic world of Fury-7 – a planet similar to Earth that has been ravaged by nuclear war and abandoned by most of humanity. A world, that with the help of Big Medium Small, led by The Mandalorian and Ready Player One’s Jama Jurabaev, will soon be a playable video game. And Mauro is not stopping there. In the near future, HUXLEY will have an immersive sector in Wilder World’s Wiami Metaverse space, on the road toward ultimately becoming a full-length feature film. But first… back to the comics!
With regard to ISSUE 1: The Discovery, the first of HUXLEY’s digital comics redeemable for corresponding physical editions, the lowest serial numbers of the 10,000 total NFTs command the highest price. That’s why the HUXLEY team, powered by Feature – an IP marketplace that uses NFT utility to allow creators to leverage and sell their rights, hosted auctions for serials #1-10. Each serial was packaged with a variety of other rare collectibles including scarce Gold and Holographic Editions with matching low digits, coveted Genesis Tokens (redeemable for the project’s PFP avatars), and LAGO Frames – the world’s premier blockchain-enabled digital display.
While all of the packages incited heated bidding wars that concluded with hefty sale prices, Serial #1 was the ultimate prize. Following a tense and fiery exchange between two final bidders, glory was claimed by an anonymous winner known only by the chosen pseudonym of Karmak – a cheeky nod to Mauro’s work. Karmak is actually a character in the series – a dangerous gangster that controls the criminal underworld on Fury-7. Anonymity often plays a strong role in NFT communities, as the blockchain enables collectors and fans to engage with projects without ever publicly revealing their true identities. While Karmak ultimately revealed his IRL (in real life) persona, many continue to use blockchain as a mask – especially with the soaring prices of assets due the network effect of new fans and NFT enthusiasts engaging with projects. While this auction represents a clear victory for Karmak, as well as Mauro, the HUXLEY team, and all of the holders who have supported the series, it is also a testament to the way NFT technology is forever changing the way we engage with collectible items. And while Serial #1 of ISSUE 1 has now been secured by a lucky and deep-pocketed victor, there are plenty of other ways to own a piece of HUXLEY, a saga that the creator hopes will one day be revered like the franchises he grew up with – a Star Wars for a new generation. For those that wish to own a now sold out inaugural ISSUE 1, they are available for sale in the secondary market on OpenSea.
ISSUE 2: The Prisoner is now exclusively available for mint at huxleysaga.com.Due to the project’s unique, gamified tokenomic structure, the comics provide the key to obtaining HUXLEY Avatars, including 1000 1:1 hand-illustrated Robots, and newly unveiled Humans, the latter of which becoming available after the release of ISSUE 3. Each ISSUE is a piece of art in its own right, and each will continue to provide utility to holders as the saga unfolds in the meta, physical and traditional media spaces.
Visit huxleysaga.com to learn more.
Published by Alex Mamutin