Creator Matt Kindt is exploring the world of non-fungible tokens with Mind MGMT: The Artifact, a full-length comic that’s currently up for auction on the NFT auction website OpenSea.
Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, have been making headlines recently; they’re a type of code that acts sort of as a unique certificate of authenticity for a digital piece of art, tied to bitcoin and block chain technologies. Both the Verge and NPR have Q&A’s up on what NFTs are and how they’re being used right now in the art world.
“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. “The best way to explore this idea was for the actual story – the Mind MGMT narrative – to become what it is about. This story is written as a Mind MGMT espionage narrative – an agent sent on a mission to retrieve a priceless artifact. There are secret codes, monk-ninjas. LOTS of monk-ninjas and a teenage immortal intent on stealing this priceless artifact. It is both a real apple…and a drawing of an apple.”
Kindt isn’t the first comic artist to use them; both Tyler Kirkham and Ashley Wood, among others, have put up NFT artwork for sale. Collectibles company Veve has also teamed with DC for a series of digital statues to produce digital Batman statues. This special issue of Mind MGMT could very likely be the first complete comic sold this way (the listing on OpenSea bills it as such).
Other creators have come out against NFTs — vehemently, in some cases.
So where does the controversy come in? Well, to start, some view the current hype around them as a fad or even a get-rich-quick scheme, as famous artists, musicians and others put unique digital items up for sale and, in some cases, bring in millions.
The other issue is the effects that things like NFTs — and bitcoin and cryptocurrency, which are related technologies — have on the environment.
Kindt says he has no plans to ever publish this story, and that it’ll be up to the eventual owner as to what they want to do with it. He also plans to donate some of the proceeds from the sale to an environmental agency.
“I have no intention of ever publishing Mind MGMT: The Artifact in a traditional way,” said Kindt. “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.”
Along with the press release about the auction, Kindt included a comic, titled “Mission Statement,” and a “Note from the Artist,” seen below:
The auction ends on March 31.