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Pat Mills, creator of 2000AD and developer of Judge Dredd, is famed for creating satirical excoriation of capitalism, exploitation and a general sticking-it-to-the-man attitude to life. Which is why it was a slight surprise to discover that he had go head over heels into NFTs. A bit like finding Johnny Rotten wants Jacob Rees-Mogg to be Prime Minister. And indeed, in a recent Substrack newsletter written by his wife, Lisa Mills, they state that Pat Mills is writing a new chapter for a 45th anniversary special edition of Be Pure! Be Vigilant! Behave! 2000AD & Judge Dredd: The Secret History, talking about why he has now refused to write for 2000AD any more and what changed in the past four years to make it that way.
But also that Lisa and Pat Mills they are releasing an NFT edition of the book limited to 45 digitally signed copieswith AI-generated piece of art based on a photo portrait of Pat. It will also later be redeemed for a limited physical edition of the book with the artwork, a Q&A session with Pat and additional items, stories and artwork dropped ina s surprises. However, while many companies are creating NFT lines, Lisa and Pat Mills have been aware that individual creators have been attacked online when they have taken the plunge themselves.
There is a lot of bad feeling among some initially over NFT blockchain extreme use of electricity and energy, but after that was heavily reduced for many non-fungible token offerings, it has been criticised for money laundering, tax avoidance and corruption on a multi-global scale, or for being a long-term Ponzi scheme. And that anyone who participates in creating them is either trying to con someone or someone who will be conned. There are also countless examples of people taking other people’s works and minting them as NFTs, with scant regard for copyright or original creation. This lead led to announced boycotts, and even creators getting cancelled from comic cons. On the other hand, it is also seen by comic creators as a way to recreate the original art market now that they have moved to digital tools, as a way to benefit from their popularity in a way nothing else can match, as well as continue to earn from their work in the future. And some want to strike while the iron is relatively warm.
And Lisa Mills comes out fighting against the complaints she and Pat Mills have received;
“NFTs are bad For the environment” As a former field ecologist (with an MSc in Conservation Management), I don’t take environmental concerns lightly. Doing anything on the chain, such as minting an NFT and then buying and selling it, can use considerable energy, particularly as the majority of NFTs and crypto transactions take place on the Ethereum blockchain (Critics also mention Bitcoin, but NFTs are not run on Bitcoin blockchain.) Click bait headlines abound about how minting a single-use NFT uses the same energy as an average American household uses over nine days. But this is not true on less energy-intensive blockchains (e.g., Polygon, Solana, Polkadot) that use proof-of-stake instead of proof-of-work (Ethereum).
She also quotes an article by Sterling Crispin, “As an artist you might ask yourself, “I need to make $100K a year to survive, what can I do that will have the least harm?” And I’m telling you right now, if you can sell 20 NFT’s for $5k that’s a better alternative for the environment than having a merch store selling print on demand clothes and objects.”
“NFTs are a dodgy Ponzi scheme Speculative NFTs in 2021 and the first half of 2022 – ‘crypto bros’ investing in projects and hyping them up like crazy in order to turn a profit – have led to some high profile scams and ‘rug-pulls’. It’s given the technology a pretty bad press. But most NFTs are not like that. Take the most famous example: the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which has utilities behind the ‘ugly picture of an ape’. For example, anyone with a BAYC NFT has the commercial-use rights of that particular character. Hence the success story of Jenkins the Valet.
But she talks about the recent crypto- crash as getting rid of a lot of the “chancers” and that NFTs are going mainstream.
Whatever happens with cryptocurrency, NFTs are already becoming mainstream, as I’ve exampled. I think they’re misunderstood, because they can be pretty much whatever you want them to be, good or bad. Just like the internet of Web2 can be whatever you want it to be, good or bad. In a few years we’ll be using NFTs for cool stuff (hopefully calling them something else, because NFT is a really crap name), and we won’t even think about the fact that it’s all happening on a blockchain. We just use the latest technology to make our lives better. It’s up to us all to find fun, engaging and ethical things to do with NFTs. Just to be clear, our interest in NFTs is only in the creative and publishing arena. NFTs represent a revolution for creators, be they musicians, artists, or writers. They’re also another way to support creators, like a crowdfunder, Patreon, or Substack, and for creators to reward that support.
And she quotes Elle Griffin, The Crypto Revolution Wants to Reimagine Books, “What if you could own a stake in Harry Potter? What if the book series functioned like a publicly traded company where individuals could “buy stock” in it, and as the franchise grows, those “stocks” become more valuable? If this were the case, someone who purchased just three percent of Harry Potter back when there was only one book would be a billionaire now.”
Lisa Mills gives plenty of other articles as well, and offers a Pat Mills Proof of Attendance Protocol NFT to the first 45 applicants. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, I have just replied to the Substack to claim one, have got a confirmation reply from Lisa, and will report back to see how it all plays out.
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