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NFT Watch: San Diego Comic-Con starts tomorrow, a show that is often criticised for no longer being just about comics but a) it never was and b) it has more comic book-related programming than any other event in the entire world – even the likes of Angouleme and Comiket, which have different focuses. You can go into San Diego Comic-Con if you wish, choose the right panels, and come out with a degree in comic books. The panels and programming cover every kind of comic, from the smallest to the largest, across genre, publisher, creator and concept, as well as panels for all manner of media, games, TV, films, webcasts and the like. The show’s constant and consistent focus on the wide range of programming, even in competition with everything else on display at the show, truly sets it out as a remarkable paean to pop culture, unparalleled by any other show.
But one thing you won’t find, this year at least, is NFT-focused programming. There is a lot of bad feeling among some people, especially comic creators, regarding the rise of NFTs, initially over their 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 sern 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.
Bleeding Cool understands that a number of creators, publishers and companies proposed NFT-focused programming at San Diego Comic-Con, but every single one was knocked back. Now, creators and publishers may be selling NFTS at the show and may have content in their panels relating to NFTs, but you won’t find it in the headlines or panel descriptions, or the exclusive offerings promoted on the show floor. Not for this show anyway.
This is something that San Diego Comic-Con, as a not-for-profit show, can get to decide and make a stance on, whereas other for-profit shows will find it a lot harder to say no to.
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