Monthly Nouns comics for mass market release

Tl;dr

A monthly cc0 Nouns comic for Nationwide Distribution.

  • An initial 6-issue series would be commissioned for a total of $210,000 USD, paid for by selling 7,000 copies of each issue with an exclusive cover to NounsDAO, to be distributed (or sold) as seen fit. The money will be used to pay for all the creatives as well as ensure the work is owned by NounsDAO (both writing and artwork).
  • The team, led by DefaultedUser, a 25-year veteran of comics publishing, will create a comic meant to be released not only to the Web3 community but to comic book stores via Titan Comics and to book stores via Penguin Random House.
  • The Community will be allowed to vote on aspects of the publishing project starting in July 2022, with the first issue to release to the community in November 2022, and the mass market in March 2023.

After issue #6, profits will be used to publish future issues, still with community involvement, as well as fund other Nouns related publishing projects.

Introduction

Comics have been an art form for over 100 years now, in many ways overtaking novels as the most important written form of creativity for society, and defining Intellectual Property more than Film or Television. Comics have the advantage of a monthly (in some cases) publishing cycle, are able to pump out more content than other mediums, and so are able to connect with a dedicated audience more frequently, as well as generating more stories than other mediums.

Comic Books have brought us Spider-man, Superman, Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Uncle Scrooge, Garfield, The Far Side, and quite literally tens of thousands more. Nouns is a visual creation, with much room for growth. The dedicated fanbase mimics that of core comic book publications of the past, giving the space and time to grow and be recognized by the worldwide community as a whole.

I have worked in the comic book industry for 25 years now, acting in various roles, but most notably as a publisher for various companies (Including Boom! Studios), as well as creating comics for properties such as Divinity: Original Sin 2, Transformers, Farscape, Warhammer, Warhammer 40K, Mickey Mouse, Frozen, Pixar, Pirates of the Caribbean, Spider-man, Thor, Star Wars, and many others.

In licensing, one is required to work within certain parameters, while creating a compelling product. This will serve me well when creating Nouns product, being able to listen to the community and create something appealing for the community, while also something that can be successful outside of it.

I have extensive knowledge of how to create compelling content and have a publishing and distribution agreement with Titan books (and through them Penguin Random House), so can focus on making this product physical in nature, and not just a digital offering, as well as something that will see Nouns splashed all over thousands of stores.

  • Utilize comics to generate constant content, keep the community engaged.
  • Develop stories, worlds, and characters that give more sandboxes for the community and other creatives within the community to play with.
  • Bring Nouns to the “Mass Market” (Comic book stores, book stores, big box stores, book clubs, libraries). Gives legitimacy to the IP, and expands the potential community.

Community Driven Support

Nouns is famously known for its treasury, often used to create interesting projects that further the Nouns ecosystem. What we are proposing is to engage and encourage the community to support the project, creating a financial model that isn’t solely dependent upon a treasury, and using that to expand the area and influence of NounsComics.

Much like Kickstarter, IndieGogo and Substack have used a model that allows early supporters to get exclusive items, while also funding projects that they have an interest in, and so too will NounsComics. The first engagement is to the Web3 community, as well as the Nouns community, offering access to exclusive comics, covers, and finally the ability to vote as a community on artists and authors, story beats, and covers.

The initial project will be a six issue comic book, along with a graphic novel release. NounsComics will pre-sell this series, in individual segments. The initial offerings will be:

  • Individual issues for sale, as well as the graphic novel (as a package)
  • A minimum order of 7,000 copies for sale, which will give an individual or community the chance to commission a special cover of the comic book, which will then be only available to them, to be distributed as they see fit (sold, given away, stored, etc.)
  • Sales of graded copies of the individual comics, to be graded and placed on the blockchain for them via an NFT once the book has been printed. The specific grade is out of 10, with 10 being absolutely perfect in every way (and is almost impossible to attain), so the grades will be at LEAST 9.6, with the final grade being between 9.6 – 10, randomized.
  • Individual comics are priced at $5.00 USD dynamic value
  • The Graphic novel is offered at $30.00 USD dynamic value
  • The graded comics will be offered for $250.00 USD dynamic value

Every purchase not only helps fund the project, but will also give the purchaser the right to vote on certain aspects of the comic book series. The individual things that can be voted on are :

  • The story concept and writer of the project. We will offer a minimum of 3 choices at the outset, prior to the project going on pre-sale. Each of these concepts and writers will be vetted, to ensure to plagiarism, as well as the ability to deliver a commercially viable product.
  • The art style and artist of the project. A minimum of 3 art styles and artists are made available for a range of options. Each of the artists will be vetted to make certain they are capable of delivering a product that will be entertaining, engaging and finally released on a timely basis! Two different styles for publishing are included below.

  • Which Nouns will be in the comic series. We will want to make sure that those that pre-purchase the series get to suggest and vote for various Nouns, with the top voted not only appearing in the comic series, but also having the Nouns owner engaged to create the voice and personality of the Noun appearing in the comic series.
  • For every single comics cover there will be at minimum 3 concept sketches provided, with votes choosing which one becomes the final cover. The same process will be used for the graphic novel.

All funds raised in this manner will be kept in a multi-sig wallet, with funds being released to move the project along, specific amounts for each portion of comic creation and issue.

So, a specific number will be released for the script to be completed for issue #1. After that is approved, a specific amount will be released for the layout of issue #1. After this, an amount will be released for the pencils to be finished for issue #1. Finally, the remaining sum allotted for issue #1 will be released for Colours and Letters of Issue #1. The same process will be repeated for Issues #2-6. In this manner we can keep progress moving in a timely manner, making sure that there are incentives to create the content quickly, but also doing as good a job as possible.

As the issues are completed, profits (if there are any) will be split in this manner : Payment of 25% of the profits to the publisher of the series. 25% of the profits to the NounsDAO Treasury itself. 40% will be held by NounsComics to keep the series running, and potentially fund new series down the road, and finally 10% to ComicsDAO, who will be onboarding the writers, artists and community members for votes and sales.

  • We use the community to fund and engage with the project
  • We pay back to the community with the success of the project
  • There are various onboarding points to the project that can make the community feel invested, choosing which Nouns appear, the feel and style of the project
  • As this project is printed, it will also be sold into comic book stores (and book stores in the case of the graphic novel). This can allow those not familiar with the Nouns community to see what it is capable of, and gives them a simple yet effective point to become engaged themselves. We have a publishing deal for both markets with major publishers, which is how we will accomplish this, NOT through independent publication.

Profit and Loss

Just some general calculations for the project :

  • If we assume a creative cost for the project of $210,000 USD for the six issue series (broken down as $35,000 USD per issue), we would need roughly 7,500 copies of each book sold to pay for printing and creative.

If we achieve 10,000 copies sold per issue, along with 200 copies sold of the physically graded comics, the financials would look like this :

  • Revenues : $675,000 USD
  • Expenses: $330,000 USD (this includes creative, printing and grading)
  • 25% to NounsDAO : $86,250 USD
  • 25% to Publisher : $86,250 USD
  • 40% to NounsComics : $138,000 USD
  • 10% to ComicsDAO : $34,500 USD

Conclusion

With this approach, we can engage with the community, incentivize them to participate, and also grow the ecosystem beyond Web3. Until there is an easy onboarding process for the non-Web3 natives, Nouns cannot grow beyond this space. This might seem like an obstacle to overcome, but in fact, it is an asset. Most projects start from zero, with no supportive community to support it, and encourage others to participate.

We will leave with one story, that illustrates how dangerous no community is, and how it can make or break a project. A comics creator named Jeff Smith published a book series called Bone way back in 1991. At the time, it was one of the few black and white comics, didn’t have the monthly schedule that buyers liked, and was completely different from what was being published at the time. Jeff has commented repeatedly in later years that he nearly canceled the series numerous times within the first 10 issues. It was a very small community that supported his early works and allowed him to keep publishing (55 issues between 1991 and 2004). As the series continued on, it grew in fame and prestige, until in 2005 it was picked up by Scholastic books, and released through their new imprint. At this time it is one of the highest selling graphic novel series of all time, beating out all the superhero releases since the 1940’s to present day.

Without a supportive community, this project wouldn’t see the light of day, nor be given the space to continue and finally achieve the great success it deserves. The Nouns community can allow the same to happen with NounsComics, giving any project created a chance to grow and incubate until the world has a chance to enjoy it.

10 Likes

Nouns Narrative works are really picking up and I would love to see this project supported.

5 Likes

I’m a big comic fan, so I really like this prop. Will definitely support this with my vote at Shark DAO!

2 Likes

Sweet proposal, would love to hear more

I love the idea of the ComicDAO and largely being community sustained - important the noun community (nounders, builders, nouners and ecosystem) at large are emotionally invested here beyond just financially

2 Likes

Thank you! I think there’s lots to Nouns, and telling Nouns stories would be lots of fun. If they can be used as jumping off points for other projects, the better!

Thank you! Absolutely, we want the community to be involved in the project from the beginning (I reference Kickstarter, where the audience feels like it helps shape the final product), and then just running month after month, without the perpetual need of NounsDAO to sustain it.

loving the look of this!

2 Likes

This looks really cool. I think a good way for you to build consensus within the DAO would be if you did a preview of a single issue, or even half an issue, to get people excited. You seem like an incredibly talented crew and the sample artwork is fantastic looking.

Would you be interested in doing some kind of preview/trial? You wouldn’t have to print/grade, I think just a sample digital comic would suffice. Please DM me on Discord, NOUN22#7841 to discuss further

1 Like

just want to highlight that this is an established company (25 years in the business) with a very large body of work:

personally not sure that requesting a full issue is the right path on this one. some additional sketches or synopsis might be more appropriate given that we can see examples of the polished work already. i would like to hear from the founders, but would probably be prepared to support this proposal based on samples provided and existing reputation of the org

6 Likes

Glad that you’ve enjoyed what you see! Part of the purpose of the proposal is to explore how a community can be involved in the creation of a book, which is why we wanted to give options for art and story.

I’ll DM you for certain, we can speak about options, but would love to have deeper conversations about the proposal to look into how best to approach it.

The main issue regarding doing a sample of a particular style, then getting people excited with it is that in the time between finishing the work and gaining consensus, the artist and writer could find another job and be unavailable.

Happy to look at options, though!

1 Like

Thank you for your words!

I wish to make one clarification, though, in that Curio is a company that did one of the samples, but isn’t the company managing the project as a whole. That would be myself, with the years of experience (and that is my list of projects, which include Mickey Mouse, Transformers, etc.) Happy to provide links to the work should anyone have an interest, of course!

The reason for the distinction is that I have done packaging and publishing, so am not just used to creating the content, but also printing, distributing, in cases translating and shipping overseas.

5 Likes

Thanks for further expanding on the team/company dynamics here.

I understand the constraints here and would personally be willing to just take the plunge given what we already know.

However, if you cont sharing more sketches (and perhaps engaging in Discord) building consensus within the DAO might be a smoother ride.

Lastly, this got me excited:

Part of the purpose of the proposal is to explore how a community can be involved in the creation of a book, which is why we wanted to give options for art and story.


Happy to continue reaching out, and have had some amazing conversations about this project within (and out of) the discord already!

Here’s another potential art style for a comics series, came in after we made our initial post :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Love this art! Everything you’ve submitted so far has been great.

I’ve spoken to this team a few times and love what they are doing. Great energy and very knowledgeable.

1 Like

Lots of experience and high quality work supporting this prop. we need more established pros with an open mind and vision in order to continue to build the NOUNs into the future. I think this project is a no brainer

1 Like

Love this! Would support.

1 Like

Another art style (yes, we are on a new version for the proposal, but had to share here!)


1 Like

These illustrations look incredible!

Thank you! Be prepared to see more awesomeness! We’re in the phase where we are getting together art, stories and covers!!!