With over 20,000 claims and 2,000 holders across the entire collection, The Squirrel comics is not just any ordinary comic book. It’s evidence of how artists and storytellers can bring out their best talents in this brave new industry.
“The Squirrel promises to be a bittersweet, comedic ‘tail’ of a kid that turned a rough life into that of ‘The World's Nuttiest Superhero’!”
Brothers-in-law Kevin and Bob come from Long Island, New York and form a complementary pair.
Kevin, the original creator of The Squirrel and the chief creative brains behind the comic, is an artist by profession. On the other hand, Bob takes care of the Non-Fungible Token (NFT) side and is an accountant in the real world. The latter suggested the idea of minting and beaming the comics on NFT.io - Enjin’s NFT marketplace.
The pair's journey into NFTs started when Bob's friend introduced him to cryptocurrency mining and Ethereum back in 2015. Learning the new concept wasn't easy. But through an Ethereum-mining step-by-step guide on YouTube, Bob eventually saw the various opportunities the space offered.
“You start to appreciate the opportunity this space offers to make your own path,” Bob recalled.
During the COVID lockdowns, while following various crypto projects with his partner Kayla, Bob soon landed on Enjin and resonated immediately with its vision. “Bridging gaps with people who have a lot of talent to contribute to this space is what can make for a strong ecosystem,” Bob narrated what he had found with Enjin.
He then approached Kevin, who had been working on an original comic book titled "The Squirrel" at the time. Adapting The Squirrel into NFT format was an interesting idea but the two needed to make sure of the platform that would host their work.
“With The Squirrel we don’t want to focus on trying to sell art - that’s not our passion. Our passion is rather focused on creating professional artist drawn content and original storylines for people across the world to enjoy and participate in.”
After much discussion, the pair decided to distribute each page as a separate NFT. By doing so, it helped them build an audience and kept them engaged with the story.
"The tools [on NFT.io] were well fitted for this. It’s still in beta but as it stands right now, there’s a lot of flexibility it has offered us for minting, distributing and planning next steps." The pair commended the platform.
Over the journey, Bob and Kevin learned how to pace their work, balancing quality and timing. “We like to allow ourselves the time to create something of quality, but timing is also important,” the pair stated.
The timed releases also enabled The Squirrel to deepen the lore as the comic progressed.
“We are currently creating and finalizing some neat art work that we are going to be releasing soon. It will be focused on artifact items from the story,” Bob hinted at the upcoming releases.
Missed the first few pages? Don’t worry.
With the layout and search features of NFT.io, someone new, who had stumbled upon the project at a later page and liked it, had the chance to visit earlier pages.
“...if somebody found out about us at page 12 and liked it, they can still go all the way back to our beams from the cover page and catch up on our story,” Bob said.
True enough, they saw tons of people pick up in the middle and go back searching for previous pages. Meanwhile, if someone was not interested in owning an entire issue, someone could see the individual pages as a collectible artwork.
Through this process, minting on NFT.io became noticeably different versus publishing traditionally via a physical book or magazine press.
In the traditional sense, what the customer gets is the finished product and for most of the time cannot be altered even with audience feedback. Traditional printing relies on a good cover and an eye-catching description on the back to make readers want to buy authors’ books.
“We intend to get our audience involved with the storyline as much as possible all while utilizing Enjin’s features to do so,” Bob said.
By publishing on Enjin, there is space for feedback to have an impact on how the story and the artworks change overtime for the better.
The team needed a tool that would allow them to distribute their work for free to as many readers around the world. It was never about the money.
“Enjin helps us move towards accomplishing this through the creation of Beam codes that allow us to distribute our art for free. We want the market to determine its value, not us…”
Through Beam, anyone with a smartphone and Enjin mobile app installed could claim their copy of the Squirrel.
The flexibility of Beam codes also meant that the team could promote their work and engage the audience through multiple channels. “We started a Twitter/X, and dropped our Beams in the Beam Club telegram group…the Beam Club is always going to come first! We’re getting our own Telegram group started soon too.”
Beyond the technology, Bob and Kevin also praised the Enjin Support’s customer service. “Their service is great, we’ve had questions along the way and they’ve always helped. And we enjoy collecting NFT art from others on here as well.”
While the team has the next issue written, the story is far from finished. Readers eagerly await what comes next.
The Squirrel’s first issue is out now on NFT.io. Make sure to read it in time for when the next issue drops!