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A piece of comic history has gone digital — and sold for over $100,000 at auction.
Earlier this month, Aspen Comics announced it was getting into the NFT game with the cover to Fathom No. 1, the work from late artist Michael Turner that became the top-selling comic of 1998. It felt like a safe bet, as in recent months, NFTs have seen an explosion in interest from comic creators and collectors, and Turner remains a beloved figure. Aspen’s auction was also noteworthy as it was believed to be the first publisher to officially launch an NFT with a classic cover.
On May 21 the Fathom cover sold for an impressive $100,008.88 to David Cho, a noted collector and the co-founder of collectibles company Rare Edition.
“I couldn’t resist the opportunity to hone in on this incredibly rare edition NFT of such an iconic Michael turner work,” Cho said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s not only a unique piece of art and comic book history but has an exciting future with Mythos Studios. I’m looking forward to seeing Fathom on the big screen.”
After a bidding war, Cho beat out Brock Pierce, the child actor known for The Mighty Ducks who became an entrepreneur and cryptocurrency mogul, ran for president as an independent in 2020, and who has been linked to controversial figures in the past.
“Such an amazing success for the Michael Turner Fathom NFT…not surprising given how iconic and beloved the comic franchise and art are,” Pierce said in a statement. “I was excited to participate and look forward to trying again in future Fathom and Michael Turner drops.”
Part of the auction supported favorite charities of Turner, who died of cancer in 2008, what some proceeds going to the American Cancer Society, Make-A-Wish, The Lonely Whale and Oceana.
The auction came as Mythos Studios, which owns a 50 percent stake in Aspen Comics, prepares to unveil a shared universe of animated movies based on Turner’s works in the next few years.
David Maisel, CEO of Mythos Studios, notes the NFT is a great way to build excitement for what’s to come with the TurnerVerse, which he is working on with music mogul Scooter Braun. Maisel spent years at Marvel Studios as its founding chairman, and recalls how the team went to Comic-Con multiple years leading up to 2008’s Iron Man — all to lay that groundwork for a movie that became a surprise hit and launched the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Along with the cover, the NFT sale also included Turner’s pencil drawing, the chance for Cho or the person of his choosing to be drawn into an upcoming Fathom comic, as well as the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes look at Aspen and Mythos’ upcoming plans by zooming with its executives.
“We want them to feel like part of the family,” says Maisel.
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