An Eternal Artist
Art has always evolved hand in hand with technology. From Egyptian hieroglyphs carved on stone, through oil paintings to digital art, the advancement in new techniques is what made artists shine with new styles.
The first comic was created in 1895 (Yellow Kid) and the first NFT in 2014 (Quantum). During this time, the way we look at art has changed remarkably. Like NFTs, comics weren’t very popular at first. They weren’t considered books and they weren’t considered art. However, a huge industry has been created around them, and consumers of all ilk consider them both books and art.
The artist we feature in this edition is an example of many young people. At 88 years old, Jose Delbo is a successful comic artist who worked for DC Comics and Marvel. Two years ago Delbo became involved in the NFT market, and today is one of the 100 most influential artists in the crypto space.
Jose Delbo was born in Argentina in 1933. At the age of 16, he made his debut with the Argentine comic “Poncho Negro.” Shortly after, he moved to the United States to fulfill his dream and be a comic book artist. His early work for the US market included Billy the Kid for Charlton Comics, Judge Colt, and Lone Ranger.
During the 70s and 80s he continued drawing on projects like The Monkees or Mod Squad. He ended up working at Marvel and DC Comics, where he penciled the adventures of Superman, Batman, Green Arrow, Thundercats, and The Transformers.
During the 1990s he worked for Disney on classics such as 101 Dalmatians and The Little Mermaid, in addition to drawing the stories of historical female characters such as Barbie and Wonder Woman.
Delbo has drawn a huge number of vignettes throughout his life, leaving a magnificent legacy in the world of comics. However, he did not want to stop there and decided to do the same in the world of NFTs.
The comic is 42 pages in black and white, where short stories are told with the main character Death always present. The number of editions is limited to 250.
Delbo received great support from the community, so months later he decided that Death would appear in more of his works. He collaborated with Pr1mal Cypher to create the NFT “A Wh1sper Of Death.’’ He later partnered with Sarah Perryman to create and release two color pieces, which sold out in seconds.
Finally, he collaborated with Vuho, a 3D studio from Colombia, to present Death in a different style. Delbo released 315 editions of the work “Death…the Fallen” with a price tag of 750 USD each. The NFTs sold out in no time.
In October 2020, Jose Delbo, in collaboration with his grandson Nick Frontera, the founder of Apollo NFT, created the Satoshiverse, an epic comic drawn in the classic style but published on the blockchain.
The protagonist, “Satoshi The Creator,” is a superhero who fights against the Defenders of Fiat, who represent the financial elite and the mega-rich who try by any means possible to stop the prosperity of the blockchain.
Having drawn the most famous characters in comics, Jose Delbo has created the first blockchain superhero that anyone into crypto can relate to.
To further engage the community, Delbo created the Satoshi Legion, the avatar NFTs for the Satoshiverse. After the Defenders of the Fiat take control of the land, Satoshi The Creator gathers 100 leaders to create legions and finish them off. In real life, “The 100” are several of the top community leaders, artists, and builders of the NFT/Crypto space.
Heroes Playing Poker
On February 6, 2021, Delbo released this piece featuring our favorite superheroes playing poker, referencing Cassius Marcelus Coolidge’s “Dogs Playing Poker”. The collection was released on Nifty Gateway and features a 1/1 color version and 10 other black and white editions.
“Heroes Playing Poker” has become one of the iconic works of Jose Delbo.
On March 4, 2021, Jose Delbo and Hackatao collaborated to release the Wonder Woman-inspired “Heroines” collection of NFTs. Hackatao is, without a doubt, one of the most respected NFT artists in cryptoart.
His objective was to make visible the titanic struggle of women and launch the message “ALL women are strong and should always feel empowered.” In total, 914 individual NFTs were auctioned, each featuring one of seven illustrations or animated gifs depicting Wonder Woman in scenes related to female empowerment.
These two legendary artists in total managed to raise $1.85 million USD!
On September 5, 2021, Jose Delbo created Captain Apemo along with a series of derivative works. Captain Apemo is Bored Ape #3457. As we have already explained in this article, one of the possibilities you have by owning an NFT PFP is to create your own brand and from there a new community.
The Genesis Captain Apemo Collection launched on Nifty Gateway and sold out in a matter of minutes. As a result of the success of this collection, new collaborations with other BAYC holders arose.
Heroes of Manchester
On January 19, 2022 Delbo collaborated with Manchester City to launch a collection of NFTs called “Heroes of Manchester.” In the collection you can see the five captains of the English club drawn as superheroes.
They wanted to represent the effort and honor that comes with defending the colors of the club. With this collaboration, Man City demonstrates once again that they are very interested in Web3 technology.
Billy The Kid Collection
One of the historical characters that both children and grandparents know is Billy The Kid. The famous cowboy represents one of the most beautiful stages in the life of Jose Delbo.
While Delbo continued to draw comics, another phenomenon appeared in Hollywood. Val Kilmer is a remarkable actor who has portrayed many iconic characters in cinematic history. One of them was Billy The Kid.
The one who drew “Billy The Kid,’’ and the one who represented him in cinema have joined forces to launch an NFT. The comic mixes illustrations by Delbo and poems by Kilmer.
The collection was launched on Nifty Gateway. It features three open editions, one collector’s only drawing, and three ranked auctions. The open editions were available for only 20 minutes before selling out.
NFTs provide a huge opportunity for the comic book space, evolving how readers consume comic art and how creators tell their stories.
Thanks to blockchain technology, comic collectors and creators can do so much more, both physically and digitally. The smart contracts that are implemented in NFT comics open up a world of possible utilities and rewards for creators’ communities..
Artists like Jose Delbo give enormous prestige to cryptoart thanks to his reputation. He has united two communities that love collecting: comic fans and NFT holders.
Remember, it’s never too late and we’re still very early!
KAF is a consultant and writer who helps people get closer to NFT, DAO, Defi and metaverse.