Well holy Flazzdrives Cici! Welcome to Caelum, the world of the Blitmaps and the Logos! For those of you new to Blitmap, hello, howdy and welcome! I’m excited to write this first “unofficial” mailbag for the Blitmap comic series! If you have any questions, comments, statements, praises, or mud to sling, please be sure to drop me a line at niftypinsnft at gmail dot com (mark it “OK to print” to appear in the next mailbag!). While I’m not an employee of Sup, I am a big fan. And given that the world of Blitmap is in the public domain, I figured why not dive in and write a mailbag! So whether you’re a Naut nut or a Logo lover, let’s dive in!
How about all those covers?!
If you’ve been in the comic book world for anytime, you know that collectors love variant covers. But y’all, EVERY ONE OF THESE COVERS IS UNIQUE! There’s none of this “having to know someone” or shell out major cash to get a rare variant because each Blitmap book is different. I had a wild time trying to explain this to my comic shop–they thought it was simply a blind bag that you may get one-out-of-ten unique covers, but no, no, no my pixelated pals! The Blitmap comic that you hopefully have in your hot little hand is the only one of that particular style!
This is a feat of engineering, a modern marvel, so much so that Sup is probably one of the first comics to ever list a group of engineers as a contributor to a book! And this is all thanks to a mash up of human design and algorithmic rarity, something known as “generative art.” Essentially, there are a number of variables, everything from the base style of the cover (baseline Liz or Cici, zoomed inLiz or Cici, artist notes for each character, or the most coveted duo cover), expressions, clothes, and color palette that get randomly connected and crafted.
The beauty of Blitmap is that the Sup team took this concept of generative art that has become commonplace in the world of digital collectibles and brought it to the physical realm with a patent pending technology called Hyperpress! And man, oh man, are the combinations insane? Wanna see what some of the cover art that has been pulled? Stop by the #comic channel on the Blitmap Discord server, check out the activation updates on the Sup website, or even see the snapshots from fans like yourself on this community created portal!
Yeah the cover art is nice, but let’s talk about the story!
Like all comic books, the first issue is a tough act to pull off. There’s no familiarity with the characters, their struggles, or the world they inhabit. This is not unusual when it comes to entertainment media: think of your favorite comic book or television show, that first issue or pilot tends to be rough.
The challenge proved tough for the Sup team as readers may have lots of questions. As of now we don’t know a ton about the Blitnauts other than the fact that they hold relics, called Blitmaps, in high esteem. This seems to run in contrast to the Logos faction that hold something called Brandmarks near and dear to their heart.
While it seems that the Nauts in the story are on a very particular quest, we don’t quite know what the Logos are after (or why one seems to talk as though he is out of the Camelot era!). But there does seem to be a bit of a rub between the two factions, though they can act quite civil in an area called the Neutral Alignment Zone, or NAZ.
But the issue ends on a bit of the cliff hanger as the two heroines (and cover subjects) Cici and Liz end up in a new realm called the Static. This appears to be some kind of alternate dimension or in-between-world that we saw another character hop into earlier in the book. With much of the background out of the way, it seems like we are going to be cooking once episode two rolls around!
While the story may be slow, the art is poppin’
Even though the story got off to a bit of a slow start, the interior showed that the book was more than a pretty cover. The vistas and city scapes were vibrant, with bright hues filled with sunlight. The realm of Caelem, NAZ, and the Frigate Tavern were as much of a character as the main protagonists.
This creates a number of questions: What will the Static look like? Will it be muted or just as vibrant as the world that the Nauts and Logos inhabit? Given how tremendous the interior looked, I hope that the team keeps up these brilliant colors—it’s certainly a respite from much of the darkness and destruction that is plaguing our world today.
Some inside info for folks completely new to the Blitmap universe
There were a couple of snippets that may have been lost on readers new to this world of Blitmap, so I thought I’d give some background information that may help bring some terms to light. The world of Blitmap originated as a digital art project back in May 2021 led by Dom Hofmann and 16 other artists prior to being stewarded as a fictional universe by Sup, a company that Hofmann founded with Chris Supino (one of the original artists). Since that time, a community has coalesced around the project and some of the items referenced in the book are known entities to this group.
While in the Frigate Tavern, Hawk made a comment that he knew Fizz from a card game called Sugar. This has an origin in our world: Hofmann released a few digital NFT Sugar cards starting in 2021. While we haven’t seen much of how the game play will work, it seems that this project is still in flight based on the Sup website and from some of the comments Supino and Hofmann have made in the Discord server. And with the advent of the Hyperpress, I’d hazard a guess that the team may look into taking generative printing to the realm of card games, think of a game like Pokémon where every card has different art, health, or abilities.
Another item that may be unfamiliar to new readers is the bit of tech that Val handed over to Fizz that suddenly started shining a bright light. In our world, this item is called a Phasometer, which is an NFT that all original Blitmap and Blitnaut collectors were able to claim and can be used to craft a Logos character.
And as of Monday, October 30, holders of these Phasometers were able to start crafting Logos characters—yes, those same Logos characters that are featured in the book! In fact, if you want to see some real time updates of what folks in the Blitmap community are making, stop by the #logos channel on the Blitmap Discord server!
Finally, the sacred totems of the Blitnauts are the namesake item of the comic: Blitmaps. These Blitmaps are digital collectibles that were launched as NFTs in May of 2021. The first 100 Blitmaps are known colloquially as “originals,” and were owned by each of the artists that created them—their numbers range from 0 to 99. Later, individuals were able to “mint” (or create) something called Blitmap “siblings,” sort of mashup that featured the composition of one Blitmap with the color palette of another. But there was a catch: only 16 Blitmap siblings were able to be created, bringing the total collection size up to 1,700.
Later, Blitmap collectors were able to craft Blitnauts (characters like Cici, Kitt and Fizz) that featured their associated Blitmap on the screen. Comic books collectors may have noticed several Blitmap compositions featured on the Cici covered art, including: Blit, Teddy, Rose, Softboy, Gato, Drink Me, Amai, Key, Eye, and Jupiter. For those curious, you can view the entire Blitmap collection here, or you can even browse through a curated collection of Blitmaps that I put together in a JPG collection!
Issue number 2 looks like it is pushed to December! And it appears that Hawk, the Logos bodyguard to Liz, will be one of the characters featured on the cover! Have questions, comments, feedback, praise, criticism of the comic? Be sure to drop me a line at niftypins at gmail d.t com and mark the email with “OK to print”—I’ll feature some of the questions and comments in the next mailbag that I write for issue two! Until then, have a stupendous uninterrupted pleasure in revisiting the first issue until the second comes out!
What a first release! I have to say that the Sup team really outdid themselves when it came to this issue one release. Not only is the one-of-one cover idea pretty darn exciting, the actual reveal was incredible! Cracking open that foil wrapper really was an experience—I know I was planning on keeping a few back and sealed, but my curiosity got the better of me! Luckily I snagged a few more before Midtown went to a one-per-customer allotment!
I feel that the digital activation of the cover was both a hit and a miss. Obviously having a digital component to the comic was something that most expected—I thought that the activation process with the QR code and four words was pretty seamless. However, I wish that Sup would have chosen a path to make the covers digital collectibles that could be traded, rather that being a seemingly “soulbound” token to a particular email address. This could have been an easy onramp into the space (akin to what Reddit did), a sentiment echoed in a tweet by prominent NFT collector—and Blitmap holder—flashrekt.
That being said, I don’t think the script is quite written on Blitmap and its relationship to web3. First off, the big CC0 thesis (that has yet to be proven out) is that the proliferation of the meme will drive back value to the underlying assets. One could consider Blitmap: Fragments of the Machine as a mass media project in this vein—while the intent from Sup clearly seems to build a fictional universe, the effect could generate interest in the original 1,700 piece collection.
Furthermore the onboarding of activating a cover while registering for a Sup account sure seems like it could become an onramp to a digital asset/wallet. Given that the team is working on a new social media experience, it’s not a huge leap to consider that something like this could happen down the line (though I’d be remiss to say that this is purely speculation and that in the activation process it was clearly stated that cover activation <> NFT).
Finally, the NFT space has largely been (in my humble opinion) a pretty large echo-chamber. We live on a planet with some 8 billion people and yet it seems that only tens of thousands (maybe a hundred thousand) care about NFTs and digital collectibles at the moment. But there is no way that digital collectibles don’t take hold of the general population in the near future.
This moment seems awfully similar to the online zealots prior to the dot-com revolution. Mass adoption is coming, but it is clearly not here yet: the tooling is clunky, fraudsters, grifters and scammers are everywhere, and the valuations seem obscene to the layperson (even in this bear).
This leads to a stroke of genius (at least in my eyes) on the part of the Sup team. The origins of Sup and Blitmap are clearly web3—the collection embodied the ethos of the new web, being collaborative, creative, on-chain, and CC0. This is a pedigree that can never be questioned and a birthright that cannot be lost.
But rather than hitting the normal population over the head with terms such as “minting,” “wallet,” and “generative art,” the team chose to pull back and offer “digital activations,” a “Sup account,” and “one-of-one covers.” They are clearly laying the groundwork for when a larger audience is ready to leap into the world of NFTs and digital collectibles while meeting where the general population is today. And that could prove to be the most savviest moves we’ve seen in the NFT space to date.