Stan Lee's first-ever Webisode is going to be sold as an NFT. The sale was announced today, and the item up for sale as an NFT is the premiere episode of The 7th Portal, the web animation series that Stan Lee Media launched back in 2000, on the Shockwave animation hub. 7th Portal not only has the distinction of being a milestone piece of Stan Lee memorabilia: it is also a series that is widely attributed to helping establish the term "Webisode" as a marketing term for web-based entertainment content. The 7th Portal streamed 20 of its original 22 episodes before Shockwave went bankrupt, with the final 2 episodes airing on TV.
You can check out Stan Lee's The 7th Portal on YouTube, and get the full release about the first Webisode's sale as an NFT, below:
PRESS RELEASE – INTERNET ART TREASURES ORIGINALLY CREATED BY STAN LEE TO BE SOLD AS NFTS ON MAKERSPLACE ON MAY 13TH
May 10, 2021 - On May 13, 2021, a collection of some of the most significant pieces of internet-based digital art history will be immortalized as NFTs on MakersPlace.com. The pieces are the first from a limited collection of the first high concept superhero digital art created over 20 years ago by comic and pop culture icon Stan Lee exclusively for the internet. The feature piece of the collection, “The 7th Portal – Webisode 1 – Let The Game Begin” in its entirety will be auctioned as a single edition NFT. This piece is not only the first episode in the historic 7th Portal franchise, but it is credited as being the first time the term “webisode” was ever used publicly to describe an animated series on the internet. The drop will also feature limited edition animated and still NFTs introducing the heroes and villains of the 7th Portal and giving collectors an opportunity to own these treasures of digital and internet art history.
The significance of the 7th Portal to the history of digital animation art cannot be overstated. More than twenty years before today’s blockchain-backed digital art revolution on the internet, Stan Lee had a vision for the future of digital comic art: A multiverse of superheroes and villains that would be born and live on the then brand-new World Wide Web. Lee quickly embraced a vision of how the newly emerging entertainment medium of the internet would transform superhero entertainment, and he placed all his focus and creativity to create the first internet-based superhero character franchises of his career.
Explaining in 1999 how his career as a creator of comic art led him to the then brand-new internet medium, Lee stated:
“I started in comics when they were in their infancy and we had some measure of success. Now I have an opportunity to get into the internet when it is in its infancy and it is a far bigger, more powerful field than comics ever were.”
Even though Lee was in his late 70s at the time, he was not deterred by the technical complexities of the new medium. He explained:
“People wonder why am I interested in the internet when this seems to be a young person’s thing? But I think I feel like a young person and I find that the internet isn’t a matter of age, it’s a matter of the exciting possibilities that it offers . . . . And I don’t think it has anything to do with what generation you’re in, it’s just the excitement of telling stories and feeling that I am telling them to friends and hoping that these friends will enjoy them as much as the stories I told years ago. Maybe more. Because these stories on the internet will be animated, they’ll be 3 dimensional and they’ll have sound and music and voices. They’ll be like little miniature movies. And I think that if I was 200 years old I would be excited about doing this.”
To carry out his vision for this ambitious endeavor, Lee recruited a stable of over a hundred of the top comic artists and animators from the best studios in Hollywood to produce the project. Together they created the first high concept superhero universe made for the internet and the first new group of superheroes Lee dreamed up in over 30 years—the 7th Portal. Lee envisioned the Metaverse 20 years before it was a common theme.
The 7th Portal was launched at a $1 million gala hosted by Dick Clark at Raleigh Studios on February 29, 2000. The worldwide launch was a testament to the global reach and potential of the new internet medium, as millions of users tuned in online from all around the world to witness the birth of the new franchise. The worldwide debut crashed the servers of Macromedia's Shockwave and the new endeavor won the Best of Show Web Award in November 2000, as the best Entertainment Portal on the internet, beating Warner Bros and Disney’s portals. The launch also garnered major media attention with feature stories in The New York Times, Time Magazine, The Wall Street Journal and many others. The media heralded the 7th Portal as pioneering the use of flash animation to overcome the significant hurdles that low bandwidth modems presented for internet entertainment at the time and praised Lee and his team for their efforts to reimagine comic art for the new medium.
Unfortunately, despite the 7th Portal’s initial great success, the dotcom meltdown caused production to stop on the franchise in the early 2000’s. The treasure trove of iconic digital art that was created was locked away. Nearly a decade later, a collector acquired Lee’s former company, its intellectual property and the creative assets that were produced with the goal of shining light on the franchise’s historical significance and the role Lee played as a pioneer in the internet art revolution. With the advent of blockchain technology in the digital art space, the collector believes now is the perfect time to share these digital art treasures and give collectors a chance to own these unique pieces of internet history.
To ensure the collection receives the thought and care it deserves, Shirrel Rhoades has agreed to curate the collection for release as NFTs. Rhoades formerly served as the Executive Vice President of Marvel Comics and was handpicked by Stan Lee to succeed him as publisher of Marvel Comics. Rhoades brings decades of experience in the comic art industry and collecting to curate this unique treasure trove of digital art.
On May 13, 2021, collectors will be offered the chance to own the first pieces from the 7th Portal collection as NFTs on MakersPlace. Given their place in history as the first internet creations by world-renowned icon Stan Lee and their status as the first “webisodes'' on the internet, the significance of these pieces is sure to rival that of any NFTs that have been released thus far.
NFTs (Non-fungible tokens) are the current digital extravagance du jour, giving owners a marker for some of the more exclusive "first edition" digital content of the 21st century. Art, sports memorabilia - even famous memes - are being sold for hundreds of thousands of dollars, even though few consumers and collectors truly understand the nature of these commodities or their value.
The 7th Portal episode 1 will go on sale as an NFT starting on May 13th. Details above.