In today’s episode we have two primary guests who are shaping the future of creative expression: JC Sterrett and Daniel Mazzone. Both guests are part of Rainbow Lobster, a collective of freethinkers dedicated to co-creating and producing transmedia narrative projects. Daniel is also a virtual artist who is now creating digital pieces of his works, as well as NFT-integrated projects like Yume. Daniel and JC are ensuring that Yume has a positive impact and positively affects the world we live in. They are building a community that is encouraged to dream, to never give up, to be inspired and to inspire others. Yume characters (Yume translates to “dream” in Japanese) are designed to evoke these aspirations. Stay tuned and be inspired with Yume!
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JC Sterrett & Daniel Mazzone (Yume & Rainbow Lobster) – Decentralized Freethinking Transmedia Storytelling, Plus HeroMaker Studios, Kumite NFT, And More…
NFT curious readers, stay tuned for this episode and find out how Yume and Rainbow Lobster inspire freethinkers to follow their dreams, why empathy and patience can make all the difference and change in the world and how the Kumite NFT collection from HeroMaker Studios sprouted from the roots of Jean-Claude Van Damme movies and Comic Con. All this and more on this episode.
This episode features JC Sterrett and Daniel Mazzone, the decentralized freethinkers co-creating and producing transmedia original content, art and activism. JC is SVP of Partnerships for Rainbow Lobster, a creative collective from around the globe of storytellers and like-minded freethinkers who are creating narratives for a transmedia world with a big focus on bringing traditional companies, brands, artists and content projects into the Web3, NFT and metaverse space.
Daniel was homeless at fifteen and now is considered the next Andy Warhol by Canadian billionaire Michael Wekerle. This renowned contemporary artist sold out for the seventh year in a row at the 2021 Art Basel show in Miami, drawing a crowd of more than 1,800 people to see his magnificent works. The cherry on top was the sale of his Yume NFT which sold on the final day for a whole $150,000.
Stained glass artist turned digital world builder, he strives to make meaningful art that inspires people to dream bigger. His objective is to provide a new lens through which we perceive the intricacies of life to learn how to slow down, notice the little things and take a closer look at what we already have. I already have an excellent life getting to hang out with you. Welcome to the show. This is going to be a blast. Let’s get it rolling.
Welcome. We do have a pretty cool life. We couldn’t have a better couple of guests here to join us in this conversation. Let’s get some background and start with the origin story. Let’s start on the Rainbow Lobster side. How did Rainbow Lobster come together?
Rainbow Lobster was masterminded by our CEO, Sebastian Arrechedera, who is also a Spirit Seed holder.
He has been lurking behind the scenes. I got to meet him at NFT LA. What a deep thinker. He’s a cool guy.
He’s an icon in advertising and creatives out of Latin America and globally. After selling his agency to Dentsu for a ton of money, he was like, “I’ll never have another employee ever again. I want to create what became Rainbow Lobster and a collective of freethinkers from around the globe.” They’re creatives, directors, movie makers, companies and personalities that became a part of this collective to help create the narratives that people are trying to tell, whether you’re an artist, company, brand or project and get your message out to the world. Rainbow Lobster was founded in Los Angeles and also has a headquarter in Mexico City.
I was part when it was all being created but I’m not taking credit for what Sebastian has done. He brought me into it and said, “You’re great at partnerships and PR. I would love you as part of Rainbow Lobster.” Ever since then, we have been embarking on amazing stuff. He’s the one who said, “You’ve got to get into NFTs and Web3. I need you to dive in there super fast.” It was at ETHDenver that I fully fell in love. I was like, “I’ll degen. I’m going all-in into the underground tunnels of NFTs and Web3.” It was amazing. The revolution that’s happening and what’s happening in the NFT space is pretty awesome. I feel that it’s the rave scene meets dot-com had a baby. That’s what Web3 is.
Dan, how about you? What led you to the world of NFTs? You’re a very accomplished artist for a long period. What was that trigger for you?
I’ve been making physical artwork for years. God bless, it has been a great ride. A lot of great things have happened. People have been asking me to make NFTs. All my work has to be meaningful. There has to be a message. I’m making digital pieces of the physical pieces that I make. I didn’t want to sell myself out for a paycheck, not reproduce stuff that people already have and just collect a paycheck. There was no meaning to it.
I was a little bit standoffish about it but I thought NFTs were great. I wanted to be a part of it but I didn’t know how. There was a moment where I thought, “I want to do this. How do I do this?” I have a character, Yume, which I created years ago. I’ve been making sculptures. It has been a real hit. I was homeless for five years. I didn’t get a chance to follow my dreams right away. I wanted to create a character that would inspire people.
I created Yume, which means dream in Japanese. Yume is a child wearing bunny rabbit pajamas. It’s supposed to represent the child that becomes the person they’re supposed to be no matter what. You followed your dreams. Even if you want to wear bunny rabbit pajamas every day, you do it. Yume is a generalist. It represents everyone. I thought, “That’s inspiring but what’s the correlation between NFTs, crypto and this world?”
For me, the correlation was if you asked anybody years ago about crypto and digital artworks being displayed in a metaverse as a gallery, people would have thought it was a sci-fi movie or you were crazy but all the people and pioneers that started all this believed in it. Guys like you, guys like me, guys like them and women like them all believed in this and never looked back. They’re changing the world and the way we see it forever. That’s the correlation. Yume is a dreamer and so are these people. Yume makes big things happen as these people did. That’s why I wanted to create a collection of Yume NFTs.
I love how that connection pans out. It makes a lot of sense. Congrats to you for finding your way on your journey. It sounds like it has been quite an interesting ride. It’s a lot to get through. That’s a whole topic of another episode. I’m sure we could talk through that story. I want to talk about something that could be related to activism. You are passionate about activism. I’m curious about how you can communicate with the audience and promote activism through art.
Giving back is a huge deal for me. I’ve been giving back every year with my regular artwork. I always donate to children’s charities or women’s charities. Women’s charities are a big one for me as well. My mom was also homeless when we were kids. That has always been a big deal for me. I like to help out in both ways. That’s why we made our collection small as well. I didn’t want it to be a project that was about money. It was about creating the community smaller so we could find the right people, not just a bunch of people buying it to flip it because we want to bring like-minded people together and show that wasn’t a project about making money.
We created an NFT for Ukraine, which was in Times Square for two weeks, that would be auctioned. We’re fortunate enough to be able to donate $40,000. It’s being able to do more things like this with our NFTs. In the future, what we would like to do is be able to find people that would sponsor. Maybe with every NFT sold, we could get a water filter system for people that don’t have a system. Giving back is a big deal for me.
I love this idea of having each NFT connected to something. We’re doing that with our Living Tree NFTs that are coming out. Each one is going to plant 25 trees. We did it with our Spirit Seeds where we offset the annual carbon emissions equivalent of 1 individual for 1 year with each of those. Do it. We wrote that check when the collective sold out. That happened. You can affect the world incredibly and positively. People can feel it on an individual basis when you have an NFT collection. Their NFT connects to something specific. It’s pretty cool.
There are so many issues in the world that need to be fixed. Sometimes we feel like the world is so big and we’re by ourselves, “Is what I’m doing going to be enough?” There’s this project and projects like Spirit Seeds. The more there are these projects that are giving back and helping, it’s so much easier to fix the world when you have so many people helping out and also getting something in return.
Some of the best give-back programs are rooted in things that do generate tremendous amounts of value for everybody involved than typically for-profit ventures that if crafted the right way with the right DNA can impact the world in meaningful ways that in many cases even a nonprofit can’t do or is not positioned to do. It’s cool to see so much of that evolve from the world of NFTs and all that it represents. On that note, we mentioned in the intro the idea of decentralized freethinkers. We wanted to ask. What do decentralized freethinkers mean to you and your universe?
NFT Art: If you asked anybody 10 years ago about crypto and digital artworks being displayed in a metaverse as a gallery, people would’ve thought it was a sci-fi movie or you were crazy.
Freethinkers are people that are not afraid to go beyond the box, think out of the box, freely think, be bold and courageous with your thoughts and storytelling, have that ability to think freely and then have a big impact. This is the Web3 community and what’s happening in Web3. There’s this revolution happening. We come from working with corporate worlds and corporate brands where you have to fit into their box and think their way.
Even when you’re telling their story, you don’t have that ability to be a freethinker. The decentralized is the spirit of the Web3 space and the crypto space. When you have those two combinations, you can not only make a big splash and impact but you can also use innovation, technology, community and so many things to tell that story. It’s where it spawns from.
There’s some unlearning that has to be done as well when you’ve been in that corporate environment or you’re coming from that corporate environment to be able to legitimately internalize that way of viewing the world. It’s tough. We’ve got all these ideas.
One thing that we have very clear is we push the envelope even for corporations. Why they come to us is because they are at the end of the day also looking for that because creatives create. The corporate world and tech guys create too but build something else. As much as we need them, they need us but what they need from us is for them to be able to tell their story properly.
It reminds me of a conversation I had with my son. He was going to visit another teacher’s class, moving from one class to the other. You think of freethinking and unencumbered thought. He was going to visit the class because he might be joining this other teacher’s class in 2023. He’s four in 2022. He doesn’t even know. He said, “Is my teacher’s class broken? Why am I going?” It was such an interesting statement.
You’re like, “That’s a four-year-old.” It’s an unencumbered thought. It’s like, “Why do you have to go do this thing if you didn’t do that?” It’s because the thing might be broken. It’s this interesting view. It would never cross my mind. Even such a small thing reminds me of exactly what you talked about in having the capacity to even introduce a thought like that, which would probably never cross any of our minds. It’s very cool stuff.
Let me add a little bit. This is why we love working with Daniel. What this character Yume represents is that. Yume is that genderless freethinker who is out inspiring the world to dream, chase and never give up.
Let’s chat about Yume a little bit more. It’s a good transition. We will let you take it, JC. Talk about the details, the scoop on how it works, utility and maybe even a little bit about the essence of the artwork. Give the reader a download of the visuals there. Is there anything you can add?
There are several utilities that we have. One of the biggest utilities in this project for us is the art because this is an art-based project. One, Daniel is a very established artist with a lot of traction with this artwork. When you’re making art that is meaningful and has a lot of background with it, not only do we feel but we’re also seeing it and hearing it in the space. Art is a lot of times the biggest utility that you can offer because there’s something behind that already. It’s not something new or something that exists.
The other part is creating inspiration for others and a community that inspires, welcoming to build this community and helping our community build this community that we’re building to inspire. We’re living in this world. A lot of people have lost inspiration and vision. There are a lot of lost souls in the world. I feel that the Web3 community and the NFT space are giving that back to a lot of people. During COVID, for a lot of people, all they had was their degen communities or Discord communities.
That alone has created this whole movement of inspiring others. We’re going to that and going deeper into utilities. We’re working with a physical part of getting a print. Daniel is going to have some prints made. He never makes prints but there’s going to be a high-end print of a Yume that each holder will get. It’s going to be hand-touched by Daniel. Also, it’s going to have his signature on there. You’re going to get the actual physical piece of art with you as a holder.
You won’t have to burn any of these either because sometimes people want you to burn your NFT to get the art. We’re giving you the art with the NFT.
It’s also having access because Daniel has a lot of things. He has a big presence in Art Basel, where he has a great event. We’re giving the holders the ability to come to a private showing of an Art Basel show. It will be for holders exclusively with Daniel there and all his art. We will have the NFTs and the sculptures up. You get to meet Daniel. It will be exclusive to them. We feel that people want to have that ability to have that. We have a couple of other stuff there. I feel that those are the key things. Am I missing one that’s important, Daniel?
We have an estate in Pavia as well. We will create a unique clubhouse where we can bring people together. The biggest idea behind doing the project was Yume being the dreamer. With things being decentralized and Twitter being taken over, thank God, the thing that annoyed me was the cancel culture and the government hiding media on what’s happening. Everything is tailored for what they want us to see. In this decentralized land, it’s having a small community of like-minded thinkers and dreamers come together because we want people to think like us.
If people that buy this NFT come together, you will have an avatar of this Yume and be able to go to the clubhouse. How great would it be to meet people that are like-minded and think like you? It’s the only way the world will ever change and the only way we’re going to have inventions. The only way penicillin was invented or the car was because people had dreams and people were innovators. The more that our ability to speak freely is taken away, takes away our ability to grow. It’s having this clubhouse and hosting events that I’ll go to live and in metaverses. It’s a nice place to bring these people together to make a difference in the world and some change.
Where did you say the space was?
It will be in Pavia, which is from Cardano. We’re working on other metaverses as well where we will create clubhouses so you can travel to all of them. It will be nice. You can bring your Yume Helmet that you will get with an NFT and be able to go to these places, meet other people that bought them and host events with music or maybe it’s a chat about a topic. These types of people must stick together and help change the world. Sometimes you feel like you’re by yourself. You don’t know how to do things but if there’s a group of people, the energy’s there to do something.
To touch upon that little sliver of my question as well, can you paint a picture of the picture? Tell us about the colors, what feelings it evokes and what’s going on there.
What I want to do with this project and another reason we made it small was that I wanted to hand-detail all of them. None of this stuff is computer-generated. Each one has been gone through and I picked colors, faces, collages, what accessories are on there and what’s happening in the background. Everything has been tailored by me and the team. I wanted to do that because there’s more soul to it. I’m seeing so many projects where it looks like one’s got a cigar, one’s got this and one’s got that. There’s no real life to it.
All of my pieces, whether they are digital or real, have to have some touch for me or I don’t feel confident. I’m not proud of it. There are going to be colorful ones and dark ones. Some are happy, superhero-like and inspiring. We have topics of women’s pride and gay pride. We have had sports collabs. There’s something for everybody though. Every detail has been gone over with all of us.
Thanks for diving deeper.
Much of this is about inspiration and influencing people in ways that are about those underlying values you talked about like freethinking and open-mindedness. I’m curious as to how you think about this project inspiring folks to chase their dreams. What are the things that you see in the project that can spark something in somebody that could change their life? How do you view that part of this project?
There are two parts to it. One of them is the character and what it needs. You see this character but then it’s just a character. Why would I be inspired by this character? The other part of it is my story from someone who had nothing. I had a rough childhood. I was homeless for five years. I was sleeping in movie theaters for $2 and subway trains. It was not easy. Some people have it even worse than I had it. The idea behind my story and that character are you being able to wear this suit per se. Maybe my story is the inspiration that it can be anybody.
That’s why Yume is a generalist because it is anyone. It’s my story and the character together that will go, “This guy can do it. Anybody can do it.” It doesn’t matter how hard life is and what life throws at you. There are always people there. The thing is I wouldn’t have gotten there if there weren’t support. I had support from people that care about me. That’s what this is. It’s a community where it’s like, “One person is down. I’ll be your rock to lean on. I can help you do this.”
It’s a community about people helping each other. It doesn’t mean you have to change the world. Maybe it’s something simple. Maybe you need someone. It’s a community of people who care. People are going to be there to help you when you’re down. It’s not about creating some brilliant invention. That’s not where I’m getting at. It could be something as simple as, “I’m having problems in my life. Maybe I need someone to talk to that I respect.” That’s what it is. It’s the character and my story.
I could see that inspiring people to change their lives. There’s no question about that. There’s so much to draw on there in terms of inspiration. It’s the idea that we give a shit. To align those words with actions is something rarer than you would hope. It’s great to see what you are doing along those lines in putting those words into practice and inspiring people. This is very cool.
I can’t help but recall when I was teaching as a graduate student at Hunter College in New York City. I had a teaching assistant who was an incredibly sharp young man but he was falling behind on some of his teaching assistant duties. I would take him aside and say, “What’s going on?” He said, “My mom is in the hospital.” I said, “You have to stay with your family.”
He’s like, “I don’t have any other family. It’s just me and my mom. My mom is in the hospital.” I found out that this kid had been homeless and had written a book. He had somehow developed the relationships and the ambition and kept his dream alive well enough to have been a published author already at that point. He did it while he was in high school. What’s fascinating about this is it connects to what you were saying about people caring and also people noticing and having those dreams.
It’s impressive that he wrote a book but it’s also impressive that he was a teaching assistant. He was able to pull that off and live in a world where he doesn’t even know that if you’re having a problem like that, you could tell the person that you’re working for about it, “It’s just me and my mom. I’m sorry. That’s why I’m not delivering these things.” It’s simple things that make a difference at all levels.
It’s pretty amazing. Everyone has a story. A lot of times, the story that we show to the world is not truly the story that’s happening. Part of what you meant is for people to be able to share their stories also. It’s heartwarming, touching and sometimes emotional when Daniel speaks about his story because I couldn’t even imagine what he went through compared to where he is now. It can happen to anybody and anybody can come out ahead pretty much. That’s a broad statement but I believe if you chase your dreams.
It’s possible for most. That’s where the charity aspect comes in and helps give back because, at the end of the day, there are people in Africa whose first thought is, “Where do I find water?” For people living in a situation where we can have the ability to dream, then it’s easy but for the people that can’t, that’s why our goal with the NFT is to provide people with the necessities so they can get to a point in the day where they have time to dream and not worry about where are the water, food and the basic Maslow’s hierarchy first-level stuff. That’s what it is. It’s about bringing like-minded thinkers and also giving the chance to someone else who would never even have a chance to dream.
Tell us about your projects, collaborations and partnerships. Do you have anything you want to mention that you’re doing with Yume? We always also like to hear what you’re inspired by outside of your projects.
We’re here with you. We have been dying to do this. You are leading the force and the space. We’re excited to be doing this and reaching out to the community. We have been reaching out and going to the community. I would love for Daniel to talk about some of the great collaborations he has in the pipeline because there are some cool ones.
We have done one with Marcus Stroman, the pitcher of the Cubs. We’re working on one for Eva Longoria. There’s one with Not Your Bro and another one with Antonym. We have a few that are pending that we’re also working on. There’s a lot of exciting stuff. They’re all projects from people that didn’t have the easiest pathways or people that have a great message. We’re excited to work with a lot of them.
We will be keeping an eye on that. Thank you so much for sharing all the details. We couldn’t be more excited for what you created and also the impact it’s going to have on people’s lives. We will be following you very closely and hopefully have an opportunity to collaborate soon. As Eathan mentioned, we do want to shift gears a smidge and move to segment two, which we call Edge Quick Hitters. It’s a fun and quick way to get to know you a little bit better. We’re looking for short, single-word or few-word answers. We can go a little deeper here or there. We will have both of you answer each of these ten. Question number one, what is the first thing you remember ever purchasing in your life? JC, let’s start with you.
It was a Siouxsie and the Banshees album. It was my first vinyl.
Daniel, how about you?
I was in grade three. It was the Superman Is Dead comic. I still haven’t taken it out of the white plastic.
What a score. It’s the forethought to keep it in there.
NFT Art: How great would it be to meet people that are like-minded and think like you? It’s the only way the world will ever change and the only way we’re going to have inventions.
I was pissed when it came back though. It was in black plastic and I got the white plastic one right after.
Question two, JC, what is the first thing you remember ever selling in your life?
It’s a rave ticket. I was a rave promoter.
Daniel, how about you?
Other than weed and ice, I don’t know.
Question three, JC, what is the most recent thing you purchased?
One that I like is I bought the NFT by Luna Ikuta, the Japanese artist.
Daniel, how about you? What’s the most recent thing you purchased?
It’s a trip to Italy.
Question number four, JC, what is the most recent thing you sold?
It’s an awesome campaign for MasterCard Latin America.
Daniel, how about you?
I sold three pieces to a client of mine.
Congrats. Question number five, JC, what is your most prized possession?
It’s my family.
Daniel, how about you?
It’s time for me. You get to have more family time, health and time to work better. I can’t buy more time.
I’ve got to comment on that because the thought crossed my mind a few times. You get a little bit older and start thinking about how you’re getting older. You’re like, “I’m going to be older tomorrow and older again tomorrow,” but you don’t think about all that time you’ve got left. Flip it on its head. All the time you got left, you have to use it and appreciate where you’re at because you’re going to look back and say, “I wish I was back there.”
For question six, we will flip the order a little bit. Daniel, if you could buy anything in the world, digital, physical, service or experience that’s currently for sale, what would it be?
It’s an experience for sure. It would be a trip to space.
JC, how about you?
To spice it up, it’s Twitter.
Question number seven, Daniel, if you could pass on one of your personality traits to the next generation, what would it be?
It’s the passion for sure. I was going to say work ethic but passion goes more into how you work hard. You’re passionate about your life, family and health. When you have passion, it’s the one recipe for success in anything and any aspect.
JC, how about you?
It’s 100% empathy.
Question eight is the flip side. It’s a little more fun. If you could eliminate one of your personality traits from the next generation, what would that be, Daniel?
It’s more patience
It’s being impatient.
JC, how about you?
I struggle sometimes with confidence so it’s not lacking confidence. Sometimes I question it. It’s also because of my upbringing.
Question number nine, Daniel, what did you do before joining us on the show?
I was making artwork. It’s right here on the floor.
JC, how about you?
I was on a Zoom call.
Here’s the last one. Question ten, Daniel, what are you going to do next after the show?
I’ve got to finish this piece on the floor. I am working on it. I have a few commissions to do and then I’m making a piece for a museum on September 29th, 2022. I’ve got a 20-foot piece to make. I’ve got a lot ahead of me. I’ll be here until late.
JC, how about you? What are you going to do next after the show?
I’m going to physical therapy and a chiropractor.
That’s Edge Quick Hitters. Thanks so much for sharing with us. We do appreciate it. Eathan, the word on the street is we’ve got a special hot topic.
NFT Art: Our goal with the NFT is to provide people with the basic necessities so they can get to a point where they have time to dream and not worry about the basic, Maslow’s hierarchy first-level stuff.
That is correct. It’s going to be fun here. Our sponsored hot topic is all about Kumite. Kumite consists of 9,600 custom-illustrated generative villains and superheroes. Each of these characters is genetically generated from a comprehensive custom code set with 240-plus unique traits. At mint, each 2D NFT is random with a unique look and identity. You can check the NFT rarity using the rarity tool on the website.
As the story unfolds, each character in this collection has a critical role to play in the Kumite universe. It sounds amazing and like a leap forward in how NFTs are crafted and utilized. For this hot topic, we are lucky to have Gareb Shamus, CEO and Cofounder of HeroMaker Studios, to be asked with us a little bit about Kumite. Gareb, why don’t you jump on here? It’s good to have you here.
Thanks so much for joining us. Tell us about Kumite. What’s the story there? This sounds like an exciting project and a next-level NFT.
It’s pretty incredible. My whole life has been in the superhero business. I started Wizard Magazine when I was 21 years old. By the time the mid-’90s rolled around, we were selling hundreds of thousands of copies all over the world in 75 countries and dozens of languages. We decided to have a party for the magazine. We called it Comic Con and 20,000 people showed up. It was this magical moment when all the geeks and the nerds of the world showed up and partied. It was a place where we all felt comfortable because certainly being a geek and a nerd back in those days was being made fun of.
It wasn’t a popular Netflix show about geeks and nerds or something.
It galvanized the whole movement. It was all pre-internet. It was the mid-’90s. We got people to dress up in costumes. We gave out prizes and then show the pictures in the magazine. They went worldwide and everyone was like, “What’s going on here?” The next year, the costumes got bigger and better. Before you know it, everybody started throwing these events and hosting cosplay contests. It was incredible what germinated at Comic Con and how we affected not only the fan culture and the superhero comic book world. We have had a massive impact on all fan cultures in lots of different industries.
Let’s walk it forward to Kumite. What’s going on there? Is there a connection? Let us know.
My whole life has been around comic books, collectibles and trading card games and action figures. With Kumite, I started a company with my cofounder Scott Donnell. It’s called the HeroMaker. The idea was to build out an entirely new universe of characters that we can turn into NFTs. We created our first character franchise called Kumite. If you saw the movie Bloodsport with Jean-Claude Van Damme, the fighting tournament in there was called Kumite. When I grew up, that was one of these things. That tournament meant everything.
The first franchise that we created is called Kumite. It’s an epic battle between heroes and villains. We created 12 families of heroes and 12 families of villains. It’s everything from angels and demons to wizards, warlocks, fairies, goblins, superheroes and cosmic villains. We created 400 characters in each family. They all have different body types. The reality is we’ve got so many unique characters being created. We originally designed over 240 unique characters and that turned into 9,600 generative characters.
What we’re doing about it is not only are we doing the NFTs but also we built gaming mechanics into all of them. We’re going to be able to run an entire fight tournament with the characters, which takes NFTs to the whole next level. Much about what people are doing is they’re encouraging you to not do anything with your NFTs. They encourage you to stake them or nest them but in our case, we want you to bring them out to fight. It’s almost like the exact opposite of what the other people are doing out there.
Daniel is enthralled here. You’ve got a fan. We asked him about the first purchase ever in his life. It was a comic book.
It was in grade three. It was when Superman died. I still have it in black plastic. I still have the one when he came back. I still haven’t opened them. I never did.
We did an entire issue devoted to Superman and Doomsday. We did this cool foil cover with Wizard where it was etched with foil. It was pretty incredible.
I love Comic Con. I feel honored to get to share a show with you. I’ve been obsessed with comics since I was a kid. I loved your idea. What you’re doing with the NFTs is super cool.
Much of what we did in the comic book world is we created exclusive comics and did foil covers and limited editions. I had dinner with Mack Flavelle, one of the creators of CryptoKitties. It turns out that he was a big Wizard fan growing up. In the magazine, we would poly bag trading cards. He turns to me and goes something like, “You were the first ones to ever do an airdrop.” It hit me that a lot of the stuff that we’re seeing in the Web3 world is cool versions of what we used to do. Now that we have this digital NFT world to play with, there are so many new things that we can bring to bear here.
I wanted to ask this. With the tournament for the Kumite characters, do they evolve based on their performance in the tournament? Do they gain or lose attributes based on what the results are? How does that work?
It’s going to evolve. We’re setting up a bracket system for the families to fight one another because we want to encourage families and communities. If you’re an angel, the whole angel clan will go against, let’s say, the whole goblin clan. The whole superheroes might go against the monsters. Steampunks might go against the goblins or something. We’re setting up all these big family match-ups. You’re in it with all your other family members. What we have done is each character has thousands of different weapons and armaments.
We’re in the process of assigning all those things values because we’re going to be building a trading card game and a play-to-earn game as well. As those get developed, the tournament is going to start migrating a lot more. We’re also going to create a lot of training opportunities where people are going to be able to train their characters and up-level them. Over time, as people take ownership of these characters through their NFTs, they can keep building their characters more into who they want them to be. That’s the beauty of where this is all going.
That sounds exciting. We’re all excited about it but I don’t think your quote for the episode is going to be, “We want to encourage families to fight one another,” because out of context, it doesn’t quite make it sound as fun as it is.
They’re all artificial beings. No one dies. What’s so good about it is that we’re embracing what Web3 and the technology have to offer through ownership and commercial ownership that people have with the characters. Everything is about the story. We’re giving everybody the tools, the backstory and the battle that they can create their stories. The philosophy of the company is the whole hero’s journey. It’s not about you being on our journey where, let’s say, you watch a film or a TV show or you play a video game.
You’re watching somebody else become the hero of their journey. What we’re doing is we’re making it so that you can become the hero of your journey. We’re going to give you all the tools to create your comic book and stories and be part of our universe. It’s not just us telling the stories. It’s you telling the stories. Imagine compressing 50 years of Marvel stories into a year because we can have thousands of people telling the stories of the Kumite universe.
Gareb, I don’t know if we could be any more excited about what you’re working on there as fans and lovers of fun, entertainment, comics, NFTs and everything that’s coming together under the roof of what you’re working on. Our readers are going to be excited about that as well. We want to make sure that they know where they can follow you and the project and stay abreast of everything that’s happening. Where should we point them?
The best place to go is on Twitter @KumiteNFT. On Discord, they could follow us at HeroMaker Studios. On Kumite, we have a link to our Discord. You can follow me @GarebShamus on Twitter and @GarebShamus on Instagram.
We appreciate you joining us here for a bit to share all the fun stuff you’re doing there with Kumite and HeroMaker. You’re in VeeCon out in Minneapolis. I’m going to experience that. I will be on the ground out there. Hopefully, we get to cross paths live and in person.
It’s exciting. I’m going to be speaking at VeeCon. In the first conversation I ever had with Gary, he talked about how he grew up reading Wizard Magazine. For me, this is the greatest thrill to be able to be on his stage and speak to everybody about NFTs and the future of where this is all going.
Your reach is far and wide with what you did with Wizard. We’re in for a similar reach here with what you’re doing with Kumite and HeroMaker. We will be watching closely.
Thanks. We will talk soon. Take care.
Congratulations. That’s awesome.
This is a great episode. There’s a nice mix here.
I loved his intro. He brushed through it, “I created Comic Con and Wizard.”
There are some fun synergies there. I’m looking forward to getting out there. Many cool creators are going to be on the ground out there in Minneapolis. I’m looking forward to spending a little time with them at VeeCon.
Should we do our official walkout, Jeff?
The first thing we want to do is make sure that our readers know where to find you and follow you and everything you’re up to with Yume, Rainbow Lobster and all the amazing projects you’re working on. Please let us know where they can go.
JC, how about you?
The word on the street is we’ve got a very generous giveaway we’re going to be running, which is three Yume NFTs and access to the Dream List. That’s the presale list. Keep an eye out on our socials for the details there. Is there anything special you want to add, Daniel or JC, to that?
I was looking forward to getting more people on board and having a fun adventure.
Keep an eye out for that. We’re excited to do that again. Thank you for your generosity. It means a lot.
Thank you so much for having us on. You are great.
Thanks for joining. We have reached the outer limit at the show. Thanks for exploring with us. We’ve got space for more adventures on this starship so invite your friends and recruit some cool strangers that will make this journey all so much better. How? Go to Spotify or iTunes, rate us and say something awesome. Go to EdgeOfNFT.com to dive further down the rabbit hole. Lastly, be sure to tune in next time for more great NFT content. Thanks again for sharing this time with us.
- Rainbow Lobster
- HeroMaker Studios
- Comic Con
- Daniel Mazzone
- Art Basel
- Spirit Seed
- NFT LA
- Not Your Bro
- Luna Ikuta
- @KumiteNFT – Twitter
- HeroMaker Studios – Discord
- @GarebShamus – Twitter
- @GarebShamus – Instagram
- @YumeNFTs – Twitter
- @DanielMazzoneArt – Instagram
- @Rainbow_Lobster – Twitter
- @Rainbow.Lobster – Instagram
- JC Sterrett – LinkedIn
- Spotify – Edge of NFT
- iTunes – Edge of NFT
About JC Sterrett
As a 25+ year veteran in the Music & Entertainment Industry, it is my goal are to stay on the cusp of the industry’s ever-present changes. Through continued leadership roles, I apply my unique skill set specializing in the entertainment, music and event industries. As a motivated and experienced expert in these fields, I have spent my career entrenched in the entertainment/music businesses focused on delivering results through unique marketing campaigns, innovation through forecasting trends, and maximizing growth potential through specialized platforms in both the US and Latin American markets.
Most recently, my enthusiasm for the evolving industry atmosphere has led me into the digital media space. Through collaborations with Havas Worldwide and Pepsi Cola, I helped develop strategic consumer engagement platforms designed to bring music, brands & fans together.
Skills and Achievements:
Dynamic international business leader specializing in US, Latin/South America, focused on improving relationships and achieving long-term solutions
Highly connected industry leader, close peer relationships with top industry leaders throughout US,
Latin & South America
Expert live events producer and conceptualist, experienced entertainment, tour & artist manager, 20+ years specializing in Electronic Music, Rock and Latin Music
Savvy marketing strategist, highly experienced in creating new platforms for brands and a proven successful track record of executing highly profitable events, closing substantial sponsorship deals and connecting bands, brands & fans with never before seen initiatives
Proven success through execution of creative strategy through digital & social media, corporate branding, and gorilla marketing
About Daniel Mazzone
Daniel Mazzone was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. As part of an artistic family, he was surrounded by a world of visual concepts and expression. His mother was an art instructor, and Mazzone became particularly interested in the composition and production of stained glass at a young age. During his school days, teachers and fellow students alike saw his inherent artistic ability and potential. The youthful exploration of his artistic talents were pushed aside when he became homeless at the age of 15. Once Mazzone got back on his feet a few years later, he pushed himself to explore his true passions again.
All his inspirations flooded back after watching an art documentary film and was invigorated to create art purely for the joy of it, reminiscent of his childhood. A friend was so impressed by Daniel’s first piece he begged to display it in his Toronto restaurant. Mazzone agreed, with the stipulation that his first artwork would not be available for sale. But his work spoke for itself and Mazzone received a call – it was just purchased for $14,000. He was initially in utter disbelief that someone could love and value his art enough to pay for it. His dreams of being recognized as a true artist were unfolding before his eyes. It was from this point where he understood that success could be achieved with passion, persistence and dedication.
In 2013, Mazzone began exhibiting at both the Canadian Heritage Art Company and at Hazelton Fine Art Gallery for the next two years. It was not until the Toronto International Art Fair in late 2014 where his artwork really caught the attention of the renowned Tanenbaum family, whom are part of the top 200 art collectors in the world.
Since then, Mazzone has been making waves nonstop across North America. In May 2015, he did his first show, “Torn Apart”, in New York City at the Carriage House Arts Center and in December made his official Art Basel Miami debut at 1 Hotel South Beach, “A Walk Through Life”, selling out his entire collection of 25 pieces at the show. Some notable buyers from this show were François-Henry Bennahmias, Randy Frankel and José Bautista, where Bautista purchased 5 pieces on opening night and has since commissioned a number of works from Mazzone.
Mazzone continues his journey of creative exploration and pushing the envelope with his unique style as he prepares his much anticipated return to Art Basel Miami Beach for his sophomore show this December 2016.