In August, TIME Magazine continued its movement into Web 3 and the metaverse by engaging the services of a famous digital explorer to examine these developing spaces and technologies. The magazine had a metaverse-themed cover, and TIME lately published the story behind it on its blog.
The iconic cover was created by former Major League Baseball (MLB) player Micah Johnson, who played different seasons as shortstop before retiring to become a digital artist. His character portrays Aku, whom Johnson calls the world’s initial digital explorer.
The character of the story has a powerful origin. After hearing a child ask his mother, “Can astronauts be black?” Johnson created Aku, that has a large astronaut helmet and a hope for adventure.
Aku has been such a hit character that in less than one year, it grossed over $20 M in sales the previous year, helping Johnson become the initial NFT artist to get an important TV and film development deal.
Before realizing the potential of NFTs and digital art, Johnson, a 31-year-old artist, painted on regular canvases. Currently, he owns a 3D animation business.
Time magazine has been busy in Web 3
TIME Magazine’s continued interest in all things Web3 should come as no wonder to those who have been aware to the space. In March, Time published a comprehensive magazine as an NFT.
The March 23rd edition of TIME Magazine was made available as an ETH-based NFT and featured a cover story about the future of the ETH blockchain. The cover of the magazine featured an image of Vitalik Buterin, one of the leading developers behind ETH, and was dropped to choses those who owned a TIMEPiece NFT.
Besides, TIME has partnered with blue-chip NFT series’. In 2021, it revealed that it was working on a TV series based on the Toy Boogers NFTs and was also developing a children’s show featuring Will Lee’s The Littles NFTs.
Finally, at NFT.NYC the previous month, TIME President Keith Grossman announced that the magazine was collaborating with The Sandbox to build TIME Square and secure its presence in the popular metaverse. The virtual space supports the iconic magazine share products and join up people for social gatherings, business, and art.
As TIME is not the only magazine which is all-in on Web3 and NFTS—Billboard and Sports Illustrated have entered the space—at this point, TIME seems to be conducting the way. Johnson’s compelling cover and further feature articles about Web3 and crypto should give TIME an edge over the competition, at least presently.