Israeli comic book writers explore new worlds with their NFT collection

Five years after gaining fame and achieving international success as acclaimed cartoonists and comic book creators, the Israeli couple Maya and Yehuda Devir have taken their art to the next level.

The couple, who have two children, decided to offer their visual works in the form of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), a type of blockchain-based product that has taken the art world by storm.

Technology gives digital creations a kind of certificate of authenticity that allows ownership of something that could otherwise be replicated indefinitely. Like cryptocurrencies, NFTs are highly speculative investment tools, each underpinned by creative work or action and represented by a unique – or non-fungal – digital token recorded in the blockchain ledger.

Receive our free daily edition via email so you do not miss any of the best news. Free registration!

This new type of encrypted digital art has become extremely popular and some have been sold for millions of dollars. There are NFTs of pictures of Golda Meir, Bible verses and a digital copy of Chaim Herzog’s signed oath.

NFTs can be used to trade in representations of physical objects, such as photos or a painting, or digital creations, such as audio files, videos, or any other form of creative work. NFT becomes a kind of unique collector card, the value of which can increase or decrease depending on demand, and which can therefore be exchanged for money or other NFTs, or stored as a collection object with associated swagger rights. (Owning an NFT is not the same as owning the item, and therefore a buyer cannot control the reproduction or license, allowing the original work to continue to be reproduced or spread online).

The new NFT space also has its opponents and critics raising important questions about its legitimacy and long-term viability – issues that Devirs says they seriously considered before jumping in.

They teamed up with the Israeli company PickCherry, a marketing company specializing in the blockchain field and founded by TV celebrities Rotem Sela and Assi Azar, along with Ido and Smadar Regev, another married couple with whom Devirs dates. are related as spouses and business partners.

The couple told The times of Israel via video conference this week that he initially received mixed feedback on their NFT initiative from their community of followers, which counts in the millions on social media.

“We knew that [l’espace NFT] had a mixed reputation and was completely unregulated, we thought it was a bit risky, ”Maya explained. But while slowly and methodically focusing on finding out more, they said they loved focusing on community and creating something very new.

Illustration by Maya and Yehuda Devir from “One of those days volume I”. (Credit: Courtesy)

For half a decade, the Devirs have won over their audiences on sites like Facebook and Instagram, often posting funny and telling illustrations, taken from intimate moments in their daily lives as couples, newlyweds and then newlywed parents. (Among their most recognizable early illustrations is “My Hot Wife,” an exaggerated depiction of a shared shower where the high temperature causes Yehuda Devir’s face to “melt”).

A selection of these works went viral a few years ago, opening up a world of possibilities for Devir, culminating in the release of two comics (One of those daysvolumes I and II), merchandise, coveted appearances at leading creative and entertainment congresses, influencer awards and a fans dedicated.

The couple has a server on Discord, a group chat platform originally designed for gamers, where many online communities meet and interact with people around the world during special events such as “game nights, cooking sessions, open microphone nights, mental health checks,” Maya said.

“Our community has changed our lives,” she explained, and Avenue NFT is a way to return service, they explained.

When the couple first became interested in NFTs, “they quickly realized that we could give our audience something valuable, something they could own, it’s like a gift to them.”

Yehuda and Maya Devir, husbands and Israeli cartoonists. (Credit: Courtesy)

The Devirs took the time to develop a concept for their NFT collection and ended up choosing a visual idea that relied on their characters kissing “to reflect love and affection,” Maya said. , and portrayed them as different, and sometimes opposite, elements, such as fire and ice or prisoner and policeman.

“Every room and every couple [dans les NFT] telling a story, it’s really a philosophy about relationships, “she explained.

The result is a collection of 10,101 (“That’s a bold number! It’s also a binary number”) coins that come with built-in surprises.

Fans who buy the works will further discover that they are not just any NFTs, but utilitarian NFTs or NFTs that have practical value or provide an experience beyond art. One of Devir’s partners is the Israeli-founded hospitality and experience company, Selina, a partner and accommodation company targeting millennials and Gen Z travelers and workers, or the “digital nomads”, in dozens of properties in the North and South America, Europe and the Middle East.

Selina’s lobby in Cancun, Mexico. (Credit: Selina)

Some of the 10,101 NFTs that Devirs offers in their collection, called “xoxo”, come with free nights on Selina properties around the world. Other brands offering different services or products are also involved, there are invitations to personal meetings with Devir, online courses, art supplies and other derivative products.

Maya said the couple preferred “consumer products” that would appeal to a wide audience. “We have not been on holiday for four years since our eldest was born. For many of our fans, it’s probably the same thing – busy life between family and life [et le travail] and they need rest. We wanted to give them something that we would have given to ourselves, ”she said of Selina’s choice.

New creations

For Devir, their entry into the NFT area is not only a great business opportunity, it is also an opening to new worlds and a development of their art.

“We feel that we have rediscovered art. It gave us the opportunity to create new things, ”said Maya.

“Think of it as acting,” Yehuda said. “When a comedian suddenly decides to act in a drama, people are alert. As if Jim Carrey wanted to make a movie about the Holocaust. For the actors, it is an evolution, a growth, an expression. We can continue to do [tomes] of “One of those days” for the rest of our lives – so what? We wanted to try something new, ”and explore new technologies.

The couple admits that they work excessively and throw themselves heavily into projects, new and old. It took them five months to put together the collection and they talk about it with enthusiasm.

In another analogy, Yehuda compares the launch to “preparing a delicious dinner for your friends and you can not wait for them to taste it.” »

“It’s a masterpiece,” Maya said.

One of 10,101 pieces in the new NFT collection by Israeli comic artists Maya and Yehuda Devir. (Credit: Courtesy)

Both hope the switch to NFTs is part of a long series that will explore new worlds and new art forms in the future.

“We have been together for 13 years, we have grown together, for better or worse, we have been through a lot together,” said Maya, who met Yehuda while they were both doing their military service.

In the years to come, they hope to “continue to be productive in life and at work,” Maya said.

Shoshanna Solomon contributed to this article.

Leave a Comment