Digital Tintin: why (and how) Hergé’s heirs are getting into NFTs

1What are NFTs?

They are not yet known to the huge public, but they are revolutionizing the very notion of ownership on the web, and in particular in the art world: an NFT (for “non-fungible token”, or “non-fungible token” in French), is – to put it simply – a digital property authenticated by a certificate. A sort of digital archive, which can be composed of text, photo(s), video(s), drawing(s)… or even all of these at the same time. In the field of art, they can be original productions, designed exclusively for the web, but also reproductions or variations of known works.

Jurgen Poelzl, the Austrian boss of ArtèQ, the company with which Tintinimaginatio has collaborated for the dissemination of these Tintin NFTs, therefore has an NFT of Kiss by Gustav Klimt. He had an adapted screen installed in his home to enjoy it. And he firmly believes in this new market: “Manufacturers such as Samsung or Philips are developing screens designed exclusively for this use“, he assures.

2Two types of NFTs, two prices

For its baptism of fire in the metaverse, Tintinimaginatio has chosen to highlight a symbolic title of Tintin, namely The Blue Lotus. And more particularly its famous cover, which just over two years ago was at the center of a lively controversy, with Nick Rodwell accusing the Casterman family of having sold a preparatory drawing – eventually sold for 2.6 million euros – that didn’t belong to him.

It is the knowledge of a work that also makes it worth

It is this preparatory drawing, found folded in six in the publisher’s archives, which is therefore staged in this NFT. Or, rather, these NFTs, since two types will be sold when they are released”In the next months“, according to Yves February, director of new technologies at Tintinimaginatio: on the one hand, the so-called utilitarian NFTs, whose 777 copies will sell for between €650 and €750, and which, in addition to a chassis housing a “paper version” of the work (and on the back a certificate of authenticity), will offer its buyers privileges (“utilities”); on the other hand, 1.7777 purely digital high-definition NFTs, which will be associated with the true history of the drawing, told by the famous tintinophile Philippe Goddin in an explanatory booklet and also authenticated by the beneficiary.”Becausecontinues Yves February, it is the knowledge of a work that also makes it worth.”

However, it is paradoxical that this “knowledge” can be “captured” by the privileged few who will have acquired these digital works: “These NFTs will circulate, as will information. And that won’t stop us from promoting this work more generally elsewhere.“, we reply to Tintinimaginatio.

3Complete collections

The question seems natural: how can Tintinimaginatio sell, via NFT, a design that does not belong to him? “The owner doesn’t know… unless it’s one of you“, enjoyed this Tuesday at noon Yves February, who then assured that he did not have”There’s no need” of his agreement. And for good reason: the exploitation of this drawing in digital form would fall within the moral rights here, which is the responsibility of the rightful applicant. As for the file used, it comes from a digitization made on the occasion of one of the borrowings of the drawing to the Hergé Foundation.

We could create an imaginary museum and exhibit works there that we don’t own

In addition to developing another economic model, the NFTs could therefore also allow the Tintinimaginatio company to complete its collections, which include “only” 85% of Hergé’s original designs, the remaining 15% being so-called “non-heritage” designs. “NFTs, hires the head of new technologies of the company, it will therefore allow us to work on this ”non-heritage”. And for example to create an imaginary museum where to exhibit works… that we don’t own.

As for the future owners of NFT Tintin, they will not be able to commercially exploit their acquisitions except through speculation.

4How to bypass the 2054 trap

In 2054, The Adventures of Tintin will fall into the public domain, at the end of the copyright protection period. A notorious trap for Nick Rodwell and his company, for whom NFTs could very well be a sacred lifeline, as they would fall under moral rights.

NFTs allow us to look at long-term wealth management

At least, if the NFT market reacts positively to the introduction of Hergé’s work on the metaverse: “NFTs allow us to look at long-term wealth management“, estimated Yves February this Tuesday on this deadline. It should also be noted that the beneficiaries of Hergé’s work will receive a commission for each (re) sale of an NFT from the Brussels designer universe.

5And now ?

It goes without saying that we will examine, from Tintinimaginatio, how the market will react to this launch. To, without a doubt, propose other NFTs derived from the world of Tintin in the coming months and years:”There is thought“, Yves February soberly confirms, we expected no less.

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