Jack of All Chains: An Interview with Recourier, Co-Founder of MetaForce Comics
We catch up with this cross-chain crusader to discuss Banano, big-name actors, and where the future lies for both blockchains and comic books!
Throughout this year, I’ve interviewed a lot of creators.
In general, they’ve all been in the NFT space for roughly the same amount of time. Some have been here for a few months, whilst a rare few have been in the space for a year.
The concept of an WAX NFT “veteran” may seem a strange title to bestow, but if anyone is deserving of such a moniker, it would be Recourier.
Between Upland, CryptomonKeys, MetaForce and many others besides, his hands have helped shape many of the thriving communities that we have today, so with MetaForce on the path to sustainable success, now seemed the perfect time to get his thoughts on crypto, cross-chain collections, community-building and much more besides!
Read to the end of the interview for our MetaForce Interview Card, dropping tomorrow at 19 UTC!
Pssst… there’s three hidden claim links within this article. Happy hunting!
Hydro: Hey! Could you tell me a bit about yourself, your background and how you got into NFTs?
Recourier: Hey! I’m Recourier. I got into blockchains in January 2018 – the top of the market at that time. I’d looked into mining Bitcoin years earlier, but after the Mt. Gox hack, I backed away. I was determined not to miss the boat twice. I got involved in a number of different communities, trying to find the right fit. I ended up really enjoying a now defunct project called Halo, because it had instant and free transactions, games – lots of great stuff. It was sadly before its time and not marketed properly.
In early 2020, I started blogging about blockchains and came across Upland. I ultimately became fairly entrenched in the Upland community, and was an early contributor to Upland Fan Art – a fan art NFT project on the WAX blockchain, with hopes of one day being able to import them into Upland.
From there, I started my own crossover project called Upland Comics & Collectibles, where we made logos, created Upland business NFTs, and held monthly giveaways.
I was approached by the CryptomonKeys team and came on board as their media presence, promoting both the monKeys and Banano itself. Between Upland Comics and the CryptomonKeys promotions, I got to know a lot of people in the WAX community.
While this was all going on, I was still heavily in the Upland community and was getting closer to several people in the space. I would do regular interviews on Upland Action News with Lefthouse and would talk logos and comics with Mar$ Utah (Red Planet Arts).
The three of us decided we wanted to create our own comic book project, and brought ADKOriginal onto the project too. As we were building the lore and backstory, we also brought in TDavis, who I’d become very close to through his Upland LI initiative. Between the 5 of us, we had all the skills we felt we needed to launch a top-notch NFT project.
We agreed that we wanted to do something different than others were doing. It was important for us to really focus on the collector and reinvent the excitement of getting your monthly comic book. So many comic-based projects were having the comics broken into pieces and that wasn’t our vision. We wanted a full length, long-form, readable comic book.
We decided to go all-in and make a custom, long-form NFT that could later be applied to any type of e-reader. As we expected this to take some time, we developed a set of collectibles for the main characters in the comic. We saw an incredible response from the community for our first major drop and managed to sell out, which gave us some runway to build out the comics further.
We had some friends in the space with print experience who came onboard to help us finalize the product for reading. Our first issue of MetaForce published in August, and we’re looking forward to continuing to build MetaForce as a brand. We’ve sketched out several years of storylines in the MetaForce universe!
What projects are you involved with currently?
The majority of my time is on MetaForce, but I’m still a team member on CryptomonKeys, and continue to do work for Upland Comics in both WAX and Upland. I’m also a core team member of the Lefthouse Collective, and an advisor to the Neon Space and Nasty Hooks projects. Both are thriving on their own now, and I’m proud to have played a small part in that.
In addition, I do small consulting jobs with my company Metaverse Media & Consulting (MMC). Through MMC, I work to help people get their feet wet in the WAX space and get their projects up and running.
Last but not least, I’ve been exploring cross-chain opportunities, and am looking forward to future projects and collaborations in this vein.
Now that you are firmly entrenched into the WAX ecosystem, have you revisited your Bitcoin dreams? Are you okay with sharing what crypto you’re currently holding?
I don’t usually talk about my portfolio. I do however tell people that I view crypto on the macro and not the micro scale. Day trading is not for the weak of heart.
I believe both BTC and ETH to hold long-term value, but I never tell anyone what to actually buy – I’m just a random guy on the internet, not a financial advisor.
I’ve moved to a place where I buy what I’m going to use. If the crypto has a use case for me today, and I want to use it, then I buy it and use it. WAX is a great example of this, as are many game currencies and utility tokens. I gave up looking for the next big pump a long time ago.
Was it a no-brainer that MetaForce would be built on WAX?
MetaForce was for sure going to start on WAX. We were all working, and became very familiar, with WAX. We will not be limited to just the WAX blockchain however – we’re currently working on our first cross-chain collaboration and have plans to expand into other chains.
I’m a big believer that there’s not one chain to rule them all – instead, you find the chain that’s right for what you’re doing, and you do it there. With cross-chain bridging imminent (via the Ethereum Virtual Machine) I think we’ll see many of the current walls falling and an expansion of cross-chain projects.
Where does the inspiration come from for MetaForce?
MetaForce was initially just built from the desire to make a comic book. We talked about how we could make comic book versions of ourselves and others. We talked about how to gain our powers, and what kind of things we thought would be fun and funny. We wanted to put some nods to blockchain in the story, but not make it too heavy.
MetaForce is a comic aimed at everyone, not just blockchain fans. To reach that audience, you need to be able to talk about everyday things and not hone in on the one subject.
Mar$, Lefthouse and I spent weeks and months shooting ideas back and forth. We wanted to capture a little bit of the personality of each of us, but also make them their own characters.
Our initial issues reference the Upland metaverse as that’s where we all met, but future issues will travel throughout other metaverses and explore the entire NFT space.
As someone who is as experienced as you can be with NFT projects, what do you believe are the keys to success for any budding project?
For me the most important things are honesty, transparency, and decentralization. A flash in the pan project may be able to get away with some things short-term, but they have no chance of long-term success.
The blockchain is a source of truth and trying to obscure that is always going to be a losing battle. Transparency with your community and your plans is critical. Building a community of fans that care about your long-term goals over short-term gains will build the foundations for a strong and lasting project.
Further to this, the collectors need to truly own the NFTs they’re holding. They should not be controlled by a managed or centralized wallet. They should not have restrictions put upon them. They should not need to rely on a 3rd party website. We’ve stressed that all of our NFTs will be accessible without us through IPFS.
We hope that the comics and NFTs we release will outlast us. We hope that generations later people are still looking for our first issue. If a project can do that and provide that level of commitment to their community, they have a chance.
What informs the art style of MetaForce? Are there particular comic artists or pieces of media which you’ve drawn from?
The team behind MetaForce are life-long comic collectors, the most influential artists being the Image Comics founders – particularly Lee, Liefeld, and McFarlane. We’re also heavily influenced by 80’s animation, such as GI Joe, as well as our experiences and love for martial arts.
What can we expect to see from MetaForce before the end of the year?
We’re working on a roadmap update that will include all of the details for Q4 2021 and 2022. Now that our first comic has released, we’re focusing on building partnerships and upgrading our website as we work towards the next comic.
We’re going to have a crafting leaderboard and will be rewarding the biggest crafters amongst our collectors. Our goal is to give our community as many opportunities as possible, and for us to serve as a hub for project collaborations. We will focus a lot of our energy on the WAX NFT community, but we’re also in talks for cross-chain collaborations. MetaForce will be a cross-chain project.
What’s your favourite NFT in the MetaForce collection so far?
My favourite amongst the collectibles is Chain Wreck, but there’s an obvious bias at play there!
For the comics I genuinely enjoy the legendary comic. The voice work is superb and it almost feels like you’re watching a TV show. The amount of production work that went into it is amazing, and having professional actors Mark Boone Jr and James Duval onboard is a big win.
Are there any NFT artists or collections that you admire, WAX or otherwise?
There’s a lot of good collections out there, and also a lot of not so good collections.
I admire the ones that are embracing innovation and the community experience ahead of profit – the projects that move the space forward, try new ideas, take risks and perhaps don’t always end up on top. Projects where the team is genuine, and the motivations aren’t purely monetary.
Being early in the WAX NFT space, I got to see and work with some of the earliest collections, and I truly enjoyed that experience. One of the most amazing projects for me continues to be CryptomonKeys. The fact that they made distinct monKeys generated from your Banano address, then expanded into custom monKeys highlighting blockchain culture, is genius.
The founders have kept true to the ethos of 100% free distribution. The NFTs find value on the open market based solely on the fact that people want them for what they are, and not for a staking value or a game or anything more than just the joy that they bring. I’ve been lucky enough to be a part them for a long time now, but I would feel the same if I were not. It’s one of, if not the most, genuine NFT project I have seen in the space.
Gotta ask – what’s your favourite CryptomonKey?
Monkey Miner! I feel like I connect with that idea of setting up shop behind an array of screens.
Would you ever consider a print run for MetaForce?
Print runs are on our roadmap. We plan to offer them, potentially, as vIRLs, or on our upcoming website marketplace. We’ve been searching for the right partner to make that happen.
What hopes do you have for the future of MetaForce and the WAX NFT space as a whole?
For MetaForce, we hope for it to grow into a large and healthy brand that exists cross-chain and appeals to everyday people. Our goal for the website is to allow for someone to get in, buy comics and own them without needing any cryptocurrency knowledge. The goal is to make it as smooth of an experience as possible and target the whole comic industry, not just crypto folks.
For WAX, I expect some strong growth after the Ethereum Virtual Machine on WAX is launched. I do believe that it will be a top NFT chain for years to come. Their focus on mass adoption and ease of use, coupled with a desire to collaborate across chains is a great approach that I expect to be successful.
You know what time it is!
What fuels you?
Coffee in the mornings, and the desire to not do a 9-5 job.
One unusual fact about you?
I was recruited to play college football, but passed to go to another school.
If you could give one piece of life advice, what would it be?
Figure out what makes you happy and do that thing.
You can invite three people, real or fictional, to dinner. Who do you choose and why?
Whomever the people were that were actually Satoshi Nakamoto. Why? Cause I want to know the truth while everyone else is still guessing.
What is your purpose in life?
I have kids, so being a Dad until they get older. After that, the eternal chase to find the fine line of trolling my wife without her actually kicking me out!
How can we follow you and your work?
The easiest way is to head to my website – I have links to all of the projects I’m involved with there.
Recourier’s recognition of not just what makes a successful NFT project, but how to encourage wider adoption of the medium, heralds him as one of the true trailblazers of our corner of the blockchain world.
As the NFT space progresses through its infancy, cross-chain presence will be crucial for the survival of so many projects, both on WAX and elsewhere. With the strategic nous to recognise that fact, and to pursue opportunities both with the EVM and without, MetaForce – and the wealth of other projects his hands have touched – is set up for long-term success, thanks not only to Recourier’s vision, but his actions as well.
To celebrate this interview, we have our MetaForce Interview Card, dropping tomorrow at 19 UTC!