My Obsession with Uranus
From the time I was a child – I’ve been obsessed with space. In second grade, my science project was a 3-D map of the solar system. I spent a lot of time in the space section of the library and I can still tell you today that I pulled a lot of books from the 520s. I doubt that many people even remember what that is but in the 1970s and 1980s, we had things called card catalogs in the library. Each book was sorted (and are still sorted – it might surprise people but we still have libraries and we still have books!) using the Dewey Decimal System. Each book was assigned a unique number and those numbers were then typed with the book title, name, author, and subject and filed in a huge cabinet that told you where everything was. It’s hard to even describe now. In any event, the books in the 520s were all about space and space exploration – in fact they still are. You can check.
Way back in those days – we had never seen Uranus. The planet. Not clearly. All we had were these fuzzy blue pictures with a couple of white specs on them. It was all we knew. Voyager One captivated us all with pictures of Saturn and Jupiter – I remember seeing them in National Geographic. This was before the Hubble telescope was launched. I mean, this was really ancient times.
Then, in 1986, when I was almost 15 – Voyager 2 hit the outer solar system. It gave us the first good photos of Uranus. 27 moons. Rings. Asteroid belts. A planet tipped on the side from some ancient impact. I remember reading some sci-fi story in a pulp sci-fi magazine (we used to buy magazines to read! I had subscriptions! Each was like a book!) about how Earth was a spaceship from a collapsed civilization from outside of the galaxy that smashed into Uranus on the way to the Goldilocks zone of our solar system (that area where a planet can orbit the sun and sustain organic life).
All of this by way of explaining why I am fascinated with Uranus. Oh, yeah – also because poddy humor. For those who are pronouncing it wrong, Uranus is said the same way as YOUR ANUS or to put that in the vernacular YOUR ASSHOLE. I freely admit that as a 15 year old boy – puns, double entendre, and scatalogical humor all cracked me up – and as a 49 year old man – they still do. Maybe even more than they did then.
And here we are.
Six months ago – this almost half a century old geek bought into an NFT project called Punks Comic. Then, I bought into a bunch of other NFT projects hoping to get rich – it didn’t happen – I picked the wrong ones and/or had bad luck in my minting – BUTT (see what I did there), it turns out Punks Comic and Pixel Vault were a winner for me. Much to my surprise – the founders of the project kept growing and growing and growing it – they evolved a pixelated shoulders up portrait project into a comic book, then into a metaverse super-hero game with planets and heroes and villains. If I had been wealthy, I would have bought in much more heavily – but as it was – my little investment of roughly $2000 yielded some great returns (so far just lots of other NFTs) but among them – I minted a Metahero Villain from the planet Uranus.
Now, let me be frank – this, was at first, a deep disappointment. Mutants were immediately selling for 31 ETH. Heroes from Earth or Venus or Mars or Mercury or even Pluto were selling for 2-10x as much as a hero from Uranus. In fact, a Uranus villain – which is what I drew was pretty much the definition of the floor model. If I wanted to sell it, I would get pretty close to the lowest price available. I’d drawn a dud. But (I won’t do it again) – I had one shot and my superpower (in real life) is that I can create things, I can tell stories, I can build things, I can materialize things out of thin air and make them real. So, I listed my Metahero (a villain actually, more common than heroes) for as much as the most expensive piece had yet sold for and I decided that I would do what no one else was really capable of. I would create an actual fictional person and use this piece of art to represent him – for a time. A character, a protagonist. A piece of original intellectual property that was worth more than the entirety of the universe from which the placeholder art had come. In fact, I decided to use my character to define and create the entire universe!
Wow. Maybe I am a super villain after all. I sound like one.
One of the great features of these particular NFTs was that we own the IP that goes along with them. I immediately recognized that one of the great features of Uranus was that no one had told the stories of Uranus. There was no John Carter of Uranus. There were no movies about invasions by the Urani. There was no Princess of Uranus. There were no Men are from Uranus and Women are from Neptune. Uranus, largely because of the incredible innuendo that goes along with it has been left in literature and film just as it sat in astronomy in the 1970s – it was a fuzzy blue ball with a couple of white dots.
And – we live in the internet age and I’m working with NFTs – I immediately recognized that what others were considering to be the asshole of the universe was actually a huge goldmine honey pot. Memes, mother fuckers! Memes!
I got to work immediately. I created a separate Discord server, I started cranking out silly ideas like the rally call Up Uranus! and using the yellow fist in all of our responses. I wrote jokes and named my character Sly Doubt of Uranus – if you don’t get it say it out loud, if you still don’t get it read this in a booming voice “I, Sly Doubt of Uranus” – if you still don’t get it. That’s awesome. I had a flag made by a graphic designer. I created a ‘trading card’ template for my NFT art and other Metaheros (and villains).
A few visionary and degenerate souls were on the same wavelength as me. Doop, Jasper, DW77, Puck Uranus. The Brain from Uranus. Flare. Luchadad. The Bloot Miners. We began building. We invited people, we did raids, we created a fucking radio show! We had a YouTube Channel, a Twitter, a private Discord Server, a digital newspaper, and much more before most people had even considered that the intellectual property associated with these Metaheroes was worth more than the most expensive of them were selling for. Most people who owned these hadn’t even bothered to name them yet and we were already constructing the scenarios in which they would live, work, and die.
When Pixel Vault began selling planets to make money to build their video game, we saw it as a chance to expand. We love Pixel Vault, we want them to exceed everyone’s wildest expectations – but let’s be honest about something else here – if Pixel Vault crashes and burns to zero – what we are building will continue and will continue to build in value. What I am creating and what we are building is a universe that Pixel Vault can play in.
Hollywood is stale. Marvel, Disney, Star Wars, DC – it all leads to the same place. Sometimes a gem rises out of the big piles of shit they are squeezing out – but they keep doing it the same way – over and over. We, on the other hand, are building something brand new. It is funny, it is smart, and it is owned by no one.
I’m already well into writing the first novel of Uranus. It’s the origin of Sly Doubt.
“Sly Doubt of Uranus. The History of a Lovable Asshole.” and I’ve decided to make the chapters into individual limited edition NFTs as I write the novel. I am going to make the artwork I use to represent Sly Doubt (for a time) the most valuable piece in the entire Metahero Universe. I am going to make Uranus the most valuable planet in Hollywood. We are building a franchise here folks. Make no mistake about it. Uranus is huge.
I've released Chapter 1 of my Metahero novel as a limited NFT: Sly Doubt of Uranus. The history of a Lovable Asshole. by Vagobond. Chapter 1 is in the hidden content. Limited to 10 copies of the first edition. https://t.co/CzKZx9FAMA pic.twitter.com/atoZOIM54T
— Sly Doubt | MetaHero #505 | Editor of The Urinal (@Sly_Doubt) October 21, 2021
Welcome to Uranus. Welcome to Ouranus.