The VC comic strip, a parody of the venture capital industry that was a huge hit with Silicon Valley insiders during the 1990’s dot-com era, has offered its very first comic for auction as an NFT (non-fungible token.) The sale of the property, titled The VC 1.0 (available on OpenSea) combines a true piece of Silicon Valley history with the latest intellectual property technology, is taking place on the popular NFT marketplace OpenSea.
NFTs have emerged as an innovative new way to monetize digital assets by attaching “ownership” that is tracked via the blockchain. The technology is allowing creators to unlock the value in digital art, which to-date has been hindered by a lack of security and accountability. Non-fungible tokens allow digital assets to be sold and re-sold in a secure and trackable method. This is especially relevant to artwork, like The VC comic strip, which was originally created in digital form.
“The best application of NFT technology is historically rare content,” says Robert von Goeben, co-author of The VC comic strip. “While there may be plenty of digital art NFTs that were created yesterday, The VC comic strip is a true piece of Silicon Valley history. As it was created at the birth of one technological breakthrough, it’s only fitting for it to be sold using another.”
Concocted during the halcyon days of the first dot-com era, The VC comic strip is half biting satire, half prophetic vision. In 1997, a newbie VC named Robert von Goeben and artist Kathryn Siegler came to San Francisco from Los Angeles, only to marvel that there was an industry even more arcane and insular than entertainment. They soon figured out the most succinct way to document the era was the time-honored use of parody. The VC comic strip was a huge hit in the day, appearing as a regular feature in Upside Magazine, and profiled in The Washington Post and The San Francisco Chronicle. The VC comic strip also is listed along with Dilbert on Wikipedia as examples of venture capital in popular culture.
For the publication of a 2000 compilation of The VC comic strips published by Fatbrain (then a division of Barnes and Noble), technology insiders were quoted as saying:
“If this book doesn’t make you laugh, you’re not as connected as you think you
are. If it does make you laugh, think twice: You may be laughing at yourself.”
— Guy Kawasaki
“The VC is hilarious, a must-read in Silicon Valley. It has 100% market share in
its space!” — J. Neil Weintraut
The authors of The VC comic strip, young entrepreneurs at the time of the comic’s creation, have gone on to very successful careers. Artist Kathryn Siegler is a world-renown fine artist whose paintings reside in prestigious collections and museums around the world. Writer Robert von Goeben moved from a successful career as a venture capitalist to founding Green Toys, one of the largest eco-friendly children’s products companies.