Ben Mauro has been a storyteller since the day he could read, write, and imagine. His experience in gaming architecture, 3D animation, and entertainment design has employed him on some of the most creatively ambitious movies and games ever conceived. For more than a decade, Mauro has been preparing for the opportunity to release his life’s work while contributing to the success of other storied projects as a senior concept designer and art director.
“There’s a lot of things that this is going to be turned into, but we are starting with comics, and there will be six issues telling this story — it’s basically a feature film sized narrative told over six issues.” — Ben Mauro
On October 15th, Mauro’s HuxleySaga.com will make its blockchain debut with Issue 1: The Discovery, the first immersive graphic novel in a 6-issue series introducing the Huxley franchise and story world.
Given his prolific talents, it’s no surprise that Evolution, Mauro’s digital trading card series of creature illustrations, sold out in less than 7 minutes to more than 2,500 collectors earlier this year. Mauro himself wasn’t certain his drop would be successful, yet the event changed his life and opened his eyes to the potential of the blockchain.
Issue 1: The Discovery tells a complete story. Each limited edition graphic novel will be both a digital NFT and a physical print edition. An announcement will be made after all the tokens are sold to redeem the physical print for each NFT, which sells for .1Ξ leach. After that, on the secondary market, it will be up to each collector to decide whether or not to sell their limited edition print along with the token.
At HuxleySaga.com, a planet that was once lush and green and teeming with wildlife is now desolate and barren. Wars and nuclear destruction have left an arid wasteland the ruling class has since abandoned. Machines and humankind alike must fend for themselves to survive, while A.I. -controlled cities have sprung up to bring order and control back to the world. Human clones serve as workers and soldiers called Ronin if they can prove their ability to survive the toxic and dangerous environment. In Issue 1: The Discovery, human clones are paired together; a legendary yet ageing soldier must ultimately be replaced by his younger counterpart. While on their first mission, the Ronin soldiers discover a mysterious robot that begins an adventure that could change the fate of their world and the galaxy.
Mauro’s professional career has chiefly been spent building upon an existing IP or conceptualizing a new story world — like Elysium, where the director may only present a partial script without any aesthetic imagery. To develop the Huxley Saga, Mauro invested his earned income from working on other projects to self-fund his vision. He decided early on that he didn’t want to receive funding from private equity or corporations, which would likely require him to share ownership of his intellectual property. Instead, Mauro spent nights and weekends creating his very own universe, putting all his free time into writing and illustrating his first original graphic novel. Informed by his work on successful franchise properties, Mauro has learned to value ownership and complete creative control.
Being a visual storyteller, one of the distinct challenges Mauro faced while developing the Huxley universe was writing. Admittedly, when he first began, Mauro lacked a strong writing background, yet he developed a writer’s sensibilities over the years working on so many projects. Although he’s confident that he has crafted a compelling narrative with dialogue, Mauro says it took him some time to learn and grow into the writer he has now become.
Mauro’s creative calling was clear to him as early as high school, with dreams of working on video games. Inspired by the first Halo, Mauro decided he wanted to build architecture/levels for games.
“In high school, you’re basically a dishwasher in a crappy restaurant, and you’re coming home smelling like garbage. I really wanted to do something with my mind, so I asked myself what I could do that wasn’t physical labour, that would also be fulfilling and exciting to me.” — Ben Mauro
Mauro started taking art seriously, considering a career path and figuring out how to achieve a portfolio, apply to trade schools, and ultimately land an entry-level job at a game studio. After learning more about game architecture, Mauro shifted his focus from 3D animation to industrial design and attended ArtCenter College of Design in Los Angeles. Next, Mauro started working for Insomniac Games before going to Sony Pictures Animation. To broaden his horizons and diversity his portfolio, Mauro accepted a pay cut to leave LA and work for Wētā Workshop in New Zealand, where sets, costumes, armor, weapons, and creatures were used in “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.” His credits include creative contributions to Amazing Spider-Man 2, Chappie, Mortal Engines, and Valerian, among others, and games like Call of Duty and Halo. Before leaving New Zealand, Mauro sold his belongings to travel the world working on games and films. Most of the freelance income Mauro earned as a digital nomad paid for the development of HuxleySaga.com.
“Seeing words translated into pictures, and pictures becoming a universe, and that universe made into a film was super educational for me. It gave me more confidence. The more I did, the more I understood how the whole process works, which informed me how to build my own from the ground up.” — Ben Mauro
In addition to Mauro himself as the creative force behind Huxley, there are currently 17 team members. Mauro took time to add each team member in an effort to do things the right way for Huxley’s long-term success. Huxley’s website and all the technical aspects of its launch will be facilitated by a new NFT platform and marketplace that will soon be announced.
Whitelist: October 14th, 3pm GMT
Public: October 15th, 2pm GMT
Mint: 0.10 ETH