MLB pro-turned-NFT artist Micah Johnson teases next chapter of his space epic Aku Dreams

MLB alum/artist Micah Johnson is releasing the ‘most important chapter yet’ of his NFT saga Aku, Sunday at 2:00 pm EST on Nifty Gateway.

The retired baseball pro, 30, took to Twitter this week to tease the third chapter of the highly anticipated 10 part animated NFT series about a space helmet wearing boy named Aku who was created as a response to his nephews question, ‘can astronauts be black?’

When Micah was thinking about introducing Aku into the world, he bet on NFTs to give Aku the best chance to capture people’s attention while also enabling people to collect the first iterations of this new character.

And, his bet is paying off.

From the mind of: NFT artist/former pro baseball player Micah Johnson teased the latest chapter of his Aku series on Saturday

From the mind of: NFT artist/former pro baseball player Micah Johnson teased the latest chapter of his Aku series on Saturday

With NFTs garnering mainstream attention over the recent months, Micah turned to NFT marketplace, Nifty Gateway, which is owned and powered by Gemini, to ensure first time NFT buyers could easily purchase Aku NFTs with credit card or Ethereum.

Aku quickly found a unique fanbase of veteran NFT collectors and first time buyers, enough for Johnson to sell $1 million in Aku Chapter 1 NFTs in just one minute and $2 million across 24 hours back in February, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Micah’s bet to release Aku crypto-natively paid off in an even bigger way by becoming the first NFT to be optioned for TV and film, according to Variety.

‘The most humbling thing about this entire experience is that Aku would just be an idea in my head had it not been for the people that rallied behind his message from the very beginning. 

Star bound: The animated NFT series is about a space helmet wearing boy named Aku who was created as a response to his nephews question, 'can astronauts be black?'

Star bound: The animated NFT series is about a space helmet wearing boy named Aku who was created as a response to his nephews question, ‘can astronauts be black?’ 

New: The third chapter of the highly anticipated 10 part animated NFT is out on Sunday

New: The third chapter of the highly anticipated 10 part animated NFT is out on Sunday

‘That’s the power of NFTs. They enable creators and the audience to have a symbiotic relationship with both parties benefiting from the expansion of the creation.’

And the Aku project comes with some big names attached, optioned by Anonymous Content and Permanent Content, a joint venture of Shawn Mendes and his manager, Andrew Gertler.

The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah is even an Aku collector, taking to Twitter to tell Micah: ‘I’m loving @AkuDreams! I have chapters 1 & 2 and can’t wait for the next! #SpaceHasAlwaysBeenBlack #DreamBigAku.’

Coming to screen: Micah's bet to release Aku crypto-natively paid off in an even bigger way by becoming the first NFT to be optioned for TV and film

Coming to screen: Micah’s bet to release Aku crypto-natively paid off in an even bigger way by becoming the first NFT to be optioned for TV and film

Fan club: The Daily Show's Trevor Noah is also a huge fan, taking to Twitter on Thursday to tell Micah: 'I'm loving @AkuDreams! I have chapters 1 & 2 and can't wait for the next! #SpaceHasAlwaysBeenBlack #DreamBigAku'

Fan club: The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah is also a huge fan, taking to Twitter on Thursday to tell Micah: ‘I’m loving @AkuDreams! I have chapters 1 & 2 and can’t wait for the next! #SpaceHasAlwaysBeenBlack #DreamBigAku’

Micah’s other works are earning critical acclaim as well.

He was awarded the first annual NFT Of The Year award in 2020 for his time-sensitive photographic artwork ˈsä-v(ə-)rən-tē (pronounced ‘sovereignty’) which garnered attention from NBC News long before NFTs exploded in popularity in 2021.

Last week, Johnson was named to Fortune’s top 50 most influential people in the NFT space, among other thought leaders 3Lau, Jay-Z, and Beeple.

NFTs have been all the rage in the art and entertainment world.

Power player: Last week, Johnson was named to Fortune's top 50 most influential people in the NFT space, among other thought leaders 3Lau, Jay-Z, and Beeple. His self-portrait is seen above

Power player: Last week, Johnson was named to Fortune’s top 50 most influential people in the NFT space, among other thought leaders 3Lau, Jay-Z, and Beeple. His self-portrait is seen above 

Stars like The Weeknd, Halsey, Zedd, ASAP Rocky and Calvin Harris have all entered into the cutting-edge digital asset world, which use blockchain technology similar to cryptocurrency to give creations a unique marker.

A-listers were ready to celebrate the blockchain last month during a blow-out party thrown by entertainment juggernaut Electric Feel and crypto platform Gemini for the Bitcoin 2021 Miami Crypto Conference.

And Gemini and premiere NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway, who share the same parent company, are planning on having a huge presence during this year’s upcoming VIP-packed Art Basel festival in Miami in December.

Party time: A-listers were ready to celebrate the blockchain last month during a blow-out party thrown by entertainment juggernaut Electric Feel and crypto platform Gemini for the Bitcoin 2021 Miami Crypto Conference

Party time: A-listers were ready to celebrate the blockchain last month during a blow-out party thrown by entertainment juggernaut Electric Feel and crypto platform Gemini for the Bitcoin 2021 Miami Crypto Conference