B.Earl: getting your story across the metaverse, Marvel multiverse, and the universe
Photos provided by B.Earl
B.Earl is a Marvel writer, web2.5 consultant, creative blockchain strategist, and AI developer. However many fields he juggles, at the core of everything that Ben does lies the story. Composium sat down with the mogul on a rainy morning in LA to talk about the art of storytelling, the current transmedia trends, and how companies can utilize emerging technologies to build a stronger brand.
Earl has always been a voracious reader, consuming everything from the Bible and Celtic tales to tarot cards and ancient myths since he was able to read – a lot of the writer's inspiration now comes from those stories. "One of my biggest passions is figuring out how I [can] take the esoteric ideas and funnel them into pop culture storytelling," he elucidates.

Ben knew he wanted to write comics since he was 11, thinking he'd follow in his father's footsteps and become an artist. That changed when he discovered music performance, and then film scoring. Wanting to support her son, his mom brought a screenwriting book from the library, and Ben changed his mind and transitioned into filmmaking.

Taking part in making a documentary about comic books when he was 21, Earl got to interview a lot of successful writers like Frank Miller and Stan Lee. "[Being] the camera guy and the editor, I met all these talented and creative folks and got their insights," Ben recounts. Still, he continued to pursue movies.

After testing out the TV industry in New York, the writer moved to Los Angeles and started COMIC BOOK SUNDAY! (CBS!) with his friend Jim Krueger, a well-established comic book writer. Now, it's the largest comic book club in Hollywood. For Ben, CBS! was all about gathering a community around comics, connecting the dots, and understanding what was happening in Hollywood industry-wise.
Having so many connections in the comics industry and working on projects with companies in that business, Earl got into comic creation only seven years later. Getting invited into this project by will.i.am, Ben put out Masters of the Sun together with will.i.am and Marvel. "[After] four years, we were at Comic Con signing this book – It was an incredible project," he shares, casually adding that he signed a copy for Stan Lee. It wasn't long before Marvel invited Ben and Taboo to contribute to the Marvel #1000.

Although it wasn't the original plan, Earl went on to work with Marvel on a plethora of projects along with his creative partner Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas. "Marvel gives a call and we never say no," he sums up. Still, Ben continues to produce and film movies – his action movie, "Search and Destroy," is on Hulu and is currently on the trending list.
"Marvel has been such a great place for me to explore storytelling around technology and the human spirit. We're at a time right now where we keep getting further and further away from our spirit and soul. We keep looking at tech and saying that it's going to save us. For me, the goal is to find a way to … find the balance between these two worlds: analog and digital."
Having created stories in so many different mediums, Ben explains that storytelling always goes back to the art of telling something across multiple platforms. "You have to figure out what the core engine you're going to build in is," he continues. "Where do you want to see the story live? What is the world you're building? What are the characters you want to explore?" Whatever it is, there has to be a strong reason behind why you're putting it out as, for instance, a comic book or a video game. With many companies transitioning into web3, it becomes increasingly important to remember what story you're telling and why.

If web1 was all about opening up a new way of distributing information, web2 introduced social media. "Now, everyone shares everything – it's all about community," Earl says. In his words, humanity is hitting an inflection point and that's where web2.5 comes in to draw us back into truth and meaning.

Because web3 is still largely undefined, the writer believes the next stepping stone is web2.5, which will act as the bridge in this transition. "Ultimately, what we're looking at is community in the sense of physical and analog," he elaborates. "The metaverse isn't coming for a while, [but] that is connecting like-minded people through community and giving them a sense of belonging, purpose, and having real leadership and mentorship that allows them to learn and improve their craft."

As Ben sees it, the biggest thing companies can do now is understand their value sets. Essentially, they need to go back to the meaning behind why they're doing what they're doing. "Going into this new era, it's not going to be just about how you're presenting yourself in a materialistic way; it's going to be connecting more to the value sets," he says. And the people that understand holistic storytelling and how all of these things work together are going to be the future.
"Based on human desires and patterns, technologies always disrupt certain abilities – usually those things are information, distribution, and cost. If you start looking at what technology is, one of the themes is time and space. We only live a certain amount of time, so if we can get from point A to point B faster, we have the opportunity to do more things. But, we also don't have the discovery of space. We lose something and gain something."
Positioning your brand from a storytelling perspective in a way that's seamless is very difficult. "That's why NFTs have had such a high burn rate!" Ben tells me. "I worked with one PFP project [and] there was a [actual] story, characters, and you got to be a character in our story." For most projects, however, that wasn't the case – it was merely hype that wasn't tied down to anything palpable and of value.

His upcoming project, RIGLAN: PROTECTORS OF THE STORYVERSE, is the perfect template for how companies can build out their brand but stay true to their message. Because the e-book will be minted as digital collectible variant covers that will give access to read the story, users will be able to partake in the book. "I see this project as a multiversal thing [since] it has opportunities to expand into AI, metaverse, and for people to come in as characters, but at the end of the day it's a book that has a story and scalability opportunities within it," Ben says.

Having what he calls the core engine in place, the writer is able to experiment with emerging technologies while having a real product that he's been working on for 10 years. With this 50,000-word book, Earl wants to take each chapter and edit it with AI. The users that buy the NFTs, however, get the book unedited and raw, thus getting a personal sneak peek into his creative process. "[The question then is] how can I scale the product across different verticals in order to still maintain the integrity with which it began and ultimately keep the value set?" Ben concludes.
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