Tom Bilyeu is the CEO and co-founder of Impact Theory, an interview series that explores the world’s highest achievers, their mindsets, and their secrets of success. At WonderCon 2019, Bilyeu and Impact Theory released their first comic book, Neon Future. Set in the future, the comic book series is a collaboration made by Bilyeu and world-famous DJ, Steve Aoki. To learn more about the series and Impact Theory as a publisher, Bilyeu gives us the low-down on how it all started.
How did it all start?
For Bilyeu, everything started in film school. He always wanted to tell stories and even wrote a screenplay that was turned into a film. Unfortunately, he was horrified with how it came out. Bilyeu then met two entrepreneurs who told him, “If you want to control the art, you have to control the resources.” He eventually joined the two for a startup technology company. What was originally supposed to be an 18-month team-up became 15 years. Needless to say, Bilyeu learned a lot during that time. He would eventually co-found Quest Nutrition, now a $15 billion-dollar company according to Bilyeu. While he exited Quest 2.5 years ago, Bilyeu leveraged capital to start what he hopes to be one of the biggest comic books on the planet.
What is Impact Theory’s goals for creating comics?
“I want to put people out of the matrix by giving them an empowering mindset at scale.”
Bilyeu wants to touch the lives of millions of people. He believes the best way for people to assimilate disruptive information is through narrative. Bilyeu states this can be done through music or story-telling. Since he wasn’t good at music, he chose stories.
The CEO believes that one-way people talked about taboo topics was to abstract them. One of the ways to abstract the topics is to use sci-fi as a medium. The setting would be a world that’s just different enough, but people will see the allegory.
As a publisher, Bilyeu’s goal is for every story to be one of empowerment and dealing with transformation. A story from being lost and incapable, to being who you want to become. He looks to tell stories that are pointed at one’s philosophical beliefs.
How did the collaboration with Steve Aoki start?
Bilyeu and Aoki hit it off on the interview show, “Impact Theory.” Aoki revealed his love for sci-fi, technology, and even spoke about how he wanted to be cryogenically frozen. Bilyeu thought, “What would it look like if someone with Aoki’s level of compassion could bring back someone from the dead?” Thus began the framework for the now published comic, Neon Future. For fans of Aoki’s music will be happy to know the comic is in fact inspired by Aoki’s albums, Neon Future Volumes 1-3.
Who is the target audience?
“If you like Matrix and/or Star Wars or Bladerunner, but more optimistic.”
Bilyeu then includes fans of cyberpunk and sci-fi overall will enjoy the comic. While the comic is inspired by Aoki, the comic does not specifically target the EDM crowd. Bilyeu believes comics struggles with music since it’s just a page versus film or TV. There is a hard direct correlation and comics don’t address music properly. At least, not at this time.
Where can we find Neon Future?
Neon Future is a monthly, 6-issue miniseries. The comic is distributed through Diamond and is available in stores nationwide. Digitally, the comic is available on Comixology and on the Impact Theory main website.
What do you hope for readers to get out of Neon Future?
“Empowerment.It doesnt matter who you are today, but who you want to become and what you’re willing to pay to get there. You can do anything you want, it’s just going to be hard as hell. Transformation is not easy. If you’re willing to undertake it, then something extraordinary awaits and not all of our characters will make it. Showing the real struggle. In the end, we want to show people that they are capable of doing more.”
Neon Future is currently on issue #4 and to find out more, check out https://impacttheory.com/