In 1998, Wu-Tang Clan member Ol’ Dirty Bastard stormed the stage during the Grammy Awards to proclaim, “When it comes to the children, we teach the children. Wu-Tang is for the children.”
A South Side brother-sister duo has made that proclamation a reality.
Avalon Park siblings Willis “Glyph Sputnik” Price, a comic book writer and artist, and his sister, Nikiya Price, who specializes in brand marketing and product development, are collaborating with The RZA, one of the founding members of the iconic rap group Wu-Tang Clan, to produce “Samurai in a Hoodie,” a digital, musical comic book series.
A digital comic book is an electronic version of a regular paper comic book. “Samurai in a Hoodie” will feature digital animation and an original music soundtrack with The RZA.
Its storyline has a social justice component that follows Yusef, the main character, in a fictional town named “Cobalt City.”
Editions of the “Samurai in a Hoodie” series can be purchased for the Kindle edition at Amazon.com.
The RZA, co-creator of 36 Chambers Inc., a lifestyle company, is on board as an executive producer.
“[Samurai Hoodie] reminded me of ‘Ghost Dog’ and ‘Afro Samurai,’ yet totally rooted in hip-hip from a Chicago perspective,” The RZA said in a news release last month.
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Peace. For #WuWednesday enjoy this new release "Sonny Chiba," from myself and Chicago MC The Reverend Willy Burke (@_rvrnd_). Sonny Chiba coincides with the new comic book from @36Chambers: Samurai In A Hoodie. We brought the best aspects of "Ghost Dog" and "Afro Samurai" into this new project that is rooted in hip hop. Head to @samuraiinahoodie to pick up the full comic book released today.
Sputnik says he included themes that young black men deal with while living in Chicago such as police conduct, stereotypes and racism.
Samurai Hoodie is scheduled to have three story arcs totaling 15 issues. Issue No. 2 is tentatively planned for a February or early March release.
“We looked through a lens of things as they happened. Samurai Hoodie wears a hoodie because of what happened to Trayvon Martin. A lot of things can pop up when a young black man grows up in an urban setting,” Sputnik said. “The character is witty and spontaneous. That’s something that’s not seen in black comic book characters.”
The Price siblings make up House of Logic, a creative agency they launched in 2012 that specializes in designs, comic books, animations, inventive marketing strategies and digital experience marketing.
“I’ve always taken an interest in Glyph’s personal brand. Business has always been a staple for me in terms of my expression of art,” Nikiya said. “Glyph has been so supportive of me, so I wanted to take that brand and call it our own through entrepreneurship.”
Sputnik, 38, is the creative arm of House of Logic, while Nikiya, 28, is the CEO of the company.
“House of Logic is something we would envision us doing together. We wanted to build a platform on the things we’re both passionate about,” Nikiya said. “We fostered that energy from the things we did growing up.”
Sputnik first collaborated with the Wu-Tang Clan when he designed the cover art for the group’s 2017 compilation album “The Saga Continues.” The Prices reached out to The RZA to gauge interest.
“The current project is specific to what we’re accomplishing. We pitched Glyph’s work to 36 Chambers and it was an immediate synergy,” Nikiya said. “RZA and my brother are into comics and martial arts. Bringing the product to the market was powerful.”
The Price siblings have a poignant message on how they plan to go about expanding their company.
“We wanted to put our energy into working together. Not for someone else. We wanted our mother to see that all that she did for us wasn’t in vain,” Nikiya said.