Black Eyed Peas front man will.i.am is trying something new: graphic novels. Together with Marvel Comics, the singer will write the graphic novel “Masters of the Sun — The Zombie Chronicles,” which combines the alien invasion and zombie outbreak genres and adds a healthy dose of hip-hop.
According to Billboard, “Masters of the Sun” will follow Zulu-X, a hip-hop artist, through an apocalyptic alien invasion as well as a zombie infestation. The graphic novel, which takes place in Los Angeles, will see Zulu-X using his street smarts and wisdom to combat both the alien and zombie menaces, freeing the people of Earth from the grips of an ancient, evil order.
“Few artists have done more to embed hip-hop in popular culture than will.i.am and the Black Eyed Peas,” said Marvel editor Axel Alonso. “So we are thrilled to present this deeply personal story that speaks directly to hip-hop aficionados, comic book fans and the intersection of those communities.”
The graphic novel’s story will be penned by will.i.am, with artwork by Benjamin Jackendoff and “Ghost Rider” artist Damion Scott. “Masters of the Sun” will also feature real elements of life in Los Angeles, like gangs, hip-hop and street dancing.
“Working with Will and Ben was a blast,” said Scott. “From start to finish, they were both very involved in making the best comic possible. It was awesome getting a chance to work on a book about hip-hop music.”
The front man for Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am has released four solo albums since the music group was formed in 1995 in Los Angeles. The artist, whose real name is William Adams, has won seven Grammy Awards across his career, including Best Pop Vocal Album in 2010 for the album “The E.N.D.” and Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 2006 for the Black Eyed Peas’ song “Don’t Phunk with My Heart.”
The artist’s skill set goes well beyond music. Prior to forming the Black Eyed Peas, will.i.am attended the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising in Los Angeles. As of 2001, he began designing his own clothing line, i.am, which debuted at the Los Vegas-based Magic Apparel Trade Show in 2005. “Masters of the Sun” marks will.i.am’s first foray into graphic novel script writing.
Marvel Comics’ “Masters of the Sun – The Zombie Chronicles” goes on sale in July.