Official Press Release
Chicago, IL-UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc), the largest independent African American media firm providing positive content for the urban market, announces one of the biggest launches in comics history for the young multicultural audience-The Guardian Line. This series is the superbly styled result of the combined resources of UMI and creator of The Guardian Line Michael Davis.
"This series of comics will invite young readers to become part of a universe filled with memorable and inspiring characters who look just like them. Teenagers and kids in America face daily choices between good and evil. As The Guardian Line keeps them highly entertained and coming back for more, it will nudge them toward the good," states president of UMI, Carl Jeffrey Wright.
"American youth culture is an expression of Black culture," says Michael Davis, co-creator of the Emmy winning animated show Static Shock! and one of the founders of the Black comic publishing phenomenon, Milestone Media. "Black culture determines trends in clothing, music and language for young people from every cultural background in this country and worldwide. These comics are not just for black kids. They are universally appealing, both to urban readers who will recognize the realistic portrayal of their world and to affluent suburban hip-hop fans who haven't experienced that world but are nevertheless drawn to the trends it creates."
For over 35 years UMI has been the trusted source for teaching materials and inspirational book titles in the African American church market They are poised to reach a network of 40,000 churches and 1,500 bookstores with The Guardian Line-a larger audience than that of even Michael's own Milestone Media. The Guardian Line will be available to the general market through Diamond Comic Distributors, Inc., the world's largest distributor of English-language comics and related merchandise.
The Guardian Line includes four separate series (Joe and Max, The Seekers, Genesis 5, and Code) targeting specific age groups. All the stories take place in the fictional New Hope City and feature the three essentials fans have come to expect in a Michael Davis universe: strong African American characters, a multicultural cast (some with extraordinary powers) and a guy named Larry. The focus of each series is the battle between characters chosen to fight evil, in the form of New Hope City's nefarious nemesis, Steven Dark. While UMI wields its considerable experience to tailor the positive content to fit the needs of its market, Michael and a team of experienced A-list comic creators have crafted a comic universe that will surpass the expectations of seasoned comic readers who may be skeptical of a faith-based series. UMI's recruiting of the best talent in the comic industry infuses The Guardian Line with the hip legitimacy necessary to connect with young readers and is in character with the company's reputation for producing graphically superior, relevant content.
The unveiling of The Guardian Line is scheduled for September, 2006. The first series released, targeting the tween segment, will be Joe and Max, based on Michael's experiences in elementary school. Additional titles will release weekly. The comics will then be released bi-monthly for a total of six issues of each series per year.