Comic Books: The Changing Face Of Its Creators
Andre L.Batts is the creator and founder of Urban Style Comics. A local comic book company located in Detroit Michigan. He explains how he was inspired to create his company. “As a kid growing up I was so much into comic books. I would get out of school rush to the store in my neighborhood to pick up the newest editions of the different Marvel comic characters such as the Avengers, X-Men, Spiderman, Doctor Strange and a host of others. But as years past by the Images in the Comic industry were dominated by the same majority race. Only a few images looked like myself and my surroundings.
This explosion inspired me but it did not motivate me. I tried to become a part of the Group that created tribe but they weren’t feeling my ideas or art. My motivation I feel came after the let down by the Brothers that created Tribe. My inspiration came after meeting an actual independent Artist/Creator, the Creator of Brother man . I met him briefly at the Million Man March and just seeing this brother made me realize that I did not have to get down with mainstream Comics in order to become successful. This is when I started going full force with my own line of characters and eventually my own company Urban Style Comics.”
Then in the early 1990′s there was the explosion of Black Characters and companies such as Milestone Media, Tribe and last but not least Big City Comics creation of Brother man.
Urban Style Comics was born in his basement with partner Kevin Hallman in 1994. Although his characters have strong Afro-centric themes that are similar to the current Afro-futurism movement popular in a lot of “underground” comic book creators he feels that anyone who enjoys the genre will enjoy his work as Andre explains.
“We must remember that our ancestors never separated themselves from nature or those that did not look like them. That was something done by our Imperial/Colonial masters.
This type of Ideology prevails in mainstream comics even to this day whether they want to acknowledge it or not . It is what it is! I feel that I am a part of a revolutionary approach to comics.
When asked if he thinks the mainstream industry will ever accept his style of work, and does it matter to him, Andre offered this reply. “When they’re ready for it ,yes. It matters if you’re in it only for financial gains. If you’re in it for the love of comics and Black culture, it doesn’t matter because those in the underground are going to continue to support your idea, which is more important to me.”