Brave New World to host two local artist signings

Brave New World Comics owner Andy Liegl will host writer Shae Fontana and colorist Monica Kubina for a signing of "DC Super Hero Girls" and artist Chris Johnson for a signing of "Usagi Yojimbo." Matt Fernandez/The Signal
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Brave New World Comics will host a two comic book signing events in the next two weeks featuring local Santa Clarita talent.

On June 8, Brave New World will host colorist Monica Kubina and local writer Shea Fontana to sign the eighth issue of their graphic novel series “DC Superhero Girls,” which released last week. Then on June 19, artist Chris Johnsons will sign the retailer-exclusive edition of “Usagi Yojimbo” he created for the store.

The “DC Super Hero Girls” animated series and graphic novels reimagine the popular comic book characters as high school students learning how to become superheroes and good people. Fontana said she developed the series with DC and Mattel to fill a gap in comics for stories with female points of view.

“Making sure that my characters come across authentically both as teenagers and as superheroes is something that I’ve always tried to get across in my writing,” Fontana said. “Kids are the original audience comics were made for, and even though we lost a lot of the audience when comics got darker in the ’80s, kids have still been a big part of comics and the wish fulfillment of being a superhero is big for them.”

“Usagi Yojimbo” is a series that follows a samurai rabbit. Aside from his own series and mini series, the character has also appeared in the pages of the popular “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” books.

Johnson, who worked at Brave New World for years, said he was honored to be able to create the cover for a character he loves so much.

Both Fontana and Johnson characterize creating comics as lonely work and said that they enjoy going to signings because it allows them to directly interact with their fans and see how their work has impacted people. Both creators also said they think signings are valuable community events because they are an opportunity for kids to learn about different types of career paths that are available to them in the arts.

“Signings are a great way to show kids that in these fields like art that people don’t think are very practical, there are still ways to find work,” Johnson said. “Even if kids don’t want to draw, comics are a perfect medium to teach children that reading is more than a chore and that you can read for pleasure.”

“Being a Santa Clarita local, Brave New World is one of my favorite comic shops and it’s an awesome place to do signings,” Fontana said. “It’s really fun to meet kids, parents and everyone who comes out because it reminds me that people actually read my work. Sometimes kids remember more about what I’ve written than I do.”

Brave New World owner Andy Liegl said he enjoys hosting signing events because he wants to have an impact on the community.

“I want this store to be a community institution,” he said. “You can buy this stuff anywhere, but it’s important to me to provide events that you can only get here in Santa Clarita.”

Fontana and Kubina will be at Brave New World from noon to 2 p.m. to sign books on June 8. Johnson will sign his exclusive “Usagi Yojimbo” cover on June 19 from 3 to 8 p.m.

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