The end of the school year is approaching, and for many of you, that means experiencing stress and anxiety over finals. Cramming, studying, pulling all-nighters—we've all been there. Even the students at Super Hero High know how you're feeling. DC Super Hero Girls will flip into exam mode this weekend for Free Comic Book Day. Supergirl will star in a story that's a preview for the upcoming DC SUPER HERO GIRLS original graphic novel, “Finals Crisis.”
Not familiar with Free Comic Book Day? The event takes place on the first Saturday of May, which means that this year it's happening May 7th. Participating comic book shops will have free comics from a variety of publishers, including DC. You can click here to get the lowdown on participating locations and where DC creators will be signing—creators such as Shea Fontana, writer of the DC SUPER HERO GIRLS Free Comic Book Day story.
Fontana also writes for the DC Super Hero Girls webseries, and during an interview with her, we asked about transitioning between formats.
"It was really figuring out how to write panel-by-panel,” she says. “In animation, you're writing for motions, but in the comic books, each panel is one specific moment. It's figuring out what the best moments are to tell the story. I think that was the biggest challenge in transitioning—figuring out what is the height of action and where you're pushing the pause button. You need to choose the action that is going to be the best fit for what you want to audience to see.”
Ultimately, she says the experience has made her a better animation writer. Fontana explains, "I figured out from working with the comics how to better describe what you want to see. Animation writing is usually a lot more brief than comic book writing, so I learned to focus on, 'What are the important elements that you are describing?'"
Fontana worked with artist Yancey Labat on the project. He continually surprised her with his work. They went back and forth a little, but mostly, Labat ran successfully with the story.
"He does such great work that I did not need to have a whole lot of contact with him on how things were coming along,” describes Fontana. “It's really been fun to see everything come to life and see what he brings to it and how he even improved what I was thinking. I was like, 'Wow, this is ten times better than what I had in my mind' when I saw his work."
As mentioned, the DC SUPER HERO GIRLS Free Comic Book Day issue is a teaser of sorts for "Finals Crisis." The issue focuses on Supergirl's concerns about taking tests—she's had bad luck with exams in the past—but the graphic novel will bounce around between students.
"Each chapter is actually going to be from a different character's point of view,” Fontana says. “We really get to go inside the heads of each of these characters and see how they approach their duties as a super hero differently and how they look at finals differently.”
She continues, "Someone like Batgirl is very insistent that she needs peace and quiet so she can study. Where someone like Harley thinks that everybody's already prepared, and if you're not prepared by the night before finals, you aren't going to do well anyway so she's going to throw a party. It's really fun to see how all these girls are approaching the same situation. Then, within that story there's a super villain who's coming after the girls to get them to fail their finals."
Fontana will be appearing for signings in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley at two Earth-2 Comics locations on Free Comic Book Day. She'll be at the Sherman Oaks branch from 11:00am - 1:00pm and the Northridge location from 2:00pm to 4:00pm. For information on this signing and more, check out our interactive Free Comic Book Day map.