After a three-year hiatus from comic conventions and book signings — due to the pandemic — the reigning Queen of Comics, Shequeta L. Smith, returns with a brand-new kids’ manga and book tour that kicks off at Golden Apple Comics in July.
Smith’s “Young Grandmaster Choi” tour will feature stops at comic shops, military bases, comic conventions, and elementary schools where she plans to connect with young manga fans from all over America.
The tour is a launchpad for Smith’s new bully-slaying manga, “Young Grandmaster Choi,” which is a kids’ book series about Rayven Johnson-Choi, a six-year-old African American army brat sent to South Korea after losing both parents.
Rayven is adopted by her father’s best friend and KATUSA, Don Choi, and his baker wife, Mai. When Rayven arrives at Seoul Elementary School, she faces off with a mean bully who unwittingly helps her find her fighting spirit in Hapkido.
After a successful Kickstarter campaign during Black History Month, Young Grandmaster Choi will finally hit bookshelves on Wednesday, June 28. On July 2, Golden Apple Comics will host Smith for a public book signing from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. A former educator-turned-comic book CEO, Smith’s new series is the prequel to her award-winning graphic novel series, “Rayven Choi,” and addresses bullying, a growing problem in South Korea and the United States.
“Bullying is an issue that kids and parents are dealing with all over the world. I’m hoping that Young Grandmaster Choi helps inspire a whole new generation of ‘martial arts kids’ to learn how the sport can help shape their minds and bodies to deal with conflict,” Smith says.
Well aware of the lack of original Black female characters created by Black females, Smith founded Shero Comics in 2016 to bring forth a renaissance of Black superheroines. She also started the local community event “SheroCon,” which is scheduled to return in 2024.
Young Grandmaster Choi is the ninth book released by the company and is on track to be adapted as an anime series. With its chibi-styled artwork and cross-cultural themes between Korean and American cultures, Smith anticipates the series joining in on the massive Korean wave currently taking over the world. After all, the inspiration for Rayven Choi came to Smith over two decades ago after returning from a life-altering study abroad trip to South Korea.
“Young Grandmaster Choi” is now available for pre-order on Amazon Kindle and the Shero Comics web store. Shero Comics recently released a hot new book trailer that can be seen at https://bit.ly/43q9GrY. To learn more, visit www.sherocomics.com.