Sasha Matthews (Wikipedia) is a cartoonist and activist now in 8th grade at a New York City public school. Local bookstores started selling her first comic when she was in 5th grade. She has now self-published four titles, all available for purchase online:
When Sasha discovered that the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards (a contest for kids that gets 300,000+ submissions) was inappropriatly claiming ownership of the kids’ copyrights, she decided to write about it for cuture site Boing Boing. As a result, Scholastic announced they would revise their Terms & Conditions (see: Hyperallergic, AM New York).
Sasha was invited to speak at NYCLU’s rally for the 2018 Women’s March. Other speakers included New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. ”We are still so inspired by all of you who marched yesterday, and especially by one of the speakers at our Rally for Rights and Equality at Women’s March on NYC, Sasha Matthews,” NYCLU posted after the march. “As Kamala Harris once said, ‘This girl proves you don’t need powers to be a superhero.’”
Microsoft 3D Holiday (2017)
Microsoft modeled their 2017 holiday campaign on Sasha. Their Sasha is a young artist who tries to use her art to help “Create a Better World.” And, over the past year, the “real” Sasha used her art to raise $11,635.83 for the American Civil Liberties Union. (See her “Everday Supheroes” project below...)
“Liz FitzGerald, a spokesperson from the ACLU, told HuffPost that Sasha is proof that anyone can help fight for others’ rights. ‘We love this project because it shows that everyone has a role to play in fighting for our rights, not just lawyers who work at the ACLU.’”
“Sasha described the thinking behind her project: ‘I think a lot of people feel a little bit powerless. The point is to make people feel empowered. Everyone has something that makes them special, even if it seems ordinary.’”
Crain’s Magazine included Sasha in their “20 Under 20” roundup for 2017. It was especially fun to visit their offices for an official photoshoot.
Little Big Shots (recorded 2016, airs 2017)
One day, out of the blue, we were contacted by a Casting Producer who explained that he represented something called “Little Big Shots.” We weren’t already familiar, but soon learned it was an NBC Prime Time show with an audience of 10-12 million, and the most-watched show on Sunday nights.
Most of the kids on the show are performers, but this time they wanted to try something new: to invite their first child-author guest. In response to their inquiry, Sasha offered to research and write a new biographical comic about the show’s host, Steve Harvey.
Sasha was honored to receive a Citation from the New York City Council and Representatives Mark Levine and Bill Perkins, in recognition of her “Everyday Superheroes” ACLU fundraiser. In her comments, she spoke about how local action can wind up having a global impact.
Ingrid escaped the Holocaust and arrived in the US when she was 12, and spent the next 75 years fighting for civil rights. A week before the ceremony, Sasha had the opportunity to visit Ingrid and her husband George Richardson at their home, and to learn first-hand about their lives.
GoDaddy Take Your Kids To Work Day (2017)
GoDaddy interviewed Sasha, and played it at their event.
Later, GoDaddy kids sent Sasha a thank you video.
GoDaddy, an internet company with several thousand employees, hired Sasha to speak at their annual Bring Your Kids To Work Day. As part of the day’s events across five corporate campuses, they projected a video interview and handed out copies of her comics to four hundred kids and their families.
A few days later, GoDaddy sent Sasha a video of their kids thanking her for her comments. In lieu of compensation, Sasha asked GoDaddy to make a contribution to her Everyday Superheroes project.
Cartooning Workshop (2016)
Sasha was invited to run a cartooning workshop at PS/MS 200Q, a public school in Queens, New York City. She spent an afternoon making presentations, taking questions, and coaching other students to express their own comic ideas.
Pompeii: Lost and Found (2015)
Sasha’s second self-published comic, “Pompeii: Lost and Found,” was introduced at an event at Book Culture in New York City. She co-presented alongside George O’Connor, author of the “Olympians” series.
“In a short story you concentrated the history of an ancient Roman city with some of its most common habits (the baths, the games at the amphitheater, the daily life at the cafes, the golden objects), the tragedy of the eruption and the rediscovering of the city in modern times. I was very surprised by your ability in presenting the story through flash backs to the past and connections to real time.”
—Massimo Osanna, Head of Archaeology at Pompeii
Sitting Bull: A Life Story (2015)
Sasha’s first self-published comic “Sitting Bull: A Life Story” started off as an extra credit project in her New York City 5th grade public school classroom. She first set up shop in her building lobby, and then introduced herself to the owner of a local bookstore, Book Culture.
“Matthews captures all the important details, balancing word and image with a skill well beyond her years. Her vivid colours choices, expressive faces, use of texture, action panels, dialogue, and concise narration all combine to create a story that is inspirational in both its subject matter and its composition.”
“Matthews is definitive when I ask her what she does: ‘I’m a self-publisher,’ she proclaims, adjusting her horn-rimmed glasses. She tucks a chin-length lock of hair behind her ear and tilts her head toward her right shoulder.”
“Last Friday, I had the chance to meet with writer Sasha Matthews at our 112th store for an exclusive interview on her debut comic book Sitting Bull: A Life Story. We talked for over a half-hour about how she came to write Sitting Bull, what it is about comic books that inspires her, her influences, and most of all, what she finds surprising and challenging about the comic-book writing process.”
“Sasha Harmon Matthews, 10, had a very exciting spring. On a whim, her dad, Scott Matthews, emailed the comic book she designed for extra credit at school, ‘Sitting Bull: A Life Story,’ to the popular site Boing Boing. To their astonishment, the site decided to publish it in its entirety.”
“I recommend taking a look at it, not necessarily because it's by a ten year old girl... The reason I like the comic is because Sasha has a really great handle on economic storytelling. She covers a lot of ground, an entire life story, with a sense of research and complete ideas in it.”
“Saving My Tomorrow” is a HBO documentary series about kids and environmentalism. HBO produced the show with the American Museum of Natural History. Sasha was taking an after-school program at the museum, which is how she wound up meeting HBO.
Sasha’s brief history of everything, animated by HBO:
If you have any questions, ask my dad: his email is
and his web site is turnstyle.com