Sasha Matthews (Wikipedia) is a cartoonist, activist, and 8th grader known for her Everyday Superheroes fundraiser for ACLU, her work with Microsoft, and as a guest on on NBC’s Little Big Shots. Questions? Ask my dad:
Everybody has the power to make the world a better place
Everyday Superheroes started off as a fundraiser for ACLU. The idea was to draw real people doing what they love in life, but in the form of a superhero. In the end Sasha collected exactly $11,635.83 for ACLU. Read more on Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls. The comic book version collects 48 of Sasha’s favorites, including:
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.’
Little Big Shots & Steve Harvey
Highlight from Little Big Shots
Out of the blue!
Sasha was invited to be the first artist/author guest on NBC’s “Little Big Shots,” the #1 show on Sunday with an audience of 10-12 million. She decided to research and write a new biographical comic about the show’s host, Steve Harvey, telling a fun story about overcoming adversity to find your true life calling.
Sasha’s editorial cartoons and writing—on subjects ranging from social justice, to creative rights, to gun policy—have been published by Hyperallergic, Boing Boing, The Mary Sue, and Danish newspaper Politken. Scholastic announced they would amend their Art & Writing Awards (see: Hyperallergic, AM New York) after reading Sasha’s essay on Boing Boing.
At the 2018 NYC Women’s March, Sasha shared the stage with New York State governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio. At the Girl Up Summit (a United Nations campaign) she sat for a panel discussion with ACLU president Susan Herman. Sasha introduced 2018 and 2017 honorees at the Clara Lemlich Awards held at the Museum of the City of New York.
NYC Women’s March
Girl Up with ACLU president Susan Herman
2018 Clara Lemlich Awards
2017 Clara Lemlich Awards
Early environmental activism
“Saving My Tomorrow” is an HBO series about kids and environmentalism, produced 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. Here’s Sasha’s brief history of everything, as animated by HBO:
Microsoft 3D Holiday
Microsoft’s 2017/2018 holiday commercial
Using art to make the world a better place
Microsoft modeled their 2017/2018 holiday campaign on Sasha. Their animated character (also named “Sasha”) is a young artist who uses her art to make her world (and universe) a better place.
2d Sasha, 3d Sasha, flesh-and-bones Sasha
On the set with director Roman Coppola
Awards & Recognition
Receiving New York City Council Citation
Citation from the New York City Council
Sasha received a citation from the New York City Council in recognition of her Everyday Superheroes ACLU fundraiser.
Crain’s 20 Under 20
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.
Having fun during the photoshoot
A stellar fun day!
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.
The Origin Story
Early interview with Tech Times
Sitting Bull: A Life Story
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.
Pompeii: Lost and Found
Having completed Sitting Bull, Sasha now felt she had to prove she could do it again. She browsed her favorite history book, and came across the story of Pompeii. 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.
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