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A 12-Year-Old Cartoonist Got Trolled For Her Social Justice Views (So Let’s Help Her Out)

Sasha Matthews is only 12, but she already has the initiative and backbone of a superhero. Sasha first received nasty messages when she undertook a comics-driven ACLU fundraiser, because the bridge trolls of the Internet have no shame or souls. Then Sasha drew a cartoon based on our coverage of the Marvel editor harassed over her selfie—and she got harassed herself. Let’s turn this tide around once and for all.

Sasha’s drawings, on display at her website, show remarkable skill and ingenuity. She’s been self-publishing comics for years, and has appeared on TV and at live events—not to mention receiving a Citation from the New York City council—due to her exceptional abilities and big-hearted motivation. The featured art at Rumble Comics right now is her project, “Everyday Superheroes,” which transforms people (and animals) in Sasha’s life and those who have commissioned her into dynamic heroes in brilliant colors.

I heard from Scott Matthews, Sasha’s father:

Her most recent project is something she calls Everyday Superheroes, which is a fundraiser for ACLU—as of now she has collected over $7,700 by completing roughly 75 commissions.

I mention it because a few sites had written about it—and I was amazed to see the trolls even calling her a snowflake, brainwashed, and so on—just because she had a fun productive idea.

So I showed her your story, and she decided to make her own editorial cartoon.

Sasha’s goal is to fundraise $10,000  for the ACLU, and she’s still taking commissions for “Everyday Superheroes.” I think you know what to do. Drop Scott a line for commission info.

The innovative and trailblazing “Everyday Superheroes” project was recognized by the likes of Senator Kamala Harris (as always, I can’t wait until Harris is President), who tweeted:

But being awesomely on the side of justice and drawing positive attention brings out the trolls—trolls who decided it was somehow okay to attack a 12-year-old. And after Sasha’s recent “editorial cartoon” about the Marvel milkshake matter—which is much funnier than any cartoon I’ve seen in The New Yorker—some of the responses that Sasha received were abominable.

Her father told me, “Sasha wound up getting her own trolls as a result of ACLU retweeting her milkshake cartoon. (ex: ‘Are you a girl or boy? Your picture indicates you may be confused….’)”

How dare they. (I’m not using all the expletives I’d like to type here, in case Sasha or her peers end up reading this. But rest assured I am thinking them. Loudly.) As unnecessary and idiotic as trolling Marvel editor Heather Antos for taking a milkshake selfie with her co-workers was, Antos is a grown woman and a professional. Imagine being so devoid of any humanity and existing as such a miserable garbage person that you attack the appearance of a 12-year-old artist. Maybe it’s jealousy that Sasha already has more talent in her pinkie finger than they’ll ever enjoy. Maybe it’s the inability to grasp basic decency that sets in after your soul has fled your body and you are the living embodiment of a dumpster fire.

Scott tweeted about Sasha’s situation at Michelle Malkin, who was cited as a follower of one of the trolls. Malkin had the sort of response—basic compassion—her fans would do well to emulate.

It’s Sasha herself who has demonstrated the coolest head and a wisdom far beyond her years.

And her latest undertaking is showing a lot of promise.

Be sure to check out Sasha’s work on a regular basis at @rumblecomics on Twitter, and if you’re on Twitter, consider sending her an encouraging message or RT. I’m pretty sure she just single-handedly gave me hope for the future of America, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

(images: Sasha Matthews / Rumble Comics)

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.