Real Life….. Sidekick?

Who is the Cartoon Princess?  I’m a very slightly somewhat kindasorta known cartoonist in the LGBTQetc indy comics/webcomic community…. I’ve spoken on convention panels, been in a few books, so….. yeah, a medium sized fish in a really, really, very small pond. But I’m foolish enough to believe that there’s power when people, especially marginalized people, tell their own stories, we light a path for those who come after. With the ravishes of teen suicides that are now making the news but are always devastating our youth, they need stories. They need to be inspired but, even more, need to be empowered to tell their own stories. Sharing our stories is a way that we as human beings build community, connect with each other, come to understand each other. When we tell our stories, we show youth that they are not alone, that they are okay. We light a light to show youth at risk of suicide a way home. When at risk kids share their stories, fiction or nonfiction, they claim a beachhead of survivability, and reach a hand out to their peers, showing that they can survive together.  It is my mission not only to tell my own stories, but to empower youth to as well, through donations of writing and art supplies to LGBTQ youth groups, GSAs, and youth psychiatric hospital wards and facilities. In this way, I hope to be a real life….. sidekick.
Why a Real Life Sidekick? Well a ‘Superhero’ inhabits a liminal space of ideal or ideology made flesh. Those are big boots to fill!  I’m not sure I can live up to what a superhero must be, but a sidekick…. a sidekick is a student. An aspirant. Someone who is not yet ready to step into the full potential of a super hero (if indeed they ever will; not everyone graduates to the big leagues!)  Do I know my mission to inspire and empower will work?  I do not. But I am committed to learning, growing, acquiring the skills to reach out to more and more kids. I am not fully trained in my mission, but I will learn the skills I need to do what needs doing.
As a sidekick needs a mentor, I’ve created the character of the Cartoon Queen. Admittedly, she is strictly conceptual…. a personification of my philosophies. But I am here, I am flesh and blood, and I hope to make my mark the the decision of at least one youth to stay alive.