I’ve been wanting to make this self-indulgent rant for a long while – so long, in fact, that I’ve come to reassess it in the meantime. These thoughts are mostly a product of those dull afternoons between school and dinner when I got in slightly too late to watch the American cartoons and had to subsist on worthier fare like Grange Hill and The Queen’s Nose and Round the Twist where real kids with real problems talk about life and homework and all that nonsense. There was a show about an ancient Roman spaceship this kid found that was super-powerful and dangerous and while my mind was going in Space Runaway Ideon directions the kid was hiding it in trees to make sure the teachers didn’t find it and whooooo caaaaares get to the laaaaaser battllllles!

Growing up has led me to mull over my somewhat self-destructive need to escape from things, and I suspect it started here. Being given these sensible good-for-me Weetabix shows that I was supposed to like while the fun exciting dumb-as-rocks Sugar Puff shows were squeezed right up to the toddler hour on CITV as subtle propaganda that big kids like me really shouldn’t be watching this fluff. But even the “baby shows” started getting tedious after those magical early nineties, as everything from then on started with the voiceover “CHUCK MCBLARTIN WAS AN ORDINARY HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT” uuuugggghhhh.

Maybe it was a Pavlovian reaction to all the soaps my mum watched (and watches…and will watch) that led scruffy little boy me to reject “soapiness” in all the shows directed at my demographic. But then I remember I was really into Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and what most hooked me about it wasn’t the monster the week stuff but all the “soapiness” going on around it – will Xander and Cordelia make up, how will Oz react when he finds out Willow is with Tara, will Willow recover from her drug witch problem – and I realised that on a sub-conscious level it was helping me through some things I didn’t know I was experiencing. That’s the value of seeing yourself reflected in your fiction, and why representation is important, it gives kids the perspective to realise that they’re not the only ones going through the troubles and traumas they’re experiencing at such a young age.

And I hope, in some small way, that this comic helps some kids go through their stuff too. But I still hate school bits in cartoons…