Emily Howman stars in the cartoon and app, Epilepsy Xplained

Not everyone can say that they’re the star of a cartoon.

So it’s understandable that East Maitland’s Emily Howman is pretty chuffed.

See the girl in the pictures with the blue hair? That’s her. And that’s a ferret on her lap. The bloke is her cartoonland boyfriend.

Cartoons send us down memory lane.

Topics remembers the days of getting up, grabbing a bowl of cereal [Rice Bubbles or Coco Pops] and watching our favourite cartoons.

There was Scooby-Doo, The Flintstones, He-Man And The Masters Of The Universe, The Jetsons, Fat Albert, The Smurfs, Jabberjaw, Josie and the Pussycats and Inspector Gadget.

Good days those. Things were simpler back then.

But this isn’t the ‘80s, so it’s only natural that Emily’s cartoon is part of an app.

The app, called Epilepsy Xplained, was created to raise awareness of – you guessed it – epilepsy.

Emily, 33, was diagnosed with the illness five years ago.

She says the cartoon “makes discussion surrounding the topic easier”.

“I was really excited because I’m a massive comic book nerd,” Emily said.

“I was like ‘that rocks’.”

What about the bloke who’s your boyfriend in the cartoon? Is he real?

“They changed a few little details,” she said, with a giggle.

“They changed the name of a boyfriend.”

When she was diagnosed with epilepsy, she had to give up being a pilot.

Keeping ferrets helps her cope with this.

“Ferret fostering gives me a good hobby and something that’s a bit fun and a bit out there to do,” she said.

She used to love flying planes.

“I got my private pilot licence before all this, but as soon as you’ve got epilepsy they ban you forever. I’ll never be able to do it again,” she said.

“I’d been doing it on and off since I was 17. Mum and dad paid for my first trial flight. I just expected to be always able to do it.”

Humour helps to accept things.

“If a small plane flies overhead, I just zone out and stare at it for a while,” she said, with a chuckle.

Street Names

The real Emily Howman gives us a smile.

The real Emily Howman gives us a smile.

What’s in a name, hey?

Warners Bay’s Ian King reckons things must be a bit fishy around a certain section of Ettalong on the Central Coast.

He noticed some roads there named Flounder, Schnapper, Bream and Flathead.

Schnapper? This reminds us of an alcoholic beverage we drink at night by the fire at the snowy mountains.

But no. Schnapper, we hear, was the term for snapper in the olden days.

Ian also noticed streets in Orange called Summer, Winter, Spring and Autumn.

It seems like we’ve been driving down Summer Street for a while. We’re ready to cruise into Autumn Street.

  • topics@theherald.com.au