Physician and cartoonist, Dr. Alex Thomas noticed that the majority of children being admitted into his hospital’s ICU for asthma attacks didn’t properly understand the difference between their asthma medications. So he created a comic book called “Iggy and the Inhalers” to help.
"If you ask a 9 year old to explain dinosaurs or Pokemon, they could tell you everything," said Dr. Thomas. "But have them describe a bronchodilator, and it's confusing. It's not that they don't have the capacity. So that's how we styled this [comic]… using characters to describe what inhalers they should be using."
“Iggy and the Inhalers” features a cast of colorful characters including Broncho the Bronchodilator, Coltron the Controller, and of course Iggy the Inhaler. The response from children and parents has been so strong that the brand has expanded to include videos, trading cards, posters, stickers, and an educational program.
Iggy the Inhaler was actually created by Dr. Thomas decades ago, when he was a comic-loving asthmatic 11 year old. He started turning his medications into cartoon characters. His mom, a pediatric allergist, would let him draw “Iggy the Inhaler” comics for her quarterly newsletter. Now, years later, Iggy and his friends are helping kids across the nation.
Dr. Thomas and his company Booster Shot Comics have also created a comic book about pain identification and management. Next, they plan to tackle the serious topic of pediatric HIV/AIDS.