08/21/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT
When Kamaal Washington learned he had Type 1 diabetes, he and brother Malcolm knew what to do: start drawing. Now their comics, featuring Omega Boy, Mighty Boy and evil Doctor Diabetes (available at www.omega7.com) are helping other kids face the disease.
WHY COMICS? Kamaal: I didn't understand diabetes, if I would die or if I could live with it. I was scared. We wanted to put out a book written in a way that would be fun. Malcolm: We make up characters all the time. We draw together. [Dad Alonzo, featured in PEOPLE 5/23/05, creates Omega Man comics.]
WHAT HAPPENS IN OMEGA BOY VERSUS DOCTOR DIABETES? Kamaal: A boy who has diabetes is so mad that he turns into Doctor Diabetes and tries to spread the disease. Omega Boy explains how he can cope with it instead.
HOW DO YOU COPE? Kamaal: I test my blood sugar seven or eight times a day, wear an insulin pump and watch what I eat.
WHAT DO KIDS SAY ABOUT YOUR COMICS? Malcolm: People tell us it's a really good thing. Kamaal: We're visiting camps and hospitals to talk about diabetes this summer. It feels real good to know that we help.