Hi everybody!  It’s my freaking birthday today!!  I’ll be spending it by seeing patients all day in my clinic and then having a birthday dinner at the best steakhouse in town with my beautiful wife.  One of the presents she got me was a pendant of St. Luke- the patron saint of physicians and artists.   She knew that this combination means something very important to me.  Art and medicine have always been dreams of mine, though often seemingly in conflict.  In college, after spending 4 years studying art, painting and drawing comics; many were surprised to know I was headed to medical school.  In medschool, not many classmates knew I was drawing a webcomic and drawing giant comics in a theater company outside of class.  During my time in residency, I had little time to stay up to date with the webcomic, but drawing and painting continued to be a necessary outlet for me.   For me, art and medicine have always been inexorably intertwined.  My experience in the practice of medicine and caring for patients have always been the inspiration in what I draw.  In almost every page of Hare Borne, I can pinpoint the medical experience that was the nucleus of the idea for that frame or sequence. Without those life-changing experiences, I wouldn’t know what to draw.  And without the ability to draw (or the miracle of meeting my wife in that hospital), I don’t think I would’ve made it through the intense stresses of work.  

My dream has always been to be a practicing doctor and a productive cartoonist.  Finding that balance has been elusive in the past several years.  But with the support of my amazing wife, I feel like that dream is finally coming true.  So on a day like today, where I can see patients, have a wonderful dinner with my wife and upload my latest comic before bed- I know that this is all a guy could ever wish for on a birthday.  Whew!  It’s been a great year.  And here’s to the next one!

thanks for reading, folks,

Alex