If you’ve been following my webcomic recommendations, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I love me a good sidekick. Whether they’re shapeshifting sasspots or unicorns with a sweet tooth, storytelling can only benefit from the inclusion of a fun, wisecracking partner in crime. And so today I spotlight the characters without whom the hero would never succeed, and the readers would definitely not laugh so much.
Copper, Kazu Kibuishi
There’s something timeless about child and dog duos, and nowhere is it more charming than in Copper. Kibuishi is no stranger to beautiful, surreal children’s stories (he’s the creator of Scholastic’s Amulet series), and Copper, with Fred the dog in tow, takes on everything from toadstool hopscotch to space exploration. It’s philosophical without ever sounding trite, in a very Bill Watterson-type way.
Status: Finished, 2002-2009.
Read if you like: Calvin and Hobbes meets Little Nemo in Slumberland, no-nonsense dogs, and dancing robots.
The Abominable Charles Christopher, Karl Kerschl
Charles Christopher might not know who or what he is, but he knows what he needs to do. The giant must protect the forest from those who’d exploit it, and ensure the wellbeing of its animal dwellers. Drawn in beautiful watercolours, the comic pings between Charles Christopher’s ongoing adventures and the great little moments of the wildlife community, occasionally teaching us something new about animal behaviour.
Status: Ongoing, updates Wednesdays.
Read if you like: Talking animals whose problems are all too human, accidental biology lessons.
Gronk: A Monster’s Story, Katie Cook
Gronk is a little monster who doesn’t want any part of the monster lifestyle. She doesn’t want to scare things or eat gross monster food, and so packs up her belongings and leaves the forest. Gronk quickly moves in with human Dale and what the reader ends up getting is very sweet slice-of-life moments. Imagine the kind of hijinks a dog, cat, and baby monster can get up to. Go on, I’ll wait. Yeah, the possibilities are endless.
Status: Ongoing, updates Fridays.
Read if you like: Imagining what it would be like to have a baby monster living with you, sacrificial marshmallows, and curious mooses.
Demon Street, Aliza Layne
If one day an entire street in your town disappeared, along with everyone on it, what would you do? Would you ignore it like everyone else? Pretend it never happened? Or would you jump through to another world and try to solve the mystery? That’s certainly what Septimus decides, though it’s only by teaming up with Raina that he has any hope of surviving this new world just crawling with monsters. The pair are basically each other’s sidekicks, and the interplay between them never gets old.
Status: Ongoing, updates Mondays and Thursdays.
Read if you like: Pocket witches, weapon-hiding charm bracelets, and quests to find lost parents.