Full Story Highlights: All Ages Webcomics

There’s no shortage of great all-ages comics online — from Chris Baldwin’s Little Dee to Steven Charles Manale’s Superslackers, to Adrian Ramos’ Count Your Sheep. There’s even a collective now, Lunchbox Funnies, featuring a fantastic line-up of all-ages comics creators.

Why then was it so difficult to find appropriate stories to include here? Combing through Full Story turned up so few all-ages entries that I had to find and index additional stories just to have enough for this one article. The trouble was, while there is certainly a wealth of all-ages material out there, remarkably little of it is in the form of short stories or completed series. It seems all-ages webcomics tend even more toward the infinitely-ongoing format than webcomics in general do.

I suppose this shouldn’t be too surprising; from Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys to Captain Underpants and The Magic Tree House, literature for young people has always tended toward multi-volume series. This feeds into children’s natural tendency to latch onto particular favorite characters, devouring story after story about their fictional friends for as long as the publisher keeps them coming.

There is one important difference, however — traditional series fiction for children tends to be episodic. If you pick up a Nancy Drew mystery, you get an entire mystery, beginning, middle, and end. Sure, there are dozens more Nancy Drew mysteries to read after you finish that first one. But every one of them is a self-contained story. The format of children’s series fiction is a very particular compromise between keeping kids coming back for more, while still providing a complete experience suited to short attention spans.

Of course, this is certainly not to say that this formula is necessarily superior to either the singular graphic novel or the infinitely ongoing strip. I just find it curious that a format that has consistently proven so commercially successful for children’s fiction in print is so little used in webcomics.


Salamander Dream

Hailey has a special friend: a salamander spirit whose stories transport her to magical worlds of imagination. Three times, she visits him, throughout the course of her journey from childhood to adulthood, until finally she has a story of her own she needs to share. The print version of this story was named one of the best comics of 2005 by Publishers’ Weekly.



Ghost Farm

  • Access: Free
  • Creator: Jessica McLeod
  • 24 pages plus title page.
  • Read this story

Where do ghosts come from? A lonely little vampire finds out when she decides to go shopping to find a friend. A short sweet tale by Jessica McLeod, Australian comic-creator and member of the collective Monster and Robot Industries.




  • Access: Free
  • Colorist: Miguel Sternberg
  • Creator: Rosemary Mosco
  • 1 scrolling page.
  • Read this story

A simple alphabet book wherein each letter is represented by a different creature from prehistoric times. Cute and educational.



Ped X-Ing

Ryan Estrada’s record-setting 175-hour comic tells the story of three unusual friends: the dangerously accident-prone Tyrone Thompson, the insufferably indecisive Aki Akuyama, and the mask-wearing Chuck Just Jr. The three share a singular bond—every morning at precisely 9:27, they cross the street to their school together. That is, until the last day of school, before each is to go off to a different school. Saddened by the loss of their morning ritual, they decided to cross a different street…and then another, and another, until they finally realize that they’re hopelessly lost. And getting mugged. And that’s just the beginning of a wild and funny odyssey that includes exploding scooters, electric eels, trash barges, unexpected cheese, affectionate bears, and a wide assortment of ridiculous and exciting stunts that no one should try in real life ever.

Estrada later spun Aki off into her own ongoing series, Aki Alliance.


Also worth mentioning are a pair of fantastic all-ages comics that haven’t ended yet, but that are showing signs of coming to solid conclusions in the foreseeable future: Raina Telgemeier’s Smile: A Dental Drama and Dave Roman’s Astronaut Elementary. The latter is already into its epilogue.

Alexander Danner

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