a SUPER interview with SUPER SIDEKICKS creator Gavin Aung Than!

Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your creation of this awesome series?

I definitely wanted to do a kids series and I naturally gravitated towards superheroes. I was obsessed with comics growing up, superhero comics in particular, and they helped me develop a love of reading, art and comics that I still have today. I wanted to try and get the current generation hooked on comics like I was, so I thought why not create my own superhero series that I would loved to have read as a middle grader.

Superheroes (and sidekicks!) are such a huge foundation for the comics world—can you tell us more about your approach to creating this series—what makes it standout and why superhero comics lovers will love it?

Since it’s for kids, I thought having superheroes the same age as the reader made sense – that’s why book 1 is called ’No Adults Allowed.’ Plus, being a younger brother, I was always kind of like my big brother’s sidekick. I would follow him around like a puppy, so I wanted to focus on the often forgotten sidekicks! That’s why I thought kid sidekicks rebelling against their adult partners, who are all mean jerks, would be a fun concept. Kids will love it because it has loads of action, adventure and laughs. I wanted to keep it as fun and light-hearted as possible – heaps of jokes, funny facial expressions, but also with lots of great big action scenes.

Where there any particular superheroes you grew up loving and why?

There were so many! Growing up and loving comics in the 90s meant I loved all the cool anti-heroes that were so popular during that time – Wolverine, Batman, the Punisher, Gambit and Spawn just to name a few!

We love that these sidekicks are getting their chance to be in the spotlight! What do you think is going to be their hardest lesson with taking on this greater role and responsibility as heroes?

They learn an important lesson in Book 3 about leadership and trying to be accepted by their peers, but for Book 1, it’s all about fun and friendship! It’s about the young heroes finally escaping the adults, going on their first big adventure together, building their dream headquarters and fighting crime on their terms!

Do you have a favorite character and why?

That’s a tough one – it’s like asking a parent to pick their favourite child! I love all the Super Sidekicks, but if I had to pick one, then it would be Goo. He’s so sweet, innocent and well, just … gooey! Book 1 is all about Goo, his origin story and how he meets and joins the rest of the team.

Finally—can you tell us some of your favorite kids/YA graphic novels for readers?

Sure, I’ve always loved the Amulet series. Cleopatra in Space and the HiLo series are also fantastic. Some newer books I’ve enjoyed are Cardboard Kingdom and 5 Worlds. It’s a great time to be a fan of kids comics!

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