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World of Comics

Julia Sabin

The key to this puzzle is the comics page of The Boston Globe. This is indicated by the word "World" in the title and by the flavortext cluing the word "sidekick," which is the name of the section of the Globe in which the comics are printed. When the comic strip panels in the puzzle are arranged as the strips appear in the Globe, the missing letters spell out CHARACTER WEARING SUSPENDERS, broken down as follows:

Dilbert: CHA
Curtis: RAC
Rhymes With Orange: TER
Get Fuzzy: WEA
Mother Goose and Grimm: RING
Zippy: S
The Amazing Spider-man: US
Rose Is Rose: PEND
Zits: ERS

All of the strips in the puzzle are from January 18th of various years. Doonesbury appears on the Globe's comics page, but not in the puzzle. In the 1/18/08 Doonesbury, coordinated with the strip's creator ahead of time, the character Earl appeared wearing suspenders.

Thus, the answer to the puzzle is EARL.