Two years ago, First Second published a graphic novel by Nick Abadzis about the first dog ever to travel to outer space. 

It's amazing.  And sad.  And gorgeous.  And wonderful. 

You should check it out. 

(You should also check out Nick's Laika site, where he shows exactly how much research you have to do to make historical comics.  Drawing things historically accurate apparently takes lots of research!  Who knew?)