I would love to see more animal casts in comics, especially in story-driven ones! TToTT Even putting aside the weird hangups some people have about "furries" (as if anthro characters can't exist outside of that realm and haven't done so for centuries...) people, at least on this forum, tend to unfairly associate animal characters with goofy kid stuff.
When I do use animal characters, I don't do it because I have a younger target audience in mind, I do it because animals are cute and make for fun character designs and worldbuilding. I'm still taking my murder and torture and kidnapping plots just as seriously as I do when I write with more humanoid characters...
I know it's not really my place to say this, but...please don't. ^^; I mean, if you really think your characters would look better that way, then by all means; but if you're only considering it in order to placate a potential audience, I don't think it's worth it.
Do you know how many millions of fantasy characters there are out there that are basically just "human, but with tail" or "human, but blue and with horns"?? And of course, 'human, but with pointy ears' is in almost every single modern fantasy story in existence...
In short: we don't need any more! >_< It just breaks my heart to see someone on the verge of throwing away something that could be unique and interesting in favor of 'Generic fantasy character design #55604836'.
That's always a danger whenever you try to do anything unique, unfortunately. ╯︿╰ And honestly, if you think your potential comic could be more popular if all the characters were just the dragon-equivalent of catgirls, I wouldn't blame you for going with that art direction.
HOWEVER, I think one way to avoid people simply refusing to connect with your non-human characters at first glance is to just go all in on the art style. Invest your time in making your characters look too cool and inviting to ignore.
For instance, I don't think anyone would look at these two and decide they're just 'too weird' to be interesting:
For the record, this is Junta (bird guy) and Tinchai (deer girl) from Maple Story 2...and even before the game shut down, I was so mad at how underutilized they were. The first time I saw Tinchai was basically as a cameo in a dungeon event, and immediately I wanted to know more about her and where she came from. Junta's later arrival only added to that curiosity.
Was this due to the fact that they were two of only three major anthro characters in the entire game? Yes...but was it also due to the fact that they look magical and cool and fantastic and cute and they have fun personalities?? Hell yes. ^^