Sucker for Sidekicks

In The News
music: Dragon Page Cover to Cover

Lets talk . . . characters.

I have this little problem, Gentle Reader, I fall in love with my second string characters. It's not that I don't like the hero and heroine but there is just something about the supporting actors that is terribly hard resist. I have this difficulty in movies as well. And other people's books. Let us call this little foible of mine: an obsession with sidekicks.

The thing is, I have always been a sidekick woman. Call me crazy, but the hero never really does it for me. There is something about the man at his side, the man providing the laughs, the man who doesn’t get the girl in the end, that is far more appealing than the classic perfectness of the beefed-up lead.

Take Batman and Robin as prime examples. Batman has his dark good looks, aura of power, control over all situations, and conquering of the Bad. Batman lives the male fantasy: wealth, power, and respect by day, costumed play-acting with fancy gadgets and cool cars by night. Leaves me stone cold. But Robin on the other hand . . . There is something about his boyishness, his goofiness, his lack of perfection that is ten times more appealing. Especially when compared to Batman’s, well, Batmanness.

Lord of the Rings? I'm all about Merry (yay, Dominic Monaghan!). You can have your Aragorns and your Legolasses I'm taking the lesser-known hobbits home, thank you very much.

Sometimes a sidekick can save a film. Take Val Kilmer’s Doc Holiday in “Tombstone.” The height of horrible western movies and yet this gun toting, sickly, drunken character somehow makes it all worthwhile. He has all the good lines, too. Wyatt Erp, star and stud, pales by comparison.

There are some who will never understand the appeal. But I suspect more than a few share my obsession. We’re the ones who choose Dr. Watson over Sherlock Holmes, Porthos over Athos, and Little John over Robin Hood, because they never take themselves, or the hero, too seriously. The hero might be good in bed, but the sidekick will make you laugh for a lifetime, and that’s sex appeal.

So what if he is slightly silly looking, clowns around too much, and makes mistakes? That is a vital part of the appeal. You see, sidekicks have this wonderful awkward charm. They are appealing because of their humanness, because of their imperfections. They are quirky and approachable.



Gail's Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
Dorian Gray comes 09.09.09 . . . to England of course. Sigh.
Your Tisane of Smart:
The BS Historian on Vampire Killing Kits and also Dracula.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Some very good advice on managing your money as a writer. Strangely enough it's almost EXACTLY like a conversation I had over lunch with my . . . hay!

CAKE in Space: With agent.
Soulless: New review over on Angieville. "Soulless spans several genres (urban fantasy, historical, steampunk, comedy of manners, romance) and it makes fun of and love to them all."
Changeless: Awaiting copyedit. Release date currently April 2010. Got cover (everyone say "ooooo")
Blameless First Draft, done. Editing second draft, sample pages turned in for Bk 2. (pages not words)

Quotes of the Day:
"Holy Captain Nemo, Batman!"
~ Robin

"Never rub another man's rhubarb."
~ Joker

"It's sometimes difficult to think clearly when you're strapped to a printing press."
~ Batman

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