Even wrote post about it on my blog last year. (Click here for proof. See? I’ll never lie to you. Exaggerate, maybe. Embellish, decorate, or garnish the truth…possibly. Okay, likely. But only to entertain. Cut me some slack.)
Anyway, the same holds for books – the sidekicks have always stolen my affections, starting waaay back when I was reading Trixie Belden mysteries. Sure, Trixie was cool and all, but her soft-spoken friend Honey Wheeler was the level-headed brains of the outfit. Plus, Honey’s family owned a stable full of horses, something I appreciated with the fiery fervor only a ten-year-old horse nut can achieve.
What’s that you say? Who the heck is Trixie Belden?
*sigh* Okay, perhaps a timelier children’s book reference is in order. Take the Harry Potter series. It’s Hermione and Ron who make those books for me. Harry is a wonderful hero, and I love him, but Hermione and Ron have Personality Pizazz! They weren’t branded with a lightning bolt, so they have to try harder.
In my adult fiction (wait…does that sound tawdry? should I say “grownup fiction” instead?), I adore Stephanie Plum’s hilarious sidekick, Lula, in Janet Evanovich’s series about a Jersey girl bounty hunter. Lula is a smack-talking ex-ho, a queen-size jewel of a character — the perfect foil for Stephanie. Heck, just reading what she eats is entertainment itself. And how she dresses? Cheese Lou-eeze! What’s not to love?
You could make a case for Grandma Mazur being another of Stephanie’s sidekicks, at least in some of the books. I love her, too. That ancient, funeral-loving, door-knob-kneed smartass can shoot my chicken anytime. She’s the grandma I wish I had.
But I think if I had to choose my all-time favorite sidekick it would be Win from Harlan Coben’s Myron Bolitar series. Windsor Horne Lockwood III. Myron’s best friend from college, Win is loaded, blond, classically handsome in an almost-delicate way, and pretty much batsh!t crazy. Other characters in the books refer to him as a “psycho yuppie,” and I’d have to say I agree. He may look like a preppie, but he’s well-versed in the martial arts (a sixth-degree black belt in Taekwondo), and could probably kill a man twice his size with his little finger. *swoons* He obviously loves his best friend, and is always there for him in a pinch. He saves Myron’s butt on a regular basis.
Um, okay, I may have a tiny literary crush on Win.
The thing is, sidekicks get a lot of leeway in books (movies and TV, too, for that matter). They don’t carry the weight of the story like the protags do, so they have the freedom to be … well, a bit more outré. And I happen to be mighty fond of outré . It’s so…well, out there. *grin*
Do you have a favorite sidekick? Or do the heroes always steal your heart?