Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sidekicks by Dan Santat... Not Just the Plucky Tagalongs

My sister and I used to stay up late at night on Christmas Eve watching reruns of the live action Batman Show of the 1960's. I was always amazed by Robin's ability to use alliteration in every sentence and his unrestrained use of the word, "holy." But as a sidekick, Robin pales in comparison to worthy companions in Dan Santat's graphic novel, Sidekicks.

The sidekicks appear to be just the homely pets of superhero Captain Amazing. They enjoy creature comforts such as television, lounging on the couch and popcorn. But Fluffy the hamster and Roscoe the dog long for more. Captain Amazing is gone long hours fighting crime and avoiding his one mysterious weakness. With an announcement from Captain Amazing that he's searching for a new sidekick, the pets launch into action. With a new pet, Shifty, the chameleon and an old pet, Manny, the cat, the potential sidekicks train for tryouts. They encounter dark alleys and a very fishy problem.

I enjoyed the creative angle of Sidekicks, using pets as sidekicks. But even more, I loved the artwork. Fluffy's tiny disguise is reminiscent of Captain America's suit, but way more dashing. The frames zoom in for added drama and a bit of humor too at certain places. This story was well paced and came together neatly at the end. I'm hoping to use this one for the Graphic Novel Book Club once we get enough copies back into the library. Good for readers of the esteemed Lunch Lady Comics or a reader who just wants a laugh. Don't miss the noble deeds of these faithful sidekicks in their quest for justice, truth and maybe just a bit of loving attention too.

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