Monday, February 17, 2014

Let's get--Animated!

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Raise your hands, how many of you have ever been interviewed? Everyone, right? Each and very single person reading this, right?

Me, too. So I thought I'd heard all the questions there could possibly be--from the "where do you get your ideas" (which as we've discussed, I actually like) to "how do you juggle your time with all you have to do" (again, a good one) to "what does your office look like" (Again, okay, interesting, and I love to hear about other people's workspace) to "what's the most dangerous thing you've ever done."

It's rare you get a completely new question. And rare to get one that just--baffles me. But the other day, Jason from the Pikes Peak Writers Conference (where I'm keynoting in a month or so) was interviewing me..and asked: which cartoon character would friends say best describes you?

So thing is, at first glance, I thought, oh, easy, it's --uh. Um. Well, wait. What cartoon character?  And it not how I would describe myself, it's how I think friends would describe me.

Very, very complicated decision.

And it stopped me in my tracks. Because in order to decide, you have to figure out who you are, and how you behave, and really characterize (!) that.

Donald Duck, because I am such a bad driver? (Or was that Goofy?)  Not Bugs, even though he's funny and likes carrots, not Mr. Peabody even though I sometimes wear glasses and like history and would love to time travel, not Wilma Flintsone, even though I am a good cook and have a great husband. (Besides, I don't like asymmetrical dresses.)


Finally, after WAY too much thought, I picked Roadrunner. Because he's always on the move, right? And very very persistent.

So, still curious about this, I went to Facebook (of course) to actually ASK my friends which cartoon character I reminded them of. And I was--touched and amused, frankly, and still laughing at the results.

 There was a big contingent of Brenda Starr, and of Lois Lane. Makes sense, right, and I NEVER thought of them!  A few said "Cathy," which I love, and Veronica from Archie, ditto, and Jane Jetson, brilliant!

 There were votes for BOTH Daphne and Velma from Scooby Doo, which I embrace totally. Snoopy, someone said, because he knows things and is cool and is a writer. Thank you! And, from the "you gotta be kidding but thank you" department, Wonder Woman and Jessica Rabbit.  Only a few people---all dear friends--picked who I did: Roadrunner.

And I'm still going with that, even though I love the other choices..

So shall we describe each voter? Can you select a Red and her matching cartoon character? Or--which one would you pick for yourself?  (Hallie, I bet you'll choose Lucy from Peanuts.)  Reds readers, who would you think best reflects YOU?

HALLIE EPHRON: Oh, Hank, you own Jessica Rabbit.

And for me, Yes, I am at least two parts Lucy. Bossy. Opinionated. Betty from the Archie Comics -- the "good girl." Definitely. But my true soul mate is Elly Patterson in Lynn Johnston's comic strip FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE. I used to read her strips and think, she's been spying on my family.

HANK: OH, Hallie, you are such a perfect Lucy.

RHYS BOWEN: At one stage I identified strongly with the mother in Family Circus when I had four small kids. Not sure if I feel more like Charlie Brown or Linus sometimes. Maybe Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes because I had imaginary friends when I was little and I'm living in my imagination when the world around me wants to be practical and serious.

HANK: Rhys, that is so dear of you. This is not how I see you at all. You're more--Schroeder, if we're sticking with Peanuts. You're talented, and love music, and you are very very diligent and devoted. But okay, if you wanna be Calvin.


(I can hear Reds asking, "Who the heck is Daria?"

HANK: Oh, come on.  Daria looks cool, but you might just be having a grumpy cynical day, Dear Susan. 

   You seem more like--Dora. Right? Or maybe a combo of both.

DEBORAH CROMBIE:  This is so funny. I read the topic for today's post and immediately thought, "Roadrunner. I'm the Roadrunner." And when I read Hank's comments I cracked up. Hank, I do not see you as the Roadrunner!  You are Jessica Rabbit!  

And I loved Cathy so much that when I lived in the UK in the late 70s and early 80s, my mom used to clip the strip from the newspaper and send it to me. But, like you, I think my true soul mate is Elly Patterson.

JULIA SPENCER-FLEMING: Hmmm. Sometimes I think of myself as being akin to Rick Redfern of Doonesbury - constantly bemused by his offspring and trying to find his way in the new, online-centric world of publishing. (And Hank, he's another reporter character. They seem to abound in the comic world!) However, I have had the chance to actually survey friends and family: my college roommate, her husband, her grown sons, daughter-in-law, and of course, Ross and Youngest. After a lively debate, they settled on Blossom from the Powerpuff Girls. Blossom is tough, motherly, and loves to read books (when she's not fighting villainy.) I like that a lot!

HANK: I'd love to have heard that debate, Julia! I bet it was...revealing.

LUCY BURDETTE: I admired Veronica, but rooted for Betty--that's me too, Hallie! And Lucy from Peanuts when she's in her advice-giving box. And Mr. Magoo if I can't find my glasses:). Great question Hank!

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN: Mr. Magoo! Love. But you guys are killing me with Jessica Rabbit. "I'm not bad, I was just drawn that way?"  And my chest has never looked like that. Not even close. (And I'm not, you know, sexy.)  But I did look her up, and I guess she was good, and loyal, and smart, and stood by her ma--I mean rabbit.  So, thank you. I'm standing by Roadrunner though.

And I must say this is pretty much the most fun blog I've ever chosen pictures for. If I had Hallie's neat program (and her skill), I would have put our heads on the characters. But you'll just have to imagine.

So, how about you all? Did we get ourselves right? And which character is YOU?


  1. Wow . . . it's hard to pick a cartoon character to represent yourself, but I think the Reds have done an awesome job!
    Me, I'd pick Mister Magoo for myself or perhaps Rocky's pal, Bullwinkle . . . .

  2. I am Charlie Brown. All I need is his striped shirt.

    Although I've always loved Snoopy's failed writing career. Cracks me up way too much, especially his rejection letters.

  3. So funny! For me, I was going to say the cool grandmother in Stone Soup (even though I'm not a grandmother yet). She's always traveling off to stay with her boyfriend, and when she's home she's fun and tough. But I just asked Hugh which character he'd use for me and he said Tweety Bird! I laughed really loud at that one.

  4. Sober, I trend toward Yosemite Sam. A little grumpy and ready to argue. One or two cocktails, I'm Bugs Bunny and the life of the party. Three or four vodkas, I turn into Duke from Doonesbury and get obscure or even weird.

    It's all about the proper regulation of chemicals.

  5. OK, I asked the kiddo and he says Daisy Duck.

    But don't underestimate the cultural importance of Daria...

  6. See, you have proven why this is relax so funny--others perceptions of us and our our can be so different!

    Tweety Bird--fast, clever, funny? But I do see the--what's her name? Cool grandmother. definitely.

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  8. Looking up Daria...

    Edith, I get it why you identify with Stone Soup's grandmother - who just landed in South Africa to build houses and spend time with her boyfriend. Totally get it. In that strip, I sometimes identify with the grumpy older daughter. Is she the perfect teenaged girl or what?

  9. Awww. Joan. You and me and Roberta...all can be Ms. Magoo.

    ANd oh, well, Daria is VERY cool. Hip, smart, cynical. SO yeah, love her. Daisy Duck though--ask Mattie why. That'll be fun to hear!

  10. Oh girls, I was Lucy van Pelt all my young life. What was that word? Fussbudget. Me. I even had a Lucy bobblehead doll, because she was me, and I was proud to relate to her.

    And then, yes, Elly is so many of us. I could set my calendar by her. (Michael coming home from university today? Yup, so is my daughter.) I could stand on the deck and let the wind blow my hair, then pick up the paper and find Elly doing exactly the same thing. She even lived in the same area of Toronto as me.

  11. Who is the one who turns into the Motorcycle WOman sometimes? I love that, too..

    Wait, wait. DILBERT!!


  12. MArk, Charlie Brown is such an adorable choice--awww. But is he the one in the play who was having so much trouble writing the book report? Hmmm...

    ANd I burst out laughing at Yosemite Sam. That is GREAT. Had you thought that before?

  13. Dilbert's female office mate. The one who never loses her composure, despite all the time-wasting male goofiness going on around her.

    But Hank, back to your first paragraph--I've interviewed hundreds of people myself (books, magazines, etc.), but don't think I myself ever have been interviewed. Just realized that.

  14. It's hard for me to pick. I often feel like the mother in FOR BETTER OR FOR WORSE. But former co-workers used to cast me as Tina the Technical Writer quite frequently. And sometimes I feel like Dilbert.

    By the way, Hallie - recommended THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN to my father, who is turning into an impossible-to-please reader. He LOVED IT. Next on his list - THE WRONG GIRL.

  15. People would probably say I'm a mixture of Dennis the Menace, Archie, and Schroeder (focused, not musically talented). Hank, if you're not, um, sexy, then neither was Veronica Lake. And I have been interviewed, for this very blog a few years ago by Hallie.

  16. Susan, I'm with you on Daria. I'm probably her also.

    Or else I'm Tina the technical writer from Dilbert, which (who?) wikipedia describes as, "a frustrated feminist, always on the defensive about her skills and her value to the company."

    Hallie, you're absolutely Lucy. :-)

  17. IN my real life, my nearest and dearest have actually compared me to Margaret in Dennis the Menace. Wasn't a compliment, either. I am a bit of Lucy for sure ( Bossy? Me?) And I certainly dreamed of growing up to be Brenda Starr! But in my heart of heart, I think there's a lot of Snoopy. It's the typewriter. No one mentioned my favorite cartoon series of all time (ta-da!) Doonesbury. I go way back - Trudeau was publishing it in the Yale paper and Boston underground papers . Must think about that.

  18. Thank you, Tammy (I think).

    Mary Sutton - about your dad, thanks for letting me know!!!! True praise!

  19. I always wanted to be Josie of Josie and the Pussycats. But the reality is more like Sneezy from Snow White.

  20. Hank, In the play, Charlie Brown was the one procrastinating on writing the book report. I'll tell you later why that is appropriate for me, too. I just don't feel like it now. (Says the person who is posting a reply here instead of getting ready for work.)

  21. Geez, who knows? I'd probably wind up as Marmaduke!

  22. I am LOVING these! And smile every time I picture each of you.

    I dont mean to be overly analytical --me??--but I do think its fascinating how we have to start to think about our characteristics, and then decide who we'd resemble.

    And thanks,, Mary!

    (and everyone loves MArmaduke, right?)

  23. Now, this is just too fun!!!

    I think you guys have all done an excellent job choosing your animated selves.

    When I was little there were people who called me "Little Iodine." Anyone remember her?

  24. I've been called Lucy or Eeyore. In retaliation I've called someone near and dear to me Crankshaft.

  25. AH..who is Crankshaft? I'm trying to dredge up the memory==

    Samer with Little Iodine! Was she in a comic book? Vaguely, vaguely remember...

  26. Thank you, Pat D, for reminding me that I have more than a few times been compared to Tigger. Although I do have my Eeyore-ish moments. And I think it would be lovely to be Pooh.

  27. Kaye, I had to look up Little Iodine to remember her, but she was quite a character. That was a trip down Memory Lane.

    Does anyone remember Little Dot? She was obsessed with dotted things and spots. Imagine making an entire comic strip about something so goofy now.

  28. I stick with my choice for you, Hank. Natasha Fatale.

  29. I agree with E.J., Hank--Natasha for sure--but for myself? Probably Linus. In serious need of a security blanket.

  30. Fun post. Loved all the pictures.

    With my stack of rejection letters lately, I have to say Snoopy for me. Sure wish I was Brenda Starr though.

  31. Thank you, Dollink! Now ve go after moose und squirrel... xoxoo

    Eeyore. Awww.

    Yes, LIttle Dot! SO silly!

  32. Very interesting dearth of superheroes around here...this crowd seems very self-effacing and sweet, don't you think?

  33. And yes, it is truly funny to ask sone else who you remind them of. Try it! If you dare.

  34. Oh lord, I'd forgotten about Little Iodine. How about the Katzenjammer Kids? Hank, Crankshaft is the school bus driver in the companion comic strip to Funky Winkerbean.

  35. I have friends who remind me exactly of Hagar the Horrible. Kids and all. The same lady also makes me think of Marge Simpson.
    Don't know what she would say about me.

  36. What a fun blog today! I love revisiting all these cartoon characters and thinking of how you all match up to them. Hank, I think the fingers pointing to Jessica Rabbit for you are spot on. Edith, I love the Tweety Bird choice, and Joan, Bullwinkle is a favorite of mine, too. Jack, you are so funny. I love your progression from Yosemite Sam to Duke from Doonesbury.

    For me, my girl has and will always be Betty Boop. Friends kind of associate her with me because I use her image in greetings so often and because I like to have fun with a bit of suggestive flair. Not bawdy, just playful. Also, Betty is adept at standing up for the ill-treated and putting a guy in his place, especially great to see in the age in which she was created. So, I guess she is playful with substance, which is how I like to think of myself and appear to others. Of course, as Jack said about the right combination of chemicals, I can get more Boop in my Betty in a party setting.

  37. More Boop in your Betty??? LOVE that! xoo Made my day...

  38. Ha, I have known a real-life Iggy, too!

  39. For myself, I'd say Eeyore--a bit of a sad sack, always losing my, erm, tail, but still lovable! But friends would probably see me as the mom from Zits. Two teenaged boys in the house. Sigh!

    And Reds, I've got new pictures of you in my mind's eye now! Should be interesting the next time I pick up one of your books!

  40. Edna Mode from "The Incredibles." Although I'm taller and less, er, mercurial. #NoCapes :)

  41. FChurch, I have the same visions..pretty funny!

    And Rhonda, now I'll have to watch the Incredibles...and I'll think of you in the role!

  42. Hank, I could see you as roadrunner. Not only do you spend tons of time driving around going from one site to another, you write about driving the highways it in your books. Your 128 descriptions bring me straight back to New England life.

    What cartoon character am I? I don't know. How funny. I love cartoons. I always have. We didn't have many books when I was growing up, but we always had a newspaper. The cartoons got me reading very early. But I don't know which character I might identified with. Well... I just don't know. Very interesting blog today. I don't recall being stumped like this before.

  43. WE STUMPED REINE! (But I bet not for long...) (Someone magical, certainly...)

  44. I don't knoooow... still stumped and love you all the more for it. I'll have to take my temperature! xoxo <3

  45. We'll wait...:-) No pressure. Shall we just say the Fairy Godmother from Cinderella and leave it at that?

  46. And in the end, the love ypu take, is equal to the love...

  47. Hi Hank,
    Schroeder for me. I love Beethoven and play his piano pieces a lot.
    ps I love the St. Bernard Beethoven, too!
    sandy gardner

  48. Sandy as Schroeder! Love it! See you all tomorrow--with a fabulous new ARC for a lucky commenter..