Today FYA favorite and YA author extraordinaire Brian Katcher is in the house, gracing us with his presence and wisdom.  After reading our shameless (and admittedly gender one-sided) look at the hottest cartoon characters, Brian offered to give us a guy’s perspective on the topic.  Take it away, Brian!

There are certain things which are cute when a girl (or woman) does them, but are creepy as hell when coming from a guy. For instance, the FYA bloggers frequently post flirty little fantasies about the fictitious teenage guys in the books they review. That’s adorable. But if I were to do the same thing about an imaginary sixteen-year-old girl…well, let’s not go there.

Or the other day, when aitchless Megan posted a list of the hottest male cartoon characters. Perfectly fine, coming from a woman. But if a man wrote an article like that out of the blue, people would assume he was the type of guy whose wife would come home early to find him dressed like Sailor Moon (again, Sandy, I’m SO very sorry).

But that article got me remembering. Back in the days of the mid 1980s, when I was no longer a boy but not yet a man, there were times when my daydreams drifted to women of a more two-dimensional sort.  At eleven years old, ‘Mrs. Velma Dinkley-Katcher’ had a nice ring to it.

But why did certain pen and ink cuties float my boat, while others, like Wonder Woman, do nothing? Today, it suddenly hit me. It wasn’t what they looked like that turned my head, but who they dated. Namely, guys like me. For instance:

Jessica Rabbit

5: Jessica Rabbit (Who Framed Roger Rabbit) Okay, maybe this one did have something to do with looks. She was, after all, the first cartoon girl I’d seen with real bazoongas.  But look who she was married to…

Roger Rabbit

You can’t say that was a physical attraction. In one scene, Eddie asks Jessica what she sees in Roger. She famously replies ‘He makes me laugh.’ For guys who realized early on that they’d never score a touchdown, land the leading role, or take a hill in battle, it’s nice to know that some redheads go for the funny type.

Archie, Veronica and Betty sipping from the same milkshake

4 & 3: Betty Cooper and Veronica Lodge (Archie Comics) Okay, now I have to go dip my eyes in Lysol after doing a Google image search of Betty and Veronica (see paragraph two). But the cute duo have been chasing Archie Andrews since the 1940s. Oh, Archie, why do you waste your time on prissy Veronica when it’s obvious that tomboyish Betty is the one for you?

A clip from a Mad Magazine parody of Archie, demonstrating how Veronica and Betty are almost physically identical

Now let’s look at the guy they’re both fighting over.

Archie Andrews, who wears a bow tie to high school

A guy who wears checkered pants and a bow tie to high school.

For those of us whose mothers only stopped buying our clothes when our wives started, it was a comforting thought that there were girls out there who did not care about how a guy dressed. And, that under the right circumstances, a blonde and a brunette might one day fight over us.

Teela from the He Man cartoon

2: Teela (He-Man):  Okay, she was kind of bossy and pushy.  But look where the sexual tension is.

Prince Adam from the He Man Cartoons
He Man

A shy guy with a paigeboy haircut and pink, open-collar shirt who likes to get shirtless and show off the guns when no one’s watching…

When Teela finally realizes nothing is going to happen with Adam, she knows where to find me.

Annie Potts in Ghostbusters
Janine from The Real Ghostbusters

1:  Janine Melnitz (The Real Ghostbusters):  She was the Ghostbusters’ receptionist, played by the understatedly pretty Annie Potts in the movie. In the films, she ends up with Louis, Rich Moranis’s character. In the cartoon, she pursued the slightly less dorky Dr. Egon Spangler.

Rick Moranis in Ghostbusters II
Egon from the Ghostbusters cartoon

Every nerdy guy likes to believe that there’s a four-eyed cutie out there who is impressed by intelligence.

Runners up:

Velma from Scooby Doo

Velma Dinkley

Ethel from the Archie comics

Big Ethel

Nanny from Muppet Babies


Cartoon girl with pink hair

The chick from the car insurance commercials

Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin


Brian wrote his first YA novel when he was down and out in Mexico. He now lives in Missouri with his wonderful wife and daughter. He divides his time between writing and working as a school librarian. Brian still misses the preachy YA books of the eighties.