GENE SIMMONS' TOP 10 CARTOON STARS
March 17, 2010
The KISS hellrasier lists his all-time animated favourites

1. Max Fleischer's Superman

These original animations by Max Fleischer were like little movies and so realistically drawn. Seeing them as a kid, my jaw would drop. Like Fleischer, other major cartoonists like Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Bob Kane who did Batman, were almost always exclusively Jewish and created these kinds of superheroes with secret identities. The secret is that Superman is really Jewish.

2. Michigan J Frog

He first appeared in a fifties Warner Bros short (One Froggy Evening). A construction worker finds a century old suitcase in a building's cornerstone and out comes this frog bursting into song with top hat and cane. With dollar signs in his eyes the man puts him in front of an audience but the frog doesn’t sing and he loses all his money. So the frog's put back into the suitcase and the situation repeats itself in the 21st century. It shows the greed in man.

3. Pepe Le Pew

He was based on black and white movie star Charles Boyer (Boyer's character Pepe le Moko from 1938 film Algiers) and insatiable with his lust because of course he was always after that pussy. You saw him using paint as a ploy but it's always about the chase, it's the human condition. The woman always feigns that she's not interested, 'I'm not easy, I'm not hard to get', when the truth is, we all know she wants some.

4. Snidely Whiplash

Snidley featured in the Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties, a short in-between the Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons and was the cliche of the silent villain. He would always be waxing his moustache and wearing a top hat. He always wore black and had wide angled White Anglo Saxon Protestant features and generally lurked around. He was the arch-nemesis of Dudley Do-Right, a Mountie who was lucky to catch him.

5. Willy Zilla

My Dad the Rock Star was a cartoon show that I created and had 26 episodes. It's about a 12-year-old boy called Willy whose father's an over the top rock star with green hair, and his mother a hippy. The inspiration came from when my son was nine-years-old or so and took to school a poster of me throwing up blood and spitting fire and said 'This is my dad the rock star'.

6. Tom (and Jerry)

The entire premise is that the cat is going to try to torture the mouse, but ultimately get his comeuppance. Tom always ended up beaten because he was the bad guy. I knew Hanna Barbera and met them many years ago to discuss a KISS cartoon. They ended up producing our movie KISS Meets The Phantom. I still have signed cells in my collection that they signed for me.

7. Marvin the Martian

Dressed in Roman headgear you never see his face, just his eyes. Marvin first appeared in a series of Bugs Bunny cartoons. They first meet on the moon and Bugs asks 'What's up Doc' and Marvin says 'Oh, I'm going to blow up the Earth' in this Dick Van Dyke accent; and his voice is shocking. You expect something ominous to come out of his mouth He thinks he’s so bad, but he's just silly.

8. Wile E. Coyote

It was a very violent cartoon and of course Roadrunner never got the sad end of this, it was always Wile E. Coyote. He was integral to this unique cartoon where you never saw towns, you never saw people. Only if there was a truck coming might you see the hand of the truck driver, there were no other people ever in it. Wile E. Coyote who never caught the Roadrunner was unlike any other character before or since.

9. Droopy

I love Droopy. He's a dog patterned after Truman Capote and that's dangerous. He clearly seems to be a dog of angst because you never heard emotion in his voice and he was a happy go lucky dog, kind of like Truman, who I knew back in New York, along with Warhol and all those guys. I don't know (what he thought of Droopy) but I'm sure he got a kick out of it.

10. Dr. Quest

Johnny Quest was a strange choice for a cartoon because the boy was neither funny nor strong and had an Indian sidekick with a turban, they were all peculiar choices; especially the father as a scientist who invented all kinds of things. And it's odd that he brings his boy and his best friend along with a dog and a bodyguard but hardly spends time with the boy. Very strange indeed.