Samsung's just filed a patent for a cellphone IM program that illustrates chats with either talking heads or full-bodied figures. Look how saucy that Antonio Banderas is in the middle. "Wherrrre shall we meet on Thurrrrrsday".
We remember playing with something like this on Yahoo chat a few years ago, with comic book characters saying whatever it was we were typing, complete with word bubbles and a frame showing them shooting guns and acting surprised. Man, that was fun.