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Childhood Cartoon Characters: Where Are They Now?

Photo source: Flickr.com

Photo source: Flickr.com

Jazz draws some of our favourite cartoon characters from childhood, and re-contextualises them in a modern-day, urban environment like Bristol.

This was my routine, and I loved it.

Growing up I remember watching marathon after marathon of Tom and Jerry at 7am in the morning before school. Afterwards would be Scooby-Doo, and if you changed up a channel it was Looney-Tunes. This was my routine, and I loved it.

Now I’m much older, I often look back on the heroes of my childhood and remember how iconic they were for me. I mean, how do I learn to run like Speedy Gonzalez? Mum, why can’t Tom and Jerry come and live with us? Cartoon characters from Looney-Tunes, Disney, Cartoon Network and even from comics and magazines played a massive role in our lives as youngsters, and I’m sure most people have one or two favourites. But looking at these characters now, most of the shows in which they appear date back to the forties or fifties, which at first, I literally could not believe, and so much has changed since then. More recent cartoons like ‘Hey Arnold’, ‘The Boondocks’ and ‘The Simpsons’ are set in much more modern environments, and feature all kinds of things, from school bullies, crushes, girlfriends, and general all-round mischief. But what would these characters look like if they lived in modern-day, post 2010 society? What would they look like if they lived in Bristol?

So I’ve illustrated a series depicting what I think life might be like for some of our favourite cartoons in Bristol, in 2016…

Pink Panther

ilustration by Jasmine Thompson

Illustration by Jasmine Thompson

Illustration by Jasmine Thompson

For this cool cat, life is sweet.

Being the talk of the town, he gets stopped on every street corner and mobbed by fans of his fabulous glittery pink fur. If you’re from Bristol, you know this guy, he’s one of the OG cats… literally. Weekdays are basically spent lounging around in his aura of cool, relaxing in all the trendy areas of the city. Weekends are spent covered in glitter and girls and he steps behind the decks of Lakota under performing name ‘MC Paws’. His DJ skills get people grooving, and it’s got to the point that kids in school are aspiring to not just be astronauts or famous footballers, but to be pink and furry too.

Hewy Freeman (‘The Boondocks’)

illustration by Jasmine Thompson

Illustration by Jasmine Thompson

Hewy’s fed up, and that’s not at all surprising.

Hewy’s in his late teens, works in a trainer store in town, and has had enough of the small-minded ignorant nature of the customers he encounters on a daily basis. Hewy doesn’t care about the latest Air Jordan release or whether Helen needs her Adidas Tech Fleece hoodie in a Small or Medium. He cares about the threats to the educated black man in a global system of white supremacy and how the education system as an institution is designed to suppress the mental elevation of black children. But what can he do when he’s spending his mornings stock-taking and unloading delivery vans? Sigh… what has this world come to, he asks.

Donald Duck

Illustration by Jasmine Thompson

Illustration by Jasmine Thompson

If you’ve spent any time by the Harbourside, you’ve probably been pooed on. And chances are, this is your culprit. Seagulls get the blame every time down to their greedy appetites and dodgy diet, but you’re forgetting this guy’s been doing this stuff for eighty years. He’s a pro, and knows exactly how to pull this all off without you blinking an eye.

Jessica Rabbit

Illustration by Jasmine Thompson

Illustration by Jasmine Thompson

Jessica can probably be found at your nearest cocktail bar living the ‘Sex And The City’ lifestyle – guzzling cosmopolitans and chatting up men, but after midnight things often take a turn for the worse. You might remember Betty Boop, the cute pin up girl from back in the day. Well, turns out the two are a troublesome pair and are regularly spotted crawling out of Agora, and up Park Street four times a week. If you think you’re having a party, then I’m sorry to inform you, unless these two ladies are there – you aren’t actually having a party.

Homer Simpson

Illustration by Jasmine Thompson

Illustration by Jasmine Thompson

Homer loves his football. And normally on game days, he brings his son Bart with him for support and encouragement on the big day. But he can’t always be around and when this happens, nobody’s there to bring him out of his state of hysteria when his team loses. Homer’s a local boy, and proudly supports his boys at Bristol City. But there’s always some questionable folks at his local, one gentleman in particular who claims to have once been a sailor, but no one really knows. He also only has one eye, so most of the time when he goes to take a sip of his drink he misses by miles and spills the whole thing everywhere. But the worst bit about it is, he supports Bristol Rovers, the rival team, and this itself is enough to ensure these two men remain sworn enemies forever.

What are your favourite cartoons? And where do you think these characters would be if they lived in Bristol today? Let us know on Twitter at Rifemag and on Facebook at Rife Magazine.

If you fancy yourself as an artist and feel like taking to the sketchbook, draw us your favourite cartoon in a Bristol-based setting and tag us in it on Instagram at RifeMag.

Bristol Biennal art festival features art and artists of all styles, so check out what they’ve got going on this year on Rife Guide