Anyone who grew up in the 90s would most likely strike up an insanely long conversation about the best cartoons from those glowing wonder years if you were to ask them what their favorites were.
We stayed loyal to our beloved programming, especially when it came to Nickelodeon, including Rugrats, Hey Arnold! and Doug.
These were the type of animated shows that made us take a break from shoveling Frosted Mini-Wheats into out mouths in order to digest what we had just watched, and try to take in some of the life lessons we learned.
But can seemingly innocuous cartoons be detrimental? Well, if they were broadcast as artist Paul Ribera imagines them, most definitely.
We may always remember Tommy Pickles as an inquisitive baby, but he’s a big boy now… and doing copious amounts of LSD with his wingman Chuckie Finster.
Ribera envisions our favorite childhood characters as drug addicts — insanely vulnerable ones. His imaginatively grisly drawings show the innocent cartoon youths as drug-dependent catastrophes.
The images were the result of Ribera’s own experiences growing up in Barstow, California, where drugs have developed into a way of life.
“I, personally, have been interested in the effects of drugs and what it does to people and, unfortunately, in the town I live in, it’s a way of life,” Ribera told the Huffington Post. “I want people to know what goes on in the boarded up house and how it’s not all Kim & Kanye and happy stadium proposals the media tends to give off. Life’s struggle is real and it’s in our own backyard and in this case, it’s in our cartoons.”
Check out the rest of Ribera’s amazing work here, or request signed prints by emailing him at priberawork [at] gmail.com.
Images: Paul Ribera