Remember "Hey, Arnold?" If you grew up on Nickelodeon, I'm sure you do. It's the story of a nice, football-headed everyboy and his collection of strange and lovable friends (and unrequited, pink-bowed, possibly-homicidal crushes), growing up in a friendly, tight-knit urban neighborhood and having adventures. No magic powers, no over-the-top craziness, just kids and their neighborhood stories making an entertaining show.
There's not much more nostalgic for Millennials than '90s cartoons, and Hey Arnold still gives us warm fuzzy feelings years later - which is why I was so glad to see it updated by fantastic artist Nuri!
I love these older versions of familiar kid characters - especially their fashion sense, which fits in with a modern look while keeping in their recognizable styles from the cartoon we know and love. But what really grabbed me is the story concept that Nuri has come up with! This isn't just an art series, it's a pitch for a whole new story focusing on Helga, and everybody else we know and love - Yo, Pataki!
Yo Pataki is a re imagining of the Hey Arnold characters as young adults. The series (hypothetically) would center around a 26 year old Helga Pataki who is now a bartender works at the family owned business, Big Bob’s Cafe.
I was instantly hooked, and had to read all of the character descriptions. And I LOVE THEM - Nuri has a well thought-out "What If..." scenario, including new jobs and relationships and life circumstances that come together to create a totally believable look into these kids' futures - which I would love to see.
If you've got love for these guys like me (and I bet you do, otherwise you probably wouldn't be reading this article), keep reading. I'm sure you'll find yourself smiling, and appreciating the clear thought, love and effort Nuri has put into every beloved character.
Hey Nuri! If you ever make a comic series or any kind of formal Hey Arnold continuation, we'll all be waiting! Thanks so much for the wonderful art!
Helga - When Big Bob’s Beepers goes out of business, Miriam is forced to attend AA meetings for her alcohol problem. 26 year old Helga Pataki is forced to drop out of school to help support her family. She now works as a bartender at the new family business, Big Bob’s Cafe.
Sid formed electronic band, Wheezin’ Ed with childhood classmates Phoebe and Stinky. Due to his irrational paranoia of becoming famous and being harassed by paparazzi, he wears an antique diving helmet at gigs to conceal his identity.
Helga’s best friend Phoebe Heyerdahl earns her Ph.D in neuroscience at the age of 17. In her free time she provides the vocals in Sid’s band, Wheezin’ Ed as a way to unwind. She is in an on again / off again relationship with Gerald.
Stinky Peterson’s smooth southern drawl earned him a job as a late night radio host. He also plays bass in Sid’s band, which has made him popular among the ladies.
After witnessing Helga mercilessly attack Brainy throughout their childhood, Sheena is inspired to become an advocate for domestic violence victims. She is married to childhood sweetheart, Eugene Horowitz. Ironically, there is a belief among her friends that she physically abuses Eugene due to her large size and Eugene’s own clumsiness.
(While I don't support face-punching, Brainy was the creepy kid sniffing and drooling on Helga all the time... ew.)
Brainy works as a one hour photo technician. He has apparently outgrown his obsession with Helga and now spends much of his time hanging around P.S. 118 where he snaps pictures of children, particularly little girls with blond hair.
Well, that's also more than a little creepy.
Rhonda Wellington Lloyd inherited her family’s fortune and is now a successful fashion designer. She is narrow minded and highly competitive, referring to herself as the queen of fashion. Former best friend, Nadine claims Rhonda developed a severe cocaine problem to cope with her loneliness.
Mr. Green leaves his meat market in the care of Harold Berman after he runs for city councilman. Harold converts Green Meats into a kosher meat marker out of respect for his Jewish faith. He is in a relationship with Big Patty.
After earning her degree in entomology Nadine begins teaching 4th grade science at P.S. 118. She’s also a self proclaimed bug whisperer, which makes people uncomfortable. Former best friend Rhonda claims Nadine can’t keep a boyfriend because they’re weirded out by her unusual fascination with tarantulas.
Despite a lifetime of unusual bad luck, Eugene Horowitz followed his dream of becoming a famous Broadway actor. He manages to incorporate his clumsy behavior into his act which turns out to be so well received it lands him the leading role in a television series based on the play, Eugene Eugene.
Former city arm wrestling champion Patricia Smith turned weightlifter became an internet phenomenon after videos of her in the gym surfaced on social media. She’s referred to as “Big Patty” in memes which according to Harold, makes her feel socially awkward.
Gerald Johanessen currently attends Hillwood School of Art & Design and is working towards a degree in film and television. He creates short films based on the urban legends from his childhood with his good friend, Fuzzy Slippers. After making plans to leave for LA after graduating, Phoebe decides its best to end their relationship for good in order for him to pursue his dream.
While working as a waiter, Lila decides to pursue a career in stage acting. She makes her Broadway Musical debut alongside Eugene. He lovable personality and on stage chemistry with Eugene lead to the two starring in their on successful tv sitcom.
After graduating from college Arnold moved away to reunite with his parents in San Lorenzo, where he remained for 5 years. He returns home when he receives news that Grandpa Phil passed away. With no other other tenants living in the boarding house other than Grandma Gertrude, he decides he is more needed in Hillwood. Arnold works closely with children as a child psychologist. And, according to Gerald, Helga is noticeably more affectionate to Arnold now.
And lastly, a very important guy we know and love...
After gaining the courage to step down from his stoop, Stoop Kid stumbles upon a winning 10 million dollar lottery ticket. With his new found fortune, he decides to travel the world with his lawn chair in search of grand stoops to take selfies on which he refers to as #StoopSelfies. He catalogs his journeys on his blog, The Stoop Connoisseur.
Well, good for you, Stoop Kid.
And thank you so much, Nuri Durr, for this wonderful update of a beloved childhood classic!