The Rugrats are back, in comic book form! Part of a publishing deal between Nickelodeon and Boom! Studios, Rugrats #1 was released on October 16, giving the classic characters new adventures, brand new character designs and even a new era to play in. You read that right: Tommy, Chuckie, Phil and Lil are no longer '90s babies, but 21st century tots.
'Rugrats' Versus The Nanny Cam
Within the first few pages of Rugrats #1, the babies parents are revealed to now possess some form of smartphone, with Stu Pickles seeming particularly enamored with his. This places the new Rugrats in the present day, rather than the '90s setting of the original #cartoon. Tommy and co. soon notice something strange going on, with the "Growed Ups" constantly appearing to interrupt their adventures, even thwarting their escape from the playpen — something that never happened in the TV series. While it soon becomes apparent to readers that a Nanny Cam style App is responsible, the babies' wild imaginations quickly put their own over-the-top spin on the situation.
Unlike the television series, where the Rugrats latest trouble was usually resolved within 15 minutes, the comic ends on a cliffhanger, with the Nanny Cam story set to run at least to Rugrats #3.
Testing The Waters?
While some fans have been caught off-guard by the comic book's contemporary setting, it wasn't a huge surprise. There was some disagreement among Rugrats creators over what path a potential revival of the show should take: while Paul Germain would prefer it remained in the simpler setting of the '90s, Arlene Klasky expressed interest in exploring how present day technology would change things for the babies. The comics have obviously taken Klasky's approach.
Using the comics as a testing ground for the modern-day setting is also a good move if the often-rumored #reboot of the Rugrats TV series ever comes to pass. While fans of the original may take a peek at the new Rugrats for a nostalgia trip, it is important to remember that any revival of the series will not really be for them. A few Easter Eggs and continuity nods are sure to be thrown in for old fans to enjoy, but the show's primary audience will be today's children. If a reboot were to succeed, it would need to appeal to those kids and incorporate things that they can relate to. In this day and age, for better or worse, this would definitely include a few stories based around Apps and iPhones.
Boom Studios Rugrats #1 is available now, with Rugrats #2 due for release in November. Relive a classic Rugrats moment below: