NICKELODEON'S PROGRAMMING in the mid-'90s created a distinct culture gap, the effects of which may well linger to this day. Some of us had cable and some of us didn't, and those who didn't missed out on some truly great kids' TV shows. Chief among them—two steps above Salute Your Shorts, even better than Clarissa Explains It All—was The Adventures of Pete & Pete. The much-loved show about two brothers (guess what their names were) was a kind of The Wonder Years for weirdos, a good-hearted, offbeat homage to an alternate-reality suburbia. A recent uptick of Pete-related nostalgia spawned a series of reunion shows—and now a zine, edited by Portlanders Rachel Edidin and Miles Stokes.
Waiting for October collects 53 pages of comics, prose, illustration, and—yes—even haiku. Standouts include a piece by Lindsey Clark-Ryan titled "Six Degrees of Pete: In Which I Link the Highest Paid Actors of 2011 to The Adventures of Pete & Pete," which proceeds to do exactly that; a Nightcrawlers membership card ("Sleep is for the puny"); and series of Kreb Scout Merit Badges. The tone of the entries fittingly waffles between enthusiastic homage and desperation-tinged nostalgia—Jaclyn D. Miller's comic strip, The Best Writing in Television History, culminates in Miller tearfully embracing her television set, exclaiming "I LOVE THIS SHOW SO MUCH."
If none of the references in this review make a lick of sense to you, it's not too late to hop on the bandwagon—Pete & Pete holds up remarkably well. Ask around—there's a high probability that at least one of your friends has the collected series. (I do.)