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Wiedemer, Nathan & Mangold, Steven – Same Old Story “Vintage Shorts”


Same Old Story “Vintage Shorts”

I’m always mildly baffled by the people who clearly have a history of using the same characters over a period of time but don’t seem to grasp the importance of any sort of origin story.  In this comic it’s not the end of the world, as the story seems to be about a group of friends (two boys and one girl) who hang out with each other through childhood and into their adult (?) lives.  Not like you’re missing how Spider-man got his powers or anything.  Still, after reading this I was curious what had come before, and the website offered no help (nor did it offer any comics for sale, another baffling oversight).  This might have all rolled off my back, but in the back of the comic there’s a section of older drawings and strips from the two of them, things that would have meaning to a fan of the series but that didn’t mean much to me.  Reading them talk about the development of the characters over the years was interesting, but again, I don’t know who these characters are.  OK, now that you know that I don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, what I was able to tell was that this story was about two boys (Nick and Nate) and a girl (Gwen).  Nick has a crush on Gwen, but as they’re ten years old for the bulk of this comic it doesn’t go anywhere.  Gwen apparently has a crush on Nate, although I didn’t see much evidence of it in this comic, I just picked it up from the “crush chart” at their website, so it probably refers to something that happens later in the chronology.  That crush chart showed all kinds of people who aren’t listed here, which again makes me wonder what is going on in this series.  The first story here deals with a camping trip taken by the kids, with Nick and Gwen spending some time alone (and Gwen seems utterly oblivious to the crush) and Nate trying to be the perfect child because he is apparently the only reason his parents are staying together.  There are some cute bits, as it was interesting to watch them kinda sorta take steps towards becoming mature, but only half-heartedly.  Other stories include Nick’s last night before being sent off to military school (they are at least 4 years older in this story) and an neat juxtaposition between them watching The Neverending Story as kids and then revisiting it as adults.  Or at least I think they were adults; again it was hard to tell for sure.  The art looked like it could have come from a Disney studio (and I’ll leave it to your personal preference as to whether or not that’s a good thing), which made the half dozen or so spelling errors stand out even more.  Finally the comic ends with older strips which, again, didn’t do a whole lot for me, as I have no clue of the history here and seem to have no way to find that out.  So: it’s a mildly amusing coming-of-age tale which could very well make a whole lot more sense if I had seen any other issues of the series.  $4