435 – Nintendo Power
Friday, September 7 — 12:00 AM
Nostalgic, lengthy blog post ahoy, small fry!
I’ll admit–when I heard Nintendo Power was coming to an end, I was bummed out. To date, it’s still the only magazine I’ve ever had a subscription to…and what a subscription indeed (I’ve pretty much had one come in every month since 1998)! Even today, in the age of the internet, I still greatly enjoy reading the magazine–Mr. T jokes and all–because it’s less about cutting-edge news and more about simply being entertained. I like their behind-the-scenes interviews with people like Sakurai and Michael Ancel (to name a couple recent ones), I like features like their ranking of the top Mario games (although Super Mario Bros. 1 should’ve been at the top), I even like their reviews. There’s no doubt that I’m going to miss the fun of reading a fresh Nintendo Power each month, and I hope that sentiment has been made clear enough in today’s comic.
So, Howard and Nester. For you younger fans, those of you who don’t dwell in the US, and/or those unfamiliar with NP, Howard and Nester were basically Nintendo Power’s mascots and the star of their own comic strip in the magazine (which ran for a handful of years). Howard was based on Howard Phillips, the president of Nintendo’s Fun Club and a renowned “game master,” while Nester was a fictional character–a smug hotshot who secretly needed Howard’s tips to get through most Nintendo games (although he’d never admit that). And while Howard Phillips left Nintendo and NP awhile ago, Nester stuck around a bit longer and even was featured in a couple of games: Nester’s Funky Bowling for the Virtual Boy, and as a playable character (albeit one named “Lark”) in PilotWings 64. Nester did cameo in a couple later issues–once as a college kid and later as a dad. But I thought going back to the basics for this tribute would be best, as this is how most of us remember him.
That’s your brief history lesson for today, but basically, I thought that making a final farewell strip to these two characters would be a nice way to send them off and pay tribute to all the entertainment Nintendo Power has given me. At the risk of sounding geeky, it was actually a little cathartic to work on this comic, and I tried hard to replicate the original strips’ art style (which is deceptively difficult to do!).
So thank you to Howard, Nester, and all the talented people at Nintendo of America, Future US Inc, and anyone who’s worked on Nintendo Power over the past 24 years. After all, it’s Nintendo Power that introduced me to EarthBound. Your magazine brought lots of fun over the years, and I look forward to the final issue this December!