Running just three seasons, The Adventures of Pete & Pete was geared toward a young audience, but its quirky personality quickly captured the attention of a wide audience, including Portland couple Rachel Edidin and Miles Stokes.
Edidin and Stokes, certain that there were other like-minded fans around, created a zine dedicated to the memory and personality of the show. Waiting For October: A Tribute To The Adventures of Pete & Pete debuted Friday at Bridge City Comics, and some of the contributors were on hand to sign copies of the zine.
Enjoying Pete & Pete-themed “Orange Lazaruses” and making their own “Kreb Scouts” badges, fans got to share their enthusiasm with fellow viewers, and the Portland Comic Books Examiner spoke with some of the contributors about their connection to the show.
Hiller Goodspeed: “I just think it’s an integral part of my being a kid. I kind of watched it sporadically. We didn’t have cable; my friends did, but then I got the DVDs six years ago, and so I’m not sure how much I would have remembered if I hadn’t had the DVDs.”
Lindsey Clark-Ryan: “I grew up watching it, and it seemed really normal to me at the time. Looking back, it’s like, “Oh, it’s so weird,” but that’s just what I was looking for. It just seemed completely logical.”
Jen Van Meter: “When I encountered it in graduate school, it was like this perfect gem of ‘this was the show I needed when I was ten,’ and it wasn’t available. And I just got sucked in. But then my essay is about my Patty Hearst fixation and her appearance on that show.”
Kory Bing: “I watched it when it was on… It was amazing.
I remember I got into trouble one time because there was this episode where Little Pete sold the house, and it was the list five minutes of the show and they hadn’t got the house back yet. I didn’t know how they were going to get the house back.
My mom was like, ‘Kory, it’s dinnertime,’ and I said, ‘No! We have to stop, I have to know how they got the house back!’ And I got in trouble because she yelled at me and turned the TV off. I didn’t find out how they got the house back! I had to find out later.”
Indigo Kelleigh: “I remember when it came out. I didn’t watch it much because I didn’t have Nickelodeon. But I know I saw enough of it to be familiar, and when they started talking about doing a zine for it I suggested that they do a rub-off tattoo of Petunia, but it was too cost-prohibitive. [Petunia] was like one of the few things that I distinctly remembered from the show, the idea of this ten-year-old kid with a full-arm tattoo.”
The Editor’s Perspective
Co-editor Rachel Edidin was filled with positive memories of the show, though she only saw it recently. She talked about the show itself and the process of putting Waiting for October together:
Portland Comic Books Examiner: When did you first see Pete & Pete? I know it wasn’t when it was first on…
Rachel Edidin: I saw one episode when it was first on the air, but I first watched it last fall. Miles had been telling me about it; he’d been reading Marah Eakin’s retrospectives about it on AV Club and telling me about it, and I really wanted to see it. He got me the first season for my birthday; we watched through it in about a week and immediately ordered the second volume.
PCBE: Are there any other shows that have affected you as powerfully as Pete & Pete?
RE: Well, we both grew up on Clarissa Explains It All, but it doesn’t hold up nearly as well. I don’t think there’s anything quite like Pete & Pete.
PCBE: And what was it that drew you in? Was it the surreality?
RE: One of the things that Miles has said about it that holds really true is that it is one of the best portrayals of childhood ever. Most shows from that era are sort of what childhood feels like from an adult perspective, and this one is what it feels like to be a kid when you’re a kid, in the sense of being in a world that’s so much bigger than you are.
It’s this amazing magical realism, and it’s bizarre but it has all this heart. It’s wonderful. It’s some of the best storytelling in any medium that I’ve ever seen.
I really loved it and we wanted to do something, and we didn’t know what, so we figured that [the show] was this sort of grass roots thing that had come up in the 90s, so we decided to go back to that era and do a DIY zine. We emailed a handful of friends and posted something online and it kind of exploded.
PCBE: Did it surprise you how many people responded this strongly?
RE: We got a really fast response for a handful of people, and then it died down, and then we had a really strong response at the end. We didn’t expect the number of people and we didn’t expect the quality of stuff. We’ve said a couple of times that getting Joe Quinones on the cover is just sort of the major coup of this. We’re still kind of bowled over by that, that he wanted to do something for it at all, but that he did this incredible cover.
PCBE: How long did it take you to put the whole zine together?
RE: We got the last of the pieces at the end of May, and I think the last thing we did was write our introductions, so only a couple of months. A lot of the credit for that goes to Kory; she did the layout and design, Indigo did the logo… we relied really heavily on our friends.
PCBE: Will there be more?
RE: We’re not sure. We originally didn’t plan for there to be, but there’s been enough interest and there’ve been enough people who want to be in another one, so there’s a pretty good chance.
PCBE: And were you serious about going into a second printing?
RE: Yeah. I mean, at this point we have more pre-orders than copies!
Copies of Waiting For October: A Tribute To The Adventures of Pete & Pete can be preordered through the zine’s Tumblr.