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Jul 12, 2008
Nester returns with his new son for the 20th Anniversary edition of Nintendo Power. Click the picture to see readable versions of the comics.
Nester was the long-time teenage mascot and comic strip star of Nintendo Power magazine, as well as a sometime video game character. His name is a play on the acronym NES, Nintendo's flagship system during the time period.
Nester was created by Howard Philips, "President" of the Nintendo Fun Club and an editor of Nintendo Power, to be the supporting character in his comic strip (though not actually drawn by Philips), Howard & Nester. (The Howard of the title is a cartoon representation of Philips.) The comic strips generally advertised new games, often by dream sequences where Nester was actually a given video game character.
In various strips, Nester has been Mega Man, Simon Belmont, Link, the Lone Ranger, the main character of Dragon Warrior, and many other characters. He has also met the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Scrooge McDuck, Luke Skywalker, The Tasmanian Devil, and Bill and Lance from the Contra series. In addition, the name "Nester" was almost always used in screenshots for games where the player named their character during the strip's run.
From 1989 to 1993 The Nintendo Power Awards (Nintendo's yearly reader-selected list of the best video games) featured Nester-shaped trophies and were referred to in the magazine as the "Nesters" as a reference to the Oscars.
In the early 1990s the real-life Philips left the company for JVC. Though Nester stayed in the strip, now retitled Nester's Adventures, he was gradually phased out as mascot in favor of Mario, already a more general Nintendo mascot. Nester's Adventures ended in Volume 55 (December 1993). Notably, a few issues following the name change (to be more exact, in November 1991), Nester aged from the pint-sized kid he originally appeared as to a fully-grown teenager, and would remain this way for the rest of the comic's run.
If you want to read the old Howard and Nester Comics, check out the Howard and Nester Comics Archives. There you'll find Nester's Adventures archived as well.