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Van Sciver, Noah – My Hot Date



My Hot Date

There are a few things you can assume right away when reading a comic/book/story. Chances are that it’s about something memorable to the author (if based on true events), and chances are that thing was not a good thing that happened to them. Sure, there are stories of the greatest day in the life of the author, but those are (anecdotally) more rare than the “worst thing that ever happened” stories. Which is my roundabout way of saying that there will be spoilers in here, but before I get to that, I’ll sum up my conclusions: if you’ve enjoyed Noah’s past comics (and why wouldn’t you?), then you’ll love this. It tells the story of his first date and digs deep into the life he was living at the time. So even if you haven’t read any of his comics, you’ll still relate to the story, and in some cases you’ll relate too much, for which I apologize. Anyway! Noah is nice enough to sum up the state of his life on the first page, but it boils down to his father leaving his family, Noah’s mom being forced to take a series of crappy jobs to pay for the six kids that still lived at home and rarely being around because of it, and Noah’s family taking over the lease of an apartment that his older brother bailed on, leaving the six kids and the mom in a tiny apartment. Oh, and Noah at this point is 14, which is an especially awkward year for anybody. The bulk of the comic is just Noah going about his life, chatting with a girl on AOL, with his friends teasing him about the fact that she probably wasn’t even a girl. Noah doesn’t shy away from depicting his “street” talk from the time; it’s mortifying but lots of white kids tried way too hard to project at least a slight aura of menace. Which leads to a fantastic moment where Noah is called on this while getting weed (for the first time) with a friend, and he doesn’t have much of a defense. But with that title you’re probably most curious about the date, and it’s as brutal as you may have expected. He finally gets Colleen to agree to meet with him, and I don’t know what specifics they got into online, but she’s clearly older than him, late teens maybe? And she came with a friend. Which, in the early days of internet dating, makes sense, but it sure didn’t help the awkwardness. I won’t get into details so you can enjoy those bits for yourselves, but for any young ladies who are somehow reading this, know that you have serious power in dating situations in the teenage years. Noah didn’t even try dating again after this for another 6 years, as crushed self-confidence can take some serious time and effort to get back. Overall this is a hilarious, insightful look into life in 1998 and the awfulness that is dating as a teenager. $7