Hello, New Reader. Thanks for checking out my comic and sticking around long enough to read this section. Before you continue, I suggest you take a quick look at the About page and the Cast page, which should give you a nice overview of what’s going on here at WCST.
This page is for those who want to catch up plot-wise, without having to read through the archives, and for those long-time readers who just want a refresher. So be warned, there be spoilers ahead.
Welcome to the start of a new school year at Chamberlain Secondary School in the city of Riverport. Stanislav Zolotov, who now goes by “Stan” introduces himself as a new student to Darren and Niles, who are all in the eleventh grade. While he desperately pretends that he’s from Canada, his name and heavy accent are a dead give away that he;s Russian.
Stan’s exotic accent appears to be a hit with the girls at the school, and he’s occasionally mobbed. Darren worries that his own crush, Nikki, may fall victim to this “Stan Mania”. However, it appears that she is immune to the accent, and Darren can continue his quiet pining for her in peace.
Jack’s overzealous mocking of Stan’s Russian background leaves him hanging upside down from the ceiling … with no clothes on.
Darren’s the captain of his floor hockey team that plays against other teams within the school. He asks Stan to join, who in turn brings a special Russian flavour to the game. During the following game, we’re introduced to Mason, the arch-nemesis of our protagonists, who does nothing but ridicule Darren and his friends.
Niles introduced a new player to the team – Lawrence, who is both huge, and a huge asset to the team.
With the help of Lawrence’s intimidating build, the guys win the game. However, he leaves the team shortly afterward to join the chess club, where he offers a special new twist to the sport (is chess a sport?)
Soon we meet Cindy, a notorious workaholic who’s running for school president. She runs a bit of a manic campaign, stapling posters everywhere around the school, even on people’s chests. Jack also takes up wearing a Cindy mask to promote her platform, in the hopes that she gets together with him.
Despite Stan being confused about the principles of democracy and voting multiple times, Cindy wins the election, and Jack somehow wins the girl.
Stan decides to use the powers of his accent for his own good, and asks out Cassandra, considered to be the hottest girl in the school.
The date does not go quite as smoothly as Stan’s reputation would suggest. He accidentally takes Cass to a strip club, and a crack den masquerading as a bowling alley. He pulls off a good finish, though, with a nice dinner that makes his wallet cry.
The gang go up to a mountain cabin for winter break, and Darren decides that he will tell Nikki how he feels. He also alludes to an unpleasant incident with someone named Brenda, to whom he also presumably confessed his feelings. After finally gathering up the courage, he goes out to the deck to meet Nikki. Just as he’s about to speak, Stan slams the door open to call Nikki in for dinner, causing a pile of snow to drop on Darren. Darren misses his chance and is not amused.
The gang continues their adventure in the cabin and Darren continues his constant procrastination until he loses his last good moment to ask Nikki out.
The storyline takes a two-week intermission as the friends go the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
The story returns to the cabin, where Stan is called outside by a strange noise. Darren comes out to investigate and finds a mysterious black car pulling away in a hurry. He’s subsequently pistol-whipped by Stan. When Darren comes to, Stan blames his fog on the fact that Darren stepped on a shovel. Darren checks his bleeding nose, and accepts this theory.
The action returns back to Chamberlain Secondary where Darren and Mason are stuck working on a group project together. Mason reveals that he’s always so angry because he finds himself superior to all human life on the planet. Charming.
April starts with Nikki’s birthday, and Stan buys her diamond earrings in Darren’s name. Darren scores a peck on the cheek, but of course, fails to use the opportunity to make a move. As the comic reaches its 100th strip, more unfortunate group project composition occurs as Darren, Stan and Nikki are forced to work with Max Grunle, the resident shut-in creepster. Max invites them to do the project at his house, where his room appears to have slightly lower levels of toxicity than Chernobyl. Darren and Stan constantly poke fun at Max’s awkwardness, his video games, and porn library, until Nikki finally snaps and calls them on being hypocritical pricks. After a bit of introspection, the guys realize they’re a couple of douchebags and apologize to Max. While Darren and Stan may have learned a lesson, Max continues to be scary in his weirdness.
Stan’s hacking into the school computers to manipulate grades causes Mr. Smith to complain to Principal Taggart. Smith is revealed to be a man that is not entirely sane, and Taggart is a terrifying man worthy of being Emperor Palpatine’s son.
In response to Mason’s relentless mocking of Darren’s crappy car, Stan buys Darren a Hummer, complete with gun turrets and missiles.
Stan refuses to admit where he gets so much money for these expensive purchasers, and, in an attempt to change the topic, announces that he will be looking for a job.
Stan’s search for student jobs lands him in a coffee shop “Javva the Cup”, where he meets all forms of customers, from the snobby business man on the go, to the old lady who needs to seriously lay off the caffeine.
Later, Stan lands himself in trouble with Cass, when, on a date, he admittedly tunes out all her high school gossip. Cass attempts to introduce Stan to this aspect of North American culture, to the point where Stan even starts his own gossip blog. He covers Jack and Cindy’s relationship and quickly gets bored with the idea, abandoning it like some of his other side projects.
The school year winds down. The guys’ floor hockey team loses the final game to Mason, and Darren is sad he won’t be seeing Nikki as much during the summer.
Stan picks up extra shifts at the coffee shop, where he meets, Lara, a feisty college girl who’s the coffee shop’s customers’ worst nightmare.
Darren and Stan hang out at Darren’s house, and Stan suggests that summer is the perfect time to ask Nikki out, because it would avoid a few months of awkward. Darren again mentions Brenda and Stan finally gets that back-story out of him. Brenda was Darren’s neighbour and closest childhood friend, for whom he developed feelings. When she was moving across town, he confessed his feelings for her, but she literally said nothing. Darren watched, through Facebook and rumours, her descent from a nice little girl to drug-abusing high school dropout. So he irrationally fears something horrible will happen if he tells Nikki how he feels.
Stan thinks these fears are ridiculous and convinces Darren to man up and make a move.
Darren, Nikki, Stan and Jack enjoy a friends’ day out on the town. Darren and Nikki seem to really be hitting it off, and Stan does everything he can to make sure she and Darren are alone at the end of evening. He volunteers himself and Jack to walk home while Darren gives Nikki a ride. Darren is about to make the revelation when Nikki tells him that she’s got exciting news – a guy from her summer lifeguard job asked her out and she said yes.
Though claiming that he’s keeping a brave face about it, Darren now actually spends his time at home in a bathrobe, listening to Taylor Swift. There may be no helping this guy.
The guys return to school where they are now entering their senior year. It becomes obvious that the characters would be aging at a pace similar to the real passage of time. Darren, deciding he needs to move on, begins dating Courtney, but Stan points out that he obviously still has feeling for his old crush.
Soon enough, Darren meets his new rival, Kevin, who is a burly member of the school’s swim team. When Nikki isn’t looking, he threatens Darren with painful death if Darren even thinks about getting too friendly with Nikki.
Darren continues dating Courtney, who treats him like he’s nothing but her book-carrier. Like any teenage boy he is oblivious to the abuse because he’s thinking strictly with the brain in his pants.
The gang gear up for a new floor hockey season and Stan introduces a new member to the team – a goalie that goes only by the name of “The Barricade” The Barricade doesn’t talk and never takes off his tinted goalie mask. The mysterious goalie shines in his first game, and manifests his hate for Mason by making a voodoo doll of the hockey nemesis.
Jack forgets Cindy’s birthday, and after not taking the situation seriously he gets attacked by a murderous toaster (I think you should just read this one). And yes, he’s now single. His plan of “winning” Cindy back involves trying to sabotage her latest presidential campaign so she would take him back just so that he will stop. His plan works, but he may have grovelled a little more than he admits.
Darren arrives at school one day and finds a letter from Stan. Stan says he had left the country for unspecific reasons, and he doesn’t know when he will be back, and thanks Darren for being his friend. Cass is upset that he left without even calling her to say goodbye and so soon before their anniversary; so she breaks it off with him. Despite Jack’s expectations that she is the shallow hot girl, Cass continues to hang out with the gang.
After Courtney asks Darren to help her put on a necklace, she reveals that it is from her new boyfriend, Teal. She walks off, and Teal has to tell Darren that Courtney broke up with him because he just couldn’t satisfy her. Though none of the characters notice, the newspaper Darren is reading is a key to Stan’s whereabouts. His face is barely visible in the corner of a photo used for the article on the Cuervador Revolution.
Nikki comforts Darren as he’s getting over his break up with Courtney, but Kevin finds out and confronts Darren about his getting chummy with Nikki (yes, we use the word “chummy” here”). Darren stares down the guy who’s about to beat him, but talks his way out of the confrontation, possibly suffering a slight aneurism in the process.
Stan returns just before Christmas, grizzled, but not revealing what he was up to the last month. He does jokingly suggest he may have been waging guerrilla warfare in Latin America.
The year ends with a party and Darren and Stan, both newly single stand in the sidelines as Nikki and Kevin, and Courtney and Teal, share New Year’s kisses. They both feel crappy, but realize they at least have good friends in each other to face these challenges.
Kevin breaks up with Nikki over the winter break via text message. Stan mutters something about revenge and soon enough, Kevin is mugged and has his leg broken, though no money is actually stolen. Stan won’t confirm or deny that he was behind it, but expresses his annoyance that in North American culture the douchebags often escape unpunished.
College application season is upon them. Darren and Stan are both applying to the local university, Riverport U, while Mason says that he and Jack have higher aspirations.
Mason continues his reign of terror by baiting Stan about his Russian heritage. Stan has had enough with Mason’s crap and, living up to his new credo, slams Mason’s face on the desk, breaking his nose. This lands Stan a brief visit to Principal Taggart, but at least Mason is now a little more apprehensive about getting up in his face.