Kevin Smith Comic Book Men

February 12, 2012 by staff 

Kevin Smith Comic Book Men, AMC feared losing its geeks. That’s where writer, director and producer Kevin Smith (“Clerks”) comes in. Smith is the owner of Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash — a comic book shop in Red Bank, N.J., and now the basis for the AMC unscripted series “Comic Book Men” (premiering tonight at 10).

“They were looking for geek programming,” Smith told the Herald from Manhattan. “They loved the audience they got with ‘The Walking Dead,’ only ‘The Walking Dead’ goes away for months at a time. They didn’t want to lose those geeks.”

The series follows four guys who run the shop — Walt, the manager; Bryan, the bushy-bearded one who hangs around all the time; Mike, a Catwoman fanatic; and Ming, the whipping boy.

“Everyone’s got a reality show but the comic book store community,” Smith said. “If you hold up a mirror to that community, they’ll watch themselves.”

The show follows the daily goings-on at the shop, where customers come in to sell rare collectibles and engage in deep, comic-related debates.

“I’m rarely in the store,” he said. “I play hockey with them, but I’m in the wraparound. That’s where I’m most effective. We get away from the confessional and we talk to each other. It’s more of a fiction narrative feel — a cinematic feel. Nobody is breaking the fourth wall. We’re just sitting there talking to each other.”

The show portrays comic enthusiasts as well-versed about their interests.

“The dudes that work there are all married with children,” Smith said. “Sex is no longer an issue in their lives. Their predominant passion in life is comic books.”

That’s the draw for Smith — an opportunity to reconnect with something from the past. He describes comic shops as “emporiums of sentimentality — a place where you can buy and sell your past and fuel yourself.”

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