At New York Comic-Con on Thursday, the Comic Book Men panel hit the Empire Stage with Kevin Smith acting as moderator to panel members Michael Zapcic, Ming Chen, Bryan Johnson, and Walt Flanagan.
They started with a clip that showed the utter coolness of the AMC television show, the self-described “Pawn Stars” of comic books, showcasing such geeky guests as Ernie Hudson selling comics out of an ice-cream truck, Jason Mewes with his adorable baby, Peter Mayhew, Billy Dee Williams, William Shatner, Stan Lee, Adam West, and DMC. Yes, DMC, “Comic books is my whole existence.”
There was just so much in this panel. Check below for more, along with some photos.
Kevin Smith made sure to give credit to all the panel guys, especially Walt and Bryan, saying he is not responsible for anything that happens on the show. He just shows up, and “there’s not a single fuckin’ walrus on the show.” There’s no writers room. They come up with a story and it’s really ad-libbed.
Smith was just so charming. He promoted Mr. Robot, and proceeded to give the audience and his pals, the play-by-play of the end of Daredevil Episode 2 (“is worth the whole F***in thing”) as the hook to get us all watching.
“There’s a 4-minute fight with 12 people and no breaks. It is breathtaking. One shot. It sounds like fists on meat. I can’t wait to watch Jessica Jones.”
Some audience members wanted him to know how inspiring he was to them:
– One guy said that Smith’s words to him a previous year drove him to make a movie called 28-Minute Epic. They then did a little unrehearsed bit with Smith directing his promotion of his movie.
– A couple gave him a Save The Date card so he could marry them. He has his minister license. “I’m there!” He said you can say whatever you want, “In brightest day…” [Green Lantern oath].
– Another guy said he was an Extra and it’s his dream to be directed by Kevin Smith. Smith said Mallrats 2 would start shooting in January, and they need a lot of extras. They are going to put it on Twitter and Facebook. The plot is Die Hard in a mall. Brody (Jason Lee) tries to save the mall by holding a comic convention there, but terrorists come and Brody has to stop them.
Smith finally tells the story of how Comic Book Men, the reality series based out of his own comic book store, Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash in New Jersey, came to be. Along time ago, he and Walt said their dreams were to own (Smith) and run (Flanagan) a comic book store, because they were always driving around to them. One day, the owner of their favorite shop was closing it down and offered it to him. He called Walt who said no, but after offering way too much money to run a comic book store, he relented. AMC was looking for a show to keep the geeks coming so they would not forget about The Walking Dead (as if we could!) in between Season 1 and Season 2, and Smith pitched Pawn Stars for comic books. The point of this story was inspirational.
“Art is desperate to be met.”
He gave the audience an assignment in the next two years: “Serve yourself. Be a little bit masturbatory. Try it. Innovate. You don’t need talent. Clerks proved that.”
The 2-episode premiere of Season 5 of Comic Book Men airs October 18, 2015 at midnight on AMC.
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