'Geeks Get to Play Forever': Kevin Smith Goes From Clerks to Comic Book Men
All four Secret Stash fixtures were alongside Smith at a recent press conference hosted by AMC in New York to help launch the network's latest program, where his gratitude and devotion to his friends and employees was evident -- as was his endearing astonishment at his own good fortune. But what struck us the most was just how genuinely invested, inspiring even, Smith sounded about the democratization of media and the inherent value of everyday lives. Unfortunately, due to this loquacious, rapid-fire style, it's difficult to fully capture his words in print (but hey, that's what his podcasts are for), but here are excerpts from what he told us as well as his remarks to the assembled reporters:
On working with AMC:
"What they're doing at AMC for the last few years is kind of what Miramax were doing in the early to mid-'90s, when it was a place everyone wanted to be. It was a place where everyone was willing to cut their fucking prices. You're talking about greedy fucking pig actors who get huge salaries who are willing to drop down to the basement to be in these movies because they were telling the interesting stories. Same thing is going on at AMC right now: these cats are telling the best stories and it attracts you as a story teller. They helped us hammer [Comic Book Men] into something that looks different than most reality shows. They were like, why don't you use the podcast so instead of us breaking the wall and talking to you, we're talking to each other. You're kind of a fly on the wall. The conversations are just really authentic. AMC totally had a point of view -- they weren't like, 'Oh, we'll just do a cheap reality show, it will be great.' But they were like, 'We're going to go into this genre and it has to be different than what other people have done.'"
On how Comic Book Men is a celebration of geekiness:
"This is a show about real geeks. My life is settled in all the other ways. I got a real family, I got a kid, I got a wife, my life went on happily ever after. My passion is still alive, though. My passion just happens to be Boris Karloff dolls or watching Planet of the Apes or Harry Potter. I like watching adults getting into stuff they're not supposed to -- and I don't mean children because that fucking disgusting. I mean things that they're not supposed to because it's reserved for kids. We spend this much time developmentally enjoying play, and then they're like, 'Get to work.' Because no one wants to sit around and watch a kid 24/7, you know? Shove them in a school, shove them over here. So we don't get to play as much. Geeks get to play forever. Just like actors and athletes get to be kids forever, those of us who are into this kind of shit exude passion because we wear it on our sleeves."