'Geeks Get to Play Forever': Kevin Smith Goes From Clerks to Comic Book Men
On how often he's actually at the Comic Book Men store:
"Look, if I'm in Jersey, I'm visiting the Stash. Number one, because I love it there. Number two, because a long time ago I said 'wouldn't it be great to have a comic book store and run it your own way?' Number three, all of my friends work there. And number four, it's the only place in Red Bank that I can smoke weed and not get busted."
On whether he would still have gravitated to film if podcasting existed 20 years ago:
"Oh my God, it would have been podcasting because I have always gravitated to that which seemed easiest. Comics is what I wanted to do, but that seemed really hard to get into because I wasn't British. I wanted to write and it was like Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, Grant Morrison -- those are the writers I admired. Film seemed easy because Richard Linklater made Slackers and I loved it. I was like, 'This counts? Like, there's no plot structure here, there's no cast per se -- there's a lot of cast but no main character -- it flaunts all convention, it breaks the rules.' So film seemed like the most accessable art form for me at the time. I can't paint. I can't sing. But, having seen Slacker, I said, 'I think I can put together a story like that. I would have three acts and blah blah blah. I would tell it about my world.' Because I had never seen a movie like Clerks. The only reason it exists was because I wanted to see a movie about me and my friends, and I had never seen it. So, at that point, I was like, 'Fuck it, I'll just make one.' Had podcasting existed, I never would have made Clerks.
But podcasting didn't exist so we went to movies, but as you can see by my career and my willingness to be like, 'fuck film,' podcasting is where my heart is. It doesn't require talent. I've always been about democratization, and I would go out there after every film and be like, 'Anybody can do this. If I can do this, anyone can do this. And you should because it makes you feel fucking good and shit could work out.' But now that requires money. It still requires a camera and people to believe in your shit. [But with] podcasts, it's like, "Hey, I got a laptop, we've all got laptops," You don't even need to jack mics in anymore. It doesn't require talent. It just requires somebody to have lived something of a life. You can't podcast with a baby -- I've tried, it doesn't work. But if they've lived somewhat of a life, you'll get something out of them.