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A bunch of guys standing around trying to sound like a Kevin Smith movie but failing because they're not as clever
February 16, 2012 11:06 AM   Subscribe

Last Sunday, Comic Book Men premiered on AMC, sliding right into the time slot right after the comic book-based Walking Dead series. It's a reality show masterminded by filmmaker and occasional comic book writer Kevin Smith that follows four employees at his New Jersey comic book shop, the Secret Stash, as they deal with the world of comics retail. If the intent is to show comic shop employees as anything other than obnoxious walking sterotypes, it's a complete failure. If, however, it's meant to be the most compelling argument I've ever seen for never setting foot in a comic book store, I have to admit that it's a smashing success. - Chris Sims reviews Comic Book Men. Remember, no chicks allowed.
posted by Artw (112 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I've been to that store. It's cool.
posted by jonmc at 11:07 AM on February 16, 2012


A post about Kevin Smith being bad at things? How novel.
posted by jjmoney at 11:11 AM on February 16, 2012


I've read criticisms like this in a few reviews, and I like how they all follow the format of outrage at the ridiculous comic shop employee/customer stereotypes, followed by grudging admission that, yeah, comic shop employees and customers do generally tend to be the way they're portrayed. I guess what we really need is a show called Atypical Comic Book Men.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 11:15 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


FWIW I tried watching the show out of grim curiosity and got in about 5 minutes, to the point where they started discussing sex superhero ladies, and pulled EJECT hard.

Smith does seem to have slimmed down lately or they manage to pick very flattering angles of him in his football mu mu or whatever that is.
posted by Artw at 11:16 AM on February 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


FWIW, the author of this review is a former comic shop clerk.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:17 AM on February 16, 2012


I watched ten minutes of this show and turned it off. It's awful. Beyond the rampant NO GURLS ALOWED vibe, it's just deeply, deeply dumb yet mystifyingly self-congratulatory.

I love comic books. I'd eagerly watch a good show about comics. This is Not That Show.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:18 AM on February 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


followed by grudging admission that, yeah, comic shop employees and customers do generally tend to be the way they're portrayed.

Now I'm gonna have to go hug the staff at my LCBS, metaphorically, in a respectful of boundaries type way, becuase they are awesome.
posted by Artw at 11:19 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm suddenly oddly looking forward to watching the first five to ten minutes of this.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 11:20 AM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


A post about Kevin Smith being bad at things? How novel.

"Graphic novel," please.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 11:21 AM on February 16, 2012 [13 favorites]


Also, and I say this as a regular listener of the Tell 'Em Steve Dave podcast, this show is wrong in about a dozen different ways, from the hectic mix-n-match "how many reality show cliches can we stuff into one hour" format to the way it shows us just enough of these guys to be annoyed by them, but not enough to let their personalities really come through. Granted, TESD isn't exactly cerebral content, but it has its own peculiar charm. It's too bad AMC tried to shoehorn them into this artificial package instead of just letting them do their thing.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 11:22 AM on February 16, 2012


I worked in a vaguely mobbed-up video store/comic store. It was two stores side by side with a door cute between them. The comic store never had a clerk, so I had to stop renting porn or lying to customers by telling them no, this was not a bad copy we had rented them but the director had made their film look all grainy for artistic purposes, and go sell comics all the fucking time. Despite not knowing anything about comics or colectible card games I managed to sell quite a few. We had mostly kids buying pokemon shit and older kooks buiying random comics I had never heard of. I wish I had some funny stories but alas it was mostly just drudgery. I am sure they probably burned the place down for insurance money by now.
posted by Ad hominem at 11:24 AM on February 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


FWIW I tried watching the show out of grim curiosity and got in about 5 minutes, -- I dinged it after about 10, and cancelled the tivo season pass.
posted by crunchland at 11:25 AM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I freely admit that I'm probably the only one who was looking forward to watching somebody drag in a dusty long boxes of "Death of Superman" tie-ins that the cat peed on and demand a thousand bucks for the whole lot of rare collector's items...

YEAH WELL I'D LIKE TO HEAR YOUR RETIREMENT STRATEGY WISE GUY
posted by griphus at 11:26 AM on February 16, 2012 [11 favorites]


Haven't seen it and I don't plan to, but from what he's describing, it sounds like Bryan (holy god he looks old) is playing his "Steve-Dave" character from the Askewniverse and this is about as real as any other reality tv show.
posted by entropicamericana at 11:26 AM on February 16, 2012


Worst. television. series. ever.
posted by crunchland at 11:26 AM on February 16, 2012 [11 favorites]


Granted, TESD isn't exactly cerebral content, but it has its own peculiar charm.

Well, if you want raucous but informed comics podcasting you want is the War Rocket Ajax 100th Episode Podcast Spectacular, with Mr. Sims, which somehow becomes fan fic of Charles Mudede's Zoo.
posted by Artw at 11:28 AM on February 16, 2012


If anyone needed another reason to dislike Kevin Smith, this show provides a really good one. And this is from someone who grew up reading (and absolutely enjoying) comic books in the 1960's, before comic book shops and comic book shop employees were invented to ruin the experience.
posted by motown missile at 11:30 AM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I saw the ads for it. That was enough to scare me away. Middle-aged guy needs to grow up already.
posted by Thorzdad at 11:31 AM on February 16, 2012


Well, if you want raucous but informed comics podcasting you want is the War Rocket Ajax 100th Episode Podcast Spectacular, with Mr. Sims, which somehow becomes fan fic of Charles Mudede's Zoo.

You had me with the awesome title of that podcast, then I started backing away slowly. Actually I loved that docu...appropriately of course.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 11:31 AM on February 16, 2012


Horsed to Death!
posted by Artw at 11:34 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


It sounds absolutely terrible. On the plus side, it will probably fail quickly.

Also, I misread the author attribution at first, and read the entire article thinking that Dave Sims had turned over an entirely new leaf.
posted by codacorolla at 11:37 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hope that these guys host a Q&A panel at some sort of convention. I would like to show up and harass them with questions about minute continuity errors and detailed technical questions about such things as if they prefered cardioid or paracardioid microphones for their "podcast" and the types of handles on the door to their store.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 11:39 AM on February 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


Football mu-mu?? That's a hockey jersey, you communist!!
posted by jonmc at 11:41 AM on February 16, 2012 [7 favorites]


I won't believe it's a Kevin Smith production until he puts his wife in it, forces his kid to shill for it, and then spends the next twenty years talking about it instead of actually taking the time to create a worthy successor.
posted by bondcliff at 11:41 AM on February 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


I also mixed up Chris and Dave Sims, which makes me wonder what would Dave Sims have to say about this.
posted by RobotHero at 11:42 AM on February 16, 2012


If anyone needed another reason to dislike Kevin Smith, this show provides a really good one.

I get that AMC felt Kevin Smith would be the "name" draw for the show, but I think they did themselves a disservice. Any Kevin Smith fan probably is already on board with this View Askew-related show, whereas he's a guaranteed turnoff for a great many other people. I like Smith, but even I'm sick of his unvarying banter.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 11:42 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was going to watch it, but when the on-air A&E announcer said "For scenes from the next Walking Dead, stay tuned through the first commercial break of Comic Book Men" - or something to that effect. Yeah, fuck that nonsense.
posted by deadmessenger at 11:43 AM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Once upon a time I was a girl working at a comic book store. There's always a token nerdy girl at the comic book store, how could they not know that?
posted by yarly at 11:43 AM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dave Sim (no 's') would at least be comfortable with no girls allowed. Can't have their void ruin the guys' lights or whatever.
posted by kmz at 11:45 AM on February 16, 2012 [8 favorites]


What are people's thoughts about War Rocket Ajax? I listened to the first handful of episodes back in the day, but they were plagued with audio problems and a general lack of focus (I like digressions and dicking around, but when it's halting and the podcast is like 2+ hours long, ungh).

Seeing they've made it to 100 and added new hosts whose work I generally like, is it worth giving it another shot? Please hope me. My Instacast stands at the ready.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:45 AM on February 16, 2012


Middle-aged guy needs to grow up already.

Wow. It's sad that it's the Mefites writing these kind of comments nowadays.
posted by smackfu at 11:46 AM on February 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


Like I told my wife (after going off on a several-minute long diatribe about all the ways this show failed to deliver for me), I have no doubt that if I ever met Kevin Smith personally, I would probably be really fond of him as a person (and unlike some people, I really don't take a whole lot of pleasure in just knee-jerkingly bashing his output), but this show really just isn't very good.

It seems so much more like an exercise in wish-fulfillment on the part of the makers than an attempt to give any particular audience what it wants. I mean, seriously, on one hand, who can't see the allure in the geek-fantasy of being able to make bank just sitting around in a comic store chatting with your best buddies? On the other hand, who's so out of touch with reality to think that's a realistic plan for a TV ratings bonanza?
posted by saulgoodman at 11:46 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I watched it. It was O.K. I felt a bit of stomach acid creep up when they were discussing which comic book babe they would fuck. I mean these guys are over 30...or 40.
posted by saucygit at 11:51 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, who's so out of touch with reality to think that's a realistic plan for a TV ratings bonanza?

Pawn Stars is one of the top-rated shows on cable. This week it was only behind Walking Dead and Jersey Shore. So... you'd be surprised.
posted by smackfu at 11:51 AM on February 16, 2012


A reality show set in a comic book shop? Hey, what a great way to publicize what's been a shrinking industry and get some new readers...

ah, crap.
posted by Zed at 11:54 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I decided to unofficially boycott this show when I realized that it was preempting my Walking Dead trailer for next week.
posted by elizardbits at 11:55 AM on February 16, 2012


"It’s not like there aren’t chicks in the show…there are chicks. But the reality of the comic book stores is that these are the people who work in them. There’s not a woman among them."
When I was in college my favorite comic store was owned and operated by one of coolest women I've ever known. Besides turning me on to Watchmen—"If this isn't the greatest comic you've ever read," she said, "I will buy it back from you."—she turned me on to more books and art and music than I can name, offhand. And that was more than two decades ago in the American south.

I hadn't even heard of this show, but nothing about it makes me want to see it, really. (OTOH, the review was funny.)
posted by octobersurprise at 11:55 AM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pawn Stars is one of the top-rated shows on cable. This week it was only behind Walking Dead and Jersey Shore. So... you'd be surprised.

Funny you mention Pawn Stars, because I immediately thought of it when I watched this. But I thought of it as a point of contrast, because for whatever reason, that show works in a way this one doesn't (but clearly aspires to). Maybe it's because comic shop culture just seems so much less exotic and intriguing than the (ever-so-slightly shady and seedy) world of pawn brokerage.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:59 AM on February 16, 2012


It doesn't sound like any comic shop I've ever been to. In three decades or so of comic book addiction I've frequented lots of stores and never once had an employee smirk at me for my purchases. There have been lots of other experiences (worst one was selling a complete run for ten cents a book and seeing them later in the long boxes priced at four dollars apiece), but nobody ever acted like they were superior to the customers. On the contrary, I've had lots of long, wonderful conversations with comic book guys on wonderfully nerdy subjects. Most comic shop employees are, near as I can tell, exactly the same as the people who buy comics, except they happen to be on the other side of the counter. And there's nothing wrong with that.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:00 PM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Pawn Stars is one of the top-rated shows on cable. This week it was only behind Walking Dead and Jersey Shore. So... you'd be surprised.

Pawn Stars, for all its many faults, has "characters" in the show that people, on some level, can relate to, and/or think are entertaining.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:02 PM on February 16, 2012


If you're in the Toronto area and want to see what a real comic book store looks like, visit The Hairy Tarantula.

I like to think of myself as a big geek. I almost make a challenge of it, as though I'm slowly working my way through a checklist of every kind of nerdom I can image. The Hairy Tarantula is out of my league. I've only been there once, just dipping into their decaying ruin of a building to pick up a copy of Agricola. I was immediately invited to a midnight Magic the Gathering tournament by a staff member who zombie walked at me, groaning "one of us, one of us..." No I'm not. I'm not worthy.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:03 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Seeing they've made it to 100 and added new hosts whose work I generally like, is it worth giving it another shot? Please hope me. My Instacast stands at the ready.

100 is probably a bit of an odd one to start with, as they don't have an interview segment (generally the most organized and less digression prone part of the show) and the dicking around is the funniest part.

Also they are drunk.

THAT SAID: I would recommend this podcast.

(It also features Eugene Ahn AKA Adam Warrock who has a new album, which everyone should check out. )
posted by Artw at 12:03 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is why the show sucks. It doesn't fit into the diagram.
posted by crunchland at 12:07 PM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the heads-up, I'd heard about this coming and mentally filed it away as, yeah I don't think I'll bother with that, but as it is, apparently THE WORST SHOW IN THE HISTORY OF TELEVISION I'll check it out. Well the first 5 mins at least.

Gets a fave for "he looks like Dumbledore f**ked a mushroom" alone
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:15 PM on February 16, 2012


You have no idea how fast my hand went to the remote when it was revealed we'd be hearing which superheroines those guys whack off to.
posted by Artw at 12:21 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just had a mental image of the worst high noon showdown ever.
posted by griphus at 12:23 PM on February 16, 2012 [4 favorites]


Artw: "FWIW I tried watching the show out of grim curiosity and got in about 5 minutes"

So you didn't watch it but you felt informed enough to make a post out of it ?

I watched the whole thing and it I thought it was pretty good. The best looking superheroine was just a little blip of a segment. Most of the show was customers coming in to sell rare memorabilia, the guys talking about the same and a big chunk of a time-waster sales contest at a flea market.
posted by Bonzai at 12:28 PM on February 16, 2012


"...Maybe it's because comic shop culture just seems so much less exotic and intriguing than the (ever-so-slightly shady and seedy) world of pawn brokerage."

Exactly! It's just people who have a greater than average interest in a particular form of pop culture. You could do a similar show set in a video store, book shop or craft store and it would be about the same. Comics have a strange cool but not cool relationship with mass culture right now, but there's nothing that unusual about the business of selling them. I mean, if you really dug into it you could find some great stories, but that requires a level of investigation greater than a reality show can support.
posted by Kevin Street at 12:30 PM on February 16, 2012


which superheroines those guys whack off to.

Yeah, Power Girl, phwoar!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:32 PM on February 16, 2012


I watched the whole thing and it I thought it was pretty good. The best looking superheroine was just a little blip of a segment. Most of the show was customers coming in to sell rare memorabilia, the guys talking about the same and a big chunk of a time-waster sales contest at a flea market.

I actually liked the flea market segment the best. Maybe this show will succeed solely because of its "something for everyone" format, lurching from season to season on a tepid wave of halfhearted amusement.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 12:32 PM on February 16, 2012


So you didn't watch it but you felt informed enough to make a post out of it ?

No, he linked to a post somebody else made about it.
posted by kmz at 12:33 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not really sure watching more of it would have helped the situation.
posted by Artw at 12:34 PM on February 16, 2012


Oh and it may just be the UK but if there's not a complete prick that takes passive aggression to advanced levels behind the counter, it's not a proper comic shop imho.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:34 PM on February 16, 2012 [5 favorites]


If they cancel it, then I guess that the "Acts of Gord" telenovela I've been waiting for will never get green-lighted, huh?
posted by wenestvedt at 12:35 PM on February 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Once upon a time I was a girl working at a comic book store. There's always a token nerdy girl at the comic book store, how could they not know that?

Seriously! I also used to work in a comic book store, whose manager was a (female) friend of mine (and fellow Mefite). The Comic Book Store Girl is a venerable tradition that's being completely ignored here. Not that I'm surprised, just disappointed.
posted by leesh at 12:35 PM on February 16, 2012


kmz: "No, he linked to a post somebody else made about it."

Looks like a fair bit commenting involved too.
posted by Bonzai at 12:36 PM on February 16, 2012


I watched this and was like "Wow, I didn't think it was possible to make Tell 'Em Steve Dave more boring AND less funny " but somehow they managed to pull it off.
posted by KingEdRa at 12:37 PM on February 16, 2012


You could do a similar show set in a video store, book shop or craft store and it would be about the same.

It's too bad they didn't actually just do a "Clerks" reality show set in a convenience store, or maybe in a Ralph's in L.A. at 2 a.m.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 12:37 PM on February 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


To be fair ArtW isn't the only one commenting without having watched the show. It is sort of a Metafilter tradition.
posted by Bonzai at 12:38 PM on February 16, 2012


I like the writing of Chris Sims, and listened to the first 20 episodes or so before I dropped it. They tended to be overly long (and I like a good ramble) and without much focus. Also, too much hustle, not enough content. I too would like to know if it's gotten better. I am always looking for mpre good comicbook podcasts.

Two recommendations I would make (on phone, so no links) for excellent comicbook podcasts are House to Astonish and Funnybook Babylon. I would love more of in that vein, especially the former.
posted by X-Himy at 12:38 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ok I just watched it. It is exactly the same as Pawn Stars. Will probably do ok I guess.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:38 PM on February 16, 2012


The "let's haggle over merch" scenes portray what's got to be the least interesting part of a day spent in a comic shop. The "collectibles" aspect is a big part of certain comic shops, which is fine, but this feels like Pop Culture Antiques Roadshow with less learning, and more jerks.

I think the show could have been put together better, since at least Kevin Smith is good at telling stories, and there's something there, but it's just not that good so far.
posted by helicomatic at 12:41 PM on February 16, 2012


It's too bad they didn't actually just do a "Clerks" reality show set in a convenience store, or maybe in a Ralph's in L.A. at 2 a.m.

I recall one about L.A. donut shops being somewhere in the pipeline a few years ago.
posted by mykescipark at 1:12 PM on February 16, 2012


I recall one about L.A. donut shops being somewhere in the pipeline a few years ago.

I would watch that -- apparently donut shops can get pretty exciting.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 1:21 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can absolutely say with not a hint of doubt in my heart that I have watched a sufficient amount of the show to serve as due diligence on posting the funny review link. I would cop to an insufficient knowledge of hockey jerseys though.
posted by Artw at 1:23 PM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Funny you mention Pawn Stars, because I immediately thought of it when I watched this.

Same here, i watched the whole thing, and it just kept feeling like that, with the odd roundtable podcast thing going on also.

In three decades or so of comic book addiction I've frequented lots of stores and never once had an employee smirk at me for my purchases.

You are very lucky. Before i had decided to go the DCBS route, i was very adamant on supporting my LCS, a very nice and large comics and games shop about half an hour away. That is until repeated snarky, insulting, and homophobic "jokes" turned me away. I was spending about $100 a week there, so a decent customer, but only one of the workers treated me with any level of respect. The breaking point was when i was getting comics and the radio played some 80s song, and one of the guys in loud voice said "Are they trying to turn me into a queer??" Lovely. That isn't even going into the times my ex went into it with me, and when she would ask about some lesser known comics, get treated like she shouldn't be there.

This show could have been a very interesting look into the culture or business of comics shops, but instead is just so "meh". I can't even be offended by it, even by Alan Moore wannabe, it just lacks anything interesting.
posted by usagizero at 1:27 PM on February 16, 2012


That's a modified Edmonton Oilers jersey! Apparently Kevin Smith is a fan of the classic 1980s team, with Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier et al. Have to (enthusiastically) agree with him on that one.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:28 PM on February 16, 2012


Ming == Chumlee
No nonsense manager == No nonsense manager
beard guy== old man
Robert Bruce == random expert pawn stars always calls.

They even had comedy music for when you are supposed to laugh at Ming. It is the music they play while he is left alone at the flea market yelling "I'm still open" . Same type of music for the affable goofball in every reality show.

The round table was better than the ususal reality show format where they show something happening then show someone looking right into the camera and describing what just happened.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:38 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


For disorganisation, digression and dicking around in a comics podcasts I would have to say Sunside Comics is the one I listen to which rules that category. Most of the time it's about iPads or crisps or a trip to shops or something, barely mentioning any comics. It makes WRA look like an NPR slot or something. Still, I'm happy to listen to it whenever they post one because it's fun, also tends to be spot on about digital comics.
posted by Artw at 1:40 PM on February 16, 2012


The most embarrassed I ever felt when buying a comic was a few issues of Preacher during the "Salvation" arc, because of Steve Dillon's rather... ripe, organic covers. This one and this one were a bit embarassing, and I couldn't even look at the young, Asian female clerk when buying this one, but she didn't so much as even blink an eye. That kind of stuff is business as usual in a comic shop.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:42 PM on February 16, 2012


Heh. So are you reading The Boys now?
posted by Artw at 1:45 PM on February 16, 2012


I too enjoyed the round-table podcast running commentary. If the show hits I expect it to be copied repeatedly.

But the rest of it is definitely Pawn Stars: Comics!

This probably explains why I enjoyed it.
posted by Bonzai at 1:48 PM on February 16, 2012


Nah, I'm kind of done with Garth Ennis, except for the occasional war story. He puts his all into those.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:48 PM on February 16, 2012


Artw: "I can absolutely say with not a hint of doubt in my heart that I have watched a sufficient amount of the show to serve as due diligence on posting the funny review link. I would cop to an insufficient knowledge of hockey jerseys though."

On the one hand your commenting was indeed limited to Smith's appearance and sports jersey attire. On the other hand I really hate to admit being wrong.

Let's call it a draw.
posted by Bonzai at 1:50 PM on February 16, 2012


But I thought of it as a point of contrast, because for whatever reason, that show works in a way this one doesn't (but clearly aspires to).

Pawn Stars succeeds because it is nothing more than a slightly seedier Antiques Road Show. People come in with odd stuff and the guys -- who are fundamentally straight shooters and good guys, and who never make fun of the customers, however down and out they may be -- call in experts to talk about the stuff and value it. Everyone, including the shop owners, is hoping that someone will come up with something absolutely astonishing and rare, and sometimes that actually happens.

It is successful because the guys, though crotchety or (in the case of the younger guys) a little dumb, are charismatic and basically good-hearted and because it strictly follows the formula that made Antiques Roadshow the enormous, runaway hit it was. They love what they are doing, you never get the sense that anyone is being screwed, and you root for everyone involved.

I haven't watched Comic Book Men, but if the review is right Smith missed all of those important elements. Also, the woman he cut to "keep it real" was Zoë Gulliksen, and that is just straight up idiotic.
posted by The Bellman at 1:51 PM on February 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Beard guy is also a standin for the viewer, he gets to ask "why the fuck does batman wear a bat suit and have a 10 year old kid fighting with him". If he really does just sit around in the store all day, I would think he would know all that crap. Of course he could just be busting chops. When they put nipples on the batsuit I asked my co-worker at the video store what he thought about it several times a day just to annoy him.

I've read The Boys up to vol 5 or 6. I am only still reading it because since I started I have to stick with it.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:51 PM on February 16, 2012


Similar cover situation.

(It's also surprisingly good for a disposable Ennis premise, though you're right about his war stuff being the best.)
posted by Artw at 1:51 PM on February 16, 2012


I couldn't even look at the young, Asian female clerk when buying this one

If that's the most embarrassingly covered comic you've ever bought... well, let's just say that there are a lot of superhero comics in this world that you didn't buy.

(Among the things to like about Atomic Robo: the promise.)
posted by Zed at 2:01 PM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


I find it sort of depressing that there's a large and incredibly popular genre of TV shows devoted to assigning monetary value to objects.
posted by brundlefly at 2:08 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I couldn't even look at the young, Asian female clerk when buying this one

I don't want to get all Topper on you but that's pure amateur hour... try fronting out buying every issue of Black Kiss...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:15 PM on February 16, 2012


You know, I'm not the Biggest Comic Book Fan Ever, but I've been to pretty much every shop in DC - and I've *never* been in one where the staff were anything less than courteous, professional, and genuinely enthused by comic books. (I was particularly fond of the Fantom Comics chain, and saddened when it went under). I get the real sense that most comic store clerks work very hard *not* to live up to the unflattering stereotype of their job; things like this show annoy me.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 2:25 PM on February 16, 2012


...The Walking Dead...

Moar liek The TALKING Dead!

(Man that show sucks.)
posted by tumid dahlia at 2:43 PM on February 16, 2012


You have no idea how fast my hand went to the remote when it was revealed we'd be hearing which superheroines those guys whack off to.

For the sake of completeness, though...The Baroness from G.I. Joe.

Also Enid Coleslaw.
posted by tumid dahlia at 2:52 PM on February 16, 2012


A friend of mine talks about having been a Comic Book Girl in 1980s Auckland. She would get stared at like some sort of exotic animal and no-one except the guy behind the cash register would speak to her. The vibe wasn't hostile, just awkward.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:09 PM on February 16, 2012


This dude... .... Everything he's shown doing in this show goes down like that, with this guy coming off as the smarmy alpha nerd prick with an unearned sense of superiority that everyone who goes to a comic shop tries to avoid. He's also the first one to say that the shoppers at the flea market look like they were banned from going to the mall and that the corseted goth girl who tries to sell a Chucky doll looks like she's "mentally ill," which is why I have no problem saying that he looks like Dumbledore f**ked a mushroom.
I actually laughed at that.
posted by delmoi at 3:13 PM on February 16, 2012


On a similar note tothe no-girls thing, Mark Millar is repeatedly getting in hot water by announcing comic conventions with no female guests and then having to add some.
posted by Artw at 3:18 PM on February 16, 2012


A friend of mine talks about having been a Comic Book Girl in 1980s Auckland. She would get stared at like some sort of exotic animal and no-one except the guy behind the cash register would speak to her. The vibe wasn't hostile, just awkward.

I think that when comic book stores started incorporating gaming merchandise -- probably starting with Magic cards in the 90s? -- things got a little more diverse, and it wasn't AS strange to be Comic Book Girl.
posted by yarly at 3:36 PM on February 16, 2012


"And for the presentation we brought in and shot a chick, and it was wonderful and great, but then AMC, god bless them, said ‘Well, that’s not the reality of the show.’" (emphasis added)
...
This was after Smith himself said the woman was perfect.


Christ, what an asshole.
posted by jsr1138 at 3:36 PM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Let me preface this by acknowledging that a) I'm a dude and b) I haven't seen the show.

The Stash was my local comic book shop for many years and is still my favorite. They were nice guys and I had many an in depth comic discussion with both Walt and Mike. Especially Mike. There were always female customers around and for what it's worth at least, I certainly never witnessed any sense that they were unwelcome or not considered real comic book fans.

It was a great store that was always very generous about finding things it thought I might be interested in and not being annoyed if I declined something that I had on my pull list from time to time.

If anything, they could be a bit dismissive of all the people crowding in to say oh Kevin Smith movies or whatever, instead of being there for the comics. Nothing in particular, just mutual annoyance but I was trying to talk to him about Gotham Central and people kept asking if Brian O'Halloran ever stopped by.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 3:39 PM on February 16, 2012


Pawn Stars succeeds because it is nothing more than a slightly seedier Antiques Road Show

Anitques Road Show is excellent because it is perfectly suited to drinking games, my sister and I have determined. You name a price and the others guess over or under. Pawn Stars has too many wacky vignettes and doesn't have enough pricing segments, and therefore fails in this regard. I bet you could make something work with Storage Wars though.
posted by Hoopo at 3:51 PM on February 16, 2012


"And for the presentation we brought in and shot a chick, and it was wonderful and great, but then AMC, god bless them, said ‘Well, that’s not the reality of the show.’" (emphasis added)

I may be misreading it, but "God bless 'em" is often used as a snarky, teeth-gritting way of say, 'I disagree with them and they can fuck themselves, but hey! Gotta love 'em!"

On the other hand I would imagine Kevin Smith would just say, "I disagree with them and they can fuck themselves!"
posted by verb at 4:03 PM on February 16, 2012


This was after Smith himself said the woman was perfect.

If this is what being on the show was going to be like, getting cut sounds like an improvement.
posted by Zed at 4:07 PM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow, that Zoe Gullickson piece Zed linked to confirms a lot of things about Walt Flanagan that caused me to stop listening to the Tell Em Steve Dave podcast in the first place. Christ, what an asshole.
posted by KingEdRa at 4:35 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gross. I am a lady and, back in my younger days, I worked in a comic book store. I was the only girl, but didn't really think of it as A Thing, until I started to experience the way some dude's thought of it. It really was like I was an object. That object was The Girl At The Comic Shop and, lordy, the shit some of these dude's thought was appropriate to say to me! In one particular incident I was idly talking to a coworker about which supervillian power would be the best to possess. (Clearly mind control. I mean, you can make people forget you were there, so you get invisibility. You can make folks with superjets fly you places, so you get flight. You can command armies, so who needs super strength? Plus all the other perks...but I digress.) Anyway, this dude came up to me all leeringly and told me that I should be a giantess. When asked why, he stated that it would be hot and added that I should probably wear lingerie. That's kind of the level of interaction I had almost everyday. It was the sort of stuff that made me ashamed of my own people.

I guess I thought the climate had changed. There are more girls than ever reading comics and I thought that kind of misogyny and died off or at the very least been shamed out of people. Count on Kevin Smith to try to bring it back. Great.
posted by troublewithwolves at 4:50 PM on February 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I don't want to get all Topper on you but that's pure amateur hour... try fronting out buying every issue of Black Kiss..."

*Googles "Black Kiss"*

Conceded! Wow, Howard Chaykin was the Jim Balent of the late eighties! I had no idea he'd put out stuff like that.
posted by Kevin Street at 8:25 PM on February 16, 2012


There are more girls than ever reading comics and I thought that kind of misogyny and died off

Unfortunately, this is often what happens when girls try reading superhero comics.
posted by straight at 8:38 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Reading about the shop portrayed in this show makes me grateful for my local shop. I've never felt like an object there, even when I'm dressed to show off my body.
posted by egypturnash at 8:47 PM on February 16, 2012


Interview: Kevin Smith talks 'Comic Book Men'
posted by Artw at 8:54 PM on February 16, 2012


Interview: Kevin Smith talks 'Comic Book Men'

If Dave "And I was thinking how the world should have cried on the day Jack Kirby died" Wyndorf is telling you that you take comic books way too seriously, you know what? You're taking comic books way too seriously.
posted by KingEdRa at 9:43 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


you know what i liked was Black Books

why dont they do one like that
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:47 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


On the one hand your commenting was indeed limited to Smith's appearance and sports jersey attire.

Accurate or not, the phrase "football mu mu" made me giggle for a solid 20 seconds, and I've been brainstorming ways to use it in conversation.
posted by flaterik at 10:53 PM on February 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Conceded! Wow, Howard Chaykin was the Jim Balent of the late eighties! I had no idea he'd put out stuff like that.

In my defence the first few issues where fairly standard noir thriller with just a bit of the sexy... it's only later that it becomes OMG WTF! ... and by that time the plot has totally hooked you (well that's my excuse anyway)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:12 AM on February 17, 2012


>But The Stash has always kind of held its own and it’s taken care of itself, because Walter won't carry golden or silver age. He only believes in putting up what he can sell.

I'm completely clueless in this area, but what's the logic behind refusing golden or silver age comics?
posted by Gordion Knott at 4:23 AM on February 17, 2012


Our local comic book store is owned by a guy and his mom. And his mom is AWESOME. Honestly, if we lived near a stereotypically awful comic book store like this one, I'm not so sure I'd be willing to go with the mister each week, let alone to all the annual special events they do.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:40 AM on February 17, 2012


Bryan 'Steve-Dave' Johnson Responds To ComicsAlliance's Critique of 'Comic Book Men'
First off I didn't make the remark about the goth girl, Walt did. In fact, I wasn't even in that scene. Nice journalism & way to pay attention to detail. Secondly, the Dumbledore 'joke' (talk about playing into nerd stereotypes) you claim to have no problem making...Of course it's not a problem when you're sitting in front of a computer monitor congratulating yourself on your biting wit. Maybe we'll happen to meet up in San Diego con this year and we'll see if you have a problem running your b*tch mouth in person.

You're like every other elitist comic book reviewer out there. You know how the show SHOULD have been made but shockingly no one approached YOU to make one. Nor did you have the juice to get in a room to pitch one. And by golly, I'm sure the conversations you and your buddies used to have when you worked in a comic book store were just scintillating and put ours to shame.

Though you could check with our 'Tell 'Em Steve Dave' podcast audience. We have 100K listeners+ downloading our show every week. Something tells me you're getting way fewer hits than that with your dopey articles. And btw, if you're going to curse, curse. Enough with the asterisks. You sound like a complete a**hole.

By judging everyone & everything on the show negatively in the span of one episode all you do is hurt a dying industry you claim to love. In the end all you do is play into the smug, know-it-all, jealous comic book/collectible jerk off stereotype which we all know the general population regards with a negatively charged judgmental slant.

F**k you and your bulls**t review,

Bryan Johnson

ps can you please tell Laura Hudson she has a nice smile for me? C'mon, hook a brother up.
posted by Artw at 2:36 PM on February 17, 2012


Oh, and: NOTE: The following has not been edited in any way except to comply with AOL policy with respect to profanity, which we have censored for your protection.

B*tching!
posted by Artw at 2:40 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, so I tried to watch this. Really tired. But I just had to give up after 20mins... I feel like a real hero for struggling past the 'who's the hottest superheroine' conversation because a) it was excruciating b) I've never understood that sort of thing - my face superheroines are Halo Jones, Harley Quinn (pre nu 52) and the vampire girl in LEOG because they are interesting characters c) no one picked Power Girl... are they all nuts!?!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:27 PM on February 17, 2012


Do you think maybe they edited Dumbledore to make him seem LESS of a dick than he actually is?
posted by Artw at 6:47 PM on February 17, 2012


Oh, and I caught some of the bits that were not awful but merely boring on TV tonight by accident - yeah, not really doing much to improve my opinion of it.
posted by Artw at 10:56 PM on February 17, 2012


I'm completely clueless in this area, but what's the logic behind refusing golden or silver age comics?

I'm guessing that it's the back issue bin "problem." Most, if not all, the important/rare Golden, Silver and even Bronze Age stuff out there has already been scooped up by speculators and collectors. Everything else just takes up space. Limiting your back issue bins to more recent stuff ensures higher churn as people try to complete runs that haven't been collected into trade paperback omnibuses yet of titles they're currently reading.

That said, I don't know of a single store that has large amounts of Gold & Silver Age comics anyway, so its not like Flanagan is some sort of genius for not having any on hand.
posted by KingEdRa at 11:45 PM on February 17, 2012


Do you think maybe they edited Dumbledore to make him seem LESS of a dick than he actually is?

No, that could not possibly be the case based on that entirely reasonable, well argued and well judged response to criticism.

were not awful but merely boring

I think that's what really killed it for me, whilst the misogyny sections had at least a car crash vibe to them most of the 'you beloved tat is worth fuck all' segments and the highly staged 'antics' at the flea market were just yawn inducing
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:26 AM on February 18, 2012


Power Girl

Women in Comics: New Power Girl Costume to Attract New Readers?

To which I'd say "No". JLU had a good go at making Power Girl a memorable character, but at this point I'm not sure she really exists in the comcis reading consciousness outside of the boob window or lack of it.
posted by Artw at 11:30 AM on February 18, 2012


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