Kevin Smith To Produce Reality Show About a Comic Book Store
After freeing himself of the Hollywood distribution system with his latest film and creating a Batman comic that was critically… uh, discussed, “writer,” “director” and jorts aficionado Kevin Smith has finally turned his sights on that most creative endeavor: Reality Television.
According to a casting call spotted on Facebook, the Jersey Girl auteur is recruiting people who “live and breath [sic] the comic book lifestyle” for a show centered on his comic book store, Red Bank, New Jersey’s Secret Stash. And what’s more, according to Smith’s Twitter feed, the AMC network — home of Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead — is interested in the result.
The casting call itself was held last weekend at the Secret Stash itself, and while we’ve yet to see any actual reports as to what it was like (thanks no doubt to the wonderful magic of Nondisclosure Agreements), I’m going to go ahead and assume that it was just like the audition episodes of American Idol, but with fewer Mariah Carey songs and more half-baked jokes about Chewbacca’s ding-dang.
All joking aside, I worked at a comic shop for six years, and I always thought it would be a good source of material for a reality show, or at least an Office-style mockumentary. Comics retail tends to attract extreme personalities, from the die-hard fans willing to go underpaid so they can be around the stuff they love to the eccentric businessmen running the show to the customers trying to argue that their issue of Action Comics has to be worth at least a million dollars, because a #0 is clearly older than a #1. It’s a setting that’s ripe with potential, as we’ve already seen in webcomics like The Rack and even live-action web-series like The Variants, which tells stories inspired by the actual experiences of the comic shop owners and employees that make up the majority of its staff. There’s a lot there to work with.
Of course, there’s also ample opportunity for people who have based their entire style of interacting with each other on pale imitations of the dialogue from Clerks and Mallrats, often repeating references loudly so that the people just trying to buy their comics have no choice but to hear how “hilarious” they are. So really, if it happens, this one could go either way.
Regardless, it’ll be nice to see Smith push his boundaries and get out of his comfort zone by finally doing a project centering on a couple of dudes making pop culture references.