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It’s time for AMC to cancel ‘Comic Book Men’

Kevin SmithAs a life-long comic book collector, it was exciting news when AMC announced it was launching the series “Comic Book Men.” The show comes from Kevin Smith, the actor/director who is both a comic book enthusiast and writer. The show originates from his comic book store, Secret Stash, located in Red Bank, New Jersey.

This series sounded like a great way to inform the public about the importance of comic books in pop culture from the writings of Stan Lee to the artwork of Neal Adams. The show could explain why The Incredible Hulk #180 is so valuable (it’s the first appearance of Wolverine) or why all comic book collectors should own copies of Green Lantern No. 85 and 86 (deals with Green Arrow’s sidekick, Speedy, being a drug addict).

What sounded like a good idea for a series has turned into the most self-indulgent piece of garbage on TV that doesn’t star a Kardashian.

There have been entire episodes where the Stash team — Walt Flanagan, Michael Zapcic, Bryan Johnson and Ming Chen — never touch a comic book. There’s plenty of talk about favorite talking dogs, whether Tarzan should be considered a super hero and how cool it would be to have their own batcave, but comic books are a mere afterthought.

The cast doesn’t help. Flanagan is the store manager but doesn’t come across as competent enough to operate a garden hose while Chen’s lone purpose is to be the brunt of everyone’s jokes. He worst is Johnson who is not a store employee but hangs around just to insult the customers.

Zapcic is the only one who has any sense but unfortunately was involved in an episode that was the last straw for the show. The New Jersey resident lost most of his comic book collection during Hurricane Sandy. Any comic book fan will tell you that’s a tragedy. The other guys in the shop got famed comic book artist George Perez to create an original drawing as a way of starting his collection anew.

That’s a nice gesture among friends but this is a cable TV show. If they aren’t going to talk about comics, they could at least do something that affects more than just themselves. That drawing could have been auctioned off to raise money for other people who suffered great losses.

AMC has such a sterling reputation with amazing programs such as “The Walking Dead,” “Hell on Wheels,” “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad.” Having a show as bad as “Comic Book Men” on the same cable channel is like having a bowl full of M&Ms and your dog named Reese adding pieces to the mix.

Responses to "It’s time for AMC to cancel ‘Comic Book Men’"

brodiemash says:

Rick, you gotta listen to “Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave” or even Mike & Ming’s “I Sell Comics” [shudder] podcasts, to really fall in love with these guys. But to say they’re worse than the Kardashians… man, your hate for them must know no bounds! Just remember that AMC is also the network with Small Town Security & Freakshow.

Stephen says:

I agree with you a little, and disagree with you a lot.

The show is over-produced. Scenarios are created, customers are clearly shopped for so they can present some comic history lessons, and the comic store activities are obviously all decided upon by producers.

But for the most part, this is an accurate portrayal of comic geeks in a comic shop. Comic shops are notoriously slow, serving very few customers in a day without some sort of special deal going on, and most of those customers are folks just there to buy a stack of new stuff.

So, yeah….as a series, it’s a tough sell to try and keep things happening.

But as television characters, they don’t suck. Bryan Johnson is super intelligent and funny, Ming and Walt are geeks, and yes, Michael is a joke/waste, but overall? I kinda like the show, especially to see Kevin Smith just hanging with his buddies and talking his first true love – comic books!

JT says:

While it’s not my favorite reality show, I think it’s different enough and interesting enough to keep watching. Sure, some episodes are lame and fake, but overall it’s entertaining. It’s not supposed to be a show about comic books. It’s right in the title, Rick. It’s about the MEN who love and work in the comic book world. Don’t be such a hater. We geeks need a show like this. There is very little geek comedy out there. Think of this as the flip side of The Big Bang Theory. Maybe they should invite Sheldon to The Secret Stash.

MA says:

I hate the show! People only watched it, because it was on right after Walking Dead–I was among those people. Normally, after the Walking Dead, I’d get on my computer. I would leave the TV on and wouldn’t bother changing the channel, since I was zoned out on my computer, anyway.

The big bunch of dorks on the show come across as egotistical aholes. I hate how really down-on-their-luck people walk into their store and they totally screw them over and laugh about it. They’re a bunch of evil little dorks, and I hope their show gets cut…SOON!

GH says:

“totally screw them over and laugh”….umm this is wrong they would laugh at how people would come in with crazy expectations of their items worth i dont think you understand how businesses work they need to be able to profit and most times the customer asks a price over what its worth to sell. also on several occasions when someone came in with some goal in mind (funding an art gallery or a gift for a boyfriend) they would help them out and give them a better price but you cant just give every person who comes in whatever amount they ask for.

Brandon Daviet says:

It’s a good show if ur a fan of Kevin Smith you should enjoy it. I for one don’t get what’s so great about The Walking Dead.

Michael Novotny says:

I watched the show a few times, then lost interest. Then I started watching it again, and now I’m a regular viewer — go figure. I have written to them and suggested the expand the scope of the show, and start bringing in guests from the comic book business for a chat on the history of comics. I collect Malibu Ultraverse books, and would really like to see them bring in some of the people who started what was for a brief period of time the new darling of the industry — Scott Rosenberg, Chris Ulm, David Olbrich and especially Tom Mason, one of the nicest Comic book guys I’ve ever met. Another great guest would be Chuck Raganski, owner of MileHigh Comics, who has attended nearly every SD Comic-con back almost to the beginning — some 40 years.

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