Posts tagged AMC

On the Subject of Comic Book Men and Nerds


I’ve written about it elsewhere, but I hate comic book fans. I’ve never been a part of a group of people that hated the thing they loved so much. I’ll be the first to admit that not every comic is great but I usually manage to find something to enjoy out of every one that I read. I’m glad that after all of the funny books I’ve read that I’m still able to find that in the medium. That doesn’t seem to be the case for most fans which is depressing.

Recently AMC (the same network that runs The Walking Dead…more on that later), picked up Comic Book Men from Kevin Smith. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a fan of Smith’s work. I’ve seen all his movies — even Cop Out — and I listen to many a podcast. While his book, My Boring-Ass Life, was partially responsible for me starting a blog in the first place, I’m by no means a fanboy. I’ve tried most of the podcasts on the SModcast network but there are several, including Jay and Silent Bob Get Old and Plus One, that I just don’t care for. (For the record, I now only listen to Hollywood Babble-On, SModcast, I Sell Comics, and Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave!.) Anyway, the point is, I checked out the show and I liked it.

Then I went online to see how others reacted to it and I found a couple reviews from large comic sites bashing it. After reading through them, my initial theory of self-hating comic fans seems to still be true. I’m also puzzled by what these people expected Comic Book Men to be about. Smith has said several times that the show is based on the Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave! podcast. If you’ve ever listened to it, you can easily see how the show matches up to it perfectly. The personalities that come through on the podcast each week are the same that are on the show. The dynamic works. Based on the reviews I’ve read, it looks like these sites expected the show to come in and put comics on the map and totally change the negative fanboy stereotype that has stuck with comics for so long. That’s not what the show is about at all. Yes, it’s set in a comic book store and they’re talking about comic book stuff, but the show is about this group of guys that are friends. They joke around and make fun of each other and sometimes people come in with interesting stuff.

That brings me to the next problem that people seemed to have. Comic Book Men features a weird assortment of people coming in to try to sell comics, sketches, and other nerd items to the store. These writers thought that it was unreal or unbelievable or some other nonsense. Here’s the thing. If you think that that strange fat bald guy that was in the second episode trying to sell 3D comics shows up to a comic book store every week in a suit and tie, you’re a friggin’ idiot. The network sent a call out for people to come in with interesting stuff. It is staged. Otherwise it would be a bunch of losers walking into the store with beat up copies of the Death of Superman.

AMC put that together along with the other adventures that the crew has gone on in these first few episodes because working in a comic book store (or any retail environment really) can be incredibly boring. If they set out to make a show about what it would be like to work in a comic book store it would be canceled before it even made it on air. It would consist of a bunch of guys standing around, reading comics, and ringing a register. That sounds riveting, right? It’s got Emmy written all over it.

In case you want further proof of the masochistic nature of the comic book fan, check out this recent post from Blog@Newsarama. The post links to two different sources of people that continue to buy funny books and don’t know why. One of them freely admits that he doesn’t even like the stuff he’s buying but he does it anyway!

James Knows…DVDs: Mad Men – Season One (2007)


I’ve been working in the advertising industry for the better part of 3 years now. During that time, I’ve always heard stories of the crazy days in advertising that came years ago (and of the people that still practice the ways of old). Then a show like Mad Men comes along and shows you firsthand what happened back in 1960 when ad men reigned supreme. I heard a ton of buzz for this show and not one bad review so I was eager to check it out. Within a week or so, I had plowed through the entire 14 episode run of the first season and I was itching for more. There’s just something about this show that slowly infects you and makes you want to watch more and more and more.

Set in 1960 at mid-sized ad agency Sterling Cooper, Mad Men centers around creative director Don Draper (Jon Hamm). We quickly learn that Don is a very complicated man. He has a mysterious past that no one (including his wife) seem to know much about. That doesn’t stop him from being damn good at his job and having at least one woman on the side. (more…)

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