NYCC 2015: AMC’s Comic Book Men

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Once again, New York Comic Con played host to Kevin Smith and the boys from Comic Book Men and, as always, they didn’t disappoint. Kevin, Walt, Bry, Mike, and Ming came out on stage to wild applause and started out with a video recap of Season Four and a preview of Season Five. Coming this season we’ll see Peter Mayhew, Jay Mewes and his new baby girl Logan, William Shatner, and many more.

Kevin made it a point to drive home the fact that everything we see on screen is unscripted and it all comes directly from the guys themselves. He shows up briefly after everything has been shot to do the wrap-arounds. As Kevin said, “It’s the most successful thing that I’m involved with and I have very little to do with it.” The production is essentially set up with a list of who the major guest will be that week and that’s it. Peter Mayhew is coming into the store… go. And the guys create the magic from there.

Each year the panel is essentially a Q&A session after the introduction. The questions are usually all directed at Kevin but this time around there was actually a pretty good mix which was nice to see. There were even a number of Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave related questions, the podcast from Walt, Bryan, and Brian Quinn of Impractical Jokers.

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At one point Kevin found out that Walt hasn’t seen Daredevil on Netflix yet so he proceeded to describe, in detail, beat for beat, the scene from the show over the course of about five minutes. If you’ve seen the show, you know what scene I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, go watch the show and you’ll understand. By the end of the story Walt said he hadn’t seen it since he didn’t have Netflix but now he didn’t need it after Kevin’s incredible description.

One of the most interesting stories to come out of the panel was how the show came about. Now I’ve heard Kevin tell this story three times in the past but this time he got a little deeper into it and brought up some things I’d never heard before.

It all came about by accident. Charlie Corwin needed something quick, cheap, and geeky to fill in the slot for The Walking Dead when the season ended so he asked Kevin if he had any ideas. He came up with “Pawn Stars” in a comic book shop. They’d do a nationwide search to find the most acerbic staff and that would be the show. So they have a few thousand dollars to shoot a pilot so AMC could get an idea of what the show could be but that wasn’t enough to do it. They’d eat that up just finding and renting a location to shoot it.

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This is when Kevin, for the first time in a month long conversation mentioned, “I have a comic book store”, duh. He said the guys do a podcast and they’re really sharp so they could stand in for whoever will eventually be cast in the show while the pilot is shot. Corwin asked to hear the podcast and called Kevin the next day to say “You’re an idiot. This is the show, these guys are hilarious.” Getting the guys to agree to it was a whole other story.

Fortunately for us, everyone did agree and it all worked out in the end. It’s a fascinating tale that’s much too long to recount here so if you ever catch Kevin Smith live somewhere, just ask how it happened and he’ll be happy to tell you.

Comic Book Men airs on AMC on Sundays at Midnight, following The Walking Dead.

Written by Josh Langford

Josh Langford

Josh has been gaming since 1977 starting with the Atari 2600.
He currently owns 25 different consoles and 6 different handhelds (all hooked up and in working condition) including all consoles from the current generation – minus the Switch.

Josh is currently the US PR & Marketing Manager for Fountain Digital Labs and has recused himself from any involvement on PS Nation arising from posting or editing any news or reviews stemming from FDL.

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