Review: Comic Book Men Episode 102

Posted by inferiorego (24714 posts) - - Show Bio

The first episode of Comic Book Men was a bit rough (check out my review here), but this second episode felt like it was getting into the swing of things. In this week's episode, a man with an authentic Adam West version of the Batmobile stops by, Kevin Smith comes in to play a game of hockey, and Jason Mewes tries to steal a bunch of things, makes Ming pay for it, and then just plays with action figures of himself in the back room.

Bryan is the stand-out "character" for me on this show.

Nothing has really changed this week about the show other than my outlook on it, overall. The first episode can always be tough, since you are unfamiliar with the format, the characters, and the story. This second week in, I feel like I have a better understanding and familiarity with everything in the Comic Book Men world, which helps, although it's still not without its faults.

If this pulled up to the front of my shop, I'd probably cry/giggle/have a heart attack.

The Batmobile shows up this week. The guys take a ride around in it, and Bryan wears a Batman cowl (see rating below for this week's Bryan rating). After that, Kevin Smith shows up and the gang plays a game of hockey, only to quickly realize they're not as young as they used to be. A customer walks into the Stash afterwords to sell an original page from Giant Sized Man-Thing, and Walt decides to sell his indy book "So Buttons" in the store.

Later, a man sells some of his comic book collection to fund his upcoming film project, which is a lot like how Kevin Smith funded Clerks originally. Jason Mewes shows up to the Stash and causes havok, then a man tries to sell his 3D comics which Mewes screws up Walt's negotiation skills. Lastly, a man comes in with a lightsaber hilt which he thinks comes from A New Hope. After inspection by an expert, it is determined that the hilt did not come from A New Hope but came from Empire Strikes Back instead.

The Verdict

Believe it or not, I liked this episode much more than last week's episode. I feel a lot more in tuned with what this show is trying to do, and as an employee of a comic book store, I feel like it does represent that working world a lot better than I originally thought and it does represent the world of nerd very well. Aside from that, I had a really good time watching it. I never "laughed out loud," but I had a smile on my face since I connected to it so well as a comic book fan and a comic store employee.

The conversations that happen at the store are all real types of conversations you'd hear at any LCS, and on top of that, they remain entertaining throughout the episode. What I really liked about this episode was that Walt was dead on with pricing the objects people brought in. When a customer brought in all the single issues of Crisis of Infinite Earths, I thought to myself "you could probably sell that set, at best, for $40, so he should probably buy it for $20." Walk ended up buying the set for $15, but it still felt fair based on the fact that the demand for the single issues, when trades exist is low.

Time for the downside of things. This show still comes off as mean-spirited. The guys behind the counter have a tendency to come off more like the Simpsons' Comic Book Guy and less like a helpful retailer. They are a bit rude to the people that come into the store and have a bit of the "holier than thou" attitude.

Once again, as much as I like the Smodcast network podcasts, the adding of the "Tell Em' Steve-Dave" podcast to this show, just doesn't work for me. It really breaks up the flow of the show and if I want to see the talking head portion of a reality show, I'd rather see the traditional version of it, and not the way they're doing it now. I think the show would work much better (with the podcast portion) if they opened up and closed with this element rather than scattering it throughout each episode.

Overall, the show is growing on me. Yes, it still feels like a nerdy version of Pawn Stars, but that's what I like about it, and these people are much coolers than the terrible employees of that pit of sorrow in Las Vegas where dreams die. I'm enjoying for what it is, a good representation of LCS and comic store customers. Sure, there's lots of people saying this show is the devil and grabbing their pitchforks, but those people will never be satisfied with anything nerd-related on television. This episode is much better than the first, so I say give it another chance. If you still don't like it, then oh well. I'll keep watching it to see what Bryan is up to, so I can make more funny rating systems for this show.

This episode of Comic Book Men gets 3 1/2 Bat-Bryan's out of 5.

Staff
#1 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree, this show really improved for me on this episode. Wasn't too keen on Jason Mewes coming in and acting like a total @$$ on the show though, and for those that saw the episode, you know what I mean. The Batmobile though more than made up for it!

#2 Posted by danhimself (22553 posts) - - Show Bio

I just kept on thinking the whole time that if I was Ming I'd be fired for hitting someone...how could you possibly work with people who treat you like that?

#3 Posted by zackattack529 (1404 posts) - - Show Bio

i like the show but i really dislike how ming gets treated..if anything the show gets me frusturated!

and that fat guy with the beard, youd think he'd be knowledgeable because of his appearance but know he rarley knows anythinng about what the rest of them are talking about and they always contemplate what he does at the shop..the answer is nothing. which is also the answer for what his character is on the show! fire that guy, treat ming with a lil more respect, and more jason mewes from time to time. this epsideo is lucky they showe me a replica batmobile and a replica lightsaber or else i wouldnt bother to rate the show at all. i only watched this episode because of the preview to next walking dead episode

this show is definitly a 6.5/10 episodewise, id give it a 7/10 because of jason comming into the shop, i love that guy lol

#4 Posted by thanosrules (546 posts) - - Show Bio

For supposedly only 4 more episodes this season (and maybe no more if it gets cancelled) the show better start getting into a stride. :)

I watched it mostly as it was airing, but was on a 30 minute DVR delay due to the fact that I was watching something else before that ran long... that said, I thought it was cool that Kevin Smith actual live chats during the show via Twitter. AND he actually does respond to A LOT of folks tweeting to him and the show's twitter accounts.

I really enjoy this show. I do see how mean spirited it looks and maybe that is because we are peeking in on a group of people with a lot of history - what they may be doing and saying to each other may not be all that bad - or they really ramp it up to showboat for the camera.

The other thing we have to remember, it could all be an act. Ming might be getting a lot out of this that we do not see. We do not actually know if he was conned into paying for Mewes' stuff - Reality TV rarely has anything to do with real life. Either way, this show may be what @ThatKevinSmith needs to break into the 2 million + Twitter Followers...

Anyway, I hope it gets renewed for a second season after these six episodes air, but who knows... I like it because it is an almost primetime show about Comics... which many people still do not even know exist as "new things" anymore...

Oh, and if you think this is mean-spirited, take a watch of AxMen. Wow. It makes this show look like a 4 year old's tea party.

#5 Posted by geraldthesloth (33313 posts) - - Show Bio

Show is incredibly boring, and slightly embarassing.

#6 Posted by blur1528 (1055 posts) - - Show Bio

Yea my bet is that by the end of the season Ming will have killed everyone

#7 Posted by King Quisling (1980 posts) - - Show Bio

This show is soooo staged.....

#8 Posted by inferiorego (24714 posts) - - Show Bio

@zackattack529 said:

i like the show but i really dislike how ming gets treated..if anything the show gets me frusturated!

and that fat guy with the beard, youd think he'd be knowledgeable because of his appearance but know he rarley knows anythinng about what the rest of them are talking about and they always contemplate what he does at the shop..the answer is nothing. which is also the answer for what his character is on the show! fire that guy, treat ming with a lil more respect, and more jason mewes from time to time. this epsideo is lucky they showe me a replica batmobile and a replica lightsaber or else i wouldnt bother to rate the show at all. i only watched this episode because of the preview to next walking dead episode

this show is definitly a 6.5/10 episodewise, id give it a 7/10 because of jason comming into the shop, i love that guy lol

Bryan, the fat guy with the beard, isn't a huge comic book guy. He' Walt's best friend.

@King Quisling said:

This show is soooo staged.....

Yep, just like every other reality show on tv

Staff
#9 Posted by AngelComa (12 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't know how anyone could take Mew's acting seriously.Everyone is obviously in on the joke, he isn't like that in real life. Its part of the character he plays in the movies. Also, is he back on meth? Because he had a meth face. I didn't even think it was him, I thought it was a look-a-like.

I like the show, dislike the 'Pawnstar' gloss they are forced to have (most likely why they got the show, geeky pawnstars). But it was a fun watch.

#10 Posted by haydenclaireheroes (9064 posts) - - Show Bio

This episode was okay ,but not as good as the first one. I liked seeing the Batmobile I thought that was awesome.

#11 Posted by UchihaMatt (11 posts) - - Show Bio

"The guys behind the counter have a tendency to come off more like the Simpsons' Comic Book Guy and less like a helpful retailer."

Spot on analogy. If the guys came across just that bit friendlier, I'd be enjoying the show a whole lot more. It's the Pawn Star moments I least like.

#12 Posted by Deranged Midget (17599 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm enjoying the show so far.

Moderator
#13 Posted by NightFang (10068 posts) - - Show Bio

@Deranged Midget said:

I'm enjoying the show so far.

Yeah, I kind of liked this episode more.

#14 Posted by Deranged Midget (17599 posts) - - Show Bio

@NightFang said:

@Deranged Midget said:

I'm enjoying the show so far.

Yeah, I kind of liked this episode more.

Indeed. I say give the show some more time and it'll draw people in.

Moderator
#15 Posted by King Quisling (1980 posts) - - Show Bio

@inferiorego: Yeah, but it's not done as well as say Pawn Stars or American Pickers. It seems very staged.

#16 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@King Quisling said:

@inferiorego: Yeah, but it's not done as well as say Pawn Stars or American Pickers. It seems very staged.

It is. It's my LCS and I've never heard Walt speak that much. Ever.

#17 Posted by King Quisling (1980 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024: That actually made me "LOL." It's not like it's completely awful. I like that it's trying to make people take notice of the comic book subculture buuut idk.... something is a bit lacking. Their conversations do feel authentic, you know? And Jay was kind of killing the 2nd episode for me.

#18 Posted by Mercy_ (92698 posts) - - Show Bio

Best part of the show is Mat's Bryan rating chart.

Moderator
#19 Posted by GiveUpNed (73 posts) - - Show Bio

@Gambit1024 said:

@King Quisling said:

@inferiorego: Yeah, but it's not done as well as say Pawn Stars or American Pickers. It seems very staged.

It is. It's my LCS and I've never heard Walt speak that much. Ever.

How good of a LCS is Jay and Silent Bob? I've always wanted to go as Kevin Smith is a filmmaker and comic book writer, so he would have originals and movie props from the industry to put up in the shop. Oh and being rich and making a comic book shop how you want it must be nice.

#20 Posted by Fantasgasmic (1071 posts) - - Show Bio

If the batmobile pulled up to my work, I'd probably cry and pee my pants... at the same time.

Other than that, I'm not convinced I like the show yet. It's not bad, but I'm not sure it's interesting.

#21 Posted by Gambit1024 (9890 posts) - - Show Bio

@GiveUpNed said:

@Gambit1024 said:

@King Quisling said:

@inferiorego: Yeah, but it's not done as well as say Pawn Stars or American Pickers. It seems very staged.

It is. It's my LCS and I've never heard Walt speak that much. Ever.

How good of a LCS is Jay and Silent Bob? I've always wanted to go as Kevin Smith is a filmmaker and comic book writer, so he would have originals and movie props from the industry to put up in the shop. Oh and being rich and making a comic book shop how you want it must be nice.

Well I'd be lying if I said it's just ok, lol. They always have the books in stock, there's a whole crap load of comics (The Widening Gyre, Quiver, etc.), movies, and posters signed by Smith himself for purchase, and a whole ton of props. In the back of the store, is the "Brodie's" sign from Jay and Bob Strike Back, The Blunt Mobile on the ceiling, and my favorite, the Buddy Christ statue from Dogma.

#22 Posted by bones360uk (23 posts) - - Show Bio

Fantastic review,the comment about there being no way to please some people with nerd-related content is spot on,the show dedicated podcast secret stash is great too,less staged and more like the normal tell em Steve dave podcast.all in all this show just makes me smile

#23 Posted by GitEmSteveDave (5 posts) - - Show Bio

@King Quisling: How so? Staged in that they put a call to people to schedule a time to bring in things to minimize store closings? If so, then yes, it's "staged". But that is because unlike "Pawn Stars", this is a small shop that can't easily handle a film crew and customers. Think "Oddities" on The Science Channel. I used to go into that shop, and while they are filming, it's closed to the outside world. They only really open when the filming is over, b/c the store is about as large as my living room.

If you mean staged in that they are fed lines, then you are wrong. I've seen a few filmings, and while someone(from the cast) may come up with a topic to discuss off camera during a break, they usually stop talking about it, then bring it in front of the cameras. But it is still totally organic and off the cuff.

#24 Posted by Oginator (13 posts) - - Show Bio

I am the guy in the episode that sold the 3D comics. They edited a lot of what we taped. Being a weekly comic buyer at the store (Mike and Ming recently said I am one of their best customers on a podcast), I will say they don't treat Ming that bad in real life, Walt is not that cranky, and Mike is one of the nicest guys you'll eve meet. The weird beard guy doesn't work and the store and I only see him there when the show is taping. You do rarely see Kevin and Jason in the store when they are in NJ. The guys definitely are different on camera, and they are nice guys with wives and kids. I am lucky to work near the store because I might have stopped collecting comics if I didn't have a great comic shop near my office.

#25 Posted by GitEmSteveDave (5 posts) - - Show Bio

Can I ask that people stop comparing this to Pawn Stars? I think that it is more like American Pickers or Oddities, IMHO. Unlike Pawn Stars, Walt is perfectly OK not buying an object because the person can get more for it in an auction. Do you think Rick would have passed up that Bob Kane sketch? No. He would have called in an expert, down played how great it was, said how much an auction house would rip him off percentage wise, and then offer the guy $100, and tell him "I'm taking a risk, because I could take a bath on this" while saying to the confessional "I really need this for my shop and it's gonna make me a lot of money". That 6 Million Dollar Man was, IIRC, selling in the Stash for $250. That means that they made a respectable profit. If that was Pawn Stars, they would sell if for a lot more, because it had been on TV. And the signed comic? While Walt is correct in the signature possibly being fake, rather than accuse or embarass the customer by bringing down somebody who whips out a huge antique magnifying glass and quoting from memory how a real signature looks, he tells it to the guy like it is.

BTW, loved the review.

#26 Posted by shield_slinger (12 posts) - - Show Bio

I wish Ming would kick loudmouth bearded guy Bryan in the balls. He's such an @$$hole!

#27 Posted by primepower53 (5686 posts) - - Show Bio

I hate how stereotypical the "characters" are.

#28 Posted by GitEmSteveDave (5 posts) - - Show Bio

@thanosrules: Oh how I hate Axe Men. Between the horrible re-enactments(remember when the trailer carrying the boat "fell" off the truck? Ever wonder why they had cameras on the trailer hitch? Also, you can see the road underneath changes from lined to unlined from different angles), the fake drama, trying to shoe horn a girl on the show, all the way to the terrible habit of replaying the last minute of footage when they come back from a break to extend the time, I agree it's a horribly done show.

#29 Posted by GitEmSteveDave (5 posts) - - Show Bio

@danhimself: Because they are friends in real life. Bry and Ming hang out on the weekends together. I have been in a few group friendships where one person is "picked on", but they usually are the ones who have the ability to shut everyone down with a simple one liner or through their actions. Like when Bry said Ming looked like "A donkey with a hat on", Ming turns around and nails him with "What does that mean?". Or at the flea market when, despite the teasing, Ming actually won the bet.

#30 Posted by thanosrules (546 posts) - - Show Bio

@GitEmSteveDave: Yeah, AxMen = TrainWreck.

When I think about it, Comic Book Men is doing just about all it possibly could to gather up an audience to watch something most people don't even realize exists. Having it focused around Kevin Smith, the podcast and his store are bringing more people in than if it was just about "Joe $hit the Rag Man's Comic Emporium". We have to realize that many people don't even realize that the show they watch directly before CBM actually originated from a Comic. It is amazing to me that the comic book world is mostly hidden to the rest of the world, as reading, art and stories all make their way into our everyday lives, all the time. I guess it is the "stigma" of comics being childish... like Stan Lee said in this interview with Sara, he changed his NAME so that people wouldn't attribute his name to Comics... I guess a lot more has to change for comics to become "more mainstream"... and this show, whether people like it or not, is hopefully helping to pave the way...

#31 Posted by The Impersonator (5483 posts) - - Show Bio

It's Porn Stars not Pawn Stars. =P

*pun intended*

#32 Posted by dannymalt (63 posts) - - Show Bio

Why doesn't Kevin Smith just do a scripted comedy show set in a comic book store. This reality shit isn't funny. (Note: I did not read article or any comments before me.)

#33 Posted by Namor1987 (1889 posts) - - Show Bio

I love it

#34 Posted by smfb93 (4 posts) - - Show Bio

I know the guy who makes these actually, the guys pretty cool he builds them for a living, they cost like 84K.

#35 Posted by wavecrest (36 posts) - - Show Bio

I haven't got a chance to watch this yet. I enjoyed the first one reasonably well so I might make time....

#36 Posted by Decept-O (7278 posts) - - Show Bio

While this episode was much "better" than last week's, I am still having a lot of problems with this show. I could go on and on but my enthusiasm is simply not there for this show. It is more an exercise in futility watching everything. I have a feeling it won't last long, even being tagged behind The Walking Dead. I could be wrong but I think people might tire of the show soon.

#37 Posted by inferiorego (24714 posts) - - Show Bio

@Oginator said:

I am the guy in the episode that sold the 3D comics. They edited a lot of what we taped. Being a weekly comic buyer at the store (Mike and Ming recently said I am one of their best customers on a podcast), I will say they don't treat Ming that bad in real life, Walt is not that cranky, and Mike is one of the nicest guys you'll eve meet. The weird beard guy doesn't work and the store and I only see him there when the show is taping. You do rarely see Kevin and Jason in the store when they are in NJ. The guys definitely are different on camera, and they are nice guys with wives and kids. I am lucky to work near the store because I might have stopped collecting comics if I didn't have a great comic shop near my office.

I actually just started listening to Tell EM Steve Dave (I've been listening to Smodcast and Jay & Silent Bob Get Old for a while now) and these guys are completely different on the show. I think a lot more people will like the show if they drop the "nothing is good enough for me" attitude, which I admit I may have had while watching the first episode.

@GitEmSteveDave said:

Can I ask that people stop comparing this to Pawn Stars? I think that it is more like American Pickers or Oddities, IMHO. Unlike Pawn Stars, Walt is perfectly OK not buying an object because the person can get more for it in an auction. Do you think Rick would have passed up that Bob Kane sketch? No. He would have called in an expert, down played how great it was, said how much an auction house would rip him off percentage wise, and then offer the guy $100, and tell him "I'm taking a risk, because I could take a bath on this" while saying to the confessional "I really need this for my shop and it's gonna make me a lot of money". That 6 Million Dollar Man was, IIRC, selling in the Stash for $250. That means that they made a respectable profit. If that was Pawn Stars, they would sell if for a lot more, because it had been on TV. And the signed comic? While Walt is correct in the signature possibly being fake, rather than accuse or embarass the customer by bringing down somebody who whips out a huge antique magnifying glass and quoting from memory how a real signature looks, he tells it to the guy like it is.

BTW, loved the review.

For me, it's the first comparison that came to mind, and if I want to give people an idea of what the show is like, it's the best I can come up with. However, I like this show better than Pawn Stars because the cast of Comic Book Men is enjoyable to watch on the screen.

Thanks for reading, sir!

Staff
#38 Posted by overjoyedpants (1 posts) - - Show Bio

to the guys saying bry is too mean to ming, relax. they are friends who have known each other for several years, bry brings his niece over to hang out with mings kids. besides, you havent even heard bryans "ming" voice. you should listen to tesd.

#39 Posted by stormtrance1618 (146 posts) - - Show Bio

Both the hockey and Jason Mewes segments were AWFUL. "What's Mewes doing here?" Oh I wonder. Maybe Kevin Smith said "Hey Jay, they are filming a show at my comic book store. Go be on it for ratings please." And they play it off like they don't know why he was there. They Jay acted liked an idiot. That whole segment was staged and faked and sucked. And the hockey part was just dumb and boring.

Other than those two, I liked the show.

#40 Posted by inferiorego (24714 posts) - - Show Bio

@overjoyedpants said:

to the guys saying bry is too mean to ming, relax. they are friends who have known each other for several years, bry brings his niece over to hang out with mings kids. besides, you havent even heard bryans "ming" voice. you should listen to tesd.

Tell Em Steve Dave is a fantastic podcast. I also recommend it.

Staff
#41 Posted by GitEmSteveDave (5 posts) - - Show Bio

@stormtrance1618: Actually, the fact that his shirt is turned inside out should show that he was not expected. Jay has done many movies, some independent of Kevin Smith. Someone who has done movies will know that you can't wear certain clothes while being filmed because of trademarks or advertising conflicts. It's why many shows have tape over labels, vehicle emblems, etc... Jay used to work at the Secret Stash. In fact, the MallRats blueprints I bought many moons ago were purchased from him at the old Stash location. I have no doubt if he was in the area he would literally stop in and harass them , especially if he knew they were filming. I think Jay likes being on film almost as much as I do.

#42 Posted by stormtrance1618 (146 posts) - - Show Bio

@GitEmSteveDave: Yeah, I know about films and tv shows not showing logos and stuff because of licensing issues because we had a tv show filmed where we worked and we went through that. Yeah, he had his shirt turned inside out. I think he purposely did that so they could all be like "oh look, he really just suddenly showed up because he had to hid the logos on his shirt." I still think it was staged, just like I think 100% (yes ALL) of "Reality" TV is faked and staged. I still think he was the worst part of the show too. Leave the so called celebrities like Mewes and Kevin Smith off the show please.

#43 Posted by Mrfuzzynutz (1066 posts) - - Show Bio

Ming is the star of the show!

This edit will also create new pages on Comic Vine for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Comic Vine users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.