Kevin Smith. What the hell. Sometimes, you strike gold -- and other times, you, kinda, I, don't, just, what the hell. Your comic book store reality show Comic Book Men is a good idea, but like many good ideas, it's not all that original. And your execution falls short. As Ron Marz so aptly tweeted: "Comic Book Men" seemed to be scenes of guys standing around talking, intercut with scenes of guys sitting around talking. I would like to substitute this AMC reality show with a web-based scripted series, The Variants. Yes, I'm saying it: My friends at Zeus are superior to your friends at Secret Stash.
On day one, I watched Variants to support Richard, Barry, Keli, and Ken. However, after the first episode, I knew it was good -- and it only gets better. Certain truths emerge from this scripted series that are woefully absent from your reality. Variants is witty, worth multiple viewings to catch some of the wordplay you may miss on the first pass. The guest appearances of Scott Kurtz, Dave Crosland, Ben Templesmith, Joe Eisma, Brent Peeples, James O'Barr, and Mark Waid are genius. The satire is nuanced. By season two, the comedic timing of this ensemble cast finds its rhythm and is perfectly in sync.
Yes, I'm biased, but so are you. What my friends did with a shoestring budget and a YouTube account far exceeds what you attempted with AMC and the good faith of your long-suffering fans. Variants reflects the actual diversity found within the comic book industry, unlike your cringe-inducing TV show. As mentioned in The Beat, regarding Comic Book Men: "For anyone who has never been in a comics shop, the Land of the Misfit Boys portrayal will just reinforce every stereotype they ever had." Is that really how AMC views the comic book industry? Is that how YOU see it? My advice: Spend some time with my friends. Season three is coming soon.