“I'm shocked that anybody is here,” Smith said with typical self-deprecation. “I'm flattered. It must be a slow interview day.”
“We were promised food,” a reporter joked. The room was empty except for two tables and the 12 bodies encircled around them.
“Where is it? They didn't deliver that,” Smith responded. “It was an empty promise man -- just like my career. It showed some promise at the start, show up, no fucking food.”
“Going into it we literally thought it would be ‘Pawn Stars’ in a comic book store,” he revealed, standing to better be able to articulate himself (in the process making the journalists look like schoolchildren at a lecture). “But I read Twitter like fucking Neo reads ‘The Matrix’ and I just sit there every waking hour of my day, and what I pull from it is nobody gives a shit about that. It feels contrived. That literally feels like you're creating conflict and drama by cutting to Walter [scratching his chin] going, ‘hmmm,’ and trust me -- he never thinks about anything that long and hard and never like this or pain or anything.”
Smith’s gratefulness for a second round of the show prompted him to keep things within the same wheelhouse, but the opportunity also highlighted the fact that they didn’t need to transform a humble series about comic book enthusiasts into Reality Drama Central. “When you get a season two you're like fucking thank God, especially in the face of people who are like fuck you and your show and your friends. [And] at that point there is an impulse to be like, well shit man, let's fucking turn it up for season two. We only had six episodes -- it's not like we had a season 22 and then suddenly we come back and we have to reinvent or something like that.
Modifying the series’ original concept, Smith said that "Comic Book Men" will use the sales transactions of the comics as a launching pad for greater discussions about fandom and life in general. “We said this year instead of concluding transactions and going, the drama will be will he or won't he buy it, it's more about like stuff gets introduced that creates conversations and we might not even wrap up the transactions with the customers,” Smith said. “We might just wrap it up at the podcast table with me going did you buy and he’s like ‘no, but it was cool to see him,’ and then like okay, onto the next thing.”
Since releasing his breakthrough directorial debut "Clerks," Smith has been a mouthpiece for the comics-buying community, a dyed-in-the-wool fanboy who has championed the medium. Looking at Comic-Con as it bursts at the seams with panels, presentations and of course attendees, Smith said he embraces the increasing turnout and the growth of geek culture as a major commercial force.