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In His Element at Comic-Con, Kevin Smith Discusses the Changes He's Making to 'Comic Book Men'

By Todd Gilchrist | Indiewire July 20, 2012 at 12:53PM

In recent months (right up to this week) Kevin Smith has certainly cultivated a rogue’s gallery of foes within the journalism world, but Saturday morning at the Bayfront Hotel in San Diego, the filmmaker, podcaster and raconteur was among friends. Walking in the door ten minutes late, clad in an oversized hockey jersey and the easygoing charm that won him a legion of fans, he was received with open arms, and reporters in the room promptly began to spar verbally with him like a group of longtime pals reconnecting for a chat session.
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“It's like when anything gets discovered, man -- the world that builds up around it is bigger than the world that created this,” he said. “This Con started in a fucking hotel not far from here in one room probably not that much bigger than this, and it's changed over the course of the last how many years because they doubled in capacity, but it's the same commitment to programming.

"Of course there are some people who want to market on the backs of that, which is fine. You bring in money to the geek community. I got no fucking complaints -- I don't have the garage-band fan mentality where it's like oh, this shit is less cool because more people like it, bullshit. I'm one of those cats like, ‘the more the merrier’.”

“It's no longer a simple Comic Con,” he observed. “It's no longer about, ‘I'm going to find back issues that I don't have.’ It's celebrating the popular arts. It's a massive umbrella that covers a lot of territory -- and that's why the chick that wrote ‘50 Shades of Grey’ is fucking here.”

Although the pervy pop culture phenomenon has now joined the ranks of superheroes and other sorts of wish-fulfillment properties at Comic-Con, Smith said he’s not ready to see the convention move to a place perhaps more conducive to escapist fantasies: Las Vegas. "The big question is how much longer can San Diego sustain it? Every year you hear whispers of people going take it to Vegas. [But] this is its home and as far as I hear the residents still haven't thrown us out or come at us with pitchforks and torches. Why bring it to Vegas? It diminishes it to some level to like a porn convention.

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"And I'm not against porn conventions!" he insisted. “I'm not fighting for wholesomeness, believe me because I like to stand on the stage and fucking say ‘buttfuck’ and stuff like that. But this is a kind of a family thing. Like my kid is coming down today, and I'm more apt to go like, ‘go nuts, go crazy’ here than say the same thing in Vegas even at a convention center. I'd be like, ‘no, no, no, don't go nuts, because you'll probably wind up kidnapped.' There is still an air of like safety to it."

In fact, Smith said he reassured his wife about their daughter’s safety using the same argument. “With the exception of the poor woman that got hit by a car the other day, which is unfortunate and tragic, you never hear of anything bad happening at Comic-Con. I told my wife that the other day; she was like, ‘is our kid going to be safe there because she's 13 now -- will she be safe with all those guys’."

"I'm like, those guys?” he retorted. “Yes. We're terrified of women, don't worry. She'll be fine.”

This article is related to: Television, TV Interviews, AMC, Kevin Smith, Comic Book Men

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