Welcome to a new irregular segment on my blog, Favourite Storytellers. I’m going to be writing posts from time to time, taking a deep dive into storytellers, whether in film or books, that inspire me and I love. First up is Kevin Smith.
Most people who know me, know that I love Kevin Smith. He’s one of my favourite writers/directors of all time. His films are funny and heartfelt and no matter what your thoughts are on Tusk or Yoga Hosers, he made the films he wanted to make and that’s what being an artist is all about. No one can take that away from him.
I first found out about Kevin Smith through comics. I’d heard of Clerks, but didn’t know anything about it. I actually thought it was based in a comic store. When I first started reading comics, back in 2009, I picked up anything with Batman on the front cover. So I bought Batman: The Widening Gyre when it hit the shelves and loved it. Smith’s dialogue is great and unique. Sadly the second half of The Widening Gyre still hasn’t been released. Maybe one day.
When I was in university I stumbled across Kevin Smith again, with Comic Book Men. At the time it wasn’t released properly in the UK, but a reality show set in Smith’s comic book store sounded really interesting. I’ve seen bits and pieces of it now, but not the whole thing. Seasons 2-7 are on Amazon Prime, so I might start that soon. From what I saw of Comic Book Men, through youtube and clips online, I loved it. I then looked into Kevin Smith further and ended up buying a bunch of his films.
Clerks was where I started, because there isn’t really another choice. I liked it the first time, but it wasn’t until later when I worked at McDonalds that I really got it. Clerks 2, set in a fast food place, was even better. Slowly I made my way through all of his films, loving every one of them. His sense of humour mixed with pop culture references are like a comforting blanket whenever I end up watching one. I know so many of the jokes off-by-heart but still enjoy them when I see them played out.
Smith is also a prolific podcaster, and I listen to Fatman Beyond every week. It’s how I stay up to date with comic book news. I have had to leave a few episodes to one side, to avoid spoilers for the Marvel shows I haven’t gotten around to, but I will catch up with them as soon as possible.
The reason I love Kevin Smith’s work is purely down to his characters and dialogue. I know that some people don’t agree, but I think he’s an excellent writer and his dialogue is first class. It feels so natural when spoken on screen. It’s stylised in a way that really clicks with me.
My top films would be Clerks 1&2, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and Chasing Amy. All of them are funny as hell, and I could watch them anytime. I’m really looking forward to Clerks 3 and the sequel to Mallrats
I would also recommend his Batman comics, The Widening Gyre and Cacophony. They’re really good and it’s how I got into his work in the first place.
I’ve seen Kevin Smith 3 times in real life. The first time at London Film and Comic Con in 2017. I didn’t get to meet him, because his queue was too long and they never got to my number. I did get close, when Tabby was meeting someone (I think Richard Dean Anderson from Stargate). I could hear Smith telling someone that Jay and Silent Bob Reboot was on the way.
I then saw Hollywood Babble On, his podcast with Ralph Garman live in Birmingham in 2019, which was really good. One of the funniest nights out I’ve ever had. Finally I saw Smith again when he did a Q&A for Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, when it was released later in 2019. I loved the film and it was a great experience to see it in a packed screen with cheers and whoops at every reference to the earlier films. The Q&A was great as well, with long stories after every question.
I’m hoping he will tour Clerks 3 in the same way and bring it over to the UK. Hopefully this time I would be able to book a hotel so I won’t have to leave early.
Thanks for reading and until next time,