SPRING ARRIVES. HALLELUJAH.

rb wires 031814WE MADE IT! The winter of 2014, with its seemingly endless snowfalls, ends Thursday with the vernal equinox at 12:57 p.m. Thursday, according to the Old Farmers Almanac. The National Weather Service says temperatures on day one should rise into the low 50s, and skies will be mostly sunny, as they were when a crew of utility workers tackled a job at Monmouth and West streets in Red Bank earlier this week. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)

RED BANK: MING CHEN FLIES WITHOUT A CAPE

Ming Chen, right, talking smod with Michael Zapcic at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash last month.  (Photos by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)

By DAN NATALE

Bites2_SmallAMC’s Comic Book Men, a reality TV show set at Red Bank’s Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash that airs its season finale tonight, features a cast renowned for snide and jaded banter on the world of comic books, movies, and television.

Throughout their playful, occasionally ball-busting discussions conducted online on ‘smodcasts‘ that anchor the show, store employee Ming Chen tends to be the brunt of the jokes due to his laid-back, friendly and unassuming disposition.

Chen, 38, started on his path to comic book heaven in 1996, while attending the University of Michigan. There, he studied everything from economics to organic chemistry, until he found himself skipping class to follow his true passion: web design. Chen says he “fell backwards” into his life as a professional nerd after he created a fan website for Kevin Smith’s movie ‘Clerks,’ which prompted Smith to offer him an internship. Since then, Chen has formed lifelong friendships with Smith and the cast, which includes Bryan Johnson, Michael Zapcic, Walt Flanagan, and “Steve-Dave.” This chemistry, Chen says, is what creates the show’s natural feel.

redbankgreen sat down with Chen, who also hosts the show “Puck Nuts” and is often featured on the podcast “Tell ‘em Steve-Dave,” for an installment of our infrequent Human Bites feature, which focuses on people and their passions.

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RED BANK SHOP GETS ‘FANBOY’ REALITY SHOW

secret-stashThe Broad Street store will serve as the setting for an unscripted series. (Click to enlarge)

From ‘Jersey Shore‘ to ‘Jersey Store,’ the reality TV juggernaut continues…

Kevin Smith‘s Red Bank emporium, Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash, a magnet for comic book fans and camera-toting devotees of the filmmaker himself, has been greenlighted as the locus of an unscripted series.

Six one-hour episodes of the show, with working title “Secret Stash,” have been ordered by AMC, home of ‘Mad Men,’ ‘Breaking Bad‘ and ‘The Walking Dead,’ according to a post on Smith’s Silent Bob Speaks website.

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