A merry band of self-described hippies get ready to reboard their bus, dubbed the Stockpot Kitchen, after a stop in downtown Red Bank Friday.
Traveling America “with the purpose of feeding and supporting everyone, everywhere,” according to their Facebook page, the collective just had to make a stop at Jay and Bob’s Secret Stash, the comic book store on Broad Street, they told redbankgreen. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge)
Spoiler alert for fans of the cable show ‘Comic Book Men,’ shot in and around Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash on Broad Street in Red Bank: a future episode will feature a race between the Batmobile and the Green Hornet’s Black Beauty, shot Thursday afternoon on Bridge Avenue in Gotham Red Bank.
And who was riding shotgun for a faux Batman? None other than onetime Batman portrayer Adam West himself, now 85 years old. Andres Verde of Red Bank, above, got a selfie with West, following one take of the low-speed race. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
Robert Bruce at a Glen Goldbaum fashion event in Red Bank in 2011. A regular on “Comic Book Men,” set at the Broad Street store below, he’s about to get his own show on AMC. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)
“Comic Book Men,” an unscripted TV show about buying and selling comic books that’s based in the Broad Street store, has been picked up for a fourth season by the AMC network, according an entertainment industry report.
It’s also spawned a new show starring borough resident Robert Bruce, a regular on “Comic Book Men.” And it looks like progenitor-of-all-things-Stashian Kevin Smith will get one, too.
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 Smiths 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.
Fans waited in line as long as 10 hours with Kevin Smith books, films and artwork to be signed by their hero. Below, actor Jason Mewes, trailed by a video crew. (Photos by Stacie Fanelli. Click to enlarge.)
By STACIE FANELLI
North on Broad Street, around the bend at Mechanic, sharp right into an alley, past the “end of line” sign and back around again. That’s the route hundreds of fans took Sunday, inches at a time, as they waited in line to meet director Kevin Smith.
Some came from down the block, others from up to five hours away all to spend maybe 60 seconds with the Highlands native and owner of Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash in downtown Red Bank. The store is such a haven for comic book fans that it is the focal point of AMC’s reality show “Comic Book Men,” for which Smith’s appearance was a part.
Michael Zapcic with Thomas Mumme, left, during Thursday’s live ‘SModcast’ at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. Below: Kevin Smith on the center monitor during a taping earlier this week in Red Bank. (Photo below courtesy of Robert Bruce. Click to enlarge)
By JOHN T. WARD
Michael Zapcic had the “really surreal” experience earlier this week of walking past Madison Square Garden, glancing up at the massive Jumbotron and seeing a commercial for ‘Comic Book Men,’ a new cable show in which he appears as himself: a self-described comic book geek.
“I’m like holy crap! It’s them! It’s us!” he recalled Thursday, in the tone of an average, fedora-wearing citizen spotting a caped man flying overhead.
Life in the mini-Gotham that is Red Bank may never be the same.
Only, yeah, it will be exactly the same, because ‘Comic Book Men’ is a reality show, one focused on the daily interplay of three employees of “possibly the world’s most famous comic book store” Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash on Broad Street, where the show is set.
Over six episodes, four opinionated, superabsorbent sponges of superheroism Zapcic, Ming Chen and Walt Flanagan, plus original store manager Bryan Johnson spend a lot of time “just arguing about stupid movie plot points, which happens every day without cameras anyway,” says Chen.
Crew members from the reality TV pilot being produced at Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash prepare a replica Batmobile for filming on Mechanic Street in Red Bank Friday morning. The vehicle was expected to be downtown for a few hours. (Click to enlarge)
Not that we condone defacing of other people’s property, of course… but this guy looking down on Broad Street in downtown Red Bank gives us a chuckle.
Is he looking for criminals in Gotham? Checking to see if his parking meter is still in the green? Or is just keeping a jealous eye on the cable-TV reality show being shot across the street? (Click to enlarge)