RED BANK: HIPPIES STOKED FOR THE STASH

stockpot kitchen 060316WhatsGoingOnHereA 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)

RED BANK: HOLY DOUBLETAKE! IT’S BATMAN!

rb batman 081414 6rb batman 081414 2Spoiler 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)

RED BANK: STASH YIELDS MORE BUDS

rob bruce 101511Robert 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)

By JOHN T. WARD

comic book men 072712The Red Bank comic book juggernaut Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash continues to add to its amazing superpowers.

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.

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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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SMITH FANS UNITE, INCHING TOWARD STASH

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.

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STASHERS AMPED FOR REALITY TV DEBUT

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.

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BATMOBILE VISITS RED BANK

batmobileCrew 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)

ALL QUIET IN GOTHAM CITY

batman-broadNot 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)

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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POPPING THE QUESTION

Accompanied by a pair of StreetLife performers, a feeble-voiced Steven Galapo proposed to his girlfriend, Nathalie Salem, on Broad Street in Red Bank Saturday night.

Did she say yes? Play the video to find out.

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FEW SIGNS OF LIFE ON BROAD

shovelingA man tackled the heavy snow at the corner of Harding Road…

Red Bank’s main business thoroughfare was all but shut down by midafternoon Thursday by the third major storm to hit the region this month.

But as always, there were signs of life. Click ahead for some more pix of what redbankgreen saw on a walk down Broad Street.

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