CHICAGO DAY 2: The World According to Kevin Smith

Sun, August 10th, 2003 at 12:00am PDT

Comic Books
Michael Patrick Sullivan, Contributing Writer

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Note: Adult language in the following story.

Introduced as a man who takes no responsibility for the movie "Gigli," Kevin Smith took the stage to answer questions at WizardWorld in Rosemont, IL late Saturday afternoon.

With the current critical bashing that "Gigli," starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, is currently receiving, questions were quickly moved toward the subject of Smith's next film release, "Jersey Girl," which features both actors.

Smith disagreed that "Gigli'"s failure would negatively affect his movie: "I think it would hurt us if we came out this weekend, but eight months from now? No."

Smith added that "we begged Revolution [Studios] to let us come out first, because we'll totally set up your movie in a good way." The studio declined, but Smith sees a benefit.

"Thanks for being the human shield," he said speaking of public backlash at having Affleck and Lopez's personal relationship "shoved down their throats" in the media. "['Gigli'] totally took the bullets."

Asked his opinion on this summer's crop of comic films, Smith responded, "I was a big fan of 'X-Men 2.' I thought Bryan Singer and the writers did a phenomenal job." He also joked "How come Jean couldn't get the fucking jet started until she was in the pool?" Then there was the realization. She's fucking Phoenix," he repeated.

On "The Hulk" he said, "I was very anxious to see the movie and I was very anxious to get the fuck out." Smith said that he believed the filmmakers took the fun out of the film by trying to make the science too believable.

One attendee asked if he'd yet seen "The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen." "I went to see [actor Jason] Mewes in rehab and that was the first fucking thing he asked me. 'Did you see League?'"

He hasn't.

"Fuckin' poser." Smith said, imitating the actor. "You're supposed to be a comic book fan."

Attention was then turned to Smith's comics writing, including some never-materialized projects set in his View Askew Universe.

"Very important life lesson for me," he said. "Don't talk about stuff that strikes your fancy, because every year somebody's asking about it."

Referring to projects like "Loki & Bartleby" and "Mallrats 2," he added: "I never really got around to it. Maybe I will one day, when I'm hard up for cash."

Later in the talk, Smith offered his own opinions on the lateness of comics in general: "I'd never notice if a book is late." Smith advised readers of tardy titles "Read another book, it'll be out sooner or later."

In regards to his own delays in writing comics, Smith remarked that some retailers have said, "Hey, I fucking based my whole third quarter on your fucking book!"

His response is: "I'm always late. Go sell an action figure or something.

"A bird in the hand is not really worth two in the bush when it comes to me," he said of companies soliciting his books before the writing is completed.

On the subject of Smith favorite comics, he claimed "Ultimate Spider-Man" as his current favorite: "It's breezy and fun and really is reinventing the wheel."

He also acclaimed Grant Morrison's "New X-Men," calling it "fucking twisted."

Smith admitted he hasn't read his former book "Green Arrow," joking "I haven't read it since that fat guy jumped off the book."

 
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