comic book men

After seven seasons, AMC has cancelled the Kevin Smith reality series ‘Comic Book Men’.  Smith made the announcement via Twitter:

The series launched in 2012 on Sunday nights, as a companion of sorts to the comic book-based ‘The Walking Dead’ and its related chat show ‘Talking Dead’.  However, as ‘The Walking Dead’ grew even more popular, AMC began airing new episodes, followed by ‘Talking Dead’ (which eventually expanded from 30-minutes to an hour) and then an encore showing of ‘The Walking Dead’.  This pushed ‘Comic Book Men’ to the unenviable midnight time slot– which once again, was on Sunday night, the night before the day when most people return to work for a week.  Add to that, the fact that after its initial launch, AMC basically stopped promoting it and you’ll be forgiven if you didn’t even realize this show was still on the air.

While Smith was the main draw of ‘Comic Book Men’, he only made brief appearances on each episode, in segments filmed while he recorded his podcast, Smodcast, discussing topics related to the episode.  ‘Comic Book Men’ instead focused on the employees of Smith’s comic book and collectibles shop Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash in Red Bank, New Jersey– Walt Flanagan, Mike Zapcic, Bryan Johnson and Ming Chen, who not only worked at the shop and talked all things nerdy, but ventured out for various, often-humiliating challenges.  The series borrowed heavily from the formats of other reality series like ‘Pawn Stars’ (as people would often bring in collectibles to have them appraised– they were usually worthless) and ‘Mythbusters’ (because of the stunts).

‘Comic Book Men’ did well enough that at one point AMC was interested in a spin-off featuring guest star Robert Bruce, who would travel cross country looking for collectibles (so, basically ‘American Pickers’).  But AMC then decided that it was no longer interested in unscripted television and cancelled all plans for additional reality shows.  However ‘Talking Dead’ and ‘Comic Book Men’ performed strongly enough to endure.

Considering its terrible time slot and the fact that AMC didn’t promote or even rerun it, it’s kind of astounding that ‘Comic Book Men’ managed to hang in for seven seasons and 96 episodes.  As Smith posted, you can tune in to Smodcast to hear the cast reminisce about their seven year journey.