I took a trip this weekend to visit some family near Allentown, PA (famous for the Billy Joel song and NOTHING ELSE), and while I was there we managed a little day trip to New York and surrounding areas. My brother-in-law, great guy that he is, mentioned that the Kevin Smith owned comic shop, Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, was nearby, so an impromptu side trip was quickly undertaken! Below are some pictures of the shop, which was a pretty neat place.
While I'm not Kevin Smith's biggest fan in the world, I have seen most of his movies and I've enjoyed more than a few (the night before, thought, I watched Red State and MAN was it dark!). I also think that, despite the fact that he does tend to reuse plot points and character traits, and despite his lack of ability to stick to a deadline, I think he's good for the comic industry and I have enjoyed most of his work. His Green Arrow run from, what, 10 years ago (?) remains a favorite for me.
You've got to admit, however you feel about the man, it's pretty cool that he owns his own comic book shop. The above two pictures are, of course, from outside the shop in Red Bank, New Jersey. Red Bank was a pretty hip place all around, it seemed, and we spent some time in town afterwards.
One of the first things you see when entering the shop is this sign from Clerks. There were props and memorabilia from a number of Smith's movies all over the place, which was pretty neat. It beats storing them in some garage for years on end.
Here's the front of the store, complete with New Jersey Devils banners and framed Batman comics. Smith supposedly works in the store from time to time (i.e. whenever he feels like it), though he wasn't there this day. I wonder how often he does come in with the amount of time he spends directing and filming.
The store seemed pretty big for a comic shop, which allowed for the showcase areas with movie and comic props. There was a hefty supply of comics written by Smith at the front of the store, some of which he had signed. These were on sale for no extra charge, which I thought was pretty thoughtful of the guy.
The back of the store was a little more unorganized, with comics and props in random places as if this part was still under construction. Even so, there were some neat, bigger items in the back such as outfits from Clerks II.
And look! Here's Mooby the Golden Calf from Dogma and a number of movies.
I'd like to think that Jesus is my buddy, too. I wonder who designed this thing.
In Mallrats (featuring an appearance with Stan Lee, in which he's asked about the Thing's junk), Jason Lee's character hangs out at the local comic shop and eventually owns one (if I'm remembering correctly...it's been a long time since I've seen it). Surrounding this display were lots of comic book parodies from the movie, such as the one directly below...
...yep. I'm not sure what else needs to be said about it. But since it's a Fantastic Four parody, I had to take a picture.
On one side of the store, above the back issue bins of comics, there are what I assume to be original Alex Ross paintings. Smith currently writes a Green Hornet comic for Dynamite Entertainment and Ross does the covers, which explains the connection. It was pretty cool to see these, which were placed so inconspicuously that I almost didn't see them.
I ended up buying a couple things, including these two autographed Batman comics. I said it before, but it bears repeating: it's cool that the guy comes in, signs some of his stuff, and then sells it without marking it up in price at all. This was a cool, unique shop, and I had a good time looking at all of the original comic art, movie props and general merchandise. And the place was jumpin' when I was there, too! If you're ever near Red Bank, NJ, stop in and see it for yourself.
Oh, and I found lots of Mug Cream Soda in nearby Staten Island. I bought a lot of it. Dear Pepsi, sell Mug Cream Soda in the Pittsburgh area so I don't have to travel to New York to buy it! Love, Jeff.