Comic Book Men Off To A Controversial But Funny Start

With Kevin Smith involved, it should be no surprise that Comic Book Men is not without [...]

Comic Book Men

With Kevin Smith involved, it should be no surprise that Comic Book Men is not without controversy. The first big controversy came with the name of the show. Some took offense that the show was called Comic Book Men, which suggested the show was overlooking female comic book fans. And while the central cast of the show is all men, there were women included as customers on the premiere episode. Smith has also hinted that if the show is successful that there could be a Comic Book Women series down the road. Now, a second controversy has arisen over how the cast spends much of their time making fun of other people (and themselves). In a review posted before the episode aired (evidently from an advanced screening), the Huffington Post called the characters "largely unlikable" and accused them of having a "mean-spirited attitude." In particular, it's been noted that Ming Chen gets picked on the most in the premiere episode. Since Ming also happens to be the only Asian member of the cast, some have pointed out it comes across like the other cast members are picking on the minority. Of course, longtime fans of Kevin Smith know that trading insults and witty banter is sort of like his trademark. It's been a integral part of some of his most successful movies, going all the way back to Clerks. While it might seem like mean-spiritedness to the uninitiated, it's actually a type of strong male bonding. The best way to describe it might be kind of like how a little boy picks on the little girl that he secretly has a crush on. Well, maybe not exactly like that, but when you're good enough friends with someone trading insults and picking on each other is just part of hanging out. If everyone sat around and was nice to each other, it would also be quite a boring show, and much of Comic Book Men is hilarious. Actually, one of the funniest scenes is when Bryan Johnson is smashing plates off Ming's table at the local flea market, and someone else at the flea market takes it seriously and comes to Ming's rescue. It sort of reminded me of one of those ABC hidden camera "What would you do?" shows. Many of the best parts of the premiere episode also involved scenes with customers bringing in items to sell. Just like Pawn Stars, the items are usually never worth what the seller thinks its worth, but the fun is in getting to see some unusual items (like an original Bob Kane sketch.)