Why I am not watching Comic Book Men.

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I have always been a big Kevin Smith fan. His film “voice” always felt like it closely mirrored my own personal voice. More days than not that I purposely or inadvertently quote him. As my wife refers to it, he is my “man crush”. I accept the label. I am a fan.

I joined Twitter for no other reason initially than to follow his tweets.

I have listened to every Smodcast episode, some of them more than once.

Some episodes of Smodcast that were my favorites were when he would bring Brian Johnson or Walt Flannigan on. There were times, as they would be talking and busting each others balls where I do believe I shed a few tears from laughing.

The moment that Tell em Steve Dave spun into existence, based on these same two guys and the addition of Bryan Quinn, who had been wrapped into this group for years but I had never known, I was hooked.

The simple fact that nothing about this Podcast felt “developed” the fact at times they would just bitch at each as if they forgot they were being recorded. The meshing of personalities and experiences, was gold.

I was now looking forward to Friday nights Tell Em Steve Dave as much as I looked forward to Sundays Smodcast.

I cannot give a timeline when it all began to color. I know the event though. It all shifted for me over a web address.

THE SAGA OF GITEM

How best to explain the Saga of Git em. Yep, a real name. Well, not god given, but I cannot tell you his real name, I don’t know it. Git em Steve Dave was I thank an uber fan of Kevin Smiths, his online handle became Git em based on the characters that Smith created. And so well portrayed by Bryan and Walt.

www.tellemstevedave.com was registered by Git em a few years ago (by the way – constructing that sentence, and all others that contain the words “Git Em” is difficult at best – but dammit, stay with me!)

Git Em was brought on Tell Em Steve Dave, and it came to light that he owned the domain name. http://www.tellemstevedave.com

Now, what I am going to do here is sum up my experience of the exchange, I am not quoting anyone, I am only providing my opinion.

First and foremost, you cannot listen to TESD and not KNOW if you show up on that show, there is the strong likelihood your balls are going to get slapped around a little. So, thus is expected.

It was presented that the domain name should be given to the Podcast, because Git Em was a fan. In the spirited exchange, a cash offer WAS made for the sight, (by WALT no less – a man who prefers not to part with a single dollar if 35 cents will cover it) Git Em did not accept the offer, but held off, because, if I may frame the moment…

Here you are sitting in a room with three people that not only you admire, you like, and you are fans of. Huge fans. Suddenly, you are now talking some sort of business transaction on a product that you do not really know the value of. It does have value, and aside from any personal involvement, or fandom, what is it?

Now, for reasons that I cannot explain, Quinn “appeared” to take the fact Git Em would not give up the domain name as a bit of an insult. Not really understanding why as a fan he would not want to just give the domain, besides, what was it worth? There were a few shots taken at Git Em’s website, (which if pressed I do not understand, but then, its not MINE to understand) and overall the tone just became uncomfortable. Overall, uncomfortable.

At this point – so what. The REASON I loved TESD was that shit did not feel scripted at all and at times there was awkward.

THE CASCADE OF EXPERIENCE

If this story died there, I would actually not have batted an eye.

Twitter had opinions, and they directed them at Git Em. Quinn also, which seemed to fuel additional frustration towards Get Em.

During following shows the topic would come up, and Quinn would have the same energy he did originally, nothing flattering regarding Git Em, saying he was blocking him on Twitter, and that he was done with him. Etc.

By the way – the price Git Em finally settled on to ask for was $1000. If anyone has ever attempted to buy a vanity domain AFTER the product existed, you will realize how cheap that price really is. So, ultimately Git Em was not attempting to finance hisCancunretirement.

Overall, as it progressed my take away became this.

This was a moment where a Fan was treated poorly because he was a fan. Here was someone who at best was trying to make a couple of bucks from a product that was worth, in reality far more. Instead of a “business” deal being struck, even remotely privately, he was villianized, and bullied.

The Bullying was the part that was the hardest to stomach and the moment that tipped the tables.

If you are willing to publicly burn down the house of a Fan, because he has something you want. What value are you then putting on ANY fan?

So I stopped listening. I unsubscribed, and after a while after I realized the issue was not actually going away, I stopped following TESD on twitter. It was quitely done, with an email to the guys letting them know why I did it. Because if I am making a choice based on other people, hell, might as well tell them.

No issue. I am one person, who gives a shit if I listen to the show and/or follow on twitter.

I stopped ordering any comic from the Stash, although, in a year I MIGHT have spent a hundred, maybe two on books. MAX. Not a big deal, I just always like the idea that I was ordering shit from Kevin Smiths store, and Walt and Mike are two fucking guys who KNOW their shit.

The cascade has brought me to a question my wife asked two weeks ago.

“You going to watch the show?”

I gut checked myself for two weeks. As silly as it may be, if I were to watch the show, then I would be going back against every decision I have made over the last few months. So, No, I won’t be.

Which I realize is sad. Sad because they are busting their ass, all parties involved, to bring this show to air, they are putting more of themselves out there than I would personally be willing. I WANT to support the show.

However, as the cascade effect happened, I realized that one moment, one decision, one emotionally charged debate, lost a fan.

Here is the redundant silly. Git Em, still listens to the show, still follows them on Twitter, and will undoubtedly watch the show.

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Published in: on February 12, 2012 at 3:56 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hello

    I am at the point you were at a while ago.
    I have only listened up to around episode 100.

    I too am a fan of Walt, Bry, KS & to a much lesser extent Ming.

    You have a point i just dont know enough of the facts to agree or disagree with you. I am grateful that you shared your opinion though.
    I will look into it in further detail. One thing I cannot stand is bullying.
    If they were truly guilty of this then I may well follow your lead.

    Basically this was just a quick note of appreciation of an opinion
    which was coherent & genunie (a rare treat for an internet comment)

    Thanks again & keep it real.

    Danny
    bigbernarduk@yahoo.co.uk

    • Thanks much. I have been neglecting this little corner of the net, so my apologies for taking so long to get to your comment. I will say, I DID finally watch Comic Book Men, during season two I finally went back and watched the first and then second season. I have been meaning to post about it. Because I figure it I made the aforementioned opinion public, I should follow through. The reason for finally watching Comic Book men was when Bry was on Smodcast, talking about his pain killer addiction, and just overall the situation in general. It was a reminder, that these guys are Human, and I think, somewhere along the way, I gave less value to that than I should have.

      I am really glad I did finally watch the show, it is great. Genuinely funny and just frankly, fun. Outside of my own fandom, its one of the better shows on television, period.

      I really appreciate the comment, thanks.

  2. So I know this is way late to comment on this but I have only been listening to the Smodco Podcasts a few months and have been checking out all the back episodes so all this is relatively new to me.
    I see the point you are making but I think you are misunderstanding that Git-Em on that episode was not just a fan that was brought in not knowing these people though they kind of acted like it. When he first spoke on the podcast he had already been sitting in on many episodes just listening, had been out to eat with the guys several times, he’s even been to Walt’s house. This is a not just a fan but a fan that they welcomed into their circle of friends which they do not often do. If you want to be their friend and have been a fan you know all that entails. Next Quinn’s frustration was not just over haggling about price, for most of the Git-Em saga Git-Em stated he would not ever sell the domain to them for any amount, when he finally decided too, it was his making a deal, settling on a price then going back on it. He purposefully held onto it longer because he felt they wouldn’t talk to him any more if he didn’t still have it, essentially blackmailing them for friendship. Plus you gotta admit he has a real weird stalker kind of actively trying to work his way into the group vibe about him. Also NOBODY likes domain name poachers that try to get domain names before other people so they can hike up the price. And yes you could make the case that he already had that before the podcast started, but if you continued listening you would now be aware as soon as Mike and Ming from the stash started podding Git-Em ran and bought mikeandming.com to rape them on the price. I almost stopped listening like you when all this was going on, except I almost did it out of frustration that they would keep giving this guy Git-Em publicity and have him on the show after him not helping out his now friends and letting them buy the website that is the name of their own show that he loves. Git-Em is not the innocent fan taken advantage of he portrayed himself to be live on the podcast and if you really enjoyed Walt, Bryan, and Quinn you should have thought maybe something is going on here that’s not going out on the airwaves for them to act like that so I won’t judge, instead of jumping off the handle. I think you couldn’t be more wrong about this and it’s a shame that not having all the information led you to give up a show you loved and looked forward too, it has been getting better all the time since the TV show started it’s still hard to tope makin hay 1-5 and also Mike and Ming’s I Sell Comics is good too.

    • I think the comment was timed pretty well actually.

      I imagine the stance I took seemed judgmental, and in a lot of ways it was. I was disappointed, for all the reasons stated. I wished they had dealt with the whole thing differently.

      Then, I listened to the Smodcast that had Bry on. I was reminded in a very clear, crisp way, that these guys were human. At some point I forgot that. During that episode I realized I had not been fair to the sheer human factor of just regular guys. Would I have handled it differently? I cannot honestly answer that, and if I cannot answer it, how can I place unrealistic expectations on someone else?

      Post that episode I went back and watched Comic Book Men Season 1, and then season 2, and am thrilled I did. It is quit frankly one of the better shows on television. Its because of those same guys I came to love during Tell Em Steve Dave, those same real, human guys. I have not gone back to listening to the Podcast, however, that is more time related, with only so many hours in the day. Not related to the same emotions and rationalizations I had after the Git-Em fiasco.

      I really appreciate your comment. I always appreciate a comment that is a dialogue.

      Thanks much.


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