Category Archives: batmobile

Comic Book Men

AMC wanted to cash in on “The Walking Dead” so bad that I guess they accepted any show about comic books. Now don’t get me wrong, I am a hardcore Kevin Smith fan, but “Comic Book Men” is, on many levels, a disappointment.

Unless Kevin Smith himself doesn’t know what he wants this show to be, it seems to be suffering from a lot of outside, or possibly even inside interference. It’s all over the place. Sometimes it wants to be a reality show, sometimes a bad imitation of “Hardcore Pawn” and other shows of its ilk, sometimes an extension of Smith himself, sometimes a podcast on video, and sometimes just an outright commercial for the Secret Stash store, Smith, and/or AMC. Could they really get any more Smith or Walking Dead merch in the camera frames?

Having frequented comic book shops all my life, I can tell you, that except for the guy who doesn’t work there and never leaves, this is sooo not like a comic book shop. They did however have to clean up the Secret Stash, which was a relief. I’ve been there, they cleaned, believe me. The occasion of folks coming in wanting sell stuff doesn’t happen all that often, neither do hockey games, or sadly women in the shops. And of course that’s the other thing that bugs me about it, the supposedly unscripted employees are more than a little sexist – perhaps they should be scripted.

Maybe they could focus on the buying comics from customers concept, or the roundtable podcast concept, or just make it Kevin Smith-centric – I really enjoyed the Jason Mewes/Batmobile episode. Maybe it could be cut down to a half-hour, but it must focus, and pick a direction. Sadly the one thing I enjoy about visiting a comics shop, talking comics, has only been featured once, and they mocked it. To me that’s what the show should be about, sans ridicule. If you’re fanboys (and girls), embrace it!

Right now, we’re three episodes into a six-episode run. I hope it gets better, and finds its center. It would be nice to have a geek home on television, especially smack between “The Walking Dead” and “Talking Dead.”

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The Ballad of the Batmobile

A recent trip to the Berlin Farmers Market (that’s the Berlin Auction for all of us who actually grew up in the area) brought on a scary flashback for me. I saw a kiddie ride there, a battered, dusty, broken down kiddie ride still bearing a 25¢ per ride sign. It was the Batmobile. It was the Batmobile from the old 1966 “Batman” TV series, albeit in a scrunched up miniature form, and built for little kids to get inside and ride for a couple minutes on a quarter.

This particular ride may not have been the very one that sat just inside the old Acme Market on the White Horse Pike in Berlin back in the late 1960s, but it might have been. I remember that ride very well even though I never got the chance to actually ride it. I know I begged to ride it, I know I cried to ride it, I’m pretty I misbehaved my butt off to ride it. I wanted to ride the Batmobile sooo bad. And quite frankly, I still do to some extent.

This mania to ride the Batmobile was brought on by the TV series, which during its time was the biggest thing going on in pop culture of the day – and for a generation of young folks, it was everything. It was for me. The “Batman” TV series starring Adam West and Burt Ward certainly was everything for me, and it ignited this obsession I still have for comic books.

Batman and Bat-paraphernalia was everywhere, especially in my house. I had a picture of Batman, Batman slippers, and of course dozens of comics. Every Matchbox and Hot Wheels car I had was imagined to be the Batmobile at one time or another, I would use baggie ties to put little capes on army men, and who didn’t tie a towel around their neck and pretend to actually be Batman?

As I stood and looked at this ancient relic of a bygone age, this Batmobile ride, I thought of all these things and smiled. I knew it didn’t work any more, but I did wish for a quarter, and I did wish I could ride in the Batmobile. I never did, on this model, but I think we all know, the Batmobiles of our imaginations and memories are much much cooler.

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