Defending Kevin Smith (to Kevin Smith)

Okay, I’m dragging my protruding gut through a kettle bell workout with the sound off while listening to the recent Smodcast “Comic Book Men” episode, and I once again had to endure multi-hyphenate Indy legend Kevin Smith repeatedly calling himself fat, dissing himself as a writer, and mocking his directorial talents (taking turns laughing off Clerks, Mallrats, and, most often, Tusk). Between bouts of berating himself, Smith was consistently gracious to, grateful for, and supportive of his audience. He treated them like gold, casually directed an audience member’s superhero pitch, launching into a vivid retelling of the epic fight scene at the end of Daredevil episode 2, and then going to church preaching the power of self-actualization to his audienc…

… all generous helpings of self-loathing throughout.

There are clearly two Kevin Smiths and they are so out of balance now that one is holding the other back. Someone has to say something.

So…

Dear Kevin Smith,

Please, please, pretty please (I’d say “with sugar on top” but you gave that up), it is time for you to do the Captain Kirk doppelgänger battle, the Bruce Lee room of mirrors showdown. There are a series of problems with how you see and present yourself and it is abundantly clear to us that your words about yourself just do not match your deeds. Just as you encourage us to reach for our best selves, we plead with you to face the truth.

Actually, there a a number of truths we ask that you review. The biggest problematic Kevin Smith statements are as follows:

1) “I’m fat.” Nope, not any more.

2) “I can’t write.” That’s a lie, and every podcast, book, TV show, and movie you are involved with demonstrates the depth of its untruth.

3) “I can’t direct.” What criteria are you using for this judgment? That you haven’t made a wildly successful mega million dollar summer tent pole? That Bruce Willis went full angry jerk on you? How are either of these accurate measures of your achievements? A far more legitimate measure would be the throngs of us that come to see you at appearances andcons. You know, the loyal audience that subscribe to your podcasts, watch your shows, and, of course, buy and cherish your films (some even defend Tusk, the first half of which was awesome).

And that is the reason for this post. You have a body of work, a vividly alive, vibrant, multi-platform body of work, that nourishes and delights millions. Is your audience the size of Marvel’s? Maybe not, but the accomplishment of gathering a tribe the size of yours over these many years and watching us thrive at this strength — that is a triumph that you clearly get but for which you do not seem to accept credit.

How did you do it? Luck? Maybe a bit, but you made most of your own luck by putting yourself out there. 

If not just luck, then how?

You achieved all this, gathered all of us, because you are a gifted storyteller and conversationalist of significant passion and humor and heart and thoughtful depth. You spend a significant amount of time espousing and encouraging us to be good to ourselves, to fulfill ourselves, and to allow our creative selves to emerge. And we love you for it. To us, you are not fat, you write in a style we embrace deeply, you direct in a unique and beloved way- we even love your wardrobe.

Honestly, what more can a creative want? 

So here’s a request that  you, as a former duly trained Catholic boy, will recognize;love yourself as you have loved us. You deserve it, we deserve it, and if you finally forgive yourself and cut yourself a break, we’ll get even more great Kevin Smith creativity.

You deserve to embrace the best in yourself and stop beating your own ass.

We can’t wait to enjoy the results.

  

About chrisryanwrites

My name is Christopher Ryan. I am a former award-winning journalist turned high school teacher, and I have written since reading S.E. Hinton's THE OUTSIDERS when I was in elementary school. I have independently published an award-winning debut novel, CITY OF WOE, plus the prequel short story collection CITY OF SIN, the sequel novel CITY OF PAIN, a high school thriller novel GENIUS HIGH, and several high adventure novelettes for the Rapid Reads series featuring Alex Simmons' African-American adventurer BLACKJACK All are available via amazon.com, as is my children's book, THE FERGUSON FILES - THE MYSTERY SPOT. Additionally, I was nominated for a supporting actor award for my work in the multiple award-winning independent film, CLANDESTINE, from Feenix Films. I blog about writing, life, pop culture, the journey of learning to promote my independently published work, my efforts to secure a traditional publishing contract, and my career as a teacher.
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