verbosity: Clerks has a certain quality about it that truly captures the essence of working in a retail situation. Did you have experience with this sort of work and did you incoporate any personal experiences into the story?
v: It's been said that many of the characters in your movies are based on actual people. Are Jay and Silent Bob at all based in reality or are they just out there?
Kevin Smith: Clerks was born out of working for three years in that fucking store (not to mention all the years prior to that doing time in sundry other convenience stores). Things like the Milk-Maid and the Egg-man come directly from register-jockeying experience, as does the spirit of most of the discussions Dante and Randal share. When you're that bored, and in the same location day-in and day-out, you begin talking about some inane and merrit-less shit, just to get you through the day.
v: You're currently signed on to write the upcoming Superman feature. What can we expect from this venture in the way of storyline? Will it parallel any events seen in the Death of Superman/Rise of the Supermen storylines of recent years? W ill Jay and Silent Bob somehow manage to pop up?
KS: Jay is definitely based on Jason Mewes. Silent Bob then became necessary as an antithesis - someone who said nothing while Jay never stopped rattling on.
v: Speaking of comics, as a comic enthusiast, how do you feel about the highly commercialistic trends in comics today, where sales outweigh continuity?
KS: Would that I could get Jay and Silent Bob into Superman...but, yes - the storyline is based on the whole Death of Superman arch, compressed for logic and time to fit into a two hour flick. The Eradicator's in there, Doomsday, Lex - and Brainiac (although he didn't figure prominently in the Death storyline).
v: How was working with Stan Lee (founder of the modern Marvel Universe) on the set of Mallrats?
KS: I'm a comics lover, and love is blind. It's hard for me to find fault with an industry so close to my heart.
v: What can you tell us about the much-anticipated follow-up to Clerks and Mallrats, Chasing Amy? What can we expect in the way of characters and continuted storylines?
KS: Working with Stan was a pleasure. He's - hands down - one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, and very cooperative.
v: You began your career as an independent film director. Since hitting it big with Clerks and Mallrats, do you feel in any way that you've "sold out?"
KS: There are ties to the previous two flicks in terms of references to fringe characters (Rick Derris, etc.), and of course, the appearance of Jay and Silent Bob. But this is a very different film from the previous two. It's more of a drama with comedic edges. People expecting a laugh-fest might be taken back by the fairly serious content.
v: View Askew's website has attracted quite a bit of attention over the past few months. How "into" the Internet and the WWW are you? Is it the creative medium of the future?
KS: We made Amy on a $250,000 budget, so it was very indie. I like to think of indie as not only low-to-no budget, but also as film with an edge. All the stuff I like to do is edgy, so I never consider ourselves as having l ost touch with our roots.
v: What does Kevin Smith eat to start his day off right?
KS: Once I got onto the net, I was hooked. I spend a great deal of time each day at our web-site, answering all the posts on our wwwboard. I think more than a creative medium, it's a communications medium - I'm meeting and conversing with people and fans that I'd never get the chance to without the technology.
v: If you could let the world know one thing about yourself, what would it be?
KS: That I'm very into Jesus (usually scares the shit out of people).