A friend I went to college with once asked my film professor why a certain generation of directors seemed to all drastically devolve later in their career. With the exception of Martin Scorsese, the great names of the 70's and 80's; De Palma, Coppolla, Argento, Carpenter all seemed to hit an artistic wall at the turn of the millennium that resulted in works that were either forgettable or actively unbearable to watch. Our professor, a man in his sixties we both respected as a holder of great knowledge of cinema, barely paused before answering: “They got old!”
Kevin Smith was never a great director, by his own admission. However, he is someone I enjoyed immensely in my teens and early twenties, a geek who done good and made it to Hollywood to make movies about boners, love lives, and Star Wars. He was a staple of 90's culture and a time capsule of 80's culture for viewers like me who were a generation or two late. However, like everyone eventually, the man got old. And decided that was the time to make a movie about millennials.
And now he made a comic prequel to his movie about millennials. If you have any interest in seeing his new film, I highly recommend you read this comic (if this is even available for sale, the cover makes it look like it's a free Sundance giveaway) as however you get it will probably be cheaper than the movie ticket to see the film and will inform you immediately if this is something you want more of. Basically, you'll learn your tolerance for Canada puns.
The comic concerns Colleen and Colleen, two teenaged convenience store clerks who appeared in a small part of Smith's previous unbearable self-indulgence 'Tusk'. The comic introduces the origin of their friendship, their penchant for Yoga, and other material I suspect is in the actual film (especially considering some of the script here can be seen in recent trailers). Not much happens, all set up for the film's plot, but you do get a healthy dose of the slang dense, Canada reference choked, teenage parody prattle you can enjoy in the movie come late July.
The real head-scratcher is the artwork. It's abysmal. Smith, who has worked in comics before numerous times over the last few decades, essentially got art that looks like the premiere months of a teenager's first webcomic. The characters are hideously misshapen blobs with sporadic anatomy erupting from them. The backgrounds are bare and detail-less, often just a line to suggest the end of a wall. One page seemed to have pencil artifacts from the pre inking stage, as well as some bizarrely misaligned text. Slap on some bland colors from a merc studio that thinks wall color is grey gradient and then another kind of grey gradient, and you've got a book that looks like straight dick. 'Yoga Hosers' is a property that only Kevin Smith seems to want to see, so why would you put out a book promoting your passion project that looks like it was phoned in? The man loves comics, this seems unacceptably lazy.
Kevin Smith is someone who has always mocked his critics rather than seem to learn from them, but in the past that always seemed to serve him more than not. Now, a decade into the millennium and multiple rough experiences with film studios in that time, Smith seems a filmmaker insulated into a series of whims, making unmarketable films almost out of contempt for the studio system and legion of critics that spurned him. “Come at me bro, this movie was a joke from the start.” But unlike other filmmakers with a practiced disregard for the public's conventions like Waters or Lynch, this new spate of projects feels increasingly cynically dashed, a laugh he doesn't feel the need to share with anyone else. So step right up, remaining Smith fans. Read this hackneyed first-draft pun circus and see if you’re ready to experience 'Yoga Hosers'! In theaters July 29th!
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to wash the memory of Page 10, Panel 2 out of my mind.
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