at the quick stop
There are a few interests that my youngest brother Ross and I share that the rest of the family doesn’t totally get. One of those things is a love of comic books. Another is an appreciation of Kevin Smith films, particularly Clerks.
So when we spoke on the phone last Sunday, we were on a similar wavelength:
Me: So guess where I’ve been today.
Ross: … Tucson?
Me: Um. No. East Coast.
Ross: New York?
Ross: New Jersey
Ross: OH MY GOD. JAY AND SILENT BOB’S SECRET STASH!
Me: Yep! And I found the Quick Stop, too.
Since we were in northern New Jersey anyway, we’d made a couple quick Kevin Smith-related stops. Our first stop: the Quick Stop in Leonardo, N.J.(the address helpfully supplied by Smith’s Web site). The small strip that houses the store (and RST Video) is still appropriately run-down and (at least at the time we stopped by) pretty quiet.
After a stop at the Sandy Hook Lighthouse further down the coast, we then made our way down to Red Bank, home of the comic book shop Smith owns, Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. It’s part comic book shop, part shrine to Smith’s movies (with some signed memorabilia for sale!). Certainly, there’s a lot of self-promotion there, but at the same time, it’s actually a pretty good comic shop — well-lit, clean and organized, with a decent selection. (Then again, if you have as much passion for comics as Smith ostensibly does, you’d probably make sure that your comic book shop was everything you ever wanted a comic shop to be and didn’t, you know, suck.) It’s in a part of Red Bank that has money — we were parallel parked on the street between a BMW and a Porche — but it’s kind of defiantly iconoclastic.