Jay & Silent Bob are coming to Comiccon

The newest Jay & Silent Bob flick Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, will have its Canadian premiere this weekend at the Montreal Comiccon. We talk to Jason Mewes about the new film and upcoming projects.

jason mewes

Jason Mewes

When I was a teen, Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes were idols quoted daily as I walked the halls of my high school. To a younger generation, who may not understand the verbose movie magic of films like Clerks, Mallrats and Dogma, my continued adoration of this terrible-twosome may seem a bit immature — but I can’t help it. The words “snootchie bootchies” will always crack a smile.

So when the opportunity arose to chat with Jason Mewes about the newest Jay and Silent Bob flick, the animated Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, which has its Canadian premiere at Montreal Comiccon this weekend, one could say I was stoked.

The film is centred around Bluntman and Chronic, characters that Kevin Smith developed while working on Chasing Amy. “They were invented for the movie. The film’s characters Banky and Holden drew them from the likeness of Jay and Bob,” explains Mewes. “So when Kevin had to write up the pages for the movie [Chasing Amy], he figured why not just write a full-on graphic novel? And then he turned it into a script for the characters. The script sat around from Chasing Amy all the way up to a couple of years ago when we started this project.”

The idea came back to life after Canadian animator Steve Stark, unprompted, decided to animate some episodes of SModcast, the podcast that Kevin Smith does with longtime friend and collaborator Scott Mosier. “He took one of the stories from the podcast — it was about two and a half, three minutes long — and he animated it and just sent it to Kevin, saying, ‘Hey, I really like your podcast; look what I did.’ And Kevin liked it so much, he was like, ‘Oh my God, this is fantastic! Can you do this story?’ So Steve did another story, and then did another story… so when Kevin and I talked about doing this script, doing the full movie, I thought of Steve right away.

“I liked Steve’s animation. I know he knows the characters — I just like what he does. He can take dialogue from the script and he brings his own business to it. After sitting down and watching the movie, it’s awesome, ‘cause I’ve read the script, of course. I recorded all the voiceovers and all that, but you see these little hand gestures and facial expressions — he brought all that business himself. That’s what I thought was awesome. And again, that’s why I thought of him, and I thought he’d be perfect — and he was, and is,” says Mewes.

Jay & Silent Bob
Jay & Silent Bob

Fans of Smith and Mewes know that this isn’t Jay and Silent Bob’s first foray into animation. In 2000, six episodes of Clerks: The Animated Series were created for ABC, based on the 1994 film Clerks. The series was cancelled prematurely due to low ratings and bad test screenings — not to mention that ABC didn’t air the episodes in the right order. “Clerks was definitely a blast, and it had its own style of animation — it was backed by a studio, so they had a lot more money for the animation,” says Mewes. “But I had a lot more fun actually doing the Bluntman and Chronic feature because I was part of the whole process.”

Mewes produced the Super Groovy Cartoon Movie, allowing him to explore an entirely different facet of the business. “[It’s the] first time I produced something from beginning to end. And it was awesome,” says Mewes. And it looks like he plans to continue expanding his role with future Jay and Silent Bob projects. “I’m already looking into it, and making some plans on trying to make a sequel to the Groovy Movie, which I’ll be producing — I might even attempt writing the outline of it. But I definitely want to continue to produce, and I want to direct. I definitely want to start doing other things, as much as I can — just put my hands out. Y’know, try to spit as many places as I can.”

Smith and Mewes have been touring all over the U.S., screening the new film and entertaining fans with a Q&A podcast afterwards. Saturday’s screening is their first stop in Canada since the tour began. “It is nice to sit there and listen to people watch it and see if they laugh at the points where you think they’re gonna laugh — and then afterwards talk to them about it. It’s been a blast. The podcast Q&A is fun because we get to interact but then also we play a game at the end, so there’s some interaction and some audience participation,” says Mewes.

Fans can also look forward to Clerks III, the final installment to the Clerks series, which is in the making. The script is currently being read by the Weinstein Company. Mewes sounds confident that either way the film will be made; it’s just the waiting process that can be a bummer. “I would imagine and hope that someone else will do it if not them — but it just makes that wait longer. It makes it more tiring — instead of bringing it one place and them saying, ‘Yes, we’ll start on this date,’ and we’re off and running.” ■

Jay & Silent Bob’s Super Groovy Cartoon Movie with Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes in attendance, screens at the Montreal Comiccon at Palais des congrès (159 St-Antoine W.) on Saturday, Sept. 14, 8 p.m., $29–$74

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