Advance Review: A Family Reunion – `Clerks’ Style In `Quick Stops’ #4
by Tom Smithyman
Fans of Clerks and Kevin Smith’s other cinematic creations will love this story of Dante’s and Randal’s visit to a family reunion. Filled with irreverent humor courtesy of Smith, the only downside to the issue is some questionable artistic choices.
And for his finale, Kevin Smith returns to the basics.
Smith’s four-part series, Quick Stops, has explored characters from his movie universe, the so-called “Askewniverse.” As a part shot, he wisely chose to focus on the characters from his signature movie, Clerks. Familiar faces Dante and Randal decide to skip work at the convenience store to attend Dante’s family reunion with his date Veronica. Of course, since convenience stores don’t close, Dante leaves Jay and Silent Bob in charge of the store. As you might guess, hilarity ensues on both fronts.
First, at the reunion, all of Dante slimy cousins emerge to try to steal Veronica. There’s Gill Hicks from Mallrats, Jim Hicks from Chasing Amy, and Grant Hicks from Dogma all acting in their predictably douchey ways. Back at the store, Jay convinces would-be customers jonesing for a cigarette to buy weed from them instead. Even the cops join in.
It’s vintage Smith humor in all its glory – always sophomoric, often vulgar and yet somehow still true to life. Fans of his movies will love the return of characters they haven’t seen in decades and children of the 80s and 90s will enjoy the many references to times gone by. (Beverly Hills 90201, Amy Grant and Nirvana jokes abound.)
Artist Ahmed Raafat provides the linework for the issue, which like the rest of the limited series is presented in black and white. The artwork is serviceable if not overly dynamic. Oddly, in certain panels, he leaves off some features of characters who are more in the background. It’s a curious choice that initially looks like more of a mistake. Still Raafat is able to portray these mostly familiar characters in a convincing way.
It’s not fair that this series is only a handful of issues. Whether it be his own creations or playing with someone else’s toys, the world needs more Kevin Smith comic books.
Quick Stops #4 will be available for purchase on February 1, 2023.