Since the tragic events of September 11th, the entire comic book industry has rallied together to produce numerous tribute books to raise funds for relief efforts. Marvel Comics released the first of such tributes a few weeks ago entitled "Heroes," a poster book with contributions from many of the industry's top artists and writers. To date, Marvel has raised over $250,000 with their "Heroes" book.
Marvel Comics has a second project called "A Moment Of Silence" currently in development. As detailed at the Marvel Comics Retailer Rally, "A Moment of Silence" will feature four short true stories and stories inspired by the events following the attack, without words, part of the Marvel Comics 'Nuff Said' event. One of the contributors to this book is writer, director and actor Kevin Smith.
After receiving a call from Marvel's Editor-In-Chief, and friend, Joe Quesada, Smith knew that he wanted to be part of the tribute book.
"I think it all comes down to being from Jersey, and being so close to the disaster," Smith told CBR News. "I mean, I grew up directly across the river from the Trade Towers; that skyline was a major part of my life for thirty one years. The fact that it's no longer there, and that in its decimation, so many lives were lost really packs a wallop if you're from my area. Any way I can give back via my line of work, I'm happy to step up."
"I'm doing a story, about 8 pages I think. (It's) a story with no dialogue that'll center on how September 11th affected those not at Ground Zero. Quesada's (also) doing a story. Bendis is doing a story," said Smith. "'A Moment Of Silence' won't be out for a couple of months."
Smith's story will be illustrated by artist Igor Korday. As a side note, originally Brian Bendis' story was to be illustrated by Chuck Austen, but due to other commitments Austen had to step down. Bendis announced on his message board last week that artist Scott Morse will be illustrating his story.
Smith has been very active with benefit projects in the last few weeks. He's scheduled to act as the auctioneer when the "Heroes" original artwork goes up for bid on December 13th in New York City.
"I've been knee-deep in Benefit activity since I got back to Jersey last month," said Smith. "Aside from the 'Heroes' poster book Joe asked me to write a poem for, I've hosted two benefit concerts for the Alliance of Neighbors of Monmouth County (an organization helping out the families of the 165 WTC victims from our immediate area) given by Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi (local guys)."
Smith also talked about a short film that he directed for the recent "Concert for New York City" held at Madison Square Garden (also simulcast on VH1 Saturday, October 20th). "(I directed a film) that co-starred Joe Quesada, along with Woody Allen, Martin Scorcese, and Spike Lee," said Smith.
Reflecting on the tragedy, Smith also took time to count his blessings, and the losses felt by others.
"Thankfully, I lost no one in the Towers," said Smith. "However, two people in my office lost loved ones: a cousin and a soon-to-be brother-in-law. It's hit them hard, as you might imagine."
Nearly everyone remembers where they were when they first learned of the attack on September 11th and Kevin Smith is no exception. "(I was) in Los Angeles, packing up to head back to Jersey [and] my mother called me," said Smith. "[My first reaction was] 'Well, that was unexpected,' initially. Then 'Fucking maniacs.' Then 'My God, the people...' because I didn't know if they'd evacuated the Towers or not yet. Then 'We're going to war.' Then 'It's going to be hard to be middle eastern in this country after this, that's for sure.' Then 'Holy shit! Miramax is only a few blocks down from the Towers,' at which point I called my Miramax friends to make sure they were alright. Then I went into my kid's room and hugged her for awhile, as I was overcome with this feeling that life was never going to be the same again - particularly for her generation, and the generations to follow."
Smith, known for his irreverent brand of humor promised that his contribution to "A Moment Of Silence" would not contain any of his sardonic humor. "No dick or fart jokes," said Smith.
Like many other Americans, Smith has felt a renewed sense of purpose and expressed how the terrorist attacks had changed his outlook.
"Now, my reaction is more one of patriotism," said Smith. "Call me an idiot (for this and many other reasons), but I, too, have been swept up in this 'United We Stand' sentiment that's fairly pervasive in our country right now. I've found a renewed sense of pride in being an American. Isn't that sad? It took the gruesome actions of a handful of religious nuts and six thousand or so lives to make me realize how lucky I am to live in a country where my daughter will be educated right alongside boys her own age, and I can express myself artistically and make a healthy living. Some may snicker at that or deride me for it, but I don't care - I find it hard to be curmudgeonly and sarcastic in light of the events of September 11th."
Article edited on November 1st, 2:38 PM