Kevin Smith Says Growing Up in ‘Toxic Waste Dump’ NJ Emboldened Him to Create

Comic book guru Kevin Smith, a New Jersey native whose new TV “Comic Book Men” is set in the state, said growing up in the Garden State emboldened him to push himself artistically.

Speaking on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show on Friday, the “Clerks” director who retired from film last year said being raised in the “toxic waste dump joke capital of the world” gave him thick skin and the drive to create.     

“I think that’s what is in the heart and soul of all New Jerseyans — is that we always have to try harder,” Smith said.

He added,  “I’m an absolute idiot from Central New Jersey and I made it. I jumped out there and started speaking my mind.”