Minnesota is not a lock to be the backdrop for “Mallrats 2,” Kevin Smith told me Tuesday.

So think of other questions to ask the writer/director when he conducts “An Evening With Kevin Smith” Friday at the State Theatre in connection with this weekend’s Wizard World Comic Con (http://wizd.me/KevinSmithStateTheatre).

“I haven’t done a Q&A in Minnesota in a while. It’ll be fun to kick back and talk about ‘Mallrats’ ’cause we are heading into making ‘Mallrats 2’ in the fall,” said Smith. “We are waiting on the availability of an actor. If we get to shoot in Minnesota, that would be a dream. But we’ve got to see if there are any tax rebates. Sadly, the people with the money are going to make me go wherever we get the biggest tax break. Then from what I understand the Eden Prairie Mall is thriving. When we shot in the mall back in ’95 they were below 50 percent occupancy. … From what I understand that mall is alive, it has a movie theater in it. They took out those neon palm trees. Even if we wanted to shoot at that mall, they would probably be like: ‘Look. We’re an operation. We’ve got people walking around here, this is an active mall.’ Good thing about the United States of America: There are a ton of dead malls.”

Smith will cut the ribbon to kick off the Comic Con opening ceremonies at the Minneapolis Convention Center at 5 p.m. Friday.

“Hopefully after that I’ll be able to shop the floor,” Smith said. “I’m more of a shopper, not really hunting for anything. In the age of eBay you can find whatever you are looking for. When I was growing up I was kind of a poor kid, so I’m used to shopping and not buying. Any comic con floor reminds me of that.”

Because Smith is rather recognizable, he may don a costume — perhaps “a fat storm trooper” — for a modicum of anonymity. So he probably won’t wear his ubiquitous hockey jersey, although he said he’s thrilled to return to the State of Hockey and is excited the Wild made it to the second round.

Smith is my Sunday Q&A. Because he’s not one of those guarded celebrities, it’s pretty good.

A picture worth 1,000 sighs

I don’t know what looked more yummy in the photo restaurant designer Steve Schussler sent me: his new buddy ABC News senior meteorologist Rob Marciano or the rocky road ice cream and s’mores pie he was attacking.

Schussler’s PR woman Jean Golden had no hesitation. “Rob,” she said, then forwarded me a supporting document: TV Guide put Mariano No. 1 on its list of the “10 Sexist Weathermen on Earth.”

Schussler and Marciano became fast friends Saturday when “Good Morning America Weekend” was shooting at Disney in Orlando where Steve is opening his fourth restaurant, the Boathouse. Schussler was not featured on GMA, Golden said, “but they did show a clip of Rob in an amphicar and he did say, Oh, I had dinner last night at the Boathouse. After dinner Rob and Steve went out for amphicar rides, basically hung out all night. They had a really good time. I guess Rob’s just a super nice guy, which I’ve heard before; totally down to earth.”

Someone with Marciano took a photo of him and Schussler on Rob’s phone. “And Rob sent that photo to me. What a nice guy,” Schussler said.

That piece of pie Marciano was enjoying all by himself is designed to serve four, by the way. I’ll tweet the photo.

Sven scores a spot on list

TV Guide’s fourth-sexiest weatherman was KARE 11’s Sven Sundgaard.

Had I not been personally curious who else was on the list, I would have missed this because Jean Golden didn’t go beyond No. 1.

CSN wish list: Gatorade, pop

Crosby, Stills & Nash have basically made no demands as headliners for Saturday’s PACER Center gala at the Minneapolis Convention Center.

“They have been so easy in their requests, they have been just a pleasure compared to some other performers,” said PACER’s executive director Paula Goldberg. “They wanted to know all about PACER and what we did for children with disabilities and children who are bullied before they agreed to come here, which is, as you know, unusual.”

So what do they want in the green room?

“They want water and one of them wants Diet Pepsi, one of them wants Coca-Cola and one of them wants Gatorade,” she said.


C.J. can be reached at cj@startribune.com and seen on Fox 9’s “Buzz.” E-mailers, please state a subject; “Hello” does not count. Attachments are not opened.