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He first appears in Chasing Amy. He is the best friend and partner of protagonist Holden McNeil and works as an inker (which he insists is different than a "tracer") for the comic book Bluntman and Chronic.
His name is derived from "Ed Banky," a gym teacher character in the J.D. Salinger novel Catcher in the Rye (the main character of which, Holden Caulfield, inspired Holden McNeil's moniker). In the book, Mr. Banky would allow students to have sex in his car; in Chasing Amy, a couple is seen making out on the hood of Banky's car.
Before Chasing Amy Edit
[All informations for this section come from mock-up newspaper articles actually appearing during the credits of the movie. The articles are available for reading on Kevin Smith's "View Askew" website at http://www.viewaskew.com/chasingamy/gallery.html in the "Banky and Holden in the News" and "Bluntman & Chronic in the News" sections.]
Banky met Holden when they were kids at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, a Catholic School in Highlands, NJ. They discovered they shared a knack for art, as Holden would be drawing pictures of Darth Vader and Jaws (two references often found in Smith's movies). Banky, meanwhile, was more interested in creating offensive material such as pictures of Jesus beating up Buddha, a topless Virgin Mary or the Pope giving an orphan the finger. When the pair got to Henry Hudson Regional High School, their art teacher, Jill Little, encouraged Banky and Holden to submit comic books for mid-terms and finals, effectively giving birth to their artistic association.
Later on, after a brief stint at Brookdale, Banky and Holden started working as stock boys at the Atlantic Highlands Food City, a frustrating experience similar to that of Dante Hicks and Randal Graves (two other characters created by Smith in his first movie, Clerks). But their close observation of the peculiar behavior of some of the patrons at the Food City (in particular, a guidance counselor obsessed with finding a "perfect dozen eggs" - a secondary character also featured in Clerks) inspired them their very first actual comic book, the semi-autobiographical 37 (another reference to Clerks, "37?!?" being one of the most memorable lines of dialogue in the film).
Banky and Holden self-published and printed the book (in black and white) and sold it through Comic Toast, a comic book retailer in the Eden Prairie Mall featured in Smith's second movie Mallrats and ran by Steve-Dave Pulasti and Walt "the Fanboy" Grover, two characters usually depicted as hostile towards the main characters of Kevin Smith's movies and comics (Such as Jay, Silent Bob, Brodie Bruce or Randal Graves). Steve-Dave would reluctantly admit, when interviewed by the Asbury Park Press, that the book sold very well even though he'd "try to tell people to save their money and spend it on a real comic book". (In the fictional Well-endowed Mail letters page included in the Bluntman and Chronic comic book published by Image Comics in 2001, a letter signed by Steve-Dave and Walt refers to Banky and Holden as "sellout fucks").
The book received several awards such as the Eisner, the Inkpot, and the Wizard Fun Award, and was quoted as a favorite by Jon Bon Jovi. After this successful debut, Banky and Holden left Highlands to rent a studio in Red Bank, thus staying in New Jersey, and founded their own company, Bank-Hold-Up. In 1995, they struck a deal with Contender Comics (a fictional publishing house invented by Smith), and from #4 on, 37 became a Contender Comic. Later on, the pair would develop a concept they had first created as a back-up feature in #2 of 37: Bluntman and Chronic.
Chasing Amy Edit
Throughout Chasing Amy, Banky is the main source of conflict, disapproving of Holden's romance with Alyssa Jones, a fellow comic artist and a lesbian. He strongly resents Alyssa's role in Holden's life, as it keeps his mind off the comic book, and because Banky thinks she "stole" his best friend. Banky is also homophobic, and hates the idea of a lesbian being involved in his life. When Holden and Alyssa start dating, he is shocked but reluctantly accepts it until he finds information on her past.
Hooper X and later Holden suggests that Banky really wants to break up the couple because he's in love with Holden and jealous of Alyssa. Though not explicitly stated at any point until the following movie, Banky's homosexual tendencies are shown; when Holden tries to fix the rift between the three by suggesting they have a ménage à trois, Banky reluctantly agrees, though he's relieved when Alyssa refuses.
When Alyssa rejects Holden's offer and breaks up with him, Banky leaves as well, quitting the comic book and effectively ending their friendship. He creates a book of his own called Baby Dave, which becomes very popular. The next (and, as far as is portrayed in Smith's films, last) time he sees Holden is at a comic book convention, where Holden silently congratulates him on his success from across a room. The two do not speak.
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back Edit
Banky plays a significant role in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, in which the title characters are out to stop a movie being made about them. Initially, they sought only to collect their paycheck, but after tracking down Holden and finding out the nature of the Internet, the pair quickly journey to Hollywood and find Banky. He objects flatly to their demand to stop the movie. Bob reminds him that since they were the basis for the comic book, in terms of their likeness and character, Banky was legally obliged to get their permission when Miramax wanted to make a movie adaptation. In order to avoid a lawsuit, Banky makes a compromise and offers half of his paycheck to settle the debacle, which they accept. During the filming of "Bluntman and Chronic", director Chaka refers to Banky as a "tracer" and nicknames him "Fucky."
At the end of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Banky is seen walking out of the premiere of the Bluntman and Chronic: The Movie with Hooper. While Banky is in shock of the fact that the movie will ruin him, Hooper says that the movie was like "watching Batman and Robin all over again". In a cut scene that extends their appearance, it is revealed that the two are dating, with Banky being slightly ashamed and closeted about his homosexuality.