In this week’s episode recap of ‘Comic Book Men’, we run down the events that transpired when one Ming Chen was left to run Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash all by himself. Well, Bryan Johnson was hanging around the store, but we all know that he won’t be jumping at the opportunity to help out Ming. With Walt and Mike out sick for the day, let’s see how Ming handled things after proclaiming, “I run this bitch.”
Business is booming at the Stash and Ming starts to get a bit overwhelmed. Just then, one of the world’s most famous clerks, Brian O’Halloran, who played Dante in Kevin Smith’s debut film ‘Clerks’, came by the store to pick some stuff. Since Johnson wasn’t likely to help Ming with the influx of commerce, he asked O’Halloran to help out a bit before heading out. Bryan Johnson’s reply: “You had a movie clerk come in and actually clerk.” O’Halloran was probably wishing that he wasn’t supposed to be at the Stash today.
The first customer comes in with a couple of bona fide treasures from the Marvel universe: ‘Daredevil’ #1 and ‘Iron Man’ #1. Normally, this is the part of the show where Mike and Walt show off their vast knowledge of comic books and their value, but today we were exposed to the fact that Ming can hold his own in that department as well. When the customer gives his asking price, Ming assesses the damages on these rare books and offers $250, but they settle on $275. Despite the imperfections, the store can still find someone willing to own these pieces of history.
Later, while Ming and O’Halloran are manning the cash register, Walt secretly calls Bryan to check up on Ming, surprisingly sounding much better than earlier.
Another customer comes in with some original 1980s Transformers toys, the Dinobot Grimlock & the leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime. Both are in great shape and have all their parts, but they’re loose. Asking price is $140 for both, but Ming says $125 is as high as he can go. They settle on it and the customer goes home happy. Brian and Bryan say that the customer got the better of that deal and shake their heads at Ming’s latest transaction.
Kevin talks about Brian and his role in his breakout film. The character of Dante was based on Kevin during his days as a clerk. Back at the Stash, a customer asks Brian, who’s working the register, to sign a ‘Clerks’ comic and Bryan says that she only asked because she felt bad for him. Kevin goes on to say that Randall was based on Bryan Johnson, so having Brian and Bryan behind the counter was just like having ‘Clerks’ in real life at the Secret Stash.
During a lull in the store, Walt comes walking in the door. It was all a rouse to see how Ming would do if he was left to run the store. Ming shows off the purchases of the day. Walt approves of the books, but he’s skeptical of the Transformers. Bryan points out that Ming is a huge fan of ‘Transformers’, so in a way the purchase was affected by his personal bias. Though Walt gives him a hard time about the toys, Ming assures him that they will get sold. In the end, Walt admits that Ming is almost to a point where he can run the Stash by himself in the event that Walt and Mike are unavailable. Finally, one last customer comes in to offer Walt a deal. He’s a toy maker from California and he’s created a toy line called Presidential Monsters that are created in the style of the classic Mego figures, which included a robotic Mitt Romney and vampire Barack Obama. He pitches a deal to get the exclusive versions of the figures to be available only at the Stash. Being a fan of Megos and seeing potential big business in these toys, Walt agrees and it’s the beginning of a beautiful business relationship.And with that, this week’s episode of ‘Comic Book Men’ has come to an end. I’ve got to admit, I am proud to see Ming take charge and run things by himself. I was half expecting him to get in over his head and be relentlessly ridiculed by Bryan Johnson, so cheers to Ming for proving me (and likely Bryan Johnson) wrong.
Check back next week for another recap of the only show on TV since the fall of G4 that proudly proclaims that the geek shall inherit the earth. Feel free to go back and check out my other coverage of season two of ‘Comic Book Men’, including recaps of episodes one and three and an interview with the cast from New York Comic Con.