On this week’s episode of ‘Comic Book Men,’ the prodigal son returned home to Jay & Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. Kevin Smith, the owner and proprietor of the little slice of the View Askewniverse in Red Bank, NJ, returned to his home state to meet and greet his fans while signing copies of his newest book ‘Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good’. But of course, this wasn’t a quaint little gathering of a visit, so Walt and the gang had to batten down the hatches and prepare for the herds of fans looking to rub elbows with one of the best things to come out of New Jersey.
While the crew was mostly focused on crowd control, Walt had to carry on with business as usual. First, a weird item comes through the door that makes Mr. Flanagan question even negotiating to buy it: A custom made reproduction of Mecha-Kong. The customer is asking $1100 for it, but before talk of money continues, the staff sets up a mini city to see how the suit fares in action first. After the demonstration, Walt decides that they really can’t use it, but expressed his love for the suit.
While Ming and special guest Jason Mewes held down the fort as the Stash’s security to control the thousands of people who showed up for the signing, Walt brought his own special guest in for a potential sale: Anthony Snyder, an expert on original comic book art. Anthony was in the store to check out a piece of ‘TMNT’ original art apparently from creator Kevin Eastman himself. The customer noted that this piece was a potential alternative cover for the original run, however, it was dated 1986 and the comic debuted in 1984, so there goes that theory.
Kevin talked a bit about how much he enjoys meeting his fans and, after he signs a guy’s back, revealed that the weirdest thing he’s ever signed was a guy’s testicle. I don’t know if I’d ever sign someone’s ball (not that I’d ever have to), so cheers to Kevin for being a great sport.
Pushing past the crowd for the signing, a customer comes in looking for the original KISS comics. Mike brings out issues #1 & #5 and then talks about how the band put their blood in the red ink. Walt, a member of the KISS Army, mentions that he was scared of KISS the first time he saw them since he used listened to Barry Manilow as a kid. I never would have pegged Walt as a Copacabana fan… Anyway, they asked $275 for the pair, but Walt agrees on $200 for a fellow Army member.
The final sales transaction of the day had Walt all giddy. I’m not gonna lie, the few times I met him, he was a bit intimidating, but this segment showed a whole new side of the man. After all, when presented with the “Holy Grail of toys”, I feel as if many men would have acted the same way. A customer brought in the Marvel World Playset from 1975. This particular toy made Walt who he is today and Bryan says, “It hardly qualifies as a toy,” which promptly warranted a death stare from Flanagan. Walt wants it bad and not even for the store. He wants it for himself. Since he can’t properly negotiate for the item in his state, he takes himself out of the equation and let’s Kevin handle the deal. The customer is asking for $600 and Kevin flat out buys it without negotiating just because of how it made Walt feel. What a good friend! Kevin Smith gave Walt Flanagan his childhood back in this episode and it was a pretty great moment in ‘CBM’ history.
Finally, after a long day of meeting, greeting, and signing, Kevin gets to the very last guy in line. As a reward for waiting in that humongous line, Ming bestows a $100 gift certificate upon the guy. Kevin and the Stash really do take care of their patrons. However, despite the massive amounts of dollar signs that store signings bring in, Walt says that he’d like to keep the events down to one every five years.
That wraps up this week’s recap of ‘Comic Book Men’. I’d like to add that the banter in this episode was some of their all time best, especially when the conversation moved to ‘The Star Wars Holiday Special’. Next week: STAN LEE!
Make sure to check back next week as I recap The Man’s visit to the Stash after watching the episode on Sunday at 11:30pm on AMC. Until then, feel free to go back and check out my past recaps and other ‘Comic Book Men’ related articles.