This week’s edition of AMC’s ‘Comic Book Men’ opens with Mike posing the question of connecting to characters and being upset when they die. He says that he cried when ET died and says that he was 11. Bryan says that they were born the same year and that they were 15, not 11, when ET came out. The gang ridicules Mike, but can you really blame him, folks?
After the opening, we’re welcomed back by Kevin Smith, who notes that this show has less testosterone than ‘Sex And The City’. He asks the guys if they could have a drink with any hero, who would it be? Kevin says the Invisible Girl, Sue Storm. That way, you could see alcohol go through her, and maybe not drink as much anymore after that. Bryan picks Betty from the Archie books, even though she’s fairly underage. Mike surprisingly picks Tony Stark, even though he has struggled with alcoholism over the years. Kevin says that it’s like being invited to the kryptonite ball and bringing Superman.
A customer all the way from Staten Island comes in with a huge box of comics her husband found. The collection includes ‘Nick Fury of Shield’ #1, ‘Invincible Iron Man’ #1, and ‘Justice League’ #6, plus a bunch of random ones, but they’re not in really great condition. Bryan makes fun of Staten Island, which does not amuse the customer. Walt says $250 for the lot, but that’s nowhere near what she wanted, so they haggle. With the customer ready to take her ball and go home, Bryan suggests a commission deal, where the Stash sells the books for her and they get 20% of the sales from the books. She agrees and goes home somewhat happy.
The guys think about shooting a local commercial for the Stash. Kevin says that this commercial has been Walt’s brainchild for a while now. They have a brainstorming session to think of ideas for the commercial. Walt asks what are kids into these days? Since Glee is very popular right now, Walt suggests Ming and Mike kiss a little bit, but no one goes for that. Then Walt suggests an over the top, tongue and cheek, cheesy sort of commercial. The idea is well received and they decide to ask Bryan, who wrote and directed ‘Vulgar’, a film about the clown mascot of the View Askewniverse, to direct the commercial. Kevin questions the overlooking of the obvious choice of director, but lets it roll. Bryan walks into the shop wearing a beret. On the choice of the director, Bryan says that he thinks Walt thought, “I need crap. Who can bring it to me?” Bryan and Walt set up for the first take of the first shot of the commercial. Afterwards, Walt asks if he should do it again. Bryan says that they better since the camera wasn’t recording.
Another customer comes in with Fireside publishing trade paperbacks. Walt and Kevin explain what trades are and that these Fireside books may be some of the first trades ever. This collection included five books, including ‘Origins of Marvel’, which featured different stories of different heroes all in one book. The customer selling the books says that he wants to sell these to fund his dream of becoming a stand-up comedian. Bryan suggests a deal: $300 if he can make Walt laugh. $200 if he doesn’t. Kevin shares a story about him doing stand up once and that he couldn’t deal with that sort of rejection. The customer tried out a Professor X joke, but he didn’t make Walt laugh. Walt gave him the $200, and said that he thought that the kid was onto something with comic book comedy. Bryan says that it’s a great idea and that someone will come along one day and do it better than the kid.
Back at the commercial shoot, Bryan says that Walt has a Crazy Eddie energy about him for the commercial. Bryan sets up a scene with Ming and Mike, and asks Mike to channel his inner Betty Paige to seduce the customers into the Stash. Mike said that Bryan as a director ruled with an iron fist. Ming says that Bryan went a little far with power.
A girl walks in with a crazy “human butterfly” Mohawk. She has a Megatron mini statue that’s limited to 500 pieces. Walt says $50, but she starts to cry. Bryan says that she was just trying to use her feminine whiles to drive the price up, which, as it turns out, she was. She explains that she’s trying to open a gallery and she’s selling many of her belongings to do so. Kevin brings up that Walt is a comic book artist, so that may have attributed to Walt upping the price to $65. Thankful for the increase, the girl accepts and goes home happy.
Walt has an idea to have a super villain in the commercial to raise the prices of merchandise in the Stash. Ming gets cast as the Price Mite, and looks pretty ridiculous in his costume. Regardless, he’s a good sport about it and is ready for his featured role.
Kevin shares a story about dropping his daughter off at school wearing his fat guy Batman shorts. Since the car is low on gas and her bus stop is at a gas station, Kevin is about to get out of the car to fill up, but is stopped by his daughter. She says that she doesn’t want him to be seen with her because of the shorts and the embarrassment that comes with her dad wearing them. Kevin brings up that she’s named after Harley Quinn, a Batman villainess and Joker sidekick, so she shouldn’t be embarrassed by anything Batman.
A new customer walks in with a complete run of Secret Wars, which includes the first appearance of the black costume Spider-Man. He’s looking for $700, but Walt says $300. After putting up a little fight, the customer gets offended and leaves, but comes back in seconds later and accepts $310.
Bryan sets up for exterior shots for the commercial that involves screaming in unison, but Mike, Ming, and Walt are having trouble saying the line. They finally nail it, and then someone walks into the shot, aggravating herr director.
A customer walks in with golden age comics. Walt breaks out the white gloves due to the rarity of what he’s about to handle. This collection has ‘World’s Best Comics’ #1, ‘Superman’ # 11, ‘Superman’ #12, and ‘Superman’ #14. The gems of the collection are ‘All-Star Comics’ #8, the first appearance of Wonder Woman, and ‘Detective Comics’ #38, the first appearance of Robin. Walt says that the issue of Detective Comics is one of the top 25 most valuable comics in the world. Walt recommends that the customer go directly to an auctioneer. Mike estimates that the collection was almost three quarters of a million dollars. After the customer leaves, Mike and Walt are in absolute awe of what they just held in their hands.
To end the show, the crew shows Kevin the commercial. After the viewing, he says that they delivered exactly what they set out to do. It’s so terrible that it’s awesome.
That does it for this week’s recap of ‘Comic Book Men’. If you missed the previous episode be sure to read my ‘Comic Book Men: Life After Clerks’ recap.