Super Friends

Super Friends

This is a very personal episode for me…I hate, and I mean literally HATE when my personal problems become public, but when our show runners threw this idea out there, I realized that this could make people in other parts of the country who weren’t aware of the damage we incurred due to Superstorm Sandy get a little insight. My family and I were extremely lucky…no one was hurt, and all we lost were THINGS. Sure, losing possessions that you’ve worked at accumulating over a lifetime sucks, but at the very least you can acquire them again.
More on that in a little while…Now on to our transactions!
Up first was the guy who wanted “Howard the Duck” #1. His contention was that Howard was the CENTER of the Marvel Universe, as Howard was involved in every important storyline that Marvel Comics published. My counter-argument is that Marvel has to publish characters a certain amount of times every few years to retain the rights to those characters. Either way, Howard pops up every now and again in Marvel books.
Writer Steve Gerber created Howard with the intention of it to be a joke-character in that, the fact that Howard’s stories made NO sense…it was an absurdists dream-book, but he became SO popular that the joke turned on Gerber. He fought with Marvel editorial so much he was removed from the character he’d created!
Next up was Rad-Repeatin’ Tarzan. This toy was recalled  due to the fact that if you pressed a button on Tarzan’s back repeatedly, it appeared as if Tarzan was “swinging on his own vine” if you get what I’m saying.
Sadly, this gent wouldn’t take $10 for Tarzan, but he did learn that even if a toy has been recalled, it doesn’t necessarily translate into money.
Lastly, we had a guy bring in something that Walt and I recall very fondly from our own childhoods…The Power Records Read Along Comics.
Put out by Peter Pan Records in the 70s, these books brought comics to life for young readers, with a full cast, sound effects and background music.
This was THE coolest way for a kid in the 1970’s to follow comics, and my only regret is that DC and Marvel didn’t go bigger and broader with these books. They could have opened up comics to a larger audience, much in the way Manga has 100% saturation in Japan.
Getting back to my story, It was amazing that Walt, Ming, Bry and Rob Bruce were able to get ahold of George Perez and have him do a FULL PAGE drawing of Wonder Man for me. I would never be so Pollyanna-ish as to say that Sandy afforded me the opportunity to meet one of my comics heroes, but thanks to my friends and co-workers I was able to. And may I just say what so many people have discovered at the many comic conventions that he attends: George Perez is a warm and amazing person… and so are Walt, Bryan, Ming and EVEN Rob Bruce (but don’t tell them I said that…they’d NEVER let me live it down!)
And there ya go!

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Bat(Man)Cave!

Everyone needs a little bit of space that they can call their own…sometimes it can be a study, other times a simple bathroom. On this episode of CBM, the Stash’s newest hero carves out (literally)a little chunk of Gotham City real estate…but more on him in a minute.
Walt, Ming and I see an awful lot of merchandise walk through the door every day, but some items just snap us back to our childhood in an instant. The twelve original Star Wars figures with stand was just such an item.
Star Wars came out during the summer when I was nine years old, and I’ll let you in on a secret…I HATED SCI-FI. Honestly, I could not sit through a full episode of Star Trek, I loathed Space-1999, and I thought that Lost In Space was one of the MOST depressing shows ever. I did not see Star Wars for a full EIGHT MONTHS after it was in theaters. I remember all of my friends bugging their parents for Star Wars action figures for Christmas, even though they wouldn’t get them until February after. I also remember laughing to myself that I was going to clean up at Christmas because I had a clear field to all of the toys I wanted.
Geek Note- George Lucas approached The Mego Corporation about licensing Star Wars figures in their 8″ action figure line. Mego refused, and Lucas went to Kenner and brought about the 3 & 3/4 ” action figure revolution which is still in vogue to this day. Lucas also retained ALL merchandising rights from 20th Century Fox, a visionary move that netted him a fortune.
The Dakin Underdog figure is a bit of a rarity. I only ever saw that toy as a kid, and although I was a big Underdog fan, I never had it myself. This piece is in beautiful condition, having never been removed from it’s box. I spoke with Rob Bruce about it, and he told me he comes across one, usually loose and filthy from play-wear, about every four or five years. Even he was impressed with the condition of this Underdog.
Now, on to our BatCave owning new friend. The piece he was looking for, A Hot Toys Dark Knight Rises 1:6 scale Batman DX figure…This figure is the Rolls Royce of toys. It has MULTIPLE interchangeable heads, and one of those heads has a PATENTED feature in which, get this, Bruce Wayne’s eyes FOLLOW YOU. How insane is that? There is no wonder as to why this figure sold out BEFORE it hit stores and why it fetches upwards of $500 on the secondary market.
I must admit that I was kind of jealous that the fellas got to see the BatCave and I didn’t, but just knowing that someone out there loves his heroes as much as we do tickles me no end. I can only imagine the amount of time, money and passion this man must have put into this project, and the patience and understanding of his wife. Kudos, my friend! I tip my cowl to you.
Now if I can only convince MY wife to let me build a basement with Bat Poles and an Atomic Pile…
And there ya go!

The Incredible Bulk

Another Season of Comic Book Men is upon us, and we start off with a bang, if I do say so myself!

The banter at the beginning of the show is an actual question Walt Flanagan posed to Ming, and true to form, Ming Chen’s answer to every problem is to commit murder.
We had a special guest this week: Mister Incredible Hulk himself, Lou Ferrigno.  Kevin Smith had met him at a Comic Con, and the two got to chatting, and Lou had offered to help Kevin get in shape. To deflect this, Kevin had thrown Bryan in front of the speeding bus that is Lou, and hired him to try and return Bry to his former glory.
Truthfully, it was a bit daunting coming face-to-face with Lou Ferrigno.  He was, and will always be, The Incredible Hulk to me. We had no idea he was going to be walking into the store that day, so to see him there was especially jarring!
The young lady with the CGC-ed Archie #18  was a true Archie fanatic. While I read Archie back in the day, I don’t have HALF of the knowledge this woman does. Being that this was a double she had, I think she made out fairly well in this deal. We usually don’t deal in a) Archie Comics; b) Golden Age books and c) CGC graded books (not that there’s anything bad about them, we’re just comic-purists at the Stash, and believe books shouldn’t be kept behind plastic, they are MEANT to be read), but even as Walt was having his second thoughts after the transaction, she was gone like a flash.
Geek Fact: Archie’s full name is Archibald “Chick” Andrews and he appeared first in PEP Comics #22, Cover dated December, 1941.
The next transaction was a comic we sold. Daredevil # 168, The first appearance of Elektra Natchios. Created by Frank Miller, Elektra was the first love of Matt “Daredevil” Murdock, as the two met in college. Her father was killed and she embarked on a journey that would lead her to become a female ninja and a premiere assassin. This of course would bring her into conflict with her old lover, Murdock, who became a criminal lawyer AND costumed vigilante Daredevil. She was originally meant to be a one-off character, but became so popular that she appeared regularly in DD’s title until her death in issue #181.
We’ll see if Bryan took anything away from his encounter with Mr. Ferrigno. I hope so, but even if he doesn’t, he’s definitely around for fifteen more episodes for us to help change his bad habits. 
As always, thanks for reading and spending some time with me and my geeky friends. We had a ton of fun filming this season, and I think you’ll agree that it shows.
Until next time-
There you go!