In The Gutter…

My man Bryan Johnson is absolutely right…I miss the made-for-TV Horror movie of the 1970s and early 80s.  There was a subtle cheesiness about them that that can NOT be captured in this day and age.  Many have tried, all have failed. But I digress.

Walt purchased a Batman Bowling Ball. That’s all it took to set in motion a series of events that would have DIRE consequences for all of the staff at Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash.  But more on that later.

Those close to Walt Flanagan know how much he loves the old Universal Monsters, and when the First issue of “Famous Monsters of Filmland” walked through the doors of the Stash, Walt lit up like a tilted pinball machine. This was the magazine upon which ALL other horror mags measured themselves. Launched by Publisher Jim Warren and Editor (and MONSTER fan extraordinaire) Forrest Ackermann, it jumped on the bandwagon of Monster movies being released on television, and capitalized on the trend. Walt made a pretty sweet deal for these three books.
The Punisher Shape Shifter…there’s a LOT I could say about this transaction, and all of it bad. The fact that you have a projectile coming out of the Punisher’s crotch is bad enough, but the truly horrific thing about this toy is that the crotch thing is ONLY at the half-way point of the transformation. Do an internet search for the FINAL transformation, and you’ll see where the projectile is SUPPOSED to come out. The boys bought it, and now I have to look at it…EVERY DAY.
Now, let me say a few things about the Clerks team; Each and every one of them is a fantastic person. Brian O’Halloran is a very funny, self deprecating gent whom I’ve had the pleasure of hanging out with at a few Comic Cons. Little known fact about Scott Sciaffo: He writes poetry-and very well may I add! Ernie O’Donnell put my house back together after it got slammed by Superstorm Sandy. And Jay, well, he’s…Jay. He moves like a blender with the lid taken off.
They are competitive bowlers and fun to hang around. While it’s true that we’re not as win-hungry as Walt, I think you’ll agree that we acquitted ourselves pretty well. I’ll let you decide if I got robbed.
And there ya go…


Uhura’s Uhura


You just KNOW it’s going to be a fun episode when Ming starts off talking about Dr. Manhattan’s…umm, blue junk. I have absolutely NO idea why they scare him so much, but hey…that’s Ming!
As you may have guessed from This week’s title, we have a VERY special guest walk through the doors of the Secret Stash…none other than Lt. Uhura herself, Nichelle Nichols! More on the sweet siren of the spaceways later…
Our first item that walked through the door was Dark Helmet’s Pith Helmet from the movie “SpaceBalls” written and directed by Mel Brooks. I loved this movie, but even I didn’t see it TEN times…and I remember the scene this was in very well…it was classic Mel!
The gentleman who brought it in wanted $6000 for it. Unfortunately, without any paperwork to verify that this was an actual screen used prop, it’s basically just a really cool conversation piece. I’ve said it before, but unless you can authenticate a prop, it holds very little value.
“SpaceBalls” was one of Mel Brooks’ funnier parodies. The adventures of LoneStar, Barff, Princess Vespa and Yogurt hold up well even to this day, especially Pizza the Hut.
The next customer came in looking for X-Men #101, the first time Jean Grey appears as the Phoenix. Bryan constantly razzes me for my love for the character Jean Grey, but to me, she embodied my pre-pubescent dream girl. Bright, beautiful, spunky and powerful…who WOULDN’T fall for a girl like that? I found it quite charming that this young lady empathized with Jean the way she did, and that comics, as a medium, helped her around her dyslexia.
He-Man was not a part of MY childhood, but it tickles me to no end that Ming has such a distaste for the character, as He-Man was such a BIG part of the 80s, which was HIS childhood era. Just the way in which Ming speaks with such venom about the characters that inhabit the He-Man universe makes me laugh. Being a comic geek (albeit one who could pass for normal, sometimes) we should, as Kevin puts it, make room at the table for EVERYONE.
This NECA piece was well sculpted, and updated for the new millennium, with a new haircut and codpieces. It retailed for $275, so Walt made him a more than fair offer.
Now, onto our special guest. It’s no secret that, amongst the Comic Book Men, I am the lone Star Trek fan. I can honestly say that I only became a real fan when I was 13 or 14. It was around this time that a local TV station (WPIX, for those who are curious) started airing episodes at Midnight. Kevin explains the argument of Star Trek versus Star Wars very succinctly and very well: Trek was about fostering diplomacy, while Wars was about ACTION. The logic behind the philosophy of Starfleet appealed to me- “To boldly go…” It was about EXPLORING, something I thought to be so cool.
So with that in mind, you can only imagine my surprise and delight to find Nichelle Nichols standing in the middle of the Stash. It was a really tough assignment, finding an Uhura Mego Mint on Card, but we do have contacts all over the state, and Ming and I shook the branches of every one of ’em.
Ming made it with a minute to spare.
Also surprising was that Bryan ACTUALLY had some cash on him. I think he made out (no pun intended) quite well, and I have NO IDEA what to make of the fact that Nichelle went for a double dip of the Johnson! Congrats, Bry, that may be the only time I’ll ever be jealous of you.
As always, thanks for readingg and tuning in.
And there ya go…

Superman’s 75th Birthday Bash!


Comic Book Men returns with a WHOLE lot of geeky goodness, fresh off of our mid-winter hiatus!  And we kick it off with The Secret Stash’s own 75th Birthday Party in honor of Superman.  

In our first transaction, Walt is reminded by a customer trying to buy a 75th birthday present for his father, that Superman, too, turned 75 this year.  The Superman item that this gentleman picks up is a Chemtoys Superman figure.  It has exactly ZERO points of articulation and actually didn’t even really look like Clark Kent.  Chemtoys, based out of Cicero, Illinois, was originally a cleaning supply company who revolutionized the toy industry back in the 1940’s by mass producing bubble solution for solution.  Remember that little dip and blow from your childhood?  That was them!

They also produced poorly made novelty toys back in the day when licensing was cheap (and fairly unregulated).  The gentleman paid $125 for it and he got a great deal.  These are NOT easy to come by and go for almost twice as much on online auction sites.  

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Walt this excited about cosplay, especially cosplay when HE is participating.  His idea for us to dress up as Superman’s supporting cast was an inspired one, and we came up with some really obscure characters that no one would have recognized, like Mon-El, Superboy’s “brother” from the planet Daxam, or the Phantom Zone villains such as Jax-Ur, Faora, Kru-El, and so on….but no one wanted to paint themselves all white.  

Our second transaction, Lois Lane #106.  In the 1970’s, spurred on by the success of their socially relevant Green Lantern/Green Arrow run by Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams where they tackle such topics as racism, religion and social consciousness, DC Comics decided to branch out and have Superman’s girlfriend, Lois Lane, take on racism.  Using Superman’s “Plastimold” machine, Lois turns black for a day.     

I think it’s really cool that a young comic geek would come in looking for this issue.  It’s always fun to geek out with a fellow Superman fan and talk about the impact of comics in the lives of readers — especially those issues that seek to open up conversations and take a stab at starting a little ‘trouble’. 

Now for the Superman party.  Eagle-eyed fans of Comic Book Men will notice some familiar faces in the background of the Superman Bash.  I will point some out that you do not know — my beautiful wife was on hand in her red dress, and you can hear her laughs peppered throughout the scene.  Fans of Tell’em Steve Dave will recognize Git’em Steve Dave in his trademark hat.  I had other family there, three of my brothers and their wives, and my niece Erin and nephew Ian.  

But my favorite question of the night was Sunday Jeff’s about Teri Hatcher(“Are they real, and are they spectacular?!?”).  That boy’s a riot.  

And as far as Superman, himself, Dean Cain is one of the nicest, most genuine people I have ever met.  In between filming, I got to speak with him and found out that he’s passionate about supporting our troops and visits Afghanistan on a regular basis.  He’s also a devoted father and we can’t thank him enough for taking time out and hanging with us. 

One last thing.  Ming and I really don’t have a hot tub in the basement.  If you want to know where we REALLY keep the hot tub, stop by the Stash, 35 Broad Street, Red Bank, NJ….

And there ya go.