Interviews

Comic Book Men

Comic Book Men – Q&A With Billy Dee Williams

comic-book-men-episode-414-billy-dee-williams-325Comic Book Men guest star Billy Dee Williams talks about playing Star Wars‘s Lando Calrissian, some behind-the-scenes memories and more.

Q: What did you think of the Stash when you came into the store?

A: I thought that huge Millennium Falcon was interesting. I’d never seen anything like it.

Q: Are you a fan of comic books?

A: Not anymore. It’s not that I’m not a fan, I just don’t sit around reading comic books now. I watch cartoons. There’s spectacular stuff out there. When I was younger, I read Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel and things like that, and a lot of newspaper comics like Dick Tracy.

Q: In the episode, Kevin Smith says he thinks there are two Lando’s — treacherous Empire Strikes Back Lando and good Return of the Jedi Lando. Do you agree?
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Comic Book Men – Q&A With Darryl McDaniels

comic-book-men-episode-413-darryl-mcdaniels-325Comic Book Men guest star Darryl McDaniels talks about his lifetime love of comic books, the legacy of Run-DMC and creating his own comic book.

Q: In the episode, you mention you’d wanted to see the Stash. What did you think?

A: It was simply amazing! The selections they have there, the artifacts, the toys — it’s really thorough. For a person in love with comic book culture and science fiction, there’s stuff there for people three years old to a hundred years old.

Q: Comic books have had a huge impact on your life. How did comic books form your childhood?

A: As a kid, I was bullied, and growing up was kind of miserable. But comic books were the one world where everything was perfect, where I was powerful and empowered. On the outside, I was this little nerdy kid who wears glasses and went to Catholic school, and everyone thought I was a little weakling. But they had no idea that, just like a superhero, the strength that was within me — both creatively and artistically — when it came time for me to come out of my shell.

Q: How did you go from being a self-proclaimed “shy nerdy kid” to becoming the “King of Rock”?
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Comic Book Men – Q&A With Ashley Greene

comic-book-men-episode-412-ashley-greene-325Comic Book Men guest star Ashley Greene talks about what it’s like to be Kevin Smith‘s assistant, her role on Jay and Silent Bob’s Top 5 Comics Countdown and how she got so good at closing deals.

Q: What’s the best part of being Kevin’s assistant?

A: I have the most fun when we’re filming. I really want to act; that’s been my dream ever since I was two and a half years old. When we’re on set, I see all these amazing actors and actresses perform and I get to see Kevin direct. Kevin’s sets are so amazing. People always walk out of there saying, “I’ve never been on such a cool set. I wish I could work with Kevin all the time.” He just sets such a good mood. Plus, he gave me a small scene in Yoga Hosers with his daughter, Harley Quinn, and Johnny Depp’s daughter and son. He’s definitely opening doors and being his assistant is definitely benefiting.

Q: What do you think is different about Kevin’s style that makes it much more relaxed?

A: Kevin always says he’s an editor, not a director, which we all know is absolutely crazy. But I think he means that instead of telling the actors what to do, he lets the actors make choices on their own. If he wants them to do something different, he’ll shout it out. But he lets the actors play and have fun, and he keeps his calm. Every time someone comes to set for the first time, he always announces it to the whole crew and makes everyone feel special and important.

Q: Why did Kevin ask you to spend a week across the country at the Secret Stash?
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Comic Book Men – Q&A With Butch Patrick

comic-book-men-episode-411-butch-patrick-325 Comic Book Men guest star Butch Patrick talks about his favorite memories from playing Eddie Munster on The Munsters and interesting interactions with fans for over 50 years.

Q: In the episode, you mention that you had wanted to see the Stash for awhile. Did it live up to your expectations?

A: It was awesome, that was a real treat. I have a lot of friends in the area and I had heard about the store, so it was fun to finally see the legendary Secret Stash.

Q: In the episode, Walt confesses that he always wanted Eddie Munster to be his best friend. What is it like to hear that from strangers?

A: You know, I have run across that so many times. One of the most recurring things people say is “I used to run home from school because you were my imaginary family,” and “I wanted to be your best friend,” so Walt making that statement was cool. But I’ve actually heard it a bunch of times and it always makes me feel good.

Q: Do you have a TV character that you would like to be friends with?
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Comic Book Men – Q&A With Neal Adams

comic-book-men-episode-410-neal-adams-325Comic Book Men guest star Neal Adams talks about his pioneering career in comics books and how the comic book industry has grown since the sixties.

Q: How did you get started drawing in comics?

A: The first work I ever did in comics was for Archie Comics, and I didn’t do that very long because I did other stuff. I became a commercial artist; I did comics for advertising and promotions, newspapers and magazines. Finally, I got a syndicated strip before I was 21 years old. I was doing very well and I had bypassed, in effect, comic books. But the strip came to an end because I took a stand against the writing, and then things slowed down in the commercial art field and I thought, well maybe I’ll just take a few weeks and try to do some comic books if they’re still around. So I went to DC Comics and got some work from some of the editors. Even though I had taken a different route, I found myself falling in love with the medium and I have since become, well God knows, a legend.

Q: What was the comic industry like when you first started working in the sixties?
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Comic Book Men – Q&A With Harley Quinn Smith

comic-book-men-episode-401-harley-quinn-smith-325Comic Book Men returns this Sunday, February 15 at Midnight/11c in a two-episode midseason premiere, but you can get your Secret Stash fix right now with the first half of Season 4 full episodes on amc.com. One highlight of the season so far? Kevin‘s daughter, Harley Quinn Smith, stopping by the store! Here, she talks about her time hanging out with Walt and the guys in the season premiere and what it’s like starring in her dad’s new film.

Q: You came to the Stash to prepare for your starring role in your dad’s new film, Yoga Hosers. What’s it about?

A: Yoga Hosers is about two Canadian high school girls who work in a convenience-store, and they are yoga fanatics. One day, they get invited to a senior party, but things end up going pretty differently than what they expected, when they are faced with these small monsters that they have to fight off.

Q: What was being on set like? Any highlights?

A: It was amazing. It was the best experience of my life, I miss it so much… I was able to work with amazing actors that I have looked up to for so long and that I’ve watched on my favorite TV shows and movies. Everybody who was there and on the crew was so sweet. I came to think of them all as family. Every day coming to set was a highlight.

Q: What was it like working with your dad in a professional setting?

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Comic Book Men – Q&A With Ernie Hudson

comic-book-men-episode-408-ernie-hudson-325Comic Book Men guest star Ernie Hudson talks about Ghostbusters’ appeal, his experience in Comic-Car 1 and how he would fare in a zombie apocalypse.

Q: What were your first thoughts when Walt said you all were going to dress in a uniform and get into the ice cream truck?

A: I have this habit where people will approach me with something that’s a little weird or a little different and I’ll go with it. They’re passionate about it. People will come up to me on the street and say, “Oh, my mother is a big fan of yours. She’s in the hospital but she always wanted to meet you. Can you come with me?” And I’ll say “Oh, okay.” My curiosity will sort of run that way.

So [for the show], I’m driving the truck and I kind of get that Winston Zeddemore aspect from Ghostbusters. I didn’t realize comics were that popular. I know they’re popular, but I didn’t think they were going to be selling-them-off-an-ice-cream-truck popular.

Q: What was it like delivering comics from an ice cream truck?
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Comic Book Men – Q&A With Bryan Johnson

Bryan Johcomic-book-men-season-4-bryan-johnson-cast-325nson, star of AMC’s Comic Book Men, talks about his experience at BronyCon and his favorite thing about spending time at the Stash.

Q: You’re a long-time friend of Kevin and have appeared in several of his films. What still manages to surprise you about him after all these years?

A: I would say his output. I’ll be honest – when he made Clerks, and you see that kind of laze throughout the movie, that’s the way we were: slackers. We hung around doing nothing. In the last couple of years, his creative output is nothing less than astonishing. As he’s gotten older, he’s even more ambitious and prolific.

Q: Does hosting the podcast “Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave!” with Walt help for appearing on the show together?

A: I’ve known Walt since fifth grade and we’ve been really good friends. When people find out I used to work at Quick Stop with Kevin, they write it off as a crappy job, but aside from Comic Book Men, it was the best job I ever had because you got to hang out with your friend all day. At the time, you didn’t realize it, but all those conversations we had were practice. Us sitting around and having conversations was our [version of] college. I think the podcast helps in terms of reacting faster than you might otherwise. My job is to basically make fun of people, so I have to be on point and think about where I’m going to interject. Knowing Walt for so long definitely helps in terms of playing off of each other.

Q: Although you’re not an official employee at the Stash, what is your favorite thing about spending time there?

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Comic Book Men – Q&A With Ming Chen

comic-book-men-season-4-ming-chen-cast-325Ming Chen, star of AMC’s Comic Book Men, talks about what to expect in Season 4 and which of his Stash coworkers he’d team up with during a zombie apocalypse.

Q: We’re now into Season 4. Has Comic Book Men changed your daily life?

A: I’m definitely getting stopped at the mall. I think out of all four of us, Bryan probably gets the most attention and is the most recognizable because of the beard, but people stop me here and there. One of my favorite instances was at my favorite restaurant a few months ago. I noticed one of the waiters in the back looking at his phone, back up at me and then he came up to me. I love the fact that it was at my favorite restaurant and maybe the service felt even better that day.

Q: Do any of the other guys get jealous when you’re recognized?

A: Walt actually hates attention, but he’s so good on camera. Even if I wasn’t on the show, I would love to just watch him. With Bryan, it depends on what day it is. Sometimes he loves it, but he tends to be a grump. I think Mike loves it as well.

Q: Tell us more about babysitting at The Stash during Season 4, Episode 4, “Super Baby.” Are you naturally good with kids?

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Comic Book Men – Q&A With Walt Flanagan

comic-book-men-season-4-walt-flanagan-cast-325Walt Flanagan, star of AMC’s Comic Book Men, talks about which moment from the show made him laugh the hardest and the rarest item he’s seen come into the store.

Q: You challenge the guys to perform stand up comedy at The Stash in Episode 403. Who do you think has the most potential as a stand up comedian?

A: Positively, without a doubt, Bryan. The other efforts were admirable and it’s not easy to go up there and try to make people laugh – so I’m not disparaging Mike or Ming’s efforts, but I think Bryan may have a leg up on the guys in the stand up department.

Q: Speaking of comedy, what moment from the series so far made you laugh out loud the hardest?

A: I’d have to go back to Season 2. It was when we had just gotten back from the auction [Season 2, Episode 2, "My Big Fat Geek Wedding"] and we were letting Robert Bruce tally up the booty that we had gotten. We had a bet going on for which team could bring back the better booty and Robert chose our stuff as more prize-worthy. Mike and Ming started arguing amongst each other and that’s still my favorite moment. They turned on each other so quickly!

Q: On camera, you always seem focused on the bottom line… Has Comic Book Men attracted more customers to The Stash?

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