Last Sunday night, March 22, on an all new “Comic Book Men” on AMC, Jason Mewes hung out and played clerk at the Stash in the Season 4 finale. “Comic Book Men” takes place at The Secret Stash, a New Jersey comic book shop owned by filmmaker Kevin Smith and run by some of his lifelong best friends. Mewes proposes a hypothetical “Star Wars” question to the Stash employees at the start of the episode, and it’s interesting to hear everyone’s answers.
Mewes asks everyone what character they would be from any of the six “Star Wars” films if George Lucas came up to them and gave them the option to be anyone. Ming is the first one to speak up and Walt immediately makes a Jar Jar Binks joke. Ming blows it off and claims he’d want to be Han Solo from “Empire Strike Back.” Mike picks Obi-Wan from “Phantom Menace,” while Walt goes for Darth Vader but doesn’t specify from which movie. Bryan Johnson makes a joke about Walt force choking customers. Bryan admits he would be Greedo from “A New Hope,” because he would remain in the mythos forever for the “Who shot first?” controversy.
The first item brought into the Stash was a 1981 Dark Tower game made by Milton Bradley, which was the world’s first electronic board game. The game was a fantasy adventure born of electronic wizardry and the box explained that it was more than a game, it was an experience. Ming handled a majority of the transaction. Walt commented that the game isn’t very impressive looking, but Ming defends the game saying that the dark tower was indeed foreboding in it’s day.
Kevin Smith’s opinion of the game, based on what he remembers as a kid, is that it was a complicated board game and it had beeps and whistles that didn’t make the game any more fun. Ming once again defends Dark Tower and said that in the 1980’s it blew all the other board games away. Smith joked that Candy Land needed a dark tower. Ming reveals that he didn’t own the game as a kid, but paid $100 for it when he was a bit older and sold it for $300 to buy his wife shoes. There’s a catch to the item for sale however, it doesn’t function properly and the electronic tower only works intermittently. The seller was asking $175 but Ming counters with $75. The seller drops to $125 but Ming jokes that because it’s not working he’d throw it in the trash. Ming passes on the item and the seller said he will probably just sell it online.
In the next transaction a customer comes in and wants to see a Silver Surfer #3 comic that the Stash has for sale at $250 and is in outstanding condition. Walt handles this transaction as Mike assists and grabs the comic off the wall. The comic features the first appearance of the demon Mephisto in the Marvel Universe and was a 72 page double-sized issue costing 25 cents at the time of publication. Jason Mewes is asked if he’s a big Surfer fan and he admits he is not, only because he hasn’t read enough Silver Surfer comic books to form an opinion. The customer explains that it’s a holy grail item for him, but counters to buy it at $180. Walt comes down to $225, but it’s not enough. The buyer tries once again and offers $200, which Walt accepts.
The next transaction ends up being a bit awkward. A customer named Jeff comes into the Stash with a bunch of handwritten letters from Steve Ditko, best known as the co-creator of Spiderman. The seller explains that he wrote to Steve and got lucky and got some responses. Walt thanks Jeff for bringing them in and says that the letters are very special. When there is an awkward pause at the end of the conversation, Walt seems a little short with Jeff when it becomes clear that he wants to sell the letters if the price is right. Walt remarks that it’s a little distasteful. Kevin Smith remarks that Jeff didn’t learn anything from Spiderman, who in the beginning used his powers for monetary gain. Jeff asks for $10,000 for the letters and Walt politely declines to buy them.
The final transaction of the show revolves around an exact hand drawn and inked copy of Amazing Fantasy #15 that has an unknown origin. Walt clarifies that the original artwork for the comic is in the Library Of Congress, so this copy is a bit of a mystery. The seller agrees that it’s reproduction art, but everyone notices that it’s extremely high quality art, so they want to investigate it’s potential value by calling in Rob Bruce to shed some light on the matter. Amazing Fantasy #15 was released in 1962 and the cover was drawn by Jack Kirby and inked by Steve Ditko.
The seller bought the artwork online and knows nothing except that they were from an estate sale in the 1980’s, which doesn’t really clarify much of anything of their origin. Rob Bruce calls the artwork substantial but forgeries, like a Leonardo da Vinci or Vincent van Gogh, but says the 12 pages may be worth $75 to $100 a page. Walt asks the buyer for his price, which is $1,000, and Walt counters with a solid $700 offer. The seller says he’s stuck on $1,000 and Walt offers up $800 for the art. The seller tries to push the deal to $900, but quickly agrees to the $800, and sells the artwork to the Stash. The Stash is hoping someone will contact them with the origin story of the artwork.