Comic Book Men are as real as their reality show
I had the chance to interview AMC’s “Comic Book Men” at Wizard World in Richmond, VA and spoke with them about the reality behind their reality show.
Everyone has that reality show that you can’t get enough of. For some it may be the wretched and vile epitome of evil like “Keeping up with the Kardashians” and for others it may be a show that caters to their own personal passions. For me, that show is AMC’s “Comic Book Men.” I’ve been collecting comics since my Dad shared some of his silver age gems with me as a kid, so of course a show that deals with the same connection I shared with my Dad growing up is going to invoke an emotional connection and is the reason why I stay up past midnight every Sunday when the show is in season.
When speaking with the men behind the show, I fed my own curiosity regarding what goes on behind the scenes. I felt the incessant urge to discover if they had sacrificed the integrity of the shop in order to cater to a more TV driven audience. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised at their response and how these men are the same fun-loving group of guys in person as they are on TV.
As far as your shop goes…since the show came about, what has changed? Do you feel like you’re still a true comic book shop or do you feel like things have become more fan-driven where you’re seeing a lot of people just noticing you for the show?
No, we’re still a comic shop first and foremost, that has never changed. Walt Flanagan and I still run the register…
Yeah every Tuesday/Wednesday boxes come in and these guys are cataloging, making orders, all that stuff…that will never change. That’ll always be the priority.
Only reason I ask is because I’ve been in a few shops where they’ve become reality shows and then it turns into a gift shop…
I have no idea what you’re talking about…*cough* PAWN STARS *cough*…sorry, oh man I’m allergic to something…
I’ve tried man, I’ve tried to peddle my own crap and I’m not that good at it.
The Stash was already a gift shop before the show even started…
That’s a good point, it was half Kevin Smith gift shop.
Well we kinda like to downplay that but that’s besides the point.
Speaking with the men of “Comic Book Men” was probably the most fun interview I had at Wizard World because I actually got to speak with them about a subject I thoroughly enjoyed…comics. They proved to me through their unfiltered personalities and honest responses that out of all of the reality crap out there, these guys are genuine fans that have a genuine show. They even had me prove myself as a comic book fan which I partially failed when asked a question regarding Mister Terrific but redeemed myself with a question about the Fantastic Four.
When I asked about the influence of fame on their shop, they hit the nail on the head with their response and also citing “Pawn Stars” as an example of shops that have changed their merchandise due to fame (which is exactly what I was hinting at). Although they’ve sell some Kevin Smith merchandise (which counts as comic book worthy in my opinion), they have not changed from who they were before the show.