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Comic Book Men – Q&A With Ernie Hudson

Comic 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?

A: Well, it was kind of funny. Inside it was a little cramped and the guys were a little goofy, but I just love goofing off with people. That’s part of why I love doing Comic Con. We pulled up on the street, and just messing with people is fun to me. We went to a couple of locations, but I was hoping we would actually drive the truck around more and stop people on the street. There are bookmobiles, I feel like a comic-book mobile would probably be a lot of fun. I like the idea of taking comics to the people. But I don’t know how much money you could make. I remember we talked at the end of the day about how much money we made, and I feel like you’d probably lose money driving it. [Laughs]

Q: Did you have any experiences with comics before coming on the show?

Comics in general in the last 10 or 20 years have sort of been driving the industry, with Marvel Studios and all the stuff they’re doing. You go back 30 years and no one would have expected that. I always gave Stan Lee credit for maybe being responsible for me going to college. I first had fun reading with the Marvel Comics. It was great to read, just for the fun of it as opposed to some of the stuff I was reading in school. Of course, you go from the comics and you start reading other things, but I think getting into that space of possibilities was probably through comic books. In your own way, [comic books] open up the world of possibilities for a young person. They kind of help you imagine outside of the box.

Q: What kind of comics did you read when were younger?

A: I was a big Thor fan. The Incredible Hulk, The Fantastic Four — those were great, but I loved Thor. There was something about it that I kind of related to. And Iron Man was always cool. So I love the fact that now, of course, with the graphic novels, it’s taken on a whole new level. It’s interesting to see how that stuff takes on another life when it goes to a new medium like television and film.

Q: Ghostbusters is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, and kids still love it! What do you think makes Ghostbusters a film that transcends generations?

A: That’s kind of an interesting phenomenon for me. About a week before I came on [Comic Book Men], I was in Naperville, IL at a theater called the Hollywood Palms Cinema. They were showing Ghostbusters and they invited me there to introduce the movie. I was really impressed because all these people came out and the place was packed. It was all ages. There were people with their parents and their kids, and I feel like it’s one of the few movies that really reaches across the generations. There’s something about the movie that kind of pulls families together and it’s something people of all ages really enjoy.

Q: You’ve fought the undead in Ghostbusters and you’ve maintained a prison in Oz  — two skills that have come in handy in another AMC show, The Walking Dead. Do you think you’d survive the zombie apocalypse?

A: I hope so! But I feel like I’d just give into it. Zombies don’t have to worry about work, they’re the undead, they just walk around looking for fresh food. But it certainly caught on. When I was a kid, we had all those monster movies: Frankenstein, the werewolf, zombies — who would have thought that zombies, the slowest ones in the bunch, would be the ones to catch on? But it’s fun.

Q: Is there one thing you would take from The Stash if you could?

A: They had some great stuff. I’m not a collector because I never really got into organizing. I think the coolest thing for me was walking in to the store and seeing a place where it was all pulled together into one place. Maybe someday when I’m not working so much, I’ll open a comic book store. That would be fun.

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