Comic Book Men – Q&A With Ming Chen

Ming 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?

A: Walt, Mike and I each have two kids, so we have experience and it wasn’t too foreign to us. I tried to help out as much as I could. Walt is actually very sensitive to smells, so I don’t think he likes changing diapers. We got attached and babysat in our way, but I don’t think we’ll be running a daycare anytime soon.

Q: Does The Stash attract more kids or adults? Do your children or their friends ever stop by?

A: Most people think of a comic book store as being for kids, but these days, comics are geared towards adults. The stories are darker and intricate. A book is $3 to $4 now too; they’re not a quarter anymore like when I was a kid. My kids are into superheroes, though.

Q: Do they have favorite superheroes?

A: They love Spider-Man and Iron Man. They’re also really into the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Q: You’re a fan of The Walking Dead. Ever tried to get any inside info from AMC?

A: As a fan, I don’t want too much, but I kind of feel like I do have information since most of it is based on the comic book and I follow it very closely. Some of the plot lines are the same, but what I love about the show is that Robert Kirkman has changed a lot of it, so you don’t know what to expect. I would love to be a zombie on the show! That would be cool, though it might be a little too obvious. If someone called me tomorrow to fly down to Georgia to get my head chopped off, I’d be down.

Q: [Laughs] On the next flight out?

A: Oh, yes! For sure! We’ve actually been running into a lot of the cast members at conventions and that’s a lot of fun, as a fan.

Q: Last season we asked you who you'd want to be on a desert island with and you chose Bryan. What about in the midst of a zombie apocalypse? Who, from The Stash, would you want on your team?

A: My answer would definitely change and I would probably have Mike on my side. Bryan is a complainer, so I don’t know how much help he’d be. I’ve never seen him use a weapon, either. Mike has actually planned for the apocalypse. He’s got an arsenal and I believe he got a crossbow for Christmas. Whether he would share his knowledge is another question, but Mike would be the guy. He’s got a blueprint in mind.

Q: If you could only save one comic or collectible from The Stash, which would it be?

A: I think it’d be the life-sized Buddy Christ from the movie Dogma. It’s iconic to everything Kevin’s done and is one of the more popular pieces here. It probably weighs as much as I do and is encased in glass, so I don’t know how I’d save it. Years ago, the artist Jim Lee came in and used a sharpie to do artwork of Jay & Silent Bob, Batman and Superman on a door for us. It took him a couple of hours and it’s definitely a one-of-a-kind, priceless piece that I would like to save.

Q: Looking back at the last three seasons, what was your favorite moment on the show?

A: Definitely in Season 2 when Mike and I did a 5K zombie run. That was one of my favorite episodes [Season 2, Episode 6, "The Running Dead"] and of course the episode where we meet Stan Lee [Season 2, Episode 8, "Stan the Man"]. That’s one moment that my grand kids will get to look back at and say, “Holy crap! My grandpa hung out with Stan Lee!”