Comic Book Men – Q&A With Walt Flanagan

Walt 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?

A: Yeah, definitely. We’ve had customers come in from different parts of the world. People were coming in from all over the country, and now it’s all over the world. They catch the show and if they’re making a trip to the East Coast, they make an effort to get to The Stash as well.

Q: Have you gotten used to all of the attention?

A: This season, I noticed the cameras the least compared to any other season. You kind of just get used to it, but you never forget they’re there.

Q: What’s been the rarest item you’ve seen come into the store?

A: We’ve had the baseball that was signed by the cast of Batman ‘66. That would be rare just because of the oddity of it all. We’ve had a case of kryptonite rocks come in, and we have a lot of stuff coming up this season that is super rare. Every week, there’s something else so every time someone asks me this question, I have to change the answer.

Q: What is the rarest collectible you own? How did you acquire it?

A: I’ve got probably over 20,000 comics, but maybe a handful of them are really worth anything. Most of them are only sentimental value. I wasn’t really around for the Silver Age, so I’m more of a Bronze Age person. One of the rarest ones was a DC Elseworlds 80-page giant that was never released in America because there was a story inside the book about Superbaby crawling inside a microwave. Copies got out to the U.K. and in the early days of eBay, someone had told me to go on the site. I hadn’t even heard of eBay [at that time]. I had to send a check for it and I think I paid $400 for it. It’s such a different world now with computers and buying comics.

Q: How is the Cryptozoic Man series coming along?

A: Cryptozoic Man is complete. The trade paperback just came out with all four issues from Dynamite. I’m super stoked about how it came out. I couldn’t be happier with it.

Q: What comics are you reading right now?

A: I’m reading Harley Quinn, Deadpool, Batman and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Q: Have you seen the Guardians of the Galaxy movie?

A: Oh yeah! I loved it. It was so enjoyable and I didn’t want it to end.

Q: You guys dress up a lot at The Stash – like for the Renaissance Fair [Season 3, Episode 16, "Knights of the Stash"] and Superman's 75th birthday [Season 3, Episode 9, "Superman's 75th"] – what has been your favorite get up so far?

A: I didn’t partake in it, but I still have a soft spot for when Ming wore the wedding gown and Mike was Mr. Fantastic and they got married [Season 2, Episode 2, "My Big Fat Geek Wedding"].

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

A: It’d have to be something easily carried. I guess it would be Ming.

Q: Well, that was unexpected!

A: [Laughs] As much grief as we give him, I wouldn’t want him to perish in flames or anything. If there was a fire, I would get Ming and let the comics burn.