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Season 4, Episode 10

Mr. Adams

Comic legends, artist Neal Adams and writer Denny O'Neil, drop by the Stash. The guys look at a pristine set of 50-year-old Batman night lights.

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At the podcast, Kevin asks Walt, Bryan, Mike and Ming what happened at the Stash that week. Walt starts off by saying, even though it's easy to forget, he's kind of a straight-laced guy...

At the Stash, as Rob Bruce tells Ming, Walt and Bryan how to find hidden gems at the market, a customer comes in with a comic she's trying to sell that's "kind of different." She shows off her racy underground comic, a 1973 Robert Crumb issue. Walt's on the fence about it because he doesn't think it's the right fit for the store. Walt says, "I'm a Comics-Code guy," and pulls out of the sale, but Rob Bruce steps in and asks her what she's selling it for. She says she's seen similar titles sell for about $50. Rob Bruce explains that some Robert Crumb books go for money, but this particular copy is actually a recent printing. He offers her $10. "As long as it's going to a good home," she says, and they close the deal.

Later, Neal Adams, one of the pioneering artists in comic books, walks into the Stash. "If there's a Mount Rushmore of comic book creators, Neal Adams is probably up there," Kevin explains at the podcast. "He's a total living legend."

Neal Adams is looking for some old comics by Jack Kirby. While Ming retrieves the volumes, Walt asks Mr. Adams to offer him a glimpse of what the comics industry was like back in the early days. Mr. Adams says he can show them all a piece of history, and pulls out the Superman vs. Muhammad Ali cover that he illustrated in 1978, featuring dozens of contemporary celebrities. Walt gushes to Mr. Adams that one of his illustrations of Batman with a "hairy chest and nipples," which conveyed a sense of realism that Walt had never seen before in comics, always stayed with him since he was a kid. Neal Adams pulls more iconic pieces from his portfolio, including the harrowing Green Lantern/Green Arrow #85 cover featuring Speedy's drug addiction, which Walt and Kevin later nostalgically recall at the podcast.

After Mr. Adams leaves, Kevin, Walt and the guys reconvene at the podcast, joined by legendary comic book writer, Denny O'Neil. Walt asks Mr. O'Neil about the time he worked on writing the Green Lantern/Green Arrow title with Neal Adams and if they knew the books would still be relevant today. "We kind of knew we were pushing the envelope," he says, but he never imagined that he would eventually be asked to speak before the Library of Congress. "Even if you don't like them, comics have become a part of the fabric of America," Denny O'Neil says. It's like preaching to the choir.

Back at the Stash, a woman comes in with a set of 1966 Batman night lights, all on card. "It looks like it just came out of the box in 1966," Walt says, admiring the pristine presentation. At the podcast, Kevin says he still has his original Batman night light - and it still works. At the Stash, Walt is definitely interested in the set and asks the customer how much she's looking for them: $1,000. She tells Walt he won't find another set like it. "I got a feeling you're right. There might not be 100 of these left in the world." They settle on $750.

Later, a man comes in with a case of Matchbox Cars from 1970. Ming and the customer fondly remember the Matchbox Cars they used to have as a kid. Ming recalls how he went to great lengths as a little boy to keep his cars in pristine condition. Walt says the Stash has never carried a car collectible before and he's looking to stock up. The customer wants to sell the cars for $150, but Walt pushes back. He doesn't want to go above $100. After a little back and forth, they settle on 90 bucks and seal the deal with a handshake.