Actor and rapper Method Man stopped by the Stash in the latest episode, and talks here with AMC about his love of comic books and the surreal experience of working with Marvel on comics and television.
Q: In the episode, you talk about how you have a collection of more than 30,000 comics! How have you collected so many? When did you start?
A: When I was about 12 or 13 years old, and I haven’t stopped since. I attribute that to a teacher I had named Ms. Gold. In sixth grade, we used to make comic books after school. It was something to keep us from drawing in class. She decided to start something after school. We would sit in the classroom and make our own comic books. Being around other guys who collected comic books, I found out the proper way to keep my comic books in bags and things like that, and been an avid collector since.
Q: Do you have a process when it comes to choosing a comic for your selection?
A: I used to go to the same comic book guy, Mr. Socko. He’s still my comic book guy to this day. He has a comic book store on Staten Island called Comic Book Jones. They would have lists with all the books coming out for that month or the next six months and all you had to do was put a check next to the books you wanted. Every month, they would put them in your box. Sometimes I would be gone for two or three months and I’d come back and have a laundry list bill of comic books. It accumulates.
Mr. Socko has a lot in common with the guys at the Stash. Him and his crew have been around each other since they were kids, too, but Socko one-ups them in one way because his mom actually works in the store sometimes. They’re a bunch of cool guys. That’s what people don’t know about comic book geeks, man. We’re some of the coolest people on this planet.
Q: Is there a comic book character or storyline that resonates with you the most?
A: Mostly X-Men stuff. I’ve always been the guy that likes variety over focusing on one sole character. You can go buy an Iron Man book and the only person you’re going to see in there is basically Iron Man. With X-Men, there are so many different characters and you get the whole shebang.
Q: On the show you mention how The Incredible Hulk #181, the first appearance of Wolverine, is the crown jewel in your collection…
A: That was actually my first book from that era, when comics were still 35 cents. I had that book in my hand knowing that it was Wolverine’s first appearance and it just marked the sole reason why I even collected books – the value, to see where one of my favorite characters first started, and just the bragging rights of saying, “I got that book!” I have Spawn #1-20, the original series by Todd McFarlane. I have Youngblood #1-10 when Image first got started, but still to this day, my most prized possession is that Hulk #181.
Q: Has your love of comics informed your work in any way?
A: It has broadened my vocabulary over the years. [Laughs] I didn’t talk like a regular kid.
Q: Is there any crossover for you between writing music and comics?
A: I like to keep my stuff grounded in reality. You can use a reference from a comic book to get your point cross or maybe a nice little metaphor and people will get it because it’s ingrained in our pop culture – except when you do a Netflix show called Luke Cage and you throw in “heroes for hire.” That’s strictly for the fan boys. That’s why I threw that line in there – for the fan boys and to let them know that I am one of them.
Q: You’ve been a fan of comics for so long and now, you’ve written comics for Marvel and been in Luke Cage. What’s that like for you?
A: Surreal. I’m living the dream. That’s the best way I can put it. They asked me how much I wanted for writing the book and I think I said 50 cents or the price of the book. I didn’t cash that Marvel check. I’m going to save it and frame it and put it up on the wall.
You would think the biggest kick would be winning a Grammy or something like that, but my biggest kick is being Method Man in the Marvel Universe, as myself. That sh—t is huge!
Q: What books are you reading and collecting right now?
A: Moon Knight. I wish they didn’t discontinue The Vision. That was a good book. Mike Zapcic put me onto that one and he was absolutely right. That book is dope. I can’t wait to see what they do with The Runaways. Also, Nailbiter, Southern Bastards and I read a lot of [Robert] Kirkman stuff, like Invincible.
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