The Comic Book Men

Photo-Op, Saturday: 3:15 pm
Photo-Op, Sunday: 5 pm
The Comic Book Men is appearing all three days!

Michael Zapcic has an encyclopedic knowledge of every issue of every comic known to man. If you are looking for a rare Marvel back issue, or you want to know in which episode an obscure character first appeared, Mike is your guy. Zapcic began his career at Secret Stash in 2000 and is still in awe that he is able to make a living doing something he is so passionate about. In addition to helping Walt run Secret Stash, Zapcic hosts a weekly podcast called I Sell Comics!, with Ming Chen, on Kevin Smith’s radio network, S.I.R.!: SModcast Internet Radio. Zapcic, who resides in Long Branch, New Jersey, met and married his beautiful wife, Julia, after she noticed him reading a copy of Wizard: The Magazine of Comics. Together they have two boys, Mitch and Daniel.

Walt Flanagan was appointed store manager of The Secret Stash upon its inception in 1997 by his high-school friend Kevin Smith. Not only does Flanagan know more about comics than almost anyone in the world, but he’s also an accomplished artist. Flanagan has penciled for several comic books including Karney and War of the Undead, written by Bryan Johnson, as well as Batman: Cacophony and Batman: The Widening Gyre, both written by Smith. Flanagan may be most well-known for his small but memorable appearances in several of Smith’s feature films, including Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma, always uttering the immortal line, ‘Tell ‘em, Steve-Dave!’ – a line of dialogue that eventually became an award-winning podcast he hosts with Johnson. Flanagan is currently working on the sequel to The Widening Gyre.

Bryan Johnson, best known as "Steve-Dave Pulasti" by his fans, has appeared in a number of his longtime friend Kevin Smith’s films, including Mallrats, Chasing Amy, and Dogma. In 2000, Johnson wrote, directed, and starred in Vulgar, which premiered at the Toronto Interntational Film Festival and was based on the clown cartoon featured in the intro of Smith's first movie, Clerks. Bryan has also penned comic books including Karney and War of the Undead. Currently, Johnson is the host of the podcast Tell ‘Em Steve-Dave!, along with Walt Flanagan and Brian Quinn. In 2010 the show won two Podcast Awards: People's Choice and Best Comedy. The show was also named a Best of 2010 audio podcast by iTunes.
Although he is not officially an employee at Secret Stash, on most days Johnson can be found holding court on the stool behind the front counter.

Ming Chen’s road to the Stash all began in 1995, when the college student, video store employee, and Kevin Smith follower developed a fan website based on the movie Clerks. Smith, who appreciated Chen’s work, reached out and asked him to create the Web site for his production company, View Askew Productions. Fifteen years later, not only does Chen continue to work on all of Smith’s online projects, but he has also ventured into several other areas within the Kevin Smith empire, most recently hosting a weekly podcast called I Sell Comics! with Michael Zapcic on Smith’s radio network, S.I.R.!: SModcast Internet Radio. Chen is not only the technical expert for The Stash, but he is also the perfect person to send out to do the jobs no one else wants to do. He takes it all with a smile, and is happy to be a part of the team.

During his free time, Chen does pro bono website work for two non-profit organizations, Street Poets Inc. and The Kenny Gordon Foundation. Chen has been married to his wife Debbie for 11 years and has two children, Lillian and Harrison.