If you’re a big fan of comic books or superheroes, then you’ve probably caught a few episodes of
Comic Book Men on AMC. The show is filmed in Kevin Smith’s comic book mecca, The Secret
Stash, located in Red Bank, NJ. Two of the shows stars, Ming Chen and Michael Zapcic, run a
podcast where they talk about pop culture and events. With Michael doing a TEDx talk next
month, they kicked off a new TEDxAsburyPark Series and invited Eric Wiener, the Director of Revenue and IT to do a
podcast live at A Shared Universe to talk about next month’s production.
The theme of the event this year is Passion, and all the talks are centered around what the
speakers’ passions are, and how they built a better live for themselves through it’s use. Michael
was busy running the store the day of the interview, but that didn’t stop me from going to check
it out afterward for some photos. His talk is about his passion for Comics and Pop Culture.
After exchanging pleasantries for a bit, it became clear that his personality and ability to speak
vibrantly will make for an inspiring talk.

Michael Zapcic behind the counter at The Secret Stash

Although solo, Ming was a gracious and friendly host. Ming, Eric and myself enjoyed talking
about the many knick-knacks and signed superhero memorabilia that decorated the studio. After
introducing us to Deathwish coffee, (“The world’s strongest coffee”), we jumped right into the
live streamed podcast.

Eric covered everything from meeting Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, to his invitation to join
TEDx while riding a ferry one day. He also talked about the struggles and challenges he’s faced
while working for TEDx, and how he was able to help market the events in a way that
successfully spread awareness.

One of the biggest challenges he mentioned is constantly “feeding the monster.” Keeping
awareness of events high, promoting, marketing, and effectively advertising. April is national
volunteer month, and TEDx has had so many wonderful people donate their time in preparation
for next month’s TEDx talk event at the Paramount Theater.

TEDx Asbury Park Director of Revenue and IT Eric Wiener articulating some challenges

Be sure to follow Ming’s Facebook, as he continues to interview more of the speakers who are
performing at next month’s event. If you’re interested in going to the event, use the discount
code GiveTime for 15% off your ticket purchase. The all-day event is sure to be a treat, and you
might even stumble across a new passion.