Ming Chen: Pop Culture in Kissimmee

Tag along with Ming Chen in Experience Kissimmee’s new show to discover why Kissimmee is a pop culture paradise.

Ming Chen and Jen Bonner stand in front of a wall of colorful comic books

Hear Ming's story in his episode of The Kissimmee Experience.

There’s something for everyone in Kissimmee. Ming Chen was the perfect guest to explore this unique side of Kissimmee’s pop culture including a comic and game specialty store, a pho restaurant designed just like a comic book, and one of the area’s all-inclusive entertainment venues. All this and more in this episode of The Kissimmee Experience.

Ming Chen

In 1996, Ming Chen developed and designed a fansite dedicated to Clerks, the movie directed by Kevin Smith. From there, Ming wound up joining Kevin Smith’s View Askew Productions as webmaster which led him to starring in AMC’s Comic Book Men, which ran for seven seasons and was filmed on-site at Smith’s comic book shop Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash. Now, Ming travels the world interacting with fans at comic conventions and operates A Shared Universe, which is a podcast studio/network in Red Bank, New Jersey.

Coliseum of Comics 

Billed as the “largest comic and games retailer since 1983” and located right on one of Kissimmee’s main roads, Coliseum of Comics is a one-stop-shop for comics, gaming, action figures, and more. As one of a dozen locations throughout Florida, its impressively well-organized collection encourages folks to browse at their leisure, and even the most knowledgeable comic book experts may find something new. In addition to comic books and figurines of all sizes and price points, the shop has supplies for some of the most popular role-playing games including dice sets in every color imaginable and shelves upon shelves of board games themed after popular fantasy stories. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly as well, so don’t hesitate to ask them questions. In addition, for serious fans and collectors, the Coliseum of Comics Saturday Outlet takes place every Saturday at their warehouse just down the road in Orlando. 

Ming met show host Jen Bonner at the shop and talked about his career in the industry and some of his favorite comic book moments. He even found a copy of the first comic he ever owned! 

If I could find a girl who smells like an old comic book, I’d propose right away.

— Ming Chen 

An Experience Pho Everyone 

After exploring comic book heaven, Jen and Ming took a much-needed break for sustenance in America’s first 2D noodle bar featured in the Michelin Guide, Twenty Pho Hour. The interior of the fast casual Asian fusion restaurant was designed with a motif very similar to the style of a comic book, with delightful details on every surface and plenty of photo-op moments. 

If you haven’t tried pho, it’s an incredibly comforting Vietnamese noodle soup that’s customizable to the ingredients and type of noodle you like. Twenty Pho has a variety of great hearty options, as well as hot sauces on the side to spice it up to your preference. Their appetizers and sides are great too, especially the sharable kimchi fries which could have been a meal on their own.  

The Main Event 

For their final stop, Jen took Ming to experience one of the destination’s top all-inclusive entertainment venues Main Event Entertainment, which invites families to explore over 55,000 square feet of fun, featuring state-of-the-art bowling, laser tag, high ropes adventure courses, billiards, and over 100 interactive video games. A few crew members joined for a quick laser tag game before they sat down to enjoy their final conversation over a bite to eat.  

The food at Main Event is not to be missed, particularly the Mega Pan Pepperoni Pizza, cooked to perfection. The menu and activities make it the perfect venue for groups of multiple age ranges, and there are several areas to stage private events and teambuilding as well.

Find your Niche in Kissimmee 

Ming’s itinerary barely scratched the surface of uniquely geek-oriented activities in Kissimmee. For additional inspiration, visit the Orlando Auto Museum at Dezerland, which houses over 2,000 movie, celebrity, military and historical vehicles. Try Andretti Indoor Karting & Games for high speed electronic superkarts on a two-level modular track. Last, but certainly not least, take a day to visit one of our world-famous theme parks with rides and attractions based on popular movies, such as the immersive Millenium Falcon Smuggler’s Run and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios