A California man now officially holds the world record for largest comics collection, but how many books did it take?
Bob Bretall of Mission Viejo, Calif., has been collecting comic books since he was 8 years old (he's 52 now). His collection began with Amazing Spider-Man #88 (1970) and from there it just kept growing ... and growing ... and growing ...
In December 2012, Bretall sent a proposal to Guinness World Records, hoping that his massive stash of comics might be the biggest in the world. On May 1 of this year, Guinness took an official tally and declared Bretall the record holder, an achievement now recorded in the just-released 2015 Guinness Book of World Records. So what's the count?
According to Guinness, as of May 1 Bretall owned an incredible 94,268 unique (meaning no repeated issues) comic books, a number Bretall says he's since increased by at least 1,000. The total weight of all of those comics is estimated at 16,800 pounds, the equivalent of nearly 120 men, and more than eight tons. And you think the longboxes in your bedroom are heavy!
Bretall's undoubtedly got more than a few valuable treasures stashed away in his collection, but when asked how much he thinks all of the books are worth, he declared that, for him, comics have never been about money, and they never will be.
“I do not like to emphasize the monetary aspects of collecting comics. Too many stories about comics collecting focus on how many dollars everything is worth instead of the great stories and characters. I do not do it for the money and I don’t try to rationalize it as an investment and I’m not into it to make money. I have a regular job that pays the bills just fine. I’m never going to sell any of my comics, I’ll leave that to my kids when it becomes their inheritance to do with as they will (though I hope they’ll keep at least a few of them as a remembrance).”
Bretall's also already anticipating counterclaims to his record, but even if someone ends up having more comics than he does, he'll be celebrating right along with them.
“Queue up the posts by people who ‘know a guy’ that has more comics,” he said. “Records are made to be broken, those people can apply to Guinness World Records to break my record. When they do, I will congratulate them!”
To see more of Bretall's collection, including frequent posts about new acquisitions, check out his Facebook Page.