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As a kid, I kept a studious accounting of just how many comic books I owned, thinking a.) they’d eventually be worth a small fortune — never mind that among them were tattered flea-market finds and coverless prizes from the school carnival — and b.) I could one day boast the largest collection in … some geographic area. If not the state, then certainly the county. But as my hoard never moved much beyond 1,000 comics, I had to be content with the biggest collection in my house.
It’s a much different story for 51-year-old Bob Bretall, whom some in the British media have decided has the world’s largest collection of comic books. However, Bretall, whose name may be familiar from ComicSpectrum, says he has one of the largest collections, amassed over four decades.
Of course, we’re talking about more than 90,000 unique comics — most of them contained within 319 longboxes — so that may be splitting hairs. And Bretall is still amassing books, to the tune of 115 a month, so the collection continues to grow. The Daily Mail places the collection’s weight at 8.5 (presumably long) tons, which is more than an adult African el ephant. Or, if you prefer, nearly five fully grown hippos.
“I have them racked so they don’t need to be moved around much,” Bretall says. “If I need to get a comic I go to my database, see what box the comic is in, go to that box in the storage rack and pull a single box to get the comic I want.”
You can watch a video profile of Bretall below, and check out photos of his collection at the Daily Mail.