Robot 6

It’s official: Bob Bretall has world’s largest comics collection

bob bretall-guinness

More than a year after the British media decreed Bob Bretall owns the world’s largest comic book collection, it’s now official: With 94,268 unique comics amassed over four decades — and still growing! — the 52-year-old Mission Viejo, California, man now holds the Guinness World Records.

Bretall’s treasure trove weighs an estimated 16,800 pounds, or the equivalent of 118 grown men. Y’know, if you were curious.

He began collecting at 8 years old with 1970’s Amazing Spider-Man #88, and never stopped. Bretall adds more than 140 each month, revealing on his Facebook page that since the official count on May 1, the tally has grown by at least 1,000.

Asked by Guinness how much his collection is worth, Bretall replied, “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, who sent his proposal to Guinness in December 2012, is well aware plenty of people will insist there are larger collections than his, but he’s not concerned.

“Queue up the posts by people who ‘know a guy’ that has more comics,” he wrote. “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!”

Comments

24 Comments

I rather like Bob’s philosophy and am very happy to congratulate him on being the ‘Official’ propietor of the worlds’s largest comic collection.

My own collection however, is the greatest! ;) *

* mystifyingly unrecognised by Guinness World Records.

Amazingly random fact: I looked up his website, read the bios, and discovered I know his son from my LGS/LCS. I had no clue previously; small world, indeed.

I get a bit flustered when I have 2 long boxes in my closet. This guy has the equivalent of around 377 long boxes!

I have six short boxes in my closet and I’m considering downsizing due to lack of time to enjoy them properly.

Kudos to Bob for clearly enjoying his!

I’m curious if they’re all in bags and boards. Now THAT would be impressive.

Wow! What a collection. I will never be able to beat that due to financial constraints, however I’ll try to have the biggest Ororo Munroe aka Storm collection ever and get recorded by Guinness!

You can’t amass that type of collection without having to buy some expensive books along the way.
If he’s still buying 140 titles a month and already has that many, he must be a completionist, and there are
expensive books in just about every run. So he may downplay the value of his collection, but I’m willing to bet
he knows it and probably has them insured. I just can’t see owning 92,000 commons and few keys. That
collection is probably loaded with good stuff. I would like to just go through them to see.

I wonder if he has read every issue he has.

That collection is epic. And what a great attitude! :)

Very cool, I know a guy that has over 30,000 and he is in his 30’s. He might be at that same level 20 years from now. I have 11 boxes and it feels like a lot. At some point you need to dedicate a room in your house to these collections like he has.

Went from 14K to 150 comics in the past three years (documented over at zombiecatbacon). Still buying and enjoying, but can’t justify the space taken up by so many comics that I will never get the opportunity to read again. Hey, I have a life, mister! Anyway, love Bob’s attitude and effort. Well done! Can we get some shelf porn from Bob?

Wow I want that room. I wish I had the money to have a space like that for myself.

I like his attitude.

I wonder what he’s reading and what his favorites are.

Yes bob what are your favorites?

If he bought all the milestone issues as they came out. Obviously he never paid more that cover price for things like incredibke Hulk 181, Giant-Size Xmen, etc.

He has great passion and patient. Salute to the man.

I have about 15,000 (30 long boxes) from 35 years of reading, but I don’t see myself as a collector. I buy what I want to read and don’t throw them away. I don’t buy comics for special covers or any idea that they’ll be worth something significant some day. That said, it’s a good thing we moved to a house a decade back because that many comics take up a lot of room. I was thinking that one day I’ve have a kid or know someone who could love them, but while my son likes comics well enough, he doesn’t have “the bug” and only reads maybe 10 titles per month (compared to my 100 or so). I’ve told my wiife that when I die, she can find someone to give them to (perhaps even a library) or just call up Mile High Comics or somesuch and sell the entire lot at once — it’s far to large and covers too much time to interest any local comic shop.

That’s not a hobby, that’s a mental illness. Who reads and actually enjoys 140 comics a month? That’s 4 – 5 comics to read every night. And then there’s back issues, trade paperbacks. That’s not a hobby – it’s a compulsion. Sure, it’s not hurting anyone but I wouldn’t encourage it myself.

I’m up to about 35 long boxes. I’ve slowed down on my buying over the years due to finances and am to a point where I’ll probably stop buying new stuff and start focusing on filling back issue gaps.

I have 10 long boxes, but hardly crack them open b/c I have digital torrents of everything now….just batch them on and off my kindle and read casually for pleasure….. I have a much more zen approach to stuff, and want less less less in my life…makes travel and moving easier, saves money, etc….digitize everything, give away everything….i promise, it will make you happier!

Bob congratulations on your collection and the acceptance into the Guinness record. I’m so glad to hear that there are still good people out there who buy and read comics for the stories and for the love of the characters. Feels like everyone these days is all about how much something is worth. They bag everything and never take the time to actually read or look deeper into the art.

At its largest, my comic collection numbered approximately 5,500. I whittled it down to about 1,500 that I probably won’t ever sell, plus several hundred comics reprint volumes. If this collection makes this guy happy, I say more power to him, but I can honestly say I don’t envy him at all.

I have around 160 short boxes in my garage. How many is that?

My husband’s friend was an avid collector. When he moved to live with his sister-in-law after a work-related disability, his nephew sold a lot of his comics. I am wondering if he could have rivaled Bob.

Brian LaBelle

June 11, 2016 at 3:04 pm

Sorry Bob, there’s a man in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada with over 117,000 unique books. I’m going to have to contact Comic Fever and tell them to get Guiness up here!

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