Comic superfan Bob Bretall’s comic book collection isn’t just large, it’s heavy. Weighing in at around 8 tons, Bretall’s more than 103,000 unique comic books make up the world’s largest collection, according to Guinness World Records.
Bretall avoids using the word “obsessed” to describe himself but concedes that his collection is “above what anybody would consider to be normal.” He admits that “there are a lot of people who would look at what I have and certainly say, ‘Bob, you’re obsessed with comics.’”
The 54-year-old software specialist and information security consultant says his love of comics started in childhood with Spider-Man comics and has grown from there. He credits the prodigious size of the collection to the fact that he never threw away any of his comics, even as he grew up.
And comic books alone aren’t the end of the story: Bretall has a wide variety of comic-themed merchandise, ranging from statues and figurines to posters, original art, bound compilations, and glasses and mugs.
He says his most valuable comic is likely Amazing Fantasy 15, which features the first appearance of Spider-Man, but he makes clear that he doesn’t like to talk about the money he’s spent or the value of his collection. He says he doesn’t view his comic books as an investment because he’s never going to sell them.
And while he admits that “there is a line item in the household budget which is ‘Bob’s comics,’” he says that he’s never missed a bill payment and his family has always come first. His wife, he jokes, “knew the job was dangerous when she took it.”
Bretall receives a new box of comics every week, adding them to his still-growing collection. Why does he keep doing it? Bretall says it’s because he truly loves it.
“For people that have any kind of an unconventional hobby, as long as you’re having a good time doing it, don’t let what other people think stop you from pursuing that hobby if it gives you enjoyment,” he says.
“I always feel happy when I get a new set of comic books, ’cause there’s new stories and new worlds to explore.”
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And check out more #Obsessed with these Toy Story fans who are re-creating the movie, shot for shot, in live action:
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