Bob Bretall, 51, got hooked after being given his first comic book aged eight
His collection of comics is so vast it is filed away in boxes and catalogued
Superhero fanatic still reads about 115 comics a week, and is still colllecting
Daily Mail Reporter
10:39 GMT, 6 August 2013
11:31 GMT, 6 August 2013
A super-hero fanatic has amassed the world's largest comic book collection that decorates almost every inch of his home.
Weighing 8.5 tons - more than a large elephant - it has taken 43 years to build. And it's still growing.
Bob Bretall, 51, got his first comic, Amazing Spider-Man number 88, when he was eight years old.
Growing collection: Super-hero fanatic Bob Bretall, 51, has amassed the worlds largest comic book collection, weighing 8.5 tons, not to mention the other superhero memorabilia he has gathered
Mr Bretall got his first comic, Amazing Spider-Man when he was eight years old. Gripped, he went back every month since to feed his appetite
Gripped, he went back every month since to feed his appetite.
Now, 43 years later, he has a house-full of boxes and he is not slowing down.
Bob, a computer programmer from Mission Viejo in California, said: 'I just love of the medium and I plan to read and collect for the rest of my life.
'My brother Russ got me started when he gave me money to buy comics with. I loved the character and the story and I just kept coming back.
'My dad and older brother Randy never really "got it", but everyone else is pretty supportive.
His house resembles a kids' shop more than a home, with comics piled high from the ground and superhero toys on every available surface
Mr Bretall's comic book collection is so vast he has had to store the magazines in orderly boxes
On top of his enormous comic book collection, Mr Bretall has acquired toys and figurines of superheros that span the centuries and cover almost every inch of his home
'My wife has always been supportive, she doesn't read comics, but helps me catalogue and maintain the collection.
'My kids, nieces and nephews, and their friends generally think the collection is pretty cool. The majority of my personal friends are also into reading and collecting.
'I have them racked so they don't need to be moved around much. 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.'
Still collecting, Bob reads around 115 comics a month - new and old.
'With great power there must also come great responsibility': Bob Bretall has amassed the world's largest comic book collection
In awe: His kids, nieces and nephews, and their friends think the collection is 'pretty cool', Mr Bretall said
His kids, nieces and nephews, and their friends think the collection is 'pretty cool', Mr Bretall said
But Spider-Man will always be his favourite: "He was the guy that got me into collecting.
'I always thought he was a very relatable hero, he had problems of his own to overcome but he always did the right thing. I love the line by Stan Lee: 'With great power there must also come great responsibility'.
'Those early Marvel comics were not 'written down' to kids and had a lot of really advanced stuff in them.
'I'd often find myself going to the dictionary when reading comics as a kid.
'Spider-Man will always have that spot as my favourite even though I no longer read new Spider-Man comics coming out today."
After receiving his first comic book at the age of seven, Mr Bretall, centre, was gripped and his lifetime collection began
Despite the comic renaissance with Hollywood films based on Marvel and DC stories, Bob doesn't rate them very highly.
Bob said: "Right now my favourite comic is called Harbinger, from a company called Valiant.
'My consumption of Marvel/DC super-hero comics is only about 20 per cent of my 115 a month.
'But my absolute favourite varies from month to month.'
Dan Soko is a short story author and web content editor. He has work appearing or forthcoming in over a dozen venues, including GhanaScoop, Nigeria Daily News and CapitalBay. When he’s not frightening strangers with his post and writing, he’s most likely frightening his wife Mimi and their two mischievous cats: Buttons and Snaps. You can visit her at www.ghananation.com/author/webby.