Saturday, November 15, 2014

The 11 Question Interview Presents Bob Bretall

Hello, and welcome to the latest edition of The 11 Question Interview, wherein I pose eleven esoteric questions to various equally esoteric personalities. Here we go...

There's a guy. He's kinda the comic book guy. No, not the one from The Simpsons. This guy is the real comic book guy, not some cartoon joke version. This guy is the real thing. His name is Bob Bretall, and he knows pretty much anything and everything about comic books. Everything from the early pre-golden days of comic book history to the latest happenings at Image and Valiant. Bob knows the secret identity of every damn superhero around, and he knows how Scrooge McDuck began his fortune. Oh yeah, and Bob is also a Guinness World Record holder. Yup, that's right. Bob, at 95,000+ comic books, Bob is the official record holder for the largest private collection of comic books. Bob also runs a website called ComicSpectrum, for which I write comic book reviews. If you check out his site (and ya know ya should!) you can find lots of fascinating comic book related stuff, including great pics of his personal, record setting collection. So there ya have it. The comic book king, Bob Bretall, in all his record setting glory. But now we move on from our short bio of the guy, and turn our heads toward the 11 questions we had the guy answer. So without further ado, here are those 11 questions, and Bob's great replies...


As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

  • My brothers were much older than me (8 and 10 years older) and were in college learning computer science when I was in elementary school, so I always wanted to follow in their footsteps and get into computers.  I ended up doing just that, I have a BS and MS in Computer Science and have been working in the field since about 2 weeks after I graduated high school when I got my 1st job, that I kept the entire time I was in college.

If you were on that proverbial desert island, and could bring just one movie, one book, and one piece of music, what would movie, book, and piece of music would you bring?

  • Movie: Casino Royale (James Bond - The Daniel Craig one)  Hey, do I get a Blu-Ray Player & TV too or do I just get to look at the box art on this desert island? Book: The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien. Music: The Four Seasons by Vilvadi (I'm listening to the London Philharmonic performance of this as I fill out this interview).

If you could choose one person from throughout history, real or fictional, to have a beer with, who would that one person be, and why?

  • It would be a "Coke Zero" in lieu of a beer on my side and it would be Stan Lee.  He's the co-creator of the Marvel Universe and the man responsible for getting me into comics.  I love hearing him speak and having a private chat with him would be great, I'd ask him more about his early days and building up the relationships with other creators.  I'd try to get him away from the stock answers about how he came up with the idea for Spider-Man.

If you had to live the rest of your life inside a comic book or comic strip, which comic book or comic strip would it be?
  • Well it certainly would NOT be a super-hero comic or The Walking Dead, as much fun as those are to read.  Being a civilian in any comic that's really exciting to read would pretty much suck :-) I think I'd pick Archie.  Riverdale is a pretty idyllic place (as long as I didn't get stuck in the "Afterlife with Archie" version).

If you could sing one song on American Idol, what song would you sing?

  • Would this fantasy involve me actually being able to sing on key?  (I normally sound horrible). I'll go with "I Love LA" by Randy Newman, because I do, and I've actually been rollin' down Imperial Highway with a big nasty redhead at my side...

If you had to pick just one item of food to eat for the rest of your life, what would that food be, and why?

  • Chili. It's my favorite food and you can prepare it a number of ways as long as you don't throw beans into it, which (just in my own personal book) are a crime against chili of the highest order ;-)

Which comic book character do you think has been the most criminally undervalued, and should get their own title, immediately?

  • Uncle Scrooge.  The richest Duck in the world and a self-made man.  He built up his fortune from nothing by his own hard work and guile.  An adventurer of the highest order.  Handled by the right creators, he has starred in some of my favorite comics of all time and I'd love to see a new master creator step up and take the character to new heights.  It can be done,  Don Rosa is widely acknowledged as being a worthy successor to Carl Barks, so there has to be someone out there who can take the character to new heights in the post-Rosa era.

If they made a movie of your life, who would play you?

  • Ben McKenzie (Jim Gordon on Gotham) Hey, let's cast someone way better looking than me, we'd want people to go see this alleged movie, right?

If you had a sports team, what would you name it?

  • "Let's Read a Book"  (Sorry, I'm not a sports fan......)

After the Zombie Apocalypse happens, what attributes would make you a valuable member to a survival group?

  • I would be totally screwed in a zombie apocalypse based on my physical abilities.  I'd have to fall back on organizational and strategy skills.

If you could choose any two cartoon or comic characters, to be your parents, whom would you choose?

  • Thomas & Martha Wayne --> Wayne Foundation $$$, come to Poppa!!!

I would like to thank Bob Bretall for taking part in The 11 Question Interview. A great collector and a great person. I will be back soon with a brand new 11 Question Interview and a brand new 11 Question Interviewee. That's it gang. See ya 'round the web. I'll close out with Bob's official Guinness Book of World Records photo.


  1. Holy Molasses! Look at that dream room for any person who loves comic books or super heroes-What a collection! I love his answers and great music you picked (sorry I actually do know that version of Vivaldi's 4 seasons and it's wonderful)

  2. Yup. If the guy didn't live 3000 miles away from me, I would probably force my way into his home and spend the next week perusing his collection of goodies.