The Captain's Veranda by Joe Sarno
|t. Gene made an appointment, and was led down to the basement of the guy, whose name if I correctly, was Bolle. In his basement Gene found row after row of golden age comics packed alphabetically and numerically in two-sided wooden orangecrates stacked almost to the ceiling. There were multiples of many issues. Gene did the math, and figured there had to be 60,000 comics in the basement. "I thought you said there were over 100,000 comics here" Gene asked Bolle. "Yeah, he answered, these are my duplicates, my one-of-a-kinds are in the attic!" Can you imagine! Gene wasted no time in calling Len and letting him know that the collection was as large as Bolle claimed. Len cleared his calendar and flew out to Chicago, and he and Gene drove to Decatur, where Len eventually made an offer of $20,000 for comics. Bolle turned down the offer as he was thinking closer to $50,000. He would eventually start selling the books off in parcels, but not until four or five years later, after the first Overstreet Comic Book Price guide came out.
|Both Gene and Len Brown took pictures of the collection. Gen's are lost, but when I talked to Malcolm Willets last week he said he still had photos in his possession. The "size" if the collection has grown to legendary proportions in recent years. When I talked to Bob Beerbohn recently he said he though it was closer to a million comics, which would make it the very largest accumlation of comics put together ever. Initially when I had heard this story there were only 100,000 books mentioned. Malcolm thought in was closer to 200,000, but after recent conversations when Len amended that to the number Gene had mentioned. More about the Bolle accumulation, and how he had brought it together and what happened to it next issue.
|Originally published in the C.B. WEEKLY (Comic Book Collectors Bulletin) Vol 3 #61 February 28, 2001 copyright Joe Sarno and respective copyright holders 2003.|