For Silva to authenticate the size of his record-setting entry, he had to create a spreadsheet and take dozens of photos and provide witnesses. “It was about three days’ work, but it was really worth it because I got a much better sense of how much I had.” Deciding what to count was not as easy as it sounds. Is a set of playing cards one item or 52? (It’s one.) How about five tiny action figures in one set? (That counts as five.) Every comic counts, as long as there are no duplicates. The final tally was 2,507, to be exact, which is what Silva had to be.
Silva’s favorite — and his most expensive — piece is a reproduction he had made of the Batman costume from the l966 TV show. Another favorite is the phone book that sat on Commissioner Gordon’s desk during the weekly program. It was actually a New York City phone book that the prop department fitted with a Gotham City cover. There is also an old TV from the ‘70s replaying the original Batman TV show.
Silva, whose full-time job is fixing guitar amplifiers for the likes of John Mellencamp, Prince and Ted Nugent, still finds time to scan eBay and to shop garage sales. “I also have generals in the field who find anything Batman, email me photos and ask me if I need any of it for my basement display.
His kids are not into Batman, but his son digs Captain Marvel and his daughter is a Marilyn Monroe fan. “My wife, Janet, rolls her eyes at all this,” says Silva, “but at least she knows what to get me at Christmas.”