Holy comics, Batman! This fan has 20,000 in 3 rooms

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WOODBURY, Minn. (WCCO) – There’s comic book stores, and then there’s Ken Welch’s house.

“When you see it yeah, it’s a lot,” he said. “OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) at its finest.”

It’s a crazy, colorful collection of superheroes in their original form with enough to overflow three rooms.

“I read somewhere that it was about 5,200 comics is what the avid comic book collector generally has,” said Welch. By his calculations, he owns roughly 20,000 comics.

He has boxes of them, many of which are autographed by the artists or authors, all showcasing superheroes in their original form. He has a copy of the first Spider-Man comic, along with several more rare editions that are covered in layers plastic protection.

“And being a single guy, I don’t have a wife telling me I can’t have a man cave on the first floor of the whole house,” he joked as he stood near tables and display shelves.

What’s surprising is Welch doesn’t even read the comics, instead marveling at the detailed drawings that give the characters life.

“I’ve loved art since I was a kid. You’re looking at that first comic book and you see the superhero on there and the way his muscles are drawn in and the action on the front page,” he said.

As a child, Welch said he owned about 100 comics. His collection stayed that small until he had a son of his own.

“I was the parent that instead of saying no, said yes,” he joked. “My son said he was into Spider-Man and he enjoyed and he liked Spider-Man so much, ‘So here’s my comics and we’ll get you some.’ And some turned a little bit more than some.”

Welch even has a picture of when his son met Stan Lee, the famous writer and artist behind the Marvel Comics brand.

“That was a very proud moment as a papa,” he said.

Together, they started to amass more and more comics, along with several paintings, pictures and pieces of nostalgia.

“It’s extremely overwhelming, extremely overwhelming. Especially when you consider what do you do with it,” he said.

His decision is a bitter sweet one.

“It’s time for them to move on to a new home and let somebody else enjoy them,” he said.

From the comic collector’s dream of owning to the Magic the Gathering cards he never even played, everything is for sale.

“My daughter is a teen now, it’s not so cool bring her friends over to dad’s man cave,” he said.

The story of Welch’s comic cache is reaching its end, but don’t count out a sequel.

 

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