Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

December 30, 2013

DICK WOLFSIE: Gone a little Batcrazy

Kevin Silva is bat crazy. Not only won’t he deny that, he’ll invite you down to his basement to prove it. Once you have descended, you will see what is now considered the largest assortment of Batman memorabilia and artifacts in the world, or so say the people at Guinness World Records.

This is no joke. But you will see The Joker, Cat Woman, The Penguin, Poison Ivy, and just about every other character that has ever crossed paths with the Caped Crusader in comics, TV and the movies.

Silva recalls at the age of 5 having a small assortment of Batman comics and toys, but he says, “That’s just because my parents gave me stuff and I put it on the wall.” In 1966 the campy TV show debuted, fueling his interest. Then the Michael Keaton film portrayal in 1989 led to 25 years of amassing anything with a Batman icon, picture or logo. “There is more Batman paraphernalia on the market than even Superman,” says Silva, who believes Batman is the ultimate hero simply because he does not have super powers. “He’s just a regular guy … okay, he has a lot of money. But anyone could be The Batman.”

Silva knew his collection was large, but he didn’t think it was the biggest in the world. The Guinness people who had seen video of his “museum” on a cable show were seeking to make a definitive determination in this category. The present record-holder had 1,500 pieces. Did Silva have more?

Normally, aspiring record-holders seeking to secure recognition by Guinness register on the website, state their claim for the world’s largest, smallest, longest, shortest (or whatever), then wait several months in a queue before researchers from the book can verify their claims. Most people are seeking to break current records but in some cases they are hoping to start a new category.

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