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Bradley and Brian Flota comic book collection

Identifier: SC 0032

  • Staff Only

Scope and Content

The Bradley and Brian Flota Comic Book Collection consists of 59.8 cubic feet of over 9,700 comics from the years 1952-2008. Although it is largely comprised of comic books, the collection also includes a TV guide from the 1990s, children's magazines from Walt Disney, and a few other materials from independent publishers. There is a wide range of comic book genres between the years 1952-2008. However, the majority of the issues were released in or near to the 1980s, just before and while Brian Flota was actively collecting the materials. Some major publishers in this collection include Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and Dark Horse Comics.

Box 71 contains oversized comics, a copy of the cardboard backing for the first comic in the collection, and an issue of Justice League of America from June 1974.

The inventory consists of an alphabetical listing of the comic books, dates, issue numbers, and publisher information for each title. Also included are notes from the donor, indicating special issues or items of note within the collection.


  • Publication: 1952 - 2008
  • Publication: Majority of material found within 1960 - 1999


Conditions Governing Access

Collection open to research. Please be aware collection contains mature content. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (

Bio/Historical Note

This collection was assembled by Dr. Brian Flota, Humanities Librarian at James Madison University, and his father, Bradley Flota (1948-2015).

Bradley Flota graduated from Mount Vernon (Illinois) Township High School in 1966 and served in the United States Army from 1970 to 1972. He was also a musician, contributing vocals and guitar intermittently to The TimeActions, who became A&M Records recording artists, Head East, from 1969 to 1973. He was a police officer for the Mount Vernon Police Department from 1974 to 1998, serving as a D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer for the last eight years of his career with the department.

Though Bradley Flota had been collecting comic books since childhood, those collections would fall out of his possession. He gave his young son Brian a selection of about one hundred comics in 1983, which formed the basis of Brian’s collection. In 1985, Bradley Flota began collecting the comics that make up this collection. He collected comics voraciously from 1985 to 1997. From that time until 2008, he collected more infrequently.

Brian Flota began collecting in earnest in 1987 at the age of eleven, eventually amassing around 2,700 comics when he ceased collecting around 1998. Of those 2,700 comics, Brian Flota donated a portion of the collection to the University of California, Riverside prior to his donation to JMU Special Collections in 2015.

Brian Flota holds his MS in Library and Information Sciences from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, his Ph.D. in American Literature from The George Washington University, and his B.A. in English from the University of California, Riverside. He is also the co-editor ofThe Politics of Post-9/11 Music, published by Ashgate in 2011.


59.8 Cubic Feet (70 comic book boxes, 1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



With over 9,700 comic books, this collection consists of a wide selection of comic book and magazine genres from independent publishers as well as major publishers. Some major publishers in this collection include Marvel Comics, DC Comics, and Dark Horse Comics.


The comic books are arranged alphabetically by title, in the following series:

Series 1: Bradley Flota comic book collection
Series 2: Brian Flota comic book collection


A complete inventory of all comic titles and corresponding issues found within the Bradley and Brian Flota comic book collection is available as an excel spreadsheet.


Comics in each series were the personal collections of the donor, Brian Flota, and his father, Bradley Flota, collected during the years 1985-2008.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Brian Flota donated his personal collection of approximately 2,700 comic books in March 2015. In July 2016, Brian Flota donated his father, Bradley Flota's collection of approximately 7,000 comic books.

Processing Note

In the original accession, Brian Flota kept all comics within their original plastic sleeve and with the cardboard backing that came with each comic. On the backs of each cardboard insert, Flota wrote title and issue details and periodically noted the value of each comic over time. For long-term preservation, each comic was removed from the plastic sleeve and the cardboard backing was discarded. A sampling of the boards was kept at the end of the collection to document how Brian Flota kept and cared for his comic books. Currently, each comic book item is stored individually in acid-free paper folders.



A Guide to the Bradley and Brian Flota Comic Book Collection, 1952-2008
Maggie Dapogny & Kate Morris, September 2015; Yoon Ji Kim, April 2018
© 2018 JMU Libraries. All rights reserved.
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections, JMU Libraries Repository

880 Madison Drive
MSC 1704
Harrisonburg Virginia 22807
(540) 568-3612