Robert Bruce, the comic book and pop culture lover known for appearing on Kevin Smith's Comic Book Men, has died at age 62. According to police, Bruce was found dead in a storage facility in Red Bank, New Jersey on Friday evening. Bruce's brother, John Bruce, shared the news on Twitter. "I want to inform you with great sadness that Robert Bruce (my brother) has passed away this past week in his office in Redbank, NJ. I'm leaving to go home tomorrow to help his family after being absent for many years. Prayers in this new year for him and his family," Bruce wrote in a tweet to Smith. The director replied last night.
"My condolences! I'm truly sorry to read this John. @popculturizm was always a welcome addition to any episode of @ComicBookMenAMC, as well as a nice guy. I'll miss Rob. (@AMC_TV shot a sizzle reel for a spin-off with Rob & his family before they got rid of all the reality shows.)," Smith shared.
According to NJ.com, police responded to the City Center Plaza Professional Records Storage Facility on Water Street after it was reported that a body was found. It was later discovered that Bruce had not been in contact with anyone for several days, and a close family friend went to check on the storage unit that served as his office, which friends suspected he was now living in. It's currently unclear how long Bruce had been in the storage unit, but his death is being investigated by the Middlesex County Medical Examiner's Office.
Comic Book Men ran for seven seasons and followed the daily workings of Smith's comic book shop, Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash in Red Bank. Bruce was credited as "The Popculturalist" and "Pop Culture Expert" and appeared in 38 out of the show's 96 episodes. Bruce also played "Decent Samaritan" in the 2019 Kevin Smith biography Shooting Clerks. Many folks have taken to Twitter today to pay tribute to Bruce. You can view some of the tweets below...
RIP Robert Bruce, a.k.a. The Pop Culturist. We were friendly and bought and sold things to each other over the years. I always found him to be pleasant in these interactions, if also very shrewd. One of the true trailblazers for Japanese Toy collecting on the east coast…— Vampire Robots (@TheVampireRobot) January 2, 2022
I met Robert Bruce years ago when I filmed for Comic Book Men. He was great to talk to and super friendly. Toy world lost a good one. #RestInPower— Toyhio Toy Show (@toyhiotoyshow) January 2, 2022
Rest in Peace @popculturizm— Old Man Conroy (@OldManConroy) January 2, 2022
Robert Bruce was crazy, loud, and in a league all his own. Cantankerous, boisterous always on the hunt with a keen eye and a sharp wit, and generous and most of, a friend.
I'm going to miss him greatly.
You can learn more about Bruce on his Twitter page here, and revisit some of his Comic Book Men episodes on AMC+.
Our thoughts are with Bruce's family and friends at this difficult time.