Monday, May 19, 2008

Rest in Peace, Rory Root

My friend Rory Root, owner of Comic Relief in Berkeley CA, has passed away. He was 50.

He was admitted to Kaiser Hospital in Oakland CA last Saturday where he underwent emergency surgery for what is believed to have been a ruptured hernia.

Rory was a friend of mine for more than 20 years...and years before that, he was the guy I dealt with when I was buying old comics from the pre-Comic Relief comic shop Best of Two Worlds in Berkeley.

Rory was also one of the industry's most influential retailers, embracing the book-store model in the comic specialty market long before most of his retailing contemporaries. With his huge presence, his ever-present coffee mug and stylish hats, Rory was an easily-recognized retailing luminary at every event he attended.

I miss him already.

Rest in peace, my friend.

(Photos---top: Rory with Libby Field at--- where else?--- Comic Relief, 2006. Bottom: photo taken in 1987 at the first WonderCon, where Rory was one of the original founders and stake-holders. This shot was taken to promote the benefit art auction for Literacy Volunteers of America.)
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