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Rory Root

My pal, supporter, pioneering retailer, and all-around good guy Rory Root has died.

Apparently he'd had some kind of complications after hernia surgery, and fell into a coma. And then...

He's just gone. And it's difficult to imagine.

Rory was the owner of Comic Relief in Berkeley, and it was one of the first "Comic Book Bookstores". Just about everything there had a spine - which didn't stop him from also being a huge, huge supporter of minicomincs and the like. His store was the place pros went to sign - then ended up spending more money themselves than they brought in.

He used to relate a story about starting to wrap up his bookkeeping for the afternoon, when an employee came back to the office to tell him the artist P. Craig Russell was there for a signing - a signing that had been discussed with Craig's agent, but never confirmed by Rory. So he jumped up and threw together an impromptu signing while the guest was IN THE STORE. And pulled it off.

He was a great big burly guy, with long blonde hair and a constant hat. And I spent many, many late nights at conventions talking comics with Rory. Comics business, comics medium, comics philosophy. Once at Comicon, we actually sat in a hallway of the Horton Grand Hotel talking for so long that the spell was only finally broken by the morning newspaper delivery to the rooms.

He was an early rock of a supporter for STARCHILD - but more than that, he was my good friend. And I will miss him very, very much.



( 12 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 20th, 2008 01:45 am (UTC)
I'm sorry.
May. 20th, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry. *hugs and love*
May. 20th, 2008 02:08 am (UTC)
Oh I am so sorry for you. I'm sorry you didn't have him in your life longer. **hug**
May. 20th, 2008 02:38 am (UTC)
Sorry for your loss.
May. 20th, 2008 03:19 am (UTC)
I only knew Rory because of the various on-line haunts...

But really--that was enough. His kindness, class and willingness to go the extra mile for someone who lived across the country? Easy to spot. Kinda like him in a crowd.

Even though he wasn't a friend, when I heard the news it still hit me like he was. My eye sockets are sore from the crying.

Have a hug, James. HUG!

(Deleted comment)
May. 20th, 2008 05:04 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry for your loss. He sounds like quite a man.
May. 20th, 2008 05:40 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry James...
So very sorry for your loss.

All my condolences and thoughts and love.

Kerry & Norah & the Madden-Lunsford family
May. 20th, 2008 06:51 am (UTC)
So sorry, James. It's so hard when we lose vivid personalities, especially those who have touched us. Prayers for all his family and friends.
May. 20th, 2008 12:49 pm (UTC)
My condolences, James. He's sounds like a fantastic guy.
May. 20th, 2008 04:45 pm (UTC)
I'm gratified by all the Rory stories I'm coming across today. Thanks for sharing yours, James.
May. 21st, 2008 02:43 pm (UTC)
He really loved comics, and his words and thoughts about them were really listened to. He made some nice comments about the issue of Cyberzone that I wrote, and it actually got noticed and sold OK. I will always remember seeing him at the conventions. He was at them all. It will be strange and sad not seeing him there any more.
( 12 comments — Leave a comment )