Rory Root R.I.P.
Rory Root was the founder and owner of Northern California's best comic store, Comic Relief. Rory did a lot for many comics and creators over the years, including getting graphic novels into libraries. He was good to every customer and ran possibly the best comic store I've ever been in. Certainly the friendliest. Which is probably why it was the last comic store I spent copious amounts of money in.
And for me personally. Rory was the first comics store owner to take a chance on Plastic, and without his encouragement I never would have gotten it off the ground. In fact, he and his onetime store manager Marie Harrell were its biggest boosters.
Rory at APE 2005
This is the kind of guy he was: he bought my stupid comics made from careful use of Xerox technology(back then), without color covers even. Bought them. Didn't put them on consignment. Every time, all eight published issues. Five at a time, but I'm surprised, looking back, that he took even one.
And usually he sold 'em, too.
Rory by Ryan Alexander-TannerI remember many nights standing out on the sidewalk, having a smoke after having bought some comics, getting home way later than I intended because I was talking to him. He also came to my wedding.
And at my first APE, when I had been let down by my ride home (who will remain nameless, but see above paragraph for a clue) and had no way to get the exhibition stuff home, he found room in the van for myself and it and got me home in an intense rain. The following one, I couldn't exhibit, but he put my stupid homemade point-of-purchase stand full of Plastic right on the center table.
Rory was a mensch. There aren't many.
I just found out that Rory passed away today.
I hadn't seen him since I left Berkeley, and hadn't known he was sick. Which I regret. But he was a great man and a good friend.May he rest in peace. Thanks, Rory.
Labels: comics, friend, my influences