Rory Root, R.I.P.
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Bay Area comics retailer Rory Root has passed away:

 

http://blog.newsarama.com/2008/05/19/retailer-rory-root-ill/

 

His shop, Comic Relief in Berkeley, is one of the best in the country. Rory got me into comics when I was a kid and went to his previous shop, The Best of Two Worlds on Telegraph Ave.. Comics kept me away from other things going on on Telegraph. He taught me a lot about customer service. He was good at it; I've been going to his shop every week because of it. An example from early on in the 80's: I was a broke kid and was ogling a Jon Sable keychain. But I had already spent all my money on comics. Rory could tell I really wanted it, so he said "Take it, it's a gift". I still have it. I'll miss seeing him.

 

Felix Lu

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that's a bummer. Of course I knew Rory for at least 25 years & we always hung out when I saw him at San Diego.. Truly a really nice guy..

 

I hope they have need of a good comic retailer at the newstand in the sky

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I knew he hadn't been well in recent years, but this is still a bolt from the blue - very sad news.

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Sad news. :(

 

I was just by his shop this past Saturday.

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RIP

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One of the Good Guys of the industry.

When a bunch of us East Coast store owners were trying to form our first trade group,Rory spent hours tele-conferencing with us on his experiances with the Bay Area group that preceded us.

When we had our first trade show,he and Mike Smith(sp?) flew in to support us on their own dime.

He also was instrumental in the store owners suit against Marvel back when it was its own distributor and had collected hundreds of thousands of dollars for books that hadn't shipped.

Rest in peace,you old hippie. You earned it.

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I used to by my comics at his shop when I was a student at Cal.

 

Rest well, Rory.

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Rory will be definitely missed among retailers and customers alike.

 

I understand that his will left the store to his manager so his legacy will carry on.

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When I thought it was time that good comics retailers join together to look out for one another and to help promote the medium we loved so much, I formed the Direct Line Group in the early 90s. I of course invited Rory to that founding meeting and his counsel, input and leadership helped drive its early success. He was a calm voice of reason and understanding. Never once did I hear him raise his voice.

 

It hurts to lose friends. Especially those you spent so much time with and who had a common bond that meant so much to both of you.

 

I miss him already.

 

 

 

 

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When Bedrock City first opened we were a fifty/fifty cards and comics store. I didn't enjoy carrying and dealing with sports cards but they were a huge reason we were able to get the bills paid in those first two years we were open. But in 1992 I attended Wonder-Con and while there I paid a visit to most of the stores in the Bay Area. Walking into Comic Relief was a revelation to me. A comic book store that stressed book rather than comic. A store that treated every aspect of comics as worthwhile and worth shelf space. A store that really treated comic books and comic art with dignity. At that moment I truly understood what epiphany meant. Comic Relief, and by extension Rory (though at that time I had not met him), became the inspiration for the huge change in direction I took.

Because of Rory I have a comic book store.

 

Fortunately I did get a chance to meet Rory and tell him how important that visit to his store was to me. And on many occasions through the years we have gotten together and talked about the business and about life in general. He was such a warm, wonderful, and thoughtful man. The comic world is a better place because of him. And he will be missed.

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You can't get better than those last two testimonials from Moondog and Bedrock.

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