Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Comic Relief Owner Rory Root Dies

Wed, May 21, 2008 at 11:38 AM

Rory Root, cofounder and longtime sole proprietor of Berkeley's comic-book store Comic Relief died on May 20 at age 50, after slipping into a coma following surgery for a ruptured hernia, according to Comicsreporter.com.

Rory Root, cofounder and longtime sole proprietor of Berkeley's comic-book store Comic Relief died on May 19 at age 50, after slipping into a coma following surgery for a ruptured hernia, according to Comicsreporter.com.

As reported at PrismComics.org, "He was a much beloved figure in the comics world, turning his customers onto new comics (especially graphic novels), encouraging new creators whose comics he carried before anyone else would. ... Along with acting as a mentor for so many in the comics world, he encouraged the form of comics itself. ... He was a great champion of the graphic novel form. Today's market for graphic novel is due in part to Rory's pioneering efforts."

Moreover, "He was an enthusiastic participant in helping Prism formulate ways to get more LGBT comics into direct market stores and in turn, to help retailers attract more LGBT customers."

Staff at Comic Relief ask that donations be made in Root's memory to a cause about which he cared deeply, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. A memorial service is being planned for sometime in June.—Anneli Rufus

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