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NEWS: Comic Store Pioneer, Manga Supporter Rory Root 1958-2008

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Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 672
Location: Tokorozawa, Japan
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 5:21 am Reply with quote
Rest in Peace
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Randall Miyashiro

Joined: 12 Jun 2003
Posts: 2451
Location: A block away from Golden Gate Park
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 6:42 am Reply with quote
I've been to Comic Relief (and their booth at Wondercon) a number of times which is a wonderful store. I think the first time I went to the shop was when Akira was played in Berkeley on that really rainy afternoon back in 1989. Cal Animage meetings were always so late that the shop would be closed after them. I never really new Rory but instantly recognized him when I clicked to the obituary link. This is truly sad news.
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Joined: 24 Nov 2006
Posts: 1
Location: Dublin, Ireland
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2008 10:06 am Reply with quote
This is really sad news. I lived in Berkeley from '87 to '94, and was a strong supporter of, and frequent customer at, Comic Relief from the very beginning. I always looked forward to stopping by there every Friday morning on my way into Cal to pick up my weekly fix of titles (lots of 'em, sometimes 20-25 a week), usually hanging out and chatting for a little while along the way.

Because of this, I got to know Rory reasonably well, and apart from being a great guy, his enthusiasm for non-mainstream comics in general, and manga in particular, was unquestionable. I'd been exposed to manga long before moving to Berkeley, but I'd never seen a store that had as much of a selection as Comic Relief did, and I remember being absolutely thrilled when the first wave of Viz releases showed up there: Area 88, Urusei Yatsura, Mai the Psychic Girl, etc. However, I didn't realise until reading this article that, largely because of Rory, CR was one of Viz' first customers.

It's also somewhat of a testament to Rory and Comic Relief that I never bought as many comics again after leaving Berkeley; all the other stores I came across just couldn't compare, either in breadth or depth of the titles they carried. So maybe gratitude is also due for spoiling me for life...

RIP Rory. And Thanks.
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