When Trevor and I first moved to the Bay, first things first, we looked for a good comic book store. Rory's beautiful store, Comic Relief -- at that time on University Avenue in Berkeley -- was unlike any comic book store we'd ever seen. Crammed literally floor to ceiling before moving to the expansive location on Shattuck Avenue a few years ago, it was more like a cool alt-bookstore than a comic book store. But comics were, and are still, the main focus, and if it exists in comic book form, Comic Relief probably has it, as well as knowledgeable, unpretentious staff and excellent events.
But the best thing about visiting Comic Relief was always Rory -- a welcoming, friendly, and no-BS presence with a love for the comic book medium that transcended other retailers. And as a woman, I will remember Rory as such a gentleman. He kissed my hand when we first met! Comic book stores being traditional boys' clubs and all, I always felt welcome at Comic Relief. This is in no small part because of Rory's role as a true advocate for women in the comics field -- in both production and as consumers.
RIP Rory Root. You will truly be missed.