Here’s to You, Rory Root

Comic Relief is probably one of the most well known comic shops in America, and its equally well known founder, Rory Root sadly passed away yesterday.

I never met Rory, but knew him as a fixture at the San Diego Comic-Con, where Comic Relief’s booth always stood out as being a complete comic shop on the convention floor. You could always spot the man in the hat running the joint. I’ve also heard great things about Comic Relief for as long as I’ve been active in comics on the web. The store is legendary.

I also knew Rory as a regular on the old Warren Ellis Forums, and as such, Warren Ellis is certainly affected by his passing. Similarly, Neil Gaiman felt the loss as well. Yesterday, the comics community on Twitter was certainly sharing their best wishes in the wake of Rory’s death from complications resulting from hernia surgery.

We all know good comic book retailers are hard to find, and Rory was among the best. He will be missed.


  1. I’m sorry to say I didn’t know Rory, and never had the chance to visit his store. But from reading those links he sounded like a great guy to know, with a genuine love and passion for comic books, and so he gets my upmost respect. And the real tragedy is he was only 50. 50 years old? That’s crazy.

    My thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends. 

  2. Wow, sad and shocking news, indeed. Comic Relief was the first comic shop I visited in the Bay Area, and it remains one of my favorites. In terms of selection, it simply can’t be beat. I used to see Rory a lot while browsing the store, but only spoke to him once when he tracked down a copy of Batman: Year One for me. Of course, he was extremely helpful, nice, and offered further reading suggestions if I enjoyed it. He was also always announcing to customers browsing in the store to ask him or a staff member if they had any questions or needed help in finding anything. Truly a model of what a good comic shop owner should be. Comic Relief will be a different place without him…my thoughts are with his family, friends, and fellow Comic Relief workers.

  3. I was a regular at Comic Relief for years and got the chance to know Rory, at least as an acquaintance. He was always friendly, spent a lot of time at the shop and made a great comic bookstore. I still find the time to head over to Comic Relief at least once a month as it is my favorite shop in the U.S., even after hitting the big ones in NYC, Boston, Chicago and S.F. his approach should be a model for shops everywhere. He’ll be sorely missed.