Away from work, and sad news comes in from the industry: Rory Root, owner of Comic Relief, has died. He was as much an institution as his store -- we used to joke at SLG that his insulated coffee mug and fedora were his "superhero costume." He was a fixture in con life, ready to buy our leftover stock on Sunday, showing me one of those big, expensive graphic novels I had my eye on at his booth. I know people who had more complicated relationships with him, but I was always touched by how kindly and gentlemanly he was to me.
The comics community is full of tributes now. I was working on my column, writing about how it's a time in the industry when we are losing the founders of what we think of as comics -- both the work and the culture. I didn't expect that Rory would be someone I would be writing about in that column. I didn't get talk to him much, and I regret that now. I'll miss his friendly words and face at WonderCon or APE when I go to do my annual splurge at the Comic Relief booth.