I received word yesterday that Rory Root, the owner of Comic Relief in Berkeley, passed away. I first met Rory over ten years ago, when I'd just started making comics. Since then, he has carried every issue of every comic I've ever done, whether it was hand-stapled or professionally printed. He offered me advice, encouragement, and insight at every step of my career. And I know I wasn't the only one. Many, many cartoonists first set foot in the comics industry by putting a photocopied mini-comic on the shelves of Rory's shop. Rory supported and respected creators, regardless of the size of their print runs.
His generosity wasn't limited to cartoonists. When my wife, a fourth grade teacher, needed a class set of comics for a reading activity, Rory handed her a box of Spider-mans, free of charge.
I'm still in shock. Rory was such an integral part of the comics world, it's difficult to imagine going to a convention without bumping into him. He will be missed.
(Photo stolen from Tom Spurgeon's excellent Comics Reporter)
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Looks like a great resource for librarians and teachers. This isn't a completely altruistic plug, though... The author mentions American Born Chinese in the book. :)
Find it on Amazon here .
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This Saturday 5/17, I'm speaking at Cupertino Square as part of the Chinese-American heritage celebration that's happening there. They've got a really cool exhibition titled My Distant Land, featuring photos of Taiwan and China in the 1950's. Haven't seen it yet, but I've heard great things. My presentation will be at 4:00pm. Here's the address:
10123 N. Wolfe Road
Then on Tuesday 5/20, I'll be doing a presentation at the Berkeley Public Library at 5:00pm. Here's the address:
Berkeley Public Library
2090 Kittredge Street
Finally, I'm attending Book Expo America this year! My first time ever. I'm pretty excited. I'm moderating an Emerging Authors panel with some of the best new cartooning talent today: Danica Novgorodoff , Neil Babra , Kazu Kibuishi , and Lars Brown. (I know Kazu isn't exactly "new", but still... His Flight anthology is certainly a gateway for new talent.) That'll be at 1:30pm.
Then I'm signing at the First Second booth from 2:45 to 3:45 before doing another panel from 4:00pm to 5:00pm titled The New Literacy: How Graphic Novels, the Web, and Video Games are Changing the Way We Process Information. Should be fun!
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Stumptown Comics Festival . I'll be on a panel with the amazing Derek Kirk Kim where we'll reveal our big project together. Find more details at Derek's site. Drop by and say hi if you can!
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Don Rosa, the greatest living Disney duck cartoonist, is one of my all-time favorite comic book creators. He's practically worshipped in Europe, but relatively unknown in America. It's too bad-- the man's a genius. I just found a great interview with him on YouTube.
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