To some, he was the comics guy. To some, he was the State Fair root beer guy.
To the people who loved Dominic Postiglione best, he was Superman.
Postiglione — champion of comic book culture in the Midwest, partner in the Source Comics & Games store and the smiling face behind countless root beer floats poured at his family's 1919 Root Beer concession at the Minnesota State Fair — died Aug. 8. He was 52.
"My dad was my best friend. He shaped my world," said his son, Adam Postiglione. "He was a real-life Superman to me."
Nick Postiglione, or Nick Post, as he was known in comics circles, didn't get a funeral; he got a celebration. His memorial drew such a crowd that people had to lean through windows just to hear all the stories being shared about the smart, funny, generous man who touched so many lives.
"I've never encountered anybody else like him in my entire life," said Dan Veesenmeyer, an illustrator for Lego who was a friend of Postiglione for more than two decades. "He was just always available to help somebody or to share a laugh or share advice."
Postiglione was generous with his time and resources, Veesenmeyer said. If someone needed help, Nick Post was there, always laughing, always ready to give what he could.
"He was the ultimate giver," Veesenmeyer said. "Even if times were tough for him, he was there for the person in front of him at the time, to give them his undivided attention and make sure they were enjoying themselves or having a good time, or come away from any conversation, no matter how dire, with a better attitude going forward."
In the days after Postiglione's death, people across the country and around the world reached out to Adam Postiglione to share stories about his father's kindness. There were the fledgling artists he encouraged. The thousands of dollars he raised for lupus research. There was the time he caught a shoplifter in his store and ended up buying groceries for the kid's struggling family.
"He'd never tell anyone what he did, he'd never ask for thanks, he'd never want anything in return," Adam Postiglione said. "His satisfaction was, in his heart, knowing he did the right thing."
Postiglione was a driving force behind the Midwest Comic Book Association, which hosts two annual conventions — FallCon and SpringCon — in the Twin Cities each year. Postiglione pushed to keep admission prices low so any fan could afford to attend. Tributes filled online comic sites and a Facebook page set up in his memory.
"Everything he touched was a work of perfection," said Bob Brynildson, his business partner at Source Comics in Roseville. "He affected so many people in so many ways."
Brynildson laughed as he remembered a moment at the memorial service when the minister asked how many of them had enjoyed a root beer float at the State Fair. Hands went up around the room. Then the minister asked how many had gotten that free root beer free, with a smile, from Nick. Just as many hands went up.
The fair opens Thursday without Postiglione, although his family will be there on Dan Patch Avenue, serving up floats in his honor.
Postiglione did what he loved and left the world a better place, not unlike his favorite superhero.
"Superman was his favorite. The guy could do anything, save anyone," Adam Postiglione said. At the memorial service, the family handed out Superman pins. "He tried to live his life very similarly. He knew he could impact the world and by doing right all the time, it would leave everybody else in a better situation."
In addition to his son, Postiglione is survived by his parents, Bill and Judy "Eunice" Postiglione, and siblings Gaby, Tony and Greg.