passing of Carl Macek of a heart attack on Saturday, April 17th. Younger anime fans may not know his name, and older ones are proving to be remarkably cruel at his passing-- Macek is associated most heavily with Robotech and Harmony Gold, who fans generally blame for the inability of anime companies to license Macross anime titles.
Any anime fan who thinks that Macek hasn't had an impact or influence at some point in their fandom is most likely wrong, however. In addition to Robotech, Macek worked on adaptations of everything from the original Fist of the North Star (TV and movie) to My Neighbor Totoro. In more recent years he even worked on the adaptations of Naruto and Bleach. The company he co-founded with Jerry Beck, Streamline Pictures, is responsible for the original Akira dub and the release of the Hayao Miyazaki film Lupin III: Castle of Cagliostro, among many others.
In short, his reach was wide, ladies and gentlemen, and even if you're unhappy with the state of Macross in the US (as I am), Carl Macek is one of the people who built the North American anime fandom from the ground up, and should be respected as such, in my opinion.
passing of John Scofield, a part of the Otakon family who was chair of the convention in 1998, and played many roles at the convention over the years. Scofield was a well-liked anime fan who worked hard to bring anime fans together, and he inspired many of the people working at Otakon today. He died after a long battle with cancer on Sunday, April 18th.