It is with a heavy heart that I pass along the news of our dear friend Joe Astalfa’s death. He lost his battle with cancer this morning.
Joe has been a great friend for many years, and of course our common bond was the monster himself, Godzilla. He contacted me concerning a few rare vinyls I had up for sale back in 2012 (Joe had impeccable taste), and through the ordeal we hit it off immediately. His unique wit and charm always bled through into any conversation – even if it were only through messaging online or texts. Joe never lost that trademark wit, and even made light of his overbearing situation last year in Chicago when we all met for G-Fest. His best friend, Mike Ross, put together an enormous card for us all to sign for Joe. That time together was wonderful, but I can’t help but be overcome with sadness as I sit here typing with only a little over a month to go before this year’s G-Fest… and Joe will not be joining us. Breaks my heart.
Many friends and fans are left behind to remember Joe and the positive influence he had on each and every one of us. He was an extremely knowledgeable fan and could talk classic kaiju eiga posters, vinyls, actors, and history with the best of them. Of course, our strongest bond personally was via collecting – and Joe ended up with two of my favorite vinyls: SDCC Exclusive Marmit Vinyl Paradise Purple Gabara and the Festival Excl. green and blue neon Marmit Monster Heaven Godzilla 1955… I had a habit of knocking prices waaaay down for Joe. Not because he couldn’t afford it – that was never the problem. But because I knew that some of my favorites were going to the right guy. Someone who would appreciate their whimsy as much as I did.
If you know any of his friends or family on Facebook, please take the time to send them some kind words.To put it lightly, Joe will be missed.
Thank you for all of the multiple hour debates, Joe. Thanks for the figures we traded, sold back-and-forth and the memories attached to them. Thanks for schooling me in craft beers. Thank you for staying up late and brainstorming new branches of Skreeonk.com, and for coming up with great ideas for ways to help improve the fandom and Kaiju Fan Network. The site owes a lot to Joe, as do I. And we will never forget him for it.
Whether you knew him by Joe, Joseph, Cimmerian Dragon, or the nickname I was lucky enough to bestow on him myself: C-Dra, Joe was a good man. May he rest in peace. Here’s to one last cheers, Joe.
Jon @ UnCanny