View Full Version : R.I.P Aaron Smith (Founder of Monster Zero)
June 1st, 2006, 09:38 PM
I apologize if someone else posted this elsewhere, but KP is a big place, and I sometimes struggle to locate things.
This past tuesday, Aaron Smith, co-founder and owner of Monsterzero news passed away from a cardiac arrest at the age of 36. He frequented his own forums as 'Monsterzero' and while me and him sometimes didn't see eye to eye, his influence on the fandom cannot be argued. Had it not been for MZ in the first place, much of this fandom would be very different, if around at all. This is a great loss to the Kaiju-eiga community, and his presence will be missed.
June 1st, 2006, 09:44 PM
Wow. I hadn't heard of that at all.
It is sad to hear of someone passing away who helped some come into the fandom, like me. Monster Zero was one of the first kaiju sites I went to.
This saddens me.
June 1st, 2006, 09:48 PM
Can't say I knew him, but Monster Zero was the first site I'd go to for kaiju news, and I give my respects to him.
June 1st, 2006, 09:52 PM
.......that's just wrong on levels that I can't even begin to describe.:(
I didn't really know him myself and I only spoke with him once a couple of years ago, but he struck me as a genuinely nice and intelligent individual that I would've liked to have met in person.
I still can't get over the age though, not that I'm a medical expert or anything, but it just doesn't seem right at all. That is just way too young.
You think you've got all the time in the world....but you just never know.
RIP Aaron, sympathies and best wishes to his family and friends during this terrible time.
June 1st, 2006, 09:58 PM
I know hewas struggling with diabetes for a while, but I dunno if that was a contributing factor or not. There are people far more knowledgable about what happened than I.
June 1st, 2006, 10:04 PM
Wow, this is extremely surreal, I had known about his diabetes but this is still extremely surprising to hear.
This is a great blow to the fandom as MZ was a pivitol site in terms of news and has been around forever. I can only hope Aaron enjoyed himself throughout life and did not go in vain.
June 1st, 2006, 10:14 PM
From the Monster Zero Website:
Aaron J. Smith 1970-2006
MZ Staff, June 1, 2006
Aaron's Favorite Godzilla Film, Godzilla Vs. Hedorah
Monster Zero Founder and beloved friend dies at age 36.
It is with a heavy heart and much sadness that the staff of Monster Zero must announce the unexpected passing of MZ co-founder and owner, Aaron Smith. Aaron passed away on Tuesday evening after a major cardiac arrest. He had been in the hospital over the weekend due to ongoing complications arising from an injury he suffered a few months ago. It appeared by Monday that he was out of the woods but, according to his family, Tuesday's heart attack was massive and quick, and nothing could be done.
This is a terrible loss and surprise for his family, all of us here at MZ, and indeed the entire community of Godzilla fandom. As you know, Aaron was extremely excited to share the 9th Anniversary of the site, and despite his recent health problems, was still making an effort to keep the news and the discussion up-to-date. His mother passed away a year ago after her own long illness in his care, and Godzilla fandom, collecting and MZ were the things that kept him going through the hard times.
Aaron is survived by brother Eric and sister Maria. The family is having a private memorial.
In memoriam of Aaron, we'd like to pass on the thoughts of Mark Obert, who sums up our friendship with Aaron so well:
I first contacted Aaron back in 1996 while stationed in Germany, hoping he could help me find other Godzilla fans in Europe. When I found out I was getting an assignment to Japan a few years later, our friendship really grew. We often joked after that those were the Golden Years for MZ. Just having someone in country to report on Godzilla events really added excitement. We both had fun and I enjoyed talking to him about it immensely. I was glad to have the chance to share it with him.
We always seemed to be browsing Yahoo Japan at the same time, looking for cool stuff. We always checked for Godzilla news seeing if we had a scoop that he could break to Godzilla fans. He really enjoyed seeing people excited about Godzilla. He had a passion for it. I know one of the things he would want everyone to know is how much he appreciated everyone’s help and support with Monster Zero. He loved doing it. I don't think it'll ever be quite the same without him. I know to me the internet already seems like a very lonely place knowing Aaron isn't going to be out there somewhere.
I knew Aaron was dealing with some health issues that he was fighting to beat. I guess that in the back of my mind I always thought he'd beat it. He always talked of getting healthy and getting to Tokyo, a place he always dreamed of going, and I had always planned on being his tour guide. I'm sure he's already made his trip there in spirit and that helps a little knowing he's finally got to a place he wanted to see so badly.
My only regret is not getting a chance to talk to him in these last few weeks. Life has been busy here and how I wish I had found the some time to take a stroll through Yahoo Japan with him one last time. I'll miss that...a lot.
Take Care, Aaron. Thanks for the friendship. Enjoy Tokyo buddy. I know you'll love it.
The Standard Democrat Sikeston, MO
1 June, 2006
SIKESTON — Aaron J. Smith, 36, died at 5:07 p.m. May 30, 2006, at Missouri Delta Medical Center.
Born Feb. 9, 1970, in Fort Gordon, Ga., son of the late Alex and Polly Lou Gestring Smith Jr., he was a 1988 graduate of Sikeston High School and a 1994 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. He was self-employed as a Web site designer.
Survivors include: one brother and sister-in-law, Eric and Reagan Smith of New Madrid; one sister and brother-in-law, Maria and Cliff Crowden of Sikeston; and one niece and five nephews.
A private family memorial service will be held at a later date.
Nunnelee Funeral Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
In at least the short-term the rest of us at MZ are dedicated to continuing the hard work Aaron started here at MZ and we will continue to bring this site to all Godzilla fans. If anyone needs to contact us for MZ business please contact Mark Obert at email@example.com or Gene Cahill at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will be gathering kind words from friends and Godzilla fans worldwide to post here at MZ in Aaron's memory and for his family to read. If you would like to be included please send your comments to Mark Obert at the address above.
Bye Aaron. May you rest in peace my friend.
June 1st, 2006, 10:32 PM
He was a great person to have along side in the fandom of Godzilla. He gave us news and more news. He created probably the best Godzilla news site besides Henshin!Online. He will be missed. I wish his family and best friends the best of luck. RIP Aaron...
June 1st, 2006, 10:54 PM
This is such a terrible loss. I have talked to Aaron before, it was quite awhile ago though. Like last year. I can't believe this happened, it is a very saddening day. He was such a great person, especially to the fandom, he will be greatly missed. We must make sure that MZ continues forever, his wishes must be fulfilled.
June 1st, 2006, 10:54 PM
Damn, 36-years-old! One of my friends is 36.
Man, this is a dark day in kaiju news.
June 2nd, 2006, 02:23 AM
This is indeed sad, and scary as well. He was 14 years younger than I am. I still remember when Kaijuphile was down, and he gave us a home. My sympathies go out to his friends & family.
June 2nd, 2006, 11:25 AM
I didn't know Aaron personally, but next to Mark Maloon's website and Barry's Temple of Godzilla, Monster Zero was among the first Godzilla websites I ever went to, and certainly the first forum. I followed it from host to host (anybody remember Cinemascape?) and he was the main constant. The appearance of Monster Zero might have changed, but the spirit always remained the same.
It's humbling to consider how many fellow fans he helped, how many he made happy. May his legacy live on.
June 2nd, 2006, 02:11 PM
Damn, that's terrible. I know I didn't get along too well with the guy when I was MZ, either, but that's still awful to hear about. His MZ news site was probably one of the most important out there. RIP Aaron.
June 3rd, 2006, 02:58 AM
I just read this on MZ. Very unexpected, very sad news.:( I hardly knew the guy, let I'm rather saddened by his passing. He did so much for the fandom. And to think I was exchanging e-mails with him not all that long ago regarding MZ, and now it just feels weird that he's gone. My sympathies go out to his family. Sayonara, Aaron.
June 4th, 2006, 05:41 PM
I'm pretty sure this topic goes here.
So, I'm away from an isp for a few weeks, and when I come back to civilization the first thing I always do is check Monster Zero for the news. Honestly, it and The Daily Show are my only sources of news any more, as politics are becoming far too repetive at this point ("in the news today, President Bush made alot of people angry with him, and another cabinet member quits"), and given that I no longer have cable, it's actually just Monster Zero.
The only update I found was the jarring headline that said Aaron had died of a heart attack... at 36.
Now, when I found out Ifukube had passed away I was understandably affected by this, he was the last living "cornerstone of Godzilla", and was going strong at over 90 years old. Of course it was a sad day for G-fans, but he was over 90 and had lived a very full life and made some incredible music in his lifetime.
Now we're all faced with this, the premature death of a fan who just wanted to help other fans feel more connected with their fandom, and at a time when the heisei films were still relatively obscure, besides "G-fan" he was many people's only source of information. And in doing this he has brought the whole community so much closer together, letting us know that there WERE other people out there just as crazy about a giant, radioactive theropod.
I didn't see any other topic like this (the MZ forums no doubt have one, but get real, no one goes to those boards), so I just wanted a place where anyone who feels like it can post something for the late, poor Aaron Smith to read on his ascension to G-fan heaven, where Toho's discs are region 0 and have subtitles.
I'll miss you, buddy.
June 6th, 2006, 07:52 PM
I could not find a thread on this anywhere else on the forum so if there already is one, please post this where appropriate. I am sure some of you may have already found out that Aaron Smith, founder of Monster Zero, has unexpectedly passed away due to a massive heart attack.
I never knew Aaron personally, but it already feels a little lonely and empty knowing that a man who brought so much to our fandom is forever gone. It will never be quite the same again. My heart and condolences go out to his family.
May he rest in peace forever watching Godzilla's many adventures!
June 10th, 2006, 07:56 AM
This is indeed almost surreal. It is so very easy to forget that the people you meet through the internet are indeed real people, beings of flesh and blood, of heart and soul.
I never knew Aaron well, but I always admired what he did with Monster Zero. That was simplt THE kaiju site for many, many years, and indeed remained at the top of the hill with its news and information. In many ways, I think Brandon and myself tried to emulate MZ when we started this site, and in doing so I think we both came to appreciate quite keenly the immense contribution Aaron made to the community, and the prodigious amount of work that went behind it.
You will be missed sir. Know that at least some of us will never forget how much you willingly gave to others to share your enthusiasm for this genre. Peace and God be with you.
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