THE OHAYOCON CURSE?Ohayocon is a mid-level anime convention held each January in Columbus, Ohio. I believe, most years, it's the first convention of the year on the North American anime convention calendar, which would explain the "ohayo" welcoming in the new year (as well as it being an obvious pun on "Ohio"), but I'm not 100% sure about that.
This year's Ohayocon, held last weekend, had a tragic twist.
First Kevin Lillard, an important figure in the anime cosplay community for running the cosplay information site A Fan's View, suffered a heart attack at the convention, though he's recovered to the point that he's written an article about his ordeal (in first-person plural, using the "royal We", for some reason).
Less fortunate was Jeff Thompson, an ADR producer for anime distributor/online retailer The Right Stuf International who produced the English dubs of anime such as His and Her Circumstances (Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou a.k.a. "KareKano"), for which he was also the ADR director, and Boogiepop Phantom. At Ohayocon, he fell ill, and, on Saturday, he died. As someone who is generally not a dub fan (and the only TRSI-distributed anime I own personally is The Irresponsible Captain Tylor bought years ago on subtitled VHS), I can't say I know him for his dub work, but, as noted in this 2005 interview with Jeff Thompson conducted by AnimeOnDVD.com contributor Way Jeng, he was also a designer who worked on a lot of the packaging, and he designed and wrote The Right Stuf International's famous full-colour catalogue that had a hefty "history and overview of anime" component in the days when such information was somewhat hard to come by, so I'm at least familiar enough with something he did that I wouldn't feel completely insincere in offering his family my condolonces.
I was surprised to find that Jeff Thompson was the subject of a trio of tribute pages dedicated to him: here, here, and here (though that last site seems to be down, presumably because of high traffic, but you can view it at Web Archive).
And, more chillingly, here's an article about Jeff Thompson at Neko-Con in 2000 written by... Kevin Lillard. Whoa dude, that's some spooky kismet.
I hope these two incidents are isolated phenomenon and that there isn't some kind of Ohayocon curse at work, but, and I know mentioning this isn't entirely in good taste but I'm just being honest about my reactions, I did just get an idea for a horror movie: Sayonara-con, tagline: "Come and see our exclusive guests who will not be appearing at any other convention... ever again."