This one's weird for me to write because it's the first pop culture death notice/tribute I've written about a person who was a friend of mine. I just found out that Maddie Blaustein died ten days ago and that news shocked the living shit out of me.
I first met Maddie about a hundred years ago during my early days at Marvel Comics, back when she was still Adam "Addie" Blaustein, but didn't really get to know her until I started working in the DC Comics production department. She was one of the first people at that company to welcome me with open arms and was a delightful counterpoint to the place's sometimes-corporate pretensions, being a warm-hearted and funny transgendered fellow-oddball who also worked as a voice actor for cartoons and video games, perhaps most notably serving as the second actor to serve as Meowth on POKEMON and the entire Tusket family on ULTIMATE MUSCLE: THE KINNIKUMAN LEGACY.
Maddie passed away in her sleep after what has been described online and from the people I asked who also knew her as a short illness, so I have no idea what the cause was. All I know is that she was funny, talented, sweet and very kind to me, so I wish her nothing but luck on the next go-round.
Heidi MacDonald has more on Maddie over at The Beat, including reminiscences left by friends and former colleagues.