A Tribute to MJ Ramirez ZAPPCON Founder and President

Posted on March 16, 2014 by Sarah Gonzales 2 Comments
Sammy and Deadpool (MJ)

Sammy and Deadpool (MJ)

So I kept hearing about this guy and his wife from Sammy. “His daughter’s in my class. They’re so cool. We have to have them over. His wife has her own business as a SEO and helps businesses online, and MJ is really into comics, they homeschool…” the list went on.  The first time I met MJ, he had unexpectedly brought a present for Sammy’s birthday. It was a comic book of The Hulk with a mesoamerican cover. With this simple gift, MJ showed me that he “gets” my husband in a way I didn’t, I had been failing at my gift giving attempts for years. I knew it was bromance.  Sammy constantly brought home art books about comics that MJ had lent him, and MJ had even sent him a script of a comic Handsome Devil he was writing so they could collaborate. Whenever we got together we discussed our children, gaming, life and it’s struggles, and general geekdom. I took an immediately liking to Courtney, Mike, and the girls. Every time we parted, Sammy and I would go on and on about how we needed to hang out again soon, play an RPG, anything to hang out with the Ramirez fam.

ZAPPCON at the Fresno Mardi Gras Parade

MJ top left at ZAPPCON Fresno Mardi Gras Parade March 2, 2014

One night in our apartment we were talking about Fresno and the central valley and that’s when the spark became a flame. MJ was determined that it was time the central valley had it’s own con. He knew the con scene, he had friends that could help him get started, and he had the passion to work hard to make ZAPPCON happen. We encouraged him, throwing our faith behind his vision, trusting that if anyone could do it, he could. I’m still in shock. Last week he was getting ready to print me business cards and was coaching me on how to approach vendors. He always listened now matter how harebrained my ideas were. Now I’m lost because I keep wanting to turn to him for answers, or to brainstorm, or to get his help with ZAPPCON, and for his friendship and conversation. Now I can’t just call him, wait for the next ZAPP meeting, or harass him on facebook. Losing someone is felt so keenly when you were in constant contact on an almost daily basis. Hold your loved ones close, it’s never too soon to check your heart (complications with his heart led to his unexpected passing March 12, 2014), and let your geek shine.

My heart goes out to his family, because of their profound loss of someone so kind, patient, and unwavering. Not only was MJ talented at what he did, he managed to do it all while treating everyone with respect around him. Thirty eight years was far too soon for the Earth to lose someone like MJ. We miss you already. Keep on Zapping. Love ya man.


More links to tributes to MJ below.

MJ Ramirez Tribute Website

Geeks with Wives: Remembering Mike (MJ) Ramirez

Unbreakable Bonds: Goodbye MiXX

MJ Ramirez Mock ZAPPCON Interview Clip

MJ as Deadpool at the Human Race Fun Run


  • DAMM says:

    It was my deepest pleasure to have known Mike and to have hung out at cons with him. His vision for this con I am sure will be realized and will be a great honor to him. Thanks for the article. Word.

  • eric.c.ramirez says:

    i will always miss my uncle mikey he was THEE black sheep.he forever will be missed.THE FUNNIEST YET most awesomest weirdest nerd uncle i ever had. im just laughing reminiscing thinking when he ran out from the shower n farted in front of my face then covered in a towel like a girl running in the bathroom giggling like a girl….i was eating cereal with my mouth open n then im gagging in my bowl…GOLDEN DAYS. another awesome time me n my cousin kyle (his son) was swimming with him n i was a sissy to go in the deep end and he was trying to teach me as BEST as he could but i just kept saying “nope…mm mm.no.nu uh.” and he got so mad he suplexed me in the deep n throwing me left n right in the deep screaming SWIM DAMN YOU while kyles swimming in circles in the deep end everywhere including me to be an ass…. it was the best.. but now it makes my heart pound and choked up to say my uncle mikey is gone.. i miss him so much but at least he put a stamp in the valley with this company. i tattooing zappcon in rasta on my ankle to remember that phat kid.

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