My first reaction? "Oh, Fuck..."
I haven't seen him in many years, though I followed him on lj (haven't really "followed anyone this past year though)... some people just remain vigorous people in your head, until suddenly you are reminded they are much older now or in this case... gone. Shit.
Joel was a key part of my integration into Minicon fandom for the period when I was involved. I used to... shall we say... referee online discussions between him and others on the Minicon list. He had a brilliant mind that shone through in his words (even when they were cutting. Or perhaps even most merrily when they were cutting).
I'm sorry to see him go, and will long remember the twinkle in his eye and the love of (his kind of) people in his smile.
Time is passing and now so are the lions of my youth. This feels like it's just the beginning, sad to say. I mean, it isn't the beginning, we've been losing others all along, but for some reason this is hitting me particularly hard.