Monty Oum: A tribute

“I believe that the human spirit is indomitable. If you endeavor to achieve, it will happen given enough resolve. It may not be immediate, and often your greater dreams is something you will not achieve within your own lifetime. The effort you put forth to anything transcends yourself, for there is no futility even in death.” – Monty Oum

On occasion, there will be an individual, in the public eye, who will have passed from this world. In most instances, I will hear or read the news about said person, and think “Man, that sucks. Rest In Peace.”

Sometimes, however, the death of someone I truly admired will be a telling blow to me personally, despite that personality having never met me, or known of my existence.

Monday’s news about Monty Oum was one such moment for me.

And, over the past forty eight hours, I have attempted to amalgamate my thoughts over the loss of a true pioneer in his field.

One of my defining memories of Monty was on one of Rooster Teeth’s own video podcasts, which is shown live on the Rooster Teeth website on Monday evenings. Monty was being quizzed by Rooster Teeth co-founder Michael ‘Burnie’ Burns about RWBY, Monty’s own anime-esque animated show, and all that I can remember pondering was how tired Monty looked.


Monty Oum

In subsequent appearances by Monty, in various videos on Rooster Teeth’s site, I always had that abiding thought running through my brain, and I could never fathom why he just didn’t take time off, or have a period of rest, to feel refreshed before tackling his work once again.

After the tragically shocking news that Monty Oum had passed away, and after reading so much about the kind of person Monty was, I had an epiphany: Here was an individual who did not want to waste any time trying to improve himself. He was constantly wanting to refine his passions for animation, cosplaying, technology and art. He only slept when he had to, or when his body and mind forced him to do so.

I never met Monty Oum in person, and I imagine that he would have no idea who I am, where I lived or what I did.

And yet it was a mark of Monty, both as an individual and as someone who was truly passionate about everything that he created, that his work resonated with me from across the other side of the globe. From the first time that I watched any form of animated work of his, up until the last couple of episodes of RWBY, I was always left feeling some form of emotion from anything that Monty created.

His undying love and commitment to his occupation has been an inspiration to everyone at Rooster Teeth, and every Rooster Teeth fan both in the past and over the last few days since his untimely passing, but it is this inspiration that will keep Monty’s family, friends, co-workers and fans going in the weeks, months and years to come – myself included.


A trail of roses left outside of Rooster Teeth Productions, Texas, on Tuesday morning by an anonymous Rooster Teeth fan

Monty Oum was 33 years old when he tragically passed away on Sunday. I am certain that he had so much more to offer this world, but the spectacular work that he produced over numerous years is a fitting tribute to who Monty was, and provides a lasting legacy to one of the world’s true masters of his art.

Right now, however, it is difficult for me to view any of that amazing work without feeling his loss. In time, though, I will be able to watch his artwork and his wonderous creations, and I will smile, laugh and be in awe once more.