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News of Oum’s hospitalization spread quickly over the weekend, and friends and fans quickly donated more than $180,000 to a GoFundMe campaign to help defray medical costs; as of this writing, that number is just shy of $200,000.
In a journal post on Rooster Teeth’s forums, colleague Matt Hullum explained more about Oum’s medical emergency, saying he “suffered a severe allergic reaction during a simple medical procedure that left him in a coma. Although he fought bravely, his body was not able to recover.”
Oum was an animator for Red vs. Blue and the creator of RWBY, which this year will become the first American anime exported to Japan (rather than the more traditional route the other direction). At 33, he was considered a rock star among animators, a talent beloved by colleagues and fans alike. Even his unanimated work was popular; as the Austin Chronicle noted, his “his stream-of-consciousness Twitter feed, which leaped from requests for coffee to slabs of code, teasers for the upcoming season 3 of RWBY, and reposting of fan art” was followed by 145,000 fans around the world.
Hullum simply asked that those wishing to pay tribute to Oum do so with a creative pursuit:
As for honoring Monty, we will do that in our own way. In lieu of flowers or gifts, we ask that you simply do something creative. Use your imagination to make the world a better place in any way that you can. If you know Monty like we do, then you know he would certainly be doing that if he were able to.
Our hearts go out to Oum’s friends, family, and colleagues in this trying time.
Screengrab via RWBY/YouTube
Monica Riese now serves as the Daily Dot’s director of production, having previously been the publication’s entertainment editor and assistant managing editor. She is based in Austin, Texas, and formerly contributed to the Austin Chronicle, where her breaking news work was recognized by the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies.