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‘RWBY’ creator Monty Oum has died at 33

Fans and fellow animators mourn the death of Rooster Teeth animator Monty Oum.


Monica Riese

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 2, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 3:31 pm CDT

With heavy hearts, the talented team at Rooster Teeth on Monday announced the tragic death of RWBY creator Monty Oum.

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

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*First Published: Feb 2, 2015, 9:14 pm CST