Forgive me, any readers (probably just my in real life pals; hello!) that have stuck around even though I hardly update this. I’m primarily trying to use this as a writing portfolio, but please indulge me as I take this opportunity to write about a creative inspiration who has passed away.
Most of the internet that’s so inclined has shared their thoughts, prayers, and sympathies in regards to the passing of Monty Oum. The basic details are at the link, but if you’ll allow me to, I’m going to add my own anecdote and thoughts to the outpouring.
I first have to admit that I didn’t follow him that much when he went to Rooster Teeth, nor did I really watch much of RWBY. I did, however. always consider him an inspiration, ever since I watched all of the Dead Fantasy shorts he did back in the day.
I followed his dA and YouTube channel, and I was THRILLED when he said he was going to be visiting a convention that I was going to attend (this was an alarming number of years ago – I have been going to cons for too long). He wasn’t a paid guest or anything, but had extended an open invitation to all of his fans to find him at the convention to say hello.
Finding him at the con to tell him how much I enjoyed his videos became my top mission. However, just with the nature of conventions, things were hectic and busy and a dizzying mess of things to do, and I thought I had missed my opportunity.
Sunday, the last day of the con rolled around, and I had pretty much wrote off being able to catch him (I think many people compared it to a rare Pokemon hunt). I was just putzing around Artist’s Alley when I saw someone who looked like him, with a large backpack (a key feature he said to look out for in the crowd). I caught up to him and I believe I just blurted out something like, “Are you Monty Oum?” Eloquent in my excitement (and much younger then), I am not. But he handled this random ass person coming up to him SO WELL; I can only imagine he was that gracious and friendly and genuinely NICE to everyone he ran into that weekend.
He handled my rambling at him fantastically, and was generally awesome overall as he thanked me for being a fan. And then he apologized – apologized – to me, because he had already ran out of Dead Fantasy posters over the weekend, but he still had DVDs of a few of the Dead Fantasy videos he could give me. Things he just made up and printed out of his own pocket money.
I couldn’t even handle this. I thanked him profusely after chatting for a bit (I think? I think we did.) and wandered off in a bit of a starstruck stupor. I thought that was the end of it, and was mildly embarrassed that I fangirled so hard. Until a few days later, when Monty messaged me on dA. He actually remembered some random person’s dA username! Who’d have thought?? I was astonished. He had just messaged me to tell me that he remembered the name of the character he thought I should cosplay as, something he had brought up during our conversation but couldn’t recall the exact name. I was so taken aback, and just kind of honored.
That’s just the kind of dude he was. So genuine, creative, nice, and inspirational. I can’t believe he’s gone. At 33, no less. It’s actually hitting harder than I had expected. Though my one encounter with him was memorable, it’s not like we were friends or anything. Thirty three. That’s not too far off from where I am. He followed his passion and dreams and did what he loved for a living. I can only hope to achieve even a bit of that. Rest in peace, Monty. We’ll try to keep it fun down here.