You know how you feel close to someone who creates just based on how well you know–and how much you love–their creations? Thus was the case with Monty Oum. He was the creator of awesome American anime RWBY, and part of the Rooster Teeth studio of creative stuff, and gaming, and community love.
I’ve seen every episode of RWBY like a thousand times. It’s the reason the fourteen year old in my household graced us with her presence at least once a week all summer. (She paid for a subscription, and therefore was able to view the show three hours early. Something I might have said, at high volume, over and over again as I pounded on her bedroom door and begged her to login in the living room so I could watch, too.)
But the best part, the thing that made me feel like Monty–who, among a rambunctious team of rowdies and hams, mostly stayed quietly in the background–was a kindred spirit, was the production diaries for the show. Because this guy? Thought about everything. He thought about story six levels deep. He could play out each plot and subplot for seasons ahead and see how they interconnected. You know how chess pros are about chess? That’s how Monty Oum was about story.
He was an animator. He did some other cool shit, too. But the way he talked about characters? Yeah, well, I’m just gonna sit here and cry some more now, because fuck, I admired the hell out of the scope of his vision. And I feel its loss keenly.
There was a livestream earlier, which I watched. And one of the guys (I can’t tell them all apart; one of the white guys…) referred to Monty as “desperately creating” and I just can’t fucking stop thinking that line. I feel like that all the time. I’ve felt like that all my life. There are a lot of people who create art in the world; there is a smaller group of people for whom creating seems to be tied into blood and bone. Monty was one of us.
The post on the Rooster Teeth site ends like this, and god, it gets to me:
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.
Hell of an epitaph. And guys? If I go out early, somebody’s got to run some kind of Google Hangout or something where whoever wants to can join in and talk about what a crazy asshole I was, okay? Because that was a beautiful tribute, watching a few of his friends tell stories and talk smack.
I’m gonna go play with Red and Bad now (because those boys sure do get creative), but I’m also gonna light a candle and take a minute. Damn. For Monty Oum–I tip my scythe to you (it’s also a gun).