Friday, March 28, 2014

David Trampier 1954 - 2014 - A Legacy In Art and Life.

Four days ago one of the most iconic artists of the 1970's role playing era passed from us with a whisper. His impact on the industry was thunder and lightning with artwork that ranged from the illustrations of early editions of AD&D,Modules, Dragon Magazine, and of course Wormy.
I'm trying to wrap my head around the fact that he's gone. I think of seeing every single illustration in my head back when I was a kid with his signature "DAT" or "Tramp" under the art piece.
I really bummed out tonight. Like someone has told me that my favorite rock star has just died this evening.


I remember back in 2007 learning about him driving a cab in Carbondale, Illinois and thinking that something really bad must have broke his heart. It drove him away from art and the gaming community. And now he's gone just like that. 
Here's the ironic part according to wiki : " A decade later, when Trampier's taxi company went out of business and he discovered he had cancer, he began to entertain the idea of republishing some of his early artwork in book form. He also agreed to end his long isolation from the gaming community by appearing as a special guest at a Carbondale gaming convention scheduled for April 2014. However, he died two weeks before the convention."
So here I'm a bit more broken hearted and another of the flames of the early days of the hobby I love is gone tonight. A legacy of artwork has been left behind and there are going to be hundreds of blog entries poetically grieving and saying good bye. I leave the poetry to better writers. I'm left with a small hole in my heart this evening and lighting a candle to say good bye to an outsider artist who helped to shape so many lives.

Thanks for Wormy Mr. Trampier and all that fantastic artwork that fired my imagination  and so many others for so many days and evenings. All we can do now is celebrate the life and work.


Excuse me I'm off to read some old Wormy strips and remember. Then maybe go through the AD&D DM's Guide, then the Monster Manual, Titan, and perhaps over the weekend get in a game of Legacy. 


  1. Awesome post. Yeah, it has been bothering me all day too and I agree with you 1000% on your sentiments.

  2. Thanks Ragnar.
    I think when you start looking into the pop cultural landscape and folks talk about Advance Dungeons and Dragons, favorite modules, etc. from our generation. Then you mind fills with images from the artwork of Dave Trampier. This is loss on many different levels. And his death is still bothering me today, five days out. I kept wishing this story had a different ending but not all books have a happy ending as one of my mentor's used to say.

  3. Great post, Needles, I feel the same way.

    Trampier's images really influenced the way I "saw" things back when I was starting out in fantasy gaming (D&D). His images like the magic mouth stairs, the manticore, the rakshasa, I know that many those images will spring to mind unbidden for players of the old game when we just hear the words.

    We feel the loss of a great artist and fantasy visionary. Remember these guys, who were there at the beginning, they gave us something that brought so many hours of enjoyment; I hope Dave Trampier found peace.


  4. Thanks for the comments about the post. I too hope that this fantastic artist and creator of so many images of our hobby finds peace at last. May David Trampier find the peace he so deserves that he did not seem to in life. Thanks Gregarious Monk.


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