Oh, the Suck

It was with great regret that I read the following article on Tor.com’s blog:

David A. Trampier, the Illustrator Who Defined the Look of Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Has Passed Away, 1954-2014

This hit kinda hard.

Though I have not participated in any kind of pen and paper role-playing game for well over two decades, I remember the man’s iconic artwork.  For an impressionable youngster who did, and still does, have a soft spot for the sword-swinging genre, Trampier – or, as he signed his work, “DAT” – visualized an entire world of possibilities for me.

I also followed his comic strip Wormy, which was published in Dragon magazine for a long time (repository of the comics here), alongside artist Phil Foglio (of Girl Genius fame).  It was one of my first exposures to a multi-threaded story, with a wide cast and various perspectives.  I very much find that old comic series was a large influence on my Woodhollow stories, which I really need to revisit one of these days.  I always looked forward to reading the next installation.  And then one day, it just stopped.

Trampier burned out and fell off the planet.  Checks went un-cashed, phone calls un-returned.  There were rumors, outlined on this blog, about what had happened.  Whatever the truth, it’s a sad tale of artistic talent that has vanished into the void.  And it is another reminder that I continue to get older, as the icons of my youth fall to ruin, one by one.

Think I need to go out into the sunshine for a few minutes and cheer up now.

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