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"David Trampier - D&D artist, creator of "Wormy"" Topic

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Action Log

28 Mar 2014 6:09 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "David Trapier - D&D artist, creator of "Wormy"" to "David Trampier - D&D artist, creator of "Wormy""

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1,428 hits since 28 Mar 2014
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Wyatt the Odd Supporting Member of TMP Fezian28 Mar 2014 9:24 a.m. PST


Those of you who played 1st Edition AD&D or who read "Dragon" magazine are familiar with the work of David Trampier. His art was signed "DAT" or "Tramp".

He stopped producing Wormy suddenly in 1988, and dropped out of the gaming scene. He was reportedly working as a cab driver in Illinois in the 1990s.


Wikipedia page:


JLA10528 Mar 2014 9:30 a.m. PST

I'm saddened by his passing. 'Wormy' was usually the first thing I turned to in the old Dragon magazines.

RavenscraftCybernetics28 Mar 2014 10:14 a.m. PST

he also cowrote the game Titan.

The Dozing Dragon28 Mar 2014 11:28 a.m. PST

RIP. I loved Wormy.

MahanMan28 Mar 2014 11:30 a.m. PST

I always enjoyed Wormy as well, even after I'd stopped playing D&D. A real shame.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2014 12:41 p.m. PST

I'd always hoped he'd overcome whatever troubles or concerns took him away from his art, and find a way to return. Sad news indeed.

Rest in Peace, Mr. Trampier, and thank you for the inspiration.

Who asked this joker28 Mar 2014 12:44 p.m. PST

Very sad. A classic tortured artist. Rest in peace.

jpattern228 Mar 2014 12:48 p.m. PST

I'm another big fan of Wormy, as well as all of the other comics in Dragon, even the really weird ones (does anyone else remember Pinsom?).

RIP, Mr. Trampier.

kallman28 Mar 2014 1:34 p.m. PST

Wormy was a cool comic and I always wondered why it suddenly dropped out of Dragon Magazine. Mr. Trampier's illustrations in the Dungeon Masters guide were also a high step above of everything else that was going on at that time. Sad indeed and hits close to home being an artist as well.

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2014 2:08 p.m. PST

A great talent, too bad he's gone, and too bad he didn't create more art. Wormy helped make The Dragon accessible.

Backgammon was featured in one episode, and that issue of The Dragon mailed with a colorful backgammon board that Trampier drew. It's one of the very few things you can't find on the internet, though there was a not particularly good image of it up on eBay for awhile. If anyone has this insert from The Dragon #15 a lot of people would be thankful for a scan of that board.

Personal logo Wyatt the Odd Supporting Member of TMP Fezian28 Mar 2014 3:13 p.m. PST

I'll look, Andrew. I have all of the Dragons back to The Strategic Review #2. Hopefully, my Issue 15 has the insert.


altfritz28 Mar 2014 4:13 p.m. PST

Wormy was my favourite strip from the Dragon Mag. Who was it that did Fineous Fingers?

RavenscraftCybernetics28 Mar 2014 4:28 p.m. PST

JD Webster did FF

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2014 4:50 p.m. PST

It seems he had lost his taxi job and had suffered a stroke, and was selling art through a local game store to cover expenses. He had also been diagnosed with cancer. More on his recent life and his death at the atore's blog: link

Personal logo Andrew Walters Supporting Member of TMP28 Mar 2014 5:17 p.m. PST

Thanks, Wyatt!

Several people on will be grateful if the image turns up.

He also helped design Titan, which many people have fond memories of.

He seems to have left the gaming industry in bitterness after some dealings that didn't work out. Who knows what he could have drawn and painted in those missing decades. Let's take that as a reminder to treat each other well.

tkdguy28 Mar 2014 8:41 p.m. PST

I'm sad to hear about his passing. I was a fan of Wormy as well. RIP.

A tribute to his artwork: link

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP29 Mar 2014 12:52 p.m. PST

Here's the entire run of the classic Wormy, which ended abruptly with Trampier's departure from gaming.


Some of the accounts claim that the publication plans for a collected book of Wormy strips and a resulting dispute over ownership of the rights led to the Trampier's exit, though it appears other concerns may have weighed in as well.

In any case, the artwork and coloration in Wormy was amazing, particularly in the sequences involving the Shadowcat. The scans don't do justice to the printed art.

tkdguy29 Mar 2014 6:40 p.m. PST

Thanks for posting the Wormy link.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP30 Mar 2014 12:00 p.m. PST

What's stunning to me is that so far, as far as I can tell, there has been zero acknowledgement or recognition of this death by anyone currently involved with Dungeons & Dragons, despite the fact that Trampier's work was seminal to all our experience of the game (that famous idol on the cover of the original Player's Handbook is his work). In fact, WotC continues to use Trampier's work, even on its own website (the idol picture appears there currently as the "click in" art for an article in the D&D section). Yet no recognition for the artist himself? That's sad, bordering on pathetic. I realize it's not exactly national news in terms of coverage, but the word is out there.

At least the gaming community remembers. And maybe that's the most important thing.

Ditto Tango 2 330 Mar 2014 1:30 p.m. PST

My favourite picture was the dwarves coming down the stairs that curve around, listening to the magic mouth while at the bottom of the stairs a pair of eyes stared. Thanks DAT and please rest in peace.

Dr Mathias Fezian31 Mar 2014 7:44 a.m. PST

I always loved his crisp style. I can't even calculate how many hours I spent looking at his drawings in Monster Manual, or that full page 'Emirikol the Chaotic'.

FABET0131 Mar 2014 8:02 a.m. PST

What's stunning to me is that so far, as far as I can tell, there has been zero acknowledgement or recognition of this death by anyone currently involved with Dungeons & Dragons,

Just a repeat of what happened with Dave Sutherland III.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP31 Mar 2014 8:47 a.m. PST

John Kovalic, cartoonist, illustrator and artist (Dork Tower, Munchkin, Apples to Apples and more) pays tribute: link

Aaron WIlliams, cartoonist and artist (Nodwick, Full Frontal Nerdity) joins in:

So the news is getting around to people who appreciated Trampier's work and contribution.

piper90931 Mar 2014 9:24 a.m. PST

A genius, and sadly missed.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP01 Apr 2014 5:24 a.m. PST

Photos of original artwork by Trampier, on the Castle Perilous game store site: link
(scroll down to find his art)

The original piece created as a cover for Titan is amazing.

The set also includes the art used for the AD&D DM's Screen, one of my favorite Trampier pieces. I'd love to have that one hanging on my wall!

Greyalexis05 Apr 2014 7:57 p.m. PST

RIP, I lost many a fun hour playing Titan.

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