Dave Trampier: A great artist

Dave Trampier has apparently passed away.

Trampier, aka DAT and Tramp, was a very influential artist. He of course did the famous Players’ Handbook cover with the adventurers clambering over the giant idol. Emirikol the Chaotic surely has had a strong influence on many owners of the 1st edition DMG. Personally, I remember him most for two things: his art for Kings & Things; and his amazing comic Wormy. Many panels from Wormy have imprinted themselves permanently on my memory:

  • Gremorly and the Shadowcat breaking through the heavenly spheres
  • Goblins fighting: “This is no ordinary soupspoon”, indeed.
  • Gremorly opening a magic portal

His art for Kings & Things managed a cartoony, goofy whimsy — much like Tom Wham’s own work, but cleaner. Wormy is cartoony yet elegant, with a superb sense of line and gorgeous coloring. It reminds me a lot of my favorite Japanese woodblock illustrations, such as works by Hiroshige and Kawase Hasui.

It sounds like the latter part of DAT’s life was a hard one. Not what he deserved.

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