David Trampier, D&D Illustrator, has died.

I did not know David Trampier’s name before today, but this article came across my fb feed this afternoon.

Certainly the cover of the Players Handbook is well known to all geeks of a certain age, even if they didn’t play D&D themselves.

Guess he failed his saving throw.

The majority of my favorite drawings from those early editions had his distinctive signature at the bottom.


The guy who did Wormy, the dragon? Doggone! That was a great comic strip! The art was top notch, and the writing was funny. Inspired by Vaughn Bode. (As was Larry Elmore’s Snarfquest.)

One particular scene was particularly memorable: the wizard is riding a flying black cat, which bursts through the walls of reality, to reveal hundreds of other bubble universes beyond. A truly grand vision of the vastness of the magical universe.

Haroog, Floyd, bring me a beer.

Hadn’t heard his name in a very long time, but his art immediately came to mind.

In a bit, I will pour myself a scotch in his honor.

Sad, I loved Wormy, back in the day I collected every Dragon magazine it appeared in.

They were, of course, lost to that timeworn tale of “Mom Throws out Box of Son’s Stuff When Cleaning Out the Attic”

When I got My Monster Manual (the Beholder pic) autographed by Tom Wham (2013), he mentioned that most of the other folks associated with the book were dead (I got Gary Gygax’s autograph in 1988). He mentioned that DAT was alive and his brother-in-law, but hadn’t heard from him in years.


I guess he’s never going to finish Wormy now.

I always kinda wondered why he dropped out of sight. Was the geek fame too much for a very private man? It’s not like he was making huge mad dough doing the illustrations.

Not only was he never going to finish, he wouldn’t allow any collections to be published. He didn’t seem to care about unauthorized use, either. For example: https://sites.google.com/site/wormycollected/Home

He had a very nasty falling out with TSR and swore off the industry. His wikipedia article alludes to it, and the talk page goes into a lot more detail.

Per wikipedia and other stuff I’ve read, he was entertaining the possibility of reprinting his old comics, but it hadn’t gone anywhere; he sounds like he wasn’t quite right in the head.

It was DATs cover of The Village of Hommlet that introduced me to D&D.