Wormy ran in the back of TSR's Dragon magazine (then called The Dragon) from September 1977 to April 1988. I loved it at the time, and I still consider it one of the best gaming-related comics I've ever encountered. Stylistically, it combined the rich colors, clean lines, and lush backgrounds reminiscent of Miyazaki with the sort of comically exaggerated characters found in Bakshi's cartoons. His characterization and dialogue were equally vivid. (For a more adept technical explanation of Trampier's strengths as a cartoonist, click here.)
|Those dwarves have some nerve!|
|Trampier's work evolved over the course of the strip.|
Then in 2002, the Daily Egyptian—the student newspaper at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Ill.—featured an interview with a local cabdriver named David Trampier. The RPG community was quick to track him down. It turned out that Trampier had gotten tired of gaming and cartooning and had chosen to cut all ties with that part of his life.
For years, Trampier rejected offers to create or republish gaming art or to involve himself in the gaming community. Recently, as a result of health issues and losing his job, he'd begun selling off old art pieces and had agreed to appear as a guest at a Carbondale gaming convention. His death cuts short any hope of his return to the gaming world.
Here are a few more iconic illustrations from Trampier's portfolio:
Were you around for the early days of Dungeons & Dragons? Please share your recollections of old-school gaming art in the comments below