24 November 2020

The Monsters of Trampier

I’ve mentioned before here how much I adore the art of Dave Trampier (“DAT”). His work very much shaped the way in which I visualize fantasy adventuring—especially the more “gritty” kind characteristic of early AD&D and the World of Greyhawk

Of course, I’m not alone in my admiration! Today I stumbled upon a rather nice tribute to Trampier’s art in the Monster Manual at Heavy Metal (which I was surprised to learn still existed—I have distant memories of the magazine from my adolescence, but had assumed that it had gone the way of the Dinosaurs). 

The article mentions Trampier’s final year, including his interest in reengaging with the fantasy role-playing community, but which was thwarted tragically by his death in 2014. I find Trampier’s tale to be a mysterious and melancholic one. I can't help but wonder what amazing works he might have produced had he not walked away from it all in the late 1980s. But I am profoundly grateful for the invaluable contributions that he did make to our hobby.

Here are two of my favourite DAT illustrations: the Lizard Man and the Rakshasa. 

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I'm a Canadian political philosopher who divides his time between Milwaukee and Toronto.