Talk:David A. Trampier

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Biography assessment rating comment[edit]

WikiProject Biography Assessment Drive

(Good luck on getting the photo...!)

The article may be improved by following the WikiProject Biography 11 easy steps to producing at least a B article. -- Yamara 01:47, 9 March 2007 (UTC)


The encyclopedia entry doesn't do Trampier's talent justice. His pen and ink illustrations are at once bold and abstract, beautifully textured and economical, imaginative, evocative. Head and shoulders above his contemporaries.

Is a gallery possible here? Copyright issues? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I agree he was talented, but there are, as you fear, copyright issues. — Frecklefoot | Talk 16:23, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
Maybe the copyright holder (WotC by now?) would conset to a limited gallery. Worth a letter?
Legal Department Copyright Agent, Wizards of the Coast, Inc., P.O. Box 707, Renton, WA 98057
They'd have to release the images under the GFDL or into the public domain. They're unlikely to do either. But you're free to write to them yourself. — Frecklefoot | Talk 21:11, 9 January 2007 (UTC)
No, it's more complex, and more simple, than that. Mr. Trampier has left the profession. His works remain his property, and the copyright is his. Copyright, by its very definition, allows for the rights holder to withhold the work from publication until they decide to release it. Mr. Trampier is no longer interested in participating, and if his permission cannot be secured, then his work remains out of bounds until it passes to his estate. And then, perhaps, they can be approached. — Chris Adams Yamara 01:47, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Where's Tramp?[edit]

Is there any references for the story about Trampier's "disappearance". FAQ gives a very different version of events:

  Wormy, by Dave Trampier, ran concurrently with What's New? and
  SnarfQuest.  It ended suddenly in the middle of a story, and has
  been the center of no small amount of confusion and consternation.
  What is known for certain is that Dave solicited orders for a Wormy
  collection at one point (around Dragon #102), but for whatever 
  reason, it fell through and was never published (everyone who ordered 
  a copy got their money back).  No one, and I mean no one, in either 
  the gaming or art industries has seen or heard from him since; though
  it is known for certain (through his family) that he is still alive
  and well, just not working with either games or art.


The information from the FAQ sounds like additional information, not different information. It would be a good addition to the article. Frecklefoot | Talk 15:11, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
The reason I say it is different not addition version is the article states that "Checks were returned as undeliverable", allowing this hardly sonds like the actions of a man demanding more money as suggested above. What seems the case are both are unreferenced hearsay. Although above is from a FAQ, what is the source of this? What relatives reported he is alive and well? Here is some more hearsay from the FAQ:
   The most likely story to surface so far (as
   told by an artist who was with TSR at the time) is that Trampier
   wanted more money and threw a major tantrum over the issue, at which
   point the editors returned the remainder of the episodes to him,
   unpublished.  Since neither Trampier nor the editors of Dragon at
   that time will comment on the issue, this story cannot be verified.
Well, it's all hearsay. Can we add it to the article and explicitly state it's all hearsay? Frecklefoot | Talk 14:21, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
My personal opinion is where no solid info is available or likely to be come available in the near future then hearsay is preferable to no info at all as long as it is reasonable, not disputed and clearly stated as hearsay. However I am not sure what Wiki Policy is. - Waza 23:50, 15 September 2005 (UTC)
The rumors are now part of the Trampier story, but their existence as rumors has to be chronicled as fact, not their substance. (Which it seems like you're saying.) — Chris Adams Yamara 09:08, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

This is a slightly different take on it, but it's still hearsay:

The seeds of his disappearance may be hinted at in the strip itself. Wormy 
featured "evil" D&D monsters acting in kindly human ways and the humans tended to 
be the bad guys. Ogres and Trolls war gamed. Wormy the dragon was a pool-playing, 
cigar-smoking lay about. Occasionally violence would erupt but Trampier did not 
hold back. There was blood and terror. Trampier never depicted violence in a 
noble or heroic fashion. Characters ran for their lives. The subtext of Wormy was 
really an anti-gaming message. Wormy subtly screamed at its readers "quit 
fantasizing and experience real life". 

Some claim the artist is dead and buried in Philly. It's been confirmed, however, 
via his family that Trampier is still alive. His whereabouts are utterly unknown, 
even by his brother-in-law (and fellow Dragon contributor) Tom Wham. Wham states 
he's not talked to his brother-in-law since 1982. He thinks Trampier lives in 
Illinois... "somewhere". There's a rumor in comic circles that he's living out of 
his car in Canada. TSR will only make vague statements that point to a possible 
falling out between Trampier and magazine staff. Art Director Roger Raupp stated 
Trampier's strip simply ended because "He didn't turn in any art." An unnamed TSR 
staffer was quoted as saying "I will never work with him again." Dragon magazine 
editor Kim Mohan has stated checks for Trampier's final cartoons were returned 
unopened. I have also come across several suggestions that TSR was in the process of acquiring the copyrights to many of the cartoons appearing in Dragon, even taking some of the writers and artists to court, and that Trampier was one of the ones who ended up on the short end of the deal. In the more extreme versions of the story (i.e., those less likely to be true), he lost ownership of the comic or had his royalties arrangement reduced. If true, I can see refusing payment as a matter of principle, sort of an "I want it all or nothing" stance. But again, this is all from fan message boards, not legitimate knowledgeable sources. -- Canonblack 06:42, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

He stopped working with TSR for personal reasons. This account is not fan hearsay, but from an TSR eyewitness. Any more detail than this has no place online, let alone Wikipedia. — Chris Adams Yamara 01:47, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
And another thing... The quote from is a mongrelization of an unaccredited original piece of mine posted back in 1998, still visible via the Wayback Machine: Trampier's Wormy Bootwebbed and this followup from April 2000: Trampier Lives? This might also help explain why Phil Foglio seems to be talking to himself at Origins 2000-- "In a casual conversation with fellow Dragon artist Phil Foglio at the 2000 Origins Game Convention, Mr. Foglio stated that at some point..." --he's actually talking to me in 1995 at Dexcon 4. Though Phil has every right to repeat himself. :) And yes, he did report the creepy quip, "When an artist's checks are returned uncashed, he is presumed dead."
Big thanks to Waza for the updated references, including the ones I listed here. I do not like to sockpuppet, but I have been the one asking the questions about Tramp for the last ten or twenty years, and am the source for some of the regurgitated rumors. — Chris Adams Yamara 09:08, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
I agreee this is an issue that needs to be dealt with sensitively, as Dave obviously "disappered" for his own reasons, and there needs to be a certain amount of respect for that. However it is also clear from a simple google search that he is someone widely admired for his creative talents, and many people want to know a little about him and would love to see more of his artist work. It is very hard finding references as many quotes are second and third hand, and some things are implied rather than stated by those who appear to have had contact with him. What seems clear at this time is several prominent people from the gaming industry have been in contact with him in recent years, and while some of those would like to encourage him to do some more artistic work, he is not at this stage ready to do so. I have found a few interesting references and will link some here until it can be determined what is suitable for inclusion in the article. Some are second hand and unreferencesd themselves but may give clues where to find some more useful sources. -Waza 04:32, 10 March 2007 (UTC)


Did you konw that if you search for "wormy" in the wikipedia search box it dumps you straight into the Episode Guide for Spongebob Squarepants? Weird. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Well, he (Wormy) is also a character in one episode of that show, so that's probably why. Perhaps it should be a disambiguation page instead? — Frecklefσσt | Talk 20:20, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
Disambiguation page created. Turns out there are four different Wormys in Cartoonland... —Yamara 17:57, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
Make that five. —Yamara 18:17, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Influence and OOTS[edit]

There was a paragraph about Rich Burlew's Wormy reference jammed in with Trampier's other works. I've given it its own section and expanded it with a quote from an audio interview. Does anyone else know of any authors or artists who have stated that they were influenced by Wormy? Ig8887 (talk) 19:03, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Edit of 6 March 2008[edit]

The following was put on the page 22:28, 6 March 2008 by IP address I removed it as OR, and because its rumor from a forum. Its legitimacy is unknown, but it may be useful. -- Yamara 01:33, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

It seems to be this post at Paizo. -- Yamara 01:42, 7 March 2008 (UTC)
You definitely made the right call removing it; it is completely unsourced and anonymous. There's no way to establish that this wasn't made up out of whole cloth. Hell, even if we were to make a reference to the letter being posted (which I think would still be a bad idea), we certainly shouldn't include the complete unabridged text!! --Ig8887 (talk) 17:16, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

As of 2002[edit]

The following letter was posted, anonymously, on an internet forum board on May 9th, 2007:

Hello all,

I stumbled on your Trampier discussion and, as someone who recognizes your hunger for news Tramp, have decided to contribute some information. Essentially this comes from my own experience with Tramp from about five or so years ago.

I do respect those of you who believe in letting sleeping dogs lie, respecting Mr. Trampier's privacy, etc. In retrospect, perhaps I shouldn't have done this, and I am deeply sorry if I did cause Mr. Trampier any agitation.

Here's what I can tell you. I managed to track Trampier down and got in contact with him. At the time I was collecting original fantasy art and I really wanted to buy some original Wormy pages from him. The good news is that he wasn't selling any because he still is attached to them and still has the dream of publishing them all someday. So if any publishers are reading this, I know Trampier has a rocky past history with TSR, but in all likelihood a publishing deal could be worked out to reprint Wormy and he still has all the originals to print from (save 3, see below). At least as of five years ago he still held out that dream. While I don't know if he truly finished the second story arc (there were two - the first ended with the Wizard Gremorly and Solomoriah the winged panther's failed attack), he does have finished pages that were never published (which I never saw but he told me about). Even an incomplete trade edition would be a classic.

Trampier said he does own the rights to Wormy, completely. He said his self-published compilation never happened because he couldn't raise enough money to make it happen.

Trampier's voice is exactly how you might imagine it to be - gravely and warm with the smoky flavor of someone who prefers to "roll his own". At the time that I called Trampier was involved in trying to set up a tobacco shop, but I have no idea if that ever panned out.

Trampier is a big Pogo fan. He cited Walt Kelley's classic strip as the primary influence for Wormy. This isn't entirely surprising, given the art style and political subtext of several Wormy strips. In a way the Wormy material is a classic American retelling of slavery - just read the episode where Rudy has a long conversation with a caged troll if you don't believe me. Wormy isn't as heavily political as Pogo, but it's there.

I noted that there were no female characters in the strip and asked him why (although this isn't unheard of in many boy's adventure comics - women are kept at a bare minimum, say, in Tintin). He said it was because an early strip with Irving dreaming of a bare breasted female centaur made TSR uneasy about offending readership, so as a joke he decided to remove women altogether. I don't own that issue of Dragon myself, but I've seen it online and it does seem to be the only episode with a female character.

The only pages of Wormy that Trampier does not own, so far as I am aware, I own. I purchased these from a former TSR employee. When I called Trampier I told him about the pages and offered to return them, since I wasn't sure of their provenance (i.e., purchase history.) Trampier graciously allowed me to keep them, which I am grateful for. The three pages in question feature Otis and Rudy looking in a river cave mouth for trolls, then getting spooked at the thought that a kraken might be lurking. Afterwards Catfish and Bender (the Salamander) pole through on the back of a belly-up, dead Long-bellied Mudsucker fish. If anyone ever does want to publish the run of Wormy and needs these pages to reproduce (with Trampier's permission, naturally), I am entirely willing to lend them to the cause.

I'm bringing up the art because, frankly, it's gorgeous. Trampier used a special kind of magic marker to color his work (I can't remember the name he told me, but apparently that brand is no longer made), but the way he used them made his work look like it had been painted with watercolors. If you've ever looked at original comic art, even the big names will "cheat" using white-out, etc., so that often the final printed product looks more perfect than the original. Not so with Trampier. Every line is perfect, every color vibrant and nary a corrected mistake visible. I've seen a fair amount of original comic pages and I haven't seen anything to rival Trampier's sheer craftsmanship and painstaking labor. The pages practically glow like stained-glass windows.

Trampier confirmed to me that he had had a falling out with Mohan and company at TSR, and was surprised to learn the company had been purchased by Wizards of the Coast. He was entirely unaware of the interest expressed in his work on the internet, as he didn't have a computer or an internet connection at the time. He was happy to hear that the interest was there. Incidentally, at the time someone was posting Wormy pages and had stirred up controversy for doing so since they are Trampier's intellectual property and this person (not me, no relation, etc.) had not obtained permission. By the time I called Tramp they had capitulated and taken the images down. Trampier's words to me were that "I WANT people to see Wormy" and that this internet posting sounded fine. For the record.

The first call was really magical. Trampier was good humored, informative, and appreciated my compliments, and there I was, talking to a legend who had really impacted my childhood. Frankly I pretty much subscribed to Dragon back in the day just for the Wormy strips.

Things sadly went downhill from there. Without getting into it too much, Trampier withdrew, and stopped responding to my letters and inquiries into work that he had previously stated he was willing to sell (at the time, the pencil drafts for the Wormy pages, not the finished pages. And if anyone is curious, he doesn't have any of the classic Monster Manual drawings. Artist Tony DiTerlizzi does have the original of the Pseudodragon, but the rest are currently in oblivion. Apparently Trampier never got those drawings back from TSR, unlike the Wormy pages.) From my experience I do believe speculation that Trampier has some personal issues is likely true. I also want to stress that Trampier was never anything but polite to me when we did talk.

People can make of this what they will. I hope at least that this satisfies some curiousity about the David Trampier of five years ago. I understand why this could be read as a cautionary tale for would-be seekers, but I do hope that someone at TSR, paizo, etc will seek him out with a serious offer to collect and publish his Wormy material. He may have his quirks, but those strips are some of the most accomplished ever produced, they have a powerful base of nostalgic fans, and Trampier himself still holds the material, the copyright, and the will to have it published. He probably could use the additional monetary support too, frankly. It is certainly worth inquiring.

How to track him down? I'm sorry to say that you are on your own. I've moved, had several computer crashes, and no longer have Trampier's number or address. But I found both the old fashioned way in the first place, and so could anyone, no detective experience required. Personally, I hope that a publisher WILL contact him and at least make the attempt while it could still benefit Trampier himself - who knows what will happen to the Wormy material after Trampier does pass on. It could be lost, sold and scattered, or destroyed (Tramp's wife doesn't really seem to appreciate that part of his life). Simple fans just wanting to pay homage like I did should probably tread more lightly.

So there you go. That's my story. I hope it was helpful to you. And somebody, anybody, one way or another, please publish this classic of American pop culture.

The lady centaur in question is in Dragon #47 brain (talk) 00:21, 3 February 2011 (UTC)
The "lady centaur" is a centrigriff according to Trampier's "Wormy" crossword puzzle in Dragon #126. Bagelpriest (talk) 22:26, 6 December 2013 (UTC)
Having actually looked at the comic I can't get what the big deal would have been in 1981 given what TSR allowed in other material. I mean TSR allowed bare breasts all over the place in Deities & Demigods (1980) and showed no worry about offending anybody when they green lit the 1986 cover for GD 1-7 Queen of Spiders which depicted the Drow (evil elves with dark skin) as if they had just fallen out of the Shaka Zulu miniseries.--BruceGrubb (talk) 13:51, 28 May 2016 (UTC)


"CARBONDALE -- David Trampier, 59, died at 10:58 a.m. Monday, March 24, 2014, in Helia Healthcare. Arrangements are incomplete at Walker Funeral Home in Carbondale."


  • The age matches.
  • As of 2002, David A. Trampier was driving a cab in Carbondale, PA.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Wow, I don't know. We'll have to get some verification on this. — Frεcklεfσσt | Talk 13:04, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
From a blog, so not usable in a main Wiki article: Shsilver (talk) 13:49, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
I don't know that I would give much credit to the blog; however, that said, I feel that this is almost certainly him in the obituary, although I would like to have some confirmation from family or even better the people in the industry who knew him. BOZ (talk) 14:01, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
FWIW, Tom Wham seems to believe it: [1] BOZ (talk) 15:18, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
The article/obit mentioned above from the blog of the owner of a gaming store in Carbondale indicates he was in recent touch with Trampier and was trying to negotiate a meeting bwtween him and Troll Lord Games at a local convention in two weeks to have some of his artowkr republished. That and the obit in the local Carbondale paper almost certainly mean it's THE Dave Trampier. In addition, the 31st entry on the guest page of the local obit is written by someone signing in as Chris Wham (Tom Wham is Trampier's brother-in-law), and reads "I'm very sorry Nina, my prayers are with you..." (Nina was the name of his ex-wife, sister of Tom Wham). We know he lived in Carbondale, the chances of there being two Dave Trampiers living there and being the same age is remote. The convention he was supposed to appear at has a Facebook page. An entry by the organizers today reads's "Did not even realized he had passed on. We last heard from him about 3 weeks ago. He said he had cancer but was recovering and would need transportation to the con, which of course we were happy to provide." Guinness323 (talk) 22:59, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
More than fair enough.  ;) BOZ (talk) 23:04, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

If anyone has any details of Trampier's early life or education, that would be most excellent. Guinness323 (talk) 05:29, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Of Dice and Men[edit]

It was already in use as an inline citation - if you look at the current version, you will see that it is used for citation #2 and #4. The problem was that the citation style was not consistent with the other sources. 2601:D:9400:448:FD3F:52F2:7B95:5134 (talk) 08:03, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

I have just modified one external link on David A. Trampier. Please take a moment to review my edit. If you have any questions, or need the bot to ignore the links, or the page altogether, please visit this simple FaQ for additional information. I made the following changes:

When you have finished reviewing my changes, you may follow the instructions on the template below to fix any issues with the URLs.

As of February 2018, "External links modified" talk page sections are no longer generated or monitored by InternetArchiveBot. No special action is required on behalf of editors regarding these talk page notices, other than regular verification, as with any edit, using the archive tools per instructions below. This message updated dynamically through the template {{sourcecheck}} (last update: 1 May 2018).

  • If you have discovered URLs which were erroneously considered dead by the bot, you can report them with this tool.
  • If you found an error with any archives or the URLs themselves, you can fix them with this tool.

Cheers.—InternetArchiveBot (Report bug) 05:06, 27 November 2017 (UTC)