Yes I have been drinking, but I think this needs saying

The death of David A. Trampier, a wonderful illustrator of D&D and some other games from the mid-70s to 1988, has been reported.  A lot of blogs started posting brief RIPs and a few pictures as tributes, which is fitting.  Now I am noticing that there is some kind of race to report more details as quickly as possible, be the first kid in your webring to post the news, and other star-effing.  One blogger who is probably well-intentioned has started digging into the details of Trampier’s funeral arrangements and encouraging gamers to crash what has already been communicated to him to be a private event.  What.The.Fuck?

For whatever reason — and now is not really the time to get to the bottom of it — Trampier wanted out of the “gaming community” and politely refused requests for interviews etc. for the last decade.  Apparently his mounting medical bills did convince him to consider publishing and/or making appearances shortly before his death.  Still, I think the gaming community needs to back the fuck off.

If you did not know the man personally, you don’t need to be crashing this funeral.  You can sign the online guestbook if you need to let his family know how much you loved his art.  Hordes of strangers (especially the unwashed masses of gamers) showing up at a private funeral for a man who wanted no attention (or anything at all to do with the general public gamers really) —  hordes of gamers showing up at his funeral would be in incredibly bad taste.  The cynic in me suspects all the gushing about going to the funeral is just online braggadocio and trying to be grognarder-than-thou.  I will try to be more charitable and assume it is just talk coming from a real sense of vicarious loss.  Yes, all of us who loved D&D in the 70s and 80s, or appreciate the classics now, can feel a sense of loss at his passing, and as humans of course we can feel sorry for the family’s loss.  But imposing ourselves on DAT’s grieving family & friends does not honor him nor respect his or their wishes for privacy.

Published in: on March 29, 2014 at 1:46 am  Comments (9)  
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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Seriously? People who never met him are talking about attending his funeral. If that’s true, it’s fucking weird.
    I’m sad at the passing of an artist who’s work I respect and admire. I also appreciate the mystery — to me — that he was. Because of that I’ve been flipping through my monster manual. But that’s where my emotion-action stops.


    Yeah, there are some people who are talking about it, and I’m hoping that it’s just idle talk. It’s cool to talk about how much you respect him, but if you don’t know him going to such a private man’s funeral is one step to damned far.

    • Suffice to say that I’m sorry I communicated my thoughts so poorly. I posted a follow up that I hope redeems me in some small way. I hope no one did anything foolish based upon my post. Thank you Mike for taking the high road and not calling me out for my stupidity.

      • Well I’m not sure a post like this is the “high road” but hey, no harm no foul. The actual straws that pushed me over the edge (to mix idioms) were a post on FB by someone bemoaning that he learned about the death *several hours later that other grogtards,* and the comment someone left on your blog saying they would go to the funeral if they were in town. I did however assume the worst when you asked the funeral home for further details and promised to keep us updated, and I don’t really believe in assuming the worst about people, it never ends well.
        Really something about this whole thing bugged me for the same reason the obsession with the airplane that went missing does — there are a few hundred or thousand people with a legitimate interest in the fate of the plane, and a whole lotta rubberneckers; likewise we can all be saddened by DAT’s passing but we emphatically don’t need to know the details of his funeral!
        No hard feelings or loss of face, Jim. I should probably delete this post too. I am making more of this than it is.

  3. Yes, I agree with what Mike Monaco said. If Trampier was born in the mid 1950s and worked at TSR from sometime in the 1970s to the late 1980s, the work that people know him for represents only a small portion of the guy’s life. He could of had more ‘exTSR community fame’ if he wanted it; since he didn’t want it I hope people follow Mr. Monaco’s advice and stay home. If you feel the need to do something to commemorate Trampier, look at your old books for an hour or reread Wormy in the privacy of your own home instead.

  4. All I can say to those people seriously thinking about crashing a private funeral. No one there will appreciate it – At. All.

    Chances are these were Mr. Trampier’s wishes and people should respect that.

    That said, I’ll never forget his illustrations and they had an enromous impact on me when I first picked up those AD&D books as a twelve year old kid. They set my imagination on fire and inspired my own drawing and illustration ambitions.

    So I’ll pop open a cold one and have a drink in his memory instead.


  5. I felt sad when I heard that Trampier died, his imagery shaped a great deal of how I visualised things in my middle-school gaming days. But who the hell gets it into their head to think it’s okay to attend a private family event?

    I imagine in the future the odd gamer or two might visit his grave occasionally, like a less intense version of some rockstar of yore, but to crash a private funeral is just crass.

    I’ll have a drink in his honor, glasses up, gents.

  6. But if you’re not a bigger “fan” than the “geek” next to you, how can you be expected to win the biggest geek award and the respect of your peers?

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