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Where's Wormy


Dragon Magazine General Discussion

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What ever happened to the comic strip Wormy and Dave Trampier? I was looking through my Dragon Archive and Wormy just seems to stop in the middle of the story line. Is there any chance Dave could come back to finish the strip or just do an illustration here and there? He’s my favorite artist from any edition.

Paizo Employee Publisher, Chief Creative Officer

Dave's currently driving a cab, and is not associated with the industry anymore. I'd love to get him back. Sort of a long-term goal, if you will.

--Erik Mona
Editor-in-Chief
Dragon & Dungeon


It's good to hear he's not dead or worse... I'll be looking forward to seeing his work agian.

Thanks


*bump*
Just like to add at least one voice to the where's Wormy crowd. If anyone knows where one might buy A wormy t-shirt I'd like to know..
As long as it's officially sanctioned by Dave.


Did Dave Trampier ever release a graphic novel or any comics. I only recently saw his work again after nearly 16 years and man his stuff is great. You should get him on board again,at least do an article in DRAGON for the young dudes.


I found this Wormy archive some time ago;

Warning: Angelfire pop-ups

The story as I understood it was that he had some kind of falling out with Dragon staff, but considering his overall exit from society, I suspect some kind of mental or personal damage is involved - but that's just speculation.

Perhaps a rebellion against the gamer lifestyle:

M


The current clack is that he drives a cab on the night shift - and wants nothing to do with gaming or gamers again (reread wormy with an anti-gamer slant if you don't believe me), and that he left TSR without picking up his last check.

It really too bad. I really liked his artistry.
Here's to adding my voice to the shout to return Dave to us!


Ditto!

Dave's work in the original MM was the best. I miss his work.

Cheliax

Alright,

I've been reading Wormy from start to finish via the Dragon Magazine CD-ROM archive, and then started poking around to find out if there was a printed archive from Dave Trampier (In some of the issues that were printed around #90 or so, there is mention of a compilation by way of advertisement on an adjoining page).

So, as I look into it, it seems that two things are clear:
1) Dave Trampier is loved by a massive amount of people for his artwork and storytelling ability
2) Dave's falling out and subsequent "vanishing act" are the subject of much consternation and no small mystery.

Being that I can't leave something like this alone, I start sniffing around.

Now, on the WOTC FAQ page, there is some mention of Trampier being alive and well, but disassociated with the gaming community (and clearly choosing to live in anonymity, to at least some extent).

Ok, so alive = good. Where, how to contact, and the utility of making that contact, not so clear. Still looking into that. Erik? Any insights? Is this best left untouched?

SO then I ask myself, why the sudden breaking off? I find the following letter at http://www.yamara.com/yamara/rfw/rfw2/rfw2pg3.html#lettres

It reads as follows:
"
Subject: Trampier
Date: 13 Aug 99
[edited version]
I accidentally stumbled upon your essay on the Trampier mystery. I find it all rather bizarre, but events around Dave always were.

Though I always acknowledged Dave's clear talent, I must admit I never picked up on the subtexts in Wormy you've described. In hindsight I see what you mean, though I'd have to look more closely. But I have to seriously wonder if Dave consciously inserted all those arcane messages, references to his audience's escapist tendencies and such. It might have just been his artistic sensitivity and the zeitgheist.

It's been a long time. I had forgotten about Dave and Wormy, but they do merit attention.

I might be able to fill in a few voids in the story.

Many TSR people used to hang out at this seedy but happening tavern in Lake Geneva called "Jane's". It's long gone now, but way back when its bathroom's walls were completely graffittied with Dave Trampier's and Tom Wham's artwork -- it was amazing. Gary Gygax also was known to hang out there occasionally. Jane's catered to a kinda' rough crowd, but it was a VERY interesting place-- full of curious goings on. It was not for the faint of heart.

Back then (in TSR's protean days) Dave Trampier, Tom Wham and Kim Mohan were all friendly with one another.

Tramp caught me in a bar one night (not Jane's, it was closed by this time) and he was raving. Don't get me wrong, I like eccentrics and idiosyncratic characters, but Dave seemed wacked out of his mind-- paranoid, delusional or something (not just drunk, though he may have been); he was very agitated. I could hardly make sense of what he was trying to tell me-- it was all so incoherent and in many cases just wrong-headed (contrary to certain facts I was privy to), but none-the-less he was rather insistent. I subsequently got the impression that this agitated state of mind Dave seemed to be in wasn't an isolated incident, but reflected a more general problem he was having. I suspect that it complicated his involvement with Dragon Magazine. Dave's reality seemed to be all his own at that time. He was being extremely creative and diligent in his artwork, but he chafed at or ignored many of the conventions and compromises the professional world demands of creators. Well, bully for him. I appreciate the dilemma he likely faced.

I think there was suppose to be a big Wormy compilation that fell through too. Seems to me Dave was counting on that and he was very disappointed when it didn't happen. Dave's uncompromising, somewhat confrontation attitude must have contributed to his book's demise. Whereas, Kim and he once were on social terms, by then I don't think they got along with each other very well if at all.

Name withheld by request. Aetherco has been able to substantiate the source of this letter as a TSR insider, but not, of course, whether any of the details are true. David Trampier remains missing."

I dunno... It seems a shame to allow Trampier to slip off into subculture history, and while he's probably in his 50s or 60s now, what better time to reclaim your empire?

Any other insights? I'd love to see more on this.

Osirion

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Now I've only been collecting both Dragon and Dungeon for a little while now, ever since the githyanki invasion event, so I've never seen Wormy. It seems to me, however, that Mr. Trampier decided that he didn't want anything to do with this industry anymore. It might be better to let sleeping dogs lie, so to speak, and remember his past work fondly.

Cheliax

Oh, clearly that's the right thing to do...

Of course, that doesn't mean we'll do it. :)

Perhaps, even better, is to go on without him, and maybe let him come to us.

Check out the Wormy 2000 page:

http://www.angelfire.com/ok3/wormy/wormy2000.html

Really, though, for exactly the reason that Aberzombie notes, the younger generation of gamers has no exposure to Wormy, which I think is probably one of the coolest comics to come out of Dragon. A compilation would be great, and I'm not sure if WOTC/HASBRO/DRAGON/PAIZO/ETC need a release to make that happen, or if someone could pick up the torch without his input or consent.

Anyone up there know?


7th Son wrote:

Oh, clearly that's the right thing to do...

Of course, that doesn't mean we'll do it. :)
Perhaps, even better, is to go on without him, and maybe let him come to us.
Check out the Wormy 2000 page:
http://www.angelfire.com/ok3/wormy/wormy2000.html

Really, though, for exactly the reason that Aberzombie notes, the younger generation of gamers has no exposure to Wormy, which I think is probably one of the coolest comics to come out of Dragon. A compilation would be great, and I'm not sure if WOTC/HASBRO/DRAGON/PAIZO/ETC need a release to make that happen, or if someone could pick up the torch without his input or consent.

Anyone up there know?

That Wormy2000 page was small beans - I doubt that web page had been updated since 2001;

I think what will happen to D. Trampier and his work will be that he and 'Wormy' will be a fond legend passed down from 1st generation gamers on down to their children and grandchildren...

Old issues of 'Dragon' will become the Gutenberg Bibles of their kind, the strip will be reproduced as much as possible without any legal permissions (since Dave didn't give any) and it will live on as contraband among loyalists who appreciate humor and art ahead of its time, much in the way that Andy Kaufman is revered by fans of comedy ahead of its time.

That's as far as it will go.

Twenty more years from now, 'Wormy' will be the insider's catch phrase that separates the Golden Age gamers from the young kids of the current time.
M

Cheliax

Marc Chin wrote:
7th Son wrote:

Oh, clearly that's the right thing to do...

Of course, that doesn't mean we'll do it. :)
Perhaps, even better, is to go on without him, and maybe let him come to us.
Check out the Wormy 2000 page:
http://www.angelfire.com/ok3/wormy/wormy2000.html

Really, though, for exactly the reason that Aberzombie notes, the younger generation of gamers has no exposure to Wormy, which I think is probably one of the coolest comics to come out of Dragon. A compilation would be great, and I'm not sure if WOTC/HASBRO/DRAGON/PAIZO/ETC need a release to make that happen, or if someone could pick up the torch without his input or consent.

Anyone up there know?

That Wormy2000 page was small beans - I doubt that web page had been updated since 2001;

I think what will happen to D. Trampier and his work will be that he and 'Wormy' will be a fond legend passed down from 1st generation gamers on down to their children and grandchildren...

Old issues of 'Dragon' will become the Gutenberg Bibles of their kind, the strip will be reproduced as much as possible without any legal permissions (since Dave didn't give any) and it will live on as contraband among loyalists who appreciate humor and art ahead of its time, much in the way that Andy Kaufman is revered by fans of comedy ahead of its time.

That's as far as it will go.

Twenty more years from now, 'Wormy' will be the insider's catch phrase that separates the Golden Age gamers from the young kids of the current time.
M

Ah, that could be. I'd hate to roll over so easliy, however. Now's the time to try to get these guys to come back and do what they do best. It's truly a shame that Trampier has thrown his hands up at it, and apparently also at art in general, if he really is just driving a cab. Nothing on the net about other products he might have put out.

I think Wormy had enough charm to it that a new franchise would be worth digging up, whenever the intellectual property becomes available. You're right that the Wormy 2000 was apparently abandoned, but a project would be worth pursuing, if someone had the talent (sadly, not I). As for copyright issues, I'd produce it for free and wait for the cease and desist, which wouldn't come because no one cares (especially not Trampier, apparently).

Who knows... Maybe poking the dog a little more will solicit a response from the comic world's Bobby Fischer. Somehow, I doubt it, but it's so easy to do the poking.... ;)


It really is sad, though ...
My tattoo is from a Wormy strip, towards the end even ...
the big flying panther ...

ah, well....


7th Son wrote:
Who knows... Maybe poking the dog a little more will solicit a response from the comic world's Bobby Fischer. Somehow, I doubt it, but it's so easy to do the poking.... ;)

Poked dogs (espeically older ones) often bite, best to let this one lie and let Erik and the staff handle it.

GGG

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

DAT and DCSIII. Signatures of artwork that ignited my imagination. My favourite DAT was the full-page opposite the random treasure tables. ::heavy, fond sigh of remembrence:: Or the full page kobold picture. Or the ki-rin. Too many once the brain starts to remember...

As the DAT issue seems to have a hanging ending, I was hoping someone in the "know" may elucidate me as to David Sutherland III's where abouts these days. His art was "simple" compared to the heavy shading of DAT, but his artwork was in everything 1E. It was his 3-D Castle Ravenloft that changed the way dungeons looked. I love the guy's work. Erik Mona, any news on DCSIII where-abouts? He did the art for one adventure early in the Dungeon issues. Any chance he could be lured to revisit the magazine?

Or how about EO that was always drawn in a manner that made me think it meant '80? Erol Otus has done work for some "off-brand" d20 works, any chance of Mr. Otus putting his spin on Kyuss? You know it would be bloody creepy!

And turning to the 2E way-back machine, where's David Holloway these days? He graced many a Dungeon when Barbara was on watch.

Perhaps Dungeon or Dragon should do a "Where are they now?" page every few issues...


I'm sorry to report that David Sutherland III passed away June 7th of this year.

His work too, will be greatly missed. The work of Trampier and Sutherland defined the original Monster Manual (and many other things) and forever defined the way I picture kobolds and many D&D creatures and humanoids.

Holloway and Otus have been doing some d20 publisher work, so they are (happily) still in the game.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

My thoughts are with his family then. I am very saddened to hear this.


Scylla wrote:

I'm sorry to report that David Sutherland III passed away June 7th of this year.

This is off topic, but did anyone else see the stuff from his collection that was auctioned off? He had an obviously refined and fantastic collection of older stuff they auctioned off at about that time.

Cheliax

Great Green God wrote:
7th Son wrote:
Who knows... Maybe poking the dog a little more will solicit a response from the comic world's Bobby Fischer. Somehow, I doubt it, but it's so easy to do the poking.... ;)

Poked dogs (espeically older ones) often bite, best to let this one lie and let Erik and the staff handle it.

GGG

True, but sometimes you have to poke old dogs to make sure they're even alive. :) I trust Erik Mona will do what he can within the contraints of his job, but he's got fiduciary responsibilities to the magazine that a jerk with an email account and some free time (like myself) isn't tied down by.

Sometimes I think you've got to let these guys know what an impact they not only had on gaming, or art, or comics, but on people's lives. I didn't realize it until I started looking into this, but David Trampier really effected the way I look at the world. I don't want to sound like an after school special, but there was something about Wormy, for instance, that made me feel like the world was somehow more promising. Monsters going to the pub, and jawing about whatever was in their world seemed hopeful to me, and the sort of meandering easy-going lifestyle that seemed to bookend moments of laborious enterprise in the strip showed me, as a kid, great promise for a 9 to 5 life that I anticipated when I got older.
And the idea of personifying 'critters' like Trampier did really changed the way I ran games, humanized a lot of evil, and I think made me a little more open minded.

And failing the touchy-feely, the art was really really great. The way that Trampier, Otus, Willingham, and others depicted creatures in the early books really created a feel for me, that I still love and picture in my head after gaming for 20 years.

For younger gamers, this stuff sounds like a bunch of bull. Some guy drew a picture, whoopity-doo. But to me, it really defines an era, and when you stop and think about it, this is all going to fade right into the ether within the next 10 to 20 years. Gygax, Arneson, Tramp... all these guys have been around for a while... If someone doesn't address it, document it, and pursue it while they can, it's going to vanish and the stories that we get second hand from anonymous friends of friends are going to be the only record of what happened with the foundations of gaming.

We're still close to it. Too close to consider it valueable right now, but as these artists and writers and thinkers start to die off, we're going to regret we didn't try to benefit from their presence, knowledge, and experience while we had the chance.

I'm determined to do what I can, as just some guy, to get the information out there. And if I get bit in the process, so be it. I'll have tried.

Of course, if Erik and other skilled diplomats are willing to carry the torch for the Gaming History Crusade, I love watching other people work. :) It's just the doing that's the thing.

Cheliax

Well well well... After a lot of searching, and a little time passing, it seems that Dave Trampier has finally surfaced, if only a bit, in a college newspaper.

http://newshound.de.siu.edu/online/stories/storyReader$1382

Driving a cab, as some have rumored. According to Wikipedia, the picture (first I've ever seen of him) has been confirmed to be the same Trampier that authored Wormy.

I just wish he'd finish the story arc that was close to wrapping up back in Dragon #137.

It's all about closure.


As much as I like Trampier's work, if he has turned his back on his D&D related career, maybe we ought to respect that, as painful as it might be for those of us who always turned to Wormy first when we got our hands on the Dragon in the old days.
If he wanted to be a "golden age of D&D" celebrity I'm sure he could get high paid gigs going to cons and just hanging out and signing autographs. I'm sure he could get paid for allowing Paizo to reproduce Wormy in a special commemerative edition book. But he obviously doesn't want to do that. I guess I would argue that if we respect the man's work, we ought to respect his wish not to have anything to do with gaming or the rpg industry anymore.


I too really loved Wormy. If Erik can coax Tramp back great, if not I'll always have my memories (and back issues).

I think my next tattoo will be Wormy with his pool cue and cigar. :)

Cheliax

Funny you should mention that... I was thinking a Wormy tattoo would be sweet, too.

You what I'd like? Find someone who can draw to finish the story arc he was near finishing in issue #whatever... Wouldn't be too hard, I'd think.

Andoran

7th Son wrote:

Funny you should mention that... I was thinking a Wormy tattoo would be sweet, too.

You what I'd like? Find someone who can draw to finish the story arc he was near finishing in issue #whatever... Wouldn't be too hard, I'd think.

I'll get right on it, right after I paper mache' some new arms for the Venus de Milo.

I'm down with DAT; whatever his gripe was.


Ah, Wormy! I remember it well. I collected Dragon from issue 42-120 or so. My first thought when I bought the collection on CD was "Cool! Now I can find out how Wormy ended!" D'oh. Oh well, it was a beautiful strip while it lasted, even if we never did get any closure on it.

I remember when I saw the ad for the compilation - I was so excited I thought I would burst. Then, just a few issues later someone asked in the letters section when it was coming out. The reply was something along the lines of "We have no idea what you're talking about - such a thing was never planned." Even at the time I thought that was odd, given that anyone who collected the magazine could simply look a few issues back and see the ad right there. Now, knowing that there was some kind of bad blood, it makes a little more sense.

I've got to go home and find the issues/pages this all occurred on.

Anyway, here's to you, DAT. May your passengers always be heavy tippers!

Contributor

IIRC Roger Moore said once that DAT was late on deadlines for the last few episodes of Wormy, and then just vanished altogether. It was only sometime later (years{ that people managed to track down DAT and his taxi job.

Cheliax

I know it's a pipe dream, but it would have been cool to get him to do another installment for the 30th anniversary issue of Dragon. I doubt he'd do it, from everything I've read about his attitude nowadays regarding the gaming world. :(


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber
7th Son wrote:

I know it's a pipe dream, but it would have been cool to get him to do another installment for the 30th anniversary issue of Dragon. I doubt he'd do it, from everything I've read about his attitude nowadays regarding the gaming world. :(

Slightly off topic but is Carl Sargent still involved in producing gaming material? I loved his greyhawk stuff & am just coming to the end of his Night Below campaign (converted to 3rd ed). It has been a great 'adventure path'. I havent seen anything from him for many years.


Werecorpse wrote:


Slightly off topic but is Carl Sargent still involved in producing gaming material? I loved his greyhawk stuff & am just coming to the end of his Night Below campaign (converted to 3rd ed). It has been a great 'adventure path'. I havent seen anything from him for many years.

This appears to be even more of a mystery than wormy. I did some poking around on the net and I think that I've come up with a theory. I think that Sargent's 'breakdown' and retreat from public life has more to do with the academic world than the gaming world. During the 80's, the height of his parapsycological research, Dr. Susan Blackmoor visited his lab in Cambridge and noticed some problems with his experiments' methods. In 1987 she publishes a paper casting some (mild) doubt on his findings, and as a result of not sharing all his data he is reprimanded. This is the same year he leaves the academic world and joins the gaming world. hmmm...

But the story is not done. While writing for greyhawk, shawdowrun, and earthdawn, the academic controversy fades away and is forgotten (as his research findings are used again and again by people in the field of parapsychology)... Until 1996, when Dr. Susan Blackmoore again questions his findings, this time scathingly, in her book 'In Search of the Light'. Its about this time that Sargent Dissapears from the scene. double hmmm...
OK, so this is what I think. His academic legacy discredited, and the world that he had escaped to crumbling around him (we all know the financial problems TSR was going through at that time)Carl Sargent booked it back to the motherland and retreated from a public that probably felt increasingly hostile.
Just my little theory :) I could be completely wrong.
You can check out Dr. Blackmoore's webiste: http://www.susanblackmore.co.uk/Note%20on%20Sargent.htm


Wow sorry for the lengthy off-topic... got a little over-excited at my little theory :)


Pathfinder Cards Subscriber

r.e. the Wormy compilation:
Apparently Trampier decided, on his own initiative and without checking with TSR first, to publish a big compilation of all the Wormy strips. But he was faced with a problem common to small-press publishing: getting the book printed costs thousands of dollars and you can't afford it unless people pay in advance. So he published an ad in Dragon asking readers to send him money, and if enough people did so he would publish the compilation, otherwise they would get their money back.
I was one of those who sent in my money and was waiting hopefully for the book, only to have my hopes dashed. (BTW, Trampier DID refund everyone's money!)

(The following is entirely my own speculation and is not backed up by any sort of evidence...)
My guess is, about this point TSR found out and said "Um, no, WE own the republishing rights to everything printed in Dragon, including the Wormy strip. Any compilation will be done by us, not you, and we will get most or all of the profit. Read your work-for-hire contract." (At the time, authors' and artists' contracts, especially for magazines, were pretty draconian about signing over all rights to the product, in perpetuity, etc.) My guess is that Trampier, like all too many young artists, didn't fully read or fully understand the contract. Finding out that "his baby", the strip he had poured so much love and effort into (all that shading was done by hand, folks, no computer gradients!) no longer belonged to him, must have been a nasty shock. If, as it sounds, he was already close to the edge of that fine line between art and madness, I could easily see this pushing him over. Apparently his reaction was to totally reject not only TSR but gaming and publishing in general. I strongly suspect that he continues to draw in secret - that kind of talent is hard to suppress, most highly skilled and creative artists talk about how they have to "get this stuff out of my head and onto paper" - but that he refuses to show his work to anyone, much less publish it, for fear that it will be "stolen" from him again. (Again, this is entirely my own speculation on the matter, I don't know - apparently nobody but Trampier knows - what really happened.)

My gut feeling is that this dog will bite, especially if old scars are prodded. While I am very unhappy to have lost an artist and humorist of Trampier's caliber, and I miss Wormy a lot, I think I should respect his apparent desire to "just leave me alone" - prodding him is likely to prompt him to go underground even further.

Contributor

David, your theory has greatly baffled me.

Carl Sargent was in a serious car accident and suffered major injuries. He's basically unable to work because of the long-term effects of those injuries.


seankreynolds wrote:
Carl Sargent was in a serious car accident and suffered major injuries. He's basically unable to work because of the long-term effects of those injuries.

Thanks for the info Sean, I had wondered what happened to Mr. Sargent after he had such a prolific authoring run in the early to mid-1990s. For a time he was very much the voice of the "new" Greyhawk. I'm sorry indeed to hear the news.


Looking over this message board defiantly gave me a feeling of nostalgia. Every time I look at old products, or Dragon’s I’m always filled with a feeling of wispiness. Not only for the TSR products, but even when I look at the adverts for the game from other company’s.
I think I’ll probably get in hot water for saying this, but. . .
I think I’m the only 1st edition gamer that actually DIDN’T like the Wormy comic strip. I just found it to be dull. Still, it had its moments, yet I never fawned over it like others I remember. I guess my heart broke when the “What’s New with Phil & Dixie” was cancelled, and I eagerly read all the new ones that came out a few years ago. Moving into the tail end of 1st ed, and the beginning of 2nd ed, I have to say that I loved “SnarfQuest”. I bought the compiled book of the strip, and was slightly PO’ed when it did not include their adventures in space/sci-fi. My favourite artists of the day were B. Willingham, and L. Elmore-especially his full color painting/drawings.
Oh well, just my two cents
~G


Stormrunner wrote:

(The following is entirely my own speculation and is not backed up by any sort of evidence...)

My guess is, about this point TSR found out and said "Um, no, WE own the republishing rights to everything printed in Dragon, including the Wormy strip. Any compilation will be done by us, not you, and we will get most or all of the profit. Read your work-for-hire contract." (At the time, authors' and artists' contracts, especially for magazines, were pretty draconian about signing over all rights to the product, in perpetuity, etc.)

Actually, as was back then, and remains today, the cartoonist contracts in Dragon and Dungeon allow for the artists to retain all their rights, and gives them the ability to publish compilations of their work. I'm sure that what Dave ran afoul of was the sheer cost of printing a book, and then the maze of distribution. It's not an easy or fun part of the business.

It's possible that the Wormy cartoon was work-for-hire, since Dave was part of the staff, but my guess is that it was treated like all the other cartoons. Even the covers from that time period are are owned by the illustrators (unless they were assigned a cover as part of their on-staff position).

Sean Glenn
Art Director Dragon and Dungeon magazines

Cheliax

Countess wrote:

Looking over this message board defiantly gave me a feeling of nostalgia. Every time I look at old products, or Dragon’s I’m always filled with a feeling of wispiness. Not only for the TSR products, but even when I look at the adverts for the game from other company’s.

I think I’ll probably get in hot water for saying this, but. . .
I think I’m the only 1st edition gamer that actually DIDN’T like the Wormy comic strip. I just found it to be dull. Still, it had its moments, yet I never fawned over it like others I remember. I guess my heart broke when the “What’s New with Phil & Dixie” was cancelled, and I eagerly read all the new ones that came out a few years ago. Moving into the tail end of 1st ed, and the beginning of 2nd ed, I have to say that I loved “SnarfQuest”. I bought the compiled book of the strip, and was slightly PO’ed when it did not include their adventures in space/sci-fi. My favourite artists of the day were B. Willingham, and L. Elmore-especially his full color painting/drawings.
Oh well, just my two cents
~G

To each his own. I also loved Snarfquest. If you're a fan of Willingham's work (which is my absolute favorite, too, with Tramp coming in second (sorry Tramp!)) He's alive, well, and actually winning Eisner Awards! Check http://www.billwillingham.com/ for more on his comings and goings. Things appear to be on an upswing with his work on "Fables"

Cheliax

Sean Glenn wrote:
Stormrunner wrote:

(The following is entirely my own speculation and is not backed up by any sort of evidence...)

My guess is, about this point TSR found out and said "Um, no, WE own the republishing rights to everything printed in Dragon, including the Wormy strip. Any compilation will be done by us, not you, and we will get most or all of the profit. Read your work-for-hire contract." (At the time, authors' and artists' contracts, especially for magazines, were pretty draconian about signing over all rights to the product, in perpetuity, etc.)

Actually, as was back then, and remains today, the cartoonist contracts in Dragon and Dungeon allow for the artists to retain all their rights, and gives them the ability to publish compilations of their work. I'm sure that what Dave ran afoul of was the sheer cost of printing a book, and then the maze of distribution. It's not an easy or fun part of the business.

It's possible that the Wormy cartoon was work-for-hire, since Dave was part of the staff, but my guess is that it was treated like all the other cartoons. Even the covers from that time period are are owned by the illustrators (unless they were assigned a cover as part of their on-staff position).

Sean Glenn
Art Director Dragon and Dungeon magazines

Sean, thanks for illuminating us about that issue. I haven't relented on this topic (call me a fanatic), but it's nice to shave a little bit of the misinformation off the heap of speculation thats cropped up here.

I was wondering if anyone has considered approaching Tramp again about a short return or 1-shot sort of Wormy strip, maybe coupled with some backstory, for one of these anniversary issues. Might be the lure to get Tramp back. I'm doubtful, but this is hope triumphing over experience here.

Any consideration?


Seems like a shady story with hardly any real info-perhaps drugs were involved these cats from the seventies often Tripped the Life Fanatastic! Wormy looks like a stoner comic if ever I seen one, and his rebellion against the system/Tsr.!

The bathrooms at the cab company must be riddled with his art work!


Wow, I'm really starting to miss all my old issues of "The" Dragon now.
I enjoyed Wormy, not so much SnarfQuest, but again, to each their own.
Hmmm, wonder if the old issues are still available on disc. Not as nice as having the actual magazines, but a lot less expensive and time consuming than trying to track them all down (my collection began in the late 20s), and a whole lot less storage space required.


Man, this takes me back... I grew up on "Wormy," and of course I loved "Phil and Dixie." (I admit that I also enjoy "Mt Zogon" and "Order of the Stick;" they are really excellent choices, and continue the offbeat comic role... but "Wormy" was the best of the lot).

But what I really want to know is, what happened to Erol Otus? That guy had so much talent, he had to waste a bunch of it on sci-fi dreck just to bleed it off so it wouldn't overwhelm him. I know he has a "shrine" on the net somewhere, but it's all old stuff. What's he doing now? I'd LOVE to see him illustrate an adventure in "Dungeon..."


I still think the Wormy from Dragon 50 was the best of the series.

Marc Chin wrote:

I found this Wormy archive some time ago;

Warning: Angelfire pop-ups


seankreynolds wrote:

David, your theory has greatly baffled me.

Carl Sargent was in a serious car accident and suffered major injuries. He's basically unable to work because of the long-term effects of those injuries.

I've heard this, too, but haven't heard from anyone who could verify it. Were WotC or Paizo actually able to track Sargent down?

Also, more on Sargent can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Sargent


Erik Goldman wrote:
But what I really want to know is, what happened to Erol Otus? That guy had so much talent, he had to waste a bunch of it on sci-fi dreck just to bleed it off so it wouldn't overwhelm him. I know he has a "shrine" on the net somewhere, but it's all old stuff. What's he doing now? I'd LOVE to see him illustrate an adventure in "Dungeon..."

Erol Otus is working for a video game company, according to wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erol_Otus

Contributor

Rob Bastard wrote:
seankreynolds wrote:
I've heard this, too, but haven't heard from anyone who could verify it. Were WotC or Paizo actually able to track Sargent down?

IIRC (and it's been a few years) I heard it from Roger Moore, who was an employee at TSR overlapping with my time there.


seankreynolds wrote:
IIRC (and it's been a few years) I heard it from Roger Moore, who was an employee at TSR overlapping with my time there.

Since this has morphed into the "Where they now?" thread, any word on Roger Moore? Last I heard, he became so disillusioned with the gaming industry, he left it for good.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

I'll add.

What ever happened to Veggieboy? Last I heard he sold out to the Man, found himself some cute chick and was living out in the woods? :-)

Contributor

??? Desert, man, I live in the desert.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Ah, i'm stuck in the city.

Seriously, thanks for the info on Carl Seargent. Our Greyhawk Junkie's been trying to find out about him for a while

Cheliax

Since no developments on the Trampier front, I'd note that my other favorite, Bill Willingham, is doing REALLY well with his extremely popular comic series "Fables" (I think published by Dark Horse, but don't quote me). Story is about fairy tale characters living in the real world, complete with their own internal secret government. Worth picking up.

Loved Bill's art back in the day. Lots of the old modules, not to mention original basic set art. Heavy shadowing, but still one of the defining D&D artists for me.

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