Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Trampier's Frost Giants

I was surprised to discover two things, as I went hunting for more David Trampier illustrations:

(1) Trampier illustrated the cover of module G2, The Glacial Rift of The Frost Giant Jarl; and

(2) Trampier was not terribly prolific when it came to Dungeons and Dragons module covers.

Trampier did very few module covers: the only one I can recall, other than G2, is T1, The Village of Hommlet.

While Trampier is strongly associated with the AD&D Players Handbook, the Monster Manual, the Dungeon Masters Screen, module T1, The Village of Hommlet and module S1, Tomb of Horrors, Tramp is relegated to back-up and interior artist in many of the other early books and adventures. David Sutherland enjoys more artistic exposure in the AD&D modules, while Erol Otus' art is similarly synonymous with Basic D&D.

I'm saddened by this, since Tramp's style really appeals to me. I wish there was more of his art to appreciate.

There's something special about the cover of module G2. Partly, it's the absolutely non-descript adventurers racing to engage the Frost Giants; this speaks to my image of PCs as average folk, adventuring out of necessity, greed or yearning. And speaking of implied narrative, this is no band of bold and impervious adventurers: we've already got one adventurer down, laying on the ground beside the farthest Frost Giant.

The other thing that I love about this cover is that the Frost Giants appear to be making snowballs: I know it's probably rocks they're preparing to toss, but I laugh that the nearer Frost Giant has a perfectly good sword at his hip. Do the Frost Giants consider mere humans to be pushovers, and are prepared to break into a playful and old-fashioned snowball fight?


Atom Kid said...

Frost Giants are one of my favorite races! Too bad you can't really play one.

A Paladin In Citadel said...

Actually, that would make for an interesting campaign, if properly introduced or set-up.

Eli Arndt said...

I am also a fan of frost giants and find these to be a nice departure from the usual giant viking.

Reaper minis has a couple of Frost Giants that have an almost stone age look about them that is also a refreshing change.

wrod verfication - "nerday"

Mr. Gone said...

One is nasty enough! I'd think twice before engaging a pair of these guys. Even with five other companions, things will get hairy.

John Harper Brinegar said...

Tramp also had the back cover illo for the monochrome version of D3, and the original cover of B1 is his layout finished by Sutherland (it's signed DIS & DAT. He also did a really cool manticore picture for the cover of Monster & Treasure Assortment 3 (I think).

Matt said...

Trampier's giant bounty-hunters (I guess that's what they were) in Wormy were my favorites.

Weird coincidence - we're talking about giants and my word verification was "surters" - somebody out there is paying attention.

Will Mistretta said...

Fantastic illustration. Shame on me that I've never seen it before.

I only have the "Against the Giants" compilation...

"Do the Frost Giants consider mere humans to be pushovers, and are prepared to break into a playful and old-fashioned snowball fight?"

I rather like to think so, yes.

JB said...

A frost giant-sized snowball hurts!
; )