Wednesday, March 27, 2024

My Favorite Story from GaryCon

 So, my favorite story from those I heard at GaryCon, and also the shortest, came from David S. LaForce, a.k.a. DIESEL. Diesel was one of the original three artists who defined TSR's style back in the late seventies and early eighties through their work  on the PLAYER'S HANDBOOK, MONSTER MANUAL, and DUNGEON MASTER'S GUIDE, the other two being David C. Sutherland (DCS)* and Dave Trampier (TRAMP).

Anyway, the story  went like this. 

We were at his booth in the Dealers' room talking about people (designers and artists and editors) from the early days. Most of these I know only as names among the credits but whom he actually knew, and in many cases worked with. One such person, he told me, only worked at TSR for one day. His name was Dave Dorman, who was hired as a staff artist but then had second thoughts. He showed up for his first day of work, a Monday, and told them he'd changed his mind. Then he turned around and drove back to Florida.

I mentioned this story to other ex-TSR folk there at the con, several of whom knew the name, though they'd didn't know of his TSR connection. I did a little checking, and found he went on to a successful career in graphic novels So TSR's loss was comic books' gain I guess.

--John R.

*who I think was TSR employee number six


James Mishler said...

Holy cats, that's a major "What If" indeed!

Dave went on to major success as one of the defining artists for Star Wars, in addition to his comic book work.

Makes me wonder if there were other near misses in art and design at TSR back in the day...

Was Ken Kelly ever considered for the artists bullpen?

What if GRR Martin had leaned in on game design instead of fiction?

Or Raymond Feist? What if he and the Midkemia team and world had gotten bought out by TSR before he published "Magician"?

The mind reels at the possibilities!

Clive Shergold said...

A successful "career", I presume, unless he worked in the warehouse?