A note To Dave Sutherland - here's your chance
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Post Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 3:30 pm 
 

Okay, people, you have been collecting his work for years, and some of you say he means a lot to you.  I am writing a letter myself to him, to let him know what he and his body of work means to me, personally, and how it has affected my life.  

    You want in?  Cool.  I want you to sit down and think hard.  Has this man ever affected you in any positive way?  I want anecdotes, personal reminiscing, tales of how you were inspired OUTSIDE the game to do something that improved your life, or just brought others pleasure.  Think about what you thought, how it affected you, when you first saw that DMG cover.  

    Don't bul*shit, either.  If there's nothing there, then there's nothing there.  There's no shame in that, but do your part and get the word out.  Talk to your collector and gaming friends, go to your favorite message boards, maybe they have something they can add.  And yes, you will have your name on it.  No 'anonymous' comments.  This is personal, between us fans and David Sutherland III.  

    We have a week to do this, posting right here.   An example?  Dave left me a drafting table, which I in turn gave to my friend Mark, who, after lovingly restoring the table (he is a gamer and knows history when he sees it)  is now doing his own very high quality pen-and-ink illustrations.  I intend to include one of those illos with the letter.

    Let's get contemplative, and then get cracking, okay?  I want Dave to see this before it's too late and he's gone.

Centurion13

  


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Post Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 3:38 pm 
 

Here ya go...

The game of D&D inspired me, a lot, I believe that I went to college because of it, I read before D&D but I never READ.  The art and images, the text, the places it let me go to is amazing.  I am in law enforcement and always compare myself to a paladin...why because I need to do the right thing.  Dave Sutherland and the others brought out my best and now I am doing a career helping/protecting others.  I am also an art director for a small RPG company (2 actually), if you ever wanted to do a few pieces, I would do my darndest to keep you busy in a field that let you down in the past.  I want to thank you for taking me someplace and changing me to become the person I am today.  You have my humble thanks and respect.

Hal Greenberg
Probation Officer for 6 years
RPG art director 3 years


------------------
change what you want, hope it helps, wish him the best.

Hal


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Post Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 8:20 pm 
 

Here goes:

I grew up in a lower blue collar neighborhood outside Detroit in the 1970s to early 1980s. The odds of kids from that demographic going on to college or any secondary school were low - very low. Most of our dads worked for the auto industry which was in shambles during that time. College and education, in general,  was not pushed - the unions were next on the ladder just below God.

Me and my friends (11 of us) got into gaming in the late 1970s (we were aged 10-13). I give D&D a great deal of credit for keeping us away from drugs and maintaining a positive influence - being heroic and good, even the little guy can beat the big guy, etc. That frame of mind was in no small part related to D&D. And D&D, even though a paper-based game, was a game of the imagination. The artists of the day, Sutherland included, gave us pictures that inspired us and linked us to an imaginary world.


Nine out of the 11 have college degrees, and several with MAs. Most are now married with children. One went to West Point. One is a Colonel in the Air Force with a Ph. D. We stayed together during those young years and as we graduated, we worked hard to go to college. It was peer pressure - but on a positive level. The bond that kept us together was our love of gaming. To this very day, we go to Gen Con, even though we are spread out all over the USA. It is our guys-night-out (for a few nights).

So there it is. D&D, and the artists that gave us imagery, have a profound place in my life. In the D&D game, our characters strived to achieve lofty goals. That transcended into real life. I used that focus to get where I am today: I own a small building company that builds around 10 new homes a year with gross revenues of about $3 Million per year. That's a far cry from the kid who delivered newspapers so he could just do what other kids took for granted.

Disclaimer: I talk a great deal about college, but only use it as context to prove that even low income kids can achieve their goals if they work hard. In no way do I suggest going to college is the be all and end all. I have a journalism degree for pete's sake. I just want to illustrate that a group of kids achieved a 80% college grad rate where as the average for that area was maybe 10%. College is extremely overrated, in general.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 8:51 pm 
 

Centurion13 wrote:Let's get contemplative, and then get cracking, okay?  I want Dave to see this before it's too late and he's gone.


Centurion13, I think I must have missed something---from the way you're talking, it sounds like he's dying??? :/


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Post Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 8:56 pm 
 

grodog wrote:
Centurion13 wrote:Let's get contemplative, and then get cracking, okay?  I want Dave to see this before it's too late and he's gone.


Centurion13, I think I must have missed something---from the way you're talking, it sounds like he's dying??? :/


See this thread he is in a deep depression and may have a fatal illness.

Sutherland Art - What's the True Value?


Hal Greenberg

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Post Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 8:56 pm 
 

Just saw it, thanks Hal.


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Post Posted: Sun Apr 04, 2004 11:18 pm 
 

I think David Sutherland will go down in history as a GIANT in the world of fantasy art.  He is a true legend, not at all dissimilar to the beings his mind and hands brought to paper over the last 30 years.  Just as we all strove for immortality with our D&D chararcters, David managed to achieve it.
His artistic vision, creativity and influence will be felt long after the rest of us have passed through into the forgetfulness of history.  

It saddens me to hear that someone who I have always admired is currently unwell.  I hope in his waning years he can take pride in the fact that his name alone inspires thousands of wonderful memories for anybody who played D&D and that many who have never met him care greatly for him to this day.  The art he created takes us all back to a time of fantatsic adventures and the innoncence of youth.  If it is within his power to change his situation I truly hope he does.  The world is certainly a better place thanks to him and his presence would be greatly missed.

Thanks for all the journeys you sent me on David and if you're ever in the Boston area I'll try not to cut you off in the ridiculous traffic.

  

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 9:35 am 
 

My best friend introduced me to role-playing 18 years ago.  The summer of 1986 was filled with all night gaming sessions where we guided our characters from one incredible adventure to the next.  That summer ended with my first trip to Gen Con and a whole new world was opened up to me.

Some of the best memories of my younger years are tied to role-playing.  The countless hours I spent staring at the back of the old DM's screens, knowing the 1st Edition PHB & DMG so well that you could rattle off the page number of a certain table or a certain rule, and praying to the gods that my character would make his save vs. breath weapon!!

My best friend and I still play when we get the chance.  But more importantly, my ten year old son now plays.  I've also hooked my son on collecting and he even has some of his own 1st Edition books.  Dave Sutherland has been a part of all of this.  Unknown to him, his incredible illustrations have helped inspire two generations of imaginations.

Thank you Dave.



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Post Posted: Mon Apr 05, 2004 6:00 pm 
 

Dave,

This is short and sweet.  You painted the fantastic original DM's Guide cover.  It will stand the test of time by living on in our memories and future player's memories.  DMs and players alike of this great game will remember that painting and, by association, you for a very long time.   
Not many of us are able to leave behind something from this existence that will continue to touch many people far after we are gone.  You have done that.  Bravo to you!

William

  


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 7:18 pm 
 

I just want to thank you for all of your wonderful artistic contributions over the years. My favorite piece of yours, of course, is the cover you did for the OAD&D DMG. As a lad, that piece inspired me to pour through Richard Burton's fabulous "Arabian Nights" compilations to learn just what this fabled City of Brass was all about. You also are, bar none, the finest cartographer the gaming world has ever known. The maps that you drafted for the famous Ravenloft module left me in absolute awe when I first saw them. Heck, peeking at an opened copy of the module in my local bookstore as a kid and then glimpsing those mind-numbingly beautiful maps are what convinced me to buy the module in the first place. I have since framed the maps from Ravenloft, and they now are prominently displayed in my living room next to a picture of me as a lad of 11, which is when I picked up the module.

Oftentimes, I too get depressed about life, and when I do I need only take a gander at some of your fabulous TSR artwork to remind me of those glorious game-filled days of my youth. Mr. Sutherland, your artwork helped illustrate the landscape of my boyhood dreams, and for that I offer my deepest thanks. The gaming world is richer for your unique artistic genius, and your leaving the hobby created a void that has never been filled.

Warmest Regards,
                         Alphonso Warden


"Curses to those responsible for wrapping blackness in everlasting chains."



--WG4 Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun

  


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 06, 2004 7:38 pm 
 

Mr. Sutherland,

Some of my best memories growing up were around a game table with good friends.  Character building, long standing, long remembered happy memories.  Your art and contribution to the hobby of early D&D enabled us to have the game and the friendships and memories because of it.

I hope, in my life, to have had such a lasting impact on people who come into contact with MY life's work.  I suppose the only tragedy is you probably don't know that there are so many of us who have been inspired or effected by your work and by extension by YOU.  

From what I hear, things are difficult for you now and for that I'm sorry.  We are all writing these notes in the hopes that just some of what we would like to convey comes through to you.  That you are an admired, respected and wanted part of the community you helped build so many years ago.  

If you find the energy or interest in letting us know how you're doing or even want to share old stories, we'd love to hear from you.  If that's not in the cards, then well, just know I am thankful I crossed paths with your imagination... I would not be the person I am today without that experience!

Best Wishes

-Jon Oakes


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 12:44 am 
 

Mr. Sutherland,

I want to say thank you for the wonderful art you have produced over the years. It was your cover art on the first D&D Basic Set, which drew my attention to the box on the toy store shelve all those years ago. The images that you created will forever be a part of the fond memories I have and continue to create with a hobby I love.

Cheers,
Curt Gould

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 10:08 am 
 

Mr. Sutherland,

I also wanted to thank you for the wonderful art you've produced over the years. When I look back at the work you've done, from the first Basic Set to the DMG, I remember some of the happiest times of my youth, sitting around the table with good friends, gaming books and dice. Your art was a big part of that and I want to thank you and wish you luck with the challenges you're facing in life.

Best regards,

Alec

  


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 07, 2004 5:05 pm 
 

Holy Cow!


I just realized Dave Sutherland lives less than 5 miles from my house!


Futures Bright,

Paul


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 10:19 pm 
 

Stormber, where do you live?  I have Dave's current address - he just called me this evening, and I ran all the way down the block when one of the neighborhood kids told me who was on the phone.  

I was right - his condition is terminal, and we'll be lucky if he sees Christmas.  He just turned 55 on April 4, so wish him a happy birthday, if you want.  I am going to gather all these missives together on Sunday, so if you know anyone else who can post meaningfully, please get them in front of a computer.  

Regards,

Centurion

  


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 08, 2004 10:29 pm 
 

Centurion13 wrote:Stormber, where do you live?  I have Dave's current address - he just called me this evening, and I ran all the way down the block when one of the neighborhood kids told me who was on the phone.  

I was right - his condition is terminal, and we'll be lucky if he sees Christmas.  He just turned 55 on April 4, so wish him a happy birthday, if you want.  I am going to gather all these missives together on Sunday, so if you know anyone else who can post meaningfully, please get them in front of a computer.  

Regards,

Centurion


Wish him the best and tell him he is in our prayers...

I am speechless, happy birthday.


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 10, 2004 7:39 am 
 

Mr. Sutherland,

I'd like to thank you for your contributions to the D&D game which has had such an important impact upon my life - both recreationally and professionally (D&D got me interested in history, which I now teach).  The D&D game, and particularly the artwork within it, opened up infinite vistas to my young imagination and provided me with some of my most cherished memories.

Best regards,

Red

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Post Posted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 11:35 pm 
 

Hi.  Please get out to your friends and let them know about this.  I am putting it to print on Saturday.

Cent

  


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Post Posted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 12:41 am 
 

Howdy Dave,


What can I say? You illustrated the landscape of my imagination for over 20 years. No other artist has ever affected me as long as you have. The fondness for my youth and your artwork are forever intertwined.

Thank you for being part of my life through your artwork!


Futures Bright,

Paul


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