Gygax Memorial Statue Concept Proposal
  • Gygax Memorial Statue Concept Proposal


    The memorial for D&D co-creator Gary Gygax, who passed away in 2008 at the age of 69, has long been in the planning. Gary's wife, Gail Gygax, has been at the forefront of the fundraising and city council negotiations to get the project done, and current hopes are to start work by Spring 2015. The sculptor hired for the task is the same man who completed the Fonz statue in Milwaukee, while fantasy artist Larry Elmore came up with the concept sketch.


    The concept has grown over the years - at first it was just a plinth and a bust; now it is larger (7' tall) and more complex, and Gail Gygax wants to include computer chips which enable people to use their smartphones to access information about Gary, listen to recorded histories, and the like.

    The project has taken a long time, in part due to Gail Gygax's health, and in part because the Lake Geneva Planning Commission prefers to place the statue in a different location to Gail's choice.

    Lake Geneva News has more information.



    Comments 30 Comments
    1. dwayne's Avatar
      dwayne -
      Even the greatest of us all some times roll a one, too bad his was on a fortitude save. You are missed big kahuna your evil dungeons and keen mind and the way you cared for the love of the game. "I always thought he would want his tombstone to say ( Oops rolled a one )" I know thats whats going to be on mine
    1. Samurai's Avatar
      Samurai -
      I think they should just use the classic AD&D PHB cover (statue with the gem eyes) and put Gygax's head on it...
    1. Chimpy's Avatar
      Chimpy -
      Clearly without Gygax there would be no D&D and role playing games would be different today to what we know, but I think his ideas needed a lot of refinement and knowledge of games design left a lot to be desired. He was certainly a pioneer but I think games like D&D today are orders of magnitude better than what he came up with back in the 70s and early 80s.
    1. Morrus's Avatar
      Morrus -
      Quote Originally Posted by Chimpy View Post
      Clearly without Gygax there would be no D&D and role playing games would be different today to what we know, but I think his ideas needed a lot of refinement and knowledge of games design left a lot to be desired. He was certainly a pioneer but I think games like D&D today are orders of magnitude better than what he came up with back in the 70s and early 80s.
      Isn't that like saying Bob with his physics degree is better than Newton or Einstein because physics has come along since then? I know about physics theories that never even occurred to Newton.

      I mean, it's true. Physics and RPGs have come along since then. Why it's important to make that clear in a thread about the memorial statue of a deceased member of the community escapes me, though.
    1. Greatwyrm's Avatar
      Greatwyrm -
      "Generally, the memorial site is described as a 10-foot-by-10-foot section next to the first bench along the Mill Race from Center Street."

      Hmmm... a 10x10 section, but no mention of either an orc or a pie?
    1. machineelf's Avatar
      machineelf -
      I think they should put his head on a nice plaque at the base of the statue somewhere, not on top of the castle section. It looks quirky that way. But it would look good with his image on a plaque at the bottom or next to it somehow.
    1. DMZ2112's Avatar
      DMZ2112 -
      I've never made any kind of pilgrimage to a monument in my life, but this, this I would visit. I'm glad the plan is still in motion.

      It's kind of cool that Gail went to the city with her initial plan and they said they wanted it bigger. I'm sure there's more to that story, but it's nice on the face of things.
    1. SaxonDouglass's Avatar
      SaxonDouglass -
      Quote Originally Posted by secondhander View Post
      I think they should put his head on a nice plaque at the base of the statue somewhere, not on top of the castle section. It looks quirky that way. But it would look good with his image on a plaque at the bottom or next to it somehow.
      For me the bust above the dungeon evokes the concept of Gary Gygax as the archetypal and prototypical Dungeon Master.As pictured it does look a little quirky though!
    1. doctorhook's Avatar
      doctorhook -
      Honestly I think this statue looks a little too...busy? Dragon-and-book-and-rocks-and-castle-and-Gary's-head is maybe too confusing; lots of people who see this statue will have never heard of Gary nor RPGs nor perhaps not even D&D, and I'm afraid their reaction to the current design might be, "WTF?" (I do understand that they're trying to show both the man and his legacy on a budget in a static medium and subject to municipal approval, but I think they could still do better.)

      Why not a statue of happy Gary and some laughing friends around a table, Gary behind a DM screen, and some D&D stuff (dice, sheets, miniature castle and monsters, etc.) spread across the rest of the table? Just an idea.
    1. TerraDave's Avatar
      TerraDave -
      Busy? More like WTF. Its pretty strange.

      Fitting? Hmm.
    1. Fralex's Avatar
      Fralex -
      Yeah, I don't know. This is kind of cluttered, visually. You try to take in the scene as a whole, and you see... a castle tower with a gigantic disembodied head perched on top.
    1. Scrivener of Doom's Avatar
      Scrivener of Doom -
      If this has a Comeliness stat, it would be negative... to match its negative Charisma stat.

      In Australian terms, I would pronounce it double-dog-pig ugly but that would seem to be understating it.
    1. Zot's Avatar
      Zot -
      Wasn't Stefan Pokorny supposed to do this?
    1. Nikosandros's Avatar
      Nikosandros -
      Quote Originally Posted by TerraDave View Post
      Busy? More like WTF. Its pretty strange.

      Fitting? Hmm.
      Yes, it's weird and, at least from the concept sketch, I find it rather ugly. Coudn't they go with something more standard? Like a bust and plaque? They could draw a d20 and a dragon on the plaque.
    1. TerraDave's Avatar
      TerraDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nikosandros View Post
      Yes, it's weird and, at least from the concept sketch, I find it rather ugly. Coudn't they go with something more standard? Like a bust and plaque? They could draw a d20 and a dragon on the plaque.
      That would be much better.

      I also like how the local parks commission wanted more, bigger, more prominent...and a whole walk of the "famous" people from Lake Geneva Wisc.
    1. lyle.spade's Avatar
      lyle.spade -
      Hate to say it, but that's one ugly design. It reminds me of something that a kid would draw as his "most awesomest ever" cover of his own RPG...we all did that at some point, did we not? It reminds me of someting like this.
    1. Impavidus's Avatar
      Impavidus -
      Based upon my experiences of working with him at GDW, the memorial's design fits his terrible writing…bloated, cluttered and needs more editing.
    1. doctorhook's Avatar
      doctorhook -
      Quote Originally Posted by Impavidus View Post
      Based upon my experiences of working with him at GDW, the memorial's design fits his terrible writing…bloated, cluttered and needs more editing.
      Harsh! But I have to admit that I laughed out loud.
    1. Thunderfoot -
      I always thought the best tribute would be a life sized bronze Gary sitting at a table behind a DM screen with 6 or 8 empty chairs so we could all sit at Gary's table if we got the chance.
    1. lyle.spade's Avatar
      lyle.spade -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thunderfoot View Post
      I always thought the best tribute would be a life sized bronze Gary sitting at a table behind a DM screen with 6 or 8 empty chairs so we could all sit at Gary's table if we got the chance.
      I think that'd be a great monument! And he'd be running Tomb of Horros, of course.

      Seriously, Thunderfoot, that's really a brilliant idea. Hey people reading this: perhaps we ought to push this as a grassroots idea? Consider how cool that'd be: a few iconic books and whatnot on the table, Gary running ToH, and places for people to sit and join him - what better way to memorialize and honor the man behind RPGs and one of the core cultural components of them: the "come and join us!" attitude that defines most game tables.
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