Remembering Comic Book Creator Norm Breyfogle on His Birthday, February 27
Ask comic book readers about their definitive Batman artist, and you’ll hear some say Norm Breyfogle. Norman Keith Breyfogle was born February 27, 1960, and died on September 24, 2018. In a career that spanned four decades off and on with the same character, Norm contributed some of the finest Batman stories and helped create new characters within the Batman universe that are still appreciated by fans to this day. Today we celebrate his birthday by looking back on his career and fondly remembering some of his finest works.
Norm was a bit of a child prodigy, showing artistic talent early in his hometown of Houghton, Michigan. By age 17 he was hired to draw his first comic book, Tech Team for Michigan Technical University, which saw print in 1978. His first mainstream work came for DC Comics New Talent Showcase #11 published in 1984.
After a few years of freelance work that saw his art published by DC, Marvel, First and Eclipse, he was hired for a 15-page story in Batman Annual #11. That was the beginning of a four-decade career on Batman. During his run, Norm helped create and establish characters such as Anarky, Victor Zsasz, the Ratcatcher, and my personal favorites, the Ventriloquist and Scarface.
Norm had several personal projects of his own that he was very proud of, including Metaphysique, which saw two incarnations. First was a two-issue series for Eclipse published in 1992, and then a six-issue series for Malibu in 1995. My personal favorite work of Norm’s was his time on DC Comics The Spectre, with writer J.M. DeMatteis. Norm also had a nostalgic take on Archie and the Riverdale gang in the 2000s as well. Still, it’s his time on Batman that comic book readers remember the most.
It was more than just the stories that Norm Breyfogle was part of, it was his version of Batman that fans found so appealing. Here was a character that was basically being drawn the exact same way for years. Norm found a way to take that character and give him a new look without changing his costume. His rendition of Batman was instantly recognizable and it’s the way I still picture Batman in my mind to this day.
How about you? Who is your definitive Batman artist? Is there a particular Norm Breyfogle book you enjoy? Let us know in the comments section below. Thank you for reading, and Happy Birthday Norm!
“Don’t worry about how you should draw it. Just draw it the way you see it.” – Tim Burton
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