Yesterday, Bleeding Cool sadly reported the death of comic book creator Norm Breyfogle at 58. Plenty of people wanted to share their memories of the man, the work and his legacy, including many current Batman creators.
With the passing of Norm Breyfogle, who used crowdfunding to help pay for treatment after a stroke, it’s worth mentioning that comic book creators are freelancers, and often do not have adequate insurance or any at all. Support the @heroinitiative if you can. Thank you.
— Tim Seeley NYCC B25 (@HackinTimSeeley) September 26, 2018
When I close my eyes and think of Batman (which I do oddly often and occasionally professionally), I see Norm Breyfogle’s cover for Batman 465.
The protector and his ward. The bats in the night. The cape and the shadow.
RIP Mr. Breyfogle. Thank you for the beautiful dreams. pic.twitter.com/qPfKKzQnCI
— Tom King (@TomKingTK) September 26, 2018
Deeply saddened to hear of Norm Breyfogle’s passing. His Batman was a staple of my youth, and his contributions to comics in general, and Gotham City in particular, are immeasurable. I imagine the Batsignal lit just for him tonight. #RIP pic.twitter.com/u4w20fZsD7
— Scott Snyder (@Ssnyder1835) September 26, 2018
Saddened to hear of Norm Breyfogle’s passing. He had a unmistakable style all his own and inspired many Batman creators with his work, including me. My thoughts go out to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/UFSbXhnQZs
— Tony S Daniel (@TonyDanielx2) September 26, 2018
Saddened by the news of Norm Breyfogle’s passing. He was the storyteller behind same of my favorite Batman/Detective Comics runs. A HUGE talent gone way too soon. Thanks for your gift, Norm. pic.twitter.com/udQwbkD7m4
— FrancescoFrancavilla (@f_francavilla) September 27, 2018
Tremendously saddened to hear of the passing of the great artist Norm Breyfogle. With his dynamic and expressive style, he was one of the beloved, definitive Batman artists who brought him to life for generations of appreciative comics fans. https://t.co/x38VMQCUgm
— Jim Lee (@JimLee) September 27, 2018
So saddened to hear of the passing of Norm Breyfogle. I never got to meet the man but talk about someone who defined a whole era of my life and continued to be a huge inspiration into adulthood and my career.
Breyfogle was THE Batman artist. Rest In Peace, sir. pic.twitter.com/59u7QlsbhV
— Mitch Gerads @NYCC K-34 (@MitchGerads) September 26, 2018
And many, many more.
He drew my favorite version of The Bat for years. Norm Breyfogle honored the Dark Knight with a legendary career filled with some of the boldest, stylistically superior Batman renderings ever penciled. His work fueled my imagination and made me love Batman more. Rest In Peace… https://t.co/iQgVgPdjzq
— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) September 26, 2018
Really saddened to hear about the passing of Norm Breyfogle. Among so many things he did well on the comic page, his mastery of Batman’s cape, like a thing alive, always stood out to me. R.I.P. pic.twitter.com/GASAZVzFV7
— Chris Ryall (@chris_ryall) September 26, 2018
RIP Norm. So damn sad. Batman Artist Norm Breyfogle Died on Monday, Aged 58 – Bleeding Cool News And Rumors https://t.co/HAMsKKeabO
— Jimmy Palmiotti (@jpalmiotti) September 26, 2018
There was a time when Norm Breyfogle’s depiction of Batman was absolutely iconic and embraced by readers all over the world. He left us far too soon. RIP.
— Dan Jurgens (@thedanjurgens) September 26, 2018
Tough news about Norm Breyfogle. One of the most dynamic artists of his generation. Heartbreaking to see this happen to such a young and health-conscious guy. Godspeed, Norm.
— Phillip Hester (@philhester) September 26, 2018
RIP Norm Breyfogle. The definitive Batman artist for a generation – but of course, he did so much more than that. His mastery of line, flow, storytelling and emotion – both subtle and operatic – shone through in every panel. pic.twitter.com/s0r0QY7DDa
— Al Ewing Writes Comics And Tells You About Them (@Al_Ewing) September 26, 2018
Hearing that Norm Breyfogle passed away. Norm’s Batman in DETECTIVE COMICS was my “first” Batman. Very sad. He was so dynamic and dark, without being cliche. Man, what lousy news. pic.twitter.com/05yubfD8dW
— Nate Piekos (@blambot) September 26, 2018
— Bill Sienkiewicz (@sinKEVitch) September 27, 2018
So sad to hear of Norm Breyfogle’s passing. I only had the pleasure of meeting him in person once but he was incredibly kind and generous with his time. His and Aparo’s were THE Batman of my childhood.
— CHRIS SAMNEE (@ChrisSamnee) September 26, 2018
We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Norm Breyfogle, a brilliant comic book artist. He was also one of the creators of the Valiant character Rampage, so here is some of his incredible work from BLOODSHOT (1993) #35. pic.twitter.com/LkGlL3PNej
— Valiant Comics (@ValiantComics) September 26, 2018
Openers circa 1996
— JoeQuesada (@JoeQuesada) September 27, 2018
Saddened and surprised to hear of the passing of legendary Batman artist Norm Breyfogle. He was the first Batman artist I followed, and his smooth, stylistic take on the Dark Knight and his rogues was unforgettable. RIP, Norm. pic.twitter.com/Iy0Y093KTN
— Alex Segura (@alex_segura) September 27, 2018
RIP Norm Breyfogle. Too soon. Too soon.
— Chuck Dixon (@Dixonverse) September 26, 2018
Lower the Bat-signal to half mast.
RIP Norm Breyfogle. Man could draw a cape and a killer Batmobile. https://t.co/4b1xIqwpEn
— Brad Meltzer (@bradmeltzer) September 26, 2018
R.I.P. Norm Breyfogle. So sad, crushing. https://t.co/qVJvF6Oqw7
— robertliefeld (@robertliefeld) September 26, 2018
Norm Breyfogle was my all-time favorite Batman artist. There was nothing in the Batman world that he could not draw. What a huge loss to the comics community. My thoughts are with his friends and family. https://t.co/XQ5mr9ao5c
— Sterling Gates (@sterlinggates) September 26, 2018
Norm Breyfogle was THE Batman artist for me, when I was a kid. I’d sit and try to copy his drawings for hours. Very saddened to hear about his passing. Please consider donating to @heroinitiative
— Jeff Lemire (@JeffLemire) September 26, 2018
Rest in peace, Norm Breyfogle. When I got back into comics after a few years away in the ’80s, Breyfogle’s Batman, with that glorious, physics-defying cape, was my favorite. pic.twitter.com/hIkQZohD3S
— Greg Pak (@gregpak) September 26, 2018
Saddened to hear that Norm Breyfogle has passed away. A great storyteller whose Batman was definitive for so many.
— Dave Gibbons (@davegibbons90) September 27, 2018
Cover. RIP Norm Breyfogle. pic.twitter.com/dldxT0xKXU
— Rob Williams (@Robwilliams71) September 27, 2018
Such sad news about #NormBreyfogle. Didn’t really know him, only met him a couple of times. But he was one of the great Batman artists of the last 30 or 40 years, IMO. Hell, he was an all-time great. RIP, Norm. pic.twitter.com/YanqcXEkGs
— Cully Hamner (@CullyHamner) September 27, 2018
My favorite and earliest memory of Norm Breyfogle art. pic.twitter.com/la3kiPE25u
— Valentine De Landro (@val_delandro) September 26, 2018
I only met Norm Breyfogle a couple of times. Worked with him on one comic, Thunderbolts Annual 2000.
He was a consummate professional and he drew one of the most singularly unique, consistent, and bold versions of BATMAN in the history of the character.
He was a damn good artist. pic.twitter.com/KgLWHHKdSm
— Fabian Nicieza (@FabianNicieza) September 26, 2018
Norm Breyfogle’s DETECTIVE COMICS work made me a regular reader of the series for the first time. RIP pic.twitter.com/3MYqHFMUIo
— SKM 9/29 Pflugerville Comic-Con (@seankmckeever) September 26, 2018
Norm Breyfogle RIP
This is crushing. pic.twitter.com/QFgKy2YBxE
— Michel Fiffe @NYCC (@MichelFiffe) September 26, 2018
Incredibly saddened by the news that Norm Breyfogle has died. I never met Norm, but his work was a massive influence on me and my path in life. I can’t even tell you, I just love his work so much. His Batman is iconic, but it was through Norm’s vision that I first met Nightwing. pic.twitter.com/haftATwDHz
— Andy Khouri (@andykhouri) September 26, 2018
I just heard that Norm Breyfogle has passed away. I had the pleasure of working with Norm on THE SPECTRE and he was a wonderful collaborator: powerful drawing, impeccable storytelling—and he really thought about the stories. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/GTiBtgtQSn
— J.M. DeMatteis (@JMDeMatteis) September 26, 2018
He’d call up to ask questions and discuss the philosophy underlying my scripts. He had a questing mind that dug deep and that depth was reflected in his art. A terrible loss…and way too young. pic.twitter.com/n4WgsjH1Xu
— J.M. DeMatteis (@JMDeMatteis) September 26, 2018
Norm Breyfogle drew a great Batman- but the way he drew the Demon was amazing- and a bit of an influence… so sad to hear of his death. RIP pic.twitter.com/wfMFeQ3eEE
— John McCrea @NYCC artists alley A28 (@mccreaman) September 26, 2018
— Jorge Fornés (@jfornes74) September 26, 2018
RIP Norm Breyfogle. May the blue cape forever wave.
— Jason Latour (@jasonlatour) September 26, 2018
Norm Breyfogle was well known for his Batman work, but I personally think his best stuff was on PRIME. He perfectly executed a parody of superheroes mixed with the ickiness and discomfort of being a teenager. pic.twitter.com/q6WPKhv8Oo
— Tim Seeley NYCC B25 (@HackinTimSeeley) September 26, 2018
RIP #NormBreyfogle. You had a beautiful soul and held a real compassion for the downtrodden and forgotten and that goodness made its way through your pencil to the art board. No wonder you Batman was so iconic, so dynamic and so human. Godspeed sir. You will be missed. #batman
— William Tucci (@BillyTucci) September 27, 2018
Sad to hear about the passing of Norm Breyfogle. A truly wonderful guy and a truly innovative artist.
— Erik Larsen (@ErikJLarsen) September 27, 2018
As a Canadian freelancer, I often forget how lucky I am to have healthcare. Every now and then I’m reminded that a lot of folks like Norm Breyfogle don’t. Consider making a donation to @heroinitiative to help them help comic creators in their time of need.
— J. Torres (@jtorrescomics) September 27, 2018
RIP Norm Breyfogle. Love seeing all this art on the timeline, but hate that far too often, the only time we really honor legendary creators is after we’ve lost them.
— aubrey sitterson (@aubreysitterson) September 26, 2018
RIP Norm Breyfogle (age 58), who was the main artist on Batman when I was a kid, drawing the book with a striking style of dynamic shapes, poses, and panel arrangements. Breyfogle suffered a stroke 3 years ago; I assume his death was related. A unique talent! pic.twitter.com/8ot56ydurZ
— Jesse Hamm (@jesse_hamm) September 26, 2018
Batman artist Norm Breyfogle passed away. Norm’s Batman was pure adrenalin rush. Everything was drawn to suit what Norm wanted to express, his exuberance on the page could not be pinned down by mundane mechanics and necessities.
He will be remembered. pic.twitter.com/PBi3iapBaO
— Patch Zircher (@PatrickZircher) September 26, 2018
Gahhhh R.I.P. Norm Breyfogle. He was THE Batman artist of the ‘90s. pic.twitter.com/GlMAJ0tboM
— Burnham!Burnham!Burnham! (@TheBurnham) September 26, 2018
I met Norm back in 2008 at a con in NY. He was so awesome. So nice. Signed all of the Batman books I brought with me and we chatted for a few minutes.
I’m heartbroken today to learn of his passing.
Norm Breyfogle — one of the greats, in all the ways you could be great. pic.twitter.com/7Ho3mFrM7G
— peter simeti loves comics (@petersimeti) September 26, 2018
Norm Breyfogle stood out from the other Bat-artists of the time. Their depictions remained solid and classical, but Norm leaned into the distorted and angular; exaggerating proportions to create drama and using silhouettes, capes and Bat-ears as strong graphic devices. RIP, sir.
— Nick Roche (@NickRoche) September 26, 2018
I grew up on Norm Breyfogle’s Batman. What a loss. pic.twitter.com/8zW258HM6h
— Van Jensen (@van_jensen) September 27, 2018
I met Norm Breyfogle when I helped recruit him for Valiant. Loved his Batman, but it was his Prime series that hooked me. He turned out to be a very deep thinker, a fascinating conversationalist, and a truly nice guy. Sad to hear of his passing. Condolences to his loved ones. pic.twitter.com/weVD1I3X72
— Tony Bedard (@TonyBedard) September 26, 2018
So sad to hear about Norm Breyfogle passing – I loved his Batman.
— Marc Laming eyyyyy! (@monkey__marc) September 26, 2018
RIP, Norm Breyfogle. pic.twitter.com/1d5fw6Rcqb
— Marc Andreyko (@marcandreyko) September 26, 2018
Saddened to hear about the passing of Norm Breyfogle, the Artist who defined what BATMAN is supposed to look like on a comic book page for me. pic.twitter.com/h1R1WQ2rzi
— Wilfredo Torres (@mightyfineline) September 26, 2018
— Dave Scheidt (@DaveScheidt) September 26, 2018
Artist Norm Breyfogle’s undeniable impact on the Dark Knight will live on in the hearts of his fans. Our thoughts are with his friends and family. pic.twitter.com/IKOgEceh39
— DC (@DCComics) September 27, 2018
Some remembered what happened to Norm at DC Comics and revived an old 2007 interview with him and his Batman creative partner Alan Grant.
NB: That was the best Batman work I’d done to that date and yet he gave me calls and was nit picking over details and basically criticizing it in a negative way. I was doing my best and bending over backwards to alter some of the artwork for him but basically I could not understand where the criticism was coming from. And shortly thereafter it was like I was psychologically being prepared to be getting less and less work to getting no work from DC.
In 2010, Norm felt he was blacklisted by both Marvel and DC Comics and while then talent co-ordinator C.B. Cebulski got in touch with Bleeding Cool and with Norm Breyfogle to assuage him of that, and he would then work again with Alan Grant on the DC Retroactive: Batman – The ’90s series in 2011. However, for many like me, Norm’s style was never out of fashion, never out of date, never relegated to one decade, and it remains a shame that the mainstream industry seemed to forget him, before his 2014 stroke rendered him unable to draw.
Because, yes, he was my Batman artist as well and much that you would see in Todd McFarlane‘s work on the character which then informed Spawn came directly from Norm, it’s just a shame that Metaphysique never took off in the same way. His creation for the Ultraverse, Prime, though now tainted by the legacy of his co-creator on that project, was utterly the standout of that line. And the diversity of his work in illustration, advertising, and taking up the Archie mantle showed how much he could adapt to the demands of the marketplace.
It is a damn shame that we never got to see the Batman: Lord Of The Apes that he first proposed.
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