I opened up Facebook last month and saw John Ostrander had shared a post about Norm Breyfogle. The article claimed Norm had passed away at the age of 58. I was stunned. I had not read or heard anything about Norm for a while. I was hoping the article was a mistake and he was fine. Sadly no.
When I was younger I really liked his art. He made Batman even cooler. His cover art really stood out to me. He, along with writer Alan Grant, created the supporting character Joe Potato, who worked with Batman at the time. He helped create Batman foes the Ventriloquist and Ratcatcher. It was great buying comics drawn by Norm and being treated to a wild ride. The first issue of his Shadow of the Bat with Alan Grant with Batman being locked up in Arkham was super cool to this at-the-time young fan.
Many years later after I had opened my own store, I reached out to Norm to see if he would be interested in doing a store signing for, at the time, next year’s Free Comic Book Day. He had been in Iowa before but not for years. I was surprised he was up for doing a store signing. He was even cool with joining us for a private movie showing that morning. I thought how cool will that be, having Norm in the store and with us watching a movie? Then he had a stroke. He actually apologized to me about it. I felt bad. I told him he had nothing to apologize for.
The last I communicated with him was through Facebook, I told him about artist Howard Porter. Howard had suffered an injury to his hand and had to learn to draw with his other hand. I thought that might help Norm.
Norm, thanks for creating comics that were an enjoyable part of my youth. For making me wish I could draw like you.
Rest in Peace.