To most people, the name Norman Keith “Norm” Breyfogle may be unknown. For myself, and for many comic book fans of the 80s and 90s, Norm Breyfogle was one of the best artists in the business. For me, he was one of the top Batman artists of all time. That might be enough for some, but didn’t stop there. He also co-created some of the more interesting “newer” villains in that era, including Scarface and the Ventriloquist, Mr. Zsasz, and Amygdala.
I got to meet him almost 20 years ago at a local comic con. He was humble, unassuming, and he would not hear of praise beyond his talents. But he was more than happy to show you the original art. He showed me some for what I consider his masterpiece, Batman: Birth of the Demon. There is nothing quite like getting to see original art for a comic you know and love.
Just under four years ago, Breyfogle suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on one side, which included his drawing hand. That’s harsh enough. Today, I’ve learned of his passing on Monday. He was only 58.
To say I’m heartbroken is understatement. I feel like I’ve lost a mentor of sorts. You see, in that storied age when I was reading Batman comics, I was also learning to write and draw. I can’t tell you how much I learned just by studying his work. I learned from a great many masters in that era. Breyfogle’s was a style I kept returning for because it was dynamic and distinct.
My heart goes out to all the friends and family Norm Breyfogle leaves behind. The world has lost a great talent… and a class act. Thank you for the memories.