Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Mud Pack

(Third in a series of tribute posts for the Norm Breyfogle Stroke Recovery Fund)

Preston Payne - Clayface III - longs for the human touch. The trouble is, anyone he touches turns to ooze. Luckily for us, Preston has found domestic bliss in Arkham Asylum...

So begins The Mud Pack, a classic miniseries by Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle. I must have read it about a hundred times as a kid.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Catman is up to his usual mischief in Cats.

(Second in a series of tribute posts for the Norm Breyfogle Stroke Recovery Fund)

Cats is a perfect little one-shot by one of my favorite Bat-teams, Alan Grant and Norm Breyfogle. Catman is making mischief, Catwoman is being blamed, and Batman is in the middle of it. Oh, and did I mention there's a white Bengal tiger on the loose in Gotham City?

Both Batman and Catman set out in search of the missing tiger. They don't need to wait long. Notice the series of 'cats' on the following page, which Breyfogle unifies into a striking visual parallel.

Thanks to Catman, Batman ends up facing the tiger in gladiator-style combat. Catwoman has also come out to play, and admires the scene from afar.

I'll leave it to you to discover how this one ends. There's a lot in Cats, particularly in the relationships, and I urge you to visit your local comics shop and pick up a copy. For me, this one's got just the right mix of humor and adventure. It's beautifully scripted by Alan Grant and beautifully drawn by Norm Breyfogle. It's a testament to this issue that I still come back to it from time to time, almost 25 years after it was published.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Breyfogle's Batman

Norm Breyfogle, who is recovering from a stroke, is probably my favorite Batman artist of all time. I grew up reading Norm's iconic run with Alan Grant on Detective Comics. In contrast to the hyper-realistic, stone-faced Batman of Jim Aparo, Breyfogle's Batman is bold, stylized, and emotionally expressive. This cover from Detective #610 is a personal favorite of mine, revealing Batman's sadness at the untimely death of his nemesis, the Penguin.
Norm's stroke was unexpected. He did not have insurance, and medical bills have wiped out his life savings. Norm's work had a profound impact on me growing up and to this day. As a tribute to Norm, and to raise awareness for his cause, I plan to feature his fantastic work over the coming month. If you're a fan, please consider donating to his stroke recovery fund, run by his family.