Batman artist Norm Breyfogle dies

Batman artist and Prime co-creator Norm Breyfogle has died at 58.

Norm Breyfogle, who had a prominent run on Batman and Detective Comics in the 1980s and 1990s, died Monday in Houghton, Michigan.

The cause of death was not public, but Breyfogle suffered a debilitating stroke in 2014 that paralyzed his left side, which made it impossible for him to draw and required extensive rehabilitation. Friends established an online fundraising campaign to cover medical bills that topped $200,000, wrote Paste Magazine in 2015.

Breyfogle was born in Iowa City, Iowa and grew up in Houghton, Michigan, according to his biography on his website. He majored in painting and illustration at Northern Michigan University and moved to California after graduating. He entered the comics field in 1984, with work in DC’s New Talent Showcase, back-up stories in American Flagg and stints at Eclipse, Marvel and First.

In 1987, Breyfogle teamed with writer Alan Grant for a three-year run on Detective Comics, where he helped introduce the Ventriloquist and the Ratcatcher, followed by another three years on Batman, where he helped introduce Tim Drake, the third Robin. He was also the inaugural artist on the Batman spinoff, Shadow of the Bat.

Breyfogle’s Batman work also includes the 1991 Elseworlds graphic novel Batman: Holy Terror and the 1993 painted graphic novel Batman: Birth of the Demon. Alan Brennert, who wrote Holy Terror, paid tribute to Breyfogle on Facebook:

“Norm’s designs were so intricate, so ornate, so fully rendered, that I think of him as the true creator of that world; all I did was put words on paper, Norm brought it to vividly imagined life.”

Breyfogle was also a co-creator of the superhero Prime for the Malibu Comics Ultraverse imprint and branched out into children’s books.

In 2010, Breyfogle was one of the artists on Life With Archie: The Married Life. The title was a spinoff of the “Archie Marries Veronica/Archie Marries Betty” storyline in Archie #600-#606 (October 2009-April 2010). Each issue told stories set 10 years or so in the future, with a lead story following Archie’s marriage to Veronica and a second one following his marriage to Betty.

Funeral arrangements are pending and will be handled by Erickson-Crowley-Peterson Funeral Home in Calumet, Michigan.