Like many youth in 1988, the release of Tim Burton's "Batman" ushered in a renewed interest in reading the Dark Knight's comic book adventures. That summer, I borrowed stacks of Detective and Batman comics and devoured them in late night cramming sessions. Many of those comics were illustrated by Norm Breyfogle.
Breyfogle's Batman continues to be one of my favorite depictions of the character. His grim look and long ears remind me of how Bob Kane first envisioned and drew the Caped Crusader. Breyfogle also co-created Ratcatcher and Anarky, which are two of the most memorable super villains of the late 1980s.
When it was announced Breyfogle was providing the art for the digital series Batman Beyond Unlimited, I couldn't have been more excited. Now it's been released in a collected paperback edition entitled "Batman Beyond Unlimited: 10,000 Clowns." Breyfogle got even more recognition when DC released a comic book preview of the new "Beware the Batman" TV show on Free Comic Book Day. It was revealed that the super villain Anarky will be the Dark Knight's main nemesis for the series.
I met Breyfogle at Dallas Comic-Con a while back and told him I'd love to interview him. Unfortunately, my busy schedule distracted me from ever getting back with him until now. With so much of his work being highlighted through both Batman Beyond Unlimited and "Beware the Batman," I felt like the time was right to talk with him about his past, present, and future projects.
First off, how did you come about working on Batman Beyond Unlimited? Was it something you sought out or did DC approach you with the project?
Jim Chadwick, my first editor on Batman Beyond Unlimited, emailed me with the offer after I'd drawn for him the "Batman Retroactive 1990s" book which Alan Grant wrote.
How do you approach Batman Beyond Unlimited differently than you do / did the original Batman?
Since it was a digital title, the main difference for me was the format, which divided each page into two sections which fit the digital format.
Also, I felt it necessary to watch all the "Batman Beyond" animated series episodes and try to stay close to the designs in it.
No matter what you do, it seems like the Dark Knight always draws you back. What is it about Batman that keeps you coming back?
DC editor offers, and the fact that DC pays well. (LOL)
I've loved the look and character of Batman since childhood, and it's the fulfillment of a major dream of mine to drawn his adventures. But, I do love drawing ANY characters.
You've probably known for a while, but it was recently announced to the public that Anarky is going to be the main villain in the new "Beware the Batman" TV show. How does it feel to have a character you co-created become the epicenter of a series soon to be watched by possibly millions of people?
It's good. I just hope my and Alan Grant's equity request for that character (which I only filed a couple of months ago) is accepted!
Batman Beyond Unlimited was just released in a trade paperback version. Do you ever go back and thumb through your work and say, "I really did great work on this" or "I wish I would have had more time to work on that?"
Certainly! "The unexamined life is not worth living." -Socrates
What are you working on now that you can talk about?
I just finished a job I for which I signed an NDA, so I can't yet talk about it, but it will be seen on TV in the next month or so.
I'm presently penciling 48 pages for the title The Danger's Dozen, published by A First Salvo, a company for which I drew many pages about 6-7 years ago.
After that, I'm taking a long summer vacation for the first time in many years. After the summer? I'm presently reviewing my options/opportunities.
For more information on Norm Breyfogle, go to his official website.