Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Norm Breyfogle & Bob Dylan

On the surface of things you might be forgiven for thinking that Norm Breyfogle and Bob Dylan have nothing in common. Perhaps they do have nothing in common, I mean I don't know Dylan all that well, but I do know Norm fairly well. I do know that Norm doesn't sing protest songs and I'm pretty sure that Dylan has never drawn an issue of Batman. So what is this post all about then?

Easy. The painting you're looking at was done for the UK music magazine, Mojo. Towards the end of 2006 Norm was approached to create a mock-up cover for an 'annual'. Titled the 'Mojo 2006 Annual', the cover was made to look like an old UK 'Lion' annual - the 1968 annual to be precise. The artists that the magazine wanted were the Arctic Monkeys, Amy Winehouse, the Raconteurs and Dylan. Each band had a theme, Bob Dylan's was a western theme.

The Dylan preliminary and subsequent painting are amazing to say the least. I love 'em. I was lucky enough to be able to purchase them directly from Norm and it tickles me no end to think that down the line someone will pick up on Norm and look back at his artistic career and say, "This guy drew Batman at one stage?" To me that's just brilliant.

There's far more to Norm than one character no matter how closely identified with that character he may be. The stark reality is that he hasn't drawn the Bat on a regular basis for over a decade now. I like to think that he's left it behind. It'd be great to see him return to it as he has a genuine love for the Batman, but truth be known he's moving ahead and drawing better than he ever has. And it's doubtful that he will return to the Batman as DC have again rejected a proposal from Norm and Alan Grant, a proposal that DC asked for. I can't help but wonder if DC are asking for ideas so that they can reject the duo and just hand those ideas over to other, lesser, artists and writers. We may never know for sure.

In the meantime enjoy the painting! Bob Dylan hasn't looked that good in ages. Perhaps someone should point Dylan towards Norm and see if an album cover can't be worked out.

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