Thursday, January 24, 2008

Alan Grant Talks Norm Breyfogle

Hey Marvel, DC, Dark Horse - all of ya!!! Go and read the latest issue of the Judge Dredd Megazine. But since you probably won't bother then please allow me to quote none other than Alan Grant as he speaks about an artist you've passed by.

"The artist on Detective at the time was Norm Breyfogle. 'When a writer and artist hit it off, like Wagner and Ezquerra, they add a dimension to stories nobody put there before. Some kind of synergy shines through. You can see it in nearly everything John's worked on with Carlos. All the important characters John's created, I'd say, were done with Carlos. I felt the same about Breyfogle - Norm was my Carlos and I was his Wagner!'

"Grant was recently asked to write an introduction for a book showcasing Breyfogle's art. 'I read over the first two years of Batman we did together. I hate blowing my own trumpet about anything. I don't usually do it. My work either stands up on its own or falls down, I can't justify or argue for it. But those Batmans, it was f**king cracking stuff! No wonder the Americans went crazy for it. They were used to Batman fighting jelly monsters from space, the character being treated like some kind of soap opera. That wasn't my idea of Batman, what he should be. Norm and I redefined Batman, made him what we wanted the character to be. We had a brilliant run. I re-read all the letters pages, to make sure it wasn't just me who felt the material was that good. The letters pages were just the same. It wasn't all down to me, it was Norm's art as well. I'd say Breyfogle's four years on Batman are better than anything anybody's done since. I'm not saying there aren't better individual stories. Bolland will illustrate a story like The Killing Joke, or Kelley Jones will do a great Batman tale. But for consistent month-in, month-out brilliance, no one touches Norm.'"

And he's still producing better work than ever. But don't believe the masses that are calling for Norm to once again shine at your companies, and lend his talents to your characters, go and phone Alan Grant and tell him why Norm isn't good enough.

Make sure you record it - I'd love to hear all the swear words. Once your ears have recovered then give Norm a call and get him working - and better yet have Alan Grant write the frigging story! In the meantime, the rest of you out there, go and buy the two Dredd Megazines - the interview is worth double the price alone.

5 comments:

R. Domene said...

>>to make sure it wasn't just me who felt the material was that good

It wasn't just you, Mr. Grant. That material was amazing! :-D

One of the best runs of the character, ever, and with a lot of incredible good aditions to Batman's rogue gallery.

And Breyfogle's art was just incredible. And, what can we say of him, as Batman artist? How many artists can you say have leaved such an important mark on the character? Bob Kane, Jerry Robinson, Shelly Moldoff, Dick Sprang, Carmine Infantino, Neal Adams, Jim Aparo... Add Breyfogle to that list. He defined the image of the character for the late 80's and the first 90's... and as Daniel said, he's now better than ever.

I really don't undestand why DC or Marvel aren't callin Norm to do one of their best titles. Just imagine him drawing Dr. Strange, The Flash, Wolverine, Green Lantern, Thor, Batman again... wouldn't that be great?

Dav said...

It's funny that you should be writing about this just now. I read one of the recent Detective Comics tpbs a day or two ago, and when I finished my first thought was, "Competent, but disposable."

My second thought was that if stuff like this was being collected then there's no excuse for a run as consistently solid as Grant and Breyfogle's to be out of print.

I'm not one to gripe about "artists these days," but when I look back at the work that Breyfogle was producing back then, always good and regularly brilliant, and on a rigorous monthly schedule, I really think we were spoiled. And then to think that we had Breyfogle on one title and Jim Aparo on the other! It's amazing that readers could find anything to complain about.

Breyfogle should be doing something high profile, preferably with Grant, and their older work should be in print.

Danny said...

That's the killer of it all - the work was of such quality that you could release it today and it'd still be fresh. But for some reason DC are happier putting out trades for comics that appeared last week whilst totally ignoring material that their most recent foundations were built upon.

I see an Absolute Frank Miller DK2 and I want to puke. DC release that crap and keep quality material like the Grant/Breyfogle run totally under wraps.

Petition DC today and demand that they collect that material and release it as an Absolute, as it belongs. My guess is that there's some editors at the companies in the USA who are just so narrow minded that it's no longer funny.

antonio said...

Dear Alan in case you and Norm read this!!! Your run on Batman is the one that got me into comics over my adolescence(well you know that :) ) and the dynamic duo you are together surpasses the limits of quality and love for a character!!


JESUS ANTONIO

Will said...

I agree. Breyfogle and Grant were truly outstanding. I have a load but I'd love to get them all in one giant graphic novel. I was a 2000ad reader and then when reading a UK reprinting of Batman was like "hey, is this the dude that does JD?" awesome. Batman's finest hour in the hands of these two, no doubt.