Thursday, April 29, 2010

Original Art Stories: Norm Breyfogle's 1992 Batman Redesign

I love this kind of stuff, really I do.  A while back I bought one of the remaining Batman costume (re)designs that Norm Breyfogle did for DC Comics back in the early 1990s.  According to Norm, "These designs are part of a presentation given by me to DC Comics when I was asked - along with a number of other artists - to re-design Batman's costume in 1992. Eventually these were partly seen in the DC special title "Brotherhood of the Bat." This request from DC resulted in the all-black Batcostume that Batman wears to this day."

As you can see from viewing the sketches, some of the ideas that Norm came up with were used, and not just for Batman.  At least one of Norm's images looks very close to what DC would later adopt for Nightwing, the former Robin.

When I bought the remaining design sheet I believed that it would be the one design that I'd end up owning.  Then a friend of mine turned up a pile of Batman sketches, from the same time period, all of which I jealously looked over.  I put the question out there, "If you ever decide to sell..." knowing all too well that he'd not sell.

Recently I was sent an email from the same collector, stating that while he didn't want to sell the sketch book, he did have several dozen Batman designs that he was willing to part with, if the price was right.  The price was quickly agreed to and money changed hands and the booty arrived.

Frankly I wasn't expect such quality, or scope, but then as it's Norm, I shouldn't have been surprised.  So sit right back and enjopy the Batman that you never got a chance to see.  Click on any of the images to see a larger version, from sketches through to final designs, it's all here.  Thankfully these items weren't thrown out at the time, or down the track, and that some people do appreciate the historical value of such artwork.  Perhaps if DC or someone else do another Batman edition detailing the history of the character, or decide to actually relent and begin to reprint Norm and Alan Grant's stellar run, then they might also decide to forgive Norm for whatever his sins might have been and showcase some of this stuff.

I expect that people would buy books just to see this material alone.  I know I do.

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