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Norm Breyfogle (1960-2018)

I was sitting, reading, when a notification popped up for me. Tom Mason had posted something in the Ultraverse Facebook group. I try to keep up on stuff with the group, and especially take notice when Mason posts.

When I saw what he posted–as it took a moment to sink in what I was reading–I actually said out loud "Holy crap..!"

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The screenshot above should link to a Bleeding Cool article.

I’m sure there’ll be loads of articles in the days to come on the man, his life, his work, stuff from the last several years, quotes from creators, and so on…at BC and all the usual comics sites. There’s already a lot of stuff on Twitter.


I was lucky enough to have met Norm once. Granted, it was–at least as I recall it–maybe for an entire minute or so.

It was at the 2012 Akron Comicon, and along with fellow Ultraverse creator Mike Barr, he was the draw for me, the main reason to be there.

For me, it was exciting just to get to briefly meet, in-person, the man who had drawn the very first Batman comic I ever owned, that my Mom bought for me in 1989: Detective Comics #604.

And he’d been the artist on Prime, another of my favorite comics from the ’90s.

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There are no sufficient words when anyone’s life ends; especially not from someone who never actually knew the person and all that.

But I was a fan of his work. Breyfogle‘s Batman was definitive, and extremely recognizable, and–to me–is among THE BEST. Aparo, Byrne, Breyfogle.

Between (my) early issues of Detective Comics and Batman, and the likes of Prime…he was a key artist in my childhood experience with comics…something that cannot be erased.

I know he’d had health issues the last few years (I’m sure there’ll be plenty of stuff out there about that, too!); but his having survived stuff in 2014 or so, I guess I just "assumed" he would still be with us for a long time to come; that he’d still be a presence in comics.

So it was shocking to learn that he’s passed.

I never knew him, and I know he wouldn’t (and I would not expect) him to remember me–just some guy that handed him several comics to sign more than half a decade ago, in a line that had dozens of people, at a single appearance–but through his art, through his work, which I assume he enjoyed and took well-deserved pride in…he touched many lives, of which I can confirm specifically in my own case.

And while I feel the loss in this way, I can’t imagine the loss his family feels, that of loved ones and friends and such. And cliché as it is, I can only pray for eventual healing, peace, and comfort in the wake of loss, though the loss never leaves you and anyone touched by the loss is forever changed.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of May 23, 2018 #NCBD

This week proved to be a rather small week comic-wise, which allowed for me to make a purchase I’d eyed last week but held off on financially.

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First off, IDW is reprinting the original Image run of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles under the subtitle Urban Legends. This is a sort of “forgotten volume” a la Devil’s Due‘s GI Joe series, itself having been reprinted some years back under the Disavowed subtitle. Per usual, the TMNT are an exception to my usual rules for pretty much anything/everything comics–I will “double-dip” at least on this first issue, eventually going with both the A and the B covers–the B covers apparently being the “original” cover images. Since the rest of the Color Classics had the “original” cover image, if nothing else, it might simply be my exception by way of me actually going for the B covers where the rest of the time I try to go exclusively with the A cover.

From what I can tell, this week’s Detective Comics caps the Rebirth run on the title, and I think the title passes to (a) new creative team(s) with the next issue and going forward. As such this might be my last issue until #1000 as I’m so far behind reading anyway that I’d just as soon wait for collected volumes until then, but already had enough of this run to want to keep going, and having assumed the creative team was going to be on the book longer.

And we finally have the start of The Flash War, which I “should have” passed on, but figured I’d get even though I’m far behind on reading Flash stuff, and actually had finally “let the title go” when this story was hyped a bit but didn’t actually materialize! Now it’s here, but I might wait for the collected edition for anything past this issue.

I picked up the Executive Assistant Iris Primer and the new #1 on being 25 cents and writer Blake Northcott‘s name, respectively. I don’t remember if I knew she would be writing this, and certainly didn’t remember or recognize that it was going to be out this week… a well-timed post on Twitter Tuesday (or maybe Wednesday morning–I can’t actually remember and it’s not important enough to go look it up) put it on my radar. AND since the “A” cover was available, rather than a B or any OTHER cover.

And though I’d seen it last week, I passed on Myth Adventures One. But having the week to consider, and this week being a smaller week, for the price of  2 1/2 standard-price comics, I got this graphic novel edition–33ish years old–collecting the first four issues (and in color!) of Myth Adventures. (And as I said regarding my purchase of the single issue #10 back in March, I must blame fellow blogger Michael Carlyle, writer of The Crapbox of Son of Cthulu firstly for “inspiration” to get that issue, and then his recommendation of the series that helped prompt this purchase). I also like that its size should be a nice match to the original TMNT color editions.

Finally, this week’s CSN and a checklist for the issues leading to/including the Bat-Wedding and Catwoman #1 this summer.


All in all, I feel like this is one of the highest-quality weeks for me in awhile; with most of the issues being stuff I can/will dive right into reading. First issues/primers/start of stuff, and even the Detective Comics issue I’ll probably read despite not being current with reading the series…like losing track of a tv show but watching the finale to at least have that experience rather than trying to avoid spoilers or being spoiled without context of the episode/issue itself.

I believe next week (finally!) kicks off the new Man of Steel weekly, and I’ve yet to decide if I’m going “all in” on the Bat-Wedding stuff or if I’m just sticking with the core Batman title, as I know the tie-ins will be a collected edition in several months.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of May 9, 2018

Offhand, this might be the smallest week for new comics that I’ve had in a year or more…and that’s with “taking a chance on” two of the issues!

Here we go:

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Still keeping up with getting Detective Comics. If nothing else, if it keeps to the biweekly shipping, we’re less than a year from that hitting #1000. Otherwise, could be a couple more years.

I feel like it’s been awhile since seeing a Spawn crossover like this…so figured I’d at least get this first issue of Medieval Spawn/Witchblade. Maybe it’s a one-shot, I’m not actually sure. It’s Spawn, and it’s only $2.99. And that’s what got me following “modern Spawn” in the first place–it was a $2.99 book even as Savage Dragon had gone to $3.99, Marvel was defaulting to $3.99 when they didn’t have some lame “excuse” to do $4.99 or $5.99+; and shorly prior to the start of the Rebirth stuff, even DC was mostly $3.99!

I “took a chance” on Sideways #4 as I’m not actually sure if I got #3, or if I’d pulled the trigger on letting the title go. And I “took a chance” on Oblivion Song as I was pretty sure I was gonna let it go, but not yet having read #2 from last month, I don’t wanna have to “chase” the darned thing if I get to it sooner than not.


I don’t know if I’ll make a separate post of it later or not, but I guess I’m already sorta getting to it with my phrasing above: I’m finding that DC even has squandered a lot of the “good will” they’d built up with me.

I feel like the Action Comics and Superman specials’ existence suggest that the creative teams were not actually ready (or quite ready) for their runs to end, but The Powers That Be wanted to clear the deck for bringing Bendis in and try to mirror 1986’s Byrne relaunch of the Superman stuff. It’s too soon for me to judge on his stuff, but with the Action Comics piece and last week’s DC Nation piece, I’m feeling stuff as being a lot more For Tomorrow (the Brian Azzarello/Jim Lee 12-issue run back in 2004) than Byrne‘s Man of Steel (1986ish).

Justice League apparently going to a new #1 after the 4-part weekly No Justice has made that title rather “lame duck” for me, and I’m feeling increased trepidation toward the longevity of DC‘s other titles outside of Action and Detective getting to keep their Rebirth-to-present numbering. It’s a little late to go back to any original numbering with only one chunk breaking it up, as Action and Detective both have; most other titles that would be ‘worth’ ‘legacy’ numbering at minimum have two breaks (New 52 and Rebirth).

And though DC seems to have taken steps to differentiate their variants from the regular editions, and in the back of my mind I think I saw something somewhere about them re-evaluating the every-single-issue-must-have-at-minimum-2-covers thing, even if that’s the case it’s a bit late.

I’m so burned out on variants and renumbering, period, that I just want to wash my hands of even being exposed to the stuff.

I followed Metal and its main tie-ins, but got behind after just a couple issues…and have yet to “double back” to actually read the things…and at this point by the time I do, the collected edition will likely be out.

I realized shortly before starting this post, that we’re basically AT the 2-year mark for Rebirth, and as I recall it, we were told there’d be a 2-year through-line of stuff; that it would essentially be a big two-year story. But here we are, 2 years later, and Doomsday Clock has switched to bi-monthly, extending it by another year or so…and since it seems that IT is the vehicle by which the stuff begun in the Rebirth special will wrap up and move forward…the 2 year story’s become 3 at least, and the original plan’s been derailed.

Adding to all of this is things going on in my personal life, and I think I’m just burning out a fair bit on trying to keep up with new/current comics. Meanwhile, where I can spend $4 to $5+ for a single new issue, that same $4-5+ can buy me a 16-20+ issue run from quarter bins, or 4-5 dollar issues (most of a six-issue mini-series, if not an entire 4-5 issue mini-series).

Given I’d’ve been happy with just Detective and Spawn/Witchblade, and that the latter was something I just found out about existing on Tuesday…and the piles and stacks of new/recent comics that I’ve not gotten around to reading…

I’m just glad it was a small week.

We’ll see what next week holds.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of April 11, 2018

Thankfully, this proved to be another small-ish week for new comics!

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We have a new issue of TMNT, starting a new arc. I might be slightly “off” but it seems like IDW managed to FINALLY realize it is possible to do comics in longer-than-4-issue-arcs! Meanwhile, we have the 2nd issue of the new Sonic the Hedgehog…I remain skeptical of a WEEKLY $3.99 title. However, for a launch, I’m all for a quick succession of 4 issues–it gets more material out quicker, and gives a full (larger) arc in a shorter time, and while the “cost” to me is the same, without looking to the hassle that weekly titles are to comic shops, it gives me a chance to have several issues to decide if I want to continue with the series…without the question being dragged out for months.

We also have the new issue of Oblivion Song (I reviewed the first issue here) which I’ve pretty much lost interest in and haven’t experienced any “hype” for its SECOND issue (yet again where “only” the first issue/premiere of a series is pushed and then left to sink or float on its own while the “next big thing” is actively over-pushed).

Then we have what I think is the “final” issue of Supergirl (well, this current iteration anyway. Given the hit tv show, I can’t imagine there not being some sort of comic series going for it). And of couse, far behind as I am in the reading, the latest issue (again? Already?) of Detective Comics.

Finally, a True Believers reprint of The Infinity Gauntlet #1. From 1991…a 27-year-old comic that back then was “just comics” doing some gratuitous cosmic crossover and now is a multi-billion-dollar basis of movies. Though I’ve gotten copies of this issue from 25 and 50-cent bins in the (“distant”) past…this is certainly the cheapest way I’ll acquire any new copies. And on shinier, cleaner paper, possibly with “cleaned-up” colors/restorations…and certainly the (print copy) “convenience” of the issue, without digging through all my unsorted longboxes. Plus…it looks like this 2018 edition reprints the ENTIRE ISSUE. The 2015 edition (around Secret Wars) did not–as I recall–give the entire issue.

Next week will have the issue that–in nearly 30 years of being into comics–I’ve waited the longest for; having looked forward to it for some 23+ months: Action Comics #1,000.

And really, in a way I’ve been looking forward to it for over 350 months…since my first issue of the title as a new comic, waaaaaaay back with #651!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of March 28, 2018

This was another interesting week for new comics. Small-ish, but some high prices making it feel like a slightly bigger week. And I totally forgot to look for a certain back-issue that I’d missed last week, so I may be back out this weekend hunting.

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We have the $4.99 conclusion to Metal; the $4.99 next issue of Doomsday Clock (that I’m about ready to jump off and just wait for the eventual collected edition); and the $4.99 250th issue of GI Joe: A Real American Hero (the numbering goes back to the original Marvel-published #1 from the early 1980s!).

On the idea that I’ll catch up on reading TMNT before I make it back to the shop with the pull-list, snagged the "B" cover since IF I’m gonna have two copies of the issue, might as well get a different image. PLUS the TMNT stuff is my core "exception" where I’ll let a LOT more go than I will with any other property. The second issue of The Terrifics; the new Detective Comics (which is no longer going to sync necessarily with Action Comics the way it has for most of the past 22 or so months).

The latest issue of The Demon: Hell is Earth; and then the booklets that go along with the latest issue of Previews.

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And there’s the issue of Previews itself, along with image+; these kinda just are what they are.


Next week starts the April books; and also puts us into the month in which we should be getting Action Comics #1,000. While by regular scheduling that should have been this week, it’s being "held" for 3 weeks so its release coincides with the 80th anniversary of Superman. And based on the understanding that it’s otherwise done…I’m pretty much ok with it for said anniversary status.

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The Weekly Haul: Week of March 14, 2018

This week proved to be another relatively small week (thankfully!). It even allowed for a “priced” back issue.

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This week sees Action Comics #999 (no, that’s not a typo!) We now have something like six weeks until #1,000 hits end of April. Then the newest issue of Detective Comics, and a freebie in The World of Krypton. This issue is “sponsored by” SyFy trying to drum up support for their new tv series Krypton; the issue reprints the first issue of the Byrne mini-series of this name.

I enjoyed Sideways #1 enough to pick up the second issue…I’m cautiously interested. Then we have the newest issue of Mister Miracle, and the final issue of Ragman (billed as 12 and 6 issue series, respectively!)

The newest issue of DuckTales from IDW, based on the new animated series. IDW is gonna be SOL on me–I’m not putting this on a pull list–I haven’t been reading, haven’t kept up with the actual animated series, but don’t want to catch up and then be missing issues or have to hunt them later. BUT…as soon as an “A” cover is NOT available or I accidentally buy a non-standard/”A” cover, I’m done on principle!

I’m amused by these Venom True Believers issues; even though I do have Lethal Protector #1 (and handy, even, too!), I’ll be interested in comparing the two versions.

Finally, as a “priced” back issue, picked up Action Comics #40 from the New 52 run (aka #944 or so). That leaves me with just a handful of issues to look for as early as this weekend if I make it to a local “convention.”

Here’s hoping next week is a small one, as well!

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The Weekly Haul: Week of February 28, 2018

This week’s another moderate-sized week…certainly not tiny, but not as big as some. Of course, part of that came from leaving several titles that I’ve bought out of habit but I’m so ridiculously far behind on actually reading that the issues–if I opt to catch up–will probably be bargain-bin-fodder by the time I’d get around to where I’d be ready to read them anyway.

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Action Comics #998 means we’re a mere TWO ISSUES from the big #1000! I’ve been looking forward to The Terrifics for awhile, and glad to see it finally make it out. I think one thing I like about it over the likes of Silencer and Damage is that it actually uses characters I’ve read before, albeit in a new way…WHILE introducing other stuff. Then there’s Detective Comics #975, another title approaching #1000. THen the latest issue of the 6-issue Demon: Hell Is Earth mini. The latest TMNT issue–#79, chapter 4 of Invasion of the Triceratons. And a 25-cent Primer issue from Aspen. 25 cents, of course I’m gonna snag it!

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Then there’s GI Joe: A Real American Hero #s 248 and 249…the “A” covers. I’d snagged #s 246 & 247 a couple weeks back on a whim, so finding an actual “A” cover in stock (as opposed to a “B” or “RI” cover!) for #248, got that AND the latest new issue in #249…just ahead of the big #250 issue!

And while the cover alone would have caught me anyway, knowing ahead of time from a TwoMorrows Facebook post last night that the new Back Issue deals with editors, I was interested in it for content and so went in actually looking for the issue.

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And then there’s the new issue of Previews, which partly showcases on its cover the reason I’ve once more dropped Marvel–they can’t even make it 6 months from real-world-release to announcing the NEXT “Big Thing” or “relaunch” or renumbering-but-it’s-not-a-reboot or whatever. (Whether it’s an actual EVENT series or “just” an initiative…it seems like they are entirely incapable of real-world-time having one thing actually finish before announcing/rolling out the hype-machine on the next thing!)

That said, it’s a new big catalog of comics coming up, and a sort of time capsule for down the road.

And that, for now, is that…the weekly haul to close out February 2018!

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