Norm Breyfogle was born on February 27, 1960 in Iowa City, Iowa. From a very early age, Norm liked to draw. When he was 12 years old, he began taking private lessons from commercial artist Andrew Benson. Around this time, he also won his first award at a town and country art show. The Daily Mining Gazette, a newspaper in Houghton, Michigan, profiled Norm in 1976 as “Norm Breyfogle: Near Master Cartoonist at 16.” During his time in high school, he co-plotted, wrote, and illustrated a comic book titled Tech Team for Michigan Technological University.
After high school, Norm attended Northern Michigan University, studying Painting and Illustration. During his time in college, Norm worked as an Illustrator for a local magazine and also for a graphics company. In 1980, he illustrated a book titled Bunyan: Lore’s Loggin’ Hero, published by Book Concern in Houghton, Michigan.
Shortly after college, in 1982, Norm moved to California. He then worked for various companies as a draftsman, and later for United Space Boosters as a technical illustrator designing a training manual for the Space Shuttle program.
In 1984, Mike Friedrich (President of Star Reach, the comics talent representative agency) saw Norm's work hanging at the San Diego Con Art Show and began a professional relationship with Norm that lasted until 2001. Norm also at this time penciled a six page story and did some other work for DC’s New Talent Showcase, beginning a short run in the title. This was followed by several issues of First Comics’ American Flagg, penciling a back-up story titled Bob Violence, in 1985. During this time Norm also drew for Tales of Terror, a horror anthology published by Eclipse Comics. Following that, and still breaking into the comic scene, Norm wrote, illustrated, and lettered a Captain America story in Marvel Fanfare in 1986. He then drew Whisper for First Comics in 1986-1987 - his first monthly book - before landing a big series: Detective Comics (starring Batman, published by DC Comics).
Teamed with writer Alan Grant, Norm helped repopularize Batman and revive the sales of Detective Comics. He drew the Batman for six years (1987-93), penciling Detective Comics from 1987-1990, then moving to Batman to introduce the new Robin from 1990-1992, and finally starting a new Batman series for DC titled Shadow of the Bat from 1992-1993. During his six year run on the character of the Batman, he also did a few Batman one-shots, two of them being Batman: Holy Terror (an Elseworlds story) and Batman: Birth of the Demon, which he hand painted.
He drew a few more stories featuring Batman in 1993 before moving on to Prime, a new series for Malibu Comics' Ultraverse line. He helped popularize the character, resulting in great sales from 1993-1994, and leaving after a full year to create his own creator-owned title.
From 1994-1995, Norm wrote and illustrated his own comic titled Metaphysique for Malibu's creator-owned Bravura line. It was a 6 issue mini-series that received acclaimed reviews (Metaphysique was also the title of a previous two issue anthology which collected work Norm had written, penciled, and inked in college; this two issue Metaphysique was published in 1992, by Eclipse Comics.)
In 1996, Norm illustrated another short run on Shadow of the Bat for DC Comics, and penciled an Anarky mini-series for DC which lead to a regular series in 1998. Also in 1998, Norm returned to Batman, co-plotting and penciling a one-shot titled Batman: The Abduction. He also penciled a few Superman stories during this time.
In 1999, Norm began work co-plotting, penciling, and inking Batman: Dreamland, (written by Alan Grant), a sequel to 1998's Batman: The Abduction. He also penciled and inked an Elseworld's story (written by Pat McGreal) involving the Flash, titled Flashpoint. During this time, Anarky, despite the great stories and wonderful artwork, was canceled.
In 2000, Norm penciled a pair of annuals for Marvel Comics, which led to a mini-series titled Hellcat.
In 2001, Norm found himself without comix work for the first time in over 13 years. With many bills and a monthly mortgage, Norm put his house up for sale and moved to the less expensive locale and lifestyle of his youth (upper Michigan), but first he took advantage of the time off to learn to type and use a computer, plan his previous website (with the help of Jeff Nichols, website designer, fireman, and friend) and start work, entirely on his own time and budget, on a novel . . . a task many might consider too large, considering Norm's limited experience as a writer. Undaunted, Norm plotted his story and finished three chapters (about 1/4 of the planned novel) before packing and leaving for Michigan.
Also at this time, Norm ended his professional relationship with his agent of 13 years, Mike Friedrich. They remain friends.
Just before his move to Michigan, DC Comics offered Norm penciling chores on The Spectre monthly. Norm accepted and followed through with his move, starting on The Spectre when he was settled in Michigan in September 2001. He drew The Spectre for one year, until it was cancelled.
After a vacation in the Summer of 2002, Norm purchased a new computer and took the time to interact on-line again, answering questions and doing commissions. He also hired webmaster Darren Close to re-design and greatly expand his website.
Norm spent 2003 Pencilling and inking the title Black Tide, published by Angel Gate Press.
In 2004 Norm began work on an illustrated childrens’ book for the local Society of St. John Monastery, finished many commissions for fans, put together a couple printed sketchbooks showcasing his work, and continued writing his novel, getting up to halfway done at page 100, finishing through chapter 6. He also wrote over 40 poems and over 1300 haikus in a 5 month marathon.
Norm plans to finish his novel (and perhaps even the childrens’ book) eventually.
In 2005 Norm penciled and inked the interiors and covers of the new on-going monthly title Of Bitter Souls from the production house Relative Comics, published by Speakeasy Comics (and, later, published by Markosia) and written by Chuck Satterlee.
In 2006-2007 Norm penciled and inked the main story interiors and the covers for the comic book The Danger's Dozen, published by A First Salvo. He also began a professional relationship with the London-based art agency Debut Art and has since done numerous illustrations for many venues outside of the comics milieu, for clients from around the world.
In 2007 Norm provided illustrations for Stephen Pytak's second prose novel, The .40 Caliber Mousehunt,
In 2008-2009 Norm penciled and inked a "New Look" story arc for Archie Comic publications.
In 2009, Norm accepted the offer to pencil the interiors (and to pencil and ink the covers) of two brand new titles from Archie Comics, titled Archie Loves Veronica and Archie Loves Betty. He also began work on 21 full-color illustrations for Stephen Pytak's third novel, The Wild Damned.
In addition to penciling and inking, Norm's areas of experience include working in almost all traditional mediums, in B&W and in color. He has done many pieces of artwork on commission in various media.
Among his accomplishments, there are numerous awards he has received. Among those awards are two first place blue ribbons at the San Diego Con in 1984 for "Best Comic or Con Related Art" and "Most Popular Artist" as well as a second place in 1985 (behind the first place awarded to the internationally acclaimed artist Mobieus) for “Comic Art.”