Spending part of the summer on the Outer Banks of North Carolina is one of my favorite childhood memories. Each year we’d spend at least two weeks in Nags Head, and we’d always rent the same beach house.
One of my favorite parts of the yearly trips, was the 11 plus hour drive from Boston to North Carolina. Normally, it would be hell for a kid to be stuck in a car for that long. But during oyr first drive to Nags Head, I discovered how to make this time fly by: Comic Books.
It became my routine that at every gas stop, I would go into the convenience store and look for a comic rack. Or, if we stopped to eat at a rest stop, I would head over to the gift shop to see what they had to offer. These stops allowed me to discover several books that my local convenience store didn’t have. Among my purchases over the years were issues of The Real Ghostbusters, Speed Racer, Justice League, Doctor Strange, Flash, Green Arrow, Wonder Woman, and of course… Batman.
In the summer of 1990 my family and I stopped at a rest stop (I think in Pennsylvania) to eat some delicious Roy Rogers food. But first I ventures into the gift shop where I found the last copy of Batman #464. The issue was written by Alan Grant, with art by Norm Breyfogle and Steve Mitchell. What immediately caught my eye was the striking cover by Breyfogle. There was just something about seeing Batman fighting whatever that was, it just grabbed me right away.
As soon as we got back on the road i devoured that comic. I didn’t care if this was part 3 of a story, Grant and Breyfogle did more than enough to let me know what was going on. Batman #464 sees Batman, Black Wolf and Dog join forces to prevent a horrific act of mystical vengeance deep in the caverns of the Grand Canyon.
I loved seeing the Batmobile in the desert, and the awesome shot by Norm Breyfogle of Batman standing by the lightning. And I couldn’t help but laugh when by the end of the issue, the Dark Knight ends up with a new friend.
Before we got to Nags Head I had already read Batman #464 three times. Over the next couple of weeks, I spent hours trying to draw like Norm Breyfogle. I never got there, but Breyfogle’s art has stayed with me ever since. He is my all-time favorite Batman artist, and this issue is one of the reasons why.