Legendary Artist Norm Breyfogle’s Bitter Souls Kickstarted as 400-Page Omnibus

Legendary Batman artist Norm Breyfogle's mid-2000s effort Of Bitter Souls is now seeking crowdfunding on Kickstarter as a 400-page collector's omnibus.

The Kickstarter, currently attempting to raise $20,000 by May 11, collects all nine issues of Of Bitter Souls, which were originally published by now-defunct publisher Speakeasy Comics and Markosia Comics in 2005 and 2006. Aside from the entire series, the omnibus showcases Breyfogle's concept art, 33 covers by artists as varied as Dick Giordano and Freddie Williams III, and short stories -- including one by Flash and Gotham by Gaslight writer Brian Augustyn, who died in February.

"This book is a wonderful tribute to my friend, Norm Breyfogle," wrote Chuck Satterlee, the writer behind Of Bitter Souls and the Kickstarter organizer. "I am proud of this work and of this new omnibus. I think you will be too."

Of Bitter Souls takes place in New Orleans and focuses on four characters who are blessed with superpowers and a second chance at life by a mysterious pastor named Secord. Each character's power is connected with their sordid backstory -- for instance, an addicted gambler named Lynette Story gains the ability to turn back time 13 seconds, while a dirty cop named Winston Fontenot is given superhuman strength. The series follows these unlikely characters as they attempt to use their powers for good, battle supernatural beings, and come to terms with the angelic origins of their benefactor.

"Of Bitter Souls is a story of stewardship," Satterlee wrote. "What do we do with the gifts we are given?... The nine issues of Of Bitter Souls was [Norm Breyfogle's] largest independent collaborative project and body of work. He and I worked together on nine total issues of the series. It spawned two trade paperbacks at two different publishers. We put 198 pages of complete story down on paper."

Breyfogle, who died in 2018 from heart failure, is best remembered for his work on Batman in the 1980s and '90s, often alongside writer Alan Grant, who is contributing a forward to the Of Bitter Souls omnibus. Breyfogle's legendary run with the Caped Crusader encompassed Detective Comics, Batman, Batman: Shadow of the Bat and multiple one-shots, including the 1991 story Batman: Holy Terror, which kicked off the Elseworlds line, and 1993's Batman: Birth of the Demon, which revealed the origin of Ra's al Ghul. Breyfogle also illustrated the adventures of future Dark Knight Terry McGinniss in 2012's Batman Beyond Unlimited digital series.

Aside from Batman, Breyfogle defined the look of Gotham City villain Anarky=, and also had notable runs on Prime for Malibu Comics and Archie for Archie Comics.

Source: Kickstarter

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