Gerard Way Talks New DC Comics Imprint: ‘I’m Here for the Long Haul’
Long before his band My Chemical Romance found international success, Gerard Way was hard at work on another passion: comic-book art. He first began publishing comics when he was 16 years old, with the short-lived series On Raven’s Wings; later, he attended NYC’s School of Visual Arts and worked as an intern at DC Comics. On Thursday night, at a panel during Seattle’s Emerald City Comicon, Way surprised attendees by announcing his reunion with the company via his very own mature-reader imprint, DC’s Young Animal.
For Young Animal, which follows Way’s non-DC comic series The Umbrella Academy, Way will be curating, overseeing and even writing many of the titles. The series launches in September with Way’s take on vintage series Doom Patrol, which will be written by the singer and feature art by Nick Derington. Shade, the Changing Girl, written by Cecil Castellucci and with art by Marly Zarcone, will launch in October, along with Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye, co-written by Way and Rivera, with art by Michael Avon Oeming. Finally, in November, Mother Panic — co-written by Way and Jody Houser with art by Tommy Lee Edwards — will premiere, introducing the Gotham City heiress and street vigilante Violet Paige.
In his first interview about the upcoming project, Way explained to Rolling Stone what readers can expect from Young Animal, the themes he plans to explore in the various titles and what it means for him as a lifelong comic-book fan to leave his mark on the characters and stories he grew up on.
You’ve found a lot of ways to fuse your background in visual art with your music career, but how does it feel to finally focus your energy primarily on your love for comics?
It feels great. A monthly book is a lot different than the limited series that I was doing — and still continue to do — with Umbrella Academy. We’re on Series Three right now, and you really have a long time to write those things. You plan those out pretty far in advance. Being a comic-book writer for a monthly book is a whole different animal, and you end up putting a lot of yourself into it — a lot of personal things I feel. And that happens in Umbrella Academy, too, but it feels more immediate because you need material to sell those books. To get back to your question, it feels amazing. I come in, and I help edit. I art-direct; I help put the teams together; I give people directions. Sometimes I write scenes, things like that. It’s using all of my skills, which is really great, and it’s more focused than when I was doing art for the band, but it’s very similar.