Gerard Way Talks New DC Comics Imprint: ‘I’m Here for the Long Haul’
Growing up, what was your relationship with DC Comics?
I love all the companies, really. They all have a place in my heart. I started by reading X-Men, and then I discovered Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns. What I got from DC was this different kind of cerebral comics that I felt like I wasn’t getting with normal superhero stuff. The fact that DC was doing it immediately just latched me onto DC, and it elevated their importance to me. Not only did I have great books like Watchmen and Dark Knight Returns and things like that, but there was also Doom Patrol coming out and then the birth of [mature-reader DC imprint] Vertigo shortly after. I’ve been with DC really ever since.
You’re describing the Young Animal imprint as “comics for dangerous humans.” Can you explain the meaning behind that?
Aside from sounding extremely cool to me, I’d like to think that the comics exist for people that want something different or would like mature-reader takes on DCU characters. It’s also there for people that maybe don’t normally like superhero comics.
I like to think everybody is a potentially dangerous human, so one of the things about the line that was really important to me was that it really can reach more people than just a certain type of audience. The books are all constructed to be enjoyed by people that like all different kinds of books. Even the books that have superheroes in them aren’t completely superhero books. They’re all really unique. It’s interesting and different. So [dangerous humans] is a nod to the potential readers. I like to think of dangerous humans as potential readers.
I know Doom Patrol will be launching the imprint. What can we expect from your take on it?
Doom Patrol was a really crazy odyssey for me. It’s the most important superhero comic book to me; it kind of always has been, since when I was young reading Grant Morrison’s stuff, and then Rachel Pollack’s run. After Rachel Pollack’s run, I had really kind of moved on to more indie stuff, like Eightball and Hate by Peter Bagge. I started moving to Fantagraphics stuff, although I did read Love and Rockets early on because I had a friend who had a cool sister who collected Love and Rockets comics. But that was also my kind of gateway into Fantagraphics books.
After that, I went back when they started reprinting [Doom Patrol], and I read all the original series from the Sixties. Those early Doom Patrols were also a big influence on Umbrella Academy as well. One of the things that I took away from re-reading all of the runs is that every writer came in, and every artist came in, and they did their own take; they did their own thing. I think my starting point was Grant’s material, and then the further I got into the process, I started to draw from all of the continuity and all of the writers’ runs. I have every issue of Doom Patrol that ever existed, so there’s great things about everybody’s run, and I’m trying to incorporate all of them.
My take is a brand-new take. I would say, to me- it feels like a cross between, kind of the super strange things that were going on around the time of Grant Morrison and Rachel Pollack, and then it has a lot of the spirit of the original series from the Sixties. It also has this indie kind of feel like Love and Rockets. Love and Rockets is a big influence.
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