My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way Opens Up About Long History With Comics

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During his appearance in a special Dark Horse All-Stars panel last weekend, My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way opened up about his long history with comics.

Way, who had Nnedi Okorafor and Matt Kindt for company at the virtual Comic-Con, dwelt at length about his experience with comic books and cartoons, his time with MCR, and how the acclaimed series, "The Umbrella Academy," happened.

"A lot of people at the time, right before Umbrella came out, knew me as a singer in a band," he said. "But I had this long history with comics, and kind of making my own and getting published at 15 and using my grandmother's typewriter."

"But then I went to the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and my major was cartooning," Way added. "So I had all these comic book classes, and in my senior year I interned at DC - I interned there for like a year."

Way said the re-release of Grant Morrison and Richard Case's "Doom Patrol" refreshed his memory and inspired him get back into reading comic books and create as well, and added that the idea for "The Umbrella Academy" came through his past experiences in the industry.

"There was nothing like The Umbrella Academy because the mainstream companies were so concerned with continuity and things like that," he continues. "I just wanted to throw people right into the story.
Technically, the first issue of The Umbrella Academy could've been like the 70th issue."

"I started working on all of the characters while on the road, just doing designs of them and putting a real pitch together," Way added.

He noted "Hellboy" as one of his favorites and says that "Screw-On Head" had a "big influence" on him while creating "The Umbrella Academy."

The Umbrella Academy series, which debuted in 2007, was adapted into a hit Netflix show in 2019. The second season unfolds on July 31.

(Photo: Gage Skidmore)

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