Gerard Way is a bit of a Renaissance man, having achieved success as a musician with his band My Chemical Romance and in the world of comics with his critically acclaimed series “Umbrella Academy” and “The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys.” He’s even worked in television, directing an episode of “The Aquabats! Super Show!”
He recently returned to comics where he is curating a new imprint, Young Animal, for DC Comics, and he’s writing one title and co-writing another.
Young Animal features four monthly titles: “Doom Patrol,” which launched Sept. 14, “Shade, the Changing Girl,” which came out Oct. 5, “Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye,” which comes out Oct. 19 and “Mother Panic, which debuts on Nov. 9.
amNewYork spoke with Way at New York Comic Con earlier this month about what excites him about each title.
This comic book is a reimagining of a classic DC Comics series about a group of misfit heroes, which dates back to the 1960s. Written by Gerard Way; Art by Nick Derington.
“With ‘Doom Patrol,’ it’s a lifelong dream to be writing that book, so there’s so many things about it that excite me, and it’s not just the weirdness,” Way says. “One of the things I like about it is that they are victims of something, they’re victims of these accidents, but a lot of their story is about overcoming being victims. ... There’s a lot of talk of mental illness, they have group therapy. I’m obviously an advocate for mental health, I have been, even when I was in the band. So being able to deal with that in a comic is very important to me.”
‘SHADE THE CHANGING GIRL’
Based on a character created by Steve Ditko — who also co-created Spider-Man and Doctor Strange, this is a trippier comic about an alien and his madness coat. This series follows an alien girl who is a big fan Shade, who steals the coat, comes to earth and possesses the body of teen girl.So yeah, trippy. Written by Cecil Castellucci; Art by Marley Zarcone
“‘Shade, the Changing Girl” excites me because the line needed a book that is very poetic, but very weird, and kind of hard-edged at the same time,” Way says. “She’s amazing. It ends up being this kind of trippy teen drama that I really enjoy
‘CAVE CARSON HAS A CYBERNETIC EYE’
Cave Carson first showd up in the 1960s, but has only a few appearances. He’s an underground adventurer who loves rocks. And he’s got a cybernetic eye, just to be clear. Written by Jon Rivera and Gerard Way; Art by Michael Avon Oeming
“I like challenges, so I like that the character is basically unknown and never had a real hit book, but I found him to be so interesting,” Way says. “He’s just really into rocks. You can have a lot of fun with that.”
This is an entirely new character, a power hungry heiress with a bad demeanor looking for vengeance after her difficult childhood. Written by Jody Houser; Art by Tommy Lee Edwards
“‘Mother Panic’ excites me because I feel like she’s a very modern response to Batman,” Way says. “I think she’s very much of our era, of being obsessed with being a celebrity, obsessed with fame, obsessed with money. And she becomes obsessed with becoming more [physically] powerful.”