We know rock and roll isn’t as big as it used to be, and here at Stately Beat Manor we prefer to listen to bleeping blooping stuff like Vitalic, Röyksopp and Les Baxter, but even we know that one of the biggest bands on earth right now is My Chemical Romance. Their gloom-ridden yet hard edged and accessible EmoGoth sound was torn from the mean streets of Newark, NJ, and they enjoy a loyal and rabid fanbase.
More notable for our purposes is singer Gerard Way, a card carrying comics geek whose nerd cred includes: going to SVA, interning at DC Comics for Joey Cavalieri, and according to various sources, working in animation or at a comics shop. In interviews he lists Grant Morrison and Wes Anderson as major influences, so even though we don’t listen to that jungle music the kids do nowadays, he sounds like an okay guy.
Of course like many movie stars, movie directors and rock gods, all of that fame and fortune has just been a path to a single goal for Way: getting to write a comic book! It’s called UMBRELLA ACADEMY and it’s due some time in 2007 from Dark Horse, sporting art by Gabriel Bá and covers James Jean. According to MTV:
“The Umbrella Academy,” a six-issue series from Dark Horse Comics, tells the story of Sir Reginald Hargreeves — a “world-renowned scientist and inventor, intrepid adventurer, successful entrepreneur, champion cricketer and closet space alien,” according to a statement from Dark Horse — and his family of superpowered, super-abnormal superheroes.
” ‘Umbrella Academy’ is the story of seven extraordinary, maladjusted individuals, their triumphs, tragedies, failures and disappointments,” the statement reads in part. “Most importantly, it’s about a family of superhumans who need to learn to get past their spectacularly dysfunctional childhoods to defeat the Conductor and his evil Black Orchestra and do what they were born to: save the world.”
But whenever it does hit shelves, the initial six-issue series — written entirely by Way — will serve as a launching point for an ongoing “Umbrella” miniseries (sort of like what the company does with its “Hellboy” title). .
Way is busy touring and promoting the new MCR album, so who knows how this series is progressing. But the Dark Horse website has a two-page preview up, and it looks very nice. Even though his #1 occupation may be as an idol to millions of disaffected teens, Way has certainly paid his comics dues, so he can be allowed into our ranks — plus who doesn’t love artist Bá?