By Amanda Steele
Fans of Gerard Way and My Chemical Romance filled the room for the “The Umbrella Academy Invites You to Check Into ‘Hotel Oblivion’” panel. I was lucky enough to get a great seat since I had been in the room for the panel before. While waiting for the room to fill and the panel to start, fans lined up to get autographs for Gerard Way. He was gracious about it, but seemed a bit uncomfortable, and eventually the host of the panel had to tell everyone to sit down.
The panel was moderated by Dustin Nelson from Dark Horse and the panellists were the aforementioned Gerard Way, writer of the comics, and Gabriel Bá, the artist for the comic books.
They were there to talk about the return of The Umbrella Academy with the first issue since 2009. #1 is on sale now and #2 is set to come out in November.
Fans of Gerard Way’s music might be interested to know he has some demos that will likely be relapsed soon, but, for now, he is mostly focusing on writing comics.
As for Hotel Oblivion, Way wanted to focus on some of the background characters that he’s had in his head for many years. He says the characters in The Umbrella Academy are like his children and he has enjoyed seeing them “grow in complexity over time and become more interesting to me.”
Fans in the room were excited to see Way, but they also seemed genuinely interest in the comic book. I was also digging the emo kid vibes from the crowd.
Way says that Hotel Oblivion happens sometime after Dallas, saying, “everyone has kind of moved on to other things”
Gabriel Bá also had some thoughts about the story and how doing the art for the series has pushed him as an artist.
“I loved how we can play with these characters because you know things happen to them that affect them and that’s what I love about them. The story is so crazy. It is always pushing my limits and I want it to look visually stunning every page.”
The Umbrella Academy is also being turned into a TV series for Netflix that is set to release in 2019 and features Ellen Page and Mary J. Blige.
Way says his focus is on the comics, but that he is excited about how the series turned out. He said that some things on screen will be different because it’s a different medium but said that “Steve Blackman, the showrunner, has been really respectful of the source material.”
Bá says he is also impressed with the series so far. “When we went to the set, it’s like surreal… it’s mind-blowing to think that our comic is moving so many people.” and that “we couldn’t have asked for a better cast.”
Fans of the comic have a lot to look forward to as Way intends to keep creating the series and stay ahead of the television show to give the show a roadmap to follow.
“I’ve mapped out the entire story. Is planning to do eight graphic novels total… The goal is to make sure there’s no more big gaps.”
While fans had to wait nine years for this Hotel Oblivion, it sounds like the series will be released consistently for at least the next few years.