Gerard Way has moved from being the frontman for the platinum-selling rock band My Chemical Romance to the writer of the Eisner Award-winning limited series The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite to, now, a co-writer and co-director for the hit children’s television series The Aquabats! Super Show!
The Hollywood Reporter has a sneak peek at Way’s episode (below), which airs Saturday at 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT on The Hub and features a guest appearance by his brother and former bandmate Mikey Way.
Manga | As part of the 45th-anniversary celebration of Weekly Shonen Jump, legendary Dragon Ball and Dr. Slump creator Akira Toriyama will launch a new manga series called Ginga Patrol Jaka (Galactic Patrol Jaka) in the magazine’s July 13 issue. Teased only with vague declaration “The ‘legend’ of hope for the entire world returns here!!,” the series marks the 58-year-old artist’s first manga since the 2010 one-shot Kintoki, created for Weekly Shonen Jump‘s “Top of the Super Legend” project. [Anime News Network]
Creators | Carol Tyler speaks frankly about her struggle to finish the third book of her trilogy You’ll Never Know while taking care of her dying mother and her seriously ill sister, who are characters in the book: “I literally had to do the back end of Book III in hospitals, nursing homes, at the chemo place and in waiting rooms. It was insane.” She also discusses her style choices and how the finished books differed from her original art. [The Comics Journal]
The long-awaited first issue of Gerard Way, Shaun Simon and Becky Cloonan’s The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys finally made its way into comic shops this week, kicking off a miniseries that continues the story that was set up in My Chemical Romance’s 2010 album Danger Days. The project was first announced in 2009, and comes out well after the album it’s based off of and even after My Chemical Romance’s breakup.
The miniseries picks up some time after the events depicted in those cool My Chemical Romance music videos that featured Grant Morrison, with the story focusing on the young girl rescued by the Killjoys from Better Living Industries, or BL/Ind.”When you read this book you’re going to assume that this big clean corporation are the bad guys, and all these punky-looking freedom fighters are the good guys, and I think that the story really explores that as well — who in fact is good at all,” Way told CBR. “You basically have two extremes, and in the middle of these two extremes — one being about control and one being about total chaos — you have this girl. Both sides basically want this girl for their own reasons.”
So, was it worth the wait? Here are a few opinions from around the web:
Creators | Stan Lee, characterized by CNN as “the Godfather of comic book heroes,” is modest about his own achievements in a new interview: “If my publisher hadn’t said ‘let’s do superhero stories’ I’d probably still be doing A Kid Called Outlaw, The Two Gun Kid or Millie the Model or whatever I was doing at the time.” He reflects on the increased female audience for comics and discusses some new projects, including a new superhero, The Annihilator, created specifically for a Chinese audience. [CNN]
Comics| Chris Huntington reflects on the importance of Miles Morales for children of color, like his son: “… To see Spider-Man pulling his mask over a tiny brown chin – to see a boy with short curly hair sticking to the ceiling of his bedroom— well, something happened. Dagim has been Spider-Man for two Halloweens in a row. He takes a bath with his Spider-Man and a toy killer whale. He has Spider-Man toothpaste and a Spider-Man toothbrush. If Spider-Man offered medical coverage, I think he would want that, too. My son somehow understands that there is a Peter Parker Spider-Man, who is vaguely grown-up and my age, and a younger Spider-Man, closer to his age. That’s just how Dagim likes it. He even understands that Peter Parker — like Superman, like Batman – wasn’t raised by his birth parents. The best superheroes were all adopted like him.” [The New York Times]
Musician and comics writer Gerard Way once pitched a Batman miniseries to DC Comics titled Kingdom of the Mad, and this weekend on Twitter the former lead singer of My Chemical Romance started sharing some of the concept art.
The designs are “from a comic I pitched to DC the year Gab[riel Bá] and I won the Eisner” in 2008 for The Umbrella Academy, Way said on Twitter. He notes that it was approved and would have been released through Vertigo; however, he tweeted, he “Never got to write it. Sadface.”
Check out the cover and designs for Batman and Mr. Freeze below.
Free Comic Book Day is once again upon us, the day that current and hopefully potential comic fans flock to their local comic shop to sample a buffet of comic choices from publishers large and small. There’s a lot to sink your teeth into this time around, from previews of new or upcoming stuff — like Marble Season and Superman: The Last Son of Krypton #1 to first issues of brand new comics — like The Strangers #1 and Aphrodite IX #1. There are original comics, licensed comics, kids comics, anthologies … basically something for everyone.
Some retailers will offer all-you-can-eat options, while others might have limits on what you can get … so if you have to make a choice, here are six comics we’re particularly looking to sink our teeth into.
Awards | Graphic Scotland and the Edinburgh International Book Festival has established the 9th Art Award for graphic fiction, which will be presented in August during the festival. Submissions are being accepted through July 31. [9th Art Award, via The Beat]
Creators | Howard Chaykin remembers Carmine Infantino. [The Los Angeles Review of Books]
Creators | Art Spiegelman talks about his long-lived classic Maus, his thoughts on Israel, and being a New Yorker. [Haaretz]
Graphic novels | April was a slow month for new graphic novel releases, so the BookScan Top 20 had plenty of room for some backlist titles. The Walking Dead dominated, of course, but the 10th volume of Sailor Moon was there for a second month and actually moved up a notch. And the first volume of Saga came in at No. 12, perhaps because people were curious as to what all the fuss is about. [ICv2]
Editorial cartoons | Nick Anderson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist for the Houston Chronicle, has responded to Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s criticism of Jack Ohman’s cartoon with a cartoon of his own. [Comic Riffs]
Conventions | Jeff Smith, Brian Wood, Sean Murphy and Raina Telgemeier are the headline guests at the Maine Comics Arts Festival in Portland on May 19. [Foster's Daily Democrat]
While we eagerly await the preview of The True Lives of the Fabulous Kill Joys, the new series from Gerard Way, Shaun Simon and Becky Cloonan, as part of next month’s Free Comic Book Day offerings, Dark Horse further whets our appetite for the title’s June debut with a look at Way’s own variant cover for the first issue. That premiere issue also boasts covers from Cloonan and Way’s Umbrella Academy collaborator Gabriel Bá.
Here’s the official description: “Years ago, the Killjoys fought against the tyrannical megacorporation Better Living Industries, costing them their lives, save for one—the mysterious Girl. Today, the followers of the original Killjoys languish in the Desert while BLI systematically strips citizens of their individuality. As the fight for freedom fades, it’s left to the Girl to take up the mantle and bring down the fearsome BLI or else join the mindless ranks of Bat City!”
Way’s cover is a 1-in-50 variant. The True Lives of the Fabulous Kill Joys #1 goes on sale June 12.
Artist Becky Cloonan points out that this Huffington Post interview with her collaborator Gerard Way includes new art (above) from The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, the writer’s long-awaited followup to 2007′s The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite.
It’s been a long time coming, but Dark Horse has finally announced that The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, written by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way (The Umbrella Academy) and Shaun Simon and illustrated by Becky Cloonan, will launch in June. This isn’t too much of a surprise because, as Kevin noted the other day, the 2013 Free Comic Book Day lineup includes a Fabulous Killjoys comic. The project was announced in 2009 but has been through a lot of changes since then, so these two developments are welcome news — and this nice Becky Cloonan artwork gives us hope it will be worth the wait.
“I think we have created a broad range of characters here,” Simon tells the Dark Horse blog. “A lonely teenage girl hiding from her past in the desert. A couple of android call girls wanting nothing more than to be together. An aging assassin with a secret that could destroy his life. … Even though these characters are living in a bizarre sci-fi world, their struggles are the same we face in our own.”
Following Thursday’s announcement of the gold titles for Free Comic Book Day 2013, Dark Horse has revealed the rest of its lineup, which includes the long-awaited debut of The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, by Gerard Way, co-writer Shaun Simon, artist Becky Cloonan and colorist Dave Stewart.
Announced in 2009, the follow-up to the acclaimed Umbrella Academy originally was described by the frontman of My Chemical Romance as “almost like a strange kind of love letter to the really great comics of the ’90s that kind of pushed things.” However, in the three years since the announcement, a lot changed.
My Chemical Romance’s The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys album may have come and gone, but the Killjoys comic first announced in 2009 has yet to see the light of day. According to a post from Killjoys artist Becky Cloonan, it looks like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for the long-delayed project.
“So this is finally happening!” she posted on her tumblr site. “If you’ll be at NYCC, come to Dark Horse’s Killjoy panel, Saturday at 5PM. I’ll be there along with writers Gerard Way and Shaun Simon! Beyond psyched.”
If you couldn’t make it to MorrisonCon over the weekend and are looking to experience aspects of the event beyond Comic Book Resources’ panel reports, British musician Akira the Don offers his take on the first day, which included lounging in “Suite Le Morrison to drink fine boozes, pore over immensely incredible art pages from Grant and Frank’s upcoming Multiversity comic and chatter excitedly about Jilted John and bath salt zombies and the new age of Horus whilst being filmed for a documentary.”
Even better, he has a slew of photos, some featuring Morrison (glowing and not), Gerard Way and retailer/convention organizer James Sime. You can see a couple of those images below, along with video of Morrison’s spoken-word performance with Way and James Dewees of My Chemical Romance.
Publishing | DC Comics will roll out a marketing campaign next month in support of its new $2.99 price initiative. The campaign, apparently revealed in a communique to retailers, will include online banners, ads in January issues of Comics Buyer’s Guide, Comic Shop News and Wizard, in-book ads, and in-store posters, shelf talkers and cards. [Crimson Monkey]
Libraries | The Will and Ann Eisner Family Foundation has pledged $250,000 over five years to the new Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum facility, part of the Sullivant Hall renovation at The Ohio State University. [The Daily Cartoonist]
Broadway | The father of Christopher Tierney, the 31-year-old aerialist who fell a week ago during a performance of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, offers a full account of his son’s injuries: a hairline fracture in his skull, a broken scapula, a broken bone close to his elbow, four broken ribs, a bruised lung and three fractured vertebrae. Timothy Tierney said his son underwent back surgery on Wednesday, and took his first steps on Friday with the aid of a brace and walker. Doctors are “cautiously optimistic” that Christopher Tierney will eventually resume his performing career. [Arts Beat]