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“The Umbrella Academy” writer and My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way returned to the world famous CBR Tiki Room at New York Comic Con joined by Shaun Simon, the co-writer on his latest comic book project “The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys” from Dark Horse Comics with art by Becky Cloonan. The duo talked about the book’s three-year journey from initial announcement to the book’s actual release, how the album changed the comic, the change of pace that was MorrisonCon and how Simon got involved with the project.
On how “Killjoys” changed over the three years since its announcement: The comic idea informed the record, and during the record it helped refine the idea and then it was like, “All right, cool. This is what it is.” Really Becky had done this drawing for a single — for “The Only Hope For Me is You” — and it was a drawing of the girl… and I saw it and I was like, “I think this is comic.” And it literally changed that day. I called Shaun and we changed the whole thing. The comic is basically the last video, it’s the last part of the story.
On the book becoming its own thing rather than a reflection of the best comic books of the ’90s: It’s really its own thing now. It actually feels like a [Hayao] Miyazaki film. The pacing is actually not as frantic as what people are going to expect. It’s paced very well, and it’s paced kind of moderately. There’s basically three stories going on at once, so it’s not like “Umbrella” where — you know, a team book or something — we’re doing this thing where you have to tell three stories that basically converge, with three separate locations, basically.
Simon on how he got involved with the project: Gerard had finished the first “Umbrella” and he was coming up with these ideas and, knowing Gerard for as long as I did, we tend to mesh on a lot of — our wavelengths and stuff. I was working on some ideas, too, and they just started to come together and Gerard called me up one day and he’s like, “Yo, you wanna kind of merge these and just do this thing together?” What we were working on then inspired him to do the record, and then the record inspired us to tell the story we’re telling now.
On the difference between MorrisonCon and other conventions: Everybody there felt special. Everybody there felt like they were a part of something cultural. I got to sit down with people for like fifteen minutes, and I don’t get to do that at any convention, or any band signing or even meeting somebody in the street I don’t get to do that. … It had a warmth to it and it was just a very inspiring thing.