Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance on being at a kid at NY Comic Con to writing for DC Comics

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Did you know My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way is also a major comic book writer? We're live chatting with Gerard about all things comics at #NYCC!

Posted by AOL on Friday, October 7, 2016

This article is a part of #KanvasLive, an interactive, cross-platform content series brought to life on the Kanvas App and AOL.com. See more on coverage here.

At New York Comic Con, it's common to find veteran comic lovers who have been attending the event since they were kids.

But rarely do those kids grow up to be the ones writing the comics and signing the autographs. Yet, Gerard Way did just that. And in between, he managed to squeeze in being the frontman of revered rock band My Chemical Romance. Since the band's breakup, Way has taken a step back from music to work full-time on his other passion: comic book writing.

He came to New York Comic Con to celebrate Young Animal, the imprint DC Comics gave him to write alternative superhero comic books. We caught up with him to talk about Young Animal, growing up with the 'X-men', and how to survive Comic Con.

How did you become interested in comic books?

I got into comics really young. I had to get my tonsils out, and my mom got me some comics to read in the hospital. So I was hooked, then I was always buying them. Then, I started writing them at 15. I went to art school. My major was cartooning illustration. I interned at DC for a year and a half. I have a long comics history. I got a job as a toy designer, but I had started a band called My Chemical Romance and it took it off. So I had to quit my job, but I knew, I hoped I could come back to comics one day.

SEE ALSO: 5 things you missed at New York Comic Con 2016

You've been coming to New York Comic Con since your were a kid, what memories do you have from then?

My dad used to bring me and my brother to the Javits Center really early on for the convention. I just remember the year 'Spawn' was huge, and they had the big 'Spawn' funny car. He would take us here too for the auto shows, so we were here a lot.

What characters and series did you grow up with?

As a kid, I really liked 'X-men'. That was Claremont/Silvestri run. But when I started to enter middle school, that's when I discovered 'Watchmen', 'Dark Knight Returns'. Then, it shifted. I discovered 'Doom Patrol', 'Shade', the Vertigo stuff. Once I was on that path, I was pretty much out of traditional superheroes. At a young age, I got into 'Love and Rockets', Fantagraphics books, so I was definitely reading more underground stuff or the real abstract superhero stuff.

'X-men' was your introduction to comic books, what attracted you to those characters?

They were outsiders. They saved the world, but you couldn't take their photo. They didn't register on cameras, and I thought that was really cool. I like that they were constantly persecuted. They were always had these weird interrelationships happening, very complex. And they looked cool.

As a veteran here, what advice would you give to someone going to New York Comic Con for the first time?

You need a bag, and you need to stay hydrated. Those are the two things. I understand the draw to standing a really long time and waiting for a toy, but maybe just don't do that so much. Maybe, just walk artist alley and discover new artists. That's a lot of what's here, things for you to discover. But I totally understand the collectible nature of things too.

What is your creative process?

It's lengthy. I have notebooks, and I handwrite all my notes, just stream of consciousness. These notebooks are a combination of story elements, dialogue, angry letters to myself. I write, and it switches back and forth. When I have a handle on it, I take everything and dump it in the computer and format it. That takes weeks. I grind myself pretty hard, making comics.


What are you excited about working on?

I'm excited to keep writing 'Doom Patrol'. I'm excited to have more books, to be a part of Young Animal. I would love to see it grow. I would love to crossover with the regular DC Universe, but I like being in our own pocket right now. It's really fun, and I don't have to worry about continuity. I would love to see it grow into something.

Click through the gallery to see the best costumes from New York Comic Con 2016:

29 PHOTOS
Must-See Costumes from New York Comic Con 2016
See Gallery
Must-See Costumes from New York Comic Con 2016
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Cosplayers attend the 2016 New York Comic Con - day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Cosplayer Adam Shefki as Immortan Joe for Mad Max: Fury Road backstage before being judged for the NYCC Eastern Championships of Cosplay during 2016 New York Comic Con on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Cosplayer Hanari Solomon as 'Junkrat' from Overwatch backstage before being judged for the NYCC Eastern Championships of Cosplay during 2016 New York Comic Con on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Cosplayer Amanda Dawn as 'The Corpse Bride' backstage before being judged for the NYCC Eastern Championships of Cosplay during 2016 New York Comic Con on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: A general view of cosplayers during the 2016 New York Comic Con - Day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: A Comic Con attendee poses as Harley Quinn during the 2016 New York Comic Con - Day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: A Comic Con attendee poses as characters from The Brave Little Toaster during the 2016 New York Comic Con - Day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: A Comic Con attendee poses as The Joker during the 2016 New York Comic Con - Day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: A Comic Con attendee poses as Jon Snow during the 2016 New York Comic Con - Day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Comic Con attendees pose as Weeping Angels from Dr. Who during the 2016 New York Comic Con - Day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - OCTOBER 09: Fans in costumes attend the New York Comic-Con 2016 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York, NY, USA on October 09, 2015. (Photo by Mohammed Elshamy/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Cosplayers attend the 2016 New York Comic Con - day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Cosplayers attend the 2016 New York Comic Con - day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: A cosplayer attends 2016 New York Comic Con at the Jacob Javitz Center on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: A cosplayer attends 2016 New York Comic Con at the Jacob Javitz Center on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Cosplayers attend 2016 New York Comic Con at the Jacob Javitz Center on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Michael Stewart/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Cosplayers attend 2016 New York Comic Con - Day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Cosplayers attend 2016 New York Comic Con - Day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: A Comic Con attendee poses as Ron Swanson during the 2016 New York Comic Con - Day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: A general view of cosplayers during the 2016 New York Comic Con - Day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Daniel Zuchnik/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: A cosplayer attends 2016 New York Comic Con - Day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Cosplayers attend the 2016 New York Comic Con - day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: A cosplayer attends 2016 New York Comic Con - Day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: A cosplayer attends 2016 New York Comic Con - Day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Cosplayers in Power Rangers costumes attend the 'Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: It's Morphin Time' panel during the 2016 New York Comic Con - day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Cosplayers attend the 2016 New York Comic Con - day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Cosplayers attend the 2016 New York Comic Con - day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Cosplayers attend the 2016 New York Comic Con - day 4 on October 9, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)
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