the umbrella academy, creator, gerard way

Who is Gerard Way? The famous musician who created Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy

He is the frontman of American rock band My Chemical Romance

After we all inevitably binge watched seasons one and two, the third season of The Umbrella Academy drops on Netflix today and people couldn’t be any more excited for it. After the show came into our lives in 2019, everyone has inevitably all fallen in love with Klaus and watched all the characters extremely chaotic story lines unfold.

But did you know that before it came as a show to Netflix, it was actually a comic book? The Umbrella Academy was the brain child of an already-famous musician called Gerard Way, who’s the book’s creator. I don’t want to say the show is a nepotism baby but it kinda is.

Anyway, who is Gerard Way, why is he famous, and what did he do before becoming creator of The Umbrella Academy? Here’s everything you need to know:

Gerard Way is the lead singer of My Chemical Romance

Gerard Way is the lead singer of the American rock band My Chemical Romance, credited with being one of the original ’emo’ bands. MCR, as they are dubbed, was started by Gerard and his brother Mikey in 2001.

The four man band then went to have a career spanning over a decade in which they released four studio albums, including their number one single Welcome to the Black Parade, and headlined Reading and Leeds festival in 2011 with special guest Brian May of Queen.

Much to their fans dismay, in 2013 the band announced their split leaving many, myself included, teary eyed. After six years of disbandment, the band got back together in 2019, announcing a world tour that was postponed due to the pandemic with the first date pushed back until May 2022.

His time in the band influenced his writing of the comic

Gerard started writing The Umbrella Academy whilst on tour with his band. Growing up he had always been a fan of comics reading the likes of Watchmen and X-Men, but he saw a gap in the market which he believed could be filled by his idea of The Umbrella Academy.

Speaking of his influence for the story and its characters, Gerard said in an interview with Rolling Stone: “Being in a band is like being in a dysfunctional family and all these personalities are really distinct and really big.

“There’s little bits of me in all the characters, there’s bits of some of the guys in some of those characters and the different roles that we would play in the band and how those roles would change sometimes. We were in a big pressure cooker of fame and notoriety and the characters experience that in the comic and the show.”

The comic was originally released in 2007 as a limited series with only six issues. A second volume was released in 2008 and after a decade long hiatus, a third volume was released in 2018.

In 2020, Gerard revealed that a fourth volume had been written entitled The Umbrella Academy: Sparrow Academy. While the volume is not yet in print, its story will be used as the main plot for the third season of the Netflix adaptation.

the umbrella academy, creator, gerard way

Courtesy of @aidanrgallagher on Instagram

Gerard has a great relationship with the Netflix actors

Before it was picked up by Netflix in 2019, The Umbrella Academy was originally bought by Universal who planned to make the comic into a movie before eventually dropping it.

Since the filming of the first season began, Gerard has been spotted many times spending time on set, watching the behind the scenes.

In 2018, Aidan Gallagher who plays Number Five in the series posted a selfie of Gerard and him together after the shows very first table read where he called Gerard his “hero” and said it was the “best day of my life”. It seems the pair have maintained a good relationship since then, with Gerard recently guest appearing on Aidan’s interview series in 2021.

Gerard is even rumoured to be making a cameo in the third season of the show which is coming to Netflix this week.

All seasons of The Umbrella Academy are available now on Netflix. For all the latest Netflix news, drops, quizzes and memes like The Holy Church of Netflix on Facebook. 

Related articles recommended by this author:

• A rundown of everything that happened in seasons one and two of The Umbrella Academy

• Every time The Umbrella Academy was completely different to the original comic

• This is where you recognise the cast of The Umbrella Academy from