Gerard Way was born and raised in Belleville, New Jersey, and had a passion for comics and music from an early age.
My Chemical Romance
The Early years (2001-2002)
My Chemical Romance was formed by the lead singer Gerard Way, who after watching the world trade center towers collapse in front of his eyes, decided that his career up to that point was doing nothing for humanity. At the time he was a cartoonist for Cartoon Network, and although he was fond of comics, he considered illustration as a 'plan B', because he had always envisioned himself in a band. He had been trying to pitch a cartoon called "the Breakfast Monkey" to Cartoon Network, which had recently been rejected because they "already had a food show". Way also disliked the prospect of his art being commercialized; his monkey character was starting to get some hype and people wanted to "put my work on toothbrushes, pillow cases.."
Gerard Way's first song was Skylines and Turnstiles, written shortly after his 9/11 experience. Way then called up some old friends and asked them if hey were happy with their current life, and if they wanted to join the band. Eventually, he formed the band My Chemical Romance with the members: Gerard Way (vocals) Mikey Way (bass) Ray Toro (lead guitarist) Matt Pelissier (drums, later replaced by Bob Bryar) and soon, Frank Iero (rhythm guitarist). In mid-2002 my chemical romance released their first album titled I Brought You My Bullets You Brought Me Your Love.
Way has stated this his love for comics and horror movies greatly influences the subject matter and fictitious elements of his music.
Mainstream Breakthrough and Success
In 2004 they released there second album titled Three Cheers For Sweet Revenge and songs like I'm Not Okay, Helena,and Ghost of You brought them major success. They changed from Eyeball Records, an indie label, to Reprise Records which helped spread their music around and widened their possibilities. Their album was then awarded platinum status a year later.
In 2006, the band released their third album, The Black Parade, which eclipsed their previous releases and was received with incredible success. The band toured on this album for approximately two years, while Gerard Way also got married to Lyn-Z, a member of the band Mindless Self Indulgence.
In 2009, the band released the single Desolation Row, a cover of a Bob Dylan song. This single was recorded for the Watchmen movie soundtrack, and was the ending credits song.
In November 2010, the band then released their fourth album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. For this album and its videos, the band donned bright outfits as members of a fictitious bandit group called killjoys. In the music videos for the songs Na Na Na and SING, famous comic book writer and friend of the band Grant Morrison played a role.
Before forming his band, Gerard had been planning on working in the comic book industry. He attended the School of Visual Arts in NY and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.
Gerard Way's first attempt at writing a comic was at the age of 16, writing a short-lived comic series called 'On Raven's Wings', which was canceled after Issue 2 due to losing the art team; he was credited as Garry Way.
Gerard has stated in interviews that some of his favorite comics include Doom Patrol, X-Men, Akira, Preacher, and The Biologic Show.
He will also be writing a series revolving around the same characters as introduced in Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys album, the Fabulous Killjoys. Gerard announced this at San Diego Comic Con 2009. In 2011 My Chemical Romance confirmed the comic's connection with their music, and they also stated that they are working on another comic book project which they have kept under wraps as of mid-2011.
Though he is most known in the comic industry for his writing talents on The Umbrella Academy, Gerard has also shown his artistic talents as well. He did the cover art for issue 15 of the Dark Horse comic Rex Mundi.
Gerard Way is the creator and writer of the Eisner Award winning series The Umbrella Academy. The first series won the Eisner Award for Best Finite/Limited Series. He illustrated the original version of the comic and did all of the concept art and designs, but Brazilian artist Gabriel Bà did the artwork for the finished comic. So far there are two volumes (Apocalypse Suite and Dallas), and a third (Hotel Oblivion) has been confirmed.