One of the biggest comics surprises of 2016 was the news that musician Gerard Way would be spearheading an imprint of new titles for DC Comics called Young Animal. Last week, Way talked a bit about the quirky ideas he wants to infuse into Young Animal. Way is no stranger to comics-making. As a younger man, he went to the School of Visual Arts in New York City and was an intern at DC Comics years ago. After his musical stardom hit, he was the creative force behind several volumes of alt-superhero title The Umbrella Academy at Dark Horse. Talking to reporters last week about the pop-up imprint, he said that he wanted to do things like printing with blacklight ink, pullaway overlays, pop-ups and inserts to get people interested in single-issue print comics as unique objects again. DC Comics co-publisher Dan DiDio joked that Way's ideas have been scaring the company's production and manufacturing departments. Way also said that, right now, the Young Animal line will be a core of four books but mentioned that he and editor Jamie S. Rich have been batting around ideas for special projects like colouring books.
A promo bag given to breakfast attendees showed some of these ideas in practice. It's got an ashcan comic done in the style of DC's old Who's Who character guides, a Flex Mentallo beach towel and a promo poster featuring Shade, The Changing Girl, signed by Way in blacklight ink.
The first Young Animal series to debut will be Doom Patrol #1 on September 14. You can see images from the ashcan below.