My Chemical RomanceMy Chemical Romance's Mikey Way knows a thing or two about comics — and not just because his brother, Gerard, is an acclaimed artist and an avowed comic book fanatic with an Eisner Award-winning series, "The Umbrella Academy," under his belt.
"Nah, it's not just my brother — all my buddies are really into comics, including [famed artist] Jim Lee, who I talk to all the time," Way said. "I have, like, this council of comic book geeks — kids I knew growing up, everyone — and we're always having these conversations about books and stuff, these conversations where we go, 'Man, if people could hear what we're saying right now, what would they think?' "
So, it seems only natural that Way would dabble in the industry himself, and though it took him a while — "I had lots of meetings," he said — he's finally penned an eight-page story that will appear in DC Comics' special "Halloween '08" book, which hits stores Wednesday.
Way's story, featuring art by Mateus Santoluoco, is based on the "Legend of Sleepy Hollow" but stars none other than Batman and Scarecrow (it is a DC comic, after all) in a bit of role reversal.
"The story follows the Scarecrow as Ichabod Crane and Batman as the Headless Horseman. I took the character of Jonathan Crane and put him in Tarrytown, New York, in the 1700s," Way explained. "They gave me the option to write a story about any character in the DC Universe, and I was like, 'Well, I'm gonna do Batman. I've got to do Batman.' Then I had the idea for my story, and it seemed pretty straightforward, and I was sure someone else had done it already. So I had to go to all my friends — my council — and to Jim Lee, and be like, 'Has anyone done a Batman story like this before?' And we were all amazed that no one has.
"Then I just got down to writing it," he continued, "and it turned out that there wasn't that much pressure, because the whole book is artists and writers doing Halloween-based storylines. I ended up with something like 20 pages of dialogue, so the big problem was that I just had too much, and we had to cut some of it."
Way says that he still hasn't even seen the finished book, but that he plans on picking it up tomorrow. And he's planning on doing even more comic book work in the near future: He mentioned collaborating with his brother and says he's bounced a few ideas off of Lee, too. That's probably a good thing, because it seems like he's going to have a whole lot of free time on the horizon. After all, things are pretty slow right now in his other job, playing bass for My Chem.
"The thing with us is that we're always in the process of writing. You know, everyone is sitting around, working on riffs, and everyone's got their own stuff going on," Way said. "Personally, I've just been diddling around with songs, and if I come up with something good, I'll call Gerard or [guitarist] Frank [Iero]. But what it really boils down to is this band really needed some time off, and that's what we're doing right now. We're getting great time off."
Way said that he and his MCR bandmates have "hung out a bunch," but that the only time they've played together was when they entered a studio to record a version of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" for director Zack Snyder's much-anticipated film version of "Watchmen." Other than that, the band appears to be miles away from beginning work on the follow-up to Welcome to the Black Parade, and though Way knows that news may disappoint fans, he promises that the wait will be worth it. Eventually.
"We're taking a long break, so we can come back fully recharged. The great thing about this band is that you never know what's going to happen next," he said. "We may write a bunch of stuff, and then a month later switch gears and do it all again. So if, say, we wrote some songs that sound like Rick Springfield, a week later they've all turned into Children of Bodom songs. I know it's going to be great; I just don't know what it's going to sound like. We're going to be just as surprised as everyone else, believe me."