INTERVIEW: Way and Bá Reunite for Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion

After nearly a decade out of the spotlight, the flawed heroes of the Umbrella Academy and their enigmatic benefactor Hargreeves return this week in Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion #1 by Gerard Way, Gabriel Bá and Nick Filardi.

The original Umbrella Academy series marked the first foray into comics for Way, who was then the singer for My Chemical Romance, and won the 2008 Eisner Award for Best Limited series. Since then, Bá has also won an Eisner for Daytripper, co-created with his brother Fábio Moon, and Way curated the Young Animal imprint at DC Comics, wrote that imprint's flagship Doom Patrol, and launched a solo music career.

In short, neither creator has been idle.

CBR caught up with Way and Bá to discuss Hotel Oblivion, and we can also share an exclusive preview of the first issue.

CBR: Gabriel and Gerard, it’s been ten years since the last Umbrella Academy series launched. What made you want to return to the book now?

Gabriel Bá: The Umbrella Academy is very important to my career, and I have deep feelings for its characters. Gerard and I always knew we'd come back, but we both had a lot of other opportunities going on after we were done with Dallas in 2009. These other projects helped us grow professionally, and all this time that has passed brought us closer together as friends as well. Around 2015, both of us decided it was time to go back to the Umbrella Academy stories. The comic has a successful shelf life, it's a fan favorite, it has been translated all around the globe and it is for a lot of readers their first comic ever. We've seen lots of kids entering the comics world with Umbrella, and that's a great feeling. It's like that teenage love. Now is time to reconnect with all the characters and see what paths they took.

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Gerard Way: It just felt like it was time. The story really wanted to get out of Gabriel and me. I had wanted to make this book with him years ago, as we announced it 10 years ago like you were saying. A lot of things came up in my life that prevented me from producing scripts. Mainly things involving the band and the dissolving of that band. I didn’t produce any comics for some years. And every time I re-engaged with Hotel Oblivion I had to make it fresh for myself. Some of the ideas are eleven years old, but I had to find new ways to present them. Overall, Gabriel and I were just really eager to get back to that world.

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