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The Wednesday Club’s Comic Picks: Young Animal Showcase
The Wednesday ClubThe Wednesday Club

The Wednesday Club’s Comic Picks: Young Animal Showcase

The Wednesday Club is Geek & Sundry’s weekly talk show chatting about all things comics. This week, hosts Amy Dallen, Matt Key, and Taliesin Jaffe were joined by comic rock stars Jody Houser, Cecil Castellucci, Jon Rivera, and Gerard Way to talk about the DC Young Animal imprint.

Gerard talked about the origin of the imprint name with Matt, Taliesin, and Amy.

“Young Animal is an imprint from DC Comics curated by [Gerard Way],” Amy said.

Gerard and Shelly Bond, who was an editor with Vertigo for years, had long talked about working together. “We’d always stayed in touch about Doom Patrol,” he said. “Years would go by, and it was never the right time. And then I finished touring on a solo record… and I said to myself, I really want to try something different now.”

On a fortuitous trip together to a convention, Gerard talked with DC Comics’ Dan DiDio and Jim Lee. “I think it was Jim at first who might have said the word imprint,” he recalled. “And then we just kind of dreamed it up, and they said, who do you want to work with? I said Shelly Bond.”

Together with Shelly and her team, Gerard looked at samples and pitches for a specific aesthetic for the imprint. “It just had to have this special x-factor quality to it that made it special and different and unique,” he said. “It just clicked when I read each of their work.”

Doom Patrol

Doom Patrol brings back the classic team for a new age. In the Young Animal series, EMTs Casey Brinke and Sam Reynolds cross paths with Robotman, AKA Cliff Steele, and they and the readers are thrust into the weird world of the Doom Patrol, where nothing is as it seems.

“The first time I was ever exposed to group therapy was in the pages of a comic,” said Gerard. “It always seemed to be about where you fit in in the world. What’s your place in the world? What are you supposed to be doing? [Doom Patrol] dealt with a lot of issues that I felt were really important. And I love the characters, and there was nothing mainstream about them.”

(DC Comics/Young Animal, Gerard Way and Nick Derington)

Mother Panic

Mother Panic follows Violet Paige, who is by day a seemingly spoiled heiress and by night a masked vigilante in a high-tech costume. And while you’d think her hometown of Gotham City is used to vigilantes roaming the streets by now, they’ve never seen the likes of Mother Panic.

“Mother Panic has a cybernetic everything,” Jody said. “Except eyes, I think… And she’s basically the only person in Gotham who isn’t an orphan, because her mother is a big part of her life.”

“It’s the Batman without a plan,” said Taliesin. “It’s a violent mess.”

“She’s sort of erring to the side of the hero more than by default than anything else, in a way,” agreed Jody.

(DC Comics/Young Animal, Jody Houser, Shawn Crystal, Tommy Lee Edwards, and Phil Hester)

Shade the Changing Girl

Shade the Changing Girl

Shade the Changing Girl is about an alien from Meta who is a bird,” said Cecil. “She looks like a bird. Meta is a very diverse alien world. She is obsessed with a poet who had a madness vest and went to Earth. She decides that she’s going to go to Earth, and possesses the body of a sixteen-year-old girl who is the biggest bully in her school.

“But the superpower that she has is madness. So everything is going bats**t crazy around her.”

“I don’t even know where to begin on what this book does for the sense of mental isolation and disassociation,” said Taliesin.

(DC Comics/Young Animal, Cecil Castelucci, Mirka Andolfo, Gilbert Hernandez, and Marley Zarcone)

Cave Carson Has a Cybernetic Eye

Cave Carson is certainly not one of DC Comics’ most well-known heroes, but he is leaving his mark on the Young Animal imprint. Jon admitted not hearing of Cave Carson himself until Gerard found him in a DC Comics encyclopedia. “I was like, this is the guy!” said Gerard. “I felt like something amazing was just sitting there.”

“Cave Carson is a spelunker,” said Jon, “and he and his team would go on adventures under the earth. This was like the late 60’s, the height of adventure comics.

The more we learned about this character, the more he lined up with what we had envisioned for the character. It’s great. He’s kind of a jerk.”

(DC Comics/Young Animal, Thomas Scioli, Jon Rivera, Gerard Way, Michael Avon Oeming, and Thomas Scioli)

The hosts and guests also chatted about some of their other work, such as Gerard’s Umbrella Academy and Cecil’s recent release Soupy Leaves Home.

Hang out on the Geek & Sundry Twitch channel every Wednesday night to catch the next amazing episode of The Wednesday Club.

Featured Image: Geek & Sundry

Other Images: Vertigo / DC Comics

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