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Years before My Chemical Romance made it big, 16 year old Gerard Way stuck his neck out against comic book censors on national TV
Years before Gerard Way became the singer of My Chemical Romance, the creator of the Umbrella Academy, and one of the most well-known Doom Patrol writers, he appeared on well-known ’80s/’90s talk show Sally Jessy Raphael at age 16 to defend comic books against censorship.
Footage of his appearance has been sought by Way’s fans for years, with only a single still image of his moment on the show known to exist. But only now, almost 30 years after the episode aired in 1994, has video of his appearance on the show been unearthed by a Tik Tok user named ‘TheRiddlerHotWheels’.
In the clip, Way, who was, at the time, the writer of an independent comic called On Raven’s Wings for somewhat notorious ’90s horror publisher Boneyard Press, addresses censors who are debating Boneyard’s editor-in-chief, Hart D. Fisher, over Boneyard’s graphic content.
“Why don’t you go after the media? Why don’t you go after other things, just comics? Comics are for everyone,” he states.
Check it out:
credit to theriddlerhotwheels but OMG??? We finally got the footage of this!! Gerard get her ass!! pic.twitter.com/YhDQzEnuWmDecember 19, 2022
The clip ends before the panelists can respond, but it’s interesting to see Gerard Way at the same age many of his fans were when they first discovered the music of My Chemical Romance, and Way’s comic books such as The Umbrella Academy and Doom Patrol.
It’s especially interesting to get a look at a very early TV appearance for Way before he was even famous.
It was exactly ten years after this clip in 2004 when My Chemical Romance’s breakthrough album Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge brought them massive worldwide success, leading to Way’s later reemergence as a comic book writer. But it also shows that comics were part of the band’s history long before that.
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I’ve been Newsarama’s resident Marvel Comics expert and general comic book historian since 2011. I’ve also been the on-site reporter at most major comic conventions such as Comic-Con International: San Diego, New York Comic Con, and C2E2. Outside of comic journalism, I am the artist of many weird pictures, and the guitarist of many heavy riffs. (They/Them)
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