just what it sounds like…reading as a religion

Graphic Novel

Getting Graphic Part 1: Welcome to the Black Parade

The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way

In my new series, Getting Graphic, I’m gonna explore the world of graphic novels.  It’s something I’ve been interested in for awhile and a medium that I think is really exciting.  For this first part, I’m sticking with a comic staple—SUPERHEROES!

Title: The Umbrella Academy: Apocalypse Suite

Author: Gerard Way

Illustrator: Gabriel Bá

The Whole Picture: In this collection by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way, we meet the Umbrella Academy, a futuristic group of superhero orphans raised by a mysterious scientist called The Monacle.  Each of the seven members of the Academy has struggled with figuring out who they are and the life they want to have.  The death of The Monacle brings them all together again as adults where they must deal with the past as they try to save the future.  This motley collection of strange superheroes is both fascinating and slightly disturbing—creating a hero comic for the modern age.  The characters of this book are its most intriguing feature.  Unlike typical heroes, the members of the Umbrella Academy seem to live in the real world where the distinction between good and evil isn’t black and white.  As you read, you will see the psychological depth of these characters and what being ‘super’ does to them as they try to understand what it means to have the powers that they do.  The Umbrella Academy is strange and quirky, but intensely enjoyable.  The characters, unlike any I have ever met, are weird and wonderful and leave the reader begging for the story to be continued.  If you enjoy this book, the series is continued in the 2nd volume, The Umbrella Academy: Dallas, and the forthcoming 3rd volume, The Umbrella Academy: Hotel Oblivion.