NYCC2018 Panel Recap of ‘Umbrella Academy Hotel Oblivion’

GB: Well, there are different but they have to remain the same characters. When you are working with Superheros so they have costume… if you get the costume right, you get the character, no matter how you do anything else. But things like Space Boy has to look a certain way, but fat Space Boy was fun too. He looked awesome in his fatness. I love being able to play with characters. Things happen to them that affect them and I like that. The story is crazy and it pushes my limits. It is visually stunning.

GW: Once it started and got greenlit then it all went fast. But the story of UA going from winning the Eisner, we got optioned by Universal right away. There was a lot of meetings and I gave a lot of myself. It is so different than the book. The Netflix show is so different than the book.

I cant micromanage that. In some ways I need to check out. So, during a lot of that time, I was working on a film and not working on a film that then never happened. And so in the two years that it took the show to come around, I just checked out even further and just worked on the book. My goal for the show is that they do the best they can, and do their thing, and the show is different because they need to for the screen. They have been faithful to the source material and they kept a lot of the weird ideas, and he embraces them.

GB: It is pretty amazing. It is a differnet expereicne. People involved in the set design are great. They know what they are doing with the detail and everything they put into are things that I could never do. They paid attention to so many details to my art and that meant so much to me. The material, the textures, everything. The scale is surreal. It is mindblowing to think that our comic is moving so many people around.

GW: Chris does the costumes and I thought we would do like Watchman…. Take the comic and there you go. And we didn’t. Chris wanted to channel 1973 Berlin. So that is the look. You don’t know what year it is. Everyone is in the dark, Berlin look. The character that translated the best was Space Boy…. Sure he wears clothes in the show but not the comic, but he is still really big and really sad. You see him and you think, whoa, what is the deal with this guy. All the cosutmes have been great and they are channeling the right stuff, but it is way different than the book.

GW: Yeah! I have mapped out a big document, there is supposed to be eight graphic novels, total. Had there not been a nine-year gap, I think we would be on six right now. That is why our goal is not to have any big gaps. We know the story, where it goes. We have a whole arc that was supposed to come out and now we have to alter it because it sort of looks like what actually happened in America. I don’t want a commentary on our world, I want UA.

GW: What we don’t learn too much of is how it was built or found, but you learn that it is this pocket dimension built to house criminals. Now there is a specific way that it was built and developed and the genius that no one can escape from it and it cant sustain damanage. It plays with dimensions and the journey that Space Boy and Kraken are on and their quest against Doctor Zoo in Japan. So there is less time travel in Hotel Oblivion… they are dealing with it in the show. Dallas was the hardest thing I ever had to write. It was the seat of my pants. I was writing as he was drawing them… it was really stressful. The time travel that I kept painting myself into a corner every issue and then had to fight out.

GB: Hundreds of new villians. They are all there. I don’t know how Gerard comes up with all of these character. He has books and books of images, backgrounds, what they are up to. There are a lot of gangs. He told me hold to think of them in the UA world. Most supervillains are either genius or power. You can build more and better characters when you understand there isn’t a gimmick.