The Ninjabot

NYCC 2014: Jimmy Palmiotti & Amanda Conner Talk HARLEY QUINN

Posted on October 16, 2014 at 12:00 pm by Heather Antos

HARLEYANN_Cv1_ds_300Ever since its launch with the visually enticing Issue #0, Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner’s HARLEY QUINN series has taken DC comics by storm! Now one of the publisher’s most talked about books, the husband-and-wife writing duo took a moment at New York Comic Con to talk about working together on such a crazy cast of characters: 






GEEK LEGACY: So the HARLEY QUINN series has been out now for roughly a year, what’s the ride been like?

AMANDA CONNER: It’s been crazy and fun – amazingly fun! It’s such a fun book to write and Jimmy and I have more fun that we argue – we argue a little tiny bit on it – but mostly just giggle.

JIMMY PALMIOTTI: The success has been very unexpected. I mean, we were writing it and we kept thinking, “Alright, who’s gonna like this? It’s too bizarre.” But then people started liking it! We didn’t have any idea what the audience would be like or if they might be mad because we’re not doing ‘hardcore Harley.’ It was very unexpected and then a year later it’s still kind of unexpected!

GL: Yeah, since it’s launch HARLEY QUINN has become one of DC’s most popular books!

AC: We were shocked! You know, it was like, “They like it? Whoa!”

JP: Yeah, usually I’m on the other end of the chart, the bottom part. It’s like HARLEY QUINN is way up here and my other stuff is under that thing which is under there somewhere…But, you know, a lot of times it all comes down to the right people on the right characters. And I like to think that sometimes you find a voice for a character that’s unique, which is really hard to do because there’s a lot of good books!

GL: What’s it like writing a singular script together as a couple?

JP: It’s horrible. [Laughs]HQ_ANN_1_bombshell_ANT_LUCIA_var

AC: We’re not divorced yet! [Laughs] No, we still love each other like crazy. We actually have to give each other space because writing is a really solitary thing to do. And the way I always say Harley is written is ‘Jimmy builds the house and then I paint it and decorate it.’ So it’s really a team effort, I wouldn’t really know what I was doing without such an amazing structure, you know, he builds a really amazing house.

JP: We both bring something different to the book, probably me more structure and layouts, and Amanda has Harley’s voice down pat. Even when I’m writing dialogue she’ll go in and change it to Harley dialogue. And I trust her to do that. She’ll give it back to me and it’s just like, I don’t know, phonetically I never would have thought stretching a word out that long. But it makes sense for Harley’s voice. So yeah, it’s really jut a good character for both of us to write because it has a little bit of our personalities in there. Definitely the crazy part of both of ours. We have a lot of crazy to spare.

GL: So the first big arc in HARLEY QUINN has come and gone – she solved the mystery of who put the hit on her – but now she’s caught between a mix of juggling multiple lives. What can we expect to happen in the next arc?

AC: Well she’s the landlord of a big house in Coney Island that houses a museum of wax and horror and she loves it down there. It also houses all of the people who are members of the freak show that they put on.

JP: Freakshow Burlesque, I like to call it!

GL: So where does the roller derby and the psychiatry fit in?

JP: Well we figured multiple personalities equals multiple jobs. And actually are next arc is leaning towards that she is having trouble managing all of that; going to the seniors’ home for therapy and now she’s in the skate club, the underground thing that’s going on. We hear skate clubs are starting to pop up everywhere – but I’m not supposed to talk about skate club! But yeah, so she’s got these multiple jobs and she wants to help everybody. You know, all good intentions leading up to madness! After the Power Girl team up, which is a lot of fun, we’re going to see Harley not only dealing with the fact that she’s got this busy day but that she has another love interest coming…and it’s not who you think it is!Harley_Quinn_Vol_2-11_Cover-1_Teaser

GL: So I have to ask, will we ever see Mr. J in the HARLEY QUINN series?

JP: You know I will honestly say probably.

AC: I can’t see us not doing it, but there’s so many wonderful characters to play around with before we get him involved again.

JP: You know, we took her out of Gotham for a reason, right? We had to develop her as her own character with her own supporting cast. And there’s still a lot of brand new characters you haven’t seen yet! And as far as Mr. J coming back, I think when the time is right we’ll drop him into the mess.

AC: We have a very loose plan. [Laughs]

JP: You know, it’s funny, because the cosplayers will come to the table, and they’re dressed in different Harley outfits. Like, there was this little girl who had a Harley Quinn ballerina outfit –

AC: What girl doesn’t want to be a ballerina at some point?!

JP: But you see something like that and you go, ‘Harley ballerina…what kind of story would that be?’ And you start laughing because it almost writes itself! You know, and that’s the great stuff about the cosplayers because they’re getting really creative with the different Harley Quinn versions. And that’s the hard thing, because I know they [DC] want us to stay on model but I never met a woman that only had one outfit. And I think for Harley she should be changing up everything!

To catch up on HARLEY QUINN and to see what she’s up to next, be sure to pick up HARLEY QUINN #11 on October 22, 2014!

Want more of Heather’s Rants & Raves? Follow her on Twitter: @HeatherAntos

    Sharing the Legacy on Flickr

    See all photos