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Submitted on
November 29, 2013


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While at my local comic-book emporium, I had a quick leaf through Harley Quinn #0 to check out the winning page from DC’s recent talent search.
It didn’t do much to dampen the disdain I harbour for the big-name comic companies.
For a start, I’m not sure how that page was selected as the cream of the crop. Bravo to the artist for being selected, sure, but there were far more dynamic, lively examples I saw posted here on DA, and I'm genuinely surprised that none of them were chosen. The page selected feels just as stiff, stagnant, sterile and devoid of life as much of the other stuff DC discharges onto the shelves (which might have been why they ran with it).
The main gripe I have, though, is that they changed the final panel.
For those that (somehow) missed the whoo-haa that the whole talent search kicked off: the script DC provided to their would-be artists called for illustrations depicting the titular Harley trying to off herself in a series of absurd ways: holding an antennae in a lightning storm, tempting alligators by wearing a chicken suit, tickling the inside of a whale’s mouth and, finally, on the verge of dropping every electrical item she owns into the bathtub at once.
The hysteria machine that is the internet decided that the last bit was offensive and in bad taste and that DC were not only creatively bankrupt but also felt the sexualisation of suicide was perfectly acceptable content for a comic.
I didn’t see that when I was drawing my version of the page, but then, I’m not a sheep that follows the herd around, bleating.
Rather than sticking to their guns and pointing out that the whole issue fuelled by internet cry-babies’ misinterpreted the script and not what the writers had actually put on the page, DC changed the final panel to depict Harley atop some kind of rocket being launched into space.
This irks me because they had a chance to prove they have a spine (and maybe a shred of integrity) they instead bowed to the ill-informed rage of a mob. You don’t pander to people that badmouth you based on erroneous information, you confront them!
They interpreted the script outline as the sexualisation/mockery of suicide? Well, I didn’t read any of the comic and I interpret the panel they printed as something far worse.
That rocket looks like some kind of ICBM.
Harley’s trying to kill herself and she’s going to take millions of innocent people with her.

If you don’t have all the facts, you see what you want to.
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trizero91489 Featured By Owner Aug 7, 2014
I don't read comics just for the sake inclusiveness I'm black and I don't care if there's no reasonable black people in a comic if they're in a comic, they're in a comic get over it and just shut up already you're making me feel like a racist towards creativity.
Quietstorm Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2013
Funny how the internet now is the gauge of "normalcy" these days...

But what do you expect?  The comic industry is just a horrible misogynistic fraternity that refuses to accept females and those of different ethnicities other than the Man himself...

Afrodisium Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013
DC no longer has the stones to do anything edgy.  That comes from being owned by Warner Brothers Media.
Quoriil Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013
Sexuality and *gasp* "Boobies!" being the greater evil over, "Harley’s trying to kill herself and she’s going to take millions of innocent people with her.", is right at the core of the messed up morality that media in the US (and UK I guess) is constantly throwing aruond.

Sex, it appears, is far scarier than gruesome collateral damage on a massive scale.
Mihaihen Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013
Do you like the hole Harley Joker thing? I mean it's a clown for the love of fuck... sure a lot of work and stunning graphics went into it, but can you really compare any clown to something like... I don't know. Let's say Robert G. Durant? Now that was a villain.
thelostdigger Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013
I'm not very aware of Darkman, so I'm unfit to comment on the good Mr. Durant's credibility as a villain. The Joker, however, is an absolutely fantastic villain as long as he's portrayed right.
It comes from looking past the exterior of the standard darkly humourous psycho clown, and seeing what is at the very core of the character: desperation.

The Joker is a man who lost everything in an event so horrible and traumatic that he has blocked it and all he lost from his mind and escaped into insanity in a desperate attempt to keep himself from becoming a vegetable. Scarred, deranged and in possession of nothing, the Joker becomes the ultimate nihilist (assuming that is the proper use of the word). He cannot see the world around him as anything but "a monstrous, demented gag" and tries to convince himself that the only way to survive is to be the one telling the joke, instead of it's victim.

So he commits horrible crimes, causes mayhem, and tries to convince himself that it's all alright, because this is just how the world works.
But that last, tiny sliver of rationality within him makes him doubt himself, so along with trying to slaughter people, he also tries to convince other people of the truth of his way of life, in the desperate hope that they'll convince him. It's why he's so obsessed with Batman; here is a man who has suffered nigh as much as he has, but who holds it together enough to actually be a positive influence (mostly) on society. The Joker sees Batman as both the only one remotely capable of understanding him, and the biggest threat to his worldview. It's his constant contact with Batman that feeds that last spark of rationality, and he both loves him and hates him for it. He feels that Batman may restore his sanity, so he tries to corrupt him to save himself from the crushing guilt of all he's done.

He only laughs so he won't cry.
Mihaihen Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2013
Well for some one so talented you sure have very low standards when it comes to comic book characters, it's clear you like the clown. For that's all it is to me, a silly clown that some guy made more as a joke then an actual attempt to create a great villain.

You know who I loved from the Batman universe, Clay Face, in the Batman the animated series, he was epic.

Darkman is probably the best superhero I ever witnessed, the other movie spin off's where crap. But the Liam Nielson one, the first, damn 0_o

Google darkman on image search, just to get an idea.
thelostdigger Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2013
Actually, the Joker was inspired by an early slasher flick called "The Man Who Laughs"

I like Clayface too, he's an interesting, often sympathetic character, but I simply like the Joker better. You don't like him, I understand that, and I can respect that, but I'm not sure you're giving him a chance. When you look at him, you see a harmless clown (and, to be fair, he was exactly that in the Silver Age. Damn Comics Code.), I see a man pushed off the deep end determined to take everyone else down with him. Like if the bloke at the end of Titanic had dragged the girl into the water with him.

Just do me a favour and read 'The Killing Joke', it's a great example of how to do the Joker well. Do that, and I'll go watch Darkman. Pretty sure I saw a copy of that at the local video rental place that's only still open because we don't get Netflix down here.
peppercat296 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2013
Holy crap that interpretation. To be honest, I've always seen the Joker as just a loony doin' loony things for loony's sake. Heck I even read The Killing Joke and I still thought that. But that. You break down things good. Open eyes 'n' shit.

You have my approval, yo.

Mihaihen Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2013
You know what I wanted to read, the one where he has his face skinned and uses it as a mask. "Death in the family" I think it's called. That one looked cool.
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