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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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:icontrizero91489:
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.
Reply
:iconquietstorm:
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...


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:iconafrodisium:
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.
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:iconquoriil:
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.
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:iconmihaihen:
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.
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:iconthelostdigger:
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.
Reply
:iconmihaihen:
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.
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:iconthelostdigger:
thelostdigger Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2013
Actually, the Joker was inspired by an early slasher flick called "The Man Who Laughs"
( 2.bp.blogspot.com/-HHnQGqEemyo…

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.
Reply
:iconpeppercat296:
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.

:iconsealofapprovalplz:
Reply
:iconmihaihen:
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.
Reply
:iconthelostdigger:
thelostdigger Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013
I've not actually read that one. I actually don't read that many comics, even if I am trying to get into them.

Still, 'Killing Joke' is a good one, but it is by Alan Moore, so par for the course.
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:iconmihaihen:
Mihaihen Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2013
By the way, am I the only one who usually cheers for the villain?
Except in dark man cause darkman was a brah :3 And Durant had literally no qualities except being a heartless murderer.
Reply
:icontigerfangart:
tigerfangart Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013
I feel like DC knew exactly what they were doing all along, and that this isn't a puss-out, but another carefully-orchestrated plan to generate buzz and attention via controversy.  They picked the page for the contest specifically knowing it would upset people, and now they specifically chose to not go with what upset people about it to upset the people who defended it.  

It's the Bill Jemas Principle - riling up the fan base to stir up attention and hopefully sales.  Everybody who got super upset over the bathtub suicide played right into DC's hands, and everybody who got upset over them cutting it played right into their hands.  

I mean, honestly, do you think as many people would be talking about a comic starring the Joker's girlfriend if they hadn't gone out of their way to piss people off?  
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:iconelectricvinyl:
ElectricVinyl Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013  Student Artist
I personally thought yours was the most light hearted and fun of the ones I saw online.  The one they picked was outright dull.
Reply
:iconjollyjack:
jollyjack Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013
There were much better ones than mine on DA, and they had the same "fun factor" I was aiming for.
Reply
:iconsilver6kraid:
silver6kraid Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is why I generally hate it when people get together on the internet. We always get upset over the stupidest things and never do anything positive. 
Reply
:iconrobertmacquarrie1:
RobertMacQuarrie1 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013
I kind of question the nature of the contest to begin with.  DC certainly could have chosen a better page- ANY page- to have people stress their talents.  They chose to go with "Harley Quinn in a bathtub, committing suicide."  Granted, the scene itself was meant to be comedic.  However, they again did not chose to reveal that in their initial statement for this "contest." 

DC may have gotten some "internet backdraft," but I have a feeling that this was done explicitly to garner said attention.  If DC didn't want to illicit a reaction from "The internets" then they could have chosen a less risque and questionable scene to offer their consumers to draw. 

DC chose the context and the scene when making this contest.  If they didn't want a backlash, then they could have been more clear or chosen a better scene.  At the end of the day, I have little sympathy for someone who throws rocks at a hornets nest and then complains when they are stun.
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:iconevelwillow:
EveLWillow Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Im sorry but Im still trying to wrap my head around this continued insistence by media types that blond haired girls need to have darker hair, and darker haired girls need to be blond... 

As for the final page, you're being way to nice ... It was crap. 

Thats not to say that the artist but his/her venture seems more appropriate for another series. Panel by panel is rather boring and ill suited for a dynamic character in the vein of  Harley ... or any of the bat-series girls. Who in my opinion are all getting watered down in favor of DC's tendency toward mediocrity.

Then again, what do I know ... 

...    
Reply
:iconevelwillow:
EveLWillow Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Missing words ... Sorry.

Yes, The artist is clearly talented ...
Reply
:icontazzmoodley:
Tazzmoodley Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013
Look, I understand that you may have felt that the contest wasn't in bad form and that people were misinterpreting it-fair enough everyone is entitled to their own opinions and I respect that. That being said, the contest in itself was a bad idea-draw Harley about to commit suicide? I know some people may not find that idea bad to draw but to me it was not only disrespectful but it also seemed to be making a jab at a very serious and sensitive and personal issue for many people who've lost loved ones because they committed suicide. My friend committed suicide and it still haunts me to this day, whether I could have helped her or not. 

At least, when concerning those who are trying to come to terms with "what went wrong" and "why did he/she do it" and "what could I have done, why didn't I notice anything", try to be a bit more understanding that the idea of turning suicide into a theme for a contest is very inappropriate. For all you know, for many individuals of the "ill informed mob" someone close to them might have committed suicide. 

Yes you are entitled to your opinions....just don't assume that everyone, who wanted the contest to be terminated, was a bunch of ignorant individuals who had no justifiable reason to want the contest to be taken down other than the fact that they thought that DC comics was trying to sexualize suicide. 
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:icond-idara:
D-idara Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Take for example the Bunny Suicide books, they're fucking hilarious.
Reply
:icond-idara:
D-idara Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
So...? The world shouldn't care that some people feel offended. If your friend who commited suicide isn't the blonde henchwoman of a crazy villain, then you have no reason to feel offended, people get offended by everything these days.
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:iconmadmonkeydane:
MadMonkeyDane Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Funny thing is a lot of people being offended aren't people who are suicidal themself. I could understand if they were offended since it's happened to them. I've had suicidal urges myself in the past & no doubt in the future but my only note was it was bad timing on DC's part. The month it was announced was suicide awareness month which could've stirred up the shit storm more. Although saying that it probably helped the cause rather than hurt it. Until this not many people knew it was even a thing or when it was. They forgot the "awareness" part of Suicide Awareness.
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:iconleviadragon99:
leviadragon99 Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013

I don't think the furore as being entirely about sexualisation of suicide though, more a certain level of disregard for suicide as a horrible thing that happens, treating it lightly as it were, though you could certainly argue that there was some uncomfortable crossover with unnecessary and tasteless sexualisation of female characters, I don't think the thing you're calling the internet a bunch of whiners over was what the internet was actually whining about in this instance.

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:iconqueator:
Queator Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013   Traditional Artist
Corporations are an alien sentience hell bent on making money. They have no shame, no remorse, no taste or opinion, all they know is that if it's not Black, it's Red, and if it stays Red, it will end up dead.  
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:iconhawkfire11111:
Hawkfire11111 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
ijits....

i can't even give them the decency of proper english to describe them.

true, suicide happens...but it should not be displayed where some 10-15 or younger child could stumble across it.
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:icondethmachine5:
dethmachine5 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I cuese the formation of the whole comic rating system because now there is a bunch of the same crap that cant be too graphic for viewers and such because did we ever make a rating system for books? If its obviously a bad comic or something from the FRONT PAGE with a graphic cover illustration would you buy that for a really young kid? Im not saying rating systems cause more trouble than its worth but if they choke something out from strictness then there would be a decrease of notice or care because its the same crap repeated over & over or its copying off eachother.
Reply
:icond-t:
D-T Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013
The winner of their "Find a hot new artist that's never worked in the industry before" contest... turned out to be a guy that has been working in the industry for years.  Did several covers for DC.

Honestly, even if I don't agree with everything everyone else calls a screwup by DC, I can generally agree that they're unable to go more than a week without screwing something up.
Reply
:iconlastres0rt:
lastres0rt Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
... is it wrong that I find THIS the most offensive part of the contest? That they did an open call to the public and instead went with somebody who's already had a couple issues under his belt? 

If this is their idea of "hot new artist that's never worked in the industry" before, then NO WONDER the rest of us can't break in...
Reply
:icongammarallyson:
gammarallyson Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013
"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."

Say hi to Poochie for me! ;)
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:iconalenonimo:
Alenonimo Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I think DC can't pull Harley Quinn off anymore. They simply forgot how to use her.

Like, they know she's extremely popular and they really want to appease the fans, but they lost the ability of actually using her in a way that it's coherent with the character itself.

Maybe they are trying to transform her into a Deadpool-style character (and failing). Maybe they are trying to piss off Paul Dini (and it's probably working). I dunno anymore. Maybe they though "oh, an harlequin character is too good, so let's make her a hooker". All I know is that I have lots of old comics of her and watched all of the Batman The Animated Series and the character was good then, and now she isn't.

Maybe instead of killing their characters, they should start killing their executive jobs. And then reboot the universe again because this one looks stupid. Red Lantern? Really? Golden Age comics weren't so stupid.
Reply
:iconchainsawgenie:
ChainsawGenie Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013
The problem with 'r3b00ting teh Üniverse' (*AGAIN*) is that it's almost become a joke - each time the (current) editorial staff tries to 'clean house', the closet(s) they hide the dirt in burst(s) open sooner or later.

In fact, I'm tempted to suggest that they have licensed characters (ie Daria Morgendorffer, Jane Lane, Dexter or Deedee from Dexter's Lab, a certain Teenage Robot or, hell, even a certain Homicidal Maniac) do the 'reprogramming' just to point out how silly the scenario can be.

Like I said earlier, it's time for a change (at both DC and Marvel) but there are as many ways to implement that change as there are (former) fans seeking it:

- Daria's version would probably be intelligently written and drawn
- Dexter's would likely have lots of science(-fiction) based stories
- Deedee's would be full of ponies and rainbows and other cavity-inducing material
- Gosalyn Mallard's would be a random mixed-up mess ^^;

and

- Beavis and Butthead's version, well, would probably put :iconcrash2014: to shame (Uuuh... hey Beavis, check out their thingies. Uh-huhuhuhuhuh)

That's not to say that it can't be done, mind you - it's simply that the resulting changes may still arouse ire in the 'New DC Universe's intended audience.

I invite you (and all who read this reply) to post how you (and they) would 'Myx things up a little'. :aww:
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:iconjclv:
jclv Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013
Above is the full image, here is an article about the page change.
Reply
:icondragoncount:
DragonCount Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
One of a handdful of reasons not to trust the big boys anymore. Instead I develop my own comic book ideas. And I'm just gonna say it; I think Little Victory is better than most comics D.C. and Marvel has released in the past five or so years. It's pretty much my favorite comic now. 
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:iconchainsawgenie:
ChainsawGenie Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013
Actually, considering what's available online (and I don't just mean webcomics), there is a *lot* that the (remaining) corporations can learn from independent/freelance talents.

(It's not always about the 'bottom line' - customer satisfaction breeds loyalty which can create/bolster profit in the long run)

Unfortunately, far too many of them are slow learners and that will some back to bite them...again (espcially once the financial padding of their posteriors wears out).

Oh well, such is 'Nature'.

*goes back to playing Cave Story*
Reply
:icondragoncount:
DragonCount Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well, seeing how they make millions every year, I don't think they really care about the art of storytelling through sequential art anymore. As long as the green keeps flowing, they won't give a crap whether we love 'em or hate 'em.
Reply
:iconbrother-tico:
Brother-Tico Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Professional Artist
Say, do you have a link or websaite of that contest too see who is the winner?
Reply
:iconbrother-tico:
Brother-Tico Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Professional Artist
Oh come on! Are they f**king kidding me?!

In deviantArt, I've seem other comic pages of this same theme that are better than the winner one!

And about the pose of the character, Jollyjack is right: they look too stiff. What is DC thinking?!

 I'm starting to think that they shouldn't made this kind of contest in the first place.
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:iconmadmonkeydane:
MadMonkeyDane Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
Let's not forget the artist that won also wasn't an unknown. He isn't well known but he has over 70 titles under his belt for various companies with DC being 1 of them. Seems like something was more than a little rigged there.
Reply
:iconnighthawk81:
nighthawk81 Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013
This is the first that I've heard of any of this (the Great Bearded Bird admits to being out of touch in certain areas). However, I do agree with the basic premise: if you have the facts, and someone who does not opens his mouth and is making a royal fool of himself, you confront him ... strenuously. I believe it was Winston Churchill who said that there are times when you nneed to step on their toes until they apologize.

Well said, sire.
Reply
:icondragonsmithy:
Dragonsmithy Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
The cover of Harley Quinn #0 makes me think of Harley Quinn in the same way that Heath Ledger makes me think of the Joker; somebody glanced at the character name and colour scheme, and pretty much winged it from there.
Reply
:iconstreaked-silver:
Streaked-Silver Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
only.. Heath Ledgers joker was MUCH MUCH closer to the comic book joker who was very dark and very twisted in how he operated, actually he was the closest to the idea of the joker that spawned Mark's version that was made more kid friendly for the BatMan TAS

so... yeah.. you're wrong..
Reply
:icondragonsmithy:
Dragonsmithy Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
I admit, the Joker I know is from the cartoon and was more of a psychotic trickster than a random malevolent psychopath in purple.  Sadly, that makes you no less of an arrogant ass.
Reply
:iconstreaked-silver:
Streaked-Silver Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
There's nothing arrogant about being straight to the point about things. Don't like things with out a sugar coating? You're gonna have a hard life ahead of you.  
Reply
:icondragonsmithy:
Dragonsmithy Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
No, you're going to have a hard life if you mistake rudeness for honesty.
Reply
:iconstreaked-silver:
Streaked-Silver Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh cry some more..  =/
Reply
:icondragonsmithy:
Dragonsmithy Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Oh snap, your sure got me with that witty, incisive smack talk which is sure to win the admiration of your peers and women alike with its obvious accuracy and eloquent relevance.  Your superiority has been well and truly demonstrated, affirming in yourself the knowledge that you are an unassailable tower of virtue, maturity and intellect.

tl;dr/translation for the dim: Good job, convincing me that you're most likely a teabagging 14 year old.  HAND
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