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.