Interview: Conner and Palmiotti Rebirth HARLEY QUINN

Yesterday we spoke with Rob Williams and Philip Tan on the rebirth of the Suicide Squad (out tomorrow!). Today, we have creators Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, heralds of the version of Harley Quinn that will be dancing across screens this Friday, making mayhem and hopefully kicking the Joker in the nads. They chatted briefly about their thoughts on the upcoming film, the set-up for a brand new Harley Quinn #1 (also out tomorrow!), and the latest moments Harley and Ivy get to steal away together.

HARLEY-Cv1_dsMatt Santori: So tell me, are you excited to see Harley Quinn on the big screen this week?

Amanda Conner: Yes! [laughs]

I am trying to contain my excitement. Because I don’t like to let my over-enthusiasm get the best of me, but it’s hard to contain it.

Jimmy Palmiotti: Yeah, after seeing the trailers for so long, I’m dying to see the actual movie. Enough already! Show me the movie. Stop teasing me!

MSG: From the looks of it, there’s a TON of influence from your depiction of Harley Quinn in the film version of Suicide Squad. You must be very proud of that.

AC: Yeah, I mean, I don’t want to pass any judgements until I see the movie, but…

JP: They couldn’t have done it without us, is what she’s saying. [laughs]

AC: [laughs]

MSG: With Harley Quinn #1 out this week, there’s no actual Rebirth special for the character. I daresay that’s because she doesn’t really need one. But what you do is quite a bit of recap and reintroduction of the characters. It’s really a ton of what Harley is about thrown on the page.

AC: Well, if there were any new readers coming in, we wanted to make sure we got them all up to speed on what’s been going on in her life the last couple of years.

JP: It is always a #1 to somebody, but especially with this book, there’s a possibility that someone’s going to go see the movie… and then say, “You know what? I’m going to give this Harley Quinn book a shot.” We felt obligated to at least cover her origin in a fun way in the beginning.

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JP: As a reader too, I like that when I’m starting a new book. I think it’s something that should be done more often. We tried to make it fun! If you don’t know anything, it’s important to bring you up to speed. But if you’re already reading, then we’re not going to bore them. We’re in and out of the origin pretty quickly.

MSG: It was nice to see some moments with Harley and Ivy at the beginning as well. It’s a great way to set up the issue.

JP: We ended issue #30 with her promising Ivy a spa day, so we thought, what better way to open issue #1 than with that?

AC: Harley also owes her a trip to the Bahamas, too. [laughs]

JP: Ha! Yeah, that we’ll cover at another time.

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MSG: The other thing you’re doing in this first issue is throwing so much parody at the wall: from The Walking Dead to Skrull Kill Krew and Deadpool. Tell me a little bit about what kind of place Harley occupies in the DCU where these kinds of parodies feel natural?

AC: I think mostly what we try to do is make it fun for ourselves. That’s the first order of things. Jimmy and I try to make each other laugh. If we can manage that, then we feel pretty comfortable that other people will too.

Parody is just one of those things we’ve always loved.

JP: Yeah, as long as you don’t make it insanely on the nose. You want to mess with it a little bit.

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JP: Part of it with Harley is she’s a grounded character. She’s part of the real world surroundings in Coney Island and Nathan’s Hot Dogs are there. We just wanted to have some fun. Somebody mentioned zombies to us once and we were laughing about it. We wouldn’t do it the way everyone else does it. We had to find our own angle on it.

With this issue, we were laughing at how insane it was, but maybe plausible?

Kind of like the pop culture references, we try not to do too many. But there are so many in the world right now that are hard to resist. Like Amanda said, though: we go about the big story and then try to make each other laugh with the details. Terrorize each other a bit. Hopefully that comes across on the page.

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JP: We like the spontaneous nature of Harley, so the most fun we can have is when you think the book is going one way, and it goes another way. And that’s something we’re happy to do all the time.

Check out Harley Quinn #1 from DC Comics tomorrow (and then go see her on the big screen Friday!).

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