Exclusive Q&A with Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner
We got a chance to sit down with Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner to talk about this week’s new release of “Harley Quinn #0,” companion in crime to the Joker and a main character in the ongoing series, Suicide Squad.
Charlie Chang: I want to start off by saying that I’m personally very excited about this series since I’ve been a fan of this character since The Batman Animated Series. What can you guys share about this new book?
Jimmy Palmiotti: This is the new 52 Harley Quinn. It’s going to be nuts because Harley is nuts. Like Amanda, Amanda and Harley have a lot in common. Split personalities and all…
CC: If there’s any DC character that has really blown up and stepped out from what they were originally intended to be, it’s been this Paul Dini creation of Harley Quinn. With her heavy involvement in Suicide Squad and a bunch of other teams, will this series be connected at all to Suicide Squad?
JP: You know, Suicide Squad is Harley hardcore being a superhero right? Well, super-villain/superhero. So the approach we’re taking with the series is going to be a little more whimsical, crazier, and a little unpredictable. We definitely want to create a book that when you buy each issue you think you what you’re getting but you’re going to be getting something else. We want to really shake things up and have some fun and we feel that Suicide Squad is a team book but from that book you really don’t get a sense of who Harley.
We want to explore things from her normal life: where she lives, how she gets her groceries, how she gets her suit off for a bathroom break, any of that stuff. So we’re going to try to dig into the character and give the audience a chance to get to know who she is. Which I think will also really enhance the experience you get on Suicide Squad. You’ll a chance to get a better feel for the character. We’re huge fans of what Paul Dini and Bruce Timm did on the character so we’re just going to take that and what’s going on with Suicide Squad and come up with our own take of the character that’s still loyal to everything. We’re not going to alienate any audiences, we’re just going to bring them in and smash them all together.
JP & AC: No…
CC: It’s a secret place??
AC: No…well the cover will give you an idea for where her new digs are. Set not too far away from Gotham in Batman land.
JP: The book’s going to be set in Coney Island. It doesn’t mean she’s not going to Gotham and it also doesn’t mean that at some point Gotham isn’t going to come to Coney Island. So she’s going to be calling it home for the time being and she’ll be getting a new pad. It makes sense having Harley in Coney Island, if you think about it; it’s the perfect place to put that character. Since we both lived in Brooklyn so many years, we have a unique perspective on how to make this book work in that scenario.
CC: I picture this “Harley Cave,” underneath a giant ferris wheel or something.
JP: Just keep giving us ideas! What else you got?!
CC: Are you planning any surprise cameos you can talk about yet? Maybe characters you’d like to bring in?
JP: You know, as you read the book you’ll see a lot of characters. Poison Ivy is a good friend and she’s got a lot of supporting characters. I think like anyone getting a new place, friends will stop by, bring gifts for the new apartment and throw a housewarming party.
AC: Poison Ivy brings her a plant!
JP: Yeah, she’ll bring her a plant that pretty much consumes everything! So we’re going to see that kind of stuff. You’re going to see other DC characters but our main thing will be to establish who she is. Again, we might have a new audience picking this up for the first time and we don’t want to alienate them with too much that they might have to play catch up on. We want to make this an entry book. We really want to find a balance between the established readers and readers that want to find something new. I like to approach all my books that way. All books are some people’s first books.