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DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Internet Outraged

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DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Internet Outraged

Postby LOLtron » Fri Sep 06, 2013 7:07 am

DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Internet Outraged

Unsurprisingly, DC didn't stop to think about the PR consequences of their actions.




So, yesterday, we reported on DC's talent search for a new artist to draw a page of Harley Quinn #0.  For all the flak we give DC, it seemed like a nifty idea to promote new talent, a novel concept considering how frequently DC drives its existing talent away.  Anyways, we chalked the contest up as a win in DC's books and then moved on with our lives.

Then DC released the script.  For the record, this script was not initially included on DC's blog, or otherwise we might have taken a different take on things.  

Here it is in its entirety (Panel 4 bolded for emphasis):

PANEL 1
Harley is on top of a building, holding a large DETACHED cellphone tower in her hands as lightning is striking just about everywhere except her tower. She is looking at us like she cannot believe what she is doing. Beside herself. Not happy.

PANEL 2
Harley is sitting in an alligator pond, on a little island with a suit of raw chicken on, rolling her eyes like once again, she cannot believe where she has found herself. We see the alligators ignoring her.

PANEL 3
Harley is sitting in an open whale mouth, tickling the inside of the whale’s mouth with a feather. She is ecstatic and happy, like this is the most fun ever.

PANEL 4
Harley sitting naked in a bathtub with toasters, blow dryers, blenders, appliances all dangling above the bathtub and she has a cord that will release them all. We are watching the moment before the inevitable death. Her expression is one of “oh well, guess that’s it for me” and she has resigned herself to the moment that is going to happen.

Unsurprisingly, the Internet lost its shit over that last panel.  From BleedingCool noting that DC wants its next artist to draw Harley Quinn naked to many on Twitter pointing out that DC was "sexualizing suicide", what could have been a fun contest turned into DC taking one on the chin....again.  

Before I go on, I want to stress that suicide is a pretty serious subject, one that affects plenty of people (especially online communities).  Choosing this page (with no context to explain it) was a poor choice on DC's part.  It turned what could have been a PR win into a PR fail that even has various creators (who usually shy away from beating up on DC) speaking out.

While we here at the Outhouse have PhDs in Knee-Jerk Reactionary Science, the one good thing about missing the initial wave of controversy is that some context to the page was provided last night courtesy of co-writer Jimmy Palmiotti:

 

So, according to Palmiotti, Harley is complaining about what DC's writers might make her do in the comic series.  It's a pretty humorous meta reference, doubly so in the light of DC's constant editorial interference and bizarre directions for its characters.  It's entirely possible that the panel being depicted is Harley Quinn complaining about DC sexualizing her suicide.  In light of yesterday's reaction to the panel, that's a little bit funny.   

I'll be honest, I'm not very familiar with how a comic writer instructs the penciller to layout and draw a comic.  I feel this script would have benefitted from some context (to...you know, get the point across that this is Harley opining about what DC's creatives might to do to her), but to be frank, I don't know if that sort of detail is included in scripts or not.  

Much like the recent Superman/Wonder Woman and Lobo controversies, this is more of a case of poor PR rather than poor creative choices by the creators.  I'm a firm believer that no topic should be off limits in humor, but it's important to 1) know your audience and 2) provide enough set up to successfully deliver the punch line.  Harley Quinn's traditionally been associated with a darker brand of humor, and I don't think a topic like suicide would be off limits for her.  And let's face it, a comic about Harley Quinn complaining about what DC's creative team might do to her sounds hilarious.  DC should have just mentioned that beforehand.  

UPDATE: Here's a longer explanation from Palmiotti via his Facebook:

What is happening here is Harley is breaking the 4th wall...and talking to the audience about the writers of the book...and how nutty they are. We used the words "naked" because we did not want the artist to draw harley in her costume and we all know you can't show nudity in the comic...and we also know you have to cover her "parts" with objects and what not...but the idea was she is taking a bath with all this hardware around not believing how far the writers went. The whole story is one big long imaginary scene done by different artists of extremely absurd over the top circumstances.

 



Written or Contributed by ThanosCopter


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RE: DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Internet Outraged

Postby J.m. Hunter » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:25 am

I like Jimmy's take on this, bring a recent relevant angle to it.

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Re: DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Internet Ou

Postby Victorian Squid » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:27 am

Need advice ASAP re: nipple hues

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RE: DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Internet Outraged

Postby Pablo Draletti » Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:18 am

Eh, I read this column regularly and agree with most of it, but here I don't understand the problem. Harley Quinn attempting suicide doesn't seem out of character to me. The script does seem a little bit incoherent but I'm only judging from the first four panels.

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RE: DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Internet Outraged

Postby Reid Cain » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:20 pm

Soooo... She's Deadpool now?

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Re: DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Internet Ou

Postby misac » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:22 pm

Victorian Squid wrote:Need advice ASAP re: nipple hues

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:-D
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RE: DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Internet Outraged

Postby Tyler Johnson » Fri Sep 06, 2013 12:53 pm

Here's the thing about "Jimmy's take". That facebook quote? It's gone now. A handful of people expressed displeasure at his idea and, after comparing the situation to Loony Toons (?) and seeing how stupid that sounded, he took his ball, closed the entire damn thread, and went home. HE can't even defend his position!

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Re: DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Internet Ou

Postby MikeinLA » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:16 pm

I cannot believe a panel of such questionable content would be featured in a comic starring the Joker's old fuckbuddy.

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RE: DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Internet Outraged

Postby Shaun Rodriguez » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:19 pm

I'm trying not to sound insincere about this, but a lot of you people need to stop complaining about every little thing and get a hobby that's productive and does not interfere with other people's way of living. It's slapstick comedy, like a Looney Tunes cartoon. You know Looney Tunes right? The show where a Coyote constantly falls off a cliff, or when a duckbill gets blown off a ducks face with a shotgun? It's time for all you naggers to get off your high horse on a soap box and just live life and be happy.

The internet lately is driving me crazy with all this nonsense of complaining and protesting. Things that should be a concern, no one wants to talk about. But put Ben Affleck as Batman and everybody gets a titty attack as if they saw someone punch a kangaroo in the ovaries. Is taking the joy away from harmless things the point of your being of existence? Then do the world a favor, and follow one of the panels in the Harley Quinn contest skits. And finally, for the love of Zeus all mighty, make sure you never ( And I do mean NEVER ) reproduce.

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Re: RE: DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Interne

Postby doombug » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:23 pm

FBtron wrote:Here's the thing about "Jimmy's take". That facebook quote? It's gone now. A handful of people expressed displeasure at his idea and, after comparing the situation to Loony Toons (?) and seeing how stupid that sounded, he took his ball, closed the entire damn thread, and went home. HE can't even defend his position!

yeah about that...it's a twitter response, not a facebook conversation. It still exists.

Nice try though.
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Re: RE: DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Interne

Postby Mr. Log » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:44 pm

FBtron wrote:I'm trying not to sound insincere about this, but a lot of you people need to stop complaining about every little thing and get a hobby that's productive and does not interfere with other people's way of living. It's slapstick comedy, like a Looney Tunes cartoon. You know Looney Tunes right? The show where a Coyote constantly falls off a cliff, or when a duckbill gets blown off a ducks face with a shotgun? It's time for all you naggers to get off your high horse on a soap box and just live life and be happy.

The internet lately is driving me crazy with all this nonsense of complaining and protesting. Things that should be a concern, no one wants to talk about. But put Ben Affleck as Batman and everybody gets a titty attack as if they saw someone punch a kangaroo in the ovaries. Is taking the joy away from harmless things the point of your being of existence? Then do the world a favor, and follow one of the panels in the Harley Quinn contest skits. And finally, for the love of Zeus all mighty, make sure you never ( And I do mean NEVER ) reproduce.


Nagger, please.

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Re: DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Internet Ou

Postby Kalisto » Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:15 pm

Sooooo, do many of the outraged people bathe in their clothing?

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Re: DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Internet Ou

Postby Victorian Squid » Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:18 pm

One good thing to come out of all this, this is going to make it a lot easier on Harley Quinn cosplayers, as they no longer need to spend all that time on the costumes.

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Re: DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Internet Ou

Postby WondrousBastard » Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:20 pm

I don't get what's to be outraged about. :deadpool

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Re: DC Releases Script for Harley Quinn Contest, Internet Ou

Postby Victorian Squid » Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:25 pm

WondrousBastard wrote:I don't get what's to be outraged about. :deadpool


Nothing, really,

On the other hand, I doubt many public relations advisers would give DC a gold star for a week where they can be painted across the internet as being both anti-lesbian marriage and pro-naked psycho suicide! :smt105

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