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Jim Lee Speaks on Harleygate, Teaches Fans About Context

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S.F. Jude Terror

OMCTO

Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:01 pm

MikeinLA wrote:

Its not a straw man argument. People are saying that DC looks bad because the panels aren't in context and open to interpretation. That's the claim being made. I'm pointing out the context is there in the descriptions of the panels themselves. So, if there is any misunderstanding, its the fault of the reader.


The context is not there in the page script alone. The script features Harley in increasingly bizarre circumstances, ending with her naked in a tub about to kill herself. There is no dialog. No narration. Just the descriptions of the panels.

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.


Knowing what we know now, what Jimmy Palmiotti told us, it's easy to see it. But beyond that, the idea that this is a fourth-wall breaking gag where Harley is being tortured by the writers is simply one possible interpretation, and certainly not the easiest one to come to without any additional context to the script.
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S.F. Jude Terror

OMCTO

Postby S.F. Jude Terror » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:04 pm

The most obvious literal interpretation of that script is that Harley is trying to off herself in various zany ways unsuccessfully, implying her suicide makes a funny punchline. It's only with Palmiotti's explanation (and perhaps with the rest of the comic when printed) that the intention becomes clear. None of that was provided originally.

MikeinLA

Rorshach Test Subject

Postby MikeinLA » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:09 pm

Yes, the context is there is the page script alone. Its quite obvious they are going for a sequence of surreal, "wacky" settings where Harley is described as being put out of having to go through such nonsense (except the panel where she's tickling the whale, but Quinn's always about bringing the laughs).
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Grayson

Outhouse Drafter

Postby Grayson » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:09 pm

S.F. Jude Terror wrote:The most obvious literal interpretation of that script is that Harley is trying to off herself in various zany ways unsuccessfully, implying her suicide makes a funny punchline.


Not going to lie, that exactly what I thought when I first read those panels. If that makes me "stupid" then so be it.

MikeinLA

Rorshach Test Subject

Postby MikeinLA » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:16 pm

S.F. Jude Terror wrote:The most obvious literal interpretation of that script is that Harley is trying to off herself in various zany ways unsuccessfully, implying her suicide makes a funny punchline. It's only with Palmiotti's explanation (and perhaps with the rest of the comic when printed) that the intention becomes clear. None of that was provided originally.



That's hardly obvious, because if Harley was indeed trying to come up with wacky ways of killing herself with each previous one failing her face wouldn't be so resigned in the last one. She'd be ecstatic that she finally came up with a plan that, in the context of the panel, appears likely to work.
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Ben Saltzman

FACEBOOKTron

Postby Ben Saltzman » Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:30 pm

The contest is a good idea. There's a lot of ways to illustrate that panel. A clever person could convey complex emotions or deranged bliss. A lot of people die in bathtubs, usually naked; so it would present an interesting task to hide those special bits. <-- Stuff like this used to be assumed by people from reading the description. As a whole, our critical thinking has declined, so some people have to go to great lengths to ensure everybody as the same understanding of the explanation.
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Will_Ripamonti

Snake On A Plane

Postby Will_Ripamonti » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:07 pm

Talking as one of the biggest fans of his art since the Marvel days I think that Jim Lee should really stop talking ( and typing! Hell, what a graphomaniac!) and just draw comics... Possibly after he did something for that annoying fetish he has developed for high collars and piping on costumes.
Anyway I wonder when all DC Comics executives decided that Twitter was the best place to embarass themsel... Err... Release statements and answer publicly about stuff we clearly keep getting wrong because readers are a bunch of dumbasses. *headdesk*
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Geoffrey Thorne

FACEBOOKTron

Postby Geoffrey Thorne » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:25 pm

um.

no.

none of that has ANYTHING to do with the prurient mix of sex and misogyny that constitutes the "test images" proposed in the contest.

If you're going to do it, own it. but please don't presume that every critic of this crap needs to be educated about "context' or, really, anything having to do with storytelling, visual or otherwise.

because that would be, y'know, foolish.
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Arion

Twenty-Something

Postby Arion » Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:44 pm

I like the kid Hulk story. DC should publish that.
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TimH

dINGO

Postby TimH » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:19 pm

I think this entire argument is a straw man for the neo-classic debate about the function of Harley Quinn in a post-irony meta-narrative. God is dead. It is the end of history, and we must re-evaluate our place in a macrocosm that is post-Alan Moore in temperament, yet pre-Morrison in its sophistry. Who will watch the watchers? Are James Lee and Daniel Didio reflections of ourselves, or prodigies of the inner-natures that we reject when we face God in the mirror?

Malum Aeternum. Malleus Maleficarum. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Et tu, Brute?

This is the existential conundrum we all face when contemplating how the hell Gotham City in the Batman Beyond Universe went completely Jetsons in less than 50 years.
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TimH

dINGO

Postby TimH » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:29 pm

S.F. Jude Terror wrote:The most obvious literal interpretation of that script is that Harley is trying to off herself in various zany ways unsuccessfully, implying her suicide makes a funny punchline. It's only with Palmiotti's explanation (and perhaps with the rest of the comic when printed) that the intention becomes clear. None of that was provided originally.


I miss Bruce Timm.

Do you remember that episode of Batman TAS when Batman takes pity on Harley and tries to help her reform and live a normal life?

But, yeah, to blame DC further--

Not only does DC joke about Harley looking to off herself in zany ways, but it makes a joke about a woman who suffers severe emotional problems. Sigh. Or have they changed her origin now and separated her from the Joker?

Heh, it reminds me how DC pissed all its comic-reading mental health professionals when it explained away Joker to be a schizophrenic. ;) There's nothing schitzophrenic about Joker. He's just a murderous son-of-a-bitch with a sadistic sense of humor.
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LoganRSA

penile prisoner

Postby LoganRSA » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:51 pm

TimH wrote:I think this entire argument is a straw man for the neo-classic debate about the function of Harley Quinn in a post-irony meta-narrative. God is dead. It is the end of history, and we must re-evaluate our place in a macrocosm that is post-Alan Moore in temperament, yet pre-Morrison in its sophistry. Who will watch the watchers? Are James Lee and Daniel Didio reflections of ourselves, or prodigies of the inner-natures that we reject when we face God in the mirror?

Malum Aeternum. Malleus Maleficarum. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Et tu, Brute?

This is the existential conundrum we all face when contemplating how the hell Gotham City in the Batman Beyond Universe went completely Jetsons in less than 50 years.


#duh
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LoganRSA

penile prisoner

Postby LoganRSA » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:51 pm

:lol:
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Adam Leber

FACEBOOKTron

Postby Adam Leber » Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:52 pm

Did he honestly make like 100 Tweets in a row to explain that when he could have just linked to a website with the whole post?
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Herald

Regular-Sized Poster

Postby Herald » Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:06 pm

Dan and the Gang, I told you this about the Countdown/Final Crisis debacle, and I'm telling you again about this Harley thing: Poor Communication KILLS.

Some people NEVER learn...

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