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Amanda Conner

Binge-Drinking, Brain-Bashing and Burnt Beavers: ‘Harley Quinn’ Skates Improbably Into The Spotlight

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The success of Harley Quinn seems to have taken everybody by surprise – including DC Comics, who suddenly finds itself with one of the most successful female-led ongoing series on the stands. Written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, with art (mostly) from Chad Hardin and colorist Alex Sinclair, letters by John J. Hill, Harley Quinn has proven to be a huge success with readers and retailers. And with volume one collected and out now in hardcover, it seemed like a good time to look back across the first nine issues and get a look at what all the fuss has been about.

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Bizarro Back Issues: Wait, What’s Vampirella’s Deal Again? (1997)

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Of all the spooky characters that I throw the spotlight on at Halloween, there's one that I've never really written too much about: Vampirella. That seems like a pretty big oversight, too. I mean, I once wrote about the Tomb of Dracula anime for Halloween, you'd think I could muster up a few words for one of the most recognizable horror characters of the '70s, right?

Well, the fact is, Vampirella's not actually that scary. I mean, despite her name, she's not actually a vampire. She's an alien from planet Drakulon, a planet where water has the same composition as blood. Or at least, I think that's how it worked, until 1997, when it was revealed that Drakulon was the product of memory implants and she was actually the daughter of Lilith, mother of all vampires, who sent her to destroy a 2,000 year-old conspiracy organized like a vampire Catholic Church (complete with a Vampire Pope) with the help of a time-traveling nun. Hoo boy. This is going to get complicated.

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The Smell Of DC: ‘Harley Quinn’ Annual #1 Goes Scratch-’N'-Sniff

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From its lenticular covers to its weekly events to its wanton hiring of Rob Liefeld, DC Comics has brought back a lot of comic gimmicks since starting up The New 52 in 2011.

The newest one will involve Harley Quinn and your nose. That's right. Harley Quinn Annual #1 will be a scratch-'n'-sniff issue, with the smells of leather, suntan lotion, and pizza included. There's also a smell that's purported to be cannabis. That one will be replaced in international issues with "fresh-cut grass."

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Best Art Ever (This Week): Phantom Of The Paradise, Frozen, Saga, Shirley Manson, Buffy And More

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, as well as the special qualities of comic book storytelling, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great pinups, fan art and other illustrations on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, awnd some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it is awesome.

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Controversial Suicide Panel Does Not Appear In ‘Harley Quinn’ #0

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DC Comics

A controversial panel depicting a nude Harley Quinn in a bathtub surrounded by plugged-in electronics is not in the final version of Harley Quinn #0.

Fans found out about the panel when DC Comics announced a contest seeking an artist to draw one page of the issue. DC Co-Publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee said they would personally select the artist based on submissions of a single page, and included a description of the page's four panels.

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DC And Palmiotti Respond To Criticism Of Harley Quinn Contest Page

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DC Comics

When DC Comics co-publishers Dan DiDio and Jim Lee asked artists to try out for a gig drawing one page of Harley Quinn #0 by sending in a sample page, it seemed like the major criticisms would be the standard push-back for art or design contests: One person gets paid even though potentially thousands of fans do the work.

But then people took notice of one of the panels, which depicts Quinn naked in a bathtub, readying herself to pull a string that would dump plugged-in toasters, blow dryers and other electronics in the water. Anti-suicide groups including the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, American Psychiatric Association and National Alliance on Mental Illness felt DC was making light of suicide. Others called it exploitative. Now, DC is officially addressing those criticisms.

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DC Comics Kicks Off Talent Search For ‘Harley Quinn’ #0

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In November, DC Comics will launch its new Harley Quinn series by the writing team of Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti with a #0 issue. The art team on the book will be a murderer's row of talents, including Conner, Darwyn Cooke, Walter Simonson, Paul Pope, Sam Keith, Tony Daniel, Art Baltazar and perhaps...you.

According to a DC press release, signed by co-publishers Jim Lee and Dan DiDio,  the company's holding an open talent search for someone to draw one page of the issue, which is scheduled for release November 6.

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Amanda Conner And Jimmy Palmiotti To Launch New ‘Harley Quinn’ Ongoing [SDCC 2013]

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Harley Quinn has gotten a considerable amount of face time in the New 52 as the most-recognizable member of the Suicide Squad, but one title simply couldn't contain her. So she'll be getting her own book later this year, written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, the wife-and-husband team who previously collaborated on 2009's Power Girl series. Conner will be handling art duties for the covers, with a not-yet-named artist on interiors.

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Best Art Ever (This Week) – 06.28.13

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we’ve created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it’s new, some of it’s old, some of it’s created by working professionals, some of it’s created by future stars, some of it’s created by talented fans, and some of it’s endearingly silly. All of it’s awesome.

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Best Art Ever (This Week) – Superman 75th Anniversary Edition

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We make a regular practice at ComicsAlliance of spotlighting particular artists or specific bodies of work, but because cartoonists, illustrators and their fans share countless numbers of great images on sites like Flickr, Tumblr, DeviantArt and seemingly infinite art blogs that we've created Best Art Ever (This Week), a weekly depository for just some of the pieces of especially compelling artwork that we come across in our regular travels across the Web. Some of it's new, some of it's old, some of it's created by working professionals, some of it's created by future stars, some of it's created by talented fans, and some of it's endearingly silly. All of it's awesome. In honor of this year's 75th anniversary of the first appearance of Superman and this weekend's release of Man of Steel, we present for the second time a compilation of some of the coolest portraits of Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster's brilliant creation that we've highlighted in this feature over the last few years. We know it's cheating but we didn't count on going away for a month and then coming back in the middle of a big media event. All-new next week evermore.

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