Can you believe it? Harley Quinn (or Harleen Quinzel) of the DC universe has been in existence for 25 years, and she’s more popular than ever. In a panel on Friday, October 7 at New York Comic-Con, fans were treated to a celebratory session delving into the iconic character. Harley Quinn comic book writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, along with Tor.com staff writer Emily Asher-Perrin, led the discussion. The room was a sea of Harley Quinn cosplayers, including myself!
Read here below for highlights from the panel…
1. Harley Quinn has been confirmed as a queer character.
Moderator and Vulture associate editor Abraham Riesman asked the panelists directly if Harley Quinn is a queer character, referencing her very close relationship with Poison Ivy. They all answered, “Yes,” and Conner said, “I thought we all already knew that!” They then talked about Poison Ivy’s intense and focused personality and Harley’s frenetic and zany essence. “She falls in love quickly,” Conner said.
2. Harley Quinn was inspired by a character portrayed on soap opera Days of Our Lives.
Many know of Arlene Sorkin as the sassy, spunky voice of Harley Quinn on Batman: The Animated Series. What you may not have heard before is that Sorkin created a “court jester” bit that she then performed on Days of Our Lives as her character, Calliope Jones. Paul Dini, producer and writer of Batman: The Animated Series, wanted to create a one-time female role to accompany The Joker on his show, and drew inspiration from Sorkin’s performance. Along with artist Bruce Timm, Harley Quinn was born.
3. Harley Quinn issue #0 includes work from 18 different artists.
Conner and Palmiotti wanted to pack a big punch with their inaugural issue. Along with their stellar writing (Harley Quinn continues to be the the highest selling female lead in comics), Palmiotti was able to get 18 artists to sign on in just one day while at New York Comic-Con one year.
4. Harley Quinn was the highest selling Halloween costume of 2015.
The Harley Quinn writers pointed out that this was before the release of Suicide Squad. They believe through the animated series, comics, and creative cosplayers, the character has been infused into pop culture.
The panel closed with a Harley Quinn cosplay contest and a Q&A.
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Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary NYCC Cosplay