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Interview: Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, and Chad Hardin Talk HARLEY QUINN, POWER GIRL, and STARFIRE

With these creators, you know we can expect nothing but trouble...and good times.

Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti are really causing a commotion in the pages of the comics they work on. Taking HARLEY QUINN in a different direction, we’re seeing a book that is allowed to have some fun with zany scenarios. Chad Hardin has been keeping pace on with the writing duo on art duties. Amanda and Jimmy are also taking on some other projects including a Harley and Power Girl miniseries as well as one focusing on Starfire. We had the chance to sit with the three creators, share some laughs, and got some answers in between.

COMIC VINE: What’s new with Harley? Business as usual?

JIMMY PALMIOTTI: A Gang of Harleys. It’s going to run for the next bunch of issues. Harley’s figured out, maybe she needs help.

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AMANDA CONNER: She’s overworked.

JP: She’s a little overworked. With the help of Poison Ivy, they put out an ad to interview people for help and we have many many many people show up be Harley Quinn’s assistant. Harley picks out a dozen, I think.

AC: Eleven actually, she’s the twelfth one. I have something in mind for the thirteenth one.

JP: They represent every race, every background, different parts of New York, and it’s a Gang of Harleys. She starts running around with a Gang of Harleys. Of course it’s not going to go well.


AC: [pointing to Chad] And this poor guy gets to draw it.

CHAD HARDIN: Wackiness ensues.

CV: Chad, I was going to ask, what’s it like because the scripts, the stories are nuts.

CH: It’s…you like being surprised. You like having new things and new experiences. With Jimmy and Amanda, it’s never a dull moment. You never see it coming. You can’t predict where it’s coming from. It helps keep the art fresh because you’re not bored, you’re not doing the same old thing over and over again. It’s always something new and always something fun.

JP: And we see it now, right, when we write it, how Chad would draw it.

AC: We see it in Chad-images.

JP: I go, “This is going to drive Chad nuts.”


CH: “But we’re going to do it anyway.”

JP: Right. We’re going to do it anyway. We better get him reference for what I’m talking about. My dream is to take him to Coney Island and we hang out there for a week. I keep telling him, it’s a lot filthier.

CH: I did. I did go. I took like a thousand photographs.

JP: Did you go to Nathan’s?

CH: Yeah.

JP: We call it Natman’s in the book.

CV: Since all three of you are artists, when it comes to a new character, do you two give Chad any input?

CH: Amanda does a lot of the heavy lifting.

AC: I love designing new characters and new character costumes and stuff like that. That’s like a love of mine. I’m really sorry to take that away from you.

CH: I designed Goat-boy. That was me.

JP: In Gang of Harleys, it’s eleven new Harley costumes. It’s eleven. The Cosplayers are going to go nuts.

AC: Yeah, but that’s actually going to be really fun. You do have the parameters in which you have to keep it in, the diamonds and the red and black. It’s fun to see how many different ways you can interpret that. Which is pretty much what Cosplayers do. They all do Harley but they have their own interpretation of her. Which is pretty cool.

CV: And then you also have Hot Topic.

AC: And Hot Topic.

JP: We keep debating if Harley stops at one point and goes, “Hot Topic…order it now.” We keep debating that.

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CV: We just recently had the adventure with Power Girl and that wasn’t enough.

JP: No. And this adventure takes place between two panels.

AC: Yes.

JP: It’s when she jumps out of the ring with the wedding dress, actually she goes into a ring in one panel and comes out in the wedding dress, that’s where the six issues happens. Power Girl said, “This has been the longest two weeks of my life” or whatever. That’s what the six issues are. And who are we dealing with in that book? The lovely man?

AC: The sexy sexy Vartox.

JP: If you were a fan of the old POWER GIRL series we did, it takes place right after that.

AC: At first I was like, Vartox, what a jerk. At the end of that I was like, “I like him! I would date him in a second!”

JP: Sexy man.

AC: He’s a sexy man.

CV: When you wrote that original two-panels, was this already…?

JP: Yes.

CV: So you already knew you were going to do it or had to pitch it?

JP: We didn’t know they would approve it, but I said, let’s have them jump from one side to the other in case we can tell that story later on.

AC: Were we actually planning that because I remember…

JP: I was.

AC: You were? Okay, good. I just thought, oh that’s funny. Vartox, that’s awesome.

JP: No, that was in the back of my head if they ever let us do it or a special or something. Then we pitched it as a four-issue series and they decided to go to six.

AC: Talk about two writers not knowing what’s going on in each other’s heads.

JP: It’s true. That’s why we get along.

CV: Chad, how’s it feel when you see Harley drawn elsewhere? Do you feel like she’s your character now?

CH: No. I’m fully aware she was created by people other than me and I’m playing in someone else’s sandbox. I’m fine with that. I’m also thrilled I get to put a stamp on…in twenty years, I hope people come to me and say, “I read this book when I was a kid and I loved it.” That’s all I really want to get out of it.

JP: We’ll pay some children to do that.


JP: I want to make your life complete.

CH: The Harley I grew up with was the Batman animated series. There’s a part of me that really wants to draw that costume. There’s a part of me that wants to draw the Arkham Asylum costume. Even in one of the specials that John Timms got to do, he got to draw her in the bomber outfit and I was a little jealous about it.

AC: Noted.

CH: In every book, Harley’s in a different outfit. Roller derby outfit, jammies outfit, Dr. Quinzel, etc. If I’m there long enough, eventually it’ll all come around.

JP: Absolutely. We’re gonna do it. We’re gonna do one just for you.

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CV: Okay, what about STARFIRE?

AC: Starfire, she’s usually out of her element because she’s an alien on Earth. We’re going to put her in probably the weirdest and most fun place on Earth, which is Key West. I don’t know if you or any of the readers have been to Key West but it’s one of those places where you go there and you just want to stay.

JP: And an orange woman wouldn’t stand out much there.

AC: Right! They’ll be like, “Oh, she just took those tanning pills that turn you orange.

JP: She overdid it.

AC: She’s going to be there. You have to remember that she’s not encumbered by the morals that most Earthlings are. She’s with people who go, “No Kory, you can’t do that. You can’t be naked all the time. You have to put something on.” She’s very hedonistic. It’s going to be a delicate balance of making it sexy but not making it lewd. Making it cute and fun sexy.

JP: That’s why Amanda’s saying it. If I said it, it would come off as lewd. “Don’t be naked all the time…

CV: What kind of supporting cast will there be?

AC: It’s going to be a new supporting cast. Most of them are going to be human. Not all of them, but most of them. It’s them trying to deal with having an alien amongst them. They’re just trying to keep their day to day activities somewhat normal with this alien in their midst.

JP: There’s an eight-page lead-in in one of the Convergence books that leads right into the first issue. It’s going to be Starfire, in a way, wanting to get to know not superheroes, not supervillains but the people living on the planet. A lot of the series is going to be about her trying to just blend in, which is kind of the fun of the book. She’s not going to do that very well.

CV: You’re probably already thinking about it, a crossover at some point down the road?

AC: Oh sure.

JP: Anything’s possible. If only Chad could get a little bit quicker.

CH: That’s not going to happen! I am maxed out!

JP: You never know who’s going to be in HARLEY.

CH: I seriously stay awake at night wondering how Jack Kirby did what he did.

JP: Yeah.

AC: Me too!

JP: Roz [Jack’s wife] was actually a penciler. No, I’m kidding.

AC: No, but I guarantee Roz took care of every other aspect of his life and all he did was draw. I guarantee that.

JP: [to Chad] We’re going to keep you busy with Harley, don’t worry.

Busy sounds good to us. Check out the solicits for the first issues of HARLEY QUINN AND POWER GIRL and STARFIRE, on sale in June.





1:25 Variant cover by STEPHANE ROUX

On sale JUNE 17 • 32 pg, FC, 1 of 6, $3.99 US • RATED T

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.

Hey, remember the panel gutter between panels 3 and 4 of page 20 of HARLEY QUINN #12? What? You DON’T? It’s only, like, the most memorable panel gutter of the twenty-first century. Well, either way, have we got the miniseries for you, in which the full tale of that momentous and momentary pause can be told!

It’s a cosmic adventure beyond your wildest imaginings: Power Girl and Harley Quinn, stranded in a forgotten dimension, on the homeworld of the amorous warlord Vartox! They’ll sacrifice anything they have to in order to get home…except their dignity! Kidding! That’ll be the first thing to go.





1:25 Variant cover by EMANUELA LUPACCHINO

On sale JUNE 10 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T

Retailers: This issue will ship with two covers. Please see the order form for more information.

From the writers of the outrageous smash hit HARLEY QUINN comes former Outlaw Starfire in her all-new ongoing series! She’s an alien warrior princess trying to find peace on Earth, and she’ll fight anyone and anything to get it!