Boston Comic Con 2016: Talking Harley Quinn with Amanda Conner
For every action, there is a reaction. Well, one might ask why in a star-studded convention that featured William Shatner, John Barrowman and numerous television and film alumni, that why was the longest line of each day for writer/artist: Amanda Conner? That’s simple right now she is at the helm of the hottest property in the comic book world.
Add that to the fact that Amanda Conner just so happens to be one of the nicest people across this or any Multiverse and the picture becomes as clear as Susan Storm’s wardrobe. I was thankful enough that she took time out of her very busy schedule, and I mean that as a gross understatement (seriously I’ve seen amusement parks with shorter lines) to talk about everyone’s favorite maniacal she-devil turned anti-hero phenomenon: Harley Quinn.
Graphic Policy: So hello, it’s very nice to talk to you today. As you probably guessed I’d like to talk to you about what brought you here today, Harley Quinn.
Amanda Conner: Yes. (laughs)
GP: Did you ever think that a character who started off so simple, was going to bring all this about?
Amanda Conner: No, we had no idea. When Jimmy (Palmiotti) and I said yes to writing and for me, writing and drawing the covers to Harley Quinn just thought “Oh this is going to be a lot of fun” but we never thought it was going to explode the way it did. So we are pleasantly surprised, to say the least.
GP: I’d say we are all pleasantly surprised. Who were your artistic influences when you guys decided to hop on Harley Quinn? Because she had been done before. What style held inspiration over you?
Amanda Conner: That’s right. Well, definitely Bruce Timm! We were trying to have somewhat of the look Bruce, gave her and at the same time modernize her a bit. It was important that we bring her back to her original personality and love of life and of course death (laughs). As far as other artistic influences for her, I’d have to say it was more movies than anything else. I drew from movies like Fight Club and stuff like that. I guess it’s a cross between Bruce Timm, Fight Club, and Tank Girl maybe.
GP: That’s a pretty interesting inspiration mix right there.
Amanda Conner: Ha ha, yeah we think so.
GP: Do you have a favorite Harley story yourself?
Amanda Conner: Oh geez there are a lot of them. A lot are my favorites. Y’ know one of my favorites, I’m going to actually go with one that isn’t my own. I can’t remember the name of it but it was one of the Christmas specials, where Harley and Poison Ivy kidnap Bruce Wayne and Ivy uses her lipstick to put Bruce under a spell to take them shopping. That was so fun!
GP: That was a great one. It was actually the Batman Adventures Holiday Special and Bruce Timm did that one. It’s classic. It’s fantastic.
Amanda Conner: Yes that’s definitely one of my favorites.
GP: As a matter of fact, Paul Dini did that one too.
Amanda Conner: Yup.
GP: Speaking of Paul Dini, that’s someone who gives you guys great praise for how you handle Harley and the character. Coming from that source what does that mean to you?
Amanda Conner: Oh we are so flattered by that. It’s so nice to have a nod of approval from the guys who are her (Harley) “dads”. They are the ones who created her.
GP: Pretty much. Absolutely. It’s amazing the level of success that you’ve added to her already booming popularity. It’s also very cool that the Harley Quinn fans see brought to life in the movie Suicide Squad, is essentially your interpretation of Harley.
Amanda Conner: Yeah well we are hoping so. We thought she (Margot Robbie) did a fantastic job. We were lucky enough to meet her last week and she asked us “Am I doing a good job?” We were like “Yeah you’re doing a good job! You’re doing a great job!” (laughs)
GP: Oh she certainly is. I would think that everyone in this line would agree.
Amanda Conner: I’d say so too.
GP: Last thing. I would just like to let you know, I have done a lot of these before and from a personal standpoint, I just have to say I have spoken to a lot of people today and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s because of people like you, that you have ensured that this will continue to grow and go on.
Amanda Conner: Oh wow. Thank you so much. That is so wonderful to hear.
GP: Well I thank you for your time and see you in the funny pages.
Amanda Conner: Thank you!
There it is. If the golden rule has taught us anything, it’s treat people the way you’d want them to treat you. With that being said, with weekends like these, I think it’s safe to say Amanda Conner has earned herself a lot of warm receptions for many years to come. A creator who has a love for the property that she is a part of and even more respect for the fans she does it for. Class act all the way and certainly one of Comicdom’s finest acts. Where does she take Harley and company next? Stay tuned…
*Graphic Policy would like to take the time to thank Amanda for signing the Harley Quinn action figure we donated to the patient folks in line. We have no doubt it found a nice and appreciative home.