Draw Harley Quinn Naked, Killing Herself, To Win DC Artist Contest

Karloff

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Draw Harley Quinn Naked, Killing Herself, To Win DC Artist Contest



"Her expression is one of 'oh well, guess that's it for me,'" says DC.

DC Comics is looking for a new artist to join the team, when Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner take over Harley Quinn in November, and a contest has opened up to choose a fan to draw one page of Harley Quinn 0. The artist must draw four panels, and in each one Harley's trying to off herself. Maybe the lighting will fry her, maybe the alligators will wake up and smell the chicken bikini, maybe the whale will chow down. Or perhaps that fourth panel will be the one that finally sees her off, the one where she's sitting naked in a bathtub with a bunch of electrical appliances dangling overhead. She's holding a release cord that will see them plunge into the water. "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," according to DC's description.

"I'm a sequential art student, and I find it a bit appalling that the requirement for panel 4 is essentially drawing a female character committing suicide naked," said one commenter, Seairra Willett, in response to DC's announcement. "The sexualisation of suicide is something I will not be putting effort into for a talent search," she added. Many agreed. "This has to be the most repulsive thing DC Comics has done in a while," said Rae Grimm. Others pointed out that the week of September 10th is National Suicide Prevention Week, but the main thrust of the response was that a strong female character was being reduced to a sexualized nothing, and put in a situation that is, at best, unpleasant.

Contest collaborator Jimmy Palmiotti a Daffy Duck scenario [https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BTfctlICIAALbQx.png:large] - the 1940s animators didn't shy away from offensive material or suicide jokes - but there's nothing in the contest description to make it clear that this is what the entrants should be going for.

Issue 0 is intended as an audition piece for the artists, not just the contest winner, according to DC's Dan DiDio. Speaking at a DC Comics meet earlier this year [http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=46809] he said that "Harley is going to audition eighteen different artists to draw the first issue," with each artist getting one page to show what they can do. Harley will be critiquing each herself.

Source: The Daily Dot [http://www.dccomics.com/node/305151]


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1337mokro

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And then DC wonders why nobody is interested in reading the comics of these characters.

I am not going to go into the whole naked thing or suicide thing, but are just going to focus on the humour part. If this is supposed to be loony tunes, then it's missing the mark more than that Space Warrior in the Future Loony Toons cartoon they made. Slapstick in Loony Toons is funny because of context and execution.

What's funny about this?
 

IceStar100

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The funny thing is I can see Har doing this not killing her self but setting up this contest. Something she do for giggles her and the joker are obsessed with death and seeing how far the can make people leave their comfort zone. What the hell have at it could be interesting to see what someone with such a low political correctness can do with someone like Har.
 

Cookiegerard

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From the way it is described, her being naked isn't a must, it sounds like just a very, very bad example. Yes, the idea of the contest is ungodly stupid and weird, but they are not telling people she has to be naked. It's the "Or perhaps" bit that makes me think this way.

I still think maybe the contest could have been A) Better timed, or B) Any other subject.
 

Oirish_Martin

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Sgt. Sykes said:
BTW if you consider this 'sexualized', ask any paramedic who was called to a real naked female suicide how turned on they were by the dead blue body they found. I think not much.
I'm in two minds on this one. Nudity isn't necessarily sexual. Chances are though the entries may end up being a bit more glamour shot than suicide victim (which isn't exactly a realistic depiction of suicide either).

I think the opposition is a little misplaced. I think it might be worth waiting to see what entries they pick as the winners before cranking up the outrage. I could imagine ways of drawing this that could be quite hard-hitting, in a good way.

It's not a requirement though, so I suspect people just need to read a bit more.
 

josemlopes

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Karloff said:
"I'm a sequential art student, and I find it a bit appalling that the requirement for panel 4 is essentially drawing a female character committing suicide naked," said one commenter, Seairra Willett, in response to DC's announcement. "The sexualisation of suicide is something I will not be putting effort into for a talent search," she added. Many agreed. "This has to be the most repulsive thing DC Comics has done in a while," said Rae Grimm.
So if I comment loud enough I can be part of the news?

You guys could have just talked about what DC did and leave us to figure out what to think of it.
 

Cookiegerard

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Kwil said:
Cookiegerard said:
From the way it is described, her being naked isn't a must, it sounds like just a very, very bad example. Yes, the idea of the contest is ungodly stupid and weird, but they are not telling people she has to be naked. It's the "Or perhaps" bit that makes me think this way.

I still think maybe the contest could have been A) Better timed, or B) Any other subject.
No. That's just bad writing by Karloff. If you go back to the original DC Comics request, you see it is a must:

"Read the following script page and give us your original artistic interpretation of what those four panels should look like on a single page:

PAGE 15

4 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.

- See more at: http://www.dccomics.com/node/305151#sthash.pEE1sW7y.dpuf "

That said.. I don't think it's the naked that's at issue..other than that it makes it a more realistic depiction.
Oh ok, in which case... yeah, that is a bit... odd?

I doubt however that they will pick a winner that is full frontal nudity. I reckon they would be going for something more stylised, like there just happens to be bubbles covering her naughty bits, you can only see the back of her, and so forth, that is generally how it is done in comics, based on my limited readings of them.
 

hexFrank202

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I would think this was pretty bad if it were for some other character, but really not here.

I mean guys, making Macabre Humor Disturbingly Sexy is the entire conceit of Harley Quinn's aesthetic persona.
 

Doom972

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I just finished watching the first season of Dexter, and I can say that I find nothing sexualized about dead naked females. It'll only be sexualized if the artist tries to make it so and is capable of it.
The idea is a bit macabre, but I can see Harley, being very unstable, doing such a thing. For some reason I see her only attempting it unsuccessfully. Maybe it's because she's one of my favorite Batman villians.
I don't any problem with DC using this as a test for artists. It sounds like something that could really help distinguish between the different variations of creativity and tone in different artists.

Also:
I'm a sequential art student, and I find it a bit appalling that the requirement for panel 4 is essentially drawing a female character committing suicide naked.
This statement leads me to suspect that this art student would have reacted differently if the character was male. Gender is clearly an issue if it has to be mentioned. If so, that would make that student a sexist hypocrite.
 

Mysten

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So, it's Harley being... well, Harley?

Is there more to this than the fact that she's naked? Is that really offensive? That a character would be nude whilst taking a bath? People who commit suicide in baths in real life also do it nude because they want to commit suicide whilst taking a bath. I imagine the point is to be relaxed for the act and I don't know anyone who feels relaxed whilst bathing fully clothed.
 

WhiteTigerShiro

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Cookiegerard said:
From the way it is described, her being naked isn't a must, it sounds like just a very, very bad example. Yes, the idea of the contest is ungodly stupid and weird, but they are not telling people she has to be naked. It's the "Or perhaps" bit that makes me think this way.

I still think maybe the contest could have been A) Better timed, or B) Any other subject.
No, it's a requirement. Goto the source, they specifically describe what they want in each panel.

That said, though, if you can't handle drawing something this macabre, then you maybe shouldn't be working as an artist in an industry that DOES sometimes go into dark places. Maybe not as dark as suicide, sure, but that's just it, if you're able to nail this application process, then you should be able to handle whatever DC wants to throw your way. Meanwhile, if you can't handle drawing this submission, then what else will you refuse to draw down the line? DC doesn't wanna have to deal with censoring and rewriting their comics because one artist is constantly throwing fits about the content that they have to draw; even the fairly tame stuff.
 

immortalfrieza

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If I could draw, I'd submit some sort of really ironic death and forget the whole naked thing, (if that's really a requirement they can just do it their own damn selves) like Harley trying to kill herself with a really heavy dose of Joker Toxin.
 

Mysten

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Maiev Shadowsong said:
I was talking to my boyfriend about this. He pointed something out that someone had pointed out to him.

Why mention her being nude? If she's in the bath, that's expected, right? So why go out of your way to stress it?
They specifically make a point of requesting she be nude. Not just in the bath. Not bathing. Nude. Why? Because stressing that she be naked means the artists stress that she is naked. Her being visibly nude is part of the requirement. DC is going out of their way to ask that her body be exposed. While turning women into bodies to ogle is nothing new, doing it on top of the subject of suicide is profoundly tasteless.

It's not really sexist, but it is objectifying and objectionable. It's also really fucking dumb.
I imagine they are stressing that she be nude because the final panel is intended to be a realistic (if one containing Harley Quinn) portrayal of suicide in contrast to the more cartoony and absurd panels that come before. It also stresses that Harley's facial expressions show that the final panel is also the only one in which she is genuinely aware of the consequences of her actions and is ready to die. If she was still suited up then it would still seem unrealistic because no one bathes (or commits suicide while bathing) fully-clothed.

Not stressing her lack of clothing would lead to lots of entries that would not suit the intended purpose.