Exclusive Interview: Jimmy Palmiotti and Frank Tieri talk Harley Quinn and Her Gang of Harleys

Ever wanted to be part of Harley’s crew, her squad.. her gang? DC Comics, along with Jimmy Palmiotti, Frank Tieri and the rest of their creative team, deliver just that in the new comic book series, Harley Quinn and Her Gang of Harleys that gets released tomorrow, April 13, 2016! I was honored to be able to interview them as a fan and reviewer on Batman News, so let’s get to it!

Batman News: First let me thank for you taking the time in doing this interview, especially since y’all are super busy and I had to even figure out how to schedule it around my lunch break to talk about this comic book.

Jimmy Palmiotti: I was taking a nap on the couch, actually. I’m kidding. I’ve had to do that, it’s exhausting, this job.

Batman News: I can imagine. [laughs]

Frank Tieri: Poor Jimmy.

Jimmy Palmiotti: Yes, Poor Jimmy.

Batman News: I read the comic book last night, yet again. And it’s a little different than the comic books you’ve been writing for Harley Quinn. Given that she has spunky, psychotic, yet funny personality. Why do you think people will be more attracted to her in this comic book? Do you think that now that she has her gang of Harleys, that’s going to take her out of the spotlight?

Jimmy Palmiotti: No, the story focuses on the gang of Harleys, so that they can step out from her shadows and do their own thing. It’s a setup on Harley’s wanting to see them in action and not having to depend on them. But the main focus is on the gang of Harleys and less on Harley, but of course, there is plenty of Harley in the comic book. We’re trying to establish how the influence of Harley and them stepping up to the plate for her. It shows a different point of view of Harley, through the view of others, being the gang.

Frank Tieri: Yes, of course. Harley wants the gang to step out from the shadows. She wants them to be their own individuals and especially when she puts them through the test and the kidnapping ends up being a real kidnapping by Harley Sinn, they’re forced to step up to the plate and step up to try to find out what happened with Harley.

Jimmy Palmiotti: We had some fun with the book. With seeing them in action and even seeing them not in action. They’re going out and getting pizza, going dancing, going to the zoo. If they really want to stay in this position, they’re going to have to step it up. You know, they’re a bunch of outcasts on every level and what’s more fun than reading about a bunch of outcasts? I know that’s pretty much about my life.

Batman News: Definitely agree on that. That’s something that I felt when I was reading the comic book. You know, Harley is such a popular character and we want to be like those characters when we’re reading our favorite comic books with DC Comics. I know I feel like I can compare myself and say – Hey I’m like this character, or that character reminds me of myself.

Jimmy Palmiotti: So, which one do you feel you’re like?

Batman News: I feel like I’m a little bit like – oh, geez. Especially when she said she wanted to go get pizza, but-

Jimmy Palmiotti: Ha, maybe a mixture of HanuQuinn.

Batman News: Yeah, I found myself relating to HanuQuinn and Carli Quinn. [laughs]

Frank Tieri: And the fact that you found it relatable means that we’re doing our job!

Jimmy Palmiotti: They’re not your regular people. They want to do good, but sometimes they’re way over their heads and that’s the fun of the book to see how much they get in over their heads and come through it.. hopefully.

Frank Tieri: For Harley’s sake.

Batman News: Now that we’re getting this comic book with Harley Quinn and Her Gang of Harleys, how do you think that’s going to relate with the cinematic universe and Suicide Squad coming out soon, since she’s going to be a different character?

Jimmy Palmiotti: I think that the fun of the character is that she can be in Suicide Squad, she can be in this book, with Power Girl, and even Wonder Woman. She’s also one of the few characters that you can change the look of her costume every issue and still put Harley Quinn on top of that. You really can’t do that with Batman, Superman, or even with Wonder Woman, but I think they all co-exist pretty well. I always have people say, well, where does this compare to Suicide Squad and is that going along at the same time? We look at it as Suicide Squad is before this as younger harley and this is more of what’s happening today. Any good character you can tell tales all the time and the better the story is, the more you can continue telling that story. I mean look at this, she’s in the video games as well! She’s everywhere. She’ll be in your living room for an hour and you won’t even tell.

Batman News: Ha, so true!

Frank Tieri: You know, you talk about the movie and if the movie wants to use the Gang of Harley, by all means!

Batman News: My next question is, where did you get the inspiration to write about Harley Quinn having a gang and you know.. it looks very 80s, 90s perhaps? The colors are in-your-face and vivid, where did you guys get the idea to do that, which is different from what we’ve seen.

Jimmy Palmiotti: We definitely wanted to separate it form the mini-series and Amanda went in and changed the colors of the costume. We’re actually writing a book with these brand new, seven characters. It’s a lot to follow, but we have a dream team on the book and they’re amazing… I’m talking so much that I forgot the question. On to you, Frank? [laughs]

Batman News: Ha!

Frank Tieri: Well, I think the colors help.. You know. They differentiate the characters, you know, uh.. [laughs]

Jimmy Palmiotti: Did you forget the question too?

Batman News: He did! [laughs] Well, I guess since you mentioned the fact that these characters are going to have their own story. What are some of the things we can expect in the future with these characters that’ll venture out into something else?

Jimmy Palmiotti: The main focus is the gang of Harleys and getting their own mini-series. They’re completely different and come from different backgrounds. They have that Harley attitude. They can do anything; They can do good, they can do good in the sideways-kind-of-way, but deep down they really want to help people. Honestly, Amanda and I were inspired, because people would show us all their cosplays!

Frank Tieri: Right! There’s definitely an influence of the costumes with this comic book.

Jimmy Palmiotti: Yeah, people would create their own Harley costume and it wasn’t always the same. They would come up to us at the shows and show it off to us. It’s like, Oh My God, it’s a gang of Harleys!

Frank Tieri: Yeah, if people want to cosplay the Gang of Harleys. By all means! Ha.

Jimmy Palmiotti: There’s so much joy with seeing them all dressed up at the shows.

Frank Tieri: I want to see someone cosplay as Harley Sinn from the book.

Jimmy Palmiotti: We’ll get someone eventually doing it.

Batman News: You know what! I actually cosplay also and I had seen that you guys had started that at conventions and panels to have the fans cosplay as Harley. And I love that you can be Harley as long as you have the diamond in there.

Frank Tieri: Black, Red. Yeah, exactly.

Jimmy Palmiotti: The attitude too. It’s definitely the can-do attitude, with a little bit of craziness thrown in there. We want to make it an empowering attitude and the main focus of the book is getting to know them and have some fun in the process.

Batman New: That’s amazing. Thanks for writing this book and I’m going to have lots of fun reading it. Thanks again for taking the time in taking these questions for our readers at Batman News and I can’t wait to cosplay as one of the characters from this comic book.

Frank Tieri: If you do that, let us know!

Batman News: I will!

Jimmy Palmiotti: Yeah, we’ll buy you some pizza. [laughs]

Batman News: [laughs] Awesome, well thank you so much again and I hope y’all have a good day!

Jimmy Palmiotti: Thank you, you too.

Frank Tieri: Thanks!

Had a blast talking to these guys and it made me want to do something a little different and be part of the gang. Unfortunately, the costume that I had made for the New 52 was in storage, but you know what’s the beauty of being part of Harley’s gang? Is that you can dress however and still be part of it! So enjoy the photo below and Thank You DC Comics for letting me have this interview with Jimmy Palmiotti and Frank Tieri! Make sure to pick up your copy of Harley Quinn and Her Gang of Harleys, tomorrow at your local comic book store and check out my review on it right here on Batman News!


So this is Cat, signing out as part of Harley’s Gang!