The lede got buried a bit in this Washington Post profile of comics’ Royal Couple, Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti.
After helping turn Harley Quinn into one of the few consistently read and loved periodical comics – and making Harley a cultural icon along the way – the duo are taking some time off from their monthly duties. Although Conner will continue drawing covers, writer Frank Tieri and artist Inaki Miranda will be the new team for issue #35. (Miranda is an inspired choice and Tieri will have a blast with the character.)
After co-writing the title since 2013, along with spinoffs, and Conner drawing various one shots and covers, Palmiotti says it was time for a break:
“We just felt like maybe it’s a good time to take a break, take a step back, go on a honeymoon, maybe spend some of the money we made on each other and get to know each other,” Palmiotti said. “We love this character, but we felt like, a lot of times you work on books and the sales drop and the character isn’t popular anymore. With [Harley Quinn] we figured, well, let’s take a nice break while the character is essentially as hot as ever.”
Conner admits that leaving “Harley Quinn” was a difficult decision, but one that will put her back in touch with her first creative love: drawing. Co-writing full-time with Palmiotti didn’t leave much time for it. Yes, Conner has drawn 100 “Harley Quinn” covers, while also designing the character’s new look, which aimed to take advantage of the popularity of Robbie’s portrayal on screen.
In their last issue, as is tradition, a major supporting character dies, and Harley moves to Florida to be with her parents, setting up a new locale for mayhem…or reflection.
The Conner/Palmiotti run on Harley has truly been memorable, starting with the New 52 – at the time the “juggalo” style Harley was greeted with shock, but that look for the character has lofted her to even greater heights. The book was so successful that it made the transition to Rebirth without a single change – one of only a handful of books to do so. Along the way there’s been A Valentine’s Day, a spinoff mini, and a scratch ‘n’ sniff Christmas story.
Palmiotti and Conner have never been afraid to laugh or take dark subjects and turn them on their head; it’s been a hugely influential run, and sometimes it’s good to quit while you’re ahead.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.