Mistress of Mayhem: Harley Quinn’s Closet Plate No. 5

Harley Quinn paper dollsThis week’s Monday Mayhem brings you more Harley Quinn! This plate features more outfits from her solo comic book including torn jeans, a crop-top, her more regular stocking boots, pajamas, and bunny slippers!

I really do like that this doll, thus far, has the most interchangeable options (and that will likely continue to be the case).

But not if I don’t get on the ball and get back to working on Harley & the Joker! I’ve fallen behind on this series, so this could be the last Monday Mayhem for a while! I can’t believe how quickly I ran out of buffer (what have I been doing for the last month? Oh: drawing Star Wars paper dolls). Well I promise I’ll try my best not to drop this series, but I confess I’m teetering on the edge of a great big hole at the moment ~ ha! Last night I did manage to draw and color two outfits, though, so I might make next week’s deadline yet.

As usual, you can find the doll by clicking on the Harley Quinn tag or in the menu at the right.

[Click on this link or the primary image in this post to download a printable .pdf of this plate]

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Mistress of Mayhem: Harley Quinn’s Closet Plate No. 4

Harley Quinn paper dollIt’s Monday mayhem even in the face of President’s Day (or maybe that makes it even more appropriate?).

Today we have several outfits from Harley Quinn issue no. 9 (2014) in which Harley is abducted after a burlesque act involving a slinky space alien costume. The sparkly bodysuit was worn under the big-belted dress.

This makes total sense in the comic.

Anyway, she ends up in the lair of an obsessed fan from whom she borrows the less revealing attire of a turtleneck and black skirt, puts her hair up, and play psychiatrist to convince him to let her go (all while they eat pizza, so I really should have included some pizza accessories–gotta keep working on that aspect).

Even though there’s still a lot of red and black here at least it’s different, right?

You can find the doll by clicking on the Harley Quinn tag or in the menu at the right.

[Click on this link or the primary image in this post to download a printable .pdf of this plate]

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Clown Prince of Crime: The Joker’s Closet Plate No. 3

Joker_03_thumbMonday Mayhem continues with a new plate for Mistah J.  I’m pretty sue I’ve mentioned in the past that the 1940s were kind weird. Comic books with pretty silly and the wackier they were the better. Batman was especially infused with some bizarre concepts. It was an “anything-goes” era as editors tried to capture the zeitgeist (this got even worse in the 50s when science fiction was in vogue).

These two costumes are typical of Joker’s fare in the early days. He was always assuming crazy disguises and popping up in unexpected places. It became pretty much a schtick for Batman to be pursuing some criminal only for the baddie to be revealed at the Joker.

The artist gag actually made it into the Batman movie from 1989, though Jack Nicholson didn’t have a palette full of little guns, so it wasn’t nearly as cool ~ ha! And for heaven’s sake, put the smock over some other piece of clothing ~ we don’t want the Joker to catch a chill!

As usual: to find the doll for this series, click the Joker link in the tags or in the Category listing to the right.

[Click on this link or the primary image in this post to download a printable .pdf]

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Mistress of Mayhem: Harley Quinn’s Closet Plate No. 3

Harley Quinn paper dollThis Monday’s Mayhem brings you a new plate of very teeny-tiny outfits for Harley Quinn.

Harley Quinn has been overtly sexualized since her inception, but the artists who draw her in her solo series (typically Chad Hardin and John Timms on interiors, and Amanda Conner on covers) know how to make her sexy without being ridiculous. Yeah, she sometimes wanders around scantily-clad, but it’s never truly gratuitous and many opportunities to make it so are avoided. So, if she moonbathes on her rooftop in her purple bikini, it’s because she’s crazy like that and not because it’s an opportunity to put her in compromising positions to delight 13 year-old boys.

I actually bet the majority of Harley Quinn’s readership is, in fact, female, and the type who don’t put up with that sort of thing. Which is my long-winded way of saying yes, this week’s offerings include some very teeny-tiny outfits, but what’s to come is more along the lines of the pirate ensemble from Issue No. 3 (2014)–complete with buckle shoes and epaulets.

My favorite thing on this plate is her flip-flops. Was loathe to draw them, but pushed myself–and in doing so decided to make her footwear mix-match. Yay!

You can find the doll by clicking on the Harley Quinn tag below or in the menu at the right.

[Click on this link or the primary image in this post to download a printable .pdf of this plate]

Also: it’s officially Force February, so expect to see all-new Star Wars plates to begin posting on Wednesday.  Guess that means I’d better go finish them!

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Clown Prince of Crime: The Joker’s Closet Plate No. 2

Joker paper dollSo I missed last week’s Fear Friday sorta on purpose, but I don’t want to get into a sloppy habit of skipping because that’s not cool. Just sorta felt like since I’m doing something different for February, I didn’t want to start the new Fear the Walking Dead stuff until March. Just makes more sense to me.

Meanwhile, it’s Mayhem Monday, so you get some costume pieces for the Joker. The purple trenchcoat is part and parcel of the Joker’s gear, while the Punchinello costume was featured early in Batman‘s run ~ the first of many clown outfits to come, I guess. But since it was the first, I wanted to make sure to include it.

I think Rachel at Paper Thin Personas recently talked about how difficult it is sometimes to write a post when the art you’re posting is so old you can hardly remember making it (or something to that effect). I’m definitely feeling that right now. The whole idea of backlog is counter-intuitive to me. By the time you get around to posting something, you’ve mentally left the building.

I guess you can write the posts as you complete the work and hold them in reserve, but that feels so inorganic to me. Not sure if there’s a happy medium, but I think I’m a lot better at this if I post stuff as I make it.

Anyhoo: to find the doll for this series, click the Joker link in the tags or in the Category listing to the right.

[Click on this link or the primary image in this post to download a printable .pdf]

 

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Mistress of Mayhem: Harley Quinn’s Closet Plate No. 2

Harley Quinn paper dollMonday Mayhem continues with some pretty traditional outfits for Harley Quinn. These are the costumes she wears most often in her new series: a basic bustier and hot pants with a jacket, and then her roller derby outfit.

When I originally drafted this doll, I made these costumes all one piece, but in my revision I thought it would be more fun if you could mix and match her footwear, so I separated the boots and roller skates out (and will continue to do this for future costumes).

We’ll be seeing more diverse outfits for Harley soon enough. She does have a lot of red & black to cycle through, but lots of fun stuff on the horizon.

Harley’s also about to undergo a style change and launch a new miniseries featuring her diverse gang. She’s become quite the anti-hero in the last couple of years. Read about her new mini-series here.

You can find the doll by clicking on the Harley Quinn tag below or in the menu at the right.

[Click on this link or the primary image in this post to download a printable .pdf of this platel]

 

 

 

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Clown Prince of Crime: The Joker’s Closet Plate No. 1

Joker_01_thumbI’m not going to apologize for loving the Joker. The fact that he celebrated his 75th birthday in 2015 means I’m not the only one. Batman’s arch-nemesis was originally killed off in his first appearance, but at the last second, the editors shoe-horned a panel at the end of the story indicating that he didn’t die after all. Since then, the Joker has had a career to rival Wile E. Coyote, getting hit by trains, falling off of cliffs, and even being electrocuted in the chair–but somehow always managing to come back.

One of the fascinating things about the character is his social history over such a long haul and how attitudes toward his behavior evolve with each new generation (from a vile disposable gangster to a mentally insane prankster to a sociopath anarchist). Throughout his comic book and film life, the Joker’s been approached and interpreted in dozens of different ways (from pure evil to actually being quite sympathetic).

Alan Moore wrote the definitive Joker in 1988’s The Killing Joke so far as I’m concerned. And even Moore’s version is ingeniously ambiguous (the book has polarized fans for almost thirty years).

What hasn’t changed about the Joker is his signature purple suit.

Oh sure. the style has changed, sometimes dramatically, and then reverted a lot. But he’s also had other colors and costumes throughout his lifetime (I ain’t drawing 75 years worth of purple suits, people!). Still, you can expect to see a lot of purple, while I trawl for the distinct stuff. I think a lot of people think of the Joker as that guy in the funny purple suit with the coattails. Interestingly, there was nothing out of the ordinary about his suit originally; it was a perfectly fashionable cutaway morning coat for 1940; perhaps a bit falutin’, but nothing you would blink at (and the coloring was due to limitations in the press). As the character evolved, the purpleness of the suit became a point of interest and even though all the other characters moved on in style as they went through the decades, the Joker remained stuck in 1940 (probably until the 1970s, though many artists still draw him in the long coattails today).

BatmanVol1No1_1939_1But enough of the history lesson for now. I’m working through the entire 75 years of Jokers but I’ll skip a lot (and around). I’m sure I’ll do movie costumes eventually, but the focus for now is on comics.

Note: don’t be surprised when you download the .pdf to see the figure’s head detached. As per the instructions, this is so clothes will fit under the chin and you can trade out heads when I draw additional ones. The face here is inspired and heavily influenced by Marshall Rogers and Brian Bolland.

Also note: purple is my kryptonite. It’s not a color I “see” well (my red/blue cones must be dented or something). I have a hard time matching or complementing it and often can’t identify it in the wild (i.e. while out shopping). Nevertheless, I’ll try to use a variety of purples throughout this series to keep it interesting.

[Click on this link or the primary image in this post to download a printable .pdf of the paper doll]

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Mistress of Mayhem: Harley Quinn’s Closet Plate No. 1

Harley_01_thumbWelcome to Mayhem Monday!

When Paul Dini & Bruce Timm created Harley Quinn in 1992 for Batman: the Animated Series, she was just a one-off sidekick with a tragic story. Fan response to her was so strong, however, that she became a semi-regular on the show and in 1999 made her crossover into the DC Comics canon. Since then she’s had a rocky career between artists and writers who didn’t seem to understand what to do with her. To complicate matters, the Joker had become so evil and so abusive that the team had to be split up, leaving Harley dangling without direction–until 2014 when Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti rescued Harley with a new solo series (Vol. 2).

While I appreciate getting Harley out of a homicidal relationship (she’s no role-model for girls, that’s for sure), I worried she’d be no fun without the Joker. But her new book is wildly popular and a huge step in the right direction: smartly written with a Harley as an antihero who is whole and interesting all by herself. Eventually she’s going to have to deal with the Joker again (they have such history and none of it’s resolved). I originally thought their relationship was unconscionably awful. Now I miss their Punch & Judy antics and wish they were back together. Alas, in this current climate of hyper-sensitive illusions of perfect feminism, it’s not likely ever going to happen (sigh).

But about the doll: just as the Joker has a lot of purple (and green), Harley’s costumes contain more than their share of red and black. There have been a few different variations on her Harlequin outfit (which she no longer wears), but, like with the Joker, I’ll just pick the most divergent styles.

BatmanHarleyQuinn_1999Otherwise, Harley has a good-sized wardrobe to draw from over the last 16 years. She wears a “uniform costume” like other comic book characters, but also sports civilian clothes in a large percentage of her stories.

I’ll be drawing heavily from her current series, but also occasionally dipping into her past in no particular order. Harley is making her big-screen live-action debut in Suicide Squad with Jared Leto’s Joker in 2016 (she’ll be played by Margot Robbie). Let’s just say I am mostly reserving judgment about the design decisions they have made with the movie version. Have to see the film before I know whether I’ll be making costumes from it.

[Click on this link or the primary image in this post to download a printable .pdf of the paper doll]

 

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