Sunday, January 12, 2014

Harley Quinn Month - Mad Love & Why Do We Make Art?

 Why do we make art? You could say we make because we must. I, though, make it hoping that someday it will be the loan means to my survival. ----A Love Letter to Myself

We have finally come to a piece of art that has a deep, personal connection with me on so many levels. I admire the story of Mad Love not only for its introspection on the character Harley Quinn, but for the tragic, cautionary tale it spins about falling in and out of love. Mad Love is the graphic novel and episode of Batman: The Animated Series that recalls the past history of Harley Quinn, how she became who she is, and what her actions did to influence her current Gotham status.

In short, (You can watch the episode for all the details) Harley Quinn reflects on how she ended up with the Joker despite having a successful career as a psycholgist.  Amongst her flashbacks she is trying to find a way to both impress Mr. J and finally take care of her bat problem after many botched attempts to get Batman.  We see the tragic tale of how Ms. Quinn worked as the Joker's dedicated psychologist whose compassion turned to obsession until she finally freed the Joker from Arkham Asylum and began her life of crime.  At the end of the episode, Harley successfully captures Batman and plans to take care of him so her and Mr. J can finally live happily ever after.  For a moment we think she is going to finally rid Gotham of the caped crusader until through some batty tricks the Joker arrives and would rather frown for all eternity than see his girlfriend get his kill.  We proceed to Batman getting free, the Joker escaping, and poor Harley being pushed out of a window by the man she thought she loved.

The episode closes with a badly injured Harley reflected on her mistakes with the Joker.  She vows to herself that she will never fall for his tricks again.  Just as she is about to rest she looks over to her nightstand.  On top it is a is a rose with a message: Feel Better Soon. - J.

Since this is the internet,  I'm not to afraid of getting personal.  I sort of see throwing any sort of thought into the internet much the same as throwing it into space.  There are so many other stars out there, burning so brightly. What chance do you even have of your own light being seen?  With that said, I have struggled with my self-esteem for a handful of years now.  I identify with Harley because she is a strong, confident girl that lets the opinions of others nearly cripple her to the point of destruction.  Her actions in this episode come from trying to get someone's attention, instead of to push herself forward.  That reminds me of why I even bother to write or make videos on the internet. Do I do it to propel my own self worth?  Or do I do it in the hopes that someone in this troll filled void will hear me, find my work inspiring, and remind me that this isn't just for nothing.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a writer.  There were no other careers I thought about because I was going to be a writer. Nothing was going to stand in my way.  Now here I am, 23 years of age, working a job I absolutely hate and writing nearly nothing.  Sometimes I get so overwhelmed by this lack of success that I freeze up.  Half the time my blog posts are late because I stare at the computer screen, realizing that nothing I write is going to be anywhere near as good as other bloggers and writers out there.  What is the point in writing if it is not going to be the best? 

And then I slap myself upside the head (as I often have to do).

Rereading my own words provides the most beautiful of wake up calls.  My words will never be the best.  Any and all of my art will never be the best, but that does not make it unworthy of the creation.  Creating is done out of the sheer need to do so.  We must not make in the name of becoming note worthy or to satisfy some need for attention.  No, we must create because we must. Of course it is necessary to want to please an audience.  There would be no point to posting my writing if I stopped caring what all of you think.  I must not expect the worst for it though.  When I see that my post has only reach a handful of people, I cant let that get me down.  When you put a painting on the wall and only a few people stop to look at it, don't assume it is ugly.  Do what you love in the hope that others will love it too, but do not do it to make others love you.  Harley is a clear example of that.

Now I just remember the cautionary tale of darling Harley Quinn and not let my epiphany be cast aside for repeating a dangerous cycle.

Next week, more Harley!  Two blogs a week coming soon.

Please leave me your thoughts.

Toodles <3

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Harley Quinn Month - Joker's Favor

Here we are!  It is 2014 and with a new year comes new goals for this site!  Not only do I plan to make more youtube videos on my channel, but I also am going to be more faithful to my writing schedule.  I know I have struggled to remain consistent in the past (due to work and life and such) but I feel that this is going to be the greatest year yet for all of my rambles, babbles, and content creation.  So what better way to start this year off than by keeping a promise I made in my Harley Quinn article I did a few months ago.  Ladies and gents, in honor of my favorite Gotham Siren, this is Harley Quinn Month!
Do us a favor?  More Harley, please!

Our first stop is going to begin at the beginning (that some mighty fine English, I say ya'll!) combined with the slickest history report you ever did saw (there goes that college edu-ma-cation of mine again).

Once upon a time there was a scene in Batman: The Animated Series in an episode titles "Joker's Favor" where the writers decided that the Joker was going to pop out of a cake and cause his usual havoc.  Along the way someone declared it might be too odd for the Joker to pop out of said cake (even though this is the JOKER we are talking about) and thought a female companion might be a better fit for the duty.  The female character was added, but inevitable the Joker was not to be upstaged and he was put back in his rightful place of popping from out the cake.  The lovely lady still stuck around for the entire duration of the episode and her place in the world of Gotham City was forever planted.  She put on her gleeful jester costume and snuggled close to her puddin', ready to take on the world! Yes, that is how our darling, Harley Quinn, was born.

It is fair to say that Paul Dini (writer, producer, and editor of Batman: The Animated Series) is the father of this beloved lady.  Although she was only planned to be a one time character, Harley left such an impression that she was permanently placed in the rogues gallery as not only the Joker's on and off girlfriend, but as her own leading lady.  Her voice was originally done by Arleen Sorkin and has since been voiced by Tara Strong in Batman: Arkham City.  Throughout all of her adaptations she has been able to hold her own amongst the many memorable characters in the Batman universe.  There were even several episodes of the cartoon in which she was the featured character.  Additionally, fans have developed such a strong love for her, that there are many creations to show off her back story and give her time in the spotlight.

Next week we will dive in the story that really brought Harley into the light, her back story as seen in the comic and television episode by the same name, "Mad Love".