Graphic novelist and young adult author Mariko Tamaki was teamed with Steve Pugh for her first DC Comics graphic novel, Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass for what was known as DC’s Ink imprint. But they hadn’t met until today, in a last-minute panel that concluded the final day of Thought Bubble in Harrogate.
The last-minute nature of the panel, made for a smaller crowd in attendance. Which is why I’m happy to share their first meeting got a wider audience. They talked about Mariko being introduced to Steve’s work when her editor Marie Javins got her, against her better judgment, to read the Flintstones series that Steve drew.
They talked about the creative process, including Steve’s practice of write and then cut out speech balloons when laying out a page, so he’s always aware of where the words need to go. About DC’s lengthy procedures making Mariko feel like she was asked to the prom but then forgotten about. And what they have learned from each other in this creative collaboration.
You can watch the panel below.
Outspoken, rebellious, and eccentric fifteen-year-old Harleen Quinzel has five dollars to her name when she’s sent to live in Gotham City. Harleen has battled a lot of hard situations as a kid, but her fortune turns when Gotham’s finest drag queen, Mama, takes her in.
And at first it seems like Harleen has finally found a place to grow into her most “true true,” with new best friend Ivy at Gotham High. But then Harley’s fortune takes another turn when Mama’s drag cabaret becomes the next victim in the wave of gentrification that’s taking over the neighborhood.
Now Harleen is mad. In turning her anger into action, she is faced with two choices: join Ivy, who’s campaigning to make the neighborhood a better place to live, or join The Joker, who plans to take down Gotham one corporation at a time.
From Eisner Award and Caldecott Honor-winning author Mariko Tamaki (This One Summer) and Eisner Award-nominated artist Steve Pugh (The Flintstones) comes a coming-of-age story about choices, consequences, and how a weird kid from Gotham goes about defining her world for herself.