WAIT… WHOSE DAY IS IT?

KC Carlson

KC Carlson


A KC COLUMN by KC Carlson

Saturday, September 23 is Batman Day this year… except it isn’t.

Confused yet? Don’t worry, I’ll make that worse.

Normally, Batman Day is celebrated on May 1, apparently chosen because that was the day back in 1939 when Detective Comics #27 — the first appearance of Batman, for the three people who don’t know that — probably hit the newsstands. I unfortunately wasn’t there (first-hand, anyway), seeing as how I wasn’t born yet. I have attempted numerous time-travel events back to 1939 to buy up all the Detective Comics #27s for myself, but I only succeeded in breaking time into infinite shards. Oops. Mea culpa. I may be accidentally responsible for messing up a lot of current things on the planet — many of which have been documented on HBO’s John Oliver Show (formally known as Last Week Tonight) over the past couple of years. Also, watch for the five-issue miniseries Infinite Shards coming from DC… uh, never!

Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn


Anyway… the “Batman Day” currently scheduled for September 23 of this year (2017, right?) actually should be called Harley Quinn Day because 25 years ago, Harley debuted on the acclaimed Batman: The Animated Series. Daytime TV animation after that was never the same. (And neither were animation voices. Shout-out to Arleen Sorkin!)

There’s going to be a lot of Harley at your local comic shop on that day, including a bunch of free giveaway stuff, plus a number of new HQ collections and gift books for purchase! The world-famous Baltimore Comic-Con also happens to be taking place that day, so attendees should be on the lookout for a very special Batman Day Panel featuring Harley writer/artists Amanda Connor, Jimmy Palmiotti, and artist John Timms in attendance!

LOOK AT ALL THE HARLEY SWAG!!!

Here are some of the Harley Quinn items hitting comics shops in the next couple of weeks, starting with a few comic giveaways.

Harley Quinn (Batman Day 2017 Special Edition)

Harley Quinn (Batman Day 2017 Special Edition)


The cover of Harley Quinn (Batman Day 2017 Special Edition) (reprinting HQ #11, by Amanda Connor) features the Harley Quinn logo taped over the traditional Batman Day logo and also features Harley with a bound-to-a-chair Joker. That should be popular… And it’s FREE!

Batman (Batman Day 2017 Special Edition)

Batman (Batman Day 2017 Special Edition)


Batman (Batman Day 2017 Special Edition) reprints Batman #16, the first chapter of “I Am Bane,” written by Tom King with art by David Finch. The cover by Ryan Sook features Batman and Harley Quinn in an homage to The Dark Knight Returns #1. This issue also includes a new, three-page original story written by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti with art by Bret Blevins! Also FREE!

DC Super Hero Girls (Batman Day 2017 Special Edition)

DC Super Hero Girls (Batman Day 2017 Special Edition)


DC Super Hero Girls (Batman Day 2017 Special Edition) features a chapter of the upcoming all-ages original graphic novel DC Super Hero Girls: Out of the Bottle. The story, starring Harley Quinn, features the girls making their own comics, which come to life with magic paint! It’s written by Shea Fontana with art by Marcelo DiChiara and Agnes Garbowska and a cover by Yancey Labat. Again… FREE!

Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special

Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special


Harley Quinn 25th Anniversary Special — An all-new collection of stories written and drawn by some legendary Harley talent — as well as folks who have never drawn her before! Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti, Paul Dini, Chip Zdarsky, Chad Hardin, and Joe Quinones all contribute, as well as many others! Also, can even Harley’s psychological acumen crack the twisted mind of… Robin, the Boy Wonder? 48 pages. Not free…

Harley Quinn: A Celebration of 25 Years

Harley Quinn: A Celebration of 25 Years


Harley Quinn: A Celebration of 25 Years: A 400-page hardcover that collects material from Batman Adventures Annual #1; Batman Adventures Holiday Special #1; Batgirl Adventures #1; Batman Adventures #3; Batman Adventures #16; Batman/Harley Quinn #1; Harley Quinn #1, #25; Harley and Ivy: Love on the Lam; Batman #613; Joker’s Asylum II: Harley Quinn #1; Suicide Squad (vol. 3) #6-7; Harley Quinn (vol. 2) #2; Harley’s Little Black Book #1; and Suicide Squad (vol. 4) #4. 400 pages. Definitely not free.

Harley Quinn: Rebirth Deluxe Collection Book 1

Harley Quinn: Rebirth Deluxe Collection Book 1


Harley Quinn: Rebirth Deluxe Collection Book 1: A new hardcover collection of Rebirth: Harley Quinn #1-13 by Amanda Conner, Jimmy Palmiotti and John Timms. 304 pages. Yeah… not free either.

Plus, the regular Harley Quinn #28 will be on the stands that week! Harley Quinn for Mayor?! Not free, but cheaper than anything else on this list!

Harley Quinn: A Rogue's Gallery: The Deluxe Cover Art Collection

Harley Quinn: A Rogue’s Gallery: The Deluxe Cover Art Collection


A little further down the calendar comes Harley Quinn: A Rogue’s Gallery: The Deluxe Cover Art Collection. Due in October, this collects all of her most memorable cover art into one 176-page hardcover edition! Features covers from such legendary artists as Alex Ross, Amanda Conner, Bruce Timm, and more!

The Art of Harley Quinn

The Art of Harley Quinn


The Art of Harley Quinn hardcover is a 184-page art book from Insight Comics due in November! (For holiday gift-giving!) This deluxe art book provides the complete history of Harley Quinn comic art, detailing the creation and evolution of the character through exclusive interviews with the writers and artists who have brought the character to life.

And in 2018: Watch for a print collection of current Harley Quinn digital material by the likes of Ty Templeton, Rick Burchett, Jeff Parker, Craig Rousseau, Luciano Vecchio, Amanda Deibert, David Hahn, Dario Brizuela, Matthew Dow Smith, Sandy Jarrell, and Ty Templeton (Again! He’s just that good!)

As absolutely no one (except me) would ever say: It’s all Harley-rffic!!!

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KC CARLSON met Len Wein and Marv Wolfman in 1981. I remember this because I have photographic evidence. Back then, I was not a working comics professional. (Well, I’m not really now either, but that’s a different column.)

Len Wein

Len Wein


I was living and working in Eau Claire after attending the University of Wisconsin there. One summer, I was asked if I would teach a history of comic books as a mini-course. I did, and there were about a dozen students for a 10- or 12-week class. At the end of the course, most of the students liked each other enough to stick together and start a comic book club. The club lasted a good while (several years), and we self-produced a fanzine (Comic Chronicles) and had a field trip or two to local conventions.

One of these was to a convention in Chicago in 1981, most likely the Chicago Comicon itself. (Sorry, brain fuzz.) A bunch of us drove down from Eau Claire and presumably had a great time. (Hopefully, most of the others have a better memory than I do.)

One thing I do remember is Marv and Len photobombing (which wasn’t even a word then) a group shot of the Comics Club members at the Con. They were at least polite about it and asked first (so not actual photobombing), but we had not actually met them yet, so it was a little odd. Although, in retrospect, in terms of other things I’ve seen pros do at conventions (like living legends almost getting publicly drunk at the bar), it was pretty tame.

I had hoped to share that photo here, but unfortunately I do not have the original — only a tiny copy printed on crap paper that’s over 35 years old. Both Johanna and Roger tried scanning it and working with some filters, to no avail. It’s all grey and washed-out and you can only tell it’s Marv and Len by their 1981 hair styles. And you can only tell it’s me because I’m wearing a KC (Royals) baseball cap, like I still do today despite not being a Royals fan at all. (Go Cubs! Go Mallards!)

As most of you know, we lost Len a few days ago. I have to believe that it was ultimately for the best, since he had been ill for a long time, but he is much missed among both friends and those who only knew him through his many characters and stories. I don’t remember the last time I spoke with him. It might have been as far back as the late ’80s, when I first started working for DC as Richard Bruning’s assistant. We might have passed in the halls, as he was on his way out of DC around that time, as I was coming in.

I did have a great long-ish chat with Marv at Heroes Con a couple of years back, which now seems to have been fated, as that was the last major comic show I’ve attended. It seems sort of a full circle: Meeting Len & Marv at my first convention, and spending time with Marv at what may end up being my last. (At least for now.)

WESTFIELD COMICS is not responsible for the stupid things that KC says. Especially that thing that really irritated you. . .Not feeling irritated today…just sad.

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