DC is digging into the annals of 1970s and 1980s technology in its quest to push the comic medium for a “scratch and sniff” adventure featuring the Joker’s favorite gal pal, Harley Quinn. No, we’re not kidding.
The upcoming Harley Quinn Annual #1, hitting shelves Oct. 29, will feature the lovely scents of leather, pizza, suntan lotion and a “mysterious compound.” Yeah, we’re not even going to touch the joke potential of that last one. DC will technically be calling the comic “rub-and-smell” instead of “scratch ’n sniff” due to legal reasons, and we’re also going to leave that one alone.
The modern-day Harley Quinn, run by writers Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti, has grown into an extremely entertaining monthly, and as IGN notes, a goofy gimmick like this could be a solid fit for the series’ tone. The book will features artists John Timms, Paul Mounts, Stjepan Sejic, Joe Quinones, Ben Caldwell, Rico Renzi, Kelley Jones and Michelle Madsen.
Here are some excerpts from what Palmiotti had to say about the project, explaining why they sniffed out this route:
“[T]he basic story is Poison Ivy has been thrown in Arkham Asylum, and Harley gets word that she's in there and decides that she's going to break her out. So the smells kind of work within the story. Since we have the whole breakout and why Ivy was brought there in the first place, and then we have a lot of different sequences, the cool thing about the story is that it kind of goes off to little places here and there. Although John Timms is drawing the book -- we have a bunch of artists drawing doing different scenes in the book, and it actually makes sense to the story we're presenting. So like Harley usually is, it's a very crazy story that makes sense in her head and hopefully to the readers …
It's a fun story, and it just has the added thing of smell. If it was just standalone, just a book of smells, let's say -- first of all, we would have just called it that: The Book of Smells. But there's a lot more to it; there's a great adventure, and we have Harley teamed up with Ivy fighting some bad guys. They make friends, they kick people's butts -- it's a little bit of everything in the book. The comic alone is worth it I think for people, and I think the smell is just another crazy thing to do, and it kind of works with the character of Harley, because you don't ever know what to expect next.”
As for how the smells will fit in? Palmiotti gave the example that, when Harley is wearing a leather outfit, you can rub it (ahem) and smell the leather; and the other smells (i.e. pizza) will fit organically within the story. With any other character, this gimmick would likely fall flat, but for Harley it could make for a fun tale.
What do you think? Cool idea, or one gimmick too many?