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(Warning: This is a reeeeeally long-ass meandering intro so you may wanna get some snacks…)

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Mad Love in Gotham (madloveingotham.com) is the fan art/comic webpage of mou, Laura Thompson, providing you with a window into my imagination and own warped take on my fav villainous duo from the DC Comic world, the Joker and Harley Quinn. Though it’s still at the beginning stages, herein shall reside a vast collection of my fan art and comics as drawn both in comic panels and in single drawings and paintings.  As I’m an avid Cosplayer of ol’ Harl as well and make mi own costumes, I actually dress up in them and pose as Harley for all the reference shots on which I base my artwork – thus bringing me as close as humanly possible to opening a magical portal (or holodeck) and stepping thru into this world as I envision it.


In addition to my art comic stuff, you can check out my gallery of Harley Cosplay costumes via the Cosplay link (which is on the front page of the site).  YouTube-ery will also become a part of this venture in the coming months since my backround in acting and musical theatre hath prompted me write some musical parodies ‘n’ other performance piece-ery which hopefully shall amuse some H and J fans beyond myself…


Reason for all this tomfoolery?  I’ve read and own pretty much every single comic issue and graphic novel containing the Joker and most of those with Harley as well (partly because my hubby sells his art at comic conventions so when not manning the table I hit the floor and rifle thru every box of Batman-related comics and graphic novels I can git my mitts on – seeking to find any/all comics involving Mistah J ‘n’ Harl!) – and have seen/own every animated/live action film, own OODLES of collectible figurines, plates, snow globes, etc, LOVE the Batman Animated series of course, wherein Harley Quinn as a character was born, and drawn GORGEOUScently, both in and outta costume, by the fabulous Bruce Timm. Paul Dini’s inspiration for Harley - as all devoted H & J comic nerds know – being Arleen Sorkin’s (a friend of his since college) dream sequence on Days of Our Lives in which she played a court jester. 


Sidebar - I actually became a fan of Days of our Lives as a youngin’ (my grandma being the one who got me into the soap show of course) specifically BECAUSE of the characters of Eugene (played by the fabulous John De Lancie) and Calliope (Arleen Sorkin) being so unique and weird amidst all those normal soap characters.  In retrospect I think it’s a crime that somehow no live-action movie, short film or TV special at least was ever made of the two of them playing The Joker and Harley – since in a lotta ways Eugene/Calliope’s relationship mirrored the classic versions of Joker/Harley.  At least Gene Roddenberry was also watching Days from his hospital room and enjoyed John’s performance at Eugene so much that he cast John De Lancie as playing a sort of Joker of the Multiverse as it were as “Q” on Star Trek: TNG – but physically, character-wise and chemistry-wise – they woulda been so stellar playing the classic version of H and J on screen…<sigh>…Oh well…

Sidebar over

 …And in addition to the hording of comics and comic-paraphernalia – have listened to every Audio dramatized production I’m aware of based on novels involving the Joker - my fav being Batman Inferno and No Man’s Land full-cast audio productions performed by the awesomely-talented vocal actors at GraphicAudio www.graphicaudio.net - Richard Rohan in particular gives an AMAZING performance as Joker in both productions – as well as playing Batman/Bruce Wayne to perfection and narrating as well! And yes – of course Mark Hamill is awesome as the voice of Joker for the Animated Series and video games – though I’m enjoying him most these days as Mr Salacia – aka SATAN! - and various other characters from Metalocalpse!  Nice to see him go COMPLETELY to the dark side (Papa Vader would be proud)!  But while I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every bit of thee official DC schtuff - like many Joker/Harley deviant artists equipped with a dirty mind (which is a terrible thing to waste), am frustrated by the predominantly ALL AGES take on H & J’s relationship in the official DC World...NOT IN MY WORLD!


Gore and sexual innuendo in particular shall abound here! And most especially I shall enjoy showing Harley giggling while GORE-ifying victims alongside Joker wielding many a brutal Harley-fied weapon including: the Midnight Meat Train, THOR-ified ‘Harley Hammer’ I designed and swing recklessly about the house (the letter “T” in GOTHAM on the front of my site); thee deadly ‘Harley Horns’ which are actually a couple of curved saber blades (the letter “M” in GOTHAM) from The Chronicles of Riddick (LOVE that movie!) which I painted red ‘n’ black.  As well as a vast collection of guns both real ‘n’ toy – and spring-assisted blades (legal in CA – yay!) which I enjoy playing with…the real guns I play with at my local gun range of course!


As a result of my twist on Harley being more on par with Joker violence-wise and truly sharing his complete and utter disregard for humanity, while also knowing her place and NOT trying to hog his spotlight since she bows to him as the Clown KING of Gotham (I prefer the upgrade from “Prince”) she doesn’t give him much cause to be irritated with her and they operate on more of a true Bonnie ‘n’ Clyde/Mickey ‘n’ Mallory level – villainous lovebirds  - as opposed to him constantly going all Honeymooner on her ass at the drop of a hat.  That’s not to say I wouldn’t write scenes where Joker occasionally wants to kill Harl when he feels things might be getting too predictable, too domesticated (don’t we all wanna do that sometimes – even to our most LOVED ones???)…but somehow Harley is always able to show him indirectly or directly how poifect a match made in HELL her whack-a-doodle (doodly-doodly-doo) mind ‘n’ bod are fer him…plus in my world she enjoys FFM threesomes now and then to spice things up and put an extra “spark” back into their relationship!  Woo-hoo!  Now whether or not they leave the other gal ALIVE post-threesome…well, you’ll have to wait ‘n’ see...


Yet despite my amping up her violence factor, Harley still retains her bubbly cute essence.  Psycho ‘n’ Sweet don’t have to be mutually exclusive character traits in my book.  You WON’T find any outright erotica/porn fan art here – since I prefer to leave a little sum’n-sum’n to the imagination - but you will find much dialogue ‘n’ many uh drah-ring which promote my view that the Joker was NOT CASTRATED or sex-drive eliminated as a result of his little dip into the ol’ Ace Chemical stew.  Hence you’ll find aqui that Harley ain’t just simply a “side-kick,” whom he manipulates, she’s a damn fine fuck-buddy as well as being a devoted, subservient crazy bitch to his Machiavellian mad dog.  I mean it’s impossible in my mind that he truly could “pass” on taking regular advantage of a yummy blonde-pigtailed bouncy-bottomed thang like Harley Quinn...Joker may be MAD…but he’s not CRAZY!   And he’s not remotely bi or gay in my world (though I heartily support imaginative minds who wish to go down that road to fulfill their own writing/artistic fantasies - go for it if that puts a smile on your face!).


Some notable exceptions in official DC comics, where inferences were thankfully made to the Joker either having at least had or currently having functional hetero male equipment include the widely loved The Killing Joke - thank you Alan Moore for that forever memorable line spoken by his wife, Jeannie, “I still love you, y’know? Job or no job, you’re still good in the sack…” – I contend that his chemical transmogrification did NOT put a KABASH on his good-in-sack-ness-ness…ness. Also enjoyed the revisiting of The Killing Joke - in Batman Gotham Knights #54 – though I prefer the original storyline that the death of Jeannie was in fact totally a random act of bad electrical wiring – (a pure act of chaos) rather than a planned hit on her to punish Jack Napier, Joe Kerr, or whatever your fav pre-Joker name is for the great green-haired Laughing God of Gotham.  But I still enjoyed the writer/artists’ exploration down a different road and paying homage to The Killing Joke.


Grant Morrison gave Harley a more violent slant in Batman #663 (too bad it wasn’t #666 – that woulda been too cool) which although I wasn’t crazy about art-wise – thoroughly enjoyed the darkening of Harl as a character including the mention of her having slayed and buried beneath the floorboards the Joker’s speech therapist, Jane Wisakedjak.  Soooooooo GACY of her…awesome!  And in that comic issue lay some great prose describing her twisted love of Mistah J in the way I likewise love the character: “She goes gooey when she thinks of his ghastly mask of hate.  She loves his shattered thoughts, imagining them in all their labyrinthine, jeweled disarray as unknown cities on a distant planet and she, the girl explorer, lost among sinister wonders.” And a juicy description of Harl therein as well: “Her eyes roll, fractured semi-precious stones set like charms in a frightened little Halloween-cake face.  She’s cute like a Chihuahua pup with rabies, or a baby swinging an open razor.”  HELL YES!!!  


This more psychotic and ruthless version of Harl (while still cute as a button) is more preferable to mou then the homemaker-wannabe who wishes to eliminate Bats from the game so she can – “settle down ‘n’ breed with Puddin’.” Per Dini/Timm’s original Mad Love comic – Harley was written as a conniving tricksy ruthless little thang who was not opposed to sleeping with professor(s) to get down her desired educational path, and that educational thing being sort of a scam as well since her ultimate goal was to make moocho buck-a-roonies cranking out pop-psychology self-help books!  She’s as naughty ‘n’ un-nuclear a gal as it gets! Seems to take after her Daddy dearest per Dini’s Gotham City Sirens in Holiday Story comic (Love that peek into Harley’s mum-dad-brother family history when she comes back home for a visit!).  However despite not diggin’ the homemaker-wannabe references on the whole, I will completely contradict myself by admitting I did ADORE Dini ‘n’ Timm’s sequence in the Mad Love comic where Harley imagines having the two Harley-Joker esque kiddies with him who both seem extremely brutal – reminding me in a twisted way of one of my fav Cannibal Corpse songs – The Wretched Spawn. I have to admit I’ve often sided with the Joker’s desire to OFF Harley when she oversteps her bounds or attempts to “ball ‘n’ chain” his hysterical highness, trying to make him serve time in a domestic graveyard (intentional lyrical reference there to The Ubiquitous Mr. Lovegroove by Dead Can Dance – love that song!). Glad that in Gotham City Sirens #4 – Dini wrote these lovely words to come outta Harl’s mouth when on the outs with Mistah J, thinking she was cuddling up to Bruce Wayne (really Thomas Elliott aka Hush in disguise), “Don’t you have a KID or something? – Oh, a family man.  Sorry Brucie.  I’m not really into the whole soccer mom thing.”  Hallelujah! Thank you Paul Dini!  That’s MY gun moll-y goil – more interested in MAULING than takin’ the kiddies to the mall!  And frankly, having too much warped fun as a Krazy Kid herself to want to give it all up and be a responsible adult – Bleeeah!


Loved the Batman: Going Sane comics which I bought as the compiled graphic novel.  Exploring what would happen if the Joker actually KILLED Batman…he’d have to go straight right?  Cuz all the fun would be taken outta inflicting havoc ‘n’ mayhem on others without his ultimate straight man there to play off of?  And hence he gets a normal job, lives in an apt and meets ‘n’ proposes to a gal (after shown living/sleeping together with her in sin – right on! NOT old school in that dept!) who enjoys the same things as he – i.e. Old Radio comedy shows ‘n’ music of the 30’s/40’s in particular – which being a fan of that music/musicals and a HUGE fan of Old Radio shows since kid-dom (thank you Grandma for gettin’ me into all that!) tickled me pink!  Especially love the framed portraits of Jack Benny and Rochester on the walls in one scene since I own nearly every frickin’ Jack Benny Radio show episode on mp3 (in varying degrees of audio quality).  Mel Blanc is especially genius on that show and Groucho Marx was by far the most hilarious re-occuring guest star. Anyway – scenes in Going Sane show the Joker (reformed) kissing and in bed with his gal, Rebecca, who although not as obvious a stunner as Harley is usually drawn, is still cute ‘n’ blonde and best yet – a seemingly reclusive weirdo who doesn’t fit in with or relate much to the outside world… <sigh> (Outside World – great song by XTC, and On the Outside –  fav ditty of mine by Oingo Boingo)


Gotham City Sirens issue # 21 “Hell Hath No Fury – Part Two” – (one of my fav issues in that series story/layout/art-wise) I nearly died with shock and joy at actually seeing in a purposely-simplistically drawn memory-montage of Harl’s - the Joker’s bare arm and hand clenching Harley’s bare arm/hand over a ruffly pillow – obviously inferring they’ve had fun times in the sack-a-roonie together – yee-hee! Fine-uh-fuckin’-Lee! 


And speaking of Lee…of course more recently Lee Bermejo’s graphic novel – JOKER – (I know – Brian Azzarello wrote it – but Lee made it ROCK for me with his unique visual style) which fleshed out visually a version of Harley as being both extremely brutal - helping to skin a dude alive back stage and gunning down all of Harvey Dent’s men while donning a gorilla suit in the Gotham City Zoo – kick-ass! - and veddy naughty – strip show teasin’ in one scene and smokin’ ‘n’ drinking with Joker in another while in skimpy attire perched upon an covers-ruffled obviously well-USED bed!  Plus I love that in every scene pretty much she’s donning a different ‘do and Harley-esque outfit in red/blk– since that helped inspire me (as did some issues of Gotham City Sirens) to go crazy costume-wise and likewise design my own Harley wardrobe instead of just donning the one classic costume.  Nothing against the classic costume which I’ve made as well and is of course great…but I bore easily – and variety’s the spice of life!


That novel in part inspired me to not only draw fan art/comic scenes based on the traditional Old School version of the Joker but also to represent the Heath Ledger-Dark Knight take on Joker – since I treasure both versions of the character (having NO inclination whatsoever to pit one version against the other like sadly a lot of comic folks do) and BOTH versions stimulate my imagination (uh…and other parts) to no end! ‘Course I LOVED Jack Nicholson’s Joker too – one of my first on-screen crushes as a kid since I’ve always been attracted to especially malevolent bad boys!  Also – I thought it would be cool to somehow work Harley into Nolan’s Dark Knight film world – hence I’ve written several comic scenes which I intend to fully illustrate which infuse my version of her into that reality. The most immediate scene which I hope to finish drawing soon involves an ALTERNATE ending to The Dark Knight which is far more nihilistically delightful and satisfying to my mind…


And – of course in video game land – LOVE Paul Dini’s most recently revamped version of Harley in Arkham City being more vicious and better attired in my view than in the previous incarnation.  I was pleasantly surprised when the Arkham City comics came along (getting my mitts on each one as soon as they were released) to see her ruthlessly slaying a room full of prison guards who dared to try and assassinate her Puddin’ with a brutal blade showing not one teeny-weeny ounce of remorse. Tee-hee!  Love it!


So if you dig any of this silly swill – lot more coming than what’s currently here -  befriend mou on facebook ‘n’ lemme know. If you don’t dig…well…then I guess..uh…piss off.  If you feel my tweaking of these characters is utterly sacrilegious and offends thy orthodox comic lore sensibilities [Warning: I plan to modify Harley’s backstory slightly (NOT like Suicide Squad though!! More subtle a change than that by far) – but hey I figuh Joker gets to have multiple Origins explored why not Harl?] then don’t give yourself a comic geek coronary – just WALK AWAY dude or dudette.  And beware…I’m an expert TROLL HUNTER!  (which is also a cool Norwegian flick I recommend)…oh yeah, and as you can tell, I like to promote my fav flicks and particularly fav bands ‘n’ lyrical references (Total mu-sick junky that I am) thru these characters mouths so if you don’t get some of the musical references they spew…look ‘em up and listen to ‘em foo’! In the words of Jack Nicholson’s Joker “Gentlemen (and Ladies) Let’s BROADEN our minds!”  At least music-wise! Get off the Generic Pop/R&B/Rap/Crap Rock pot and listen to some NON-radio, Non-VH1 or MTV friendly tune-age already! And be sure to check out my Top 69 tunes section – which contain a list of ditties which remind ME in some way or another of Harley and/or Joker (Classic and/or Dark Knight versions)! In truth, I often find music a far better companion than most other human beings.  Just give me an iPod filled to the brim with demented ditties and an endless energy source with which to recharge it and some drawing supplies and I could easily traipse off to some dark dripping cave and live in solitude like Gollum (NOT Batman) – eating sushi and orc-meat, scrawling silly stuff on the walls, bouncing about and talking/singing to myself in various character’s voices all day/night long.  <sigh>  Sounds like heaven sometimes it does indeed my precioussssss!


Side Bar II

Being a humungazoidal fan of the character GOLLUM from The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings most particularly as portrayed by the fabulous Peter Woodthorpe in the 1981 BBC Radio version of LOTR and by “Theodore” in the 1977 The Hobbit Animated Rankin/Bass film (Gawd his voice was so wonderfully PSYCHO in that! And he also played “Ruhk” – Mommy Fortuna’s assistant in “The Last Unicorn”) I hope Gollum’s even DARKER side gets to be revealed as the sometimes CANNIBAL he IS in Peter Jackson’s upcoming film The Hobbit  - “If it guesses wrong…WE EATS IT!!!” was the dialogue originally spewed forth to Bilbo (“Bulbous Bilbo, Hairy Hairy Hobbit HERO!” – for ye Nuclear Rabbit fans out there!) Baggins in the cave upon their first meeting…but who am I kidding?...they’re prob gonna edit out that dialogue, removing any hint of cannibalistic tendencies so they can make him “kid-friendly” and sell even more F’in toys to the masses…ugh…am I the only Black/Death Metal lovin’ human who really wants to see Gollum's Hannibal Lecter-esque side portrayed in the LIVE-ACTION version as well as being goofily-mumbling ‘n’ strange?! VISUALLY I thought he was awesomely portrayed in PJ’s LOTR (as were the Orcs, Uruk Hai and other Monsterous entities) but I’d prefer his VOICE to be more spastically gutteral and creepy (which I’m sure Andy Serkis could have done had he been allowed to)…rather than sounding like “Gurgi” from The Black Cauldron...and darnit! He has been hanging around the Orcs and Uruk Hai long enough by now to have garnered a taste for MAN-FLESH, not just SUSHI already! Sheeshi!



Side Bar II over


And yes – this is all in FUN – not a for-profit venture…nor do I have any inkling of an ambition to become some sorta “Queen of the H+J World” facebook or otherwise when it comes to Harley ‘n’ Joker Cosplay or fan artness-ness. My take on Harley may NOT fly with a lot of Joker/Harley traditionalists so only those with OPEN MINDS and a penchant for gore ‘n’ dirty jokes will prob enjoy my fan comic twist on Joker and Harley.  But if that’s only 5 other people in the WORLD besides me – that’s good enough!  Quality, not Quantity for me baby! Though many a talented artist sell their comic fan art at DeviantArt.com and at conventions – I won’t be selling or doing commissions.  Just right-click and save the stuff you like and print out a copy fer yerself – gawd knows I’ve been guilty of that many uh time.  (Just don’t be a shit-head and try and sell anything I make claiming it’s yours.)  I know, I know, Ledger Joker’s voice (which oddly sounds a bit like Al Franken to me) responds in my head “If you’re good at something never do it for FREE” – but hey – “It’s not about the money, it’s about sending a message.”  Plus, I’m a gal of simple tastes…


Ok – ‘nuff Mindless Self Indulgent blather (MSI – ‘nother great band!) – back to the drawing board (and sewing machine) as it were!





P.S.  You may have noticed I've DISABLED comments connected to my art on my DeviantArt page and will likewise do so in the future on my YouTube page (and will gladly un-friend anyone on Facebook who starts behavin’ like an ass) because I don't desire unnecessary critiques or negative “trolling” which unfortunately is a RABID DISEASE infecting the internet.  I think it’s sad that people of all ages sitting in the comfort of their home (or anywhere for that matter with hi-tech phones these days) feel completely free and uninhibited to bitch and nit-pick negatively over thee creative efforts of others, either out of a sense of insecurity or just because they’re completely BEREFT of a sense of respectful decorum when it comes to communicating with others!  Like Hannibal Lecter I wouldn’t mind EATING the RUDE to help rid the world of their annoying presence – Soylent Green SOB Soufflé anyone?  I recommend to those of you who ENJOY partaking in trolling and the tearing down of others’ artly endeavors to listen to the song Imposter by Oingo Boingo and realize the song was written about YOU! For those of you who dig some or all of my H & J stuff – Awesome-City! Feel free to be-friend me on facebook if’n ye care to and let me know. But I honestly don't ache for nor depend upon the approval of others.  I already know what I’m doing, writing/drawing/costume-wise is kick-ass for what I wish to communicate. Hence my point in all this is just to share my ideas/put my art out there in the internet-ian ether for anyone else like-minded for whom my own unique exploration of these well-known characters evokes forth a wicked smile and possibly even a giggle…and THAT’S ALL FOLKS!!!


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All images and writing on this site are © Laura Thompson and may not be used without my express written permission.