Known as one of the best Harley Quinn cosplayers this side of the East Coast, Hannah sends comic book fans into a frenzy when she arrives on the convention floor. Her accurate costume combined with her bubbly attitude and striking physical resemblance leads one to believe that one of Bruce Timm's drawings has spontaneously sprung to life. I've observed Hannah at several conventions and events and witnessed the joy she brings to those around her. I'm so proud to call her my friend and have chosen her for the very first Cosplay Spotlight on my Blog. Read on to learn more about this truly amazing and talented artist who to many, is the one and only Harley Quinn.
Victoria: How long have you been cosplaying Harley Quinn and what made you decide to cosplay the character?
Hannah: I started cosplaying Harley in 2008. Some friends invited me to go to a convention with them, and they were planning on dressing up. Being that Harley is my FAVORITE comic character, it was a total no-brainer. She is spunky, creative, twisted, crazy and fun, so I totally identify with her
Victoria: Tell me about making the costume. You made it yourself, correct?
Hannah: Yes, I did make it myself. I had taken a basic sewing course in middle school and embroidered when I was a kid, but that was about the extent of my sewing experience. When I searched for information on Harley costumes that I could buy, they came up at $50 each, and were really not good quality...plus the color combination was off. I'm kind of a perfectionist, and I wasn't willing to let those things happen if I was going to spend $50 on the costume.
Victoria: How long does it take you to put the clown makeup on?
Hannah: It usually takes around an hour and a half to two hours. I use a powder base for the white face, which takes several layers. The mask is painted by hand using Ben Nye Aquacake. That's why the mask is slightly different each time I wear it. I prefer to use paint rather than latex for the mask, because Harley's mask acts like "eyebrows" to express her emotions. I find it more expressive to keep that a part of the look.
Victoria: Harley has sported a few different costume designs. What are your thoughts on her attire in Arkham Asylum and Arkham City and would you ever cosplay any of those outfits?
Hannah: Oy, I hate the Arkham Asylum outfit! It's like sexy nurse, middle school girl, goth, punk, grunge...all rolled up in one, un-Harleyesque outfit. Plus I don't think those things work well together. It doesn't fit well with the classy, sexy image she's had for so long.
Victoria: How do you feel about Harley's abusive relationship with the Joker?
Hannah: Harley's relationship with the Joker is really tough to manage, IMO. It's a real love/hate situation--the times when he acts sweet addicts her to him, and she sees him in "Harley-vision" as this wonderful, sweet, loving man who cares for her. Every now and then she gets moments of clarity: when Joker kicks her out of his gang, or does something terrible to her that makes her leave him. Those moments of clarity show that she can in some ways comprehend and digest the fact that he might not be the one for her. In reality, I think all she really wants is a man who she cares for, and who loves her (and makes her laugh).
Victoria: What about her close relationship with Poision Ivy?
Hannah: Harley as a character has the unique ability as a character to serve as a sidekick, partner or the leader of a gang. With Ivy, she was initially more of a sidekick, and has through time become a partner in their crime sprees. They've developed a very close relationship--often based in Ivy trying to save Harl from the Joker, Harley making somewhat of an effort, and then ending up pulled back to the Joker (or getting them landed in Arkham), thus enraging Ivy who refuses to talk to her again. It's happened a few times, most recently in a recent issue of Gotham City Sirens. We'll see how this one plays out.
Victoria: What other characters have you dressed as?
Hannah: I've cosplayed as a casual version of Harley Quinn, from Gotham City Sirens as well. I've also dressed as Princess Garnet/Dagger, from Final Fantasy 9, and Sailor Moon, from the first season of her show. I have two costumes of Katara from Avatar: The Last Airbender, one from the second book and the other as her Fire Nation disguise.
Victoria: Any future cosplays you have in store?
Hannah: Right now I am finishing up a Tomoe Tachibana costume, from Trauma Team, which you can see some pictures of on my Facebook. I am also working up a Harley-as-Arkham-Inmate costume for Wizard World Philly. My plan next year is to try to focus on doing Arkham City Harley.