Cosplay Spotlight: Harley’s Joker and Joker’s HarleyMarch 27, 2015
In just over a year we’ll finally be seeing Gotham’s favourite villainous couple brought to life on the big screen in Suicide Squad, but to the geek community this is hardly the first time we’ll be seeing a worthy portrayal. Many cosplayers have come up with creative interpretations of the infamous clowns, including popular cosplay couple Anthony Misiano and Alyssa King, better known as Harley’s Joker and Joker’s Harley. These two need very little introduction – their realistic Harley and Joker cosplays and stunning photos have launched them into Internet fame over the last couple of years. Last month we featured one of their most recent projects: an epic Harley Quinn action shot, photographed and edited by Misiano himself. We recently got to interview them to find out more about their cosplay and convention experiences.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves. When and why did you two first get into cosplay?
We’re both creative, nerdy people born and raised in San Diego, California (though we live in New York City now). We’ve been artists our entire lives, and this wound up being a fun creative outlet for us.
What’s your favorite part about cosplaying? What are your thoughts on the cosplay community?
There’s a lot to love about it all. From the opportunity to create not only fun costumes but also engaging imagery, to breaking out of our personal “comfort zones” and going a little crazy at conventions, given our characters’ reputations. It’s quite enjoyable as a whole. To be honest we don’t know too much about the “cosplay community”. We never did anything like this before designing the costumes that became so popular through social media. We just like to create what we like to create, and we’ve been very fortunate to have had people respond so positively to our work.
What kind of events and conventions do you attend? Which will you be attending this
year or which would you like to attend in the future?
Comic conventions. We also often go to birthday parties, restaurants and bars. Never in costume, mind you, just as a man and woman buying a beer and/or sandwich. But we do in fact attend these events. We would say we’re part of the restaurant and bar community. This year we plan to attend a Starbucks, many, many times. In April we’ll be going to BigWow! Comic Fest in San Jose, California. We’ll most likely dress up as the Joker and Harley Quinn for that one.
What are a couple of your most memorable cosplay/convention experiences?
Meeting the artists we’ve admired. People like Adam Hughes, Brian Bolland, Neal Adams, Bruce Timm, and many others. These are the people we look up to, it’s always an honor to meet them.
Anthony, you’re a filmmaker, actor and photographer; and Alyssa you’re a talented visual artist. Can you tell us about your work in those areas and how/if it has influenced your cosplaying (or vice versa)?
The fields have definitely cross-pollinated. Having worked in visual mediums our whole lives have probably given us a slight advantage, and possibly even a different approach when designing costumes and props. We’re always trying to think about how they will read not only in person, but on camera, as well as logistical ways to make them seem functional and almost “real-world”. On the other side of the coin, the popularity of our cosplaying has spawned Joker and Harley themed personal art projects that would have otherwise never existed.
Your depiction of these iconic characters is incredibly authentic and many fans consider you to be the best Joker and Harley out there. How do you achieve this level of accuracy?
We have an eye for detail and a love of design. “Accuracy” may not be the best word to use, as we’ve taken a number of creative liberties in bringing to life these characters. However even with our own touches, tweaks and changes, we’ve always tried to visually stay true to the iconic nature of these character designs, with strong silhouettes and cohesive elements throughout.
Were Joker and Harley the first costumes you made? What made you choose these two characters?
Outside of childhoods FILLED with Halloweens, some more ambitious than others, yes. Now of course we love Batman and the universe he inhabits, characters and all. We were raised on Batman. In the end though, we come back to design. These characters have great designs that catch the eye and inspire, and we had a number of ideas for things we wanted to do with them, so we did.
Do you have any new upcoming projects you can tell us about?
You’ll have to wait and see.
What was it like making these costumes? Have you had to revamp them over time to get them just right?
Long, arduous, and very fulfilling. There have been a large number of very, very small refinements that no one will ever likely notice.
Any advice you’d offer first-time cosplayers?
Be bold, be fearless, and make strong, clear and defined choices aesthetically. And above all else, have fun. If you’re not having fun, it’s not much of a hobby, is it?
If you want to see more of their awesome work you can follow them on Facebook, check out their prints on Anthony or Alyssa‘s storenvy sites, or even see Misiano bring the Joker to life in the 3-part fan film “The Batman Chronicles” on YouTube. Watch the trailer below!