Marketing Circus Maximus!

I'm not yet cored of the collaging process.

I’m not yet cored of the collaging process.

I’ve been really stressed out, what with damaged roof issues, underground flooding, transmission repairs, student loans, and prom planning…so it seemed like a good time to check in with Therapy Clown. It has been a few months since my last three part analysis of the differing ways in which DC comics is marketing the character to different sections of the marketplace, and since then, an interesting thing or two has happened.

Hot Topic recently debuted the official DC Comics version of Harley Quinn’s T-shirt, seen in the trailers for the Suicide Squad movie. This comes shortly after the company registered the T-shirt’s phrase, “Daddy’s Lil Monster,” to prevent knock-off versions of the top, many of which appear all over eBay and other “geek fashion” websites. The shirt looks pretty much like the others previously available before DC registered the slogan, although cosplayers will have to do a little work to get it identical to the look worn in the movie, which is more “used.”

The official shirt retails for around $30, which isn’t bad, but compared with some of the eBay knock-offs, which go as low as $12, that’s still considerably more expensive, especially for fans and cosplayers on a budget. DC knows their stuff though…Harley Quinn was one of the most popular costumes last year at the big West Hollywood shindig. That market is a “target rich environment.”

Also, there’s no word on whether this official shirt is a Hot Topic exclusive, but I can’t imagine that it is. As ubiquitous as Hot Topic has become, one imagines that they want to make use of other retail outlets, featuring the now-famous slogan. The registration of “Daddy’s Lil Monster” covered all of the following:

“Clothing, footwear and headgear for men, women and children — namely, shirts, T-shirts, sweatshirts, jogging suits, trousers, pants, shorts, tank tops, rainwear, cloth baby bibs, skirts, blouses, dresses, suspenders, sweaters, jackets, coats, raincoats, snow suits, bow ties, ties, scarves, robes, hats, caps, sun visors, belts, scarves, sleepwear, pajamas, lingerie, underwear, boots, shoes, sneakers, sandals, slippers, socks, booties, slipper socks, swimwear and masquerade and Halloween costumes and masks sold in connection therewith.”

That’s like…EVERY kind of clothing. Just saying.

Harley’s Suicide Squad movie look also recently inspired a change of costume for the character in the Harley Quinn comic book series. There, Harley dons a jacket similar to the one worn by Robbie in the film, and dyes the tips of her ponytails red and blue. That Harley, though, will get yet another “new look” once the DC Comics Rebirth event begins….so let’s not get used to it. That current look is what drove today’s artwork…modeling the jacket.

I didn’t love any of the slogans, either “Owned” or “Daddy’s Little Monster”…both a bit too creepy for me, so I left them off. I also rarely draw people from that perspective, so it was a really interesting figure challenge. Finally, I think it’s well established that I think Amanda Conner is a straight up genius…but wow…it is very, very hard to emulate her line work. You appreciate more how excellent she is when you sit down and try to do compositions and line work like her.

Sans "circus poster" background.

Sans “circus poster” background.

I’m thinking it is entirely possible we might see our Harley derived Therapy Clown once more this week…I think I still have a few issues to work out on paper.

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