Cosplayer Interview: Harley’s Joker
You have seen him everywhere following Comic Con: Reddit, Tumblr, IMDB, G4TV, Flickr, 9Gag, to name a few.
Anthony Misiano, aka Harley’s Joker, talks about his experience of being the Joker and the sudden popularity he has gotten in the last month.
EDRider: Introduce yourself to the readers out there.
Joker: Hi there!
E: So what made you want to cosplay as the Joker?
J: I’ve always had a love of the character, and many elements of the Batman universe, and honestly one day realized I bore somewhat of a strong resemblance so I sort of figured ‘why not’? It was summer 2011, and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do for Halloween, and this idea just hit me. I then got to work on the costume, and though I wore progressive versions of it on both Halloween and to Wondercon in March 2012, it wasn’t really completed until late June, in time for San Diego Comic Con. Even now I still have a short list of things I’d like to fine tune, new garments and props I’d like to construct, etcetera. All in all it’s a lot of fun, and as a character the Joker is so insanely dynamic, and has been represented so many different ways, that as a designer and a performer, you have a lot of creative freedom with the choices you make, which I enjoy.
E: How was the preparation for getting the Joker cosplay together (costume, make-up, etc.)?
J: How was it? It was fine. Long. Tedious. Daunting but in an enjoyable way because of course it was an art project, something I could sink my teeth into. Even when the whole project stressed me out I was enjoying it. That’s the beauty of working on something you enjoy, you’ll work harder on it than anything else, pour more of yourself into it, stress yourself out beyond belief, but at the end of the day you’re so happy you did and would much rather have done that than almost anything else.
E: What was the Comic Con experience like for you? Was it your first con?
J: I’m a native Southern Californian nerd, so the San Diego Comic Con was definitely not foreign to me. I had been several times over the years, and in March went to Wondercon in Anaheim. It was very enjoyable. It’s big, it’s crowded, and the fact that they manage to keep this enormous facility that’s packed to the gills with warm bodies so impeccably air conditioned during Summer, st an industrial feat not getting sufficient recognition. Mad props to the AC.
E: How was the instant popularity you received the days following Comic Con?
J: It was very unexpected. After appearing at Wondercon in Anaheim back in March my photos spread throughout the internet. I was in about a dozen blogs, and got about thirty new facebook friends out of it. I was expecting about the same reaction from SDCC, maybe double the numbers since I was in costume two entire days. I never could have expected this. San Diego Comic Con ended Sunday, July 15th, and by Monday evening I was getting a few hundred friend requests on facebook from people who tracked down my name, people I didn’t even know at all. By Tuesday afternoon I had to create a separate facebook page to direct what I deemed “Joker-related-traffic”, and now only about a month later I have nearly twenty-two-thousand “likes” on the page. It’s been surreal, but very fun and fascinating.
E: I guess most people would want to know out of all the different portrayals of the Joker (Live Action, Comic Book, or Animated) which one is your favorite?
J: Well the comics is where it all starts, it’s what inspires all other representations of the character. My whole life I have been a film fanatic, and I think one of the things I like so much about the Joker is how both theatrical and cinematic he is. I want to see the character depicted better on film someday. Both Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger’s performances were brilliant in the motion pictures, and I’m not saying anything to discredit their brilliant work. What is needed in my opinion is a writer, a director, an actor, an art department, and so on, who are all true fans of the comic books working together to really bring that work to life. Until then fans of the source material will never be truly satisfied. Why did the Lord of the Rings trilogy work so well? Everyone involved were such big fans of the books, the source material, bottom line.
E: How has the feedback been for your cosplay? Has anyone from Warner Brothers or DC seen it?
J: It’s been very positive, very encouraging, and very sweet. It motivates me to want to do more and do better. No one from Warner Bros. yet, but a number of DC artists, including a few whose work even directly inspired elements of my costume, have complimented my work, some even going out of their way to find me online and share some praise. That’s been one of the most satisfying experiences of all, without a doubt.
E: If I am correct you are an actor of sorts, can you tell us of the various projects you have worked on?
J: For a number of years I did a lot of theatre work, and then shifted my focus toward film, including writing and directing my own projects. My most recent film, “Moonflower”, was completed in August 2011. I spent about a year and a half working on it, and from the beginning had a plan: Finish my film, spend a year submitting it to festivals, then put it online for digital download, and that’s just what I’ve done. It’s forty four minutes of entertainment, and for less than the cost of a Frappuccino, you can watch it yourself. If you go to the link below you can see the films poster, as well as watch the trailer, a clip from the first scene, and of course download the entire film for viewing. Currently all profits, if any, will go toward more work on my Joker project, as well as hopefully getting me to conventions around the country. The way I see it, I’m an artist who works in multiple mediums, and if I’m lucky, I can use the sales of one project (Moonflower), to help finance another project (the Joker). So watch and enjoy!
E: Now do you have any future plans with your Joker cosplay (as in different versions) or anything else you would want to cosplay as?
J: Yes, but I’m keeping those secret for now.
E: Any other cons you are planning on hitting up in the near future?
J: I’m currently planning to attend Stan Lee’s Comikaze this September in Los Angeles, and I’m also going to Big Wow! In San Jose next May. I want DESPERATELY to go to New York Comic Con this October, but there’s no way I can afford the trip without a miracle, so instead I may attend APE con in San Francisco.
E: Now if fans want to see more of you where can they reach you?
E: Thank you so much for doing the interview!
J: Thank you for having me!