I'll give this to Sam Humphries, he goes out there and faces his public, whatever the issue. We first came to know his work at Bleeding Cool with the glorious 'what if Judge Dredd was in a sexual relationship with his dog' comic book, Our Love Is Real, which deservedly thrust Humphries into comic book stardom, and saw big publishers compete to add him to their line-up. Since then he has continued to create his own comic books, as well as work for the Big Two, including the recent run on Harley Quinn, which is coming to an end in August with Harley Quinn #75.
His run saw Harley Quinn's girlfriend Poison Ivy no longer appear in the Harley Quinn comic book, something to which Poison Ivy fans have been a little averse towards. Some see this as part of a plan to return Ivy to being a Batman villain rather than the reformed environmental activist she had become. Some also saw this as the removal of a queer relationship from DC Comics titles in a world where they are still rare for lead characters. There certainly seems to have been an effort by DC marketing folk to remove any such mention of their shared status as characters. Recently, when asked about her absence, Sam Humphries said that he would love to write a story with Poison Ivy in for the comic, but DC Editorial said he wasn't allowed to. However he did say that for those missing Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn together, they should watch the Harley Quinn cartoon.
People did watch the cartoon, which recently included a rather intimate moment between Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. Sam Humphries went on DC Comics' own video, DC Daily, to talk about Harley Quinn, the comic and the cartoon, which he did at length. The episode was dubbed 'Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy Fans Have Been Waiting For This Moment' But when the subject of the kiss came up, Sam Humphries said that he wasn't allowed to talk about this at all, even though the hosts Amy Dallen and Sam Levine had no such compunctions.
Amy Dallen: Harley and Ivy, do we ship them, the answer is yes, I love this so much, I am so excited, that is the final ruling but also you are both free to contribute.
Sam Humphries: I am not allowed to comment on this, in this way, so I'm just going to have eto… you know…
Sam Levine: Oh, oh… I understand, you have other obligations, I do not and no one has forbid me from commenting whatsoever so Amy I am 100% with you. I couldn't ship this harder, h my god this everything Harley and Ivy fans have been asking for forever…
Sam Humphries: In all seriousness, I love the way this show has handled these characters, I love the way they have brought Harley and Ivy together. Do I ship them, Hell yes, I ship them, I shop them to the moon and back, I cheered when they kissed. I can;t get enough of it.
DC Comics put this out, but Humphries didn't seem to be joking, rather than he saw he looked a bit odd, before flip -flopping and going full support. Bit it did appear that this was another case of a left-hand side and right-hand side of DC Comics not knowing what the other is up to… which is awkward in DC Daily when they are meant to be applauding the publisher. Here, however, it is the animation side of DC, highlighting an aspect of the characters that the comic book side of DC appears to be dead set against.
Work for hire can be tough for some creators, especially those who rose to their current status through self-promotion and suddenly find themselves in a place where they can't promote their work as well as they might, through corporate concerns. I am reminded of the time that Mark Millar, through his tame journalist friends, got a story about Apollo and Midnighter being a gay Batman and Superman onto the front pages of the world media, to instant sellouts and increased sales, only for an enraged DC Comics to slap him down and instigate continual micro-managing of the comic books from that point on. Of course, Sam is only on Harley for a few short months.
Anyway, time to get on that Batman sitting thing now.