27 Comments

  1. color pick eyedropper results

    april 01 2019
    Bets AA8557 rgb(170,133,87) hsl(33,33%,50%)
    Gunth EDCEBB rgb(237,206,187) hsl(23,58%,83%)
    Ox EDCEBB rgb(237,206,187)
    Background wall D8A39A rgb(216,163,154)

    april 02 2019
    Bets C09560 rgb(192,149,96) hsl(33,43%,56%)
    Gunth EDCEBB rgb(237,206,187) hsl(23,58%,83%)
    LuAnn EDCEBB rgb(237,206,187)
    background wall DFAFA6 rgb(223,175,166)

    june 12, 2019
    Bets DCB39C rgb(220,179,156) hsl(22,48%,74%)
    Gunther EDCEBB rgb(237,206,187) hsl(23,58%,83%)
    panel 1 mid-wall C99AA6 rgb(201,154,166)
    panel 1 upper curve wall B0918C B0918C
    panel 2 wall AE7BA3 rgb(174,123,163)
    panel 3 wall D7A8B0 rgb(215,168,176)

    I included the wall on the idea that would indicate the intended lighting.

    A quick indicator for light and dark would be the third term in the hsl readings. In the three strips checked, Bets was at 50% and 56% in the initial April appearances, then 74% on June 12 — so yes, she was made lighter.

  2. Well, if she was dressed as Uhura, maybe she went the extra mile and darkened her skin… But then again, Gunther should have tinged his to green in that case, no? (Although Spock never really appeared green, even though Bones kept accusing him of it…)

  3. My thought was also that she was cosplaying Uhura, more convincingly than Gunther was cosplaying Spock. A future scandal when this is discovered will damage her political career in 30 years; cosplaying an Orion slave girl with really green skin might not have been an improvement, though. And I think Bones mostly went on about Spock’s green blood.

  4. In the earlier strips, Bets had brown skin, suggesting to me that Bets, like Gunther’s earlier girlfriend (Rosa, was it?), is Hispanic.

  5. I see a few possibilities: Evans chickened out; Evans was TOLD to chicken out; or different (clueless) colorist.

    And I’m glad Bill referenced the similar-but-different situation in the Stones.

  6. I cannot understand why anyone should be worried by a minor change in skin color, when we are talking about one of the most blatant “Arlo” strips of all time. Here we have a teenage boy offering his “thing” to a perky girl, while simultaneously getting his rocks off on a front pocket vibrator telephone. This would be the perfect opportunity for the PBS censor to break down the 4th wall for a visit.

  7. Usually[1] strips are not colored by the artist during the week. It’s possible that the colorist made an assumption based on the Uhura costume, then got “notes” from Evans later. If Bets shows up in a Sunday that might be more telling. I recall some striking differences in Sally Forth between the daily and Sunday with the Little League uniforms. Currently in Gasoline Alley, Joel and Rufus’s clothes are different colors. On GoComics they switched coloring sources in mid-arc so that the two seemed to have changed clothes.

    1. A few color their own. Georgia Dunn started out with a colorist when Breaking Cat News went to newspaper syndication, but took over the duties shortly after.

  8. Hey, guys. You are forgetting that these are newspaper cartoons. I get the strip in the San Jose Mercury News. Every day, Gunther’s face is completely uncolored, i.e., white. Every day, Bets is half-toned gray (the weekday strips are in black and white). So there is no difference in apparent skin tone between this and the (colored) Sunday version. I think that your online conversion process has thresholded out the half-tone rendering. Maybe someone used too fine a half-tone screen to work at your pixel density. It works fine on newsprint.

  9. Wallace the Brave is (beautifully) hand-colored (every day, not just Sundays).
    P.S. Watterson’s Sunday pages were (of course) gorgeous, but he has also managed to defend Calvin & Hobbes from the retroactive coloring disease at GoComics. Those idiots would probably recolor “The Wizard of Oz” if they had the chance.

  10. Either way, I would charitably chalk this up to “Ill-informed colorist”. I’d hate to think Evans and Evans (or Gocomics) thinks Gunther being with a darker-skinned woman (especially given the still-unfortunate timing of Delta and Rosa’s departures) would be something the audience wouldn’t tolerate.

  11. That explains why BCN has such consistent coloring. Good for Georgia Dunn.

    Here’s an early syndicated strip with standard coloring:

    And here is today’s hand-colored (she paints with watercolors):

  12. BTW, I realize this is a late moment for this question, but who th’ heck is Val Stone, who is or was her or his boyfriend, and what was it that happened to the latter anyway?

  13. Thanks for that comparison; I came to BCN after the handcoloring so hadn’t known about the difference. MUCH NICER, IMO.

  14. It’s never too late, Mitch4!

    Val Stone is the female lead in Stone Soup, whose gentleman friend (now her husband) mysteriously changed races in mid courtship..

    As one does.

  15. Thanks, Bill!

    I had to consult https://www.gocomics.com/stonesoup/meet-the-cast to make sure I was thinking of the same characters you were describing. And I guess I wasn’t. I do read this one on and off, and recognized Officer Jackson the motorcycle cop; but what I at first thought you were describing was a different strip.

    So, which is the one with the apparently white mom with the apparently mixed-race son who is now off at college, and she misses him so much she makes excuses to go visit him on campus?

  16. “Val Stone is the female lead in Stone Soup, whose gentleman friend (now her husband) mysteriously changed races in mid courtship..

    As one does.”

    Among fictional characters, this sort of thing can happen. For example, it happened to one of Harry’s schoolmates in the Harry Potter movies, and no, magic wasn’t involved. It was just that Ms. Rowling hadn’t bothered to specify that the character was black until after she had been played by a white actor in the early movies, so they recast the role.

    Sometimes it happens to gender, too. I was under the assumption that Lt. Starbuck looked like Richard Hatch rather than like Katee Sackhoff. The character of M in James Bond movies used to be a little bit more butch, too. Didn’t the Ghostbusters used to be dudes, too?

  17. When reading the original publication of Stone Soup I noticed as the Val became more serious with her boyfriend and his aunt was introduced, the aunt was colored darker and I figured she was suppose to be African-American. The next time he showed up I noticed the same about him. I figure that somehow I had missed this characteristic of his in the past.

    When the GoComics rerun got to his appearance in the strip I was relieved to see that he was much lighter in the original introductory strips and it had not been my not noticing his darker color when I read them originally.

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