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The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Coda—Page 13

284 Comments on The Young Protectors: Engaging The Enemy Coda—Page 13

Are you into that sort of thing, Kyle?

Are you a reader of color? I need your help.

This is long but please be patient with me, it’s important.

So, a few years back a reader wrote to me with a concern about the coloring of our characters who have dark skin (i.e. Tsunami and Fluke). They pointed out that humans, all humans, have significantly less melanin in their palms and the soles of their feet. (And, as it turns out, thicker skin that blocks sunlight and less sun exposure in that location, as well.) And so, for folks with dark skin, this means that their palms and soles will typically be less dark than the rest of their bodies.

In traditional comics coloring, this difference has been ignored, with the palms and soles of people of color rendered just as dark as the rest of their body. In fact, I’ve had difficulty finding any example of this difference being reflected in the coloring of published comics, even independent comics (although there is, at least, one exception from a creator I admire.)

As you know, the whole reason I chose to get into making comics was because I wanted to depict folks who have traditionally been poorly represented in mainstream comics—LGBT folks, people of color, people with differently-sized bodies, etc.—as heroes. I wanted to create representation that was positive and felt real.

So when this reader approached me with this concern—which they felt very strongly about—it seemed like a no-brainer. I was prepared to unilaterally ask our artists for this change.

I happened to be at a convention when I heard from this reader and, as it turned out, wound up seated at a table for lunch with a bunch of comics coloring professionals and other artists, some of whom were people of color. I casually mentioned what I intended to do, and was surprised by their reaction: they strongly discouraged me from asking for this change.

Here’s the counter-argument:

When the reader reached out to me originally, one of the reasons they believed I should make this change is because they felt our art style is “realistic.” This reader might, for example, give The Simpsons a pass on this detail but, because of the “realism” of our art, it felt to them like a glaring and offensive oversight.

That this reader feels this way about our comic is, of course, a compliment to Adam’s and Vero’s tremendously strong art. But the truth is, our art is not photo-realistic. It certainly is more naturalistic than The Simpsons, but it’s a stylized naturalism. Just like in manga, this is not how people would look in a photograph. So that means any choices we make will 1) not look 100% real and 2) can be an indication that we are highlighting something “important.”

The argument that these colorists made to me was that, by insisting on this change, I could be highlighting racial differences (they used the example of “blackface”) and could make folks feel less well represented, not more. They argued, strongly, that I could be hurting and offending the very folks I was trying to represent fairly.

Obviously, that would be the last thing I would want to do. So it gave me pause. And when I checked in with other artists of color (and readers of color) at other conventions and elsewhere, I got either shrugs or similar warnings not to do it.

But I still find the original reader’s argument compelling. And now we have a second voice, new commenter Clinton O. (Hi, Clinton!) who expressed the same concern on the last page, as that first reader did all those years ago. As a white person, making this change still seems like a good idea to me. But my primary rule when it comes to depicting people who are different than I am is to listen, listen, listen to the folks I’m hoping to represent accurately before making my choices.

So, I’ve asked Vero to give her best efforts to show what the difference would look like. And I’d like to hear what you think in the comments.

Here is the original panel from page 12 of this Coda:

And here is Vero’s rendering of that same panel, based on my desire to address this concern:

So, now I want to hear from you, our readers of color.

Should we make this change for our dark-skinned characters? Or should we just keep doing what we’ve been doing? How would either choice make you feel?

For this one issue, for obvious reasons, I’d like to just hear from our readers of color on this. (And by “reader,” I’d ideally like you to have commented at least once before on this site—I really want to hear from folks who actually are our awesome readers and not strangers from the Internet on this.)

Please let me know your thoughts. I still haven’t printed Volumes 2 or 3 of The Young Protectors. Once we go to print, I won’t be able to make a different choice. And if the choice I make is offensive to folks who have already been treated badly in comics, then I will have made a decision that goes against pretty much everything I’m trying to do. So now is the time to resolve this, once and for all, because I trust y’all and, ultimately, I want to make sure our readers are cool with the choices we make about these sorts of things.

Thank you all for sticking with this long explanation and for being such superheroes. You all totally rock. Please let me know your thoughts. 🙂

So! Looks like Kyle is on a first date! And it’s going to begin with some jazz music in the park! What will Kyle think of the music? Is Sameer really a “very nice boy”? And is that a plus or minus for our firebending hero?

Tune in this Wednesday to find out! Hope to see you there! 😀

 

  • Flirting ahead.

  • Sapfo

    Good morning! Good Kyle!

  • Hmmm

  • Why do I feel suspicious? I think it’s that whole I’m a nice boy thing. Maybe I read too much tumblr. -_-

    • Mykle Breakfield

      I’m awfully suspicious. I don’t like this guy already. Or maybe I just don’t like the set-up. What about Spooky? How much time has passed since all that Hell stuff? My continuity clock is off. lol. But I’m trying to be open-minded and patient. All in good time, I hope.

      • D. G.

        I was wondering about time frame too.

    • Ansel

      I don’t think he’s doing the “I’m a Nice Guy” thing here, personally. To me reads more like he’s jokingly agreeing with Kyle, and also making a small innuendo (implying he could also be ‘bad’).

      I mean, he could end up sucking (figuratively) for other reasons but I don’t think this is one of them?

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    *strains*

    Kyle, you are into guys who are kind of, for a lack of a better word, edgy. Spooky, Duncan, both have their wild side. Now, that doesn’t mean evil (you dumped Duncan like a sack of hot poo when he went too far down the dark path) but if Sameer really is very nice, he might not have the spice you need to rev your engines up.

  • Pietro7

    More new questions than answers, but Sameer certainly doesn’t come across like silverfox Duncan.
    I found it disconcerting to not see Kyle’s face in any panel on this page. I wanted to see how he was reacting to Sameer, and I’m a touch disappointed not to see it through his face (which is such an excellently expressive face). Oh well. I expect Alex has stylistic reasons for this choice.

  • Songbird

    I’m going to put my vote in for the lighter palms. It’s a detail that is very true to me, but I hadn’t noticed how it’s missing in comic art, and now I can’t unsee it.

    Also, you’ve managed to capture my honest and terrible flirting strategy. Bravo (?)

  • Mikey

    As black dude who reads:
    -Never noticed these details, but would appreciate them in the comic.
    -Not sure how well Sameer represents SE Asians, IIRC there’s more nuance in their palms for darker people (e.g. darker palm lines)
    -Can understand the logistical challenges of not doing it

    Whatever you decide, I appreciate you taking the time to think through it.

    • helen-louise

      He’s darker than a lot of South East Asians. That colouring is similar to my paternal grandfather, who was from Sri Lanka. (When it was still called Ceylon, which is why I’m not stating “he was Sri Lankan”.) People from e.g. India tend to have less brown pigment and more red pigment in their skin.

      But he’s definitely realistic in design.

  • A confidently dating Kyle. ^_^ I love it!

    • Mykle Breakfield

      Just curious as to hoe he’s going to work around the flaming orgasm thing. Unless he now has enough control over his powers for it not to happen. Snarky little details, always getting in the way. Sigh,

      • Klaus

        Don’t you just hate it when that happens?

      • fujoshifanatic

        I think the way he was able to use his powers at the end of the battle showed that he has mastered his powers enough that it will no longer be an issue. 🙂

      • Nate

        Flaming orgasm… I think I saw that on a bar menu once…

        • Chris Dangerfield

          Ahahahahahahahahahahacoughcough… erm… excellent.

  • Jeff Baker

    Careful Kyle! last time you went out on a date, you wound up dragged to Hell and strung up by a mad sorceress! (Okay, you may be into that! 🙂 )

    • Mykle Breakfield

      Apparently he liked it enough to get back into the dating game… lol

      • Jonni

        Or decided one bad experience wasn’t going to stop him from living a full life.

  • As a POC (Cherokee/Choctaw) reading this, I can see the point. We’re paler on our palms and the soles of our feet than the rest of our bodies. I would certainly have noticed this discrepancy in something photorealistic, and have noticed it when someone made a serious attempt at “blackface” (or “redface”, as was common in western movies in the past) but would also color their palms. But while the artwork on this comic is outstanding, it’s definitely stylized (though better than some commercial comics I’ve read in the past). I never noticed the difference, and in looking at the two proposed versions, I don’t see one being much better than the other. But the one with the pale palm is a little better than the other, and this small detail will definitely enhance the overall quality of the comic.

  • Dannykat

    Hey there! Person of color and long time fan here. This’ll be my first comment (I’ve just been too shy) but I feel that this is important enough for me to exit my shell and leave my opinion.

    I would go for the lighter palms. It’s something I’ve noticed on all other friends of color, and despite being light-skinned, I have it as well. In fact, despite my (in progress) webcomic’s cartoonishness, I’ve felt the need to include light palms in it as well. In my opinion, it’s a nice little touch that lets people of color like me feel more recognized.

    • Welcome to the comments Dannykat! ^_^

      • Dannykat

        Thank you! Glad to be here!

  • strangeangel24601

    I have no rightful say in the skin color debate, I just hope that Sameer is fireproof.

    • Klaus

      Or that Kyle is justified in his new found confidence that he can control his powers in every situation.

  • Klaus

    A song about Ameer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Up2va2CblGk
    Well, almost anyway.

  • fujoshifanatic

    As a Black person who has enjoyed this comic for many years, I would not welcome this change. In all honesty, if the goal of any comics in general was photo-realism, most of the characters would not be drawn as attractive as they are, to reflect the real proportion of super-hot people to those of average looks, but I digress here. If you want to see a representation of the lighter palms on darker skinned people, just look for the cartoons from the early twentieth century, where we were portrayed as coons, savages, mammies and Uncle Toms. And frankly, that would be all I would be reminded of if this change were made, and I would NOT appreciate it. I say leave well enough alone; I am not looking for that much realism in my comics, and certainly not regarding an attribute that was specifically used to other POC in another, more racist time.

    I really appreciate you making the effort to ask for our input Alex, but I have to side with those who advised you against it; that second version you showed almost triggered me, especially with all the shit I’ve been through after the election. I hope I am not being over sensitive about this, but I really don’t think it would improve the quality of the comic, and it would serve more as an unwelcome distraction for me. :-/

    • *hugs*

    • Mary Klemzak

      Interesting perspective. I thought that a more realistic poc in comics, with lighter hands and feet, would be more preferable. But its not? Its actually considered more racist?

      Genuinely interested. Not wanting to offend.

      • fujoshifanatic

        It’s probably a generational thing, but I am old enough to remember when this was very much a racist thing; it’s probably partly why cartoonists and illustrators stopped doing this after the middle of the last century. They did not want to be associated with that minstrel type of artwork.

        • Bei Dawei

          I’m aware of minstrel-type art, but never noticed the hands being lighter. I’m not saying they weren’t, just that I never noticed. For me it was always the face that stood out.

    • helen-louise

      I honestly expected to like the change, but I really don’t. In my opinion, the problem is that the shade chosen is shockingly pale. It’s almost as light as my palms, and I’m mixed race who can pass for white in winter. Having palms so much lighter than his face just highlights his race.

      Not sure if I’ve commented here before but I’ve been reading since Artifice and have the book! (Along with a huge crush on Jeff). I always read the comments but I’ve probably never posted because someone else has always made the comment I would have made.

    • Geneva150

      Black woman here and yes yes to all of this!!! Thank you!

  • camelotcrusade

    I like that you’re exploring the coloring topic, Alex. Thanks to everyone who’s adding to that discussion here, too!

  • Mykle Breakfield

    I identify as white, although I’m technicaly Heinz 57 (my aunt says our ancestors humped everything that moved, and some things that didn’t) but I’ll chime in. Honestly at first, the lighter palm tone does stand out. The more you see it tho the less it does. Just like in reality. My own issue, and it’s probably because I overthink stuff, is that not all darker skinned people have the lighter palms. One of my co-workers has dark hands period. Another has a slight shift in skin tone, and one who is part Asian has an orangish-yellow tint to his skin, especially his palms. So my suggestion/cautionary warning(?) is that you can’t use the same “light shade” for all the darker characters. Of course, that could maybe be as easily rectified by you choosing a picture of the skin tone you want a character to have, try to google a hand shot, and let the colorist delve into their Crayola-MUST-be-jealous-of-it color box and choose as close as they can. Other than that, I have no complaints. the variety of persons of color represented in this comic, even the different shades of the same tone, has always been enjoyed and well received. Hell, I’m not gonna lie, I just spent 5 minutes looking at my palms and I can see a difference in my own skin tome there. And I’m whiter than Casper the friendly ghost! I say go for it. Give it a shot. If it don’t work, hey, you tried. And that’s more than most do. 🙂

    • fujoshifanatic

      Mykle brought a good point; I have only mildly noticed palm color in my friends of color, and the contrast itself between palms and the rest of the skin is as varied and individual as shades of skin color. The chances of a colorist getting this right–to evoke a sense of realism that is not evocative of coonish black face–is not very high, simply because of the careful choices in color and contrast that need to be made to achieve this effect.

  • fujoshifanatic

    As far as today’s page, Sameer is not only a cutie, but he seems like a sweetie too–just the kind of person that can help Kyle forget all about a certain “bad boy” type our hero thought he could go for. Get a taste for the diabetes, Kyle!

  • Ian Corral

    People sure like to nitpick about irrelevant details. To be honest I’m not sure how valid the criticism is that you are offending by not making them light. I don’t think many readers actually care about that, so long as the story and the characters are good.

    Sounds like splitting hairs to me.

    • Mykle Breakfield

      I respect and mostly agree with your opinion. It does have me wondering how often we see palms and feet bottoms in comics though, especially of people of color.

      • Ian Corral

        Considering you see most of them in costume, it doesn’t come up.

        You’d honestly have to actively look for this sort of thing, which makes me just think it’s taking a small issue (if even that) and making it to be more than it is.

        I really don’t see the issue here. It’s a comic after all.

  • Mary Klemzak

    Awe, Kyles getting out there and dating an actual human being! Hopefully, this will go MUCH more swimmingly than his first(?) With Annihilator/Duncan. He deserves a lot of loving!

  • Haven

    I love the diversity you constantly put on display Alex, it’s beautiful to see the many spectrums of humanity on display.

  • bobbyjoeguy

    Ok, I debated on whether or not to comment on this issue because I appear white at first glance. I have a not insignificant amount of Native American heritage. (Ute and Shoshone/Bannock) Looking at my palms I can definitely see a difference in the color compared to my other skin even though I am rather pale, and my brother who has both the same parents as me, has the darker skin and very noticeably lighter palms.
    When we would walk to school together people would tell me hello and look at him and say, “hola.” I didn’t think anything of it at the time. He thought it was funny then, but in this day and age something like that could actually be dangerous for him, but I would probably be ok because I look white.
    I guess what I’m trying to say in a very clumsy way is that every P.O.C’s experience and perspective is different and you’ll not be able to please everyone all of the time. So make the decision that you feel is necessary and feel secure in the knowledge that if you do offend someone, we know it will not be because of any maliciousness because we know that you do your best to represent everyone with as much care and sensitivity as possible. (Ugh. I’m sure this could be put more eloquently, but it’s late and I’m exhausted.)

    • Klaus

      I found this very eloquent.

      • Pietro7

        Me too. If this is the quality of what you say when you’re tired, maybe you should post more often, tired or not. 🙂

    • Geneva150

      No this was quite nice! I agree (black woman here)!

    • NoiseShaper

      Just for reference: I’m ordinary northern european and my hands only tan on the outside, so right now in summer there’s a difference, too. Not enough that it would make a really relevant difference in a comic, but all our hands have that kind of general difference between palms and back, just with our usual individual variations.

  • SaraStudly

    This is my first time commenting on this comic but I think this is an important thing to talk about. I strongly agree that no one should demand you change your comics. I also strongly believe that you should stick to your morals. Something that’s helped me is an observation from a different commenter. That people can have dark skin AND dark palms. That the looks of each individual person don’t necessarily HAVE to follow the expectation of race. So I would say keep it. That way you don’t have to back track and make all the changes. And if someone’s got a problem, tell them that that was exactly how you intended that character to look, and you have that right as an author because of creative license.

    • Mary Klemzak

      In Ch 1, I don’t think Tsunami and Fluke had this trait, did they? It would be a pain to go change. But like some are saying, its important to remain consistent. Like it was the design all along.

  • Starchitin

    How is lighter palms limited to people of color? I don’t have any non-European ancestry and my palms have always been several shades lighter then the rest of my skin…. though it is more noticeable in the summer since I tan easily.

    • Connor

      During the winter, my skin is so white that my hands (palms included) are sometimes darker than the rest of me.

      • Adam Black

        I loled.
        My grandmother was one of the only actual white people I ever met.

        ( I mean She was white. Not pink, liight peach, off white, eggshell white or tan . Sheet White ) .

        My father would get heavily sunburnt wearing a shirt.

  • Ulysses Paxton

    What a neat page! One thought comes to mind. We don’t know how Kyle characterized himself on his profile page that could lead Sameer to make this comment as a disclaimer of sorts. Did he claim to be friendly but cautious? strong but shy? new to the dating game? easing back into dating after having been burnt in the past? So many different ways he could come across as honestly, emotionally cautious.

    Sameer could be one of those people who is completely up front, boldly nice, if you will. Not someone who plays emotional games, someone who believes the best of the other guy until proven wrong. I know I’d be disappointed if Sameer turned out to be faking it.

    Even if there’s no romance involved, Kyle needs to know there are people around who don’t make it their business to manipulate him but who appreciate him as a fellow human being, not seeing him as a mutant with superpowers. He needs good friends outside of the YP team. Besides such friends can lead to future story lines! (Thinking in the far, far multi-volume future!)

    On the topic of artistic representation, thanks for being willing to address the subject, Alex. I’m interested to read what viewpoints readers who are POC have. As the old saying goes, the devil is in the details! I work in media and know readers’ perceptions can rival content at times. So I applaud your desire to talk this out, Alex. I’m sure you’ll make a well-reasoned decision.

    Meanwhile, is there going to be food at the park, too? Ice cream, cookies, adult beverages, a picnic basket and blanket? Inquiring minds want to know. 😉

  • Danul Patterson

    As a black gay male I find that there was nothing wrong with your initial approach to your coloring. This is a work of the fantastic and as such really shouldn’t be grounded too much in the realistic. In fact, I find that the process of turning this into the realistic to subtract from the work as a whole.
    Attempting to do this would be liken to Whedon giving Willow a boyfriend post Tera. It should be a matter of focusing on the play itself and not solely on the staging.

  • Klaus

    Were it not for the last line of Alex’ comment, I would have expected this to be the end of the coda. If we actually, as Alex promises, find out next Wednesday if Sameer really is a very nice boy, the answer must be no. There is no way to prove that he is in just one page.

  • Kate G

    It’s an interesting question to pose, Alex. I can understand it as I’m often asked, “Well, how do you want to be introduced? As someone with Autism or an Autistic?” One suggests I can just lop off my Autism like a cancer (“with Autism”) and one says this is part of her identity. I prefer you say, “This is Katie; she’s autistic” because you can’t take Autism away from me. It’s woven into my very fabric.

    What I personally think, is that every single person has different palms and feet. I’m something like 1/4 French-Oneida (I can’t actually remember the percentage) but I look European but have slightly darker palms and feet and pale pale skin. Some people have much lighter palms and others are the same shade and even others are darker! I have cousins who are darker than me with the reverse. This goes across the color spectrum. I think if you go this route, you would have to adjust the palms and feet for each person so it didn’t look similar. Those are just my thoughts though.

  • PreludeToA

    black man of color here. keep it the same!

  • Lee Currie

    Personally, I think the the normal coloring style works best, and while the light palms would be more “realistic” for me it just takes away from the page and makes a strange distortion in the art. It’s also such a strange thing, I’ve never thought about my palms or soles of feet being lighter, you just have this conscious thought that they are the same color as the rest of you- at least for me personally.

  • Earl Patterson

    awwww they’re dating… or one night stand?

  • Samurai Jack

    Reader of color here.

    I’ve never been bothered by the coloring in the comic. That said, I look at my own hands and see the dark back and the light palms and I can appreciate Vero’s revised coloring example here. It’s more realistic, and if it doesn’t take any more work to do I think erring on the side of realism is the way to go. In no way does this look or feel like “blackface” to me. For one thing you’re depicting people of color as they really are, not someone pretending to be a color they are not. So that objection doesn’t seem valid to me. Still, if someone finds the “blackface” argument compelling, I’d like to hear why. Convince me.

    • Geneva150

      I second this, as a black woman, convince me too because I also find that a leap in logic.

      • Klaus

        It is not a question of logic, but of emotion. One reader was almost triggered by that one image. You can not deal with that through logic.

        • Geneva150

          I understand that, but I think a person can still express their emotions with words that teach and explain their point of view.
          That’s the logic I want to hear.
          Never the less as I continued to read the comments someone did explain how this (light palms) amounts to blackface and once I read it I understood. They made mention of the old minstrel cartoons of old where the creators were actively making fun of POCs by drawing them offensively with enormous red lips and very light palms. And when reminded of those cartoons I agreed and understood how the argument of blackface could be made in regards to light palms.
          So in the end I’ve already been convinced.

          • NoiseShaper

            But wouldn’t that mean letting those old, racist distortions squat on an aspect of actual reality unchallenged, thus letting them own and poison that aspect of reality instead of superseding and evicting them with reasonably realistic depictions?

          • Geneva150

            I think that’s subjective. I personally don’t agree that certain hateful imagery or words can be “taken back”. I’m a black woman and I don’t call my girlfriends
            “my bitches” or my black friends “niggas” because I believe those words are always going to be hateful.
            Some would say that means I’m giving the “power” to my oppressors and in this case (light palms) it might seem that way too, but I think this falls in line with what the majority of POCs are comfortable with.
            This is a publication that reaches many people. I think all Alex and his team should be responsible for is depicting their characters as well rounded, relatable and non-stereotypical, which they do, with or without light palms.

          • NoiseShaper

            I think that’s subjective. I personally don’t agree that certain hateful imagery or words can be “taken back”. I’m a black woman and I don’t call my girlfriends
            “my bitches” or my black friends “niggas” because I believe those words are always going to be hateful.

            Sometimes what had once been intended as a slur can be salvaged, but some things are just too toxic for that.

            As a gay man I don’t have any urge to “own” any of the outright slurs or preconceptions that had been used against us over time, but when it’s just about depicting reality, a proper presentation does indeed push hateful caricatures aside which had occupied that particular aspect of reality and the old trash diminishes in people’s awareness over time.

            Some would say that means I’m giving the “power” to my oppressors and in this case (light palms) it might seem that way too, but I think this falls in line with what the majority of POCs are comfortable with.

            This is a publication that reaches many people. I think all Alex and his team should be responsible for is depicting their characters as well rounded, relatable and non-stereotypical, which they do, with or without light palms.

            Absolutely! That is just a detail aspect of the comic and there’s no doubt about the overall mindset behind the story and the art, which is much more important.

          • Chris Dangerfield

            Great comments.

            My primary feeling is that Alex is doing his best to balance a tricky point in artwork. How to serve his “entire” audience in the best way possible. I know I can’t make a decision like this for him — because there will always be a daily “give & take” in any journey of artistic decision like this.

            I’m an old enough gay man to understand the feeling of slurs and acid that was drenched on my younger self when, as a gay, I was depicted as [insert hateful bigotry here]. So, I would never suggest that how someone feels about color, on any body part, is not accurate or important enough to correct.

            However, I might just say that, as an artist, Alex has to make a million difficult decisions about what people look like, who loves who, who’s penis is bigger, and if Amanda is tougher than her bunch of boys, twice a week.

            It’s a profound challenge he takes on.

            I hope, whichever way he chooses to go, everyone can support his decision as a balanced and caring one.

            Now, I’ll say that I DID NOT do this well myself when Duncan bound a vulnerable young “gay” Kyle in Hell. I regret that lack of respect now, but today I better understand the passion that consumed me then. And today, I respect the profound story-telling motor he created in this graphic novel by creating that sequence.

            In any sense we are rewarded by his efforts and the thoughtful followers who comment here.

          • Samurai Jack

            Yes, I saw that argument too and I still don’t agree. We’re not looking at Mr. Popo here. We’re looking at normally drawn human characters, with normal human characteristics. One of those characteristics is skin color. Based on the artwork and the dialogue you can tell the artists’ intent. And that intent is not mockery or ridicule.

            To me, greater realism is better. But the argument someone else made about this being a fantasy world is true, and if you want to depict people differently that’s fine. It’s a story that requires suspension of disbelief. And the oddly colored palms is just another aspect that requires that suspension of disbelief. In my opinion there’s no reason to be “triggered” by this. A comic isn’t representing the real world as well as it could, or might. Now that we know it was a conscious choice of the artists there’s no reason to be upset by it at all. We just know now where one of the lines between fantasy and reality lies.

  • bronakopdin

    I’d never have expected this will be a dating scene, I rather thoguht Kyle might be there to sort out some feelings at a place where sth importatn happened or so x’D
    Well done with surprising us yet again, Alex 🙂

    as I am a white person my opinion might not matter here but I strongly agree with what a lot of other commenters said who are against a change, and with that I mean mostly
    – it is a comic and even if it’s style is realistic that doesn’t mean it must depict reality, this is a fantasyworld after all.
    – the workload that would increase. Basically as it seems Vero is really busy these days or else Alex wouldn’t feel the need to release a WIP coloured version so often, hence adding even more to Vero’s plate might really mean she’d focus on this detail but maybe reduces focus on other stuff to manage her time or most likely even unconsciously and I wonder if that is the right direction to go.
    – if we start talking about details like that there might come others with other details, tbh even my palms are brighter than my hands’ backsides, not much but it can be seen, at least now in summer. So if we ride on details like that, where shall we end and what to do to make every reader feel treated the same? You cannot fulfill everyone’s wishes for details after all or else there would be no end. Which ofc would have to be considered on the importance, of the details and how often they appear, too, but well, I fear this could start more discussions maybe?

    – as it seems from the comments here the opinions stray rather equally in both directions so whatever you do, you could never please a real majority and tbh over all these years it was 2 people who were concerned? That is not very much IMHO, not saying they have no right to bring it up but it shows that this detail is not too important to most of the readers, and even if a few might have noticed they didn’t feel the need to mention it.
    – while the people against it seem to be more pushing about it the ones agreeing are rather like “oh never noticed! Would be nice if, though if not, OK” This might ofc be due to them being nice (unintended hinting at Sameer LOL) but at least from reading the comments I got the feeling that the ones commenting against it feel more confident and passionate about that than the agreeing ones.
    – one commenter said in earlier times it was an actual stylistic point that underlined racism so I’d rather refrain to do it to not be compared to that kind of stereotypism, however as they also said it is really old artwork and nowadays it might just have changed as most readers are probably younger and have a different view on the topic not knowing this older stereotype it might not be triggering a lot of people anymore (thankfully) yet if it still does trigger some I wonder if it would be good to enter a new trigger for the sake of taking another one out? It might just be me but it seems a little pointless.

    All this said I actually agree that more realism could be nice in a way but as it wasn’t pressing for a lot of people over these what? 5 or 6 years of TYP and in comparison to the cons I’m overall thinking that leaving this unquestionably awesome comic the way it is and always was might be the better way of doing things, also for the sake of just being consistent ^^ though if it is actually a matter that offends anyone ofc consistency should be pushed back for the sake of people’s feelings.

  • Advocate

    Black guy.
    I have to echo what others have said in regards to considering the issue. Kudos for you for bringing it up. Representation is important.

    As far as the issue itself, seeing the change is jarring for me, only because it is a change. All this time, I never stopped to think “Hey what color are Fluke’s palms?” If you had been doing it from the beginning, I would have been okay with it.

    To answer this, I went back through the comic to check for instances of palm color- the natural lighting and shadow caused by positioning, light sources, etc. gives a comfortable illusion where one could speculate a difference of color between the palm and the skin tone. It looks ‘real’ enough for me.

    Ultimately, to me it isn’t a big deal either way; here I have to echo the point that every POC is different, both in the contrast between their skin/palm, and their opinion on a change like this. If I were the color of my palms, I could pass for white, minus my black features. My bud in middle school on the other hand?(no pun intended) Chocolate with caramel palms.

    I don’t think you *need* to make this change. Honestly, I’m not sure you should, either. Not because I think it would be wrong or insulting, but simply because it’s unnecessary. As it stands, by featuring heroes of color, you’ve already done plenty to be diverse and portray minorities in a positive light.

    Either way, keep up the good work.

  • Okin

    I think it’s really great that you’re giving this so much thought, Alex!
    Having said that, I don’t think it matters all that much. I got bullied in school for having brown skin and white palms, so it’s definitely something that has affected me in real life, but this is a comic and not real life. I can’t see how it would be offensive either way, so I’d just keep it as is.

    Anyway, keep up the good work!

  • As a light-skinned Mexican I’m not sure how valid my opinion is on this topic, but I prefer the lighter palms just because stylistically the color contrast adds depth to their palms and looks more realistic to me (albeit Sameer’s palms look just a bit too light here). Although if you do decide you want to bring more realism to your art by making this change, you’ll ultimately have to add more detail to every characters palms to balance it out and that’s just additional work. I noticed that even my palms are more peach toned and speckled with red than the back of my arm that sees less light.
    But I’m worried that adding more realism in one area may lead to having to change other areas to match it. It’s a nice thought but ultimately it seems like too much of a change at this point, for both the artist and the readers.

  • Adi Zeller

    The word “nice” is a funny one, because it has a rather unusual history. It entered the English language some time in the Middle Ages from the Latin (with French as a middleman) Nescius, which means “ignorant” (“Ne” meaning “not” and “Scius” as a derivation of the verb “scio -ire” meaning “to know”). Originally it was used as a synonym with “silly”, or “foolish”.
    From there it quickly accumulated a host of negative meanings such as “wanton”, “ostentatious”, “coward”, and “lazy”. At some point it was even associated with the occult and black magic (Which it what it refers to in the secondary title of Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett’s classic book “Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch”).
    In the later Middle Ages, the word “nice” was given a more neutral meaning of “shy” or “reserved”. Only in the 18th century did the word begin to be regarded as a positive descriptor, and there are several theories on why that is.
    Some believe that usages like “but he’s nice” reverberate the original meaning of the word.

    Sorry for the long aside, I just like etymology, and who knows? It might come in handy here. 🙂
    Or maybe I’m just clinging to straw, hoping still for a Spooky+Kyle resolution.

    • Klaus

      You know the English language to a nicety.

    • Pietro7

      I enjoyed your little dissection of the word’s history. Thank you.

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Spooky+Kyle resolution… erm… YES PLEASE! 😀

  • Matheus Oliveira

    I am a person of colour, but I have never noticed that comics did not represent our palms realistically. Now that I am aware (after reading the aforementioned comment) it does feel weird to see the dark palms. At the same time it kind feels weird because it has always been like that and now that I am seeing the light palm it feels something is off because I was somewhat used to the original drawings. So… For me, it’s confusing, I just don’t know.

  • Klaus

    I do not really know the etiquette of this situation, but shouldn’t Kyle return the compliment?

    • Wayne Lunkwitz

      But what could Kyle say to follow that? Kyle: Might be too soon to go here , but people say I’m “HOT” in bed”……

  • Jonni

    Mixed race guy

    The lighter palms image may be more accurate, but for me it feels more pedantic than representative, emphasising our differences in colour over our unity as people. People being all one colour all over is a comic book convention I am comfortable with and completely unoffended by; it allows the artist to fairly represent anyone of any race equally. If you were going to go with the differential shading, you would need to do it for every character to maintain equality of representation. I’d rather have more comics sticking to the old colouring convention than all that extra work.

  • jihani

    POC here and while I agree that I’m not personally offended by the darker palms, I really like the lighter more realistic ones. As a POC I’ve had to suspend belief about a lot of ways we are depicted. But this gives me a good feeling I can’t describe. I’ve never seen palms that represent my own or my family or friends. It’s a welcoming image as well so that may play a part in this feeling. Kudos to Vero it looks great!
    I don’t know if “it’s a lot of work” really justifies not changing the style in the future. Living in the DC area I hear this argument regarding the Redskins logo and it drives me crazy! I’m a long time reader and I’ve noticed all of the characters have become more detailed over time. Certain traits such as dimples and freckles are more work as well but I don’t feel the extra consideration to detail takes anything away from the characters only adds.
    While most comics do not go this extra step, that’s exactly the kind of representation that drew me to this comic in the first place. Either way I appreciate how seriously Alex is taking this issue.

    • NoiseShaper

      Faces, hands and objects (particularly clothing) are shaded to give them more realistic volume and to break the uniformly spray-painted mannequin look; It would seem like a level of detail similar to that.

  • Nate

    Sameer may be a nice boy… but he’s also a grade-A flirt. 😉

    As for the issue at hand… I’m white as a sheet, so I’m really not in a position to judge.

    • Wayne Lunkwitz

      He may be a flirt….but he’s so cute nobody cares.

  • Geneva150

    I am a black woman and it has never bothered me that a POCs palm coloring wasn’t lighter in comics. I feel like that is just extra work that the colorist shouldn’t be responsible for. 1) it’s such a drastic change that if a panel is skipped by accident it will be noticed immediately. As it is now I’m sure that many people didn’t even notice it until you brought it up just now. I sure didn’t and I see my palms everyday!
    2) While I appreciate your desire to listen to this request I think it put you in a place of unwarranted concern. The coloring of the palms is not an offensive depiction of POCs and for these two people to make you feel like you’ve done something wrong over something so small is surprising to me.
    3) Listen to the POC colorists! They know the time and engery it takes to color pages upon pages of comics. If they aren’t willing to do it because it saves time or whatever the reason I’d follow their lead.
    Alex, this is such a small issue, when it comes to representation in comics I personally think it’s more important to have POCs with varying shades of skintones, distinct personalities and clear strengths and weaknesses. Light palms and soles are pointless if your POC is a mockery or characture of actual POCs.
    You are a fantastic writer that does a fantastic job of treating all of your chacters with respect. This palm thing is so minute, again I appreciate the concern but it’s not a big deal in the big picture of POC media representation.

    • MrPookieBlack

      I second this.

  • Matheus Oliveira

    BTW , I don’t like Sameer at all. I thought I’d see some Cory-Kyle-Mitch triangle, but it turns out I was dead wrong and the story is going another different way. LOL

    • Curt Clark

      Sameer hasn’t done anything to make me like or dislike him, I just find him kinda dorky — and as we’ve seen from Mitch, dorky’s not necessarily a bad trait.

      I am solidly on Team Spookyle, thogh.

  • Toli Bera

    oooh no Sameer’s a pleaser. He sounds like an “I’ll be anything you want me to be! just please like me!”

    Hope this assessment is wrong.

    • NoiseShaper

      It’s at least not the worst to break the ice in the beginning.

      • Toli Bera

        hmmm wonder if Sameer will throw him up in the air too.

  • unknownlight927

    Interesting to see Kyle take the online dating route. I feel like I could read an entire comic dedicated to Kyle and the dating scene. Just stay away from Super Villains Kyle: There are plenty of guys who enjoy being bad,, without actually being bad!! 🙂

    • Klaus

      And to Sameer: stay away from super heroes. You never know when a supervillain may attack.

      • NoiseShaper

        On the other hand you’ve always got a hero around when you need rescuing! You could do a lot worse!

        • Klaus

          It is good to have a superhero lover to rescue you from all those situations that you would never get into if you did not have a superhero lover.

      • Wayne Lunkwitz

        He’ll be just fine ……now that Kyle has learned to control his “Flamer Side”

  • Szymon Brycki

    Yay, he has a date! 😀

  • I’d never really thought about the light palms thing. Really speaking I’d be happy either way. Kind of a cool detail. Really don’t notice if it’s not there though. Happy to be guided by others because I don’t have strong feelings either way. Maybe you should do a poll. it’s exciting enough for me to have a subcontinental gay dude who is a dude who happens to be subcontinental and gay, haha. (my standards aren’t exactly high? maybe i should be more exacting but I’m liking things so far)

    comparing it to blackface is weird. there’s a big difference between a lifelike anatomical detail and the caricatured exaggeration of traits to promote racism and I think the difference especially in a comic like this is obvious.

    • Bei Dawei

      But what about those NSFW Patreon pictures? Would they have to change their shading?

      • oh gosh they’d have to be anatomically correct too… *rofl*

  • Trisha

    I’m pale, personally, but my grandmother was native american and my daughters are mixed race (Indian from India and me…caucasian/native american). She (grandma) wasn’t as dark as some, but I did notice that about her. Her hands and feet were light compared to the rest of her skin. It adds a nice touch of realism, but I don’t think it’s really a huge deal. I know my daughters aren’t bothered by how darker skinned people are shown in comics. They don’t even really notice it. My youngest is too young, but my oldest has definitely noticed how dark skinned people aren’t shown properly in some media.

  • Andy Diehl

    White guy and amatuer artist here (for what it’s worth): When I scrolled through to the comment section I didn’t read the description first so I looked at the two drawings without knowing the difference. It took me a second or two to figure how what was different.
    IMHO, it’s such a subtle difference that I don’t think it would stigmatize the characters. And after all, the coloring of skin on this comic isn’t always uniform anyway. Sometimes Kyle blushes. Sometimes a character has warm highlights caused by their environment.

    Obviously I’m not going to be impacted by it. But if it adds to the realism and isn’t exaggerated to the point of being insensitive, I think it’s a neat detail.

  • Mark Vaughan

    First, a disclaimer; I’m the colour of rancid mayonnaise. That said, when I saw this in scrolling through, I backed up because the lighter hand caught my eye. I thought to myself “I have never seen a comic do that, and it is so obvious, how awesome!” Then I read the text.
    Do I think it is racist not to do it? No. But do I think that level of realism and detail will make readers of colour connect more intimately to your work? Yes. Just a theory, because as I said, very, very white here. I think it goes under the heading of “extra effort that demonstrates why we are so very awesome.”

  • crystal_phoenix

    First time commenting but I’ve been reading for a while. I think it’s awesome that you’re taking your readers thoughts into consideration regarding depicting skin tones.

    It’s a good idea to proceed with caution with making this change. There has been a history of highlighting differences and exaggerating features for the sake of caricature and othering certain groups, like enlarged noses, bright red lips, or slanted eyes. But because your mission in comics is to depict the underrepresented, I feel it is important to acknowledge our little differences too (but not to the exaggerated extent that racist depictions have done). I think part of why we should show such people and said differences is to normalize their existance within the media we consume. Wouldn’t it be great that the appearance of lighter palms happened enough that readers stop thinking about it as something strange and weird and just accept it as a matter of fact?

    But after looking at your example panel, I feel that if you do choose to make this change, it should be a subtle one, at least to start. Because it’s so different from what has been the norm, it draws a lot of attention to the hand. If you follow the way the eye moves in the panel, one first sees Sameer’s face, the speech bubble (assuming that this change was present in the page), then his lightly colored hand. You have to ask yourself if you “want” the reader to focus on his hand in this way, especially since it would be the last thing on the page and not of storytelling relevance. Because this difference hasn’t been present before in this comic, it is that much more noticeable.

    Should you start a new comic where lighter palms are the norm, that would be great as it sets expectations from the very beginning on how characters are to be depicted and what degree of realism you wish to show in a piece. But because this has been an ongoing comic the change might need to be more gradual and subtle.

    Perhaps starting with a color that is a shade or two lighter than the highlights on the rest of the skin can help guide the reader through the change. I think this would be a happy medium where the difference is present enough to be inclusive, but not hold so much contrast where it becomes jarring and takes too much attention from the flow of the comic.

    • Welcome to the comment section crystal! ^_^

      • crystal_phoenix

        Thanks Dokidoki ^_^

  • AuroraMoon

    I’ve noticed that not all black people have lighter-colored palms though.
    take this picture for example: http://image1.masterfile.com/getImage/NjAwLTA2NDUyMTE2ZW4uMDAwMDAwMDA=AIf1l3/600-06452116en_Masterfile.jpg
    Notice how the hands doesn’t really have a noticeable lighter tone than the rest of her….

    So I think it would be inaccurate to say that ALL black and or dark-skinned people have light-colored hands and feet. So I think it’d be accurate if you only did that for a few black characters, but not all of them.

    • Jorge

      In the picture you shared, you can clearly see the palms are lighter. So, not certain what you mean by this comment.

      • AuroraMoon

        yeah, but it’s not a white color. It’s only a tad lighter than the color on the wrist to the point it’s practically unnoticeable. So it might as well as be the same color as the rest of the person’s body.

  • Rena Rowe

    First time commenting but long time reader. I have been reading your work since before Artifice was finished and participated in both Kickstarters to get the printed volumes of Artifice and Young Protectors Vol 1. I even brought the books to conventions for you to sign at the Prism Comics booth. I am a black, bisexual woman. I never noticed the difference in palm coloring until reading your email today. Seeing both pictures side by side, I have to say I don’t like the lighter palm. It ends up looking unnatural and calls attention unnecessarily to the coloring. I have always thought you did an excellent job of representing different colors, sizes, etc. just as you intended. The artwork is always beautiful. I appreciate you taking the time to ask for and consider opinions. While I respect the original person’s opinion, I disagree that you should attempt to make the coloring more realistic and in attempting to do so you could accidentally end up doing the opposite and exaggerate our differences. Perhaps the original person should keep in mind that ultimately these are comics not medical journals so complete realistic accuracy is unnecessary and sometimes unwanted for the sake of artistic license and beauty.

  • Dread Roberts

    As north European Caucasian I’d be considered white, although I tan darker than most 🙂 so I’m not sure if I get a vote. I do like that you are thinking about this though and I’m curious how it turns out.

    Personally I like the look of picture with lighter palms better.
    Just seems more natural and “righter” to me.

    I suspect that no matter what you choose some will like it and some will not – blackface is real, and an offensive caricature. Some may feel this is a lighter (sorry) variation of this. Others may feel the “traditional” representation which ignores that palms usually are lighter (mine too) is a variation on this and systemic / subconscious racism too.

    Love the comic story, art, and characters – and if you are curious about the demographic of your readers too, I’m a hetro male. :-/

  • I’ve only commented a few times, but I’ve been reading since there were less than 10 comics up. Also, I’m a white bi girl, so take this with a grain of salt.

    My first thought upon seeing the pale palm version was “Eww, how weird looking!” My second thought was, “Wait… didn’t I say the exact same thing to myself, way too many years ago, the first time I saw a comic with two guys kissing in it? And… didn’t I end up absolutely *loving* that comic (Tim Barela’s ‘Leonard & Larry’) and thinking I’d been pretty silly to go ick before?”

    So as a white person, I agree with Alex: it’s the decision of the PoC. I’ll end up happy with it either way, I’m sure — and hopefully more white folks will learn by this that we *should* listen more to PoC.

  • Raymond Saint-Pierre

    Natural is real!

  • I can pass for white but I am an artist. I have a thought that might prove helpful. I’m uncertain what percentage lighter Vero stepped when she changed the palm color but perhaps a compromise? If it is possible, lighten palms subtly, perhaps only one or two steps lighter from the base skin tone so the difference is more subtle. This keeps from being too glaring/distracting while respecting realism.

  • Aaron Sherrill

    Been reading for a long time now and have enjoyed your work, the palm thing never registered to me until today, I actually looked down at my hand and was like oh yeah, but to be honest it doesn’t really matter to me, it doesn’t bug me either way. I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. You are always going to have readers that take issue with something and you really can’t please everyone 100%, but in the end if it’s only one or two people out of the hundreds or thousands that read your comic then I’d leave it alone unless more people speak up about it. I get the sense that the majority of people (of color) don’t have an issue with it at all. Do whatever feels right in your heart.

  • Stephen Hutchison

    When I was a wee child (three years old or so) I lived in Montana. At that time (Eisenhower was still president) the number of black people in the state varied noticeably based on how many passenger trains were passing through — because they were employed on trains as porters/baggage handlers, cooks, and so on, and I had, at that time, never seen a black person. And I saw a man in a restaurant who had the most beautiful blue-black skin, except on his hands — his palms were so pale it looked wrong. (Yes, I thought it was a beautiful color.)

    I’m afraid I said embarrassing child things — I thought the difference might be because he was sick. He was amazingly patient with my questions, and my Mom was horribly humiliated and dragged me off. (No, he didn’t have vitiligo.)

    I haven’t met anyone since then with that intense blue-black coloring, and it isn’t nearly as dramatic in other people I’ve met who have strong pigmentation.

    My ancestry did not bless me with abundant or responsive skin melanin, so I tend more to “bleach” in the sun than to tan, and I tried to remedy this once by taking canthaxanthin supplements — which deposit as an orange-brown color in the skin. It didn’t help with sunburn, and I turned a sort of fake-tan color, but my palms were carrot-orange, and I was told to stop by other people who were afraid I had jaundice.

    Meanwhile pale people who get regular tans do not tan on their hands nor on the soles of their feet. (Neither do darker people who tan.)

    So from a person-of-little-to-no-color perspective, I think recognizing it by going slightly lighter on palms and soles of feet is a good thing. For really dark skin coloration, palms and soles should be strikingly more pale if you’re trying for realism.

    And I cannot say for demons and other strongly colored beings who aren’t human but may seem humanoid. The lack of pigmentation in hands doesn’t translate to lack of pigmentation in paw pads in felines and canines, which are commonly turned into anthromorphic characters.

    • Wayne Lunkwitz

      A few years back , when I was “doing time” in telemarketing, I met a beautiful black man, his name was Amos…..his palms were the same light shade in comparison to his dark skin.

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    I didn’t have the strength to hold on for camping last night. I had a rough day……got the official notice that my state issued ID card(Mr. Magoo has no license) was due to expire at the end of this month …….so I went in……3 hours of sitting , standing and waiting later , I got in at the DMV to get the card reissued with a new pic that still doesn’t look like me…..for the small fee of $26.50 (Same as regular licenses in my area) Sad to say that is because of administrative fees. but , so it goes …..5 more years of having proper ID if I get carded. So…..I love this comic soooo much……Sameer…..is so cute and honest! Reminds me of my first true love back in the ’80’s……I just hope this doesn’t end like that did.

    • davefragments

      Pennsylvania lets the driver see their photo before the card is printed. A photo can be rejected. It’s marginally better. However, there’s still a wait and it’s still a lousy photo.
      The State also wants your signature so the “official scribble” can appear in tiny scrawl on the license.
      It’s shake your head time at these things that should be so easy and are always so hard.

      • Wayne Lunkwitz

        It wasn’t that “bad” but the wait time to get to the examiner was terrible!

        • davefragments

          I took a better selfie in my garage (as you can see).
          😉

          • Wayne Lunkwitz

            Indeed, my new ID brings out similarities in my face compared to my Dad’s Mother……in her defense…..she was past 90 by the time she looked that gaunt…..and she didn’t have a beard to add insult to injury!

          • davefragments

            I have a 50th anniversary of the Parish Church with my self and my Mother. We resemble each other. However, I have my father’s eyes.

            I was the person who took all the pictures in my family because a) I had the camera and the $$ to get lots of 3×5’s and b) I hate myself in pictures.

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    Sounds like c’mere……(BIG grin)

  • Jason Moon

    Oh I LOVE that “You’ll find I’m a very nice boy.”

  • Dreamweaver

    I would suggest a study of the hands of the people of color. not all of those images I have looked at has the extremes change in the palms as Vero put in the 2nd panel. Depending on the overall shading of the toon they are coloring the palm could only be a couple shades lighter.

  • Geekinator27

    This is my first time commenting as well, although I silently joined the community back in April. As a person of color, I echo the earlier comment I read that said that they’re so used to stylized representation of people of color that they skipped over the palm coloring thing. I was honestly paying more attention to the personalities presented as the Fluke and Tsunami characters to see if they were too stereotyped and flat. Having a content creator ask their community about accurate skin pigmentation is like icing on the cake.

    That being said, I feel there are valid comments for and against the change. In the samples, my first thought was that the edges of the fingers were too dark and there weren’t enough lines at the joints and flex points, at least in comparison to my own hands, and that’s what made the alternate kind of odd and mitten-looking to me. The suggestions for a subtle lightening as a compromise I think might be a good thing to mock up and take another temperature test before deciding.

  • Jorge

    I am Hispanic and my palms are lighter than the rest of my skin. I think this is a good idea. Thank you for thinking of us.
    BTW. I love the comic, I love the characters. I love the stories.

  • Foye

    Wow, this is more than a handful of opinions down there.

  • Hervé St-Louis

    Hello. I am the original reader who complained about the black palms. I’m glad that Alex is finally asking this question to readers. The palms when painted brown are shocking to me. When I look at my hands they do not look like this. Most colourists who colour hands brown do it out of ignorance. I colour comics all the time and never colour palms or soles brown.

    I first noticed palms in comics when I read The Invincible Iron Man #183 a few years after it was originally published in 1984. While the inside of the comic did not pay much attention to black palms, the cover did and coloured Jim Rhodes’s hands correctly. Let me tell you how much that comic impressed on the kid who picked up that comic. First Iron Man was black. Then he had hands just like me. That was a big deal for me. I showed the comic to all my friends and was proud to finally have a character who I could aspire to be.

    A minority of colourists pay attention to black palms. I would say the better colourists do. Just like colourists who blush the cheeks of characters, giving them correct palms is one of those touches that separates the best from the rest. Is it more work? It can be. But does it have the potential to impress on a kid picking up his or her first comic the way it did with me over 30 years ago? Hell yeah.

    Many of you may find the correct colouring distracting but that’s because you are not used to seeing it. I am very sensitive about this issue and do consider it racist when it is not paid attention to or just dismissed as the quirks of a difficult reader.

    I want Alex and his team to colour these characters correctly. As I have written many times before if Iron Man #183 published in 1984 could get it right with the limited technology and publishing capabilities of old pulp comics, there is no reason when complex comic colouring and printing is a normal practice to ignore this today.

    There are a few racialized characters in my own comic Johnny Bullet (I do not use the word people of colour, as we are all coloured and white is not the norm, just another colour) comic. I am always careful to colour hands correctly and it can look very subtle and natural when done well. The example provided by the colourist above can be improved and so on but it is a good step in the right direction.

    Some of you may mock my request and find me impossible, too sensitive and so on. Just remember that this comic is about integrating and representating people correctly after all and not alienating readers who rarely are represented further.

    Thank you.

    • Ecaille13

      I think he should color the palm lighter but not too white

      • NoiseShaper

        If the offset is individually different for everyone in real life I guess it should just be plausible for each character and then consistent throughout. Just a regular part of the character design.

    • Hervé St-Louis

      Just as an aside, someone here mentioned reading an article about comparing correctly coloured palms to black face and explained the history in cartoons. It turns out that I wrote the article in 2014 and the argument was the opposite. In my article on black palms, I wrote that they were the equivalent of black face.

      I wrote about this issue the first time here – http://www.comicbookbin.com/Black_Soles_and_Palms001.html

      And wrote a tutorial about how to colour hands correctly a few days later there – http://www.comicbookbin.com/Black_Palms001.html

      Cheers

      • davefragments

        Thanks for the articles.

      • crystal_phoenix

        Hi Hervé, I’m quite interested in taking a look at what you have written but your links are in accessable to me. They say that I don’t have permission to view the pages. Can you double check your links or let me know of an alternative?

    • NoiseShaper

      Thank you for raising the issue and for both your and everybody else’s thoughtful posts about it, regardless of how it ends up being handled here. It is interesting for me to learn more about it.

      That said, the excellent shading the characters receive in the artwork does seem to be on a comparable level of detail and even a bit farther down, isn’t it?

    • Kate G

      I don’t think you’re impossible or sensitive, because as someone disabled, I often scream at comics and TV shows for misrepresenting a range of disabilities, especially my own. (The Grapes of Wrath, anyone? GRRRRR!)

      The question for me really becomes this: is it just black characters that get lighter palms or do ALL characters get them? Because, if I’m being honest, it would be weird seeing just black characters with the extra shading and that would make me crazy because I’m rather detail-oriented. It’s a rather all-or-none thing for me because I have that Autistic craziness that says, “Why did only the black people get lighter palms? Why not the Asians? And the whites? And the Hispanics? And the Puerto Ricans? And the…” Well, you get the idea. As anyone in this comment section who has been around the bend with me can attest to, it’s that I am 1. extremely detail-oriented and 2. once I’m stuck on something…I can be stuck on it for days.

      • Klaus

        My palms are not lighter. If anything, they are a bit more reddish than the back of the hand. I am a typical Nordic type.

        • Kate G

          My palms are more pink too. And therein lies a problem with the idea. It’s a great idea, but problematic because then everyone else’s palms look odd with the sort of one layer of shading. It would be a lot of work.

          • NoiseShaper

            It’s been said that even rather dark-skinned people can sometimes have relatively dark palms, so I guess some reasonable variation for all characters would make the most sense as long as it’s then consistent for each of them.

            Each character has a specific design anyway, so it would need to be set up just once for any recurring one.

          • Pietro7

            The blackest man I ever met was a visiting PhD candidate from Gambia, and I noticed that his palms were very nearly as dark as the rest of his skin. Most of the other black men I’ve met in my long life have had significantly lighter palms. Most of the whites I’ve known did not tan as dark on the palms as the backs of their hands, but two men and one woman did. So there is variation among individuals. I say Alex should just decide this feature as part of his regular character-building process, then then stay consistent. If Paul has a lot of Gambian ancestry, perhaps his palms are nearly as dark as the rest of him. If Gordon is primarily Polynesian, his hands may have a different variation. It would all be good.

          • Kate G

            Or maybe build it into his next comic?

          • Kate G

            You can get a palette for each, but you still have to render each individually and shade each individually. It’s a lot of work.

          • Klaus

            When they made the Lord of the Rings film, they tried various ways of rendering Gollum’s skin. The only way that looked right was simulating how human skin actually gets it look. The outer layers are semi-transparent, showing layers below. This in turn meant that any frame containing Gollum took 8 CPU-hours to render.

          • Kate G

            It’s amazing how dedicated the CGI artists are in films. Dobby took a while to render too. I’m always surprised when I hear how long a character takes to render or how long an actor sits in a chair to make sure their character looks real.

            I remember when I read the actresses who played the Children of the Forest in Game of Thrones had to sit in the chair for 10 hours to get fully made up for their scenes, I just had to sit there for a few minutes and comprehend that. It’s mind boggling, but that’s just all the layers of prosthetics, makeup, hair pieces, foliage, costume, and they just look SO REAL. I can’t imagine how long the people who play the White Walkers stay there (I know they are a mix of makeup and CGI though.)

          • davefragments

            If you can get to the extra videos on Deathly Hallows p2, there is a segment on creating “Gringotts” that is about how the movie company got all the little people hired and into makeup for that sequence in the lobby. It’s fun to watch because it was sort of a party for all involved. Lots of work but they had fun creating it.

          • Kate G

            Oh, I’m sure. That tends to happen. You hear that a lot in the GoT extras too. They have a lot of fun.

  • Ecaille13

    I do agree that it seems more natural

  • davefragments

    I must admit that all day today, I have been obsessively studying any Person of Color on the TV repeats (It’s a day home alone with my writing) to see their hands.

    • Kate G

      What are you writing?

      • davefragments

        I write short stories.

        • Kate G

          Ah, that sounds like fun.

          • davefragments

            Keeps me from wandering the streets…
            😉

  • Tamvana Makuluni

    OK, so I thought I was going to comment here to say that I was cool with either choice: I certainly don’t think it’s wrong to show the palms the way they are (as a black kid who grew up in a very white place, it really mattered to me as a kid) but also it’s not as though the coloring is realistic in other ways (I don’t think I’ve ever met a beige person with beige lips). Then I was looking over some old pages and the lips thing struck me as a more disturbing thing, actually, not because I’m not used to that particular stylization, but because it enforces a gendered binary: in the pages I looked at, everyone in the comic who has had breasts also had color in their lips. (Including background characters). This seems somewhat prescriptive in terms of gender roles to me.

  • melanie powers

    …but Spooky

    • davefragments

      And Mitch. I must admit that I sort of miss Mitch…

      • Doki always misses Mitch when he isn’t on the page…

        • Kate G

          Katie also always misses Mitch. I love that guy.

          • Pietro7

            Mitch-missing seems to be popular around here. 🙂 Let’s hope the villains continue to do it too.

    • Toli Bera

      Spooky Butt

  • Twila Lin

    I am white, and have friends of color and even religion, and I say go for it. But also do your research. Like for example Allen, one of my colored friends, while he has lighter palms there not THAT much lighter than his skin. Vs Tai whos palms are as light as my own.

    The example image you showed could be toned down by a lot, or you can chose for your own to just go with a slightly lighter color for all the colored people you include. That way you do it, but it’s not that standoutish, a nice middle ground.

  • Dark Manifest

    I’m black (with skin darker than my palms) and this is one of those details I’ve never noticed in drawn characters of color, not like I do things like skin, hair and facial features. It does look more realistic, more like me and my dark-skinned friends, but I like stylism and I can’t say either a change or more of the usual would keep me up at night. Just tossing in my two cents. I might find myself looking more closely at palms after this though, lol.

  • Takehai

    I know my opinion on the matter wasn’t solicited, since I am white as can be, but I have spent quite a bit of time around African-Americans in my life, and as far as the lighter skin on the palms, on some it is so subtle a difference you don’t notice unless you are specifically looking for it. It is more apparent in those with darker skin tones. Really, the most jarring difference I see in comics is the fact that fingernails are always portrayed as the same color as the skin, unless it is someone with painted nails. But in real life, fingernails are always pink because the skin underneath doesn’t produce melanin.

  • Madock345

    I would lean no, because a change like that opens you to a lot of “well my hands are darker/lighter than that this isn’t right” and “______ is of ______ ethnicity and our hands don’t look like that, this is racist for lumping our appearance in with other people of color” or flame wars constantly popping up whenever anyone asks about the hands. More detail open you to more criticism and more opportunities to make mistakes.

    • NoiseShaper

      If it’s a fact that the difference is individual in real life and is not uniformly dependent on ethnicity, heritage or tan, the variations just need to be plausible and consistent and there wouldn’t be any precise rules to follow anyway.

  • leadintea

    Black guy here and I couldn’t care less about getting the coloration of the palms. Just do what you’ve been doing!

  • George Dugais

    black guy here, i really don’t care honestly.

  • Mir

    Filipino chiming in.

    I think I agree with the whole keep-in-mind-of-the-style stance. If this was “realistic”, then I definitely would change it to lighter palms. But if you were to do it, like another commenter has suggested, perhaps doing it more subtly would be better (so it goes more with the style).

    My mother’s palms are notably lighter than her skin color, but it’s not really something I have ever really thought about ’till now.

  • MOAauthor

    Well, a half Puerto Rican, I’d have to say that it’s up to you. I mean, skin tones are different for every person, so it’s not easy to nail it down even when you’re trying to be realistic, which you’re not. I say stick to your style, but keep it in mind for future reference.

  • Keneu

    Sameer looks a bit like one of FRIENDS actors – I think the character he played was called Joey?

    I hope he is indeed a nice guy, although that line raised my shackles.

    • Pietro7

      I think you mean ‘hackles’, Keneu, because ‘shackles’ carries quite a different connotation – unless you are attempting to tell us something about your personal tastes, indirectly? 😉
      And I share your hope for Kyle, that Sameer be a truly good man, if a bit of a flirt, LOL.

      • Keneu

        Pfft, no, no xD I meant hackles but English is not my main lanlanguagI knew it was something like that but didn’t bother to check twice. Thank you for the correction. 🙂

  • TL

    I am black and have read this comic for years. I also draw and paint. I don’t think you need to drill down to such detail in order to be representative of people of color. It’s a comic and not meant to be a real life depiction of humans. That’s why you can get away with exaggerating body parts to indicate strength, frailty, etc. that are not proportional and would not be found in real life. Having said that, I don’t follow how making the change would be offensive. People come in all shades, Caucasians included, and most people have subtle skin color changes throughout their body.

  • Geekinator27

    Thanks!

  • De’y

    This is the first time I’m commenting but I’ve been reading for some time now. I think the colour change is cool but I would also be ok with it staying the same. The colour change is a better representation. Oh, I’m black btw. Awesome comic though, I really like it.

    • Welcome De’y!

      • De’y

        Thanks!

    • Pietro7

      Welcome to the Woolfpack, De’y! Depending on your time zone, there is ‘camping’ here on the comments section on Tuesday and Friday nights, waiting for the new page to be posted. If it works with your schedule, come join us as we speculate wildly about the next page of this always-awesome and frequently surprising webcomic.

      • De’y

        Sounds good! I’ll be there when I can.

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Well said and Welcome!

      • De’y

        Thank you!

    • Welcome, and whay Pietro said just below 🙂

  • somebody

    I’ve been away for quite a time because of personal reasons, but it feels good to be back~
    There has happend so much! I’m just happy everything turned out good~
    I don’t think that DunKid is what he wants us to think he is… or is he? aaahh it’s hard to guess, but I can’t wait to find out <3
    I really like those two newest pages, finally we can all relax and read some flirty stuff hihi (still I hope to see LazerNotABear again one day)

    I read your concern and some of the comments, even thou I'm not really adressed to do so. I don't intend to write something to this concern, I just want to point something out. You and your team give all you've got to combine the human diversity in this comic and you are doing a great job.

    I would have never ever thought that I would some day read the word 'racist' (yes out of context I know, but still) in a comment adressed to this comic.

    • davefragments

      We’re hoping that Kyle as a nice, normal date with a nice normal young man his age.

      • somebody

        hell yes
        sure hope that “I’m a very nice boy” isn’t a “actually I’m a secret young villain from the young villains squad who tries to get near a young protector to infiltrate them”

        • davefragments

          If we see a silver ball with blinking lights and two rather obnoxious bullies at the concert, then we know we are in for another strange adventure.
          However, I’d rather have the fairy tale happy ending with twinkling eyes and throbbing hearts (I didn’t say that other part)

          • somebody

            I’m totally with you, let’s hold on to this dream

    • Klaus

      Good to see you again.

      • somebody

        Thank’s Klaus 😀

  • Caitlin Rassenti

    I’m not a person of colour but I can totally see both sides of this debate and why it might be tricky. But I agree with stylized vs totally realistic because even with causcasian characters if you were going for super realism there’s be freckles and patches of red/whiteness in skin. Also you’d see more bluey veins etc. I can understand the readers desire to be more accurate but at the end of the day this is a “comic” and a level of unrealism is accepted for the medium.

  • Martine Votvik

    Most white guys have red or pink lips, but they are very seldomly colored that way in comis. Hell, most men of any color have darker lips than their skincolor but this is very seldomly depicted unless the cartoonist is trying to make a character more sensual or feminine.

    Which goes for almost everything to do with skin color in comics. Very few people have the same color all over the body, but they are drawn that way for simplisity and because like it was pointed out, diverting from this norm draws a lot more attention to a comics character than it would to a real life person.

    It sounds like you got some good advice in the past man.

    • Martine Votvik

      Just to underscore it. If you start drawing lighter palms you might as well start drawing darker lips as well.

  • Chris Dangerfield

    Alex,

    Many many compliments on the care and thought you (and Adam & Vero) put into these concerns. Being caucasian, I have nothing to offer on proper depictions in this discussion. Or the impact they might have on the reader’s affected or you as an artist trying to do the right thing.

    I would like to say something (totally a personal opinion) about “reality” in depiction. Personally, when I’m presented with a world like this one where our hero channels fire and his dad is a King of Hell… I tend to just accept. Cows can fly. Bears can have laser beam eyes. My Spooky might fall in love with someone else (oh never mind). So, to me, this is YOUR art and any thoughtful choice is okay.

    I’m not in MY world. I’m in yours. That part is MY choice. The rest is yours.

    It’s doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have trouble if you were depicting LGBTQA characters in vile ways… but I’d still struggle to accept your world as seems best to you… or I’d go away if I couldn’t.

    I feel this is also true of the much more naturalistic Marvel films. Thor is a hottie and his hammer tells me that I’m in another universe. So I accept it. Or I don’t. And style isn’t the issue.

    So kudos to the readers you mention for speaking up about things they care about. I learn something here. And, kudos to you for thinking deeply and caring so much. That is, in my experience, what great artists do. They agonize and then make their best choice.

    That said, honestly, after you putting this much thought, research and discussion into this (and many other similar issues in your work). I have to say that I just trust your choice as “the” artist and am proud to follow the art of TYP and of someone who cares this much.

    Best wishes,
    Chris

    • Kate G

      And this is why I love you Chris. It’s, “I love the comic whether the characters are blue or pink or fucking technicolor, but if you misrepresent the LGBTQIA…you’ll hear words and some stomping.” Only nicer.

  • D. G.

    Alex, I think u should leave the palm coloring of past pages alone. For current and future pages, I’d like to see u alternate between both options. I like the lighter palms. But doing both would be a compromise for those POC who are somehow racially triggered. Why not do both alternating?

    I’m black, btw.

  • Ruben
    • Jorge

      I like that…

  • Chris Dangerfield

    One more comment/thought on this discussion about how ‘detail’ rates in importance to this particular work of art.

    Anytime one has to create a individualized detail, IT COSTS MONEY. Adam and Vero will have to spend more time (and that means money) to create it and keep it consistent. Sometimes that is well worth it. However sometimes (maybe) a super deluxe double spread gorgeous wall-paper page is worth more than the detail on specific characters. Only Alex can decide what gets priority, but there is always a cost.

    Now the fact that these character all have such fine posteriors is essential and can never be compromised, but other detail issues can (and should) be discussed (heh heh heh).

    So, while I support the concern, I’m also aware that it may mean we give up something else of importance. And this isn’t true of just this particular example, but of any question of customization of character or environment.

    It’s all about what brings the most appeal to the work as a whole and about what Alex’s budget can allow.

    So, again, it’s worth it to me if it’s worth it to Alex as the “creator and artist.” The world is his and he pays for it both in dollars and serious effort.

    I trust him to make the best decision about how to spend each TYP dollar.

    Best,
    Chris

    • Pietro7

      Seconded. As usual, our Mr. Dangerfield is more eloquent than most of us and successfully captures what I suspect is a broadly-supported attitude here.

  • Casian Holly

    Not POC so I’m not offering an opinion on if this change should be made but I did want to say how you’re handling this is pretty awesome. Most people would just shrug off the concern or would make changes without asking. Reaching out to the people you’re trying to represent and listening to them is not something I see a lot of writers or artists doing so mad props.

  • Sascha

    ngl if someone said to me, “Well, you’ll find I’m a very nice (anything)” I’d run

    • Madock345

      Despite your hesitation , you’ll find I’m a very nice commenter 😉

    • Keneu

      Same tbh.

  • Justin

    I thought Sameer would’ve been a good guy in the last strip, but specifically saying he’s a very nice boy rings warning bells.

    I’m really happy about how much care you’re putting into the situation. I first thought you meant people who read in colour, and was expecting some sort of colour blindness discussion =p.

    • NoiseShaper

      I could understand Kyle to be suspicious, but on the other hand he can see where it goes and just deal with it. Most people actually are nice if you give them a chance, at least most of the time.

  • Jim Philbrick

    I thought Kyle was going to meet Spooky for a date.. color me disappointed.

    • davefragments

      The Kyle/Spooky adventure will be “Legendary” …
      {giggle, grin, wink, wink, wink…}

      • unknownlight927

        Being the massive Spooky/Kyle shipper that I am, I admit I was a little crushed to see Kyle on a date with Sameer. But then I realized now that Kyle is freshly out, he needs to stretch his legs and have some fun before jumping into any serious relationship. Still, I can’t wait to see what happens in “Legendary”!!

        • Biippa

          Saaame. I was crushed until I started thinking about it, plus Spooky is still out looking for Circea right? So until they can actually get together, Kyle may as well try out the “out life” before he jumps any guns.

      • Jim Philbrick

        That’s a lovely thing!

  • davefragments

    This morning I’m thinking that a Kyle/Sameer hookup is going to end it too much ‘I’m cute/So am I” … bragging and self-admiration if they are not cautious.
    I think that a Cory/Mitch hookup has a much better chance because Cory and Mitch are buddies.
    A Kyle/Sameer long-term hookup has to get past the “Looking in the mirror test” every morning. It’s tough to have a long-term relationship (As opposed to a raging hot fling) when you ore your partner looks into the mirror in the morning and mentally says “I’m the prettiest face in the world” …
    Just a thought after a weekend of old movies avoiding fish on the TV.

  • John

    I’m come across this before, when dating. People will say they’re nice and the minute I suggest I’m not LOOKING for nice one of two things happens. 1) they immediately change their tune (usually by ennumerating different kinks seeing which one I perk up at) or 2) Start trying to fish to see if I’M nice

    Neither ended with a good date.

    But hey; this comic just had a Prince of Hell step out of a Oculus Infernum, it’s possible for someone to say they’re nice and actually BE nice, right?

    Right?

    • Madock345

      I’m actually not sure what you were hoping for saying you don’t want nice.

      • John

        Nice people have a bad habit of being doormats without realising it. I need someone to tell me I’m being a self-centered asshole from time to time.

  • c-dub mpa

    first off i am what the old folks used to call “high yellow” or what others described as having “passing complexion” (both terms having been used in both positive and negative connotations)

    in regards to the coloring of palms and the comparison between the first and second panels above, my first honest thought was “why does he have white hands?”

    so as with many “before and after” types of situations, why not split the difference and see what that looks like?

    but in a seeming contradiction to what i just said, i never noticed palm coloring in your work before and, in fact, never gave it a thought until now. i actually agree with the counterargument. doing it now would seem to draw more (and unnecessary) attention to it (e.g. the in-film explanation for why the major was white in the GITS 2017 live action drew even more attention to it in a bad way)

    lastly, and not implying that the reader is one of these types, there seems to be a lot of people these days who like to get bent out of shape about things that… well… let’s just say that if one wants to get bent out of shape about something, there are far more important things i could suggest besides whether the hand coloring of your characters of color are “realistic” or not.

    with that, good work and looking forward to where you continue to go

    • davefragments

      For those culturally inept dummies like me: GITS is Ghost in the Shell

      • fujoshifanatic

        Yup.

  • Snorlaxation

    I’ll be honest: It really depends on the art style, but might also be a mix of a certain tv trope (reality is unrealistic).

    The example you gave from that other artist works with that style, but in this one, I don’t know that it really flows? Or perhaps it’s just that I”m so used to most comics Not doing it that seeing it done doesn’t feel right. And yet, I look at my own hand, and the palm is noticeable lighter than the rest, so I feel like I SHOULD be saying yes, make that extra effort, but I really don’t Want to say that.

  • Rashel Izro

    This made me smile. Just a very good feeling about this guy

  • Sascha

    *grabs mace* I’ll take my chances…

    • NoiseShaper

      Lots of things you can hit with a mace…!

  • davefragments

    Is Sameer trying too hard in getting a date with Kyle. He seems to be nervous and a bit unsure that he would look as “cute” as Kyle. Kyle inadvertently rubs that insecurity nerve by saying that his friends helped him pick the cute picture. SO maybe, just maybe in my vast dating experience (HAH!) I can sympathize with Sameer feeling he has to work really really, really hard to get with Kyle.

    • Pietro7

      I’m suspecting the same thing. Tonight I hope we shall see!

  • Chris Dangerfield

    I could easily be missing the boat, but I read, “I’m a very nice boy, IF YOU’RE INTO THAT SORT OF THING.” as a very casual way of saying, “I’m gay and okay with it, if you are too.”

    So, if Alex is going to have Sameer’s head explode with tentacles and he eats Kyle’s face off… I must say I missed it and will be surprised.

    Ooooops.

  • Chris Dangerfield

    Pants loss…. I like a person who has their priorities in order. Bravo!

  • fujoshifanatic

    Making up for lost time (and practice)…

  • Advocate

    Hate to be a buzzkill, but I was a little disappointed to see a few “I’m not POC, but here is my opinion on a POC matter anyway” responses. I know everybody meant well, but that kind of behavior can alienate and marginalize POC voices. It can replace the experiences of people who *live* situations with the experience of those who merely observed them.

    • Keneu

      I noticed that too. : I think they meant well, but Alex specifically asked for POC readers’ feedback on a matter that affects them directly, not the opinion of all readers about the change.

    • crystal_phoenix

      Yes, I agree that the potential alienation or overpowering of PoC voices is something to keep in mind. But I respectfully disagree that those who have posted their thoughts and are not PoC shouldn’t have posted. From what I recall of posts that fall into this category, they have been respectful of the issue and either wanted to voice their support on how this is being handled or echoed some of the points presented by PoC commenters.

      Most seem to be disclosing that they are not PoC to purposefully exclude themselves from the hypothetical vote. And it looks to me that there are way more people mentioning that they are of color in this comment thread than not. Especially those with more detailed comments.

      To your last point, I say “why not both?” I think it’s important to see situations from both the mist of things and from the outside. Even more so since we as humans can empathize with our fellows even if we may not experience the exact same troubles. We are also free to disagree with their take on things of course.

      • Advocate

        It’s one thing to commend the effort; it’s another to offer an opinion, particularly in situations where one party will (presumably) be affected more by a certain outcome than others… which incidentally is the problem with ‘having both’.

        In regular spaces, the weight of certain groups of people carries more than that of others, and marginalized voices aren’t heard, or their arguments are diminished.

        Under the guise of perspective, you might say that non POC are providing that, but in certain arenas, and far too often, the POC perspective is completely disregarded. Furthermore, this isn’t really an issue where an outside perspective is necessary, since the question at hand was literally “Would X design decision offend POC?”

        We can speak for ourselves here. How about advocating for the POC in your life who can’t speak in other places?

        • crystal_phoenix

          Hm, I went back up to reread the prompt, and your right that an outsider perspective would be a bit intrusive in this case. It had been a while since I’ve read the post so I didn’t remember it as clearly :/

          I think a part of me is just afraid that alienating the allies to our cause would breed resentment. Although I myself am a PoC, I have felt a bit of that type of exclusion ^^;;;

          Anyways, awareness of the issues is always a good thing 🙂 Thanks for your thoughts and explanation Advocate ^_^

        • fujoshifanatic

          You know, in another space, I would definitely agree with this and see where you’re coming from. I don’t necessarily feel this is the case here. I’ve been a part of this community–as a Black, queer woman of a certain age–for more than six years now, and the level of respect and consideration everyone has here, especially Alex, has been the best I have ever experienced, and that includes my dealing with others in real life. I’m sure Alex welcomes all input, but he is especially listening to the input of those he specifically asked, and the fact that everyone here has made it easy to tell the difference says something about the intention of their input. If anything, I feel it’s a way for everyone, as always, to be a helpful, contributing part of the conversation, if only to say, “I acknowledge the important of this discussion, and I respectfully support having it,” and I could never find fault with that.

          • Advocate

            I agree that this space is more conducive to inclusion than other spaces. As I said, I also do believe everyone means well.

        • Kate G

          I’m 1/4 French-Oneida (though I don’t look it) and I have many POC people in my life because of working in the NFP. I’m also disabled, so it’s a unique situation. I’m a marginalized person, but not in the same way some of the people I know who are POC, female AND POC. Some of them are just children and I have to wonder if they’ll ever understand how marginalized they will be in society as they grow. So, when I commented on the question, I thought about all of those children, teens and adults at the NFP I see and interact with along my experiences as a marginalized person and how I would like to portrayed if I were portrayed.

    • NoiseShaper

      The rest of us still exist, even if our views on this specific matter shouldn’t be decisive.

  • Pietro7

    Time for camping! Cantalopes are in season here so I brought slices on a platter, everyone is welcome to dig in. So will we learn more about Sameer tonight? Perhaps a picture of some mild cuddling in the park while jazz music plays? Soul-baring discussions of nice-and-not-nice experiences? So many possible ways this could go. I can hardly wait! 🙂

    • Not sure if it is just me or not, but if you take a sip of milk after eating a bit of cantalope, you get the taste of raw potato.

      Though I had a weird experience earlier. I was eating the Salt & Vinegar chips I got earlier at the store and got that “I am tasting heaven” feeling one usually gets with good dessert. It was odd.

      • Pietro7

        Sprinkling a dash of salt on a slice of cantalope can be great too.

    • davefragments

      Hi Pietro7

      • Pietro7

        Howdy Davefragments! Thanks for bringing cake, it goes well with cantelope. What’s your current guess about Sameer + Kyle? Is this happening?

        • davefragments

          That would be my guess.

          It seems like we will see more of Sameer

          • Chris Dangerfield

            How much more? I think we need a height chart (sans clothes) of all Kyle’s future dates.

            HEY! I just want to make sure he’s safe. True! Cross my heart and hope to see naked boys…

          • davefragments

            naked dancing boys

          • Pietro7

            Hmmmm, like a Busby Berkeley musical? Synchronized swimming in the buff? But coordinating everybody’s tatoos could be rough.

          • Chris Dangerfield

            True, but think what Tsu could do with a pool full of naked boys (*shivers*). I like the way you think.

          • Chris Dangerfield

            As always, D-Frag, you add that little touch of je ne sais quoi to the narrative. Thank you.

          • davefragments

            There’ll be a hot time in the old town tonight.

  • davefragments

    244 . . . . . . . . . . . . x
    Hello Campers,
    I have cake with lots of icing at the ready…
    The coolest Jazz I’ve ever seen is a live video of Miles Davis from years ago improvising the score to a movie with the movie going on the screen.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PW-SxgZViuk

    • What kind of cake and icing?

      • davefragments

        Yellow with silly pink bunny faces on it.
        I got it cheap because it said Happy 35th birthday in black letters.

        • davefragments

          Sorry, but never let a good cake go to waste
          🙂 yum

          • Chris Dangerfield

            Sounds good, but I’m holding out for Pie with ice-cream.
            Now THAT is YUM!

          • Apple? Doki has apple pie made from the apples on the property. Sadly, I don’t think we will be having peaches this year. They all have spots on them.

    • Pietro7

      Cake! Oh, please let us eat cake! (Wait a minute, am I channeling Marie Antoinette?)

  • Ulysses Paxton

    I was re-reading the first frame here and saw I had overlooked Kyle’s comment: “Nice to finally meet you.”

    Considering the compressed timeline from his “date” with Duncan, the encounter in Hell and the confrontation at the ring, then the debriefing with ExSec and talks with Dunkid, how much time would he have had to do much surfing to get to the point where he “finally” meets Sameer?!?

    This makes me think he and Sameer have had some kind of online interaction going from before the first meeting with Duncan. As he said, he was in this neighborhood before. How many times had he circled the Pearl before he went in? Would an ongoing conversation with Sameer have given him the “courage” to walk in the bar, even though it wasn’t to see Sameer?

    Just some thoughts to go with camping out.

    • Chris Dangerfield

      Okay that is perceptive. Considering all of Kyle’s free time lately. 🙂

      • Ulysses Paxton

        I know Kyle is a super hero, but speeding up or slowing down time isn’t one of his talents, I think! 😉

        • Pietro7

          I’m trying to guess how long it’s been since the Hell-gate blew away in the fires of Kyle’s wrath. Maybe a week? A week would be enough time to strike up an acquaintance through the internet, wouldn’t it?

          • Chris Dangerfield

            Ha. True. Dad was blown through the portal and Kyle whipped out the smart-phone.

          • Ulysses Paxton

            Maybe. It just seems to me as though he wouldn’t have said “finally” if it was a week. But then, I’m a codger checking to see that people stay off my lawn, and my sense of time is somewhat antediluvian. 😉

          • Klaus

            Much more than a week. Diego is out of hospital after open heart surgery. A congressional hearing has been scheduled.

  • Justin White

    Well if we’re going for accuracy, I know the palm of my hand is lighter than the rest of my skin, so that makes since. I’ve actually never seen an artist take this approach before, i’m fascinated. Go right ahead with Vero’s rendering, that’s my opinion.

  • Saxon_Brenton

    Hello. I’ve just finished an hour-and-a-half of explaining inter-library loans procedures with a work placement student. Which is all well and good, except I wasn’t expecting it until Friday and had to extemporise/babble off the top of my head. It went pretty well, and I didn’t make too big a fool of myself, but nevertheless I need chocolate.
    So I’ve gone across the road and bought chocy Tim-Tams. Here, dig in.

    • davefragments

      to dunk in hot rum, maybe

    • *whispers* What are Tim-Tams again?

      • Saxon_Brenton

        Biscuit coated in chocolate. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Tam
        People sometimes talk about the ‘Tim-Tam Suck’, where you bite off the ends and then use the Tim-Tam as a straw to suck up milk.

      • Samurai Jack

        Australia’s version of crack. 😉 Thankfully available in the US now.

  • It happened again. Either I forgot to turn on the power plug, so tablet could charge, or the charger didn’t sit correct in tablet (because I could swear that I just turned off the power plug when I woke up)…
    Anyway, now that I have a few percent power charged, I’m sort of here for camping 🙂

  • davefragments

    patreon rumbles

  • Wayne Lunkwitz

    PLEASE don’t tell me I’m late AGAIN!

    • stickfigurefairytales

      I think you just made it – me too!

  • davefragments
  • We have a weird apple tree. I call it weird because the apples are ‘baking’ apples not really “eat as they are” apples. They make great pies.

  • Michael

    Looking back at this , I just really love Sameer’s expression in the last panel. That’s exactly the kind of nervous smile I would give. There’s just so much personality in that, the slight upturn of the eyebrows, the tension around the mouth and eyes, the nervous toothy grin, the tilt of the head… it just so perfectly reflects Sameer’s inner monologue that we don’t need any text to know how he’s feeling.

    Masterful illustration by Adam and Vero, yet again.

  • Latrice Mizelle

    This is a very cool idea and if you want to add true to life coloring like that, I say go for it. Vero’s rendering is on the money in my opinion.

  • You and your goal to accurately represent everyone are so admirable and generous I nearly cried. You have one of the biggest hearts, and every artist who helps you spread this Everyone Can Be a Hero message gives me faith in humanity I thought was long gone and couldn’t be revived. Thank you all!
    As for this page, I think Kyle wants ‘nice’ and ‘normal’ after everything with Duncan… but being in the arms of someone who has the capacity to cause so much destruction, but only wants to protect and love you is appealing for some. Kyle’s had a taste for danger, and eventually might want to revisit it now that he knows what to expect. Him and Duncan feel a smidgen like Buffy and Spike, at least to me. Sorry for going on for so long, and thank you for caring about how we feel.