This is Chantel, Mallard Fillmore's African-American co-worker and occasional love interest.
Recently, she's been depicted as having gray skin. It's really weird and garish. I don't know how long it's been going on. It's happened more than once, so it must be intentional and not a flub on the part of the colorist. President Obama, who's literally the only other African-American person to appear in the strip this year, isn't depicted with gray skin. It's just her. The question is, why? Is it a Doug thing, where everybody's random colors to illustrate that race doesn't matter? If so, why does it only affect Chantel? Is her gray skin intended to be literal? Is her complexion being de-emphasized so readers won't think she's being used as a stand-in for all African-Americans? Why now, after 20 or so years? Is she now supposed to be "aracial," with her pigmentation figuratively depicted as neutral so readers can decide her ethnic background for themselves?
Something to consider: the black-and-white version of the strip doesn't use stippling to depict shades of gray like other comics do. There's no clear indication that Chantel is a person of color. Since every character aside from Mallard (whose feathers are usually solid black in non-Sunday strips) is literally white, their "true" skin color is theoretically ambiguous. Might Chantel's grayness be an attempt to preserve that sense of ambiguity in the transistion to color?
Glad to hear Alex Trebek is doing well and they won't have to resort to using the back-up host...
Oh hello! rubbercat.net is nine years old today! That's how old the kids on Hey Arnold! are! Wow! It seems like only yesterday that I made the first po... well, no, actually it feels like it happened exactly nine years ago, if not longer.
As you can see, I've made some slight redesigns and all that jazz! I also made a real, non-joke mobile version of the site located at rubbercat.net/m, but I have no idea if it actually looks decent on a smartphone since I didn't have one to test on... so let's just call it a beta for now, ok?
While I'm here I'd like to point out that I totally predicted Microsoft's new Surface tablet nearly three months ago as a throwaway joke. Take that, The Verge dot com! I was also the first person to write an article about Matt Groening quitting his comic strip Life in Hell five days ago, and the news is only just now trickling down to the lamestream media. Where's my Pulitzer?
One of the many books my late uncle left behind was a 50¢ Marmaduke collection from 1968, Marmaduke Rides Again! by Brad Anderson and Dorothy Leeming. I stumbled upon this particular cartoon and just had to scan it immediately:
Remind you of anyone?
IN WHICH I BLATHER ON ABOUT NICKELODEON DEBRIS
I just wanted to double-check the title of something, but it turned into watching old Nickelodeon shorts on YouTube for an hour.
- The Space Between Mr. Frear's Ears - I forgot about this!!! I want to find the one where there's a bunch of pay-phones. That one became an inside joke for me and a friend for a while
- Inside Eddie Johnson - "I'm inside the bowels of a kid... can we say that?" Can they say that today? Oh hey, there's George Wendt as the foreman. Spoiler: THE REPORTER DIED BECAUSE OF THE FART. THAT'S SUPER MESSED UP
- Natalie's Backseat Traveling Web Show - How is she getting internet coverage inside a moving car in like 1998? How have they been driving for 43 days, I thought they were just moving? Where are they going? Did they ever make it there? What does the actress who played Natalie think about iCarly?
- As Our Schoolbus Turns - I guess they wanted to turn these shorts into a show (that's how Pete & Pete started) but they only made one episode, under the title Bus No. 9. I don't remember the plot at all, but I remember liking it. My life's goal is to find that episode and see if it holds up.
THE WORST-KEPT SECRET IN THE VIDEO GAME INDUSTRY
Nintendo of America president Reggie Fils-Aime's wife only married him for the secret cheat codes