By now, I’m sure a lot of you have seen this post going around where someone points out that the Hot Topic exclusive Homestuck shirt features white-washing where darker skin was depicted in the original art.
However, that post had a million different trains, and the OP wasn’t the…
I wanted to verify these claims because I couldn’t really see the alleged whitewashing, so I made this picture.
My comments: I think the source images make it really hard to tell if John’s actually being whitewashed here or not. #1 and #2 have Rose and Dave’s skin darker than John’s! (that’s what the black-and-white version of the grid is for at the bottom- to show exactly how dark everything is compared to each other.) I think that’s probably because the camera’s flash made the bottom of the image a lot brighter than the top- just look at how dark Jade’s skin ended up looking at the top. (Also the fact that John’s arm is darker than his head in #1. I noticed that while sampling the images.)
But in #3 and #4 I feel like it’s a lot closer of a match to the original hues/values. So I’m mostly going to talk about them for the rest of this. If someone else wants to go analyze #1 and #2, go ahead!
If you look at the color overlays at the very bottom of the image (that’s the B&W value for John’s skin color laid over Rose’s for each different image, for the sake of comparison), it seems like based on the color samples I used, John’s skin is still darker than Rose’s, but there’s less contrast- they’re closer in value.
If you ask me, it’s fishy that there’s less contrast, but at least the changes they did make were pretty lowkey. Not to necessarily excuse the fact that changes were made at all, but I couldn’t see the change in colors when I first saw the image, even though I did see the original source image. I bet a lot of people won’t notice if they don’t see the post going around.
In the end, I think it will help if we can get more pictures of higher quality, or theoretically something definitive like a statement from WhatPumpkin. Right now, for me at least, it’s potentially suspicious, but also a big dubious grey area because the 1-4 offending pictures are so vastly different from each other in their colors, and more source images could tell a different story.
Feel free to draw your own conclusions, though. That’s just my take on it, and you’re free to interpret my color sample image however you want. :)
EDIT: Found another source image. I’m not color sampling this, but it looks really close to the original material. http://cheesyfactory.tumblr.com/post/92588755487/here-is-is-i-wanted-to-put-everyone-worried-about
And, correct me if I’m wrong, but don’t you have to change colors in order to print on black anyway?
It makes sense that some adjustments had to be made in order for the colors to be screenprinted on a black shirt.