No doubt I’m going to sound like a hypocrite with my complaint about cartoonist Saiful Remy Mokhtar’s ongoing habit of backdating his webcomic No Pink Ponies, seeing that I recently backdated a delayed review (due to internet connectivity issues) and have, in the past, backdated reviews by a day or two. I won’t let this stop me, however, in calling for a limited intervention here, seeing that Mokhtar is backdating his comic by two-and-a-half years (which goes to show you just how bad the frequent hiatuses NPP has succumbed to were at one point). Mokhtar claims that the comic is actually relevant to 2010, though I must admit I don’t recall much in the comic that is so time-dependent. Many aspects of the comic have remained timeless, and could easily be set at any time in the 21st century (or even late 20th for that matter).
A case in point can be found with the “current” storyline, which is set back in January 2010 according to the calendar, with Jess and her still-nameless-boyfriend going out on a date at a fancy restaurant… and Jess’s reaction to finding out her boyfriend is rich. The thing is, he doesn’t flaunt it; while it was shown his folks are rich back when Jess followed him to Alabama back before the more frequent hiatuses, pretty boy has pretty much flown under the radar. Add in the fact he doesn’t spend much money and actually works for a living, and it can be understandable that Jess is surprised that he booked an entire restaurant just to spend time alone with her and then rented out a fancy car. And Jess finds herself threatened by it.
It’s an interesting variation on the theme; guys are traditionally the breadwinner in most societies, and there’s a bit of truth to the trope that men feel threatened by a more successful woman. Perhaps part of the reason Nameless hasn’t been threatened lies with the fact he’s quietly rich… and is using this date to show off for once. While some people could consider it sexism for Jess to feel threatened, I consider it more a sign of the times… and the fact that it doesn’t matter when the comic takes place. Mokhtar continues the odd practice of many webcartoonists to subtly alter the names of mainstream comics and media mentioned in dialogue, so there’s not even anything time-sensitive here. When you get down to it, dates don’t matter in NPP. As such, there’s no point in backdating updates.