Comic 1203 - Change the Conversation

23rd Aug 2019, 9:39 AM in Ch. 37 - Prom Night
Change the Conversation
Average Rating: 4.6 (5 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 23rd Aug 2019, 9:39 AM edit delete
Jocelyn
Because it might be an important refresher for many readers, that flashback in panel 2 comes from a little while back, after Rain haphazardly came out to Ana.
http://rain.thecomicseries.com/comics/924/

And it all leads to this moment right now. It's a bold move, doing this where almost everyone can see (I'll get to that in a minute). But sometimes, changing the conversation really helps. Thing is, was it necessary? That Prom King vote seemed to be more confusing to people than it was revelatory, but might students have considered it more over time and eventually clocked Rain like she fears? Even if people brush it off in the moment, that they had to announce the results twice after a seemingly inexplicable mistake is surely going to be a big talking point on the next day of class, right? In which case, will this be enough to redirect what people really remember from this night?

As for which characters didn't see this, you might notice there are two characters missing from the lineup of onlookers on the second page: specifically Ruby and Colette. As recently as just a couple pages ago, we know they're out in the lobby right now having their own moment, whatever that may mean. I wonder. Could their absence be significant, though?

***

Today is the last page of this chapter. It's been the longest one in the story thus far (I think the final count is 85 pages for just this chapter!). And along the way, there's been so many big moments for so many characters. So yeah, it's probably needless to say, but I am on hiatus as of right now.

I don't have a return date set in stone yet, as there's some stuff I want to get done during this time. And before even that, I just wanna rest for a bit. It's been my longest non-hiatus stretch to date, during one of the busiest sections of the story, while my personal life has thrown me quite a few rough curveballs lately. I think an actual break before jumping into more work will be good for me. I will absolutely keep you posted though as soon as I know when you can expect me to return to posting. ^_^


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Comments:

Guest 23rd Aug 2019, 10:15 AM edit delete reply
This is the best birthday present I could have wished for. Thank you so much Jocelyn!
doombird 23rd Aug 2019, 10:37 AM edit delete reply
AAAAAAAAAA SMOOCHES AAAAAAAAAA
bgb16999 23rd Aug 2019, 10:49 AM edit delete reply
bgb16999
Three of my favorite comics are wrapping up big chapters within two weeks of each other (the other two being Widdershins and Dumbing of Age.)

The school dynamic is definitely going to be different going forwards from here, for however long that lasts.

Also, the background blue really makes this page beautiful.
Phrll 23rd Aug 2019, 11:05 AM edit delete reply
Very well done!!! :)

Enjoy the break, you've certainly earned it the this chapter!
Tan 23rd Aug 2019, 11:08 AM edit delete reply
So, chapter end. I assume we are done with all the 'Wait for it, there's a reason', so I can say firmly and with conviction: There was no reason the 'prom king' thing needed to happen. It was useless and hurtful and a black mark on an otherwise adorable story. I hate that it happened, I hate that there's reference back to it here (AGAIN completely unnecessarily), and I hate that any time I think back on this part of the story, that's going to be part of it.

I love ALL of Rain other than that, from the dorky cute to the sappy sweet to the heartful/heartrending serious, but I hate that. It was a contrivance that accomplished nothing other than a couple strips of gratuitous misgendering, which since when does anyone even need a contrivance to get that?
Jocelyn 23rd Aug 2019, 2:01 PM edit delete reply
Jocelyn
@Tan

Personally, I would say it was a hugely important moment, as it really showed how far Rain has come since the beginning of the story. Just look at the early chapters where she'd cry (and sometimes literally run and hide) at the drop of a hat, and how she hasn't cried at all throughout this chapter. She's no doubt shaken up by the ordeal, but she stands her ground and she smiles in the face of it. Considering the magnitude of the Prom King vote, her strength during and following that whole event is admirable and encouraging. I would argue that calling such a moment "useless" is a bit dismissive of the growth she's been through over the course of the story.

It's also worth pointing out that it's through this that we get some perspective on how the other characters outside her friend group view her. The fact that it was characters like Devon or Holly or especially Debbie that were speaking out in Rain's defense is extremely significant.

Finally, the kiss right here might not have happened without that whole ordeal. Emily needed to suffer her mom, AND Rain needed to sweat the Prom King vote in order for them to affirm - together and in front of everyone - that this is what they both wanted. Is it possible they could've kissed in private? Sure, but they still weren't ready to do so even in front of their own friends earlier in the evening. This kiss is a really big moment for both of them, that only could've come about by experiencing and overcoming their struggles.

And that's really the point of the whole story when it comes down to it. There are going to be moments we don't like. Where it hurts or makes us sad or angry. It's okay to not like that they happened. But those moments help the characters grow stronger. I believe those moments in life are often how we grow stronger. The confidence of these girls right now is - at least in my opinion - that much more invigorating because we saw them struggle before this. That kiss is a visual confirmation that they weren't broken by those struggles. I can only speak for myself, and perhaps I'm biased, but I find that strength beautiful and extremely encouraging. Personally, I can't see that as "useless" or "unnecessary" at all.

You're entitled to feel however you feel, but this is why I felt this was so important to include in the story.
Tan 24th Aug 2019, 11:03 AM edit delete reply
I disagree strongly that it was either necessary for or particularly effective at any of the intended points.

I'd like to emphasize one more time the contrast between this versus the moment when Kellen cut Rain's hair, which as I've commented before, was even more uncomfortable, yet was also extremely real and extremely powerful. That made the story better for it having happened even if the act itself is loathsome. This did not, imo.

That being said, I will harp on the point no further and instead simply thank you for listening and responding to my comments on the earlier strips and on this one, for being entirely polite with me even when my criticisms have been heated (and I do apologize if I crossed the line into insulting), and in general for making Rain, because like I said, I do love the comic overall even still.

Enjoy your hiatus, and here's hoping for good things next chapter.
Guest 23rd Aug 2019, 7:33 PM edit delete reply
Well I liked it
freekate78 23rd Aug 2019, 11:25 AM edit delete reply
YAAAaaaayyyyyyy!. you go girls! ive been waiting for someone at the prom to show the PDA, and im not really supprised it was Emily and Rain. though to be fair and honest, right in the middle of the dance floor and the slow dance might be a little much and a bit over the top for this particular school. but its a great moment.
i LOVE the expressions in panels 7-10. notably; Gavin & Ana: not supprised, more kind of nervous; Chanel: the "omg. dreams DO come true!" face; Fara: the "WTF!? just wait till we get into the car at the end of the night" and; Holly: 'im confused... why are they kissing?'

this page just gives me the warm fuzzies all over the place. and i LOVE it!
Phrll 23rd Aug 2019, 2:28 PM edit delete reply
Speaking of expressions, Debbie's makes me think she might have had a secret crush on Emily.
Somebody 23rd Aug 2019, 11:51 AM edit delete reply
Does anybody have suggestions for other webcomics I can read during this hiatus?
j-eagle12212012 23rd Aug 2019, 2:18 PM edit delete reply
j-eagle12212012
El Goonish Shive more commonly known as EGS , it's been going for about 15 years so there's quite a lot, it also has a side story section that connects to the main story. It's a really fun magic slice of life series that has evolved both in art style and LGBTQ+ representation . It's really good if you give it a chance
bgb16999 23rd Aug 2019, 7:11 PM edit delete reply
bgb16999
I'll start with Sister Claire. The authors have said that straight people don't exist in the Claireverse. The best order to read it in for your first time is not particularly obvious, so I'd also suggest looking at my Sister Claire Suggested Reading Order blog post.

Some other comics with a lot of good queer representation are:

Dumbing of Age

Inhibit

Namesake

Tamberlane

Undivine

No End

Of those, Dumbing of Age is the one that is most like Rain. It is also has a real-world-like setting, and has a large cast of mostly students (though they are college students and not high schoolers).
Jocelyn 23rd Aug 2019, 8:43 PM edit delete reply
Jocelyn
@bgb16999

Thanks for the reminder on Sister Claire. I started reading it a long time ago myself, and while I loved what I saw and always meant to go back to it, I somehow forgot about it. So this might be part of my required reading for the break. XD
shastab24 23rd Aug 2019, 8:05 PM edit delete reply
shastab24
It depends--do you want something that's also comedic, or can some that are more serious be suggested and you'd want to read them? I ask because I do have self-promotion I could do, of my comic Almighty Protectors, a superhero comic. Another superhero comic I enjoy with a trans creator is Magellan (its archive is huge, by the way). I'm not as up on the comedic, slice of life stuff because I really love myself some superheroes (Rain is the only exception for the comics I regularly read, because it's too adorable to not regularly read).
Steve 23rd Aug 2019, 9:13 PM edit delete reply
If you aren't a fan already, Never Satisfied is an amazing comic with beautiful art, compelling plot, and really great LGBT representation
Phrll 26th Aug 2019, 11:02 AM edit delete reply
Two of my favorites are Unsounded and Ava's Demon. Neither is LGBTQ+ oriented but they're both great reads (IMO). Unsounded is fantasy and Ava's Demon is horror/sci fi.

http://www.casualvillain.com/Unsounded/comic+index/
https://www.avasdemon.com/
Guest 23rd Aug 2019, 11:54 AM edit delete reply
Why is the coloring different in the last panel? It's throwing me off that some colors are different but some are the same.
Gigglebox 23rd Aug 2019, 2:03 PM edit delete reply
Gigglebox
Given the background lighting effects seen throughout, I'm assuming there's either a disco ball, or those LED multicolored light globes set up to cast various light patterns around the dance floor.
FishEye18 23rd Aug 2019, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
Ah yes, I can see the headline now:
Shipping International LLC Newsletter
THE USS RAINILY SAFELY REACHES PORT AFTER YEARS AT SEA
Temia Eszteri 23rd Aug 2019, 1:09 PM edit delete reply
キタ───────────────(゚∀゚)───────────────ッ!!
Sarah 23rd Aug 2019, 1:11 PM edit delete reply
I love how shocked Fara looks. Did she even know they were dating? I feel like she should have known.
AmberPeacemaker 23rd Aug 2019, 6:45 PM edit delete reply
AmberPeacemaker
I think is it less "I didn't know they were dating" and more "THEY JUST DID WHAT OUT IN PUBLIC AT A CATHOLIC SCHOOL PROM?!?"
j-eagle12212012 23rd Aug 2019, 1:32 PM edit delete reply
j-eagle12212012
The perfect ending to the chapter. I really hope we get to see Rain and Emily have a happily ever after by the end of the story
MavistheRainBeau 23rd Aug 2019, 4:45 PM edit delete reply
MavistheRainBeau
Woohoo! I love how you can see everyone's reactions. Debbie is like - "wait what?". While rain's friends are all "oh good for them"
Catlife333 23rd Aug 2019, 5:21 PM edit delete reply
Yay!!!! Congratulations Rain and Emily, I’m so happy for them :D !!! They’ve grown so much.
Sabrina 23rd Aug 2019, 5:37 PM edit delete reply
Yes
Samantha Pettengill 23rd Aug 2019, 7:00 PM edit delete reply
Oh, I love it! Jocelyn, I would like to tell you at this momentous occasion, that when I started reading rain about three years ago, I was very confused and conflicted in many ways about who I was and who I needed to be. I thought I was a bi male and was married with a grown child. Now those three years have passed and I would like you to know, I am now one year, eight months on HRT and a very happy girl. I am divorced as my former spouse was not interested in being married to a female, but that is ok. My point in this, I would like to thank you. Rain has been very strong support and inspiration to me through my journey. Thank you for being here for those of us who need a role model even if it is just a webcomic to address the small issues. Love you lots.
Guest 7th Oct 2019, 4:15 PM edit delete reply
i too, have this Rain webcomic and Jocelyn to thank for helping me get on with starting my transition. I’d just spent Jan 1 2016 thru the last week of July losing 50lbs of weight and getting myself physically fit enough to hopefully achieve satisfactory results from HRT, but was still on the fence and unsure about doing this thing for real. i ran across a link to this webcomic on the Reddit MtF subreddit and started reading it, and instantly fell in love with the story so much I binge-read the whole thing almost nonstop, only pausing when I fell asleep for a couple hours or to make something to eat, etc, and resumed reading as soon as oossible. After I finished all the way to the latest episode available then.... that became the spark that broke my logjam and gave me the encouragement I needed to quit second guessing, denying, repressing, listening to what others wanted me to be, and at age 54 finally told myself “I’m doing this for reals this time” and put the plan in motion to start HRT and on September 2, 2016 took my first dose of hormones.

So, not only did this webcomic convince me to finally get this show on the road.... I have to give Jocelyn credit for naming me too. i had entertained the possibility of any of a long list of new potential names, but nothing really just fit me, until a certain Halloween party and there it was. the choice was obvious and undeniable. call it Providence or serendipity or whatever, but my birth middle name was Rudy and when I was a preschooler child, my mother always used it as my first name and before age 6 and starting first grade at pubic school, I was always called “Rudy Neal” and from my perspective, that was my name until the public school made all beginning 1st graders go by the names listed on their birth certificates, Nicknames or going by your middle name wasn’t allowed. So when Rudy attends the party as Ruby, It was a stroke of destiny. It’s an age appropriate name for me, and returns me full circle back to the name I first thought was my real name, with a single letter change, and thus I was now Ruby Neal, and on March 30, 2018 I legally became Ruby Ruth Neal, and This is all thanks to Jocelyn!
Now just a month past my 3 year HRT anniversary, at age 57 (yes I’m an old fossil) I am making arrangements for the final pieces of my transition journey.... GRS with Dr. Christine McGinn in Pennsylvania sometime in Spring of 2020, hopefully before my 58th birthday but since I got such a late start at the required electrolysis, it may be a few weeks to a month or so past my birthday. so meanwhile, I’m gonna get BA at one of the “Jiffy Boob” places a couple hours away from me in a larger city, And yeah, Im gonna get the biggest ones practical. hRT made me look like a woman 20 years younger than my real calendar age, but only small breasts.... so while I have the time and money to do so, I can think of nothing better to spend both on than Ruby’s Boobies, lol!
Queen Wolfen 23rd Aug 2019, 8:20 PM edit delete reply
Queen Wolfen
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!
Timmi The Enchantrix 23rd Aug 2019, 9:37 PM edit delete reply
I feel like I could look at this page for however long the hiatus takes, and call it time well spent.
Long-Time Lurker 24th Aug 2019, 1:52 AM edit delete reply
HECK YEAH!!! <3
Nibelung 24th Aug 2019, 2:12 AM edit delete reply
Long time reader, first time poster. This ending made me actually stand from my chair and clap. Great job, Jocelyn.
Guest 24th Aug 2019, 2:36 AM edit delete reply
CUTE! ADORABLE! LOVELY! AHHHHHHHHHHH
Snack 25th Aug 2019, 5:58 PM edit delete reply
I LOVE the variety of reactions in play. Gavin and Ana are delighted, Ky seems almost smugly pleased. Fara and Debbie are two totally different flavors of startled, and Holly looks like she's processing everything about four seconds behind everyone else. Chanel is in Ship Heaven.

This is an incredibly satisfying conclusion to a very edciting chapter. I'm sure I'll explode waiting for whatever you've got coming next!
AmbiguousMouse 26th Aug 2019, 11:08 AM edit delete reply
Ooookay, yeah. Not the ending I expected. But I dig it. I guess this'll be Rain's second time stealing the show at a party by kissing someone almost nobody thinks likes girls. Fun, fun.
Guest 7th Sep 2019, 1:47 PM edit delete reply
I swear I was only on page 50 when I started reading...
vorpal 15th Sep 2019, 8:00 PM edit delete reply
vorpal
Nice cliffhanger. Now that I'm caught up I actually have to wait too. The cliffhangers weren't so bad when I could just click 'next' lol.
Silver Rose 2nd Oct 2019, 6:49 AM edit delete reply
I don't think I've ever reacted that viscerally to a story moment before. I love it! Jocelyn, you're wonderful.
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