Comic 904 - Deeper

18th Jan 2017, 7:50 PM in Ch. 30: Little Victories
Deeper
Average Rating: 4.85 (13 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 18th Jan 2017, 7:50 PM edit delete
Jocelyn
On the previous page, I received a lot of concerns regarding the sort of sensitive information Vincent is divulging with Kellen. In hindsight, perhaps I should've brought it up sooner, but I promise this will be addressed in canon soon. With that in mind, I'm hoping we can focus on what's being said rather than what's allowed to be said for now.

Because there's a LOT being said!

The first page is mostly a continuation of the last, with Vincent answering Kellen's questions, and addressing certain aspects of transition. Looking back, maybe this first page actually would've flowed better being attached to the previous one rather than the second page here (oh well). After Kellen continues to insist "Ryan is my brother" though, Vincent's usually affable face drops.

He's not yelling on the second page, but it should be noted that this is the first time he isn't smiling in this scene. His tone is more serious, but to what extent? Would you say he's angry or sad or frustrated or concerned? Or something else?

Then there's Kellen. What is her deal? I want to be clear that I don't believe what she's done can simply be reasoned away, and neither do I think that finding that reason should necessarily redeem her. But she is fighting awfully hard against people whom she says she cares about, knowing that this is alienating her from the loved ones she claims she doesn't want to lose, over something she admits she doesn't totally understand. Even she has to be aware by now that there's no reality where this works out in a way that is ideal for her. Even in a purely hypothetical world where Rain ceases transition and goes back to living as a boy (it'll never happen, but this is hypothetical), Kellen must know that Rain won't thank her or be happy like that.

So what exactly is Kellen's endgame? What is she hoping for? And why does it matter that much? I've seen a lot of interesting theories over the course of her character arc, but since it has been a while and we're finally starting to explore this directly in canon... what IS up with her? Thoughts?


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Comments:

Guest 18th Jan 2017, 8:31 PM edit delete reply
I still think Kellen is clinging on to her past life before her mom died and her dad left-- back when it was her mom, her dad, her two brothers and herself. Her mom's gone, and her dad left-- and she would have been at a difficult age for all that to happen. Now she hears that her "brother" is now her sister, and it feels like she's lost "him" as well. I don't think she's quite grasped the concept that it's still her baby sibling, just that she's a girl and not the boy that Kellen thought she was. I don't condone her actions at all, but she has been going through a lot. Her parents are gone. Her fiance left her. Her brother was engaged, and looked to be married soon. And now her brother is actually her sister? She says it herself: "he's supposed to be my brother." Emphasis on "supposed." Her family isn't SUPPOSED to be this complicated. I think Kellen just wants everything to go back to normal-- and once "Ryan" has short hair and stop wearing those fake boobs and girl clothes, things can get as close to normal as they can for Kellen. I think she's going through a lot that she isn't talking about. Again-- I do not condone her actions, which were terrible, but at the same time I do pity her. She wants everything to be normal and this is the only way she knows how. Hopefully she'll realize what's bothering her and change that.
BlackSocks 18th Jan 2017, 10:47 PM edit delete reply
BlackSocks
Related to that.... perhaps she has some form of a mental disorder? I'm not a professional or anything, but I know a couple of them involve rigid thinking, attraction to routine, and fear of change.
(This also offers an explanation for why things went so badly with Chase "Thrives on Chaos" Brenton....)
Callisto 19th Jan 2017, 4:57 AM edit delete reply
I'm going to say that it's something simpler. Much simpler, and also why she cut Rain's hair.

Rain looks just like their mother.
Callisto 19th Jan 2017, 4:57 AM edit delete reply
And/Or Reminds her of their mother.
An actual therapist >_> 18th Jan 2017, 9:07 PM edit delete reply
Holy hell, Kellen is trans.
Ruth 18th Jan 2017, 9:36 PM edit delete reply
Ruth
I don't think Kellen is trans, but rather she's emotionally traumatized by her mother dying, her father abandoning the family in time of crisis, Aiken disappearing for a while, her relationship with that douchebag Chase going down in flames, add on the shock of Rain being revealed as transgender.... all these things compounded with her own inner struggle... I'm going to go out on a limb here and predict she's lesbian and can't accept it.
Sissa 19th Jan 2017, 2:45 AM edit delete reply
Yeah, I'd rather she not be trans. The "person hates LGBT people because they're secretly LGBT themselves" trope is overplayed an offensive amount (From TV you'd think all homophobes were secretly gay) There are other reasons people can be LGBT-phobic outside of internalized self-prejudice and the religion card that gets overplayed as well, and it'd be good to address some of those.

(Oh hey, it's my first time posting here. Hi everyone :) )
Some Ed 19th Jun 2017, 5:11 PM edit delete reply
No rational person would take a small collection of anecdotes (which is basically what TV shows are) and make an assumption about everyone in a group.

If a person was inclined to do that, that person would also have more than enough evidence from Republican sex scandals to think that all Republicans were homophobic homosexuals. Which is, of course, blatantly not true.
Blabbers 19th Jan 2017, 2:53 AM edit delete reply
I was thinking the same thing
Niceguy Eddie 19th Jan 2017, 2:17 PM edit delete reply
I had a similar thought, but somehow I don't think so. I'd like to say, "I hope not," but I don't want to sound like there is a "wrong" way for Jocelyn to take this. But, yeah, that crossed my mind as well.
Sarah 18th Jan 2017, 9:15 PM edit delete reply
Again and again I'll say this: Thank you for Rain.

This page comes at a hard time for me. On Sunday, my parents went through my phone. I'm sixteen, and I'm stuck with them for a while. They know I'm not straight now, and they know that my girlfriend is transgender.

For my father, that was the hard thing. I have no idea why, but he's less bothered by the fact that I like girls and more bothered that I call the girl he knew as my boyfriend Rebecca. And after the things he said Sunday night, I'm heartbroken because I don't think I can ever safely bring Becca into my house again. She's been adamantly there for me, as have all my friends, but I will never, never tell her exactly what he's called her. The MILDEST was referring to her, in passing, as "that he-she whatever." Every time he says something like that, I stand up and walk out of the room.

But I can only walk so far. I only have a learner's permit, and it'll be two long years before I can leave for college. I have a tight circle of friends who've offered to be getaway drivers, but I'm certain that if I leave the house without permission, I won't be allowed back in. I'm grateful that my father has made no attempt to block me from contacting my girlfriend, but I still can't mention her without snide comments.

And then there's the anger. My father isn't good at being angry. Monday morning, I woke up to find that my father had locked the door to the stairs, trapping me in the basement. His office is down there near my room, so he was locked in with me. I looked at him. He smirked. Without waiting for him to speak, I informed him as calmly as I could that I was hungry and wanted to go upstairs to eat breakfast. He just looked at me, so I went back to my room, put on an old pair of shoes from my closet, opened the window, climbed out of it, and ran around the house to the front. My father came upstairs while my tea was steeping. I offered to make him something to eat. Later, I returned to my room to find that my alarm clock was smashed against the wall where my father had thrown it upon seeing the open window. And so it goes. I guess.

I'm not in any danger, but having Rain here to read and reread has definitely made the week more bearable.
BlackSocks 18th Jan 2017, 10:36 PM edit delete reply
BlackSocks
That's.... awful. Is there any way I can lend aid?
(as a minor with no transportation, but a way to send money covertly)
bgb16999 18th Jan 2017, 11:40 PM edit delete reply
bgb16999
Don't give up hope yet. My parents were both pretty transphobic at one point. While I myself am cis, it was hard for my trans friends growing up.

Now, though, my parents are a lot better and are both supportive of trans issues. I think they just needed time to get used to the idea. I know it's got to be hard for you and Rebecca now, but there is hope your parents will improve in the future.
Lex-Kat 19th Jan 2017, 9:04 AM edit delete reply
Lex-Kat
I hope things get better. You are incredibly brave and smart. Don't be afraid to get help, or inform an adult who is an ally.

Good luck. *hugs*
Lyn the Mysfortunate 19th Jan 2017, 11:30 PM edit delete reply
I've had simmilar issues with my dad, who thank god I don't live with, but he does still financhally support not only me but other members of my family. What I do when I want to hide information that might make him withdraw said financhial support or try to go after me physically, is I use a texting app like kik and keep my phone on me at all times. If he takes my phone I delete the app so that the information is lost. I don't know if you still have access to your phone or if it is a smart phone but if this is an option for you it might be useful in things like planning meetings with Rebecca without compromising her location or to eventually plan some way out without tipping off your dad. Also, warning, he can get texts directly from your phone company if he knows where to look so just deleting texts or even entire conversations is not a safe way to hide information. Best of luck and stay strong.
Niceguy Eddie 20th Jan 2017, 2:36 PM edit delete reply
This is not sane, stable, adult behavior on his part. You may not be "in danger" (you know the whole story, we don't) but I do not believe you are entirely SAFE either. I'm a parent myself, and also get angry more often than I should. But I have never sought to lock my kids anywhere, not destroy their property merely for going about their lives. (Or for any other reason.) That is NOT normal. Do what you have to do to get by for the next two years, but don't ever, in your own mind, believe that this was acceptable parental behavior on his part. Because it's not.
Long-Time Lurker 18th Jan 2017, 9:37 PM edit delete reply
Just me, or does Kellen look about to cry?
BlackSocks 18th Jan 2017, 10:36 PM edit delete reply
BlackSocks
That or have an epiphany.
Lex-Kat 19th Jan 2017, 9:05 AM edit delete reply
Lex-Kat
Or... both! During my first few therapy sessions, I had a few epiphanies, and they all lead me to tears.

Here's hoping for Kellen to gain from this. *fingers crossed*
steveha 18th Jan 2017, 9:56 PM edit delete reply
steveha
I'm very impressed by this page. I'm invested in the characters and following the story, and all this makes sense yet I didn't see it coming and I can't predict where it's going. And the visual storytelling of the habitual smile slumping... perfect use of the comics medium.

Keep up the great work, Jocelyn!
Reimi 18th Jan 2017, 10:14 PM edit delete reply
Reimi
Hmm, something big is being hidden... but what... Kellen knows something about why their dad left and isn't spilling the beans would be my first guess. Kellen being some form of LGBT would be my second.
Niceguy Eddie 20th Jan 2017, 2:39 PM edit delete reply
Or maybe their dad?
BlackSocks 18th Jan 2017, 10:39 PM edit delete reply
BlackSocks
My prediction:
Kellen had a friend/significant other who was trans. Kellen's father found out. This is somehow tied to him walking out on the family.
Grief and anger twisted her mind, and she now thinks she is 'protecting or 'saving' Rain from some awful fate.
I dunno, maybe I've just watched too much Criminal Minds.

Also, Vincent's face in panels 5-6.... from Mr. Nice Guy to Sherlock Holmes.
Ruth 19th Jan 2017, 1:06 AM edit delete reply
Ruth
Vincent is one smart dude.
Lyn the Mysfortunate 19th Jan 2017, 11:38 PM edit delete reply
I freaking love criminal minds. I actually wanted to be a profiler before watching the show, but have since switched to an aspiring counseling psychologist specializing in mental illness. Maybe I'll be the ultra-Hotch, swiching from catching criminals to counseling them out of becoming criminals instead of switching from prosecuting criminals to catching them.
Guest 18th Jan 2017, 10:52 PM edit delete reply
I can't believe that people are so concerned about what Vincent is telling Kellen. If this was real, I could understand that. But, although Rain is a great story, that I've enjoyed for many years, and that I believe has the ability to and has helped a lot of people, near as I can tell, there is one thing this story is not, and that is non-fiction. So I fail to see this issue with a fictional therapist telling a fictional character about her fictional sister, because in this world HIPAA might not even exist.
bgb16999 18th Jan 2017, 11:32 PM edit delete reply
bgb16999
Jocelyn, your comic is amazing and I'm so grateful for getting to read it.

Is there any chance you could sell digital versions of the compilation books? I REALLY want to read the bonus chapters, and I want to give you money for the comic, but I also don't have a place to store physical books. Even if PDFs of Rain cost the same as the print versions, I'd still buy them 'cause your comic is that good!
Nightsky 19th Jan 2017, 1:09 AM edit delete reply
Nightsky
I'm guessing it's related to their dad. Instead of approval though, I'm suddenly thinking maybe she has some subconscious desire to protect her siblings. The flashbacks have made it clear that he has a bad history with anything other than being straight and cisgender, and he also abandoned his kids after his wife died. If he ever found out about Rain he'd be very likely to hurt her, or worse, so Kellen might just subconsciously believe that it will be safer for Rain if she's just "Ryan" instead.
Lex-Kat 19th Jan 2017, 9:10 AM edit delete reply
Lex-Kat
Ya know, I think you may have hit the nose on the head. And especially after Aiken left soon after poppa, it was left to her to raise Rain.

My half-brother tried to play dad to me when I was a child. He was horrible, always bullying me. But I came to realize, he was trying to raise me to be like him, as his own father had done to him.

So perhaps Kellen is doing what she <I>thinks</I> momma would do?
miiohau 19th Jan 2017, 3:49 AM edit delete reply
Rain has wiki at http://rain-web-comic.wikia.com/
Guest 19th Jan 2017, 6:52 AM edit delete reply
No reason for Kellen to be redeemed. Just run her down with a bus.
Sarah (A different one) 19th Jan 2017, 9:18 AM edit delete reply
Here's a couple thoughts to mull over.

This is just too poetic to work, but Kellen believes that she herself may be trans, and is in such a strong denial of that, she can't fathom why anyone would want to, from her viewpoint, become a woman.

Another thought I have had... The slightly more sinister side of me thinks she may have been the victim of a sexual assault and blames her own womanhood for being both why she was attacked and why she couldn't stop it, so why would anyone want to put themselves in that position?


Most of my pet theories revolve around Kellen hating womanhood. However the comment she made about how things are "supposed to be" may make her reasons more pedestrian, relying on what normal is for other people.

All in all, I'm sure whatever it turns out to be, will be well worth the wait.
Jay 19th Jan 2017, 8:08 PM edit delete reply
Eh, I had a long post, but it got lost when it turns out I can't post more than 1000 characters without creating an account. Glad I worked an hour on that. >_<
defo18 19th Jan 2017, 10:07 PM edit delete reply
defo18
I'm excited now! I really want to know why she is being so unfair.

It could be trauma from her childhood. Thats my theory
Samantha 20th Jan 2017, 4:00 AM edit delete reply
I think the word "supposed" has a lot to do with her reason. She'd probably agree with the "if man was intended to fly, he would have been given wings" mentality. It's about what parents or other people might think, and not about what she truly feels about this.
Samantha 20th Jan 2017, 4:09 AM edit delete reply
I think it has more to do with her parents than her feeling trans (she doesn't honestly come across as particularly tomboyish or holding back such traits). Having a close trans friend that got hurt is also a possibility.
agent154 20th Jan 2017, 7:27 PM edit delete reply
Unrelated question, but is there a way I can set my display name to show my real name and not a username?
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