Comic 1041 - Norman Strongwell

4th Apr 2018, 9:45 AM in Ch. 35 - Weather the Storm
Norman Strongwell
Average Rating: 5 (13 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 4th Apr 2018, 9:45 AM edit delete
Let's just jump right in, I guess. ^^;

So, it's only a quick five panels, but there's a lot to take in. I won't go over everything, but I should probably make sure it's all clear, at least. To start, March 18th is the same day as the previous chapter. It's been maybe a couple hours since the last page happened. Mr. and Mrs. Strongwell have returned home. And although they still have Rudy, they don't know where Maria could be.

And technically, we don't know for sure either. We just know where she's not (home or school). What I can promise - just because I've had to address this a couple times in individual comments, and I want to put it out there for everyone - is that she is not dead, nor will she die. Nobody dies. That's just not the kind of story I'm trying to tell here. So if that's what you're worried about, you don't have to. (Other stories I write, you can worry about that. For Rain, it's not necessary.)

As for what's going on, that's where you come in. Do we learn anything about Maria's possible whereabouts right off the bat? Why is Rudy still here, and does he know where his sister is? And what, if anything, are we learning about Mr. and Mrs. Strongwell (aka, Norm and Donna Strongwell)?

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Reimi 4th Apr 2018, 10:14 AM edit delete reply
I just...

Rudy probably knows, but why he stayed behind is beyond me... Dammit Friday hurry up.
Guest 4th Apr 2018, 1:39 PM edit delete reply
been a lurker for a few months, but this is my first comment. OH MY GOODNESS I'm absolutely loving this comic.

I don't think Rudy knows where she is. He probably did not have time to confer with her, and keep in mind both of their phones were confiscated. I think he is just empowered by her disappearance, because the Strongwell parents are seeing their homophobia tear their household apart.
raygatana 5th Apr 2018, 9:23 AM edit delete reply
Wow, you worded the situation in this comic so much better than I ever could have.
Anon 4th Apr 2018, 10:35 AM edit delete reply
It seems like Mrs. Strongwell is a "ordinary" parent, and most of the homophobia is coming from the Mr. Naturally she is still... guilty? for the way her children have suffered. I think/hope that this could end in divorce. Though it might not. Rudy seems in the dark. Taking stabs at his father like that because its the most he can do to help his sister.
GlassofMilk 4th Apr 2018, 10:53 AM edit delete reply
Maria would have known that her father would try to beat her whereabouts out of Rudy. While he probably knew she left (I wouldn't be surprised by a note left for him, perhaps just a "sorry."), I doubt she would have told him where. She knows how to contact him when time has passed, enough for constant vigilance to go down.

It seems likely to me that Rudy is very scared right now and is trying to cover that up by lashing out at others. He doesn't know what to do, and subconsciously, he just wants someone else to hurt as much as he does right now. Even if he knows it's not at all what's going on, he'll still deal with feelings of abandonment. It's just part of the human psyche to not want to be alone in his suffering. I hope that he can love her enough to keep what he eventually learns (once she thinks it's safe to look for him) to himself, and those she can really trust.

Chanel, however, I don't know if Maria could leave without telling her where.
DocMesa 4th Apr 2018, 12:11 PM edit delete reply
I disagree, slightly. I don't think Rudy is lashing out because he's scared, I think he's lashing out because he's furious. His sister has had to flee and he's probably worried sick because he doesnt know where she is. And the reason she ran away is screaming at him in a stunning lack of self awareness and empathy. I'd be fucking furious too, in Rudy's position.
Àsh 4th Apr 2018, 10:56 AM edit delete reply
My theory is Norm is himself gay or bi and hates himself for it. Every time I turn around some anti gay family values senator or some such is getting outed. Sadly the kids are the ones suffering for it.
Guest 4th Apr 2018, 11:22 AM edit delete reply
Honestly no sometimes that's true but more likely that someone claims to be pro lgbtqia and then rejects when their kid comes out
Milll 4th Apr 2018, 10:40 PM edit delete reply
Maybe... I don't think so though. He's not important enough as a character (he's been more like a force of nature so far) to be anything that interesting.
Transhomura 4th Apr 2018, 11:23 AM edit delete reply
Remember that the strongwells can't have insurance cover the camp
TBTerra 4th Apr 2018, 1:14 PM edit delete reply
Just remember that this is happening in 2013 so both laws and insurance will not be upto date in what they will/wont cover
Long-Time Lurker 4th Apr 2018, 11:57 AM edit delete reply
Rudy, please don't be so flippant... Keep yourself safe, kid.
Lilith Sturlson 4th Apr 2018, 12:35 PM edit delete reply
.......punch him in his face Rudy......
j-eagle12212012 4th Apr 2018, 1:05 PM edit delete reply
Rudy needs to be careful , he's still a minor and thus dependent on his parents (as awful as they are)
I remember speaking my mind and calling out adults on their BS like Rudy is doing here ... Unfortunately almost everyone hates being told they're wrong especially by someone younger than them... I hope for Rudy's sake that he doesn't push his father any more
Antimony 4th Apr 2018, 2:12 PM edit delete reply
I really like the looks on Mrs. Strongwell's face. Feels like she's starting to wake up to a few things.
FishEye18 4th Apr 2018, 2:29 PM edit delete reply
Rudy drove a huge emotional dagger straight into both of them. This is the point in which one decides if religion comes first - or their children's happiness.
Icefall Kitsune 4th Apr 2018, 3:28 PM edit delete reply
Icefall Kitsune
Wow, so many good comments today.
My opinion is that Rudy does not "know" where Maria is right now but does know two or three good choices for where she might head to first.

Personally, I hope I can be a better parent than either of Rudy's & Maria's should my kids decide to come out at some point. My youngest has made some off-handed & joking remarks but has not yet said she is.
Vulcan 4th Apr 2018, 4:22 PM edit delete reply
Given the look mom is giving dad in that last panel, I think she's at her limit and is about to give him a piece of her mind...
William 4th Apr 2018, 5:55 PM edit delete reply
Given the emotional state Maria was in, my guess is that all planning was done by Emily. In this case Maria may be at Chase's house!
(About time he was actually good for something.) Emily has HUGE leverage with Chase if she decides to use it (she clearly does not want to). But I think it is clear that Maria is not really over Emily and Emily is not really over Maria. I suspect that there are very few things Emily would not do for Maria. (Anyone want to ship Chain? After all they are going to the prom together!)
DocMesa 4th Apr 2018, 6:57 PM edit delete reply
Given Chase's highly predatory nature, I'm pretty much ruling this one out. To have a vulnerable young woman staying with the guy got an underage girl pregnant? Yeah, nope.
William 4th Apr 2018, 7:50 PM edit delete reply
Good point. Emily has to make it part of the deal that Chase takes a sudden vacation. I suspect that Chase does not want publicity as he probably expects most people's reaction to be similar to Kellen's.
Elliot 4th Apr 2018, 7:16 PM edit delete reply
As has happened in the past, I recognize myself in Rudy’s interactions with his parents.
Fox 4th Apr 2018, 7:59 PM edit delete reply
Good for Rudy, he's completely right. I hope he doesn't end up hurt here though.
Honeywheeler 4th Apr 2018, 9:23 PM edit delete reply
Is it just me or does Rudy look older now?
Millllll 4th Apr 2018, 10:36 PM edit delete reply
Redemption arc for Donna Strongwell! Called it!
DocMesa 5th Apr 2018, 6:44 PM edit delete reply
It's kind of weird but I don't feel Mrs Strongwell should have a redemption arc. It's easy (and perfectly reasonable) to hate Mr Strongwell because he's homophobic, transphobic and a compassionless parent - but a lot of those criticisms can equally be laid at the feet of Mrs Strongwell as well. I guess it's like...the only reason Mrs Strongwell would have a redemption arc is because she is female and the trope typically is that fathers are evil, mothers are nice or just misguided. Yet she has stood there and done *nothing* or even collaborated with Mr Strongwell's plans for the camp and abusing his son and daughter. So no, I don't feel Mrs Strongwell should have a "Get Out of Jail Free" card purely on the basis of her gender.
Fox 6th Apr 2018, 11:36 AM edit delete reply
I agree with you Doc, I hope she is less awful for her kid's sake, but it doesn't erase what she's done or redeem her. It took her years to do this damage and it will be years, if ever, that it can be healed.
Drake Zephyr 5th Apr 2018, 9:45 AM edit delete reply
Drake Zephyr
Raise your hand if you think we need more Rain/Gavin moments. Because there supposed to be Best Friends but we hardly ever see them hang out just the 2 of em.
BASHparallel 6th Apr 2018, 2:24 PM edit delete reply
rudy's tea is scorching today
Allie 7th Apr 2018, 4:54 AM edit delete reply
omg, go Rudy :o <3
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