Comic 1189 - That's That

22nd Jul 2019, 9:16 AM in Ch. 37 - Prom Night
That's That
Average Rating: 4.57 (7 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 22nd Jul 2019, 9:16 AM edit delete
While Fara and Emily have some discussion with the reception hall staff, Rain's other friends come to her aid. But... it seems Rain isn't actually as shaken up as we might have expected. And people outside of her friend group are speaking out in her defense. Say what!?

If you're thinking this seems out-of-character for Rain, don't forget we've been over things recently about that: Rain is a much braver, bolder person than she we was in Chapter 1. Even her initial reaction to being called Prom King was more surprise than defeat. Beginning-of-the-story Rain would've bolted out of the room in tears, but current Rain stands her ground with dry eyes. Sure, she's definitely embarrassed (let's be real here), but her mind isn't going straight to doom and gloom. That's progress! A wise man once said, "She's a tougher kid than she gives herself credit for." ^_^

Now, if you're thinking: but would Devon really help Rain like that? Why not? He's been a pretty standup guy throughout most of the story, and has seemingly never had any gripes with Rain. And just a few pages ago, he did in fact learn about Rain's legal name, and compared it to his own cis cousin with the same name. He sees no problem with Rain's name and is absolutely sure this situation is a mistake.

But surely, you cry out, Debbie is wildly out-of-character here! Is she, though? Earlier in this very chapter, she admitted her grievances with Rain were petty, and that she even thinks she seems like a decent person. Debbie went on to tell Emily to stay close to Rain.

Now, none of that means she likes Rain now. But as she expresses on this page, that doesn't matter. You don't have to like someone to not want them to be humiliated. If that's hard to swallow, you can look at this another way: maybe it's not even for Rain. She knows that Emily values Rain, even if she doesn't fully understand why. If Rain is upset, Emily will be upset. And knowing Emily already has her baby and her mother to worry about, Debbie wouldn't want things to be any harder for her. Keep Rain happy to keep Emily happy. Is it maybe the wrong reason to do the right thing? Sure, but right now, it's still a good thing for Rain. I've seen a lot of people accusing Debbie for being responsible for all this somehow, but if she wants to get back into Emily's good graces, sabotaging Rain would not be in her best interest, and she knows that.

Hence why she opted to stay quiet and not make a big deal about Rain's name earlier in the evening.

So let's go back to Rain and ask the big question: Is she going to be okay?

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Kyle 22nd Jul 2019, 10:02 AM edit delete reply
Glad to the other kids aren't making a big deal about this, but I have a feeling that on the next page something will make contradict Rain's statement on the last panel. Either we'll see whoever's behind this lurking in the shadows, or Father Quinton and Mr. Strongwell will show up with an army of conversion therapy thugs. Either way, as assuring and relieving as this page is, I'm still really on edge. Each page holds a new surprise. Keep up the good work Jocelyn!
Lynn 22nd Jul 2019, 11:55 AM edit delete reply
> I have a feeling that on the next page something will make contradict Rain's statement on the last panel. Either we'll see whoever's behind this lurking in the shadows, or Father Quinton and Mr. Strongwell will show up with an army of conversion therapy thugs. Either way, as assuring and relieving as this page is, I'm still really on edge.

Actually, I feel the opposite. I think the "Rain is Prom King!" announcement *was* the bad thing that night, and everything we're seeing afterwards is building to a climactic victory for Rain. That is, assuming Jocelyn wants a happy ending tonight.

Besides, no one is "behind" this. Rain is listed as Ryan in the administration's records, and they misinterpreted her name as male and listed her with the prom kings. This isn't some evil plot, it's an administrative screw up.
AmbiguousMouse 22nd Jul 2019, 10:08 AM edit delete reply
Debbie in the bathroom scene (paraphrased): "And you seriously look like a boy now..."

Debbie now: "There are some things you just don't say about someone!"

Not sure if character growth or mild hypocrisy, but either way I'm for it.

And I'm pretty proud of Rain here. I mean, all comparisons to Ch. 1 Rain aside, I don't think it would even out her if she *had* started crying here - because, as Fara pointed out, while different high schoolers would have more or less ability to roll with the punch or treat it as a joke, I don't think crying would be an UNUSUAL response to "calling her a man [in front of her whole class] on prom night." So she's not just doing well "for Rain," she's doing well for her age as a whole.

... Also, I'm gonna count this as my point from prior comments about popularity coming out correct, because as principled as characters are sounding now, I'm pretty sure if some kind of similar public mixup had happened with, say, Chanel, she'd get PILED ON.
Rusty Söldner 22nd Jul 2019, 10:35 AM edit delete reply
So... What would her deadname be if the roles were swapped here?

Chandler is my guess.
AmbiguousMouse 22nd Jul 2019, 12:06 PM edit delete reply
Given that this is Rain, I'm inclined to agree. On the other hand, that's because the Rainverse (at least compared to my experience IRL) has a higher propensity of trans people choosing names close to their deadnames. I find it pretty interesting, and probably based on the author's experience (though I only remember it loosely, so I could be wrong) of her name originating as a nickname while people didn't know what to call her and just stuck. But yeah, the closest my current name comes to mapping to my deadname is "having the same number of letters," and they don't even *share* more than one of those letters (I'd venture a guess there's far more names with A in them than without, so that's a given), so it's sort of amusing from my perspective.
RubyRuthNeal 22nd Jul 2019, 2:25 PM edit delete reply
Rain's name was actually given to her inadvertently by a character we're all acquainted with, but the backstory to that is in one of the bonus chapters so you'll need to buy the books to find that out.

My screen name here is actually my new legal middle name.... my full chosen, and now legal name is emblazoned across my avatar picture. First name is Ruby, which is derived from my birth middle name, which I'm sure everybody here can guess what that was ;-) and yes this webcomic gave me my new name! My lastname is my former firstname. My middle name of Ruth comes from a certain little epiphany I experienced when I was 8 years old. Why on earth would I reuse my old first name and change my last name, which obviously gives away my identity to anyone from my past who doesn't quite recognize me now but thinks I look kinda familiar but they don't quite make the connection? I really don't care about that, but from the time i was a toddler until I started public school, I was called by my first and middle names reversed and always used together. I was called Rudy Neal by my mother during the early years, age 2-4 when I thought I was a girl and didn't yet know the difference, not unlike our protagonist here back in the Prologue of the story, So, it's kinda like my life has finally come around full circle to where I started from. I was Rudy Neal then and thought I was a girl, now finally I'm Ruby Neal and I *AM* a girl. It just took me literally half of a century to get here.
Guest 22nd Jul 2019, 10:27 AM edit delete reply
Have we seen that drawing of rain in the last panel before?
Jocelyn 22nd Jul 2019, 10:31 AM edit delete reply

It's not the same image, but it's kinda the same energy as this. ^_^
Guest 22nd Jul 2019, 10:55 AM edit delete reply
Crisis averted, I withdraw my “hecc” from earlier
Guest 22nd Jul 2019, 10:59 AM edit delete reply
I bought a dress the other day and I thought it look very similar to one I'd seen before, but I couldn't remember where! Now I realize, it was Ky/Rudy's dress :D My hair looks very similar to Rudy's too, with the dress I can almost call it a cosplay lol
Random Rando 22nd Jul 2019, 12:57 PM edit delete reply
Including the monocle?
AliJ5533 22nd Jul 2019, 1:28 PM edit delete reply
This whole page has the feel of a Telltale game.
Like this is the event in the story that would've gone really wrong if Rain hadn't hit all the flags required for the good ending, like telling Devon her name was Ryan.
Jessica Bright 22nd Jul 2019, 1:44 PM edit delete reply
It's nice to see the positive reactions here.

But I have a feeling the next page is gonna


on my parade.

DocMesa 22nd Jul 2019, 7:01 PM edit delete reply
That's okay though. As Shirley Manson once sang, "I'm Only Happy When It Rains". :D
zophah 22nd Jul 2019, 2:40 PM edit delete reply
Oh, I just thought about the next rain delay page: continuing with the alternate-history Ryan who also happens to be crowned prom king.
freekate78 22nd Jul 2019, 2:44 PM edit delete reply
The gang's reaction is no surprise to anybody here, and we were all expecting nothing less than full support and a half dozen shoulders to cry on if needed.

Rains reaction is no surprise, to me at least. as @Jocelyn touches on, Rain has grown a tremendous amount throughout the story. I even mentioned just how much she has grown a few pages back. Is she embarrassed? only she can say (though @Jocelyn that is) But she has all but refused to let things tear her down through the entire school year. this is suppose to be the pinnacle of the year up to this point and i think she is determined to not let anything get in the way of her enjoying it and making a memory that will warm her heart for the rest of her life.

Devon. again, im not surprised here. even though he hasnt been a huge plot point character through the series, he has been very stable in every panel we have seen him in. he is always thoughtful, often insightful and seems to take his time in deciding on a course of action... a very solid guy to have in your corner, no matter what part of your life you are in. He has also had no bad experiences with her, and Rain has never had any overtly negative encounters with his girlfriend, holly, so he has even less reason to have anything to resent Rain for. so this reaction is totally understandable.

Debbie and Holy. oui vey! with Holly being the airhead that she acts more often than not, this is a bit higher above the bar than i would expect from her normally. though i dont think she has a malicious bone in her body at this age.
but Debbie. she is a complicated person, to me at least. we have seen her at the mall with her younger brothers before and i get the feeling that her parents arent there as much as they should be so she is the one that has raised them for the most part. I could be entirely off base about that but i have always just gotten an odd vibe about her interactions with the other students... especially her and holly, almost like she has taken it upon herself to keep holly from falling down a sewer drain, never to be seen again. she has confronted Rain before about various things, and seems to have a scooby doo curiosity that wants to get to know Rain, her quirks, and why she is so popular. but on the flip side she cares for Emily a lot and knows that to hurt Rain would be to hurt Emily, and she just wont let herself do something like that (which is influenced in large part i would think from her younger brothers, in a maternal fashion.). Her affection for Emily, despite being pissed about them hanging out any more, is where her reaction is coming from.

with all that said... i have a feeling the drama is about to kick into high gear in some manner or another.
Philippa 23rd Jul 2019, 2:28 AM edit delete reply
@freekate78 I think you're totally right on the money. Also, Devon (based on his previous interactions with Rudy and Drew) seems to be very much a "you do your thing, I'll do mine" type person - On one hand I don't think it would occur to him that Rain could possibly be anything BUT a totally "normal" cis girl, but even if he did he would be much more interested in keeping the peace than any following scandal.

As for Debbie, she is a very principled character. I think she got intensely curious about Rain's gender and then realised where she went too far. I think for her it's not so much about protecting Rain or keeping Emily happy as just sticking to her principles. As she said, "There's some stuff you just don't say about a person".
Chrissy 23rd Jul 2019, 12:50 PM edit delete reply
Well, Madison did come in and straighten Debbie out. "Why is there always drama around here? And it's ALWAYS the seniors..."
Nightsky 22nd Jul 2019, 2:54 PM edit delete reply
I've said it before, I'll say it again: I'm still convinced that Debbie is related to Vincent. Their coloring is just too similar to be a coincidence in my opinion. Pretty sure we've seen evidence that she suspects Rain is trans, and her comment on this page feels like it's specifically in reference to misgendering trans folk.
freekate78 22nd Jul 2019, 7:32 PM edit delete reply
i feel the same way about Debbies comments. determined to help/protect Rain, but only because its wrong to misgender people. Hmmmmm i could totally see Debbie being Vincents much younger sister, or a cousin... possibly even a niece.
AmbiguousMouse 23rd Jul 2019, 10:42 AM edit delete reply
Wait, their... Coloring? Can you elaborate on what you mean by this? Because I don't want to jump to conclusions, but the only reading that's jumping out at me here is that you're assuming characters are related based on sharing ethnicity.
Pseudonym 23rd Jul 2019, 5:26 PM edit delete reply
@AmbiguousMouse I get where you're coming from. Coloration from art style is a bit different from coloration from melanin, though.
Long-Time Lurker 24th Jul 2019, 4:22 AM edit delete reply
I think they mean they have the exact same shade of hair and skin (or as near as can be guessed without a side-by-side panel for comparison) and their hair falls in the same spiky-bangs way (see page 903 for Vincent). While I agree that does give shared ethnicity a weight, the first panels on this page are enough to prove that even characters sharing the same ethnic background don't share the same hair/skin, so it gives more credence to the theory that they're related. (I personally think it's coincidence, but I can see some merit to the idea.)
Drake Zephyr 22nd Jul 2019, 4:40 PM edit delete reply
Drake Zephyr
Debbie, the wildcard from left field. Caught me by surprise there.
Torne 22nd Jul 2019, 11:51 PM edit delete reply
"I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night."

—Khaled Hosseini
Long-Time Lurker 23rd Jul 2019, 11:20 AM edit delete reply
Does anyone else check Rain on the off-days in the hopes somehow there's a surprise page or extra early post? :P I know there won't be, but I check anyway because the suspense is killing me!
chiara 23rd Jul 2019, 4:26 PM edit delete reply
i do it as well.
Drake Zephyr 23rd Jul 2019, 8:52 PM edit delete reply
Drake Zephyr
That's the spirit Rain, stay positive!
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