A Hundred Times
31st Jan 2022, 8:23 AM in Ch. 44 - And When the Rain Clears...
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A Hundred Times
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Average Rating: 5 (16 votes)
Author Notes:
In case you haven't picked up on this chapter's flow yet, this week we'll be reacquainted with Ana and Ryan, and next week, we'll check in with Rain again. Then someone else, then Rain, and so on. So again, get comfy. It may be the last chapter, but there's a lot to cover, so we're just gonna get through everything little by little. ^_^

Anyway, we focus primarily on Ryan today. The last time we saw him, he was talking about moving away because he was afraid to come out to his parents. Today, six years later, we hear him talking about when he did come out to them, and how he had complete control over the conversation when he did, whether his parents liked it or not.

Also, Ryan x Rudy confirmed. Also also, Ruby still a thing confirmed. And even if they don't want to admit it, even Ryan's parents are forced to accept that their son and his boyfriend are cute and happy together. XD

Finally, in case you're wondering about Ana's intro card, I'm saving it for next time. I figured enough was said here today, and it'll be more contextually relevant on the following page. So, stay tuned! ^_^

(Oh, and I requested a "cute name for a Pawn Shop" on Discord not long ago, because I was having a lot of trouble with it. So full credit to the reader who suggested "Pawn to C-4", even citing it being located on Fourth Street in Centerville as an actual reason for the specific space. Clever name that tickles me, plus an actual contextual reason for the name equals *chef's kiss.) XD

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User comments:
Noraa (Guest)
why is ana so pretty now
I mean she always was but like, damnnn
Ruby looks so adorable in that cute red dress. 🥰

Ryan looks so handsome in… well, everything 😅

And I love that Ryan and Rudy are together. I wish them well 💖
Chloe (Guest)
She was still pretty back then
Chloe (Guest)
Why does it look like it's threatening to Rain in the first panel, with the grey sky
Sarah (Guest)
I think Rudy's "mischievous" behavior is rubbing off on Ryan lol
Agreed, and it's a welcome addition to Ryan's character!

Also, I looove that pawn shop name, and the meaning behind it makes it even better <3
Phrown (Guest)
I think Ryan also had that streak. He was perfectly happy wearing a monocle just for the lolz.
This has so much adorableness
I love that Ryan and Rudy are together and I'm glad that Rudy still rocks the Ruby look from time to time
Tesset (Guest)
Oh man! Ryan looks great! I wondered how you would draw him post-transition, I like it a lot!
Everything about this page us amazing, but as a chess fan I love the name of that shop.
Selix (Guest)
Lynn had asked for a name for a “pawn shop”. I had suggested “Castle’s” but the final name is even better
Tokuben (Guest)
It's great to know that he's doing alright.
Kyle (Guest)
XD! Why am I not surprised Rudy/Ruby introduced themselves like that?
Lilian Tyra (Guest)
The name of that pawn shop is a thing that needs to exist, like now. And it needs to have a chess theme throughout. That is too good of a name and you’re sitting on a gold mine! I love it! 😂
Cinspawn (Guest)
Ha, I love that shopname!
Aloe (they/them) (Guest)
Bruh yesss my ship DID set sail!
TK-Dragon (Guest)
Even after 6 years, Rudy is still rocking Ruby mode!
Yay Ryan and Rudy!
Also, I love the name "Pawn to C4." I thought it was going to be a game store until I saw the next panel.
Phrown (Guest)
I never had any doubt that the Rydy ship would sink. They fit together so well and make such a cute couple. Even his parents see it within two seconds.

And man did Ryan become such a confident man.
Aww, I’m so happy for the couple. 🥰
Zero (Guest)
"Oh no, they're adorable together."

Best Reaction! That yanked a loud laugh out of me! Thank goodness I work remotely full-time now, cause that definitely would have drawn me some looks.
Neelix (Guest)
Same here! :-)
Long-Time Lurker (Guest)
Omg "Pawn to C-4". Aaaah. XD Beautiful.

I'm glad things worked out for Ryan. And Ruby's smirk in the introduction... Poor parents. They definitely are in for a handful with their future son-in-law.

No ring on Ana's finger?
Chrissy (Guest)
Wasn't Ana a lefty? We don't see her right hand here.....
I don't know. I always thought that the wedding/engagement ring went on third finger of the left hand regardless? Of course that;s not true of all cultures, and i could be wrong... In fact I kind-of hope I am.
b (Guest)
i think they mean theres no engagement ring
on top of that, diamond rings are bullshit. its possible her and Gavin just didn't see the point in them. seems like the kind of thing they'd do.
The Aussie Bloke (Guest)
Some people wear them on a necklace instead... And Ana's looks rather ring shaped...
Aelitha (Guest)
Well, she is going to a pawn shop, my supposition is she will leave with one.
TK-Dragon (Guest)
To be fair they are only in their mid twenties. A lot of people don't get married until their thirties.
In all likelihood she's not engaged, but that doesn't necessarily mean that she and Gavin aren't still a couple though. Keeping in mind that everyone is only in their early 20s, it's entirely reasonable to expect that even if they're together that they're not engaged yet.

In that regard Rain and Emily being engaged is probably mostly due to the fact that they're literally raising a child together, and are well ahead of everyone else in terms of being able and ready financially and emotionally for getting engaged. Like on top of the fact that they would basically already be engaged based on the fact that they're living together and raising a child, a lot of things become a lot easier by getting engaged, just like from a standpoint of cementing legal custody for the child and all the legal privileges that come with that for example.

I've been around a lot of people and couples in my life who even despite being a couple for years aren't yet engaged because they aren't ready yet, or don't think there's any point to putting an official title on their relationship. And I say this as someone in her early 20s who is engaged, it's not something for everyone and it's not always something that every couple needs to or should prioritize.
Omg the return of Ruby! I seriously love all Ruby moments - I hope Rudy keeps her up and going forever as his alter ego, omg <3
Tanny (Guest)

Awesome! This page was just perfect... good to see Ruby is still making her presence known and Ryan's folks' reaction was priceless. I bet Ryan's dad's thoughts going thru his head were the last verse lyrics from the old Kinks song "Lola" and then he resigned himself to something like "Whatever..... that works for me, I guess, Lol!"

(those Lyrics, in case some of you young folks aren't familiar with the song....
"Girls will be boys, and boys will be girls
It's a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up world
Except for Lola... la la la la Lola")

Actually some/most of you may find that song a bit offensive, but Its a very important song for me since the year it came out was 1970, the same year I had my epiphany at age 8 and realized I was transgender. It was kinda my secret internal theme song throughout my school years... didn't dare tell that to anyone though.

Oh, and btw my own name and the Rudy/Ruby connection is no coincidence..... I blatantly stole the name for myself exactly because of this webcomic since I discovered Rain right at the very beginning of my own transition in late summer of 2016. (Wait...what?.... learned I was transgender at age 8 in 1970 but didn't start transitioning until 2016 at age 54??? Yeah( *sigh*) that's a too familiar story for far too many of us, but better late than never, eh?)
Quin (Guest)
"Walk on the Wild Side" was the other song for me.
"Holly came from Miami, F.L.A.
Hitch-hiked her way across the U.S.A.
Plucked her eyebrows on the way
Shaved her legs and then he was a she…"

Didn't learn til much more recently that most of the verses were biographical. Andy Warhol had interesting friends.

We're a product of our era. I understand why some folks today don't like the Rocky Horror Picture Show, but every vaguely queer person I know flocked to that. And then Hedwig and the Angry Inch!

All of the songs and shows and movies may not be as influential for the next generations, but we can still teach understanding why they were important.
Sessy (Guest)
Now I want to open a queer pawn shop and call it "Pawn Takes Queen"
Banksia (Guest)
You should have the shop motto as the "The English Opening" because in chess the move 1.c4 defines the English Opening.
rudy being a little shit as usual, reminds me of one my best friends lol

I have only ever asked my daughter to use proper pronouns for me, she/her. I have never asked her to call me mom, mommy, mama or mother. I didn't carry her inside me for nine months. For her my role was Daddy. I won't take that away from her. And for me that's what the relationship was as well. But I'm a female daddy. It's enough that she sees me as a woman. A child has priority.

Or is it just me who does it so?

So, I found it a touch odd how Rain, on finding out her mother was a guy, chose to call him Dad. He gave birth to her. Mom was the role he filled for her. A guy can be Mommy.

And I had to wonder how Liriel the elder would have taken that, if he were alive. He would still remember giving birth and feeding her. But then he was a guy. Perhaps a guy would see it differently?

And how about renaming Liriel to Lionel? Posthumously. Or something.

... ...

And what is up with Kellen? When you last showed her at six years ago hadn't she accepted Rain as her sister and realized she was so very wrong before?

So,. what is the problem and why hasn't she seen her sister for six years?

Stuff like this will vary from person to person. I know trans women who don't mind their kids calling them "daddy", and I know some would prefer to some variation of mommy (though I've seen more to the latter, personally). I don't personally know as many transmale parents, but I would assume that there are likewise, going to be some who use one or the other. However, whichever term is used - in absolutely any case - I don't think it should be pushed upon anyone what they "should be called" because of their "role" in raising the child. That is solely up to the individual to decide.

For purposes of the story, there's still another page of Mr. Bryer's letter we haven't seen yet, so we can probably assume Rain has some context that we don't, as well.

Regarding Kellen, even if she realized she messed up, that's still up to Rain to let her back into her life. If Kellen had just forced Rain to confront her on her terms so she can apologize, that would show Kellen's learned nothing, because it was that forceful behavior that alienated her from Rain to begin with. Like, if it's just about Kellen getting to apologize, then that's not for Rain; that's for Kellen. Rain is the one who was attacked; she has to be the one who decides when Kellen can or can't make up for it.

And Rain wants to mend this relationship too, for what it's worth, but it's still not always that easy for people who've been victimized in some way. And it turned into years before she finally felt ready for it. I know many people who would say six years isn't nearly enough time. I know many who would say no amount of time would change things. But regardless of how long it took, Rain and Kellen are on the scene together again, and clearly still need to take things very slow.
Vulcan (Guest)
Pawn to C-4?

Is this a chess shop or an exposives dealer? :P
ijudging by Ryan's comment of old junk, it's a pawn shop with a chess-themed name.
Sapphire Shield
Ruby strikes again XD
I have a question that has been puzling me for a while, and I am hoping someone can answer it for me.

I work in customer services and often send out letters addressed to Mr W, Mrs X, Miss Y or Ms X. But these are all gender-specific titles. What title would someone who was intersexed, non-binary or gender fluid prefer to be addressed with?

Again I imagine it comes down to personal choice, but when sending a letter to someone without knowing anything about them it would be so easy to offend without meaning to!

I've always heard the gender neutral version to be Mx (pronounced like "mix"). I'm sure there's other options too, but that's the one I tend to hear most frequently. ^_^
Fourth Nate (Guest)
The only one I've heard of is Mx. (mostly only written, but sometimes pronounced "mix" or "mux",) and it might not be recognized. I find completely omitting the title preferable. (Although I know many companies policies don't allow that.) Not only because of nonbinary/genderfluid/trans addressees, but also plenty of cisgender addressees with uncommon or unisex names can easily be misgendered. For example I know an older cis man named Jan (his parents were European immigrants) whose junk mail is often addressed "Ms".
Although, if you can differentiate between Mrs, Miss, and Ms, it implies that the addressee provided that information to the company at some point. It can still be wrong, since titles can change, but if that's the case, the potential for offending someone can be mitigated by making sure that when that information is collected, there's gender neutral & blank options available, and ensuring that it can be changed later.
Pseudonym (Guest)
Random question about your art! Those pips at the ends of characters' eyelashes: Rain and Ana have two, Aunt Fara and Rudy have none, Ryan has one. Is that because of how Ryan's eyelashes naturally are? Because of how he keeps them? Or (today in questions not to ask about real people:) is that just something he can't help about being FTM, like Rain's italics?

Usually, in comics, prominent eyelashes are just visual shorthand for "Hello, I am a girl". Since that's not what you're doing, I got curious about how you're approaching this subtle little thing.

Honestly? There's no real consistent rule. It's usually meant to imply eye makeup with Rain herself (if you go back to any page where she's just rolling out of bed, you might notice she doesn't tend to have them there), or Ana, or Ruby (but not while presenting as Rudy). There are also a few instances like Chanel who doesn't typically have the lashes, but she does throughout the prom chapter which it's not outside the realm of possibility she wore makeup for.

That said, I don't know that that's necessarily the case for Ryan. I shortened his lashes a little, but it honestly felt right to continue to include. Maybe he's just got naturally thick lashes. Or maybe he's a man comfortable enough with his self-expression to rock a little guy-liner. ^_^
Pseudonym (Guest)
Cool beans. Thank you. Now that I'm curious about how things translate into visual language, could I ask if there are things about Ryan as he is now that you'd draw differently if he was a cis guy?

Not really. The thing about trans people is that - like cis people - we come in all shapes and sizes. Trans characters don't need a tell, and they don't need to look trans. That gets into stereotype/caricature territory and it's not really my thing.

I have been criticized in the past for things like my "trans characters are too cute", but that's kinda my artstyle: everyone's cute. And I dunno, trans people are cute, so I've never really seen how that's an issue. XD
Pseudonym (Guest)
Indeed they don't. However I find that pondering how making one change would affect the outcome is a good way to learn about visual expression. Especially for lunkheads like me, who hardly know anything about visuals. Thank you again.
Zebstrika83 (Guest)
Forgive me, i'm not very well informed about all the LGBTQ stuff, but what is Rudy/Ruby? In terms of pronouns or stuff. Is he just a guy that likes to dress in girl clothes now an then? Or does he identify as a girl when wearing girl clothes?

He's said it a few times himself throughout the series, but to confirm once again: Rudy is a male assigned and male identifying person who likes to wear skirts and dresses. If he dresses up like that, he does call himself Ruby and accepts she/her pronouns. But at the end of the day, Rudy still considers himself a man.

I certainly understand the part of "Rudy said he is male, so respect that," and if we were talking about a real person, I'd agree to leave it at that. However, as a fictional character in a story where we get more context into his thought process, and where I think talking about representation in terms of how people find their personal identity is reasonable, I want to dig into this a little deeper. Specifically, there's one line in the story that makes me feel like there's more to this.

Back in Chapter 33 (page 963 in ComicFury numbering), during "Ruby's solo debut," There's a thought bubble that says "I wish I could get this kind of treatment without having to dress like this, though." Perhaps it's just me looking too much into this, but I've felt like this pointed to some sort of underlying feelings about his gender, more specifically to social gender. I'm not saying that I think this one line in the comic means Rudy is trans, but more broadly that his gender identity may not simply be just "cis male."

I dunno, maybe I'm just reading too much into a line that could just as easily be read as "I want people to be nicer to me." I personally like to think there's no one right way to interpret a piece of media, not even the author's interpretation. Perhaps I'm just reading what I want to see out of "Ruby" based on how I'm handling my own (ongoing) struggles with gender identity, but maybe that's not a bad thing? I don't know.
Allison (not that one) (Guest)
I'm obviously not the expert on Rudy/Ruby, but my impression is that, like a lot of cross-dressers, he's mostly okay with being a guy, but likes to take a vacation from the guy role from time to time.

I have always felt that the male role was rather constricting; I always felt like I was living in a suit of medieval armor 24/7. It was so painful (it's one of the causes of my C-PTSD) that I chose not to vacation from it, but to actually emigrate. But not everyone feels that way.
Pseudonym (Guest)
Rudy's Ruby mode has always read to me as a consequence of how he refuses to half-ass shenanigans, not as a gender issue. (That said, I'm coming at this from the perspective of someone experienced in shenanigans and unfamiliar with gender issues.)

This is the kid who, when his heart was breaking, still got down on one knee and asked Rain to be his fag hag. Rudy commits. He turns things into performances, into little skits. And once they are performances, good showmanship demands taking things to the hilt.

From personal experience, this can be a coping mechanism, or a way to fit in. This can be how an outsider gets accepted. This can be something you do to make your friends laugh, for the love of the spotlight, since you like doing it and you're good at it, or just to be a little shit. This can be all of them for the same person at different times.
Nemi (Guest)