Comic 421 - Much Better

10th Sep 2013, 7:44 PM in Ch. 16: The Exception
Much Better
Average Rating: 5 (15 votes)
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Author Notes:

Jocelyn 10th Sep 2013, 7:44 PM edit delete
Jocelyn
Sorry guys, this one’s rough.

On the plus side, the next chapter is going to be mostly very light-hearted. It kinda needs it at this point. However, there will be a hiatus of exactly the same amount of time it is until the next update (that means no hiatus, by the way; next update this Friday). ^_^

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Comments:

Bandkanon 10th Sep 2013, 8:22 PM edit delete reply
Bandkanon
ah man, poor Rudy. :C He tries his damned hardest.
GigaNerd17 10th Sep 2013, 8:25 PM edit delete reply
GigaNerd17
I know it wasn't your fault, Jocelyn, but this heartbreaking strip perfectly complements my downer day. I feel for Rudy. :'(
MooingMoe 10th Sep 2013, 10:27 PM edit delete reply
MooingMoe
I can't wait to see the next chapter page!!
Nightsky 10th Sep 2013, 10:48 PM edit delete reply
Nightsky
...This just makes me think of my breakup more, because I'm pretty sure this is how my boyfriend was when he got home. :c
Mademise 11th Sep 2013, 1:50 AM edit delete reply
Man, I really feel for Rudy.
j-eagle12212012 11th Sep 2013, 5:16 AM edit delete reply
j-eagle12212012
poor Rudy...
Brooke 11th Sep 2013, 7:57 AM edit delete reply
Awww, I knew it. I thought maybe he was walking away crying at the end of the last update, but knowing he made it all the way home to the safety of his room makes it even sadder.
Targie 11th Sep 2013, 8:24 AM edit delete reply
;_; Can you write me into the story so I can give Rudy a cuddle and make him feel better?
dempsy40 15th Sep 2013, 7:40 PM edit delete reply
dempsy40
oh man poor rudy reminds me of my first break up at his age
alice 17th Nov 2014, 6:15 PM edit delete reply
I just want to give him so much hugs :(
NamikoShuuya 15th May 2015, 10:35 PM edit delete reply
NamikoShuuya
nO MAI BABY!
jackrich 31st Jul 2015, 8:35 AM edit delete reply
Baby Nooo!
steveha 3rd Aug 2015, 1:21 AM edit delete reply
This page hit me so hard when I first read it, and again now that I re-read it.

Rudy is a true hero. And don't forget, he's only a sophomore. Some people go their whole lives without ever doing anything as mature and selfless as what we just saw Rudy do.

Rudy is also a surprisingly complex character, and I like that. He's gay and comfortable with it, he's a joker but has hidden depths, and his relationship with Rain is multilayered.

I'm sure that some haters will complain that he was "instantly cured of being gay" and that this "proves that the comic is anti-gay" or some such, but I am totally buying that Rain has a special exception and (a) he is still gay, (b) he does see Rain as female, and (c) he really does like Rain "that way".

But seeing him holding up the false face even for his sister and finally breaking down when he's alone... Poor Rudy.

It seems that all the characters take turns being my favorite. Rudy is my favorite, except that Chanel is my favorite, except Aunt Fara is my favorite... heck, sometimes even Rain is my favorite. :-P
Wolfsblood 25th Aug 2015, 9:04 AM edit delete reply
ugh. rudy reminds me of myself here. i have a very hard time letting anyone see me cry. My wife might have seen me cry maybe 5 times in the 27 years we've been together. :(
Transginger 26th Mar 2016, 5:45 PM edit delete reply
Transginger
I like how the chapter ends in panel 5, but continues on for two more panels. It's interesting.

Also, Rudy, I feel you, man. I can't let anyone see me cry either.

I don't know why, but I have this creeping suspicious than Rudy actually suffers from depression. The signs are starting to make sense.
no 7th Nov 2020, 4:30 AM edit delete reply
I had been thinking of that as just a stylistic choice, since Rudy occupies the bottom parts of the last panels, and I´m pretty sure that´s how it was intended, but it is interesting to interpret it as that. Kind of symbolic that even the readers don´t get to see Rudy cry, or at least they wouldn´t if they only read what was officially a chapter.

Or you´re just making a joke, I can´t tell.
HinataTlaltelpa 28th Apr 2016, 1:20 AM edit delete reply
HinataTlaltelpa
The strongest ones always cry in private...
Akane 21st Jun 2016, 12:34 AM edit delete reply
This is the first time ever in the 16 chapters past that I see Rudy, the guy who always seemed the most confident and easygoing, truly and genuinely cry...poor Rudy...I feel so sorry to see him like that, but I wonder if this had to be the best way for things to go...:(
Also, this almost feels like turning chapters on a cliffhanger? I mean, I just wonder what happens to Rudy after this and how Maria is going to take the news, and their parents and all...
Rudy 8th Aug 2016, 8:16 AM edit delete reply
See, I told ya Rudy's heart is broken.

Crushes..... yep, indeed they are aptly named.
Drew 25th Dec 2016, 3:52 PM edit delete reply
Aw....Rain and Rudy were my favorite ship. ;-; Now I have to find a new comic to read.....poor Rudy! He's my favorite character.
Some Ed 14th Jun 2017, 10:25 AM edit delete reply
This is what our society does to men.

So much emphasis on being big, tough, and strong in public. We're not allowed to cry in front of others.

On the one hand, this does allow for us to be a pillar of strength to those who need it. On the other hand, it means we can't ask for help when we need it. Also, it helps sociopaths and psychopaths blend in with the rest of society, as those who don't feel emotion look much like those who aren't allowed to show their emotion and are well-trained at hiding it. Not that Rudy seems particularly *pathic, but many of us do not want to be as obnoxious as he frequently seems.
Samantha Jane 29th May 2018, 11:09 AM edit delete reply
This broke me.
Tris 6th Apr 2019, 6:41 PM edit delete reply
Oh no! :(
AllenTGM 25th Feb 2020, 5:53 PM edit delete reply
He just had a RAGRET. (I could probably crack out a funny joke on EVREY page in this comic)
no 7th Nov 2020, 4:34 AM edit delete reply
Damn, this is the closest I´ve come to crying throughout this comic. This one really hits hard.

Combined with the perfect realization panel earlier, it´s clear to me that this is the best chapter so far. Nice job.
Keiya 14th May 2021, 1:50 PM edit delete reply
Just 'cause he's 90+% gay doesn't make breaking up with a girl any less heartbreaking. 💔 Poor guy.
Melior 16th Apr 2022, 9:06 PM edit delete reply
On one final full read through before I see the finale, I wanted to leave a comment on my favorite page in the whole series. For all the trauma that Rain, Maria, and the rest go through later on, this panel hits the hardest for me. Everybody else had their friend group to help them get through the difficult times, but Rudy takes this one all alone. For most of the strip, and to all of the characters, Rudy is shown as this cheerful, happy-go-lucky kid who doesn't let anything affect him. Even Maria tells Rain in one of the early chapters, "Look at Rudy. You ever see that kid not smiling?" But for just 3 panels here, we get a glimpse into his world. The world he shares with nobody else. Rain goes on her tirade about how Rudy will be fine because he never lets anything affect him, with "If I know Rudy, he's probably off teasing Maria right now." But she doesn't know Rudy. Not truly. Nobody does. On top of dealing with living with parents who hate him for who he is, being bullied by his peers, and being neglected by a school administration that couldn't give a crap about his well-being, Rudy has to come to terms with the fact that his main source of joy, Rain, whom he loved, never truly was returning the favor and using him instead to feel more normal as a girl. Rain had no malicious intent, of course, but her speech about how the breakup was really a good thing for the both of them comes off as naive at best and incredibly selfish at worst.

The comic is named for Rain, she's the main character, and everything revolves around her story. And in Rain's story, this is just a bittersweet moment that she gets over quickly and leads to her relationship with Emily not two months later. Rudy's breakdown is not in Rain's story. The chapter ends on panel 5, leaving him out of the narrative, alone. Rudy is only seen totally broken this once in the story, but with the things he's suffered through, there's sure to be a lot to him that we never get to see. As far as the world is concerned, Rain's account of the breakup is the historical record, and she never learns about how badly it affected him. Worse, for the rest of the year Rudy has to present as his wacky, goofy self to his all of friends while he watches his ex fall in love, real love, with somebody else so quickly. Rudy is the unsung hero of this comic and a hell of a lot stronger than anybody, even himself, would give him credit for.

Well, that's my rant. I just wanted to say that I've loved reading your comic series. It has been incredibly formative in my own process of self-discovery and I wish you the best of luck on all of your future projects. It certainly is an achievement to say you've wrapped up something you've worked on for over a decade.
skrbunny 11th Sep 2022, 3:13 PM edit delete reply
this was... really sad.
i didn't know if they could make it as a couple... but i had no doubt that Rudy really loved her...and that she really was the one girl he could love...
and i believe he would have been fine with w/e choice she made about her transition.

i also wonder if he was happy/thankful to find a girl and to not have to deal with persecution for being gay. sure, he was still gay, but homoflexible.. but society would perceive him as straight, and he'd... never have to deal with persecution unless he choose to do so (by insisting he was 'gay with one exception').

kinda can relate... when i was starting to figure out whether it was possible to transition (i hadn't done so cos i thought that i had neanderthal skull, and didn't know face laser was a thing).... the person i was with was total hetero, but made clear that she'd make an exception "just for me" if i did change...

things didn't wind up working out... so yeah... i can relate to losing one's "exception" partner :,(
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