Last updated - August 28, 2013
● - Black Circle: Old entry
○ - White Circle: Edited entry
◊ - Diamond: New entryAbout the technical stuff○ What is Rain?Rain
is a coming-of-age story that follows the life of a teenage transgender girl named Rain, attempting to go through her senior year in high school identified only as a woman. It's intended to be a comedy, but it also touches on some heavier subjects including many of the difficulties faced by members of the LGBT community.
Nevertheless, it is a largely positive story, with humor and tearjerking moments and lots and lots of love triangles. ^_^○ When does it update?
Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are technically when they're scheduled to go up. However, more often than not, I end up getting excited and posting it the night before (no earlier than after 6PM EST timezone).○ Where can I read it?
DeviantArt - jocelynsamara.com/gallery/2727…
SmackJeeves - rainlgbt.smackjeeves.com/comic…
Comic Fury - rain.thecomicseries.com/comics…● Are there any differences between them? Do I need to sign up to all of these sites to get the complete story?
Not really. They're all posted at roughly the same time (give or take a few minutes) and will feature all of the same content. If you're into supplemental stuff though, DeviantArt is where is the only place where I'll post non-comic artwork, and it's also where the fanbase is largest (hence, more mingling if you're into that).◊ Is there a Facebook Page for it?
Yes. I link all new pages there, as with the other three main sites. The Facebook page also includes a segment called "Raindom Facts" every Saturday where I go into a little bit of behind-the-scenes stuff about the story. In addition, I occasionally post exclusive art there.
It can be found here - www.facebook.com/RainWebcomic ● So, in which direction do I read it?
Left to right. The "not Japanese way".○ I don't like reading things on my computer. Is there any chance of Rain being made into graphic novel?
It already is! Rain - Volume 1
is currently out and available. Rain - Volume 2
should be ready by hopefully no later than early Fall.
Both will be available here - www.lulu.com/spotlight/LittleL…◊ Why is the book STILL not available on Amazon?
Because at this point, it's just not worth the headache. Amazon requires such specific criteria that I simply cannot seem to meet at this time. It's a pain and I can't say I really care if it's on Amazon or not anymore. Especially when the book is already absolutely available on a totally safe and reputable website. I've bought at least a dozen copies myself and have yet to encounter an issue.
I'm not saying it will never be available on Amazon. But right now, it's just not worth it, and I've got well enough on my plate to focus on.◊ Will there be any other merchandise?
There already is! There a three kinds of t-shirts available already. There have been requests for things like stickers and keychains and whatnot. It's a work in progress, but I absolutely mean to do make those in time as well.
The t-shirts are currently available here - www.etsy.com/shop/RainComicSto…● Is Rain based off your past experiences? Or just something you thought of?
I've been calling Rain
"pseudo-autobiographical". Having not openly accepted myself as transgender until age 20, obviously that means I never attempted to try to pass undetected in high school like Rain. That said, beyond the basic setup of the story, it's pretty largely based off of my personal experiences, people I've met, things I've heard or done and more for better or worse.◊ How much of Rain is you? Like personality, neuroses, that sort of thing?
This is sort of unintentional, but I feel like Rain is a lot like me pre-transition. As in, I was extremely neurotic. I worried about everything. Passing was the most important thing. The littlest things (however insignificant) would devastate me. I cried at the drop of a hat (actually, I still do). Very quiet until a topic I really get into comes up, etc.
But now that I'm in the middle of transition, I feel as though I identify with Jessica a bit more. I've calmed down a lot. I'm very lighthearted, although I've been known to beat myself up about not starting sooner. It's important to me to be able to help other trans people who don't know what to do for transition.
The one major thing that separates me from both of them, is that I'm extremely open about who I am now. It's important to me that I pass, but it doesn't bother me at all if people see me as a trans woman. I worked hard to become who I am and today I'm very proud of that. Neither Rain nor Jessica are likely to agree with this right now though. ◊ What made you actually decide to write Rain?
In a lot ways, Rain
is the story I needed to read when I was a kid. I went through most of my life feeling alone and like a freak for feeling the way I did. There was never anything in the media that said, “No, really, it’s okay to be like that. You’re not alone.” Most media portrayed transgender people as villains (not to be liked) or comic relief (not to be taken seriously). At best, we got an accurate portrayal in the form of a brutal murder victim on some crime show. None of this was exactly positive, and all it ever did was discourage me more.
I needed a positive story. Something that showed that a transgender individual was just as human as any other person. And that’s what I try to do with Rain. The title character’s gender and presentation are important to her, but she has interests outside of it. She has trouble in school. She has friends, and those friends sometimes fight. Her family life is complicated. Really, the only thing that makes this different from any other coming-of-age story is the transgender protagonist and overall LGBT cast.◊ Is Rain purely a labor of love, or is it your day job too?
A little bit of both, actually. At this time, Rain
is my job. I even try to work on it with a sort of 9 to 5 schedule in mind so I can get so much every day without burning myself out. It's not a big money maker, but writing is all I'm really good at and all I really want to do with my life. I figure if I keep at it, I can make this profitable someday. And I've only been able to do this, thanks to my super supportive wife who covers most of the living expenses for the time being. That said, I'm probably going to pick up a part time job (like 10-15 hours), just so I can bring in money a bit more regularly. But Rain
will remain my primary concern.● Where are all the backgrounds?
You know, I think I'm okay at drawing people. It took a long time, but I'm pretty satisfied with the style I've adopted. Everything else though, not so much. I suck so bad at backgrounds, that unless it's absolutely crucial to define something, I simply won't waste my time on it. Trust me, it'd be more distracting to have a hideous, indecipherable background then no background.About the storyline● Why is it called Rain anyway? Looks pretty sunny to me.
Contrary to popular belief, the title has absolutely nothing to do with the weather. It's just the name of the main character. That said, the word "rain" does have a bit of a melancholy connotation, which is perfectly suitable considering the themes of the story.● If it's named after Rain, does that mean she's the only important character?
Not at all. The story will has a pretty large cast actually, and there are many arcs that don't necessarily even revolve around her at all. But she IS the main character, and basically ties all of the other characters and events together.◊ Where does the story take place?
A little made up town called Centerville. I've lived in New York my whole life (albeit different parts of it), so as means of sticking to what I know, the imaginary town this takes place in is somewhere in the suburbs of New York. I'm aware that there are real towns called Centerville, but I don't want to use them or make any statements about them. I just feel more comfortable using a fake town.◊ How about the school, St. Hallvard High School?
Also not real. There WAS a St. Hallvard, but to the best of my knowledge, no school named after him.◊ Why on earth is Rain attending a Catholic school? Wouldn't she be safer in a public school?
Fara wanted to work at the same school Rain attended. She applied to several schools, and that's just the one that hired her, so that's where Rain was enrolled.◊ When does the story take place?
I started posting Rain
in November 2010, but the story itself began in September 2012. I wanted to keep the story just a little bit ahead for a while so I could acknowledge changes current events for a while if need be. It's sort of rarely used, but I liked having the option.
The story, as of this writing, is currently in January 2013. Unless there happens to be a big jump in the story's chronology, Rain
will probably remain behind real time from here on out.○ How long is Rain going to be?
However long it takes to tell the story. There are a lot of arcs and topics I want to cover in this story, and at three pages a week, I've accepted that that might mean it will take several years to tell the story in full.● I've noticed you refer to "the original version" once in a while. What do you mean by that?
I originally came up with Rain
in 2004. At that time, it was a fantasy adventure story that just happened to feature a transsexual as the main character. Rain and Gavin were paladins, Maria and Rudy were royalty and even Aunt Fara was a bandit leader. All the same LGBT themes apply, just with a fantasy setting. In 2009 however, I came to the conclusion that the fantasy elements got in the way of the story I really wanted to tell and even contradicted my points on occasion. So in the end, the fantasy elements were removed and Rain became a slice-of-life high school comedy. Obviously, it's quite different, but you'd be surprised at how much is quite similar.● I'd be totally into that! Any chance you'll go back and do that too?
Honestly, chances are slim, I'm afraid. There are a number of reasons why I decided against that version, and most of them were to remove aspects of the story I didn't like. That said, I guess because I do still mention the original version from time to time, I obviously didn't hate it. With that in mind, Rain and her friends are geeks (manga, anime, video games, etc). Their fandoms will occasionally give nods to the original version with drawn parallels to emphasize certain themes and more. ● What is Black Wings, Kaminari?
It's a fake manga that Rain reads (in other words, don't look for it at your local bookstore; it doesn't exist outside of Rain
). There are a couple other ones too, including Halloween Princess Pandora and Mad Giga-Kaizer X. I've even considered parody references of existing titles (for instance, Kill Book and Dragon Cube A). What significance does this all play? You'll just have to wait and see. ^_^◊ Do you know how Rain ends?
Not anymore. XD
When I began posting, I actually had a pretty good idea of how I wanted the story to end. Then I kept writing, and that conclusion I originally had in mind has been completely invalidated since. I can't use it anymore (ironically, I can't talk about it at this time either). So I don't know how the story ends anymore. At this point, it ends when I'm satisfied and have resolved everything. But don't worry; that's still a long ways away.◊ Do you know who ends up with who in the end?
In some cases, yes. There are two pairs that are absolutely set in stone (one minor and one important). Everyone else is kind of up in the air. Although, I'm trying to plan ahead so I can narrow things down to like one or two potential matches for each character. This way it's never obvious, but I have a somewhat more clear path to work with so there's no "Why the hell are those two, of all people, together!?" by the end. I just don't need that.
But at the same time, I'm trying not to make myself say, "This person will definitely end up with that person." And I do this because in my effort to make the story flow a bit more naturally, I'd much rather let the characters fall in love because they're in love, and not because I told them they are. So I kind of like not knowing myself, and just allowing what happens to happen as I go. It's a better representation of how love works in real life.
There is a very good possibility that every major character will be with someone by the end though. What can I say? I like my love stories. ^_^About the themes○ How old should one be to read Rain?
However old is needed to be open to the subject matter. I would freely allow anyone 13 and up read it. Younger kids can and have probably read it too. There's also no age cap. I'm aware of some readers who are in their 60s and 70s too.○ How "bad" is the content?
There's some occasionally strong language, including swears (but never "f-bombs"), and to a lesser extent, slurs and the names of certain body parts. None of this is excessive though. There are sexual themes and situations (perhaps including implied - but never shown - nudity or sex). Finally, there are depictions of people drinking. This is also rare, and I don't even know if it's really that big of a deal, but I just thought it might be a good idea to mention. All-in-all, it's very "PG-13".● Does anybody ever get killed or anything?
If you know me as a writer, I tend to like my stuff really dark and really heavy. That said, Rain
is probably one of my most light-hearted stories. There will be some really dark scenes, I can promise that; but I don't want death in this story. For the most part, I actually prefer Rain being light-hearted and positive (if a little emotional at times).
A lot of stories that revolve around LGBT themes (especially trans themes) often focus on the dangers and brutality that people in the community can potentially face. And realistically, yes, that threat IS there. But I don't want this story to be about that; I think that method of storytelling just breeds more fear and sadness into those who are already worried. But there's so much more to being a part of the LGBT community than worrying about hate crimes. I want Rain to be, overall, an encouraging story. I want people who read this to feel more confident in themselves; not bury themselves further in the closet out of fear.
So, it's a little late for the short answer, but no, nobody gets killed or anything.About the characters● So… is Rain like, actually a woman yet?
She was always a woman. A transgender woman is still a woman.○ I mean, to put bluntly, does she have guy parts or girl parts?
Well, if we're going to be like that, then yes, Rain has "boy parts". Regardless of her body though, she's still a woman. She's pre-op. That means no hormone therapy, no surgery, no nothing. Just girly clothes, well-applied make-up, and an assortment of tools and techniques to feminize the figure a little.● Should I refer to Rain as a "he" or a "she"?
"She" would be preferable, actually.◊ Should I refer to Kylie as a "he" or a "she"? Or a "they" or "xe" or...?
This one, I'll leave up to your discretion. I've personally adopted the practice of using female pronouns for Kylie when presenting female, and male pronouns when presenting male. It seems the most polite and appropriate way to address Kylie. Several readers tend to use the gender-neutral pronouns like "they" or "xe" though. That's not wrong either.
The character hasn't specified a preference, so the next best thing is to just use the pronouns that won't out Kylie in the particular situation.○ How many transgender individuals are in this story?
Several. There are four currently in the story (but only two are identified as such at this time), but more could always be added. ○ How does Rain have curves if she's completely pre-op?
She uses padding. They make products to enhance the curves of genetic women, but I can promise you from my pre-op experience that they work just as well on transwomen. ^_^○ When does Rain get magically transformed into a real girl?
I'm seriously amazed by how often I get asked this. I envy all of you who apparently live in a world where changing sex is as easy as a clicking your heels together three times. Such an option would make my life SO much easier.
Jokes aside, I'm well aware that many people may have stumbled upon Rain
while looking for stories or artwork that features people being morphed into the opposite sex (for those of you aren't aware, there's actually a fairly large community for that on the internet). There's nothing wrong with that, but my comic is really quite grounded in reality and no such "magic" is ever going to occur. I would much rather promote a better understanding of how transition works to help those who wish to do so.● Okay, well realistically speaking, will Rain ever be post-op?
You'll just have to read the story. ^_^● Why is Rain the only one whose dialogue is italicized? And only sometimes!?
The italics are meant to indicate that Rain is not using her natural voice. In short, the italics imply they she's trying to modify her voice in such a way to make herself sound more feminine. When it's not italic (on the rare occasion), she is using her natural voice. Every other character is using their natural voice so their dialogue doesn't look any different.
Visual representation here - jocelynsamara.deviantart.com/a…● Does Rain only have one eye?
No, she has both her eyes. Her left eye is obscured by her hair most of the time, but it's not hiding any kind of gross disfiguration or an eye patch or anything. It's just a style choice. ○ Is Rain gay or straight?
Again, you'll just have to read the story. It's a difficult question to answer and more than a little spoilery. So I'd rather let the characters do the talking themselves.◊ Is Drew gay or straight?
I'm afraid that's another instance of "we'll just have to wait and see."◊ How short is Chanel actually supposed to be? How tall is Brett?
In my mind, I place Chanel somewhere around 4'11" (149cm), and Brett is about 6'10" (208cm). Bear in my mind that I have absolutely no regard for consistent proportions, so it might not LOOK like that all the time. I try my best though, I really do.◊ The "Character Page" features somebody named Allison, but I've never seen her. Who is she and where can I find her?
Allison appears in Chapter A, which is only found in Rain - Volume 1
. She played an important role there, so I felt she was worth including on the character list. I can't say for sure at this point whether or not she'll ever make an appearance in the main story. It's certainly possible, but I just don't know at this time.◊ Will we ever see Rain's dad?
Yes. Eventually.◊ Will we ever see Chiaki Koizumi (author of Black Wings, Kaminari)?
We'll see.◊ I haven't seen _____ in a long time. Are they ever coming back?
Maybe. Again, you'll just have to keep reading. ^_^◊ Is there any point to Puddle?
He's just a cute little pet bunny. I decided to include him on a whim shortly before starting the story. This was, if nothing else, just to add something in Rain's life that would comfort her. My own rabbits have done a lot for me when I was down in the past, so I felt they were a good choice of pet for our easily discouraged heroine.
Does he contribute much to the plot overall? No. Does he talk like other "webcomic animals"? No. Is he even there that often? No. But he means something to Rain, and helps keep her stable by simply being a small animal that loves her unconditionally, regardless of what her gender or sexuality or whatever. Sometimes, we need that.For the fandom● Is it okay for me to say [enter statement here] in the comments section of a page? I recognize that this story touches on a lot of delicate subjects and I'm a little worried about offending someone.
The fact that you're even considering other peoples' feelings before posting the first thing that pops into your head says to me that whatever you're about to say probably won't be ignorant. Honestly, unless it's insanely ignorant or some sort of direct attack, I am personally a bit difficult to offend. But I can't speak for everyone. If you're ever REALLY unsure of something, it might just be best to play it safe. ◊ Somebody said something inappropriate in the comments section, and I'm offended. Can I tell them off?
NO! If someone has said something offensive or inappropriate or ignorant or whatnot, try to be polite about that. I've seen a lot of situations where someone said something bad but legitimately didn't realize it was bad. We're all human and we all make mistakes and we all need to start learning somewhere. And attacking people for making mistakes does not help anyone learn. In fact, I find itends to promote resistance and a negative attitude towards understanding the situation altogether.
Instead of jumping down someone's throat, try to make your point made in a more polite way. If you can't be nice, just inform me and I'll do it. I don't want to makes rules so everyone plays nice, but I've seen it too many times where a person will innocently misgender a character or something, but then someone else will correct them in a douchey three paragraph post. Calm down. You can get your point across and educate them without having to make them feel inferior. That attitude helps no one, and is poisonous to the positive atmosphere I want for this story.
It's important to remember that most of the people reading Rain
are probably open-minded. If someone says something that offends you, assume first that they didn't know better, and not that they're trying start a flame war.● I don't like this page/character/story arc/comic. Is it okay for me to say so, or do I have to "be nice" to you?
Well, I would certainly prefer you not be a jerk… ^_^
Seriously though, if you dislike or disagree with something, you're welcome to say something. I welcome it. But there's a constructive way to criticize another's work, and then there's trolling. I don't think I should need to spell out the difference. ● Do you mind if I do a fanart/fanfic?
I do not mind at all. In fact, please! I would be most flattered. Just make sure you credit me as the creator of the original story your work is based off (and of course, show it to me!).◊ Do you mind if I include one of your characters in my story?
If we're talking about a cameo for a page or two, that's fine (and again, I'd love to see it if you do). But if you're looking to take one of my characters and put them in active roles in your own webcomic or story or whatnot, that I can't allow. What's really being asked (whether you see it this way or not) is if you can use my characters in your own unique work as if they were your own. And that's really not okay with me.
I'm flattered that someone would like my characters enough for something like that, but my characters are my own. I worked hard on them and I'm proud of them. If you want a story of your own to be proud of, you shouldn't sell yourself short by using others' characters.○ Do you mind if I ship _____ with _____?
Please do! I imagine a story with tons of teenage characters of canonically varying sexualities and genders would probably be a shipper's paradise. Who am I to take that away? ^_^ Seriously though, I WANT people to ship my characters; I'm genuinely interested in what pairings people suspect and why. I may question the REALLY odd ones, but I'm generally willing to approve any matchup.Other● IS THAT MUCH AWESOMENESS ALLOWED TO BE CONTAINED WITHIN A SINGLE WEBCOMIC?!?!?!?!?!?!?!
No, really! I'm not just tooting my own horn; someone asked this! I still haven't figured out how to answer this.