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I sort of hate the way I brought Maria and Chanel into this arc. I kinda wanted to do a lot more with them, but I felt like their role seemed mostly disjointed to everything else going on that it was hard to work in. That said, I didn’t feel I could leave them out entirely. This little segment with everybody seeing everybody and Chanel pretty much learning everyone’s truths all at once kind of helps reattach them to the plot after all.
Theory time: Will Rain actually come out? Would she even need to at this point?
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As for whether or not Rain will come up, after seeing this page I believe she will (especially with her friends behind her), but what I'm worried about is Aiken's reaction.
Mrrr, I really want to comfort Chanel and explain how Rain would not have told any of them had things not gone as weirdly as they did. Being left out is never fun, and Chanel really does not need to feel left out by the Rain gang. :<
I also hope that Rain's coming out to Aiken goes as well as possible. Wanna. Hug! >_<
The fourth wall is cruel. u_u
Seriously, though, this page jumps past the whole "Chanel reacts, then stuff gets explained to her, welcome to the Rain Gang, by the way" phase. Admittedly, though, that might have made for a boring, unnecessary-to-the-reader page, so the jump is justified. Chanel's reaction... I hadn't really thought of her feelings up to this point, but now, I feel sorry for her. Hanging out with them for almost two months, but never really being "in", in the same way that the core four were... it sucks to be left out. At the same time, I don't think Rain should have felt obligated to let Chanel in. She has her image (and continued attendance) at school to consider, she wants to be seen and treated like any other girl, and there's never been an instance when telling her would be necessary (as it kind of was when Gavin, Maria, and Rudy stormed her house in chapter 1). Hopefully, Chanel will be able to understand Rain's reasons, and not begrudge her for it.
It's interesting, the complementary roles that Rudy and Gavin perform in panels 4 and 5. Rudy is the shield, reassuring Rain, letting her know that she's among friends, and that her secret's safe. Gavin is the sword, encouraging Rain to not sit back and hide, but to face her brother, and tell the truth. Personally, I wouldn't go into battle if I were lacking either one. Rain's friends provide her with a safety net, there to catch her if she falls, to care for her when others despise her... but they also give her confidence in who she is, confidence to tell her brother the truth. Their very presence legitimizes her identity - by accepting her as she is, they implicitly tell her that it's right for her to be true to herself. Rain recognizes the security and strength that her friends provide her, and it's for that reason that she asks them to come along.
This page provides a good setup for Rain's overdue, yet necessary, confession to Aiken. He may not like the truth, but he needs to hear it, and Rain needs to tell it. They're family, after all.
Quoting David Drake's SF war novel "Rolling Hot":
"Does it get better?"
"Naw - but it gets over."
I really admire your work.
On the plus side, go Rain!!! PLEASE tell him everything!!
After all, Rain actually confirms that. This entire chapter is taking place on December 22nd of this year, and everyone's doing just fine. ^_^
Oh Lord, I hope I don't sound like some obsessive compulsive psycho fangirl...
Ah, I don't think I ever directly stated this, but the story began in 2012. When I started the comic in 2010, I wanted the story to be a few years ahead so I could keep things current. If some big thing happened (whatever that may be) in the following years, I'd have the ability to reference and keep the commentary current.
I actually debated making the comic take place a little later, but the dates fit best for this year. ^_^
I just hope her brother can accept her....and even, because he accepts her, gain a newfound respect for transgendered people and get back with that girl!!