Norman Strongwell

posted April 4th, 2018, 8:46 am


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view LittleLynn84's profile

April 4th, 2018, 8:57 am

LittleLynn84

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Let's just jump right in, I guess. ^^;

So, it's only a quick five panels, but there's a lot to take in. I won't go over everything, but I should probably make sure it's all clear, at least. To start, March 18th is the same day as the previous chapter. It's been maybe a couple hours since the last page happened. Mr. and Mrs. Strongwell have returned home. And although they still have Rudy, they don't know where Maria could be.

And technically, we don't know for sure either. We just know where she's not (home or school). What I can promise - just because I've had to address this a couple times in individual comments, and I want to put it out there for everyone - is that she is not dead, nor will she die. Nobody dies. That's just not the kind of story I'm trying to tell here. So if that's what you're worried about, you don't have to. (Other stories I write, you can worry about that. For Rain, it's not necessary.)

As for what's going on, that's where you come in. Do we learn anything about Maria's possible whereabouts right off the bat? Why is Rudy still here, and does he know where his sister is? And what, if anything, are we learning about Mr. and Mrs. Strongwell (aka, Norm and Donna Strongwell)?


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August 18th, 2019, 5:39 am

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April 4th, 2018, 9:12 am

IMGAYASHELL (Guest)

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Anyone else feel like Mrs. Strongwell is really not homophobic?

I feel as if her husband is pushing his views upon her, and maybe even abusing her. She seems much more worried then angry, and she seems almost scared of Norm

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April 4th, 2018, 9:36 am

Gabi (Guest)

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@IMGAYASHELL: Hard to tell from the little we've seen of her. Even homophobic people are not 100% evil and soul-less. She may be homophobic, but she still worries about her children.

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view CatPerson's profile

April 4th, 2018, 9:43 am

CatPerson

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@IMGAYASHELL:

Anyone else feel like Mrs. Strongwell is really not homophobic?

More like she has been indoctrinated by her religion (and her husband) to view LGBT people as sinners who choose to sin. Up against that, her maternal instinct to love her kids no matter what is kicking in and causing her to question that indoctrination. If Norm keeps senselessly hurting her kids, she will (I predict) respond like any mother animal ... and Norm will not be immune.

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April 4th, 2018, 3:46 pm

LittleLeo (Guest)

Agreed

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@CatPerson: Yea - I think Mrs.Stromwell I.e. Donna is actually going to learn something from this. All we've seen from her is worry about Maria. She's aware that this isn't a good situation and based on her looking at her husband she is not pleased with his lack of genuine effort in trying to reach out to their kids.

I don't know if she's just an enabler of her husband's abusive behaviour, or actively believes that LGBTQ is demons. In any case, I think we might see her realize one way or another that something is going to have to change (on their side) if she wants her kids to actually be ok.

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April 4th, 2018, 10:13 am

Lily-Annabelle Waters (Guest)

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@IMGAYASHELL: She reminds me of my mom. She supports her husband, because that's the role in the christian family, but she's not down with everything he does, and she does value her kids more than he does. She will, however, defend him if he needs defending

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view Minim's profile

April 4th, 2018, 10:55 am

Minim

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@IMGAYASHELL: She's shown homophobia in a different way to her husband before (see http://rainlgbt.smackjeeves.com/comics/1307818/the-g-word/ where she erases/denies Rudy's gayness as opposed to Norman's vilifying). As said/implied above, she can still be worried about her children even though she is homophobic. I do think, though, that this could be a turning point for her, which could lead her eventually to being less homophobic and more tolerant and respectful of the queer community. I hope so, anyway.

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April 4th, 2018, 3:50 pm

LittleLeo (Guest)

Huh

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@Minim: Nice catch! I completely forgot that Donna doesn't allow the use of the word gay and denies its existence. I wonder why she needs so much denial in order to be happy.

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April 5th, 2018, 3:25 am

Dumbo (Guest)

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@LittleLeo: I guess she feels guilty for having born a "faulty" child. Result of the abuse her church and her husband (and probably her parents etc.) let her suffer.

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view NikuComics's profile

April 4th, 2018, 11:12 am

NikuComics

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@IMGAYASHELL: I have noticed that too. It's really catching my attention and I must admidt that I'm starting to like her, simply by watching her "body language"

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April 6th, 2018, 6:59 am

IMGAYASHELL (Guest)

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@NikuComics: I do see all of your points, and I agree she may feel guilty for bearing a 'cursed' child(haha harry potter), but I do think she's starting to see the error of her ways, and maybe realizing what this has done to her children.

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April 5th, 2018, 2:47 pm

holidayincambodia (Guest)

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@IMGAYASHELL: I say fuck them both, actions > words.

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April 4th, 2018, 10:06 am

Guest

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That's a big house

Are the Strongwell's rich?

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April 4th, 2018, 11:17 am

Microrapter (Guest)

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@Guest: Given that they live in a relatively small city and might live outside of the city proper, their house probably isn't worth as much as it'd be in a larger community.

But they do send both of their kids to a private school, so they're certainly well off, financially.

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April 4th, 2018, 10:14 am

JMyth (Guest)

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Is it just me, or does Mr. Strongwell seem a little young in this page? Specifically in the third panel.
I do hope Maria has found sanctuary.

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April 4th, 2018, 12:57 pm

Noid (Guest)

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@JMyth: I dunno, but if you ask me, he has a feminin-ish look in Panels 2 and 3.

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April 4th, 2018, 10:46 am

AnOldWolfNamedSteve

Chasing Their Tails

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@LittleLynn84: I have a feeling Rudy doesn't have the slightest clue where Maria went, other than "away from home and nowhere near the school." And holy dayum! Rudy is just burying his dad in Shade!

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view Climaxstriker's profile

April 4th, 2018, 10:59 am

Climaxstriker

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The parents are getting a divorce.

Rudy's little speech looks like it got through to the mom and she started to look a little angry at Norman when he threatened to send Rudy there.

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view Minim's profile

April 4th, 2018, 11:06 am

Minim

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I find it interesting that Rudy has mentioned the conversion camps. I did a quick browse back and didn't find any indication before now that he even knew about them before. (Obviously as it was only a skim read I might have missed something). If that's the case then it's possible either it had already been threatened yesterday or this morning by his sperm donor (Norm is not a father because fathers don't even consider taking their kids to those places), or Maria (or Chanel or Emily who are the only others of the gang to know) has told him about that threat. If so, he could well know where she is.

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April 5th, 2018, 2:12 pm

Kalciphoz (Guest)

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@Minim: Rudy and Maria were both told by Brother Arthur, though they seemed eager to leave the conversation.

As for fathers sending their sons to conversion camps - there have been both fathers and mothers who have done that and worse things to their children.

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view Minim's profile

April 6th, 2018, 4:22 am

Minim

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@Kalciphoz: Maria was told by Brother Arthur, and before that Brother Arthur tried to warn Rudy but he left the conversation before Brother Arthur could say anything. (See here for BArthur trying to warn Rudy: http://rainlgbt.smackjeeves.com/comics/1852768/lack-of-morals/ and here for warning Maria: http://rainlgbt.smackjeeves.com/comics/1937834/inappropriate/ - Rudy isn't in this scene and it was the first we heard of those "camps". Since then all the mentions I found of those "camps" all came from Maria, and only when around Chanel (which makes sense as Chanel heard about it already) and more recently Emily). If there has been such a scene I've missed somehow you're more than welcome to prove it. (I'd check again but my internet is playing silly and I care a bit too much about people having accurate information about the things I love).

And yes, parents of all genders have done similar or worse things to their kids, but I don't consider anyone as a parent if they are willing to subject their kids to abuse, no matter what their intentions may be.

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view NikuComics's profile

April 4th, 2018, 11:10 am

NikuComics

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So very awesome of you Rudy/Ruby (Not sure what he would prefer xD) And I have watching the mothers body language and I willl say that she is starting to catch my attention. >:3

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view Second_Chances's profile

April 4th, 2018, 11:29 am

Second_Chances

Rudy my man <3

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I love how Rudy basically became the voice of the comments on this page. I've been stalking both the SJ and DeviantArt comments since the last chapter and everything Rudy says here basically sums up everything we've been saying :) I love this boy <3 <3

Is it to much to hope that Donna slaps her husband and cusses him out, then takes Rudy and idk goes to a sister or something. *crosses fingers* please be a momma bear please be a momma bear... I also can't help but notice the similarities between Donna and Norman and Rains Birth Parents. I strong willed woman being put down by an asshole husband... hmm you trying to tell us something LittleLynn? ;)

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April 4th, 2018, 11:38 am

Guest

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I love seeing Rudy being assertive like this. I hope their dad doesn't turn out to be physically abusive as well, that's what I'm worrying for Rudy about right now.

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view ShinigamiMaxwell's profile

April 4th, 2018, 11:44 am

ShinigamiMaxwell

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Good lord her dad's an asshole......now I'm starting to see why she'd run off....yeesh!

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April 4th, 2018, 12:20 pm

Kiriana (Guest)

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I was speaking to my cousin who is a social worker about conversion therapy and the camps and she had informed me that those things ARE considered child abuse. Also the threat of using such severe abuse is also classed as emotional and psychological abuse.
Norm should be happy that so far nobody has called CPS on him, though I suspect he'd use the threat of "if they take you away, you'll never see your brother/sister/friends ever again" to shut them up and force them to lie.(it's almost like I heard that line several times growing up)

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view CatPerson's profile

April 4th, 2018, 2:10 pm

CatPerson

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@Kiriana:

While the mainstream professional organizations of the medical/ psychological/ counseling communities have condemned conversion therapy, the law in the US has not clearly labeled it as child abuse. Only 9 states have outlawed such therapy if performed by a medical professional. No state has outlawed attempts by religious organizations to "convert" LGBT children. Given the 1st Amendment Freedom of Religion clause, it is highly unlikely that governments can outlaw religious conversion attempts. Of course, actual physical or mental abuse can be prohibited but authorities are generally less likely to interfere with the practices of religious organizations because of the 1st Amendment.

A recent report by the Williams Institute (https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/demographics/conversion-therapy-and-lgbt-youth/) estimates that 57,000 children presently aged 13-17 will be subjected to conversion therapy by a religious or spiritual advisor before they reach 18. Another 20,000 will be subjected to it by a licensed health care professional who does not follow the guidelines of the rest of their profession and is not in one of the states that outlaws it.

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view Trassa's profile

April 4th, 2018, 1:11 pm

Trassa

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I'm assuming that Emily at least has an idea of where Maria is and maybe even know exactly. Given she was the last one who talked with her. I'd also assume Emily didnt go with her because there probably would have been more of an uproar about her missing too. I feel like Maria would go to one of the friend groups houses since they are safe places for her. But that also would be the first places they'd look for her. Is her grandmother still alive? I haven't read the bonus chapters so I dont know the current status of the grandmother, but if she is alive that would probably be a good place for Maria.

Wow I'm ranting a little bit okay, lol

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April 4th, 2018, 2:02 pm

falconspirit13

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WAIT THERE ARE BONUS CHAPTERS

WHERE WHERE WHERE WHERE WHERE WHERE

I NEED THAT

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view Trassa's profile

April 4th, 2018, 2:05 pm

Trassa

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@falconspirit13: They're only included in the physical copies of the books. I haven't been able to purchase any of them yet so they're out of my reach right now.

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April 4th, 2018, 2:39 pm

NerdyNB (Guest)

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@Trassa: Unfortunately, it seems she is dead. The page after the one Jocelyn posted shows them saying "she will be missed" so that's not an option for Maria.

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April 4th, 2018, 1:17 pm

TranshumanAr (Guest)

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Mr. Strongwell isn't denying his intentions, so Maria is safe from conversion camps for now. I hope conversion camps become illegal in the future. It would be tragic if they expand to converting people to Christianity, not only gay kids. Like, forcing atheists and muslims to convert, or sending people that oppose the political party in power (not pointing my fingers at the Republicans... okay, I am really doing that).

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April 4th, 2018, 2:28 pm

Guest

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You make a good point by saying “I hope they become illegal in the future”. A lot of people are bringing up laws in the US and which states conversion therapy is illegal in, but it seems like a lot of people are forgetting what year it is. The current time in the comic is 2013, so not all of these laws might’ve been made back then.

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April 4th, 2018, 3:53 pm

ss (Guest)

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dammit dad

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view Kituki's profile

April 4th, 2018, 4:07 pm

Kituki

The Mother

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Donna seems more pissed off at Norm than she does at Rudy. Honestly, I think this might be the start of pushing against Norm to protect her children.
I mean even she's not dumb, Maria got expelled from school for protecting her girlfriend, and then disappeared. Then Rudy comes in and tells them exactly why she's gone? yeah Donna's going to be putting two and two together REAL fast. I mean just looking at that last panel she's not in agreement with him at all.

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view CanaCastor's profile

April 4th, 2018, 6:33 pm

CanaCastor

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Am I the only one thinking Maria could be at Emily's since she's not staying there and her mother is never home?

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view blueshark's profile

April 4th, 2018, 7:52 pm

blueshark

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@CanaCastor: nope that's my theory too

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April 4th, 2018, 9:20 pm

Guest

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It would be awesome if it turns out Donna is gay or, maybe Norm is gay and just strongly denying it.

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April 5th, 2018, 3:33 am

Dumbo (Guest)

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@Guest: I wouldn’t call it awesome. But it’s not improbable – many extremists act/argue against their own feeling of guilt. So Norm might by gay, but I guess Donna is just feeling for her children. (Somewhat cliché, but this is a comic.)

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April 4th, 2018, 11:40 pm

Raen (Guest)

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...wait, why *didn't* they sent Rudy to camp?

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April 5th, 2018, 2:13 pm

Kalciphoz (Guest)

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@Raen: Because for the vast majority of people, the first and foremost thing they resort to is nothing.

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view TallMist's profile

April 6th, 2018, 12:59 am

TallMist

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YOU GO, RUDY!!!! You are so damn awesome!!! Tell it like it is!!!

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April 6th, 2018, 10:08 am

Don Edwards (Guest)

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Maria is a senior, right? If so, there's a reasonable chance that she's already 18. If not, she's close enough that I suspect the police would be less than enthusiastic in hunting for her (after a little chat with Rudy to see if he has any idea where she might have gone or has any idea why she left).

Rudy is at least a year younger. That's a different situation.

Rudy knows the first two places HE would look for his sister, but he's going to make a point of not having any idea where she is.

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May 28th, 2019, 11:01 pm

DarkVoid (Guest)

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I’m afraid for Maria yet I am also like, GO MARIA

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