It Never Rains, by Kari Maaren
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Monday, March 3, 2014
It Never Rains 1
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Welcome to It Never Rains, the mysterious webcomic whose exact nature I am reluctant to explain because spoilers make me sad.  Let's just say that for now, this is the story of Rose Malory, who is the eldest niece of Barbara Mickel, one of the major characters of my last webcomic, West of Bathurst.  Rose is fifteen and a half.  You'll find out more about her soon.

If you're wondering if this is going to be purely a slice-of-life comic (as opposed to the ambiguous fever dream that was West of Bathurst), all I'm willing to say at this point is that though it will certainly have slice-of-life qualities at first, it is quite, quite possible--nay, probable--that this will change.  It Never Rains takes place in a universe continuous with that of West of Bathurst; you don't have to know anything at all about the previous comic to understand the current one, but one element that is carrying over is West of Bathurst's elasticity where the rules and laws of both reality and common sense are concerned.  When something...odd...does happen in It Never Rains, it will likely not be ambiguous, and you will, with luck, not be left wanting to strangle me.  Much.

This time around, I have attempted to set up the website to be more or less accessible.  I have likely failed to some degree because of my incompetent approach to web design, but if you find any elements that are truly problematic, and you know how I can fix them, feel free to let me know.  I'll be providing a transcript (complete with a brief description of each panel) for every comic, simply because it feels a bit silly to have a visually impaired protagonist without making it possible for many visually impaired people to know what is happening in the comic.

Those of you used to West of Bathurst should note that the comic will run a little differently this time around.  It will appear on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; there will be no large-format weekend comic, except perhaps once in a while on special occasions.  I like the big "Sunday" comics, but the fact of the matter is that they take a huge amount of time to create.  However, the smaller-format comics will be in colour.  I can afford to make this change because my shift from hand lettering to computerised lettering (albeit with a font created from my own handwriting) will free up quite a bit of time.

If all goes well, the comments section will be embedded in the website itself.  Clicking on the "Comment" button on the home page will take you to the comments field in the permanent home of the current comic.  Clicking on the "Comment" button on the permanent page will also take you to the comments field (or you can just scroll down yourself if you are not inordinately lazy).

I do not have an RSS feed.  I tried to figure out how to make one, but the various instructions I found online, all of which appeared to be designed for Computer Science majors, made my brain cry.  Perhaps I'll manage to figure it out eventually; however, I couldn't do it by today.  There is a mailing list (see below), plus a Facebook page (also see below), both of which will announce new comics.

Thank you for trying out It Never Rains.  I hope you enjoy it.  It will probably make you want to strangle me eventually, but that's more or less inevitable.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Panel 1:  A disheveled girl dressed in rags sits alone in what looks like a cave.  She speaks into a recording device.

Girl:  Day one hundred and twenty-six.  Appalling torment continues.

Panel 2:  Perspiration beads the girl's forehead.

Girl:  Trapped in an unceasing nightmare with no solace but the sound of my own voice, I strive to ignore the meaningless howling of the beast.

Panel 3:

Girl:  There are words, but they are empty...hollow.  Something about five paragraphs and a list of thesis points.  Must not listen.  Must--

New Voice from Off-Panel:  Rose?

Panel 4:  The girl, Rose, is now dressed neatly in a T-shirt and jeans; her red hair is in a ponytail.  She sits in what looks like a high-school classroom.  She is still holding the recorder up to her mouth.  On her desk are a folded white cane and a notebook.  The other students watch her in bewilderment.

Teacher:  If we could have your attention...

Rose:  Why, do you need it for something?

Alt-Text: Mysterious post-apocalyptic prison cave...high-school English class: what's the difference, really?


This is the regular It Never Rains banner header, which appears at the top of most It Never Rains pages. Front and centre is a middle-aged woman in a toque, a grey hoodie, and ripped jeans. She is wearing big round glasses and has a single strand of white hair peeking out from under her toque. She sits cross-legged on a green blanket spread over the sidewalk. Beside her, leaning against a stone wall, is a cardboard sign reading, "IT NEVER RAINS by Kari Maaren." A tin can is sitting in front of her. She is smiling.

People are walking past her, but we can see only their legs. We get: grey lace-up knee boots under a hot pink skirt; browner loafers and blue jeans, with the person who owns them wielding a white cane; white-and-turquoise sneakers and grey pants, with this person walking side by side with the cane user; black shoes and black pants; blue-and-white sneakers and turquoise jogging pants with yellow stripes; and brown shoes and brown pants. The person with black shoes and black pants is dropping a loonie into the panhandler's tin can.

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Content copyright Kari Maaren 2014
Images copyright Kari Maaren 2014