R. Claire Hawkins: cartoonist, illustrator, writer, teacher
A page from Human Resources
Maria and Extremis, the AI that manages her prosthetics and her genetic enhancements, spend most of the day aimlessly wandering around the Cage, the birdcage that covers New Tampa and protects it from the unpredictable and dangerous weather of a post-climate change Florida.
Maria lost both her legs and most of her pelvic cavity in a silk attack. She sold herself, along with her rights to her own genetic code, to Human Resources, a temp agency, in order to get smart prosthetics installed. HR used CRISPR on her to make her a more attractive job candidate, and now she roams the city, a cyborg with raccoon DNA, working off her sentence day after day.
Ami was born below the dyke, where sunlight hardly ever reaches. He wants his own ship so that he can leave Split City and see the world, but ships are expensive and visas rare. Work is even harder to come by, so Ami’s a conman and a grifter; he’s a “personal guru” to the uber-wealthy Topsiders, who love to stereotype an Under. You can’t con an honest Topisder, right?
As a reality TV detective on Split City’s most popular show, Bright’s been wildly famous and stupid rich for most of his adult life. But he never wanted to be famous; he just wanted to be a detective, a private eye like Sam Spade or Pepe Carvalho.
But maybe that’s the irony. He is just like them—a fiction, a fake. Just once, he wishes he could solve an actual mystery. Instead, he does what the Network tells him to do: he hunts the people they want him to hunt, finds the evidence they want him to find, send the people they target to jail.
Characters from Human Resources, my in-progress novel length comic
From the left: Joon, Maria’s med tech; Mami D, Joon’s grandmother; Jace, Maria’s activist ex-boyfriend; Tuna, Maria’s ex-pet and now pirate radio host; Maria, a cyborg and confused twenty-something; Ami, a conman; Bright, a depressed TV detective, and Ana, Bright’s ambitious partner.
Excerpt, Thailand sketchbook
In the summer of 2015, I went to Thailand with my boyfriend and our friend Ira, who visits his family there every summer. I kept a sketchbook, which was a great way to remember the trip by.
This image and the next one are from an aborted travel blog based on the trip.
Cover, "Lady in Ink"
I made 75 handmade copies of "Lady in Ink," my first chapbook, for Sweet Publications. It's about the intersection between gender norms and tattoo norms, with a heavy dose of my personal experience. All the handmade copies are gone, but you can purchase a perfect bound copy from Amazon for $8!