I met Norma and Luke Bowen through their Go Fund me campaign (find it posted on the bottom of this text.) They were generous enough to tell me-- a complete stranger-- their story. I was immediately charmed by them. Norma is friendly and has a kind of warm but saavy way about her. She grew up in Juarez, so even though I met her in this semi-deserted mission complex, she seemed to me like a city-kid, blasé with a great smile. As they would tell me through Luke's translation, she's also been through a lot to get to this quiet place. Luke translated Norma's story, and then told me his own. He is a recovering drug addict who moved to El Paso almost ten years ago, where an accelerating drug addiction left him homeless. Luke likes science fiction and has a genuine earnestness to him. Together they are kind of adorable. Luke's recovery and Norma's rescue from violent drug Cartels illustrates some of the devastation of the drug war between the U.S. and Mexico. Their romance is hopeful. Unfortunately, the story doesn't end with their finding each other. The reason I am documenting these two is that Norma's position as a political asylee, despite being married to an American citizen, puts her in danger of deportation. Since meeting the couple, their whole family has moved to California where Luke has gotten a good job but Norma continues to live under fear of deportation, despite rigorously following their ICE guidelines.
The comic which I am working on tells Luke and Norma's story. I'll post the roughs as you see on the left as I'm working on them. Sign up for the email list if your interested in getting updates!! The pages you see below are rough studies for the entire piece, which will tell Luke and Norma's struggle over the course of the year that led their fortunes to California.