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From Holocaust Survivor to Comic Book Pioneer

by Trina Robbins & illustrated by Anne Timmons & Mo Oh

Age Range: 8 - 14

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-7613-8114-3
Publisher: Graphic Universe

This comic-book biography of a Jewish girl's life under the Nazi jackboot and then as a refugee is low key and that much more profound for it.

The panels are brightly lit, and the narrative is crisp, both of which serve to chillingly amplify the everyday banality of evil. Robbins fashions Lily Renée Wilhelm as a young woman who simply must make the best of being shuttled from home to home as a Kindertransport refugee in England, thankful for the kindnesses while cognizant of the inequities, hopeful but not delusional. Her parents, still in Austria, haven’t vanished, but they are thwarted at every turn. Bile rises, teeth clench—it is all so quotidian. Lily toils in this and that occupation, and then comes the wholly satisfying conclusion: Lily becomes a graphic artist of superwomen stories in the United States, so fitting that it closes her tale like the thunk of a Rolls Royce door. Robbins adds a glossary and a number of short, expository pages on concentration camps, internment camps, high tea, English currency, Queen Wilhelmina, the Holland-America Line and Horn and Hardart automats to flesh out Lily’s life.

A fitting tribute. (Graphic biography. 8-14)