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Lily Renee, Escape Artist: 11/13/13

cover art

Lily Renee, Escape Artist by Trina Robbins is the biography of Lily Renee Wilhelm, covering her escape from Germany, time in England and her eventual move to the United States, where she was the author/illustrator of the Señorita Rio comic strip.

Essentially the book has three parts — all of which are rather interesting but might work best in the context of other, more in depth coverage. The first part touches on the holocaust. The second part, life in England for those lucky enough to be evacuated from Germany (children, mostly). Finally, there is her career as a comic strip artist.

Although she was an artist / author in the "Golden Age" of comics, I'm not sure today's graphic novel reader — especially middle grade readers — will have heard of her. Sure, images from Señorita Rio can be brought up through a web search, but as far as I can tell, none of her books are currently in print. So while I as an adult appreciate the connection between doing her biography in a style very much in keeping with how she drew, I'm not convinced that connection will hit the mark with the intended audience.

Three stars

Comments (2)

Comment #1: Monday, November 18, 2013 at 12:19:00


I liked this book, since I hadn't heard of Lily Renee and I thought it was appropriate to tell it through graphic non-fiction. But I think you're right that middle grader readers wouldn't be as impressed with it.

Comment #2: Tuesday, November 26, 2013 at 11:07:21


I loved the book but when I went to look up her work and found none of it in print, I had to question choice of audience. I hope sometime her work is reprinted.

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