Lily Renée, Escape Artist

From Holocaust Survivor to Comic Book Pioneer

Illustrator: Anne Timmons, Mo Oh

Binding: Paperback

Imprint: Graphic Universe - Lerner Publishing Group

Age 10+

Graphic Novels Comic Strip Fiction / Graphic Novels

This true story of a Jewish survivor of the war with a different sort of journey includes insight into World War II history from Anschluss to the Blitz. Lily Renee's story has only been told in articles for adults. Young comic book readers are naturally interested in the artists who create the books they love.

In 1938, Lily Renee Wilhelm, a 14-year-old Jewish girl, is living in Vienna when the Nazis march into Austria. Lily's mother finds her a sponsor in England for the Kinderlransporl evacuating refugee children. After England declares war on Germany, the Kinderlransporl children are considered enemy aliens who must report to the police. Once again Lily makes an escape, living in hiding until she learns that her parents have safely evacuated to the United States. After a ship voyage fraught with danger from Nazi torpedoes, teenage Lily reunites with her parents in New York and helps her family earn a living by painting designs on wooden boxes. One day she sees an ad in the paper: a comics publisher is looking for artists. Lily has never drawn comics before, but teaches herself how they work. She is hired to draw the character Senorita Rio, a beautiful spy fighting the Nazis., During the 1940s, Lily Renee was also the artist for the series The Lost World and Werewolf Hunters, and was one of the few female artists of the time who regularly drew comic book covers. Author Trina Robbins has built her book around extensive interviews with Lily Renee and extensive research to make sure the details are factually correct.


Trina Robbins established herself during the underground com ix movement of the 1960s, and in the 1970s published the first all-woman comic book, It Ain't Me, Babe Comix, and the anthology Wimmen's Comix. She was a penciller on Wonder Woman in the 1980s, created the series Go Girl! with artist Anne Timmons for Image Comics, has written numerous nonfiction books for children and adults, and designed Vampirella's costume. She lives in San Franscico with her partner, comics artist Steve Leialoha.

Mo oh likes to draw. She also likes to read, bake, eat (mostly eat), make plants grow (mainly for eating), and sit in the sun. She recently graduated from the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont with an MFA in cartooning, and works occasionally as a sketch/concept artist for a small game company. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts., Anne Timmons was born in Portland, Oregon, and received her BFA from Oregon State University. In addition to her collaboration with Trina Robbins on the Lulu Award-winning GoGirl!,
Timmons' work includes the Eisner-nominated Dignifying Science and the comic book version of
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. She has illustrated and painted covers for children's books and provided interior and cover art for regional and national magazines, including Wired, Portland Review, and Comic Book Artist. Timmons' art also appears in the anthology 9-11: Artists Respond and is now in the Library of Congress. Timmons and Robbins recently collaborated on a graphic novel adaptation of Jane Austen's Northanger Abbey, due out in 2007. Samples of Timmons' art can be seen at

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