Lily Renée, Escape Artist

Alerted and intrigued by Trina Robbins’s guest post for the Jewish Book Council blog, I spent part of Sunday afternoon at the lovely Books of Wonder bookstore in Manhattan, where Robbins and Lily Renée, the subject of Robbins’s Lily Renée: Escape Artist, spoke to a large group of admirers. (FYI: One of those admirers told me that she runs a website titled “Ladies Making Comics,” for those of you who may want to learn still more about “all the awesome women who make comics.”)

Subtitled “From Holocaust Survivor to Comic Book Pioneer” and illustrated by Anne Timmons and Mo Oh, Lily Renée, Escape Artist, chronicles the early life of one such awesome woman: Lily Renée. Born in Vienna, Lily Renée Wilheim was a young teenager when the Nazis annexed Austria. She became part of a Kindertransport to England and was eventually reunited with her parents in New York, which is where her artistic talents helped her obtain paying work for a comic book publisher. That is the story and timespan covered in the new book.

I must admit that I don’t normally read graphic narratives, and I also don’t spend much time with middle-grade literature, which is how this book seems to be categorized. I read through it quickly—it’s not long, and it captured and held my attention. I was impressed, and I hope that in the not-too-distant future I’ll be able to share it with my niece (8).

I was interested to read others’ impressions of the book, not only on Goodreads, but also elsewhere on the Web. If you’re similarly intrigued, please click on.

book cover

4 thoughts on “Lily Renée, Escape Artist

  1. Hey Erika, it was great chatting with you before the event! Thanks for the shout out!

    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      Great to meet you, too, Alexa. Thanks for stopping by here!

  2. Erika,
    Thanks for posting this. I don’t read graphic narratives/books regularly, but have found a few worth a look over the years. In Jewish literature, there’s the oft-mentioned Maus series.

    More recently, I read Phoebe Potts’ very poignant graphic memoir, Good Eggs, about her struggle with infertility. The book, too, dealt with her journey closer to Judaism.


    1. Erika Dreifus says:

      In fact, Linda, I’d hoped initially to turn this entry into a combo post incorporating my anticipated attendance at an Art Spiegelman event the very next day…alas, plans changed, and I didn’t make it to that event, which was an anniversary event for MAUS/event celebrating the publication of METAMAUS.

      Thanks so much for stopping by!

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