Call Me Bill | Preview
Today we have a very special preview for you: A selection from Call Me Bill, by Lynette Richards, out this week from the Canadian publisher Conundrum Press. This slim graphic novel tells the true story of a sailor who was born female, lived briefly as a man, and perished while heroically rescuing passengers in the 1873 shipwreck of a passenger steamship off the coast of Nova Scotia. The child who was born Margaret Armstrong on a farm outside of Trenton grew up doing men’s chores and wearing boy’s clothing until a new stepmother tried to enforce the mores of the day. Bill ran away to New York and quickly found work as a sailor, traveling to England and then to Genoa before being outed as a woman. Bill was banned from men’s work and shipped home, giving an interview to a journalist along the way, but was soon back on board a new ship, this time the White Star’s passenger steamship Atlantic. With rough seas forcing a diversion, the Atlantic headed for Halifax but wrecked on the rocky shores of Marrs Island, off the coast. Richards chronicle’s Bill’s nine months of freedom in gray washes and expressive linework, and the book includes excerpts from the newspaper interviews as well as extensive endnotes.
About Brigid Alverson
Brigid Alverson, the editor of the Good Comics for Kids blog, has been reading comics since she was 4. She has an MFA in printmaking and has worked as a book editor and a newspaper reporter; now she is assistant to the mayor of Melrose, Massachusetts. In addition to editing GC4K, she writes about comics and graphic novels at MangaBlog, SLJTeen, Publishers Weekly Comics World, Comic Book Resources, MTV Geek, and Good E-Reader.com. Brigid is married to a physicist and has two daughters in college, which is why she writes so much. She was a judge for the 2012 Eisner Awards.
SLJ Blog Network