The Graphic History Project is a website and publication of short politically relevant graphic histories by comic artists, historians, writers, artists, activists to help inspire resistance and action.
I created a comic based on the story of Bill Williamson. Bill Williamson was born in Winnipeg in 1907 and over the next thirty years participated in some of the most inspiring radical events in Canadian and global history. He was a hobo, a Wobbly, a relief camp worker, a communist, a photographer and the first Canadian to join the republicans in the Spanish Civil War. While travelling around the world as a merchant seaman, he saw a clandestine screening of the film Battleship Potemkin in Sydney, Australia. Inspired by the film’s politics and cinematography, he decided to become a photographer and to try to work with the Russian director, Sergei Eisenstein. While he never made it to the USSR, he did take part in many of the important political movements of his time including the On to Ottawa Trek, the Regina Riot, and the Spanish Civil War.
The Graphic History Project will be published in an anthology called Drawn to Change: Graphic Histories of Working-Class Struggle in 2016 with Between the Lines Press. The Graphic History Collective, along with historian Paul Buhle, will edit the anthology which will feature the amazing work of Graphic History Project contributors Althea Balmes, Sam Bradd, Nicole Marie Burton, Sean Carleton, Robin Folvik, Ethan Heitner, Orion Keresztesi, David Lester, Doug Nesbitt, Kara Sievewright, Jo SiMalaya Alcampo, Julia Smith, and Tania Willard.
Part 1 of Bill Williamson: Hobo, Wobbly, Communist, On to Ottawa Trekker, Spanish Civil War Veteran, Photographer
Some of Bill’s photos of his time in Spain.
A story of Bill train hopping from Halifax to Sioux Lookout during the Depression.