The following is a short preview, the full comic is published in the book, Drawn to Change: Graphic Histories of Working-Class Struggle, an anthology of Canadian labour history comics edited by the Graphic History Collective and historian Paul Buhle and published by Between the Lines Press in 2016.

Bill Williamson: Hobo, Wobbly, Communist, On to Ottawa Trekker, Spanish Civil War Veteran, Photographer

By Kara Sievewright

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.

Kara Sievewright


Kara Sievewright is a writer and artist who creates comics, zines, websites, and books. She is working on a graphic novel. You can see more of her work at

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