Last weekend marked the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, so this is a perfect time to enjoy the first chapter of Alan Dunne’s graphic novel Get Off That Ship. It’s a fascinating true story about Father Frank Browne, a Jesuit novice and photography buff who was on the Titanic for its maiden voyage but lived to tell the tale because he was ordered off the ship by a superior. (You can see the actual photos and learn more about Father Browne here.)
Browne’s uncle, the Bishop of Coyne, had given him a first class ticket from Southampton, England, to Cobh, Ireland. On the journey, Browne became friendly with a wealthy American family who offered to pay for his passage all the way to New York. He telegraphed his superior for permission and was told “Get Off That Ship—–Provincial!” That peremptory command, of course, saved his life. Dunne’s webcomic has a fluid style, and he does a nice job of capturing the vastness of the ship, especially in the context of the times—our first glimpse of the ship is of the smokestacks towering over the houses of Southampton.
It’s not clear whether Dunne plans to put the rest of the story online, but what’s there is well worth a look.
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