Jennifer Morgan hopes to hear stories from family members
Local author and illustrator Jennifer Morgan is visiting schools on the west coast of the island this month, and is looking for stories to help her finish the latest version of her comic book.
Author-illustrator Jennifer Morgan is looking for input on a graphic novel about the sinking of the S. S. Caribou in 1942, a follow-up to her 2012 coming, “Almost Home: The Sinking of the S. S. Caribou.” — TC Media file photo
Last year, Morgan’s comic “Almost Home: The Sinking of the S.S. Caribou” was published by Breakwater Books, telling the story of how the passenger ferry was travelling between Port aux Basques and North Sydney, N.S., the night of Oct. 14, 1942 when it was torpedoed by a German submarine, its captain mistaking it for a two-stack destroyer. One hundred and thirty-eight people died, including Morgan’s great-grandfather, Thomas Moyst, second engineer on the ship.
“He wasn’t killed by the explosion. We know that he made it to the deck, and we even know that he made it to one of the lifeboats,” Morgan told The Telegram last year.
“The really sad thing was that it was his birthday. His birthday cake was waiting for him, and he’d bought prizes and little presents for his guests. This was the heartbreaking thing that my Uncle Ralph remembered: showing up at his house to pick up his father’s body, and there was this cake and these little gifts. It made a historical, factual story into a story of family and loss. He’s not a statistic. He’s a real person.”
Morgan wrote her comic telling the tale of her great-grandfather, from stories told to her by her grandmother. She is now planning to develop a graphic novel, aimed at adults, about the Caribou, and would like to tell the story from different perspectives.
On her school tour, Morgan will share “Almost Home,” and talk about its creation and the story behind it. She’s taking advantage of the trip to hold an event in connection with the Southwest Coast Historical Society, and will speak at the Railway Heritage Museum in Port aux Basques Oct. 7 at 7 p.m. She’s hoping anyone with family stories or photos to share will attend.