cover image Middle Distance: A Graphic Memoir

Middle Distance: A Graphic Memoir

Mylo Choy. SelfMadeHero, $19.99 trade paper (152p) ISBN 978-1-914224-15-7

Nonbinary musician and cartoonist Choy debuts with a meditative graphic memoir detailing their practice of daily running. As a bookish sixth-grade loner in Wisconsin, Choy participated in their first race (“a required part of the public school curriculum”) and discovered a passion for the solitary sport: “I was in a cocoon of my own experience. I felt free. A way to be in my own world.” Though ostensibly a healthful activity, running also enables Choy to remain aloof from others, dodge general life issues (such as pubertal changes), and avoid being trouble to their parents—­unlike their brother, whose emotions fill the household as Choy tries to keep their feelings inside and quiet. After training for their first marathon at age 26, chronic knee pain derails Choy’s running for a few bereft years: “I’d put my faith in running, but running was gone.” Eventually, Choy finds that this temporary void allows them the freedom to grow in other ways. They begin a new practice­­­—honestly communicating inner thoughts and feelings first to themself and then to others—that finally integrates mind, body, and spirit. Choy’s emotionally direct narrative voice is well served by their clear page layouts and simple, high-contrast black-and-white line, which is somewhat reminiscent of Jennifer Camper’s. The result is a gently feel-good tale of self-empowerment. (Oct.)