Review: Walking Distance by Lizzy Stewart

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Sometimes SAW gets comics in the mail. Some are to say thanks, some are to share all the work our students have done, other times its for review. We always read the comics we get, but we don’t always share them, so we wanted to start because they’re often pretty goddamn good! And that definitely goes for our first comic out of the gate, Walking Distance by London-based writer and illustrator Lizzy Stewart. 

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A slow, watery meditation on being a woman walking through the world, Walking Distance expresses a familiar sentiment of walking, observing the world and asking questions of herself and the things that pass by her. I only wish that I could have read this interior monologue in Stewart’s own handwriting. The rigid typed letters set alongside the gentle, expressive images, made the story feel more essay than visual and that felt like a disservice to the personal narrative that skates across polite thoughts on politics, to deeply personal admissions.

My favorite part places details of plants, cars, rooftops, the footpath against the vague understatements,

“Something about housing and how it is awful. 

Something about politics and how it is awful. 

Something about the patriarchy and how it is truly, fucking awful. 

How twitter makes me sad. 

How I can’t keep up with podcasts, or prestige television and waste time on the internet when I should be enjoying the world. 

A world that is heating up at a rate long-beyond really, very alarming. 

The NHS is being torn apart. 

Racism exists everywhere and it’s long past-due time to stop pretending otherwise. 

Transphobia denies the autonomy and self-knowledge of actual human beings who are simply trying to live. 

The Arts are being squeezed out of Education. 

Every woman I know has an experience of sexual harassment or assault. 

What will happen to the libraries?” 

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Stewart does more than the least in Walking Distance. Find out for yourself! The book is due for release through Avery Hill Publishing October 24, 2019. Support your local bookstore!

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