Saturday, February 7, 2009

Cristy C. Road is CROADCORE: Questioning Gender Through Illustration and Writing

I first discovered Cristy C. Road way back in the summer of 2006 while leafing through a bunch of books, postcards and zines at The Trumbullplex in Detroit. I don't know if it was the super-relateable auto-bioesque prose or the detailed, thought-provoking artwork that caught my attention first, but after picking up GREENZINE 14, I was hooked and have been religiously following Cristy's ever since.

Cristy C. Road is a Cuban-American from Miami, Florida who has been drawing since she's been able to hold a pencil. She blends, "the inevitable existence of social principles, cultural identity, sexual identity, mental inadequacies, and dirty thoughts; thriving to testify the beauty of the imperfect." She attended Ringling School of Art and Design where she grew fervently upset with the commercial view and representation of the media's ideal women. In reaction to that she began writing, illustrating, and publishing GREENZINE at the age of 14 and kept it going for ten solid years. GREENZINE focused on "the politics of punk rock and honesty of adolescence," while also mixing in ideas of race, gender, and sexual liberation.

I just finished re-reading Cristy's coming-of-age illustrated memoir, INDESTRUCTIBLE, which I seem to be able to relate to more and more with every time I pick it up (this would have been my third time). Her flowing, descriptive prose alone can paint a vivid picture in the minds of any reader, but added with her killer, gritty artwork, the novel is an instant page turner. She gives a voice to every frustrated teenager, and a trip back down memory lane to any adult who has ever questioned their roles, or tried to defy the norms. The entire novel looks at gender bias and promotes all youth to question what is "acceptable." She reminds all women that they're still powerful and beautiful no matter how "different" they are.

Cristy's most recent work, BAD HABITS: A LOVE STORY, is another auto-biographical novel, but this time she's retelling how she overcame an abusive, manipulative relationship and her realization that self-love is the most important love you can find.

Her artwork alone would attract someone to pick up one of her books. DISTANCE MAKES THE HEART GROW SICK, a die-cut book of post cards features a whole slew of her best illustrations that you can rip out and share with your friends.

Though I don't know Cristy personally, I feel as if she's one of my closest, most inspirational friends. Her stories and artwork have not only inspired me, but also encouraged me to keep doing what I do, because no matter WHAT you do, or who you are, someone will always care, and someone will always feel exactly the same. Cristy reminds us we're never alone and that we should all continue to question our roles in society, otherwise nothing will change.
Ray Suburbia said it best, "So much of the world is bullshit. But yours doesn't have to be if you don't want it to. Cristy's writing reminds you of that."


  1. these pictures are great and the zine sounds fantastic. it conjures up the feminist graphic novel we read last semester

  2. If you ever want to borrow them, just let me know!
    I LOVE Alison Bechdel! Fun Home was so good. I'll probably write about her too at some point too.

  3. crustina! everytime i read your blog i am more and more inspired; i've always considered myself a feminist, as i believe any woman who believes in equality could say, but i have never been as creative with it as you are. it is so exciting to know someone in my own community who shares my opinions and i am ready to get out there and start being proactive in the feminist community. thanks! keep this up, please!

  4. Ahhhh! Thanks so much Claire! I really appreciate that. I'm glad to know that I'm inspiring someone else while I write these posts.

    ON A SIDE NOTE: Cristy C. Road read this post and loved it. She thought I nailed the description of "Bad Habits" and thinks I really understand the message she's trying to get across to her readers. *SWOOOON* !!!!