In the Blog
Letters Lived Contributor: Cristy C. Road
Illustration: Erin McPhee
Cristy C. Road is a Cuban-American illustrator, writer, and member of The Homewreckers, a queer-core punk rock band that aims to simultaneously demystify the punk scene and smash patriarchy.
Road first publicly shared her written work and illustations in 1997 with the creation of GREEN’ZINE, a fanzine in devotion to Green Day that she independently published for ten years. In her contribution to Letters Lived: Radical Reflections, Revolutionary Paths, Road talks about her secret queerness, the importance of sexual liberation, and the gender disparities in the punk scene. She grappled with these issues in her youth and Green Day became an expressive outlet for the things she did not yet have the strength to say.
“There’s more to be said about your biggest obstacle, though: that degrading wall between your body and yourself. Despite your knack of pulling out a self-righteous and angry girl from your soul, I ask that you try to ignore the punk community’s attack on sexuality and promiscuity. It is poisonous. It is a straight, male-dominated world, and, as radical as punk may be, the word ‘slut’ is still used in a way that is unfair and wrong. It has silenced us for way too long. And, unless we reclaim it, it will continue to deny us our own bodily needs and functions.”
Road has released four books since her first zine. A connecting thread between her published work is the presence of revelatory, beautifully imperfect artwork and a very personal writing style. Her preferred tools for illustrations include ink pens, sharpies, markers, acrylic paint, and Photoshop.
Road’s first illustrated story was released in 2006. Indestructable is a story about her experience as a Latina queer punk rocker in Miami, Florida in the mid-90s, Road tackles themes of class, gender, sexuality, depression, and death. Distance Makes the Heart Grow Sick is a collection of postcards featuring Road’s art from 2001-2007. In 2008 she released Bad Habits, a semi-autobiographical illustrated narrative about healing from an abusive relationship and reconnecting with one’s body. Road’s latest release is a graphic memoir about her formative teen years titled Spit and Passion. You’ll likely recognize Road’s artwork featured in magazines, anthologies, concert posters, record album art, and political organizations.
Aside from illustrations, Road is also committed to organizing and social justice — performing lectures and workshops of her work and politics at universities and organizations like The Latina Health Summit.
Road is currently busy working with her punk rock band on their first full-length album.