AFTER ELLEN Women to Watch 2008
Cristy C. Road: Graphic Novelist/Artist
Artist Cristy Road has been “working” since 1995 when she was self-publishing a Green Day fanzine and creating flyers and posters for bands she knew in Miami. It wasn’t until 2001, though, that she started getting paid to design for publications such as Bitch, Bust, Spread, Maximumrocknroll, Razorcake and Jane.
“It’s always felt pretty professional,” Road said of her work, which now includes three graphic novels, Indestructible, Distance Makes the Heart Grow Sick and her upcoming October release, Bad Habits: A Love Story (Soft Skull Press). All three books are very personal pieces of work, as most of her art tends to be, and topics she touches on more often than not are feminism, sexuality and race (Road is Cuban American).
“My individual illustrations/paintings are typically autobiographical, unless they’re commissions,” Road said. “Although, in the end — since it is visual art — it’s inevitably personal, so a lot of it ends up being autobiographical whether I choose to or not.”
Some of Road’s work can be seen on record covers for punk bands like Screeching Weasel and Teenage Bottlerocket, and she’s also designed for political organizations such as CIW and INCITE! But Road says finishing Bad Habits has been her biggest accomplishment to date, and it will most likely be what gives her more notoriety as a writer and artist of her own merit. She also hopes to return to the road with Sister Spit, Michelle Tea’s traveling tour of queer women in art, poetry, literature and music, which she traveled with in 2007.
“[I just want] to keep doing what I’m doing without engaging in any drastic changes,” Road said. “By drastic changes I mean the selling of my soul to a design firm. I’m sort of broke, but it’s totally OK.”