SELECT REVIEWS OF SPIT AND PASSION (2012-2013)
“What I plan to give out in bulk for the holidays,” [Junot Diaz] wrote, “is the National Book Award finalist Tim Seibles’s latest collection of poems, ‘Fast Animal.’ Really among the best damn books I’ve read these last 17 years as a published writer. ‘We have traveled so much / for the territory between us / and still there is a long, long way. / Is this what love is?’ Just extraordinary.” For himself, [Junot] Díaz said, “what I’m hoping will appear under my tree these holidays is Cristy C. Road’s ‘Spit and Passion,’ a graphic-novel memoir about her Cuban, queer, punk, Green Day-obsessed youth. I recently saw some pages and this young sister just blew me away with line and word.”
--From Inside The List, New York Times, 2012
"At Age 10, Cristina is drawn to daring songs and women dancing. Recognizing her emerging gay self, she says she "tried to pretend everyone on earth was gay," byt kept it to herself within her warm Cuban Catholic family. Over the next two years, she develops a rich inner life, drawing support from the punk rock music of Green Day, and gay-positive celebrities such as Roseanne Barr and Ellen Degeneres. She feels safe in her closet for the time being, as "sometimes the doorways felt like pillars, the clothing on the racks like tropical foliage, abd the ground like the ocean." The book is more prose-illustration hybrid than comics, since Road's long and fascinating monologues of intellectual post-processing about sexual identity intercut the art. VERDICT - The queer Latina experience is underdocumented in general and especially in comics. Freelance illustrator Road excels with portraiture of the transgressive fringe. Her quirky, evocative drawings, black and white with tan wash, seem almost like brain-captures depicting memories of people and feelings. Good for teen collections where gay-dentity material is acceptial for this age group. Road includes F-bombs and mention of masturbation but nothing explicit."
--Library Journal, January 2013
"As a 12-year-old in Florida, Road felt a constant call to hone her identity, gay, Cuban-American, gender queer (although the term wasnt then in her vocabulary), member of a loving and female-dominated household, miserable middle-schooler, and Green Day devotee. Her smarts and imagination allowed her to balance all those things by playing them off of each other though fantasies, fan letters to Billie Joe Armstrong, and the discovery that the school counselor could help her feel better about herself. In this passionate account of self-revelation, Road flashes her talents as a cartoonist and symbolist to portray herself slouching down the school hallway in gender-neutral punk clothing and tearing her eyeballs out and strangling them when overwhelmed. The night narraitbe is depicted in loose yet detailed black and white art, which evokes a child who is not so much confused as provoked by others' confusion. A brave crossover book for fans of Ariel Shrag or Alison Bechdel, as well as for readers of queer literature who havent yet experienced a serious graphic novel."
--Booklist, January 2013