Bad Habits is the mostly-autobiographical story of Road’s personal revolution.
Growing up Cuban in West Miami, the protagonist clashes with the confining and repressive aspects of that culture, and, like countless other young people, leaves for New York as soon as she’s able. Landing in Brooklyn, she moves into a house full of wild characters, and enters an underground scene that few ever see. Of her new family, she writes, “We were the things that went bump, crack, and hump in the night.”
In Bad Habits, Road takes us on an uncensored tour of her world- dingy dive bars, drugs in dark bathrooms, and long nights in strange beds. Her street-psychopharmacology results in experiences that are both revelatory and tragic. In her circle, drugs are cheap, ubiquitous, and they sometimes feel like the only way out.
Writing in a tradition of transgressive authors—mostly male like Genet, Bukowski, Selby, Rechy, but also female like Kathy Acker and Eileen Myles—Road takes us deep inside the damaged soul and psyche of her young protagonist with a crushing language, violent as the street: “According to the law, I’m just some bipolar junky who happened to have been sexually assaulted once or twice, and later mind-fucked by some crass romantic I shouldn’t have trusted anyway.”
But our heroine learns to leave her bad habits behind and emerge stronger and more independent, clean and open to love. Still punk, but punk by her own rules – she finds that life can be much more than mere survival.
Cristy C. Road attended the Ringling School of Art and received a bachelor’s degree in illustration. She began writing and drawing fanzines (including Greenzine) in 1994, at which time her art and writing were devoted to the punk rock subculture. She continued to write Greenzine for ten years, toured with punk rock bands, and documented her nomadic existence—analyzing it through political lens. At this time, Cristy Road’s work focused on issues of sexuality, race, and gender, and she began to contribute her work to radical causes and groups working toward social justice [CIW, Incite!, NACLA, The Icarus Project]. She has worked in independent publishing as a zine writer and spent many years attending zine conferences, tabling, and presenting. In 2004, the year she stopped publishing Greenzine, she released Indestructible (Microcosm Publishing), an illustrated memoir about being a queer, Latin, punk rock teenage girl in Miami, FL.
She works as a freelance illustrator as well as a writer, and over the past two years has given readings and showings of her art throughout the country at various events including a national tour with Sister Spit in Spring of ’07.
Paper | 6″ x 8.5″ | 224 pgs. | ISBN: 1-59376-215-1 | List: $14.95 | 10/1/2008