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Spit and Passion (Blindspot Graphics) Paperback – October 23, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Blindspot Graphics
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: The Feminist Press at CUNY; Gph edition (October 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558618074
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558618077
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #677,440 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Veteran punk writer and illustrator Road weaves text and art together in a charming and angst-ridden coming-of-age story. Cuban-American and raised in a traditional Catholic family, the preteen Road has a number of identity issues: she does not fit into her cultural mold, she finds salvation in punk rock, and she has a conflicted gender identity. Embracing her tomboy nature, Road begins to come to terms with herself as a gay woman, building a closet for her secret that becomes her refuge. Road's identification with her teenage self feels genuine, and her recollections of pop culture (both embraced and rejected) of the 1990s will strike nostalgic chords in readers of that generation. Road balances long sections of prose with pages dominated by art; her pencil and marker style, with images populated by strange and imperfect-looking characters, is well suited to her story, even if the ending doesn't entirely solve her identity issues. Grotesque images of dangling eyeballs and gushing brains reflect the alternative scene the young Road has discovered. Readers who enjoyed Alison Bechdel's Fun Home will probably empathize with Road's story of sexual exploration and punk rock. (Nov.)

From Booklist

As a 12-year-old in Florida, Road felt a constant call to hone her identity: gay, Cuban American, gender queer (although the term wasn’t 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 through 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 tight narrative 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 Schrag or Alison Bechdel, as well as for readers of queer literature who haven’t yet experienced a serious graphic novel. --Francisca Goldsmith

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I've always known Cristy Road to be a multidimensional artist, playing in bands, writing and publishing zines, and producing amazing artwork. I even commissioned her to do the cover of a one-issue zine I did years ago. However, other than knowing she's a bit of an icon in the queer punk community, and must be a big Green Day fan based on her nom de plume, I didn't really know anything about her. This short-but-striking memoir of her life at ages 11-13 chronicles not only her home and school life, but her raging inner turmoil as she tries to work out her identity.

It's a classic story of a kid from a loving, but somewhat repressive cultural context -- she grew up in a Cuban-American family in Florida with traditional Catholic attitudes toward homosexuality. School life is no better, as the misery of middle school in the early 1990s (cruel girls, idiotic boys, hormones everywhere) is further complicated by her inner sense of being different. Like so many alienated kids, Road finds consolation and connection in music -- in her case, the pop-punk of a Green Day tape loaned to her by another outsider at school.

As someone who both also found connection through punk (in my case The Clash), and bought Green Day's debut EP, 1,000 Hours, when I was still in high school in 1989, I can completely understand the depth of her passion for her new discovery. So, even though I'm a middle-aged straight white guy and didn't face her agonies about sexual identity and otherness, her memoir still strikes a chord. And of course, her trademark illustrations and text is amazing as always. She's got such a bold, confident and distinctive style -- here sometimes deployed in ways that are more imaginative and grotesque than usual. Highly recommended for teens and tweens everywhere who don't feel like they belong.
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Format: Paperback
I don't usually like graphic novels--but I'm glad that I took a chance with this one! This memoir is an amazingly rendered, spot-on story of what it's like to grow up feeling like an outsider and then have your whole life be turned around by the discovery of a favorite band. There's too few books out there that handle both music/nostalgia and also real issues with any kind of depth or integrity, and this book succeeds.
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Format: Paperback
Road's drawings are incredible and this memoir is such a sweet gift for anyone who has ever felt like a weirdo or an outsider. I highly recommend it!
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