The first time I saw Cristina it was during the 90’s, I was watching the news at a bar and she was advertising a signing event with Jae Lee ( I hope I’m remembering this right) at her store, Metro Comics. I was young and didn’t have a car or the means to visit that store, but by the gods I couldn’t wait to visit it.
Fast forward a few years and I finally got to visit the store, it was a small place in the mall, it was cramped with books, comics, shirts and collectibles. It was difficult to walk around the store if there were more than 6 people inside and I was in love with the store, not because it had everything I wanted in a comic store, but because it felt like home and the reason for that was that “Hola” I got when I walked through that door.
For years I went every Friday to pick up my comics, we would always talk a little bit, about the books and writers I was into. Later on we talked about movies and occasionally the conversations were a bit personal. One of those conversation I mentioned I did art and tattoos and she aske to see my work sometime. I showed her my work and she said “If you ever make something let me know how I can help”.
It was at that store that I met people I admire like, Tom Beland, Kenneth Rocafort and Dan Didio. I got to meet a lot of local artist like Tico, Rosa y Carla from Soda Pop Comics, Franchy Morales among others. Artist that in some way or another have helped me and inspire me to be a better artist.
It was May 2015, FCBD (free comic book day), she knew my first book was about to be published so she invited me to be part of the event at her store. My first FCBD as a comic artist. Later that month the book was printed and got copies for the store and when the second vol. of the book came out she asked me to do a signing event at the store and we did and we had fun. My first signing event for my book (written by Anibal Delgado) was at Metro Comics, for me that was a dream come true.
After that I moved to FL and only saw her once a year at the PRCC convention. I have published 2 more books after that and she always got copies for the store.
Cristina always opened her doors for new local talent. Always supported them and always had words of encouragement. She always made me feel at home when I walk in the store. She owned this store for 28 years, a woman that owned a comic store in a male dominated industry in a small island in the Caribbean, talk about being a badass. The industry of comics, local comics in PR wouldn’t and won’t be the same anymore.
I will always remember Cristina for the kind person that she was and I will be forever grateful for helping me launch my comic book career and always supporting me.
Thank You Cristina.