Saturday, July 19, 2008

Author Bio: Christopher Gutierrez - 2007

Though many are just discovering his work, Chicago native Christopher Gutierrez has been penning narratives for 12 years in his self-published fanzine, DeadxStop. Initially, the zine was little more than a forum to discuss and promote hardcore/punk bands, but as the years passed, the themes of love, loss, family and friendship became more prevalent and the zine more personal.

In 2003, Gutierrez took his do-it-yourself zine aesthetic to the Internet and began posting memoirs and opinions on his blog, "Askheychris." His unique voice, brutal honesty, sharp wit and endearing storytelling ability garnered instant readership. Continuous word of mouth expanded the blog to over 3,500 "friends" and countless unique anonymous visitors, making it one of the most widely read blogs on the popular site At the prompting (and petitioning) of readers, his vision of The DeadxStop Publishing Company expanded two years later with the release of his first book, a collection of memoirs and journal entries entitled On the Upswing of Life, Love and Regret. On the strength of a small, but loyal fanbase, the first pressing of 1100 sold out within six months. Word of mouth spread and landed Gutierrez a speaking engagement at Adams State College in Colorado, a sponsorship as in-house spoken word artist by on the Van's Warped Tour and a feature piece in the Chicago Reader.

November 2006 saw the release of his first spoken word CD, The Dirt of an Electric Boy. It is a 21-track collection of old journal entries and new statements on life in a decaying world. In the first week over one-third of the press was sold.

In early 2007, Gutierrez released Bulletproof Hearts: A Guide To A Deliberate Life, a minibook of self-penned words of wisdom, a precursor to the June 2007, release of his second book, A Life Deliberate, which has recently been re-released in a second pressing. In addition to releasing his second book, Gutierrez repackaged, reprinted, and re-released On The Upswing Of Life, Love, and Regret in a hard cover version which included additional stories and a Making Of CD.

With two books, a spoken word CD, and a successfully completed U.S. speaking tour under his belt, Gutierrez is poised to begin a second speaking tour across the U.S. this fall followed by speaking dates in Canada and the United Kingdom. 2007 certainly is shaping up to be an ambitious year for Gutierrez. Like always, integrity and passion will continue to outweigh the quest for money and status. And though his name is not on the top of the New York Times Best Seller List, if it ever ends up there, a punk rock, do-it-yourself ethic will be the reason.

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