Oscar Wao



“Of what import are brief, nameless lives… to Galactus??” is the quote that opens the story in  The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz. And when a book without pictures starts off with a quote from Galactus I assume it’s worth reading. So I did. And in this case I certainly wasn’t wrong.

It’s dark, hilarious, informative, heartbreaking and super nerdy. There are quite a few references inside to comics and movies that can be found in any good nerd’s possession… but not just for the sake of hat tipping. Everything ties somehow into the story of Oscar and his family. Even the opening quote could have easily been attributed to the book’s villain (real life former ruler of the Dominican Republic Rafael Trujillo) if you swapped his name for Galactus’s.

This book made me laugh but it also punched me in the gut. More than once. It’s awesome. Read it.



    • Jeff on December 21, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Another great drawing, Jason. They all are. Unfortunately, I never learned to read or write since I fear an education might make me an interesting person. So, since I’ll probably never read the book in question, would you mind explaining your piece? Is that a portrait of the the author or his character or someone else? Is that a sharp instrument protruding from the happy face’s eye? If so, why? Like your taste in socks, this is a disconcerting mystery.

    • jason on December 21, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    That is a portrait of the main character Oscar (at least as I imagine him from the description the author gave… this is one of those books without pictures that I usually avoid).

    The smiley face is a Watchmen poster hanging on his wall. There are a couple of references to Oscar reading Watchmen so I made the leap that he may have a poster as well.

    Also, the round image in the poster represents young overweight Oscar and the slim books on the right represent what he becomes toward the end of the book when he takes up exercising.

    I figured I’d go ahead and spill that metaphor since it’s not something even those who’ve read the book might “see” in the drawing. I don’t think I would if I hadn’t been the one to draw it.

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