The Missing Junot Díaz Bits and Pieces

Perhaps you’ve already watched our interview with Junot Díaz. (If not, we’ve embedded it below the cut.)  And if you are a comics aficionado, here are a few ultra-geeky tidbits that didn’t make it into the final cut (we have to keep things accessible for everyone else, after all):

* Díaz isn’t reading that many superhero books anymore, but the one creator in that vein who keeps capturing his attention is none other than shock-cynic extraordinaire Mark Millar. He especially enjoyed the first two issues of Nemesis, Millar’s horrifying tale of a Batman analogue who just wants to terrorize people.

* He’s (unsurprisingly) a longtime Alan Moore devotee, and read Watchmen as it came out in single issues, back in the mid-80s. For him and his friends, the series, as he put it, “blew our fucking minds.” He’s also a huge fan of Moore’s Jack the Ripper epic, From Hell, saying it’s a triumph of feminist fiction for its analysis of how the rise of sensationalist journalism was hopelessly intertwined with misogynist gawking at violence toward women.

* He doesn’t worry about alienating people with nerdy references in his work. “I’m a Dominican writer who writes about people in Santo Domingo and New Jersey,” he said. “In many people’s minds, I’m already in the nichest niche of nichedom. So it doesn’t make any difference if I throw in a couple of references to Galactus.”

* He could barely find anything to buy at the store. Why? He goes to a comics store every single Wednesday to get all the new issues he wants. He already had everything he needed. The guy is the real deal.

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