About "The Average José"
In Canada’s 150th year, it is important to remember how we got here and pay tribute to the unsung heroes of our country. This is the story of my grandfather, José Pires, and his odyssey from the Azores Islands to Canada. Infused with legends of the Azores, the graphic novel The Average José: An Immigration Story, combines cartoon art, realistic sketches, and film photography to illustrate his journey to a new land with no money, no job, and no English language. Working across Canada on the Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway, José embodied an ideal that is hard to find in today’s generation: the idea that all you do is for future generations. Even more than that, it tells the story of a good, honest, loyal man who waited 20 months to see his wife again, the same wife he would tend to for years as she remained in chronic care. His name was José Pires, but everyone knew him simply as “Vavô.” Obrigado Vavô.