Zombie Spaceship Wasteland: A Book by Patton Oswalt
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Now in paperback, from a “multi-faceted, medium-hopping, culture skewering performer” (SPIN), this is a journey through the world of Patton Oswalt, best known for his roles in film (Big Fan and Ratatouille) and television (The King of Queens and The United States of Tara), but also beloved for his ascerbic, highly eloquent, and wildly funny standup comedy.
Prepare yourself for a journey through the world of Patton Oswalt, one of the most creative, insightful, and hysterical voices on the entertainment scene today. Widely known for his roles in the films Big Fan and Ratatouille, as well as the television hit The King of Queens, Patton Oswalt—a staple of Comedy Central—has been amusing audiences for decades. Now, with Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, he offers a fascinating look into his most unusual, and lovable, mindscape.
Oswalt combines memoir with uproarious humor, from snow forts to Dungeons & Dragons to gifts from Grandma that had to be explained. He remembers his teen summers spent working in a movie Cineplex and his early years doing stand-up. Readers are also treated to several graphic elements, including a vampire tale for the rest of us and some greeting cards with a special touch. Then there’s the book’s centerpiece, which posits that before all young creative minds have anything to write about, they will home in on one of three story lines: zombies, spaceships, or wastelands.
Oswalt chose wastelands, and ever since he has been mining our society’s wasteland for perversion and excess, pop culture and fatty foods, indie rock and single-malt scotch. Zombie Spaceship Wasteland is an inventive account of the evolution of Patton Oswalt’s wildly insightful worldview, sure to indulge his legion of fans and lure many new admirers to his very entertaining “wasteland.”
Burbank, California—in the hot, yellow yolk of summer. July bakes the town like a corpse on desert asphalt. But it’s Burbank asphalt, which means there’s a Baskin-Robbins nearby. The first memory I can remember as a memory is of snow. Looking out through the balcony window of my family’s tiny Norfolk, Virginia, apartment in 1970 and seeing snow falling from the sky. Except that’s not how I saw it. My fresh-from-the-oven toddler’s eyes were fixed on the frame of the glass balcony door. And they
unpleasant. Cruel jokes, quick to anger, slow to calm—he was comfortable being everything that, in life, I wished I wasn’t. Even at my politest, with my braces and cystic acne and snowman torso, no one wanted anything to do with me. So I created a fantasy character who had the strength, speed, and guts to back up every awkward remark I spent my days apologizing for. My comfort during the loneliest days of my adolescence was happy nihilism, which carried an ebony sword. I left the hideous,
stood, in dragon-hide armor and a tattered cloak, holding Bloodgusher one-handed. The demon who ruled this hell plane—I forget his name— parlayed with Ulvaak, offering to send him back to the material plane of existence if he’d act as the demon’s messenger and assassin. Ulvaak served no man, monster, or demon. Knowing that slaying the demon lord would, in effect, destroy the hell plane he now stood on (it being a manifestation of the demon’s ambition and avarice), he slung Bloodgusher like a
The Road Warrior in 1981, the answer to that question decided our destinies. I know there have been a thousand parsings of the pop subculture—comic books, video games, horror movies, heavy metal, science fiction, Dungeons and Dragons. There are hundreds more categories. They can be laid out in overlapping Venn diagrams—a tub full of lonely bubbles. Burnouts who are into heavy metal got there through Dungeons and Dragons, maybe some glam rock, probably horror movies. Hard-core comic book readers
slid across the bar to me. He’s written: Did you here [sic] about the midget porno movie? It’s called Itty Bitty Gang Bang! Gary says, “That way, it feels more like I’m talking to them. Like Richard Pryor.” Gary kills. Kills. A star is born in front of twenty-one people in Surrey that night. He could not have more of an advantage. For one, the audience is so relieved when I finally finish my half hour, they greet Gary like a redemptive angel come to wash away the acidic taint of my comedy