Q&A with Patton Oswalt

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The comedian-actor-screenwriter's new book, Zombie Spaceship Wasteland, could be described, fittingly, as an essay--poem--graphic novel--comedy memoir. He talked to TIME about writing, movies and fatherhood.

What's the meaning of the title?

Based on my own experience, when you're going through adolescence, you don't know how the world works. You can't set a story in the world you live in, because you don't know what a utility bill is or how to budget your paycheck. So you either set it in a zombie apocalypse, a wasteland or a spaceship. I think which one you choose decides the adult you become.

One of the chapters is a list of punch-up notes for what seems to be the most ridiculous and obscene movie ever made.

I've had consultancies at a couple of big movie studios where you go in and you punch up movies and do rewrites, and I'd get notes from directors and studio heads. If you only had the notes and not the script or the movie, you would imagine the most insane piece of art--just based on notes like, "When her pants catch on fire, she should already have jumped off the motorcycle and be chasing after the pig."

A lot of your earlier comedy mocked parents, but now you are one. Will you let your daughter read this book?

She's only 20 months old. But, of course. I would let her read any book she wants to read. I would probably let her watch any TV show or video game. I would let her watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians as long as I could talk to her for 15 minutes after and go, "You realize those people are horrible, O.K.? Just please don't act like that."