Sunday, January 28, 2024

Q&A with Rob Kutner




Rob Kutner is the author of the new middle grade book Snot Goblins and Other Tasteless Tales. His other books include Apocalypse How, and he is also a TV comedy writer.


Q: What inspired you to write Snot Goblins and Other Tasteless Tales?


A: The illustrator David DeGrand and I had worked together at MAD Magazine and found ourselves sharing a very sympatico (i.e., sophomoric) sensibility.


He was approached to pitch a kids’ anthology book and loved horror and gross-out humor. He said the title “Snot Goblins” to me, and the ideas for all the other stories came out of that unholy melding of “AAAAH!” and “EWWW!"

Q: What do you think David DeGrand’s illustrations contributed to the book?


A: Um… everything? His style is so tactile and oozey, it makes all the gross stuff practically ooze out of the page.


And at the same time, his hilarious cartoon style makes it a “manageable” kind of gross, just distanced away enough to laugh and enjoy it without literally losing your lunch.

Q: As someone who writes for TV and writes books, how do the two coexist for you? Do you have a preference?


A: They are produced on such vastly different timelines, they might as well be in different dimensions for me. 


TV (especially late-night TV which I used to write for) is so immediate, your work sometimes goes out into the world the same day.


Book work is very intense but then goes away for long periods, and then drifts back in when you’re least expecting it — like the world’s slowest “jump scare.”


Each scratches completely different creative itches: Immediacy vs. enduringness.

Q: What do you hope kids take away from Snot Goblins?


A: Besides laughs and escapes from their day-to-day, I’ve tried to sneak in all kinds of fun, weird, and interesting things about our world that I hope pique their curiosity to explore more.


Alternatively, if it makes them lose their appetites, Snot Goblins could become an amazing weapon against childhood obesity!

Q: What are you working on now?


A: An animated movie, an adult animated series, and another kids’ graphic novel. But ask me again next week — it changes all the time!


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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