Interview with ‘Shrinkage’ Writer Rob Kutner

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By: Brandon Johnson
 
Rob Kutner is a former writer for The Daily Show, Dennis Miller Live and is a current writer for Conan. He has a new comic called Shrinkage.
 
SHRINKAGE is a one-of-a-kind tale about tiny aliens fighting shrunken-down humans inside the brain of the President of the United States. It’s like Fantastic Voyage meets Dr. Strangelove in The West Wing.
 

How long have you been interested in writing?

 
Far back enough to risk getting kicked out of class for scribbling Far Side-knockoff cartoons and Edgar Allan Poe-knockoff short stories. And yet my guidance counselor said I had “such potential”…
 

How was Comic-Con 2017 for you?

 
Great! Con-goers are so instantly enthusiastic about checking out new, way-out-there things, it’s like being in Bizarro Hollywood.
 

How is it writing for one of the biggest faces of Comic Con, Conan O’Brien?

 
Conan already has a nicely nerdy audience, but our SDCC shows allow us to laser in on their (and our) very favorite things. I’m speaking, of course, about moray eels.
 

What was the main reason you became a writer?

 
I feel like I’ve been one ever since I could scrawl my name with triangled Crayons; the trick was getting someone to pay me for it.
 

If you never became a writer, what other career path would you have chosen?

 
Well let’s see, I’ve got one decent kidney to spare, so that gets me about $100k in Shanghai…
 

What comics inspired you to create your new comic, Shrinkage?

 
Pretty much everything by Brian K Vaughan: the high-concept imagination of Y: The Last Man; how Ex Machina melded politics and hard sci-fi; the way Saga opened up the idea of a whole universe of weirdos relentlessly pursuing clashing agendas.
 

How was it working with inker John Lucas, who also worked such comics as Deadpool and X-Men?

 
A dream so good, I refuse to lift my head off the drool-soaked pillow. Our sensibilities were such an instant meld, I felt less and less need to describe anything over time; I knew he’d nail it.
 

For any aspiring writers out there, what words of encouragement do you have for them?

 
Identify the things you love and give them new life in new settings. For example: I’ve always adored George C. Scott’s character Buck Turgid in Dr. Strangelove, so I built an homage to him in Shrinkage’s Sturge McCrain.
 

What were some things you were nerdy about as a kid, like your favorite video game, action figure, TV show etc?

 
I grew up on D&D and Infocom text adventure games like Zork, but where I nerded out was in trying to create my own versions of both. I once made an RPG version of 1984 – alas, it turns out people aren’t into a game where you can roll a die for “sitting around, worrying.”
 

How easy or hard was it to create, write, and print this comic?

 
Hard. I couldn’t sell it to the majors because I was a comics nobody and it wasn’t a franchise. I crowdfunded it, and got amazing support from friends, family, fans of my writing credits and work online (My Twitter is @apocalypsehow) – but it’s still an uphill slog!
 

Anything else you would like to mention?

 
To me, making a comic book is like making a movie you can hold in your hands, and getting to hold mine makes me start to empathize a little with Gollum.
 
Purchase Shrinkage HERE – or individual issues digitally at ComiXology.


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