The Marvel Life: Patton Oswalt

The Marvel Life: Patton Oswalt

Patton Oswalt photo by Ryan Russell

By Blake Garris
For a man that needs no introduction, we’re going to give him one anyway.

You probably know him best from his hugely successful comedy albums, his memorable appearances on late night talk shows and his roles in projects like “Ratatouille,” “Big Fan,” and “The King Of Queens “just to name a few. He’s Patton Oswalt and in between his busy schedule doing stand up, promoting his albums and acting in numerous TV and film roles, he took the time and speak with us about comics, writers, and why he’d like to be Foggy Nelson.

NOTE: This interview took place in fall 2011 Who is your favorite Marvel character?

Patton Oswalt: I have too many to name. I mean, I’ve always liked the idea of Spider-Man. You know, the fact of getting power gets you responsibility. Like that was the first time that they really, really embraced that.

John Garrett from ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN is a favorite of mine. He's pretty awesome. I don't really think the character matters as it matters so much the writer who is doing it. Great characters can be done horribly depending on whose writing them. What are you reading right now that you're really into?

Patton Oswalt: Anything that Jonathan Hickman's doing right now is pretty great; all of Matt Fraction's stuff with CASANOVA and INVINCIBLE IRON MAN.

Invincible Iron Man You love some specific comic shops. Would you want to name any of those that you like to go to?

Patton Oswalt: Oh God, Austin Books & Comics is pretty great. Forbidden Planet in New York is terrific. The House of Secrets in Burbank. Comics Ink down in Culver City is pretty great. Golden Apple, I know it's an oldie but a goody; it’s great, Golden Apple. Nothing wrong with it. Secret Headquarters in Silver Lake is great, places like that.

I mean, sometimes I do a lot of traveling so I'm just kind of at the mercy of whatever local store I'm in. Comix Experience in San Francisco is great; Quimby's in Chicago. So yeah, places like that. I was wondering if you ever had any storylines for Marvel characters that you thought about doing.

Patton Oswalt: Off the top of my head, none have really come to mind right now. I would want to do something smaller and self contained like a Daredevil or a Moon Knight or somebody like that. I'm not too good with like massively cosmically powered figures. I actually had a Ghost Rider idea a few years back but something to do with Ghost Rider now is too close to the idea that I had. So that didn't quite work. What character would you want to play if you ever got to play a Marvel character?

Patton Oswalt: A Marvel character? Foggy Nelson would be fun. It's a guy trying to talk sense into an obsessed blind criminal. I'm not really in shape to play any Marvel characters. I don't think anyone would buy me playing any Marvel characters.

Elektra: Assassin Do you have any specific runs you love from the past and even today?
Patton Oswalt: [“Born Again” from DAREDEVIL] is brilliant. ELEKTRA: ASSASSIN is one of the best comics I've ever read. Any illustrators that you like?

Patton Oswalt: I don't really follow art; it's just the writers. Art has always been kind of indifferent to me. I know that's kind of a sacrilegious thing to say. Except for in extreme cases like Guy Davis and [Bill] Sienkiewicz. And [Jim] Steranko’s stuff was always pretty amazing. Any recent Marvel movies you've seen that you've liked?

Patton Oswalt: Well the first two X-Men, the first two Spider-Man [movies] were some of the best super hero movies ever made. “Punisher: War Zone.” The first “Blade” was amazing. I thought “Captain America: The First Avenger” and “X-Men: First Class” were both fantastic. They really put the lie to this whole idea that studios had that "kids wanna see stuff that takes place today." It's like “no they want to see good stories, man.” That's all they want to see. You had an album come out recently. Anything you want to say about that?

Patton Oswalt: It's my fourth one and I'm very happy with it. I had a lot of fun doing it and it feels good now that I can do theaters and people are coming to see me, which kind of makes me want to work a little harder and step up and not give them what they think they're expecting and take them in different directions. And I hope that people think that I did that on this new album. So far the reviews have been really good so it's gratifying to do something that you really like and had fun doing and people seem to like it so that to me is always an A plus.

Patton Oswalt photo by Ryan Russell What other things do you geek out over besides comics and movies?

Patton Oswalt: It's not like I'm a slave to any genre; anything that's good. I mean that can be a restaurant, a film, a landscape, a book. I guess the term “geeking out” is just you appreciate that something good exists, you know? I just geek out when the folly is there, when the essence is there, when the joy and the creating is there rather than the joy in getting the awards and accolades. And it's hard to describe, but you know it when you see it. Anything else you want to talk about right now?

Patton Oswalt: Well I'm looking out the window of my car right now and a leaf just fell off of a tree onto the street and now the leaf is on the street. You said talk about anything you want to talk about.

For more information on Patton Oswalt’s albums, upcoming shows, and appearances you can visit his website at You can also follow him on Twitter @pattonoswalt.

Filed under: Comics


No Comments »

Leave a Reply

Back to Top