Artist Snapshot: Aaron Brooks

Artist Snapshot: Aaron Brooks

Origin Story: All starts with my mom. She encouraged my creativity early on, looking the other way when I purchased Spawn and Sin City at nine years old, saying, "That's beautiful, sweety," as I showed her my latest homemade comic book cover: a demon getting its head blown off, its brains splattered on my obvious-rip-off-of-Marv's grizzled face. To her credit, she never once sent me to therapy.

In my early to mid-teens, I was lost in a world of bong tokes, keg stands and skipping school. I don't think I read a book or did homework until I was sixteen ... Around that time, my mom, being the adventure seeker she was, decided to try acting in her 40s. I followed her to an on-camera class, and fell in love with it, setting me on my path, first as an actor, then screenwriter, and now novelist. So ... mom.

Pipeline Accolades: Book Pipeline Unpublished Winner (Nocturnal Ink)


  • 2014 Leo Award Nomination for Best Actor: Bad City
  • ScriptShawdow 250 top 25: Lies, Blackmail and Other Egregious Behavior

On Being an Artist: Lately, I've been thinking about how lucky we are to be artists in the West. In other parts of the world, plying your trade can get your name on a hit-list. Badiucao, the Chinese artist who famously Winnie the Pooh'd Xi Jinping. The folks at Russia's NTV network that created the Putin Muppet in the 90s. Vladimir shut that down pretty quick. And, of course, Rushdie. They risk their lives for their art. Imagine if Colin Jost, or Michael Che, got sent to a gulag for something they said on "Weekend Update"? Black Widow would probably bust them outta there but ... anyway—I digress.

What I'm saying is: I don't want to be on anyone's hit-list, but I do want to piss off a lot of powerful folks. I think that's one of our jobs as artists. Delighting, while at the same time, enlightening. Side note: Colin Jost and Michael Che are the best "Weekend Update" duo in SNL history, am I right?

Fueled by: I'm a news junkie. I light up that joint of information, and it inspires me on the daily. And when I watch the news and smoke an actual joint? Watch out. I gotta give a lot of credit to "60 Minutes." At least three of my most ambitious projects have sprung from watching Cooper, Alfonsi, et al. If my ideas don't come from the news, they come from reading my favorite creatives. Martha Wells, Joe Abercrombie, Fonda Lee, Tarantino, Gillian Flynn, Alan Ball, Mike Shackle/Morris, William Gibson—I could go on. And sometimes I take from my real life. My deepest fears that make me uncomfortable as shit to write about—the "Lava" as Meg LeFauve (another amazing inspiration) calls it—and I use THAT. But, of course, funneling that Lava through a fantastical character.

Currently: I'm working on a Space Opera book series (first spark of the idea: 60-fucking-Minutes ya'll)—it's a secondary world space fantasy called: The Red Light System. Picture: Neil Armstrong-era astronauts landing in Westeros. Also about to go to work with my agent editing Nocturnal Ink, a psychological thriller with a supernatural twist.

Someday: As I said before, pissing off powerful people is at the top of the list. Having a well-attended funeral is another goal. And maybe someday act in a project that I wrote the novel/screenplay for. Oh, and dunk a B-ball on a hoop that's over eight feet.

My motto is: shoot for the stars, and hey, if you land on the moon, that ain't half bad. With the gravity up there, you can probably dunk a B-ball. Of course, you'd need to install a hoop. And like, a dome to house it. Basically, when I fail to get to the stars, I hope Elon has built us a lunar hotel.

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