Hi, I'm Max Brooks. You probably know me from my books World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide, but I’ve been working on a new project that I’d love to tell to you about—THE HARLEM HELLFIGHTERS.

Check out MaxBrooksBooks.com for a peak at some of the interior pages and to preorder a copy. It comes out next Tuesday (April 1).

Ask me anything!

Proof: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMaxBrooks/posts/10202841381829215?stream_ref=10

Comments: 1041 • Responses: 73  • Date: 

anriarer948 karma

Hi Mr. Brooks! I'm a big fan of your work and the genre in general.

Can you explain what happened with the movie adaptation of World War Z? It deviated so far from the source material in just about every conceivable way, it's hard to believe that they have the same title. How much input did you have? What do you think of the final film? Would you ever want a different team to "try again" and stay closer to what you wrote?

IamMaxBrooks1530 karma


 I wish I had a succinct, witty answer for the long, complex process that was "World War Z: The Movie". I can tell you that I didn't have much involvement in the making of that movie.  I didn't even know what they were doing until I finally saw the movie. Basically, I took a risk letting Hollywood try to adapt my book. It's a risk I don't regret. As Captain Kirk once said "Risk is our business". Ironically, the fact that it was SO different my book was exactly what allowed me to emotionally divorce myself from the final product. I didn't have to watch my characters be mutilated or my story be perverted. As I've said many times, they didn't ruin my book, they ignored it. The silver lining was that I had could just sit back, breathe easy, and enjoy this fun, exciting "28 Days Later on crack" movie that just happened to have the same title as my book. As to your next question, do I wish that a different team would come in and give it another try? Honestly, when it comes to Hollywood, I try really... really hard to manage my expectations. 

nailbiter111621 karma

Have you thought about writing another novel under the pseudonym, Minimum Brooks?

IamMaxBrooks1710 karma

Sounds like a pornstar with low self esteem.

Aking512407 karma

After reading your books like World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide, I only have one question; how did you transition from writing on jokes on Saturday Night Live to horror?

IamMaxBrooks1661 karma

Well let me see. I think my transition away from writing jokes for Saturday Night Live would have be the moment when they fired me.

dreamshoes385 karma

Mr. Brooks,

  1. Do you feel at all responsible for the massive explosion of zombie fiction over the last decade? Because I think you should.

  2. My favorite element of World War Z has got to be the "Road to New York" campaign, which involved an unbroken line of soldiers spanning the entire continental United States, slowly combing through the landscape and shooting every last zombie. It's so absurd, and yet so practical. How did you come up with this idea, and was there any real-world basis for such a strategy?

Also, kudos to you on all of your clever WWZ-isms, like the "Lobo" and "LaMOE," and thanks for the great read! I eagerly await the Harlem Hellfighters graphic novel...

IamMaxBrooks453 karma


  1. I'm not sure if I feel responsible. That's for other people to decide. It'd be cool if I've contributed to the genre. I could live with that.

  2. The road to New York. I wish I could say I just thought it all up, but that section was just based on so many of the real wars we as humans have fought. We're attacked, we fall back, and slowly, painfully, we reclaim lost territory.

IamMaxBrooks383 karma

Hey Everyone, I'm sorry but I gotta jump off. My son's spring break is tomorrow so I gotta get home and start packing. Thank you all so much for taking the time to write to me and I'm really sorry I didn't have to answer all of them. My book tour and con dates should be on my website so hopefully we'll get a chance to meet face to face and I can answer your questions then. Again, thank you all for stopping by and I hope you enjoy "The Harlem Hellfighters".


allenahansen374 karma

Probably not too many redditors know that your parents are Mel Brooks and the late Great Anne Bancroft. Did you run your manuscripts by your father for comment, and if so, did you experience any inner terror before you did?

Edit: Thank you, generous anonymous redditor, for the gold and the factoid that accompanied it:

In the Aztec language, the name for gold is "teocuitlatl", which means "excrement of the gods".

IamMaxBrooks420 karma

My dad and I are very different animals. He's a comedian first and foremost. He's also a creature of collaboration. I'm very solitary so we don't have that much in common. Ironically, he has a better working relationship with my wife who is a playwright. They have a lot more in common.

PoemanBird324 karma

If you were faced with the zombie apocalypse from WWZ, what would your plan of action be?

IamMaxBrooks973 karma

You mean my awesome super secret plan? Good question. Next question?

testnameplzignore241 karma

Your mother was a damn fine actress and a loss. Please accept my condolences

IamMaxBrooks208 karma

Thank you.

nailbiter111235 karma

Do you find Brad Pitt attractive?

IamMaxBrooks1195 karma

Depends on what you mean by attractive. As a heterosexual man, I've never had carnal fantasies about him... but I do confess that it would be nice once in a while to come downstairs into the kitchen to find him making pancakes for my family.

Smunny223 karma

Were you ever on the set of Spaceballs? If so, how cool was John Candy?

IamMaxBrooks646 karma

I was actually on the set and I will say that John Candy was a very sweet man. He is very missed. As I write this, my arse is comfortably seated on a chair from the original battle bridge of Spaceball 1.

iamaAMAfan193 karma

Hello Mr. Brooks!

I greatly enjoyed reading your books. The Zombie Survival Guide inspired me to begin writing my own novel. Do you have any advice for an aspiring writer?

IamMaxBrooks578 karma

Don't aspire. Just write! Take it in drafts and don't expect your first draft to be good. Just use it to write "The End" and spend the next drafts editing. Don't be afraid to self publish. There is no shame in anymore. Everyone is self publishing nowadays and I hear Amazon might actually help you do it. Last but not least, don't read reviews and don't google yourself! As my friend Frank Darabont says "Looking for love on the internet is like Janet Leigh asking Norman Bates if he likes her body."

tacommently177 karma

What is your favorite TV series and why is it The Walking Dead?

IamMaxBrooks446 karma

I love The Walking Dead... until AMC fired the show's creator, Frank Darabont. I haven't watched since.

DovakiinBF3FTW169 karma

Hello Mr.Brooks! I have two questions.

1 Will there be a sequel to World War Z?


2 What would you do if you were infected by Zack?

IamMaxBrooks304 karma

  1. Yes, there will be another WWZ movie sequel. I'm not sure if I'll be involved though. After all, they created such a different world from my book, I'm not sure how much I can contribute.

  2. If I were infected by Zack... let's just say that I probably deserved it!

troller8168 karma

Hey Max , I just finished World War Z literally this morning and I just wanted to ask you (if you still remember them) which was your favorite story in the book.

IamMaxBrooks383 karma

I don't really have a favorite story. It's like choosing among your children (although I only have one so that metaphor might not work). I will say that I like the big picture stories. That's why I wrote the book in the first place. I like answering my own questions about how the economy and the army would be organized. That gets my nerd gears turning.

Nimble607159 karma

Hello Mr. Brooks

I recently found out you are the son of Mel Brooks. How was you life growing up with him and what is your relationship like now?

IamMaxBrooks397 karma

that's a hard one to answer. I don't really have a frame of reference. I can tell you that, until I got older and went out into the world, I thought everyone was that funny.

infiniteloooop126 karma

Hey Max! World War Z is one of my favorite books for its insane amount of detail on the events of a zombie apocalypse (and I LOVED the audiobook, too!). I'm sure you've been asked already on how you felt about the movie, so let me go a different route:

What would your ideal representation of your novel be if you could have it any way? (TV series, anyone?)

(Few more!) What is your favorite aspect about the idea of a zombie apocalypse? Do you think it possible for one to ever happen?

Thanks, Max! Also, I got an AR copy of Harlem Hellfighters from my work the other day, cannot wait to read it!

IamMaxBrooks183 karma


My idea representation of my novel is a hard question because, honestly, I didn't think about it as a movie when I wrote it. It's the polar opposite of "The Harlem Hellfighters" that I initially wrote as a screenplay and decided to switch to graphic novel format after being told so many times how it was just 'not bankable'.

As far as 'favorite' aspect of a zombie apocalypse... hmmm... that part where it never happens?

whoa_yall107 karma

First things first: thank you for being the only author I can get my boyfriend to read. Two Questions:

One- How do you feel about the growing popularity of the zombie genre in general?

Two (per my boyfriend)- what is your favorite movie?

IamMaxBrooks219 karma

First things first, you're welcome! Anything that gets anyone reading is a good thing (and as someone who has severe dyslexia, I know how hard reading can be). I'm not sure how I feel about the popularity of zombies. On the one hand I feel that there a lot of money grubbing bandwagon jumpers who are diluting the genre, but on the other hand, there are some amazing authors and thinkers that are raising it to new levels. The fact that the CDC created a zombie plan in order to get young people prepping for a real quarantine is a stroke of pure genius.

kumbricia99 karma

Hi Max,

Where is your favorite spot to write? Do you have any routine rituals that you stick with? I love your work and just want to say keep up the good work. :)

IamMaxBrooks262 karma

I write every day. I keep pretty regular hours. I drop my boy off at school then go to... yes, my dad's house. He's 88 and lived alone since my mom died. I've turned his attic into an office so I can keep an eye on him before he goes to work. You might say my son and my dad pretty much control my work schedule.

nailbiter11193 karma

Do you wish they had kept the Russian scenes? Did you get to see a cut with the Russian scenes?

IamMaxBrooks435 karma

I have yet to see the Russian scenes. Do they show an illegal seizure of the Crimea?

IamMaxBrooks157 karma

I never saw the Russian scenes in the movie. Do they show an illegal land grab in the Crimea?

Davud77787 karma

Hi Max, loved World War Z.

Do you think that the movie portrayal did the book justice? Or would you rather have left the story as a book and not have the movie made?


IamMaxBrooks253 karma

I've actually struggled with that question. Would it have been better to just leave the book alone? I'd have to say no, and I base that on something Stephen King wrote to me through our mutual friend, Frank Darabont. He said that no matter what the movie turns out to be (and he should know a thing or two about that!), it will bring attention to the book. That was solid advice and I'll always be grateful to him for that.

CinnamonMuff82 karma

Hey Max, What made you choose Dachshunds in World War Z, out of all other dogs? Thanks for doing this AMA!

IamMaxBrooks142 karma

They actually make perfect sense. They are super smart, have a keen hunting instinct and are supremely comfortable in tight spaces. If you can breed them shorter and do away with all the genetic back problems, they make perfect little war dogs.

iwillcallyoudude79 karma

What movie/book/tv series kicked off your love of zombies?

Also, I am getting low on books, what other zombie fiction have you read and recommend?

IamMaxBrooks185 karma

I cannot praise the original "Dawn of the Dead" enough. It's easily the greatest zombie movie ever made. The Honorable George A. Romero really took his generation to task. That movie completely exposes the short sighted, suicidal greed of his generation, the Baby Boomers.

IamMaxBrooks156 karma

Watch the original "Dawn of the Dead", the one from the 1970s. It set the stage for all zombie adventure stories since. It's also an amazing piece of social commentary. Nothing exposes the greed and short term suicidal thinking of the baby boom generation like that movie!

Kknowsbest79 karma

What is the best advice ever given to you?

IamMaxBrooks312 karma

Depends on who's giving it and what is the context. My mentor, Alan Alda once told me "Anyone can write but a real writer rewrites." My mother once told me "Love the work and leave the end result to fate." And my dad told me "Hey, you should have a lot of girlfriends... but just don't any of them pregnant."

thunderbuns277 karma

Max, I Absolutely loved WWZ and the Zombie Survival Guide. Zombie Survival is probably the most discussed thing between my friends and I at a bar. We break out the survival guide like folks break out the bible during a bible study. Keep on doing what you're doing. Also... tell your dad that he is one of the funniest people on the planet and no matter how shitty of a day I have had i can be cheered up by hearing the words "Where are the white women at?!"

IamMaxBrooks72 karma

Thanks for the compliment and if my dad is having a shitty day, that comment from you will lift him up.

fuzzypandabuttmunch71 karma

What's your stance on the walking vs running zombies debate that divide most of the genre's fans? The Zombie Survival Guide and WWZ appear to be advocates of the former, so I'm wondering if you just happen to see more appeal in the shambling as opposed to 'HOLY CRAP, THEY'RE SPRINTING RIGHT BEYOND ME AND I'M A FAT FUCK WITH NO STAMINA' version of horror.

TL;DR: Should zombies run? Why/why not?

IamMaxBrooks168 karma

I'm a slow zombie guy. I've always been a slow zombie guy. I know I'm in the minority and I know a lot of people think slow zombies are boring but, to me, that slow creeping dread is just scarier.

foreverfalln70 karma

Hey Mr. Brooks!

Just want to say quickly that World War Z was one of the few novels I have read in my life where I picked it up and did not put it down until finished. It was gripping and just an amazing piece of writing. Thank you for it.


Since you played a large part in the revival of the public's obsession with Zombies and the undead do you think our love of the brain eater's will decline anytime soon or is there more undead Apocalypse fun to be had and stories to tell?

PS I love your dad, amazing man, send him our love!

IamMaxBrooks146 karma

I might be wrong (because I often am) but I suspect that our interest in zombies might wane as the world 'gets back to normal'. We've been living in a time of upheaval and anxiety not seen since the 1960s-70s. It's a crazy time. People are scared. They need a place to channel their apocalyptic anxieties. Zombie stories are perfect because they are real enough to scare us, but not real enough to keep us from sleeping at night. I think when the world calms down, as it did in the late 1980s-1990s, people might want to move on from thinking about the end of the world.

P.S. I'll tell my dad tonight at dinner. That'll make his night.

nailbiter11162 karma

Do you wish they used practical zombies instead of CGI zombies?

IamMaxBrooks215 karma

Given that we're talking about Hollywood, I'm just glad they kept something that even remotely looks like zombies.

JesterOnCoke55 karma

What's your drink of choice?

IamMaxBrooks104 karma

If we're talking about the morning kick in the ass, a good strong cup of overly brewed smoky Lapsang Souchong tea.

In the afternoon, water, just water, nothing fancy.

At night, especially after a spicy or rich meal, a shot of Fernet Branca is a lifesaver!

terebithia54 karma

I just wanted to say... OMG YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!! before my post got drowned out by everyone else... I have read your book World War Z no less than 3 times... You've turned my anxiety ridden fear... Into something of interest... Long story short: your one book damn near cured me of my anxiety, thank you Mr. Brooks!!!

IamMaxBrooks77 karma

That was the goal, at least for me. I didn't start writing about zombies because I love them. I write about them because I hate them! They scare the crap out of me! I'm glad we could see eye to eye on this. Thanks so much for your comment!


Did you by chance see the South Park parody of World War Z? If yes, what did you think?

IamMaxBrooks126 karma

World War Zimmerman was awesome!!!!

tacommently46 karma

You ground a lot of zombie survival with reality and science. Do you think the army's disastrous handling of The Battle of Yonkers is a real possibility in the event of a zombie apocalypse?

IamMaxBrooks78 karma

Oh yea. The army's made up of people and people make mistakes.

Joose200145 karma

Good evening Mr Brooks.
Who are your personal favourite authors?
And did any influence your own style of writing at all

IamMaxBrooks111 karma

First of all, all praise for the late Mr. Tom Clancy. He was the first author I actually sat down and read. He redefined the military-espionage genre. He threw out all that James Bond sensationalism and anchored his stories in actual research.

Other authors are Ralph Peters, Farley Mowat, Hunter S. Thompson, Alan Moore, Robert Heinlein, and Homer (not Simpson). I read "The Odyssey when I was 22 on a lone camping trip in Greenland and it absolutely blew me away.

AttilaTheHung44 karma

My favorite work of yours has to be the Survival Guide. Wayyyyy ahead of the zombie explosion! Have you thought about selling pre-packed kits? Tactical Bacon, crowbar, and the like?

IamMaxBrooks69 karma

I've thought about it. I'm just not a very good businessman. I've been approached over the years, but it's usually for a knife or machete or gun, basically something that can get somebody hurt. I've passed on those.

ChimesInWhistfully42 karma

Considering the ever growing prevalence of zombies in media, what do you think is important when coming up with a "fresh take" on zombies?

IamMaxBrooks68 karma

Passion. Forget about a fresh take or a popular story. Forget about everything except what you love. I think if someone writes for themselves, the passion will always shine through. Those are the best stories to read.

Challengeaccepted333 karma

Hello Mr. Brooks! So I have two questions for you (Is that cheating?)

  1. So where is your "go-to" hideout/base for the zombie apocalypse/shit gets out of hand? I have a nuclear bunker from the fifties in the yard behind my house, so that's probably my spot.

  2. Do you plan on writing more zombie literature? I love your works, especially WWZ, and I would love to read another book from you! Of course, I understand if you feel overwhelmed.

P.S. I spent my saturday watching the film WWZ and I was pointing out errors in conjunction with the Zombie survival guide. i.e: "Zombies moan to alert other zombies to the location of prey, not scream."

IamMaxBrooks58 karma

No it's not cheating.

I'd be careful with the bunker. Better to go to high ground.

And yes, I am at this very moment (well not THIS moment) writing more zombie material. I have a comic book series out called "The Extinction Parade". The trade paperback (issues 1-5) should be available this summer.

AKoreanJew31 karma

Will there ever be another Space Balls movie?

IamMaxBrooks259 karma

Maybe, and maybe it'll be paired with WWZ Part 2. They'll both be called "The Search For More Money".

Ithurtsstosayit30 karma

Hi there. Had the great opportunity to meet you at Emerald City Comicon 3 years ago...maybe 4.
I just was curious how dyslexia affects your writing process, and if so, how you work around it or with it.

IamMaxBrooks54 karma

Dyslexia is no fun, but it did help with my study habits. I had to be comfortable very early one with hunkering down and working. I never got to skate through school. I always had to struggle, but the struggle made me a better writer and it gave me an attention to detail.

carmooch29 karma

I really enjoyed the film, then read World War Z afterward to try and understand some of the backlash surrounding the film adaptation. It became quite clear that World War Z would not be an easy book to turn into a film because it's essentially a series of independent short stories.

I've noticed Harlem Hellfighters has already been picked up by Will Smith to become a film, so I was curious to know whether you have shifted your writing style to be more 'screenplay friendly'?

IamMaxBrooks51 karma

That's a really good question, Car.

Ironically, I started "The Harlem Hellfighters" WAY before I even thought up World War Z. I wrote it initially as a screenplay way back in the 90s. That basic structure remains in the graphic novel version. I hope it's deeper, smarter and generally better than my original script, but the story is still the story (which is based on a true story).

Asswip327 karma

What's your favorite sci fi movie, film, comic etc?

IamMaxBrooks67 karma

Too many to chose. Love the old (and new) Battlestar Galactica! Love Star Trek, Logan's Run, Star Blazers, Robotech, anything with giant ants... I could go on and on (and, if you ask my wife, I do!).

IamMaxBrooks31 karma

Where does one begin? Star Wars, Star Trek? Star Blazers? Robotech? Logan's Run? Tron? Babylon 5? Anything with giant ants? I could go on, and according to my wife, I do.

Requizen26 karma

Thanks for stopping by! I know you're going to get lots of questions about the Survival Guide and WWZ, which are some of my favorite pieces of literature in existence.

However, while zombies are great, if you were going to write about another supernatural creature/phenomena (such as Vampires/Fae/etc), what would it be?

IamMaxBrooks67 karma

Check out "The Extinction Parade". It's officially about Vampires trying to survive a zombie plague. What it's really about is the danger of privilege. It's about what happens when a species has spent too long at the top of the food chain and has never had to struggle, grow, or adapt. As a parent, I wanted to discuss how important struggle is to building character and what happens when that struggle is omitted.

loveu15724 karma

who is the worst person you have every met?

IamMaxBrooks68 karma

When I was in grad school, I worked as a crewmember for National Empowerment Television in Washington D.C. We had a LOT of crazy, ultra right wing talkshow hosts. It was just a buffet of A-holes. I can't remember who called the confederate flag a symbol of freedom, but he's on the list.

promethianexile22 karma

Mr. Brooks,

How do you feel knowing your works have influenced how the CDC conducts trainings?

IamMaxBrooks50 karma

I'd feel better if Congress hadn't cut a 3rd of their funding! I mean c'mon, the one organization that can stop a pandemic and you gut them? That's like cutting 1/3 of Strategic Air Command on the eve of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

BewbewDingo22 karma

Hi Mr. Brooks, I love your work. I have a few questions:

  1. If given a choice, which character's account from your "World War Z" book would you like to see turn into a movie?
  2. You were a writer on SNL, what were some of your favourite sketches that you wrote?
  3. What was the first zombie movie you saw?
  4. How long did it take for you to write "World War Z" from concept to the final product?

IamMaxBrooks40 karma

Hey Bew,

  Sorry I don't have time to answer all the questions, but the one about SNL hasn't been asked before. I'd have to say I'm most proud of my first sketch, which had Hugh Jackman as Superman in the fortress of solitude having a really awkward father son conversation with Jor-El. 

thebiglibrarian21 karma

Hi Mr. Brooks!

I wanted to know, being an author what would you say is your favorite book and why?


IamMaxBrooks42 karma

That's a tough one. I'm not sure if I have one favorite book. So many of them have influenced me over the years. I just finished an amazing one called "The Year-Long Day" by Ivar Ruud. It's the true story of Ruud, anti-social Scandinavian who spends an entire winter up on the arctic island of Spitsbergen; hunting, trapping, and basically trying not to die. It puts all these so called survivor reality shows to shame.

Pedantic_Pat20 karma

Mr Brooks, love your work.

I recently taught a Maths class inspired by Zombie survival guide, and it went really well. Can you tell me what Harlem Hellfighters is about, so I can plan my next crazy lesson?

IamMaxBrooks32 karma

I can tell you that Harlem Hellfighters is based on the true story of a unit of African American soldiers in the First World War. They were actively sabotaged by their own government (who did NOT want to see them come home as heroes), and were eventually given to the French Army. Fighting with the French, they became one of the most decorated units in the entire US Expeditionary Force and they did, indeed, march home as heroes. As a teacher of mathematics, you'll enjoy the first few pages where our main character tries to break down the sheer number of casualties from "The War to End All Wars".

nothingbettertododo19 karma

Hey Max, love your books! Do you read any zombie novels, if so would you recommend any??

IamMaxBrooks24 karma

I'd go back and read the novelization of "Dawn of the Dead" by Suzanna Sparrow. It's a great read.

RamenKing1318 karma

Cake or Pie?

IamMaxBrooks52 karma

Kit Kat.

CrazyNinjaDJ17 karma

Hello sir!

I'm actually reading through World War Z right now, and I must say it is a truly fantastic book! It's been the only book I've read in ages that I've truly enjoyed!

My question to you is the following: What was your main source of inspiration when writing World War Z? Other than the obvious lack of 'Zack', there does seem to be similarities between the characters in the novel and attitudes in society today, and I would be interested to hear what aspects have particularly influenced you (if you don't mind me asking of course!)

Thank you very much!

IamMaxBrooks50 karma

My main inspiration for WWZ is "The Good War" by Studs Terkel. It's an oral history of World War 2. I used that format for my book because I thought an oral history is the best way to convey the sheer scope of the carnage. If you want to read an amazing book, check out "The Good War".

nailbiter11116 karma

Hi Max, when are you gonna write a novel WWW, you know World War Werewolf?

IamMaxBrooks27 karma

Hadn't planned on it, Nailbiter. Looks like the field is open. Go for it!

GirlWithThePandaHat16 karma

I'm probably too late to this party but I just want to say your zombie books rekindled my love of zombie fiction. Also the survival guide pretty much let me know how boned I am if I get trapped home. I live in the back of an apartment complex, bottom floor, concrete/metal staircase and a sliding glass back door. However if I do make it out I'm hiking north because of the survival guide. Lol

Anyway now for the question. What's your favorite snack?

IamMaxBrooks71 karma

Be careful going north. The Canadians, or, as I call them, the White Walkers, will be waiting for you.

Pharune16 karma

Any future plans to do something in the realm of comedy?

IamMaxBrooks64 karma

Only my comedic attempts to try to get my son to do what I tell him to do.

Aetorian16 karma

Huge fan of your work and I attended your panel during the 2013 NYCC. My question, which I wanted to ask then, was what are your thoughts on the people of "Doomsday Preppers" since they, too, are just preparing for disaster, just on a larger scale?

IamMaxBrooks35 karma

I think a lot of the folks on that show, like a lot of folks on a lot of reality shows are carnival acts. So much of 'reality television' is scripted for pure entertainment. Very little exists to educate. If I was going to do a show about doomsday preppers, it would be about the inner workings of the CDC and FEMA and the organizations that will really save us.

AndyWarwheels15 karma

How many tacos can you eat in one sitting?

IamMaxBrooks26 karma

That's up to my lower intestine.

quesakitty14 karma


Thank you so much for doing this AMA.

I was supposed to meet you last fall at the University of Missouri’s Zombie Conference. I was in a zombies class and I was so excited to pick your brain about everything. Unfortunately, you had to cancel (which was understandable considering the circumstances).

So my question is:

Are you planning on coming back to University of Missouri anytime soon? I believe we are having another zombie conference in the fall :)

IamMaxBrooks32 karma

I'm really sorry I had to cancel that. It was actually never confirmed and I was way too snowed under with previous obligations. I do hope I get a chance to come out there this year. That'd be great. Again, sorry I missed last year.

mattblissett13 karma

Do you see yourself moving away from zombies?

IamMaxBrooks75 karma

Not physically. They always find you. Harlem Hellfighters is definitely a departure from my usual zombie work, but then again, my zombie work was a departure from my work on Saturday Night Live, and that job on SNL was a departure from my previous job of being Mel Brook's unemployed son.

GabrielBonilla13 karma

Are you proud of the sacrifices you made in your lifetime?

IamMaxBrooks33 karma

I don't know yet. I really didn't know what sacrifice was until I had a kid. That's when everything changed. I definitely toned down my career. I gave up a lot of opportunities that would have taken me away from home. I don't know if it did any good in the end. We'll have to wait and see how my son turns out. When he's my age, we'll have an answer.

TheProudBrit10 karma

Did you listen to the audiobook of WWZ yourself? I absolutely loved it, especially Hamil, but I was wondering how you feel about it.

IamMaxBrooks16 karma

I love the audiobook, especially because I helped produce it. I personally wrote to most of the cast and was present at some of their tapings. They were amazing! As a kid who grew up listening to audiobooks, that was a very special pet project for me.

leodown010 karma

How did you feel about the film world war z and how it changed the ending instead of using the ending that you made

IamMaxBrooks59 karma

I don't mind that they didn't use the ending from my book... because they didn't use anything else.

daath7 karma

I really enjoyed both the book and the movie - Those were really nothing alike.

What's your thought on a remake with a guy like Peter Jackson doing it?

IamMaxBrooks13 karma

I think you'd have to ask Peter Jackson. I've never met the man, but if I do, I have to tell him how much my little boy liked "The Hobbit".

Subtle_B7 karma

Mr Brooks, hello and thank you for giving us your time. I must say I've read WWZ several times, and would love to know if you are writing any other novels based in the same world as WWZ? Different aspects or even a single story line following an individual or groups of individuals? If you aren't working on anything along those lines, I still look forward to and will be purchasing The Harlem Hellfighters! Can't wait, and thanks for giving all of us a part of you.

Edit: Would you rather fight a horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses?

IamMaxBrooks18 karma

A horse sized duck. It only has one heard, one brain. One shot from a Hawken .50 could stop a charging giant duck, but 100 duck sized horses... that's a lot of buckshot!

glitboy6 karma

What is your favorite color?

IamMaxBrooks49 karma

Blue... no... Ahhhhhhhh!

(Sorry, Holy Grail reference.)

McsMel5 karma

I really don't know what to ask you but since I'm a big fan I have the urge to tell you something. So, Hi! Big fan! Greetings from Argentina, thank you for everything <3

IamMaxBrooks13 karma

My pleasure, Sir. Thank you.

sigrid22 karma

Just came to say I wanna eat your brain! Thanks for the good read!

IamMaxBrooks3 karma

My brain thanks you.

kozmund2 karma

How'd you get paired up with Caanan White? Any particular reason Harlem Hellfighters ended up on Brooklyn Books, instead of Avatar like Extinction Parade?

edited to add: Also, I had no idea you were the son of Mel Brooks until this AMA. Your father is a national treasure and one of the all-time greats.

IamMaxBrooks4 karma

Actually, Avatar is the producer of "The Harlem Hellfighters". Random House initially put up the money to publish it and hired Avatar to make it. To me, it just felt like another Avatar project because I was in constant contact with William Christensen about it. William sent me Caanan's work and I was knocked off my chair by his attention to detail. I owe William a debt for that one. He pulled Caanan off Uber to work on HH for a while. That was a solid solid and the work is as good as it is because of Caanan.

nailbiter1112 karma

Do you like Orange Tic Tacs? I think you should've made Orange Tic Tacs a weakness for zombies. Thoughts?

IamMaxBrooks8 karma

I don't know about zombies, Nailbiter, but if the movie Juno is accurate, then orange Tic Tacs will definitely help Michael Cera get you pregnant.

Fatmonkey842 karma

How many marshmallows can you fit in your mouth?

IamMaxBrooks3 karma

Depends on the size of the marshmallows. We talking conventional 12 gauge or Swiss Miss?

TisteSimeon1 karma

Hi Max! Huge fan of WWZ so thanks for scaring the pants off me the first time I read it. My question is this: is your wife aware that if she got bitten by a zombie you would have no choice but to kill her? And if so, how does she feel about this. I told my wife I would have no problems shooting her in the head if a zombie started biting her and she wasn't too happy with me...

IamMaxBrooks3 karma

If my wife got bitten, I wouldn't be the one to kill her, because if she did get bitten, it would mean the zombies had gotten through me first.

Sargentdog1 karma

Hello Mr.Brooks. I do not know if you remember me but we met briefly at the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo in 2012. You signed my book with a question "What do you really think of my work?" And since you are absent on twitter I have not had the chance to respond.

I have reread world war z as well as the zombie survival guide many times to see if my opinion will ever change. After my 5th time I realized that it hasn't. Your writing is incredible and you are still one of my favorite authors. I cannot wait to get your new graphic novel.

I suppose I should ask a question here as well... Will you be doing a tour anytime soon for your new work?

IamMaxBrooks2 karma

I'll actually be back in Calgary in a few weeks, and I'll be there with Caanan! Introduce yourself again if you get a chance to come to the show. I hope we meet up again.

yannis_volta1 karma

Hey Max, love your work especially The Survival guide. I have been writing a bit of a post apocalypse zombie diary recently and quite a number of people on here have been enjoying it. Wanna proof read it for me?

IamMaxBrooks2 karma

I don't need to proof it. If you believe in it, get it out there and let the world read it. Maybe you'll see me in your autograph line. I'll be the guy who looks like Schmitd from "New Girl".