|The titular Venture Bros.|
“Venture Bros.” writers Christopher McCulloch (better known as his pseudonym Jackson Publick) and Doc Hammer unveiled new footage from their third season in a packed-to-the-walls panel this Saturday at New York Comic Con. The room exploded in applause as the two fashionable pop-culture satirists took their seats. The panel included Chris McCulloch, Doc Hammer, James Urbaniak (the voice of Doctor Venture) and Michael Sinterniklaas (Dean Venture).
The line into the panel had spanned the lobby three times and the panel was almost immediately switched to the larger room next door. Chaos erupted even further when fans found out a door between the two adjacent panels was left open and poured through the “Eli Stone” panel in order to reach the locked Venture Bros. room. In all, the panel started over half an hour late and con staff ended up turning away more fans than they let in.
Finally, the “Venture Bros.” entourage took their seats. “We have a clip from the third season,” McCulloch said. “Do you want to see it?” The room roared with applause. Dispensing with any further formalities, McCulloch started the preview as the room darkened. Scenes from the video included Brock with his Office of Secret Intelligence (OSI) mentor Hunter, last seen in season two’s “Assassinanny 911,” the return of The Pirate Guy from “Ghosts of the Sargasso,” a disturbingly Freudian sequence involving Doctor Venture and his heroic father’s large penis, and a gorey “GI Joe” satirizing OSI sequence.
The lights came up and Doc Hammer had a very important question for the audience. “Now, show of hands. We were having an argument before and if you could lose a finger, any finger or a toe, any toe, which would it be?” The audience overwhelmingly responded that they’d rather lose a toe than a finger. “I told you!” Hammer yelled at one of the voice actors on the panel. “Pay up.” At which point the actor produced a five dollar bill for both Doc Hammer and Chris McCulloch.
Christopher McCulloch took a moment to advocate for the new season. “It’s going to be very exciting,” he said. “It’s going to be funny, you’re going to learn things that you never wanted to know about the characters.” He paused for a moment. “I wish I could show you the unedited footage of the penis.”
|DVD box art from Season 2 of The Venture Bros.|
After this point, the guys opened up the floor to questions. For Venture Bros. fans, the panel was very similar to one of the duo’s DVD commentaries – rambling, jocular, full of obscure pop-culture references and covering any subject but the show itself. Among those areas touched on: The White Stripes, “The Mighty Orbots,” David Bowie’s “Station to Station” and British cartoons. Many of the fans were dressed as characters from the show (there were several Triannas, one Dean Venture, a Monarch or two, and at least three Doctor Girlfriends).
One pair dressed as The Monarch and Doctor Girlfriend even asked Doc Hammer to marry them at their upcoming ceremony. “Give me the invitation. I’ll commit to thinking about it. At the very least I’ll give it a firm maybe,” he said. Another pair, dressed as Trianna and Dean Venture, asked if Hank and Dean would ever hook up. “You could see that right now,” joked Michael Sternikilis as he raised his eyebrows at the girl. “No,” said Doc Hammer answering seriously. “If you bring those two together too quick, it ruins the dramatic strain of it.”
“You don’t know though,” Christopher McCulloch said. “Dean could get her knocked up this season for all you know.”
One fan asked whether there was chance to see more of Kim, Triana’s friend from the second season episode “Victor, Echo, November.” Doc Hammer reacted incredulously to this. “I don’t get why people think Kim is so awesome. She’s Triana’s dopey friend! Admit it, she’s hot. You like the hot chick.” “Maybe in season three,” McCulloch chimed in.
A fan asked if Otto Aquarius, the throw-away Aquaman analogue from the second season, was inspired by “The Tick.” “Um, no,” McCulloch said. “Sometimes The Tick and Venture Bros. just riff on the same subjects. For obvious reasons. But The Tick didn’t make him a Jevoha’s Witness.”
At this point, the duo revealed that they’d brought a bag of prizes with them for fan questions and the audience was amused to discover the prizes had nothing to do with the Venture Bros. Among the gifts given out were a Tony Bennet CD and a copy of the novel tie-in “National Treasure: Midnight Ride.”
One fan made the observation that what most Adult Swim shows had in common was an eschewing of traditional set-up, punch-line humor for situational comedy. He asked if the two found this kind of comedy easier to write. “What are you kidding me? Is it easier to write actual character driven comedy?” Doc Hammer asked with mock invective. “No! It’s harder.”
|DVD box art from Season 1 of The Venture Bros.|
Another fan asked if they were going to do a Venture Bros. video game. “No!” was the succinct answer from the show’s creators. “Any plans for a feature?” another asked. “No plans,” Christopher McCulloch said. “We’d love to do it. The network doesn’t seem against the idea.”
“What is the most significant way the show has changed?” One fan asked. “It wasn’t canceled after the first season,” was McCulloch’s simple answer. “Are Dr. Venture and the Monarch brothers?” Another asked, speculating on the plot. “Not yet,” McCulloch answered.
One of the obligatory questions was on the second season reveal that the boys were clones. “Does this make them less real as characters?” “No,” Doc Hammer answered. “Just because Doc Venture has a way of fixing really bad problems doesn’t make the boys an any less valid form of existence.”
One of the last questions was why Brock couldn’t simply rip open Molatov Cocktail’s chastity belt. “Because it’s a symbol!” Doc Hammer answered. “What’s stopping you from getting laid? It’s a conversation, someone has to invite you. But she’s not ready. Could he rip it open? Brock could rip that thing off with his teeth and he will! Rip that thing off and go back for seconds!”
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