Venture Bros creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer and star James Urbaniak hit the stage at Comic-Con dressed in 80s-style hip-hop gear, complete with “Dirty Boy” hats, Dwayne Wayne flip-up glasses and lots of bad patterns. After an initial story about how new seasons of Venture would be “A Different World,” they quickly relented and admitted that they just thought the idea was funny. That pretty much sums up their panel (and a good part of the show itself).
The panel kicked off with a brief preview of their new special set to debut on August 28. Entitled “Shallow Gravy: From The Ladle To The Grave”, it follows the rise and fall (and further rises and falls, if you believe the preview) of the band started by Hank Venture and his best friend Dermott. Hammer categorized the “documentary” special as the creators “fetishzing our own show,” and that they were really into the idea of Shallow Gravy at the time that they wrote it.
The preview consisted of a short commercial and a music video for the song “Jacket,” which is exactly as straightforward as it sounds. They do have plans to release the song on iTunes as well.
Besides Shallow Gravy, there wasn’t much to report in the way of new material. Both creators admitted that they’ve been trying to write season five with limited success, but had a few stories set already. The majority of the panel was dedicated to a lively fan Q&A that featured all three men equally appreciating their fans and mocking them lovingly. The crowd was on board for all of it, so it made for an entertaining session.
- The mantra of the Q&A was “All questions about the show will be answered within the show itself.” It was the standard response to all fan inquiries about plot developments - specifically the “Will we see...?” or “What’s going to happen with...?” questions. They did tip their hat on a few plans for the coming season, including how Sphinx and OSI will co-exist now that Col. Hunter Geathers is in charge.
- There are some items they don’t intend to follow-up on, like whether 24 was a ghost or just a figment of 21’s imagination. “We don’t like to interpret our own work,” Publick deadpanned.
- They also hinted that Molotov Cocktease, who was thought dead at the end of last season, might not be gone after all. Ok, they did more than hint. “Molotov died offscreen with a car falling off a cliff,” Hammer said. “Where are you people from where that would work?” Rather, he referred to her demise as a metaphorical one, hopefully extinguishing the torch Brock Samson had carried for her while he mourns.
- They have plans for two more seasons (five and six), with the possibility of some longer-form specials if the idea strikes them.
- Although the series has origins in Johnny Quest and old comic stories, they can’t cite specific influences given the evolution of the show. They described their influences as “everything we ever loved or hated.”
- Further, the characters have all evolved into fractured versions of the creators themselves. Publick referred to them all as “broken, smaller us’s.”
- They would absolutely do an Order of the Triad spinoff, although there aren’t any plans in the works currently.
- They acknowledged their tendency to cycle old characters back into the story on their whim. For example, the previous night they spent time brainstorming a nemesis for “Plug Face Guy” just for fun. However, just because they have returned most characters doesn’t mean that any one individual is ripe for a return. A fan asked about Roy Brisby making a repeat appearance, and the creators laughed it off. “What are we gonna do?” Hammer said. “He’s in a wheelchair with a stroke face!”
Other tiny details:
- There won’t be a Sgt. Hatred action figure because his backstory as a reformed pedophile wouldn’t play well in toy stores. Hammer feigned indignance that he was being discriminated against.
- Triana’s friend Kym is never coming back, as far as they are concerned. The story they gave is that she moved to Florida, fell in with a prep crowd that put her on the outs with Triana, got hooked on meth and is now a born-again Christian. “It’s very difficult to get out of Florida,” Hammer said.
- Pete White’s voice comes from Jackson’s bad impression of his own father. Pete White’s hair is inspired by Phil Oakey of Human League.
- The opening of the episode “Every Which Way But Zeus” was inspired by Hammer’s own experience at a strip club, which he relayed to the crowd (it involved air guitar and making human connections).
Venture Bros is coming back to Adult Swim, um, at some point.