SDCC | ‘The Venture Bros.’ Panel Delivers Laughs, Henchmen and Speed Suits
Creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer tugged at the hearts of fans at Comic-Con International with their offbeat yet endearing personalities and clips from the season finale of The Venture Bros.
Wearing matching speed suits – “There’s nothing more masculine than rainbows running down your leg,” Hammer said – the two were joined on the panel by the voice of Brock Sampson, Patrick Warburton.
After announcing that they’re working on The Art of Venture Bros. with Dark Horse, and promising they’ve already begun work on the sixth season, Hammer and Publick showed a clip from the Season 5 finale that ended with a cliffhanger.
“You didn’t really think he was dead, did you?” Publick asked the audience. “They killed him!” Hammer added, imitating a viewer. “I hate that show now. The broke disco ball, they broke everything.”
However, Henchman 24 remains dead. “We’ve been regretting that ever since we did it,” Hammer said. “I still got notebooks of material for those two.”
Labeling themselves as “undisciplined,” they admitted to having nothing prepared for the presentation — “In about three minutes, I’m going to talk about my genitals, and I’m unstoppable” — and so they turned to the audience for questions.
When asked what the official definition of a “Rusty Venture” is, Hammer explained the sexual innuendo with archaic terms like “truncheon,” and then passed the question to Warburton, who was too embarrassed to give the raunchy answer in front of so many people – not to mention his 15-year-old son, who was there dressed as Shore Leave. “That’s my son, everybody,” the actor said to applause.
Warburton admitted to being on the panel solely as “eye candy.” Hammer endorsed that claim, but was sure to add that Warburton’s secondary function was to make him look “paler and scrawnier” by comparison. “It’s good to have Patty next to me, because I feel entirely like a child,” he said.
“Will Rusty ever get his show on Broadway?” another fan asked. Hammer expressed how much he “wanted to kill himself when people sang in cartoons” when he was younger. In the voice of his childhood self, Hammer exclaimed, “Do you really want more of that in cartoons? Do you want more kissing, too?”
The next fan began, “My first dumb question is —” before Hammer sarcastically interrupted, “Oh, there’s a series of them, excellent!” But Publick quickly encouraged her to continue. “As we said we have nothing,” he said, “so we’re glad you came prepared.”
The fan unfortunately had an ex-boyfriend who stole a shirt she had acquired through the Venture Bros. Shirt Club. “The way Shirt Club works is when Shirt Club is over, Shirt Club is over,” Hammer mournfully explained. “You have to forge a new relationship with your ex-boyfriend. This is a man that you once loved, there must be something left!”
The next audience member asked,” Have you ever tried making any of Doc’s drinks?” Hammer laughed and explained that he read online that someone “made them and tasted them and it was an experience they regretted.” The drinks turned out so terrible that, “It was like the cinnamon challenge,” referring to the Internet meme in which daring individuals post videos of themselves attempting to ingest one tablespoon of cinnamon in 60 seconds without drinking anything. Doc is a “bad scientist, and therefore a bad mixologist.” Red Mocha Cooler is “chemically impossible.”
With video games being such a major part of pop culture, the question, “Is there any potential for a future full Venture Bros. game?” was inevitable. Publick said they would have to be approached by at least “one game company.” Hammer humorously brought up that they are a “sham who makes their own T-shirts.” Hammer admitted that, “If Rockstar Games asked about making a Venture Bros. game, Jackson would shout, ‘Now!’”
Hammer and Publick closed with another short clip from the season finale, this time appropriately focusing on some banter between Henchmen. They had announced a contest on their blog, encouraging cosplayers to don their grandest Henchman 21 outfits. As promised, they had all the Henchmen line up in the front of the ballroom, where Hammer scrutinized them like one might when picking out a new toy. “I love seeing Henchmen at cons,” he said. “I think they’re real!” Each contestant struck his or her best action pose, and the most skilled designer won the privilege of being the newest Shirt Club model.
Publick and Hammer thanked everyone for coming, and Hammer urged them to come see his oil paintings, which were being displayed at Comic-Con. “If you want to talk to me about Venture Bros., don’t bother,” he said. “Uh, I will talk about Venture Bros., but pretend somebody cares about art already.”