NYCC 2012: Venture Bros Panel

Creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer made two sentiments very clear Friday at New York Comic Con: The Venture Bros. is coming back, and they’re sorry the fifth season has taken so long to deliver.

“I’m so sympathetic of anyone who makes animation, it must take so long,” Hammer joked during the panel for the Adult Swim series. “Let’s say I’d get worked up about how long it takes, I’d be so wrong.”

Hammer and Publick welcomed the audience in true Venture Bros. style, by pretending fans were there for their talk show Let’s All Smoking, in which the two showrunners and voice actors Michael Sinterniklaas and Paul Boocock sat around smoking electric cigarettes and drinking Fresca. After acting as if they weren’t involved with the show at all, Hammer and Publick had the actors introduce two new clips and a sizzle reel from the upcoming Venture Bros. Halloween special and Season 5.

A clip from the Halloween special, which airs Oct. 28, showed Dean, Hank and Dermott Fictel about to enter a creepy old house in the middle of the woods. Although Sinterniklaas presented the sequence by saying it would show Dean fighting off a “team of ninjas,” all we got was a lot of taxidermy.

It’s unclear whether the second scene will air during the fifth season, which still doesn’t have a premiere date, or during the Halloween special. The clip was a flashback to 1968, when Dr. Jonas Venture Sr. and his team were on vacation in the Greek islands, attending the wedding of Jackie Onassis and John F. Kennedy. Hammer admitted he and Publick had only added sound to the clip at 4 o’clock that morning.

“Let’s All Smoking” at New York Comic Con (courtesy of The Venture Bros. blog)

“I have a top hat with a roll of toilet paper in it — not as beautifully made [as that animation],” he quipped.

The sizzle reel came next, featuring incomplete footage from Season 5. Apparently Hammer and Publick had just discovered that this form of teaser is called a “sizzle reel,” and they had something of a difficult time putting it together.

“It’s kind of moody and weird,” Publick said. “It ends up being a weird moody piece of video.”

Judging from crowd response to the footage, the wait for the new season will be well worth it. There were cheers for Brock Samson, Sergeant Hatred, Billy Quizboy and Pete White, and the promised ninja scene finally made an appearance. Orpheus seems to be back in a big way, and S.P.H.I.N.X. also appears to have a major presence. And then there’s The Monarch, who in one scene claimed to have taken down Dr. Venture and in another seemed to be masquerading as his dentist. There’s a funeral, an out-of-costume Number 23 and a giant crab, so all in all the season looks like general insanity.

“The rest will be done eventually,” Hammer said of the unfinished episodes, adding, “We make them ourselves on napkins.”

Because fans have spent more time over the past two years talking to Hammer and Publick at conventions instead of watching actual episodes, the panel’s Q&A portion felt more like a reunion than a chance to ask about the new content. It’s not as if Publick and Hammer would provide details anyway – although the latter did acknowledge that Shore Leave will appear in about one-third of the new episodes.

That’s why most questions ranged from requests for hugs to asking which hands the men would hold their gun in if they were the driver in a drive-by shooting (Hammer would stop the car and hold both hands, if you were wondering). When one fan asked whether the Venture Bros. team noticed Futurama had recently referenced the show, Hammer answered that he hasn’t felt they’ve made much of an impact on pop culture.

“I sometimes think [Venture Bros. is] not on TV and that nobody’s seen our show,” he admitted.

They have found a couple of fans within Hollywood, though, as evidenced by Nathan Fillion’s stint as Brown Widow. Patton Oswalt also told Sinterniklaas he’s a big fan. But Hammer said that, for the most part, actors don’t want to appear on their show.

That’s a good thing, because he and Publick do a great job by themselves. Hammer performed the Doctor Girlfriend Mrs. The Monarch voice for the crowd, but Publick admitted hers isn’t their favorite.

“For a guy who’s never in the show, we do the pirate voice a lot,” he said.

Publick also said we shouldn’t expect to see Molotov Cocktease and Brock consummate their love anytime soon, because her chastity belt isn’t coming off.

“There probably isn’t [a key],” he said. “I think her father welded it in Siberia.”

The fan who asked responded, “That’s very disappointing, thank you,” which caused the audience to burst out laughing.

But Publick and Hammer are done disappointing their fans, and they’re proving it by finally delivering new Venture Bros.

“Thank you all for waiting for The Venture Bros.,” Hammer said as fans filed out. “We’re not going to let you down.”

Jon is Pop Focal's resident nerd. An expert in movie and video game knowledge and a collector of things that clutter up the offices. A former radio and TV personality who brings a very different attitude to the Pop Focal network.

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