NYCC: Venture Bros Panel

Posted by Jose On October - 23 - 2010

It should come to no surprise that Friday night’s biggest, most anticipated panel was for The Venture Bros. Given that fans were literally lining up as early as the DC Universe Animated panel, and the announcement that the IGN theatre would not clear out after each panel, the anticipation was clearly building. What was shocking was how big this panel was with so little material compared to the evening’s predecessors.

With no moderator, Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer entered the stage to a thunderous ovation. Both casual fans and the die-hards who came dressed as their favorite characters stood for the duo who jokingly decided to sit away from each other at opposite ends of the table.

Both men thanked everyone for attending and mentioned they had no moderator. They also mentioned that, sadly, they had no clips to show, as most of the season is already finished. With weeks to go before the season finale, oddly enough the fans were okay with this. It speaks volumes of how much love they have for this show when a lack of a moderator or clips is something to be applauded rather than booed furiously. It also says something about the humor of the gentlemen when they say instead of clips and announcements, they were just going to re-enact your favorite episodes.

Because there was no moderator, and because he was in the area, Doc Hammer called Michael Sinterniklass, voice of Dean Venture to come from elsewhere in the con and moderate. Sure enough, he showed up! And with that, fans were invited to ask questions, and boy, were there some doozies!

When asked whether or not we’ll be seeing more of Col. Hunter Gatherers, both Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick enthusiastically said yes. They mentioned that he’ll feature in many of the season’s remaining episodes and by the time of the season finale, we’ll all be sick of him. Whether or not that’s true remains to be seen. In that same vein, another question was raised whether or not we’ll see the return of fan favorite Molotov Cock tease. Shortly and simply…yes.

In the realm of strange questions, one fan asked them whether or not they’re bothered by the female attention they’ve received thanks to the show. Doc Hammer put it best:

“I used to get shoved into lockers as a kid and called (derogatory homosexual term), now I have women throwing themselves at me…of course I love it!”

When asked what other inspirations for the show besides Johnny Quest were, Jackson Publick remarked that the work of Steve Ditko on Spider-Man played an important part in both the design and tone.

Not surprisingly, more was asked about Publick, Hammer and Sinterniklaas than about the actual show. Questions ranging from best Christmas present ever received, to Doc Hammer’s band Wheat and the recording of their album on Garage Band, to Sinterniklaas geeking out over getting to record with Kevin Conroy for the episode featuring Captain Sunshine permeated the IGN theatre.

But, an even nicer moment came from when a woman cosplayed as Nikki, the character who had been introduced in the previous episode asked a question and all three men were both flabbergasted and thrilled to see that costume. The reaction could be equated to a child walking down the street on Halloween and pointing out to their parents in excitement all the costumes they saw and could name. The fans went all out on those costumes and the reactions the panelists gave showed the entire audience they too are fans on someone level and get a kick out of seeing people dressed as Henchmen 21 & 24, The Monarch, Nikki, Molotov Cock tease and a rather well done Sgt. Hatred.

The excitement over the idea that after four seasons, they finally have toys was genuine. They let us know that at the Adult Swim store at the con, the bobble heads, the action figures and the shirts were selling well; so well in fact that both the Brock Sampson and Monarch figures were already sold out before the day’s end. Merchandise may have taken a long time, but it was clearly appreciated by all.

But the icing on the cake was a true story the three shared about a strange incident in their Astrobase studio when Hammer had knocked on the bathroom door, waiting desperately to use the bathroom, only grow impatient and pick the lock. When he entered the door, he saw something he couldn’t believe. A fan had entered the stall and was taking an overhead photograph of himself on the toilet as if to prove to his friends he had been in the bathroom of the place where the ever-popular cartoon was created.

And with that, they ended the panel.

It was astounding to see how a panel with such a loose format, no moderator (at first), no clips and such candid answers could be so entertaining. Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer knew how to work the crowd, and it seemed more like talking to old friends than it did the creators of such a beloved show. Sinterniklaas, a fan favorite threw in as many random jokes as he could, and got a huge laugh every time. For any other show, this would have screamed of desperation and disaster. For the creators of the Venture Bros. it seemed right. When you come in with nothing and leave with a standing ovation, you’ve certainly done your job.

The Venture Bros. can be seen Sunday nights at 11:30pm on Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim.

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