io9 recently chatted with Venture Bros. head honchoes Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer about the upcoming seasons of their Adult Swim comedy, their new DVD, and fanmade Venture erotica and slash fiction. In fact, we mostly talked about slash.
First off, congrats on getting renewed for two seasons. What do you guys have cooking?
Doc Hammer: We can't tell you!
Jackson Publick: We're at the beginning point where we're mapping out with big broad character development strokes for each person to go through and then we're going to inject our story ideas.
The DVD/Blu-Ray for the second half of Season 4 also came out this week. Did you guys hide anything tantalizing in there?
JP: We don't know how to do that. Maybe someday an adventurous coder will put an Easter Egg on one of our DVDs. We're also usually still in production when the DVD is made.
What can we expect from the VB short that's coming out this summer?
DH: We can't really say that much about it, but it's a documentary of sorts.
What do you make of the sheer amount of fanmade Venture Bros. pornography bumping around the internet?
JP: I've been pretty horrified by some of those. I have no idea of the scope and depth of how far it goes. I've grazed it once or twice.
DH: Jackson's offended by it, I think it's the best thing in the world, and I'll tell you why. Slash kind of started with Kirk and Spock getting it on. To be part of a fan lineage that includes Star Trek — a show that was made by the interrelationships with the fans — is the most flattering and heartwarming thing. And if my heart is warmed by the most vile pornography of characters that we created, then I am a monster. But for some reason I find it charming.
JP: There's also slash art about you and me.
Whoa, there's Doc and Jackson slash art?
DH: Now I was offended by that because I was made the submissive based on the fact of my build...
JP: We took turns in that one.
DH: Yeah, there was a lot of love and cupping. A lot of slash includes cuddling. I'm actually charmed by it because a fan loved something so much they needed to see it procreate...that's kind of beautiful. I know it's horrifying and grisly, but I think it's a high compliment.
JP: I just wanted it to be better art. I want to see Milo Manara do mine.
DH: We've seen well-colored, well-rendered pornography with our characters. We can't believe how much time people put in to making these people fuck.
But your sexual rendezvous was not particularly well-drawn, no?
JP: I saw it on a printout.
DH: Some of them were okay, some of them were just bad. But you've got to imagine the fever pitch that they're drawing them. They're in such a heightened state of sexual arousal!
JP: "How can I finish this before I finish?"
DH: How can you grip a pencil when you're picturing two heterosexuals in the sack? It's impossible!
Was there any Doc-Jackson slash fiction that fleshed out the origins of your love?
JP: I think we were at [their studio and fictional orbital headquarters] the Astrobase. It's a fantastic setting for a sexcapade. It's up near the moon. It's romantic up there.
DH: Many volumes of poetry have been written about the moon. Imagine being that close to it. Amore is sure to happen.
Do you remember where you saw this artwork on the internet? It would be great to link to it.
JP: I just saw the printout.
DH: You can do a search for it, and if you don't find, someone came to their senses and removed it. And if you can't find it, you can do it yourself and pretend it's always been up.
I may just have to! [Editor's Note: And I did! Here's my 10-minute attempt at creating Doc and Jackson slash on MS Paint. It's rather PG, as I didn't want to add a NSFW tag to the article.]
DH: A lot of the artwork has that "ropey semen." There's a lot of Henchmen 21 and 24 slash. It had a lot of cuddling and genital cupping. It's one of those things that is rich to the fans and they want to take it to that deeply human level.
Jackson, did you ever run into erotic Tick fan art when you were working on that show?
JP: I don't remember anything like that. The internet was not as invasive then.
DH: Back then they had the paperback versions, Tijuana Tick Bibles just filled with The Tick and Arthur doing the nasty.
Let's switch gears entirely for a moment. The internet seems obsessed with the religion of fictional characters like superheroes. What religion are the Venture Brothers?
JP: Doc's an atheist. The boys were probably raised on that "non-practicing-1950s-everyone-in-America-was-that" religion.
DH: They were probably raised on that kind of Methodist-Protestant-Catholic Christianity that makes for good hospitals. In the Venture family, your grandfather is Jonas Venture and your dad is raised on science, so it doesn't come up a lot.
JP: They do put the baby in the manger on Christmas. Maybe Dean's religious, but he has a weird understanding of it.
DH: Dean has the Bible on tape as read by Darth Vader.
Did Brock ever finish his Icarus (from Led Zeppelin) tattoo or does he still have just a wingless, naked man?
JP: It's still unfinished as of last time we saw it.
DH: It was one of those debts to his youth. He probably wanted it as a kid, and now that it's not finished, he doesn't care because he's already made that debt to his youth.
JP: I actually had a whole story about it.
DH: That story was so fucking deep and there was no place for it. I like that it's unfinished.
Alright guys, anything last sentiments?
DH: Don't be swayed by the pornography not generated by us. The deep characterization that wants to make people see our characters have sex was generated by us. And hey, if that [pornography] increases your interest in the show, good!
JP: The DVD is filled with [pornographic] Easter eggs of those!
DH: One of the DVDs has a lot of male genitals. We do our own slash.
Middle photo via Venture Bros. Blog.