Our good pal/honorary Astrobase member (rank: Cadet, 2nd class) Ben "The Tick" Edlund turned in the first ever non-Publick/Hammer Venture Bros. script this week and it's great. Dark, funny and weird, it features guest appearances (both real and imagined) by Orpheus, The Monarch, some new characters we created for this season, and a warped send up of a classic group. He even managed to squeeze in a small glimpse of some of our protagonists' previously untold backstories. Should be a good one that fits right into our little (but steadily growing) world.
Doc and I are fast approaching the end of our writing phase. We've begun the penultimate episode of the season and are discussing the finale, both of which promise to be epic. By Christmas (or a little after, knowing how crappy we are with deadlines) all the scripts will be done, which will be a bit of a relief and, I suppose, slightly sad--since I find writing to be the most fun part of this work. Making stuff up is always more fun than making stuff move or talk...for me anyway. With any luck, news of a pickup will come quicker than it did last season, so maybe we'll start writing again sooner than fifteen months from now. Not too soon, though, as we will sorely need the break. Post production will begin in a little over a month, when our first episode comes back from Korea, and that process will overlap the last rounds of pre-production for roughly one month.
We just finished editing the animatic for the fifth episode of the season, which was a real bitch because I had to cut roughly three minutes out of it (an unsettling trend that continues with the next few episodes, so wordy and jam-packed with comedy goodness have we gotten with our scripts) and it was a very complicated story. At one point there is heavy action going on involving no less than nine characters, with quick cuts to what four other characters are doing in their side stories. I just hope the thing makes sense in the end and doesn't move too quickly or confusingly.
The character/prop/background designers are already working on Ben's new script's designs, the storyboard artists are working on the previous episode, and the color department is beginning their work on the fourth episode of the season.
Last week we recorded the ninth episode and some pickups for the eighth and fourth. Returning to the flock were actors Nina Hellman and Charles Purnell, who did a few voices last season, though they're not reprising the characters they voiced last time (well, Nina's reprising one of them, but just for like one line of dialogue). Talented and highly attractive people both, it was good to work with them again.
VENTURE BROS. DVD NEWS: I was surprised and pleased as punch to learn this week that Cartoon Network has commissioned one of my all time favorite comic book artists to paint what will become the interior gatefold art for the DVD packaging and its promotional poster. Don't want to give away who it is yet exactly, as I don't want to jinx it, but suffice to say he's amazing at what he does and I am unspeakably excited and honored to have him giving my characters his treatment. It promises to be something special.
VENTURE BROS. MERCHANDISE NEWS: I noticed that Hot Topic is now featuring the Venture Bros. skull logo t-shirt on their website, and presumably in their stores in real life, too. It's the same as the Adult Swim version, only larger. I was told they'd be featuring as many as four different VB t-shirt designs in the future, but am unsure of the status of that.
I leave you with, again, some more glimpses of the wonderful color art that is now being worked on for the coming season. If you haven't guessed, I'm very excited and impressed by the work these kids are doing and am happy to be able to share these previews of coming attractions with you. Such as:
The never-before-seen pool/patio off the Venture living room...
Beneath the living room, and with windows looking into the pool that would be the envy of any Cocoa Beach resort bar circa 1962, is Jonas Venture Sr.'s former study, which is now occasionally used as a guest bedroom.
And finally, a quick look at a pantheon of some of the characters from the first few episodes we're producing...read nothing into them as some are from fantasy sequences and some only appear for a few seconds (though didn't the characters who were only in Star Wars for a few seconds always make the best action figures?)
Whelp, that's about it for now. Thanks again for reading...and commenting overwhelmingly in the positive on these journals.
We love you,
P.S. If I may double-geek-out for a moment, not only did I NOT win the New York Lottery "King Kong's Millions" grand prize (or any of the second prizes) but I just learned that in the most recent Spiderman comic, Spidey got his eye plucked out (and eaten) by some crappy villain. What kind of world are we living in?! Apparently he then kills the guy and eats his head. No joke. Look it up on the internet.