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Publick Nuisance

The secret files of the Ventureverse

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This Is How My Friends Treat Me...
So it was 1997, and The Tick animated series had just been cancelled. I was living in Manhattan then, but had started on the show while still in college and living in New Jersey, and I never anticipated having a career in animation. So I kind of had no idea what to do with myself. A good friend, who had been the executive at Fox assigned to all Tick licensing products, got me a job on The King of the Hill as a storyboard artist, since her then-fiance was one of the directors. So I picked up and moved to L.A. to work on it.

Three months later, I'd had enough of L.A. (or, more accurately, missed N.Y. terribly) and had couch surfed my way through a few friends' places and gave notice on the show. For my last two weeks in town, I crashed at my new friend/co-worker Anthony Lioi's place...

Somewhere along the way, I'd picked up what I considered to be the funniest painting in the world at a local garage sale. It depicted a little boy standing on the moon and was obviously painted by a loving-if-misguided aunt or grandmother or something. The moon and spacesuit were clearly cribbed from a NASA photo, but the little boy's face inside the helmet bore the squinty eyes and hot glare of a family photo album snapshot, most likely taken at a Sea World or something.

Anyway, I cherished this thing. And as my last day in town approached, I didn't really want to wrap it up and send it to myself, so I decided to give it to Anthony, as a token of my appreciation for letting me stay at his place, and being a friend to me during what was kind of a psychologically tumultuous few months. It was my understanding that some day, when the time was right and he'd tired of it, perhaps during some future business trip to L.A., he would return the painting to me.

Then today, he sent me this link:

This is how my friends show their love for me.


P.S. I cried a little.

UPDATE: Venture Bros. animatic editor/Animo re-compositer/much nicer friend Tom Bayne has posted this video response, in order to piece my soul back together:

Haha, that's awful! :(

Maybe a kind fan will paint you a new one with your head on the space suit.

well if that isn't heartbreaking...

maybe it's a very clever reproduction - from kinko's or somewhere - and he wanted to lull you into a state of melancholy before mailing you the original - when's your birthday? expect a mysterious package to arrive.

Ahaha I'm seriously hoping for that. <3

I take you weren't in college for something that pertained to animated television. What were you there for, and how do you get your foot in the door at fox?
I'm in school for religious studies but am nuts about the creative license I get at the campus radio station. I too don't feel any anticipation of a career that affords me more of this, but it'd be nice to study your example.


"And spaceboy I've missed you
Spinning round my head
And any way you choose me
You'll break instead"

Aw, poor Spaceboy. We gather here to mourn your passing.

If I had friends like yours, I might consider changing the locks. Just in case.

I honestly don't know if I should feel bad for cracking a smile. Utterly ridiculous tragicomedy.

I just don't get men and how they show affection for each other. Affection. With fire.

Man, and the music...insult to injury eh?

Why did he do that? Did he think you would find it funny?


That's what I was thinking...Valhalla in space.

OMG that's very cool that you worked on the Tick. I like KotH too, but the Tick is where it's at.

I can't believe that your friend torched it! LOL how sad.