Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Venture Brothers

The first episode of the Venture Brothers I ever lay witness to was one Sunday night at the Jolly Inn, back when Jeff Bastard used to wage-slave there and when C. Collision still used to get intoxicated. Being a public house of the lower order, the television was always on. Invariably, the channel was frozen on Adult Swim, w/ closed captions. This was the medium of my first Venture Bros. exposure. Despite closed captioning, my usual distrust of all things Adult Swim was tempered by visual images so bizarre my interested was thoroughly piqued.

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I experienced a second episode when aforementioned Collision and I grabbed a 6er on the way home from the more upstanding Basement Pub after it closed (it closes at 1:30, giving the intelligent inebriate one full hour before beer-thirty to procure after-hours entertainments). Upon viewing the opening credits with sound, it only took few stanzas into the theme for me to declare, "this is J. G. Thirlwell!"

J.G. Thirlwell, of course, is a musical fave of mine since shadowy past days of high school. At the time I was an insufferably devoted NIN/Minstry fanboy and was looking for more of the same ilk. Thirlwell's work, all under the various Foetus monikers, was not the same ilk (nor, as it turned out, was PWEI, which also remains my other musical fave). I dabbled in several Foetus albums, but I recall the Sink album, consisting of old singles and various instrumental pieces, being the first to really get under my skin.

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Around my senior year of high school Thirlwell's first and only album for Sony came out: a Foetus disc entitled Gash. That album rocked. It rocked even more when I became a sexually frustrated college freshman, the de facto soundtrack to my year of dorm life. This fit all the better when Thirlwell interviewed and said Gash was about a breakup.

I believe I may have never seen another episode of the Venture Brothers on television, but Collision was way into the show, and would pass along tidbits when the fancy struck him. We both pined for the dvd release. Collision later related to me that investigations had revealed none other than Ben Endlund was also involved in the Venture Brothers as a writer as co-creator Jackson Publick's college roomate.

Ben Endlund is the artistic and writing genius behind the Tick comic book, which I had read in the even more mist-enshrouded and spooky days of middle school, and, of course, watched the still rather bizarre, surreal, what-the-hell-is-this-doing-on-TV-anyways Tick animated series on Fox when I was in high school.

When Venture Bros., Season One finally hit dvd last month, I didn't notice. I was busy setting myself up for heartbreak by falling for Dirk Nowitzski and Josh Howard. But when that was over, I was ecstatic to find out that a TV series I'd seen one actual episode of (the muted one doesn't count), scored by one youth hero, written by another, well then, dammit, I'm going to the viddy rental store!

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13 episodes of bliss.


Fat Contradiction said...

Yeah, despite just getting back from my bike trip, and being thus even broker than usual, this week I put my dough where my taste lies, and picked up both the Venture Brothers DVD and Odama. I've spent only a little time with each, and will admit to reservations with both (disappointment and frustration, respectively), but hey, at least I support the arts!

d.d. tinzeroes said...

A large part of my enthuasism for the dvd set was derived from a 5+ minute promo clip-thingy the Venture Bros. creative team put together for Comicon in San Diego a ways back. This was included on the second disc of DVD features that came with the last foetus release, Love. That clip-piece is, hilarious.

Of course, its completely non sequitor and is culled from the entirety of the first season.

Even tho season 1 isn't quite as laugh out loud funny as I'd hoped its still off in that bizarro place where my soul seems to feel most comfortable, and watching it, as I outlined above, is sort of like hanging with old friends.

Did I mention I got to use a free rental to enjoy all of this? CHA-CHING!!