Holiday Gift Guide 2020 Presents Heroes & Villains – Go Team Venture!: The Art and Making of The Venture Bros., The Eighth Immortal

Wow, December already? That means that it’s time for my first H&V Holiday Gift Guide entry for the month!

I’ll start off by encouraging you to shop small if you’re able to do so. Sure, it’s SUPER easy to go the Amazon route but if you just put forth the bare minimum of effort you can find local retailers willing to sell you stuff. These are people that are just trying to keep the lights on and not send a billionaire to Mars.

The Venture Bros.

One thing the we can all agree on is that 2020 has been the absolute worst. That’s goes double if you live in North America (that’s right Canada you’re in on this too…I know all about that BBQ guy). It seems silly to compare the cancelation of a TV show to the abject horror that is everyday life, but when news of The Venture Bros. cancelation broke it was, for me, one of those minor “Oh, come ON!” moments this year.

The Venture Bros. is probably one of the greatest TV shows of all time which is saying a lot for a show that started off as a goof on the classic Johnny Quest “boy adventurer” trope. All seven seasons are available on disc and streaming currently and would make an excellent addition to the library of any cartoon/animation/comedy enthusiast that you may have on your list. As and addendum, I should point out that seasons 1 and 2 are only available on DVD. To date, Cartoon Network has not seen fit to release them on blu-ray…I’m hoping it gets a “complete series” box set treatment down the road.

For the other half of this entry I’m going to recommend something that I’ve got on my own Christmas list this year, Go Team Venture!: The Art and Making of The Venture Bros. I am a sucker for behind the scenes books especially when they’re about a favorite show of mine. Also, I dream of having my own comprehensive library of nerdery and this book would make an excellent addition to it.

Here’s a blurb on it: This oversized book is the comprehensive companion to the art and making of the The Venture Bros. and includes a foreword by Patton Oswalt! 

Ken Plume sits down with series creators Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer to have a conversation about the creation of every single episode through season six and much more. From the earliest sketches of Hank and Dean scribbled in a notebook, pitching the series to Cartoon Network’s Adult Swim, learning the ins and outs of animation, character designs for each season, storyboards, painted backgrounds, behind-the-scenes recollections of how the show came together, it’s all here.

If I wasn’t already, I’m sold now! Get on the horn to your favorite indie bookstore or comic shop and have them order you a copy TODAY!

ADVANCE ALERT!

The Eighth Immortal #1
Jacob Murray (W)
Alice Li Barnes (A)
Source Point Press

In shops on January 27, 2021 (which seems like ages from now but will be here before you know it) is The Eighth Immortal #1. Here’s the blurb:

Curipan has spent her immortality protecting humanity from the threat of an ancient prophecy. But time and a secret trauma have worn her down, forcing her to choose between her duty and her sanity. The Eighth Immortal is a scandalous fantasy that asks the question, should anything last forever?

This year has been a rocky year for comics and if this book is any indication of what 2021 is going to be like…I think we’re going to be okay. The artwork and coloring in this book are absolutely gorgeous. While mostly black & white with various shades of gray, The Eighth Immortal has sudden pops of vibrant color that enhance the artwork along with informing the text of the story. I found it to be quite striking but not the point of it taking me out of the overall narrative.

This book had a strong first issue which, for me, seemed to end a bit too soon. The bits of story as they’re put forth in the book don’t come across as exposition dumps, but it’s clear there’s a lot of thought that’s been put into the overall lore of The Eighth Immortal. I’m sure it’ll be given plenty of room to breath and unfold over the next several issues and I’m interested to see where it goes.

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