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Adam Cadwell's Scribblings
8th-Jun-2009 10:04 am

The second in my 'Childhood Villains' series of illustrations, this demonic nightmare fuel is Venger, the "Force of Evil" from the 1980's cartoon, Dungeons & Dragons.

My most prevalent memory of this cartoon was how perpetually depressing it was. Like other shows with the same concept, characters trapped in another world trying to get home, like Quantum Leap, the children would get a glimpse of returning home almost every episode but it would never work out. I think they got home once but had to return because Venger came with them, or something like that. Even as a small kid I got this sense of shattered hope with every episode and how miserable the characters seemed at points, trapped in a harsh, dangerous world, forced to wear stupid outfits and hang out with an old midget (The Dungeon Master). I much preferred He-Man. You knew what was going to happen with He-Man.

Worst of all though was Venger. Often seen riding his black stallion with hooves of fire, Venger was the demonic, vampiric, bat winged embodiment of evil in a big skirt always trying to capture the children's power to locate his lost horn (as I remember it, correct me if I'm wrong). There's something about his design that would terrify me as a kid, partly I think it's the white face and dark eyes, with the snub nose and fangs making him almost snake like. The giant bat wings don't hurt either. But I think it's also the disturbed symmetry of his design that on a more subconscious level lets us know that something is amiss with him. I've tried to emphasize that with my depiction of him, that he's perfectly symmetrical apart from the long, thin, scythe-like horn protruding from the side of his head. Either that or he's just one bad mother.

Happy Nightmares, kids!


Next week: Charn!
8th-Jun-2009 01:28 pm (UTC) - Venger
Is this a response to all my talk of "The Arsenal" at the MCM Expo? I must have said "Wenger" at least half a dozen times.

Dungeons and Dragons was written by Mark Evanier - of Groo fame!
8th-Jun-2009 01:47 pm (UTC) - Re: Venger
Entirely separate, I assure you. Groo who?
8th-Jun-2009 02:53 pm (UTC) - Re: Venger
Groo The Wanderer! Sergio Aragones!!!
8th-Jun-2009 06:05 pm (UTC)
I was just talking about Venger today. And I come home to see this. His eyes are genuine evil and he seems a bit more vicious with the sharper look you've given him. I'm hoping you make these illustrations into stickers or something similar for future shows.

And bring on Charn! I'm really eager to see how many people actually watched that show when they were kids. It's my Lord of the Rings.

8th-Jun-2009 06:36 pm (UTC)
The script for the final, unanimated show is online somewhere, I read it a while ago. The kids don't get home, but it's revealed Venger (spoiler) is actually Dungeon Master's son. And that they weren't there to defeat Venger, but to 'redeem' him. Which adds another few levels to an already pretty heavy show.
8th-Jun-2009 10:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the comments, dude. Venger is that midget's son? How does that work? That's some serious family issues right there. Dungeons & Dragons is probably the best Saturday morning cartoon about child abduction and psychological turmoil ever made.
9th-Jun-2009 02:41 am (UTC)
Actually, in one episode they hint at all those things when the kids find Venger's sister, and redeem her. I loved this show as a kid, and still love it today.

Nice Venger, dude!
9th-Jun-2009 10:11 am (UTC)
That is freaking awesome
9th-Jun-2009 10:18 am (UTC)
Aw, thanks Em.
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