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DARK HORSE DELUXE TO PRODUCE MERCHANDISE BASED ON THE HIT NICKELODEON TELEVISION SERIES, AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER AND THE LEGEND OF KORRA!

 NEW YORK-Feb. 19, 2014–Dark Horse Comics and Nickelodeon are expanding their incredibly successful publishing partnership to include a wide range of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra collectable items.  These brand-new products ranging from figures to plush will debut at International Toy Fair in New York February 2014, and will be released in May.

This new program extends the success of the certified best-selling Dark Horse art books and graphic novels, based on the work of series creators and executive producers Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, into the realm of collectable products. 

A full list of products in development include: limited-edition statues, figurines, and busts, as well as, featured plush, drinking glasses,cups, coffee mugs, coaster sets, magnets, playing cards, badges, pins, lunch boxes, sculptural pins, among other items.

“Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra are some of the finest animated television shows ever created,” said David Scroggy, Dark Horse Vice President, Product Development. “We feel a strong responsibility to bring forward the creators’ vision as accurately as possible in the style they have established, and we are excited to bring these products to fans.

 About Avatar: The Last Airbender
Launched in February 2005, Avatar is an animated comic adventure set in a fantastical Asian world.  This epic story follows the journey of twelve-year-old Aang, a reluctant hero who must lead the fight against the evil Fire Nation to restore balance in his war-torn world. The world is divided into four nations: Water, Earth, Air and Fire. Within each nation is an order of masters who possess the ability to manipulate their native element. They call themselves Waterbenders, Earthbenders, Airbenders, and Firebenders. The most powerful bender in the world is the Avatar, the spirit of the planet incarnate.

About The Legend of Korra
Launched in April 2012, The Legend of Korra is an animated adventure series, from the creators of the highly-acclaimed Avatar: The Last Airbender, that follows a 17-year-old headstrong and rebellious girl named Korra who continually challenges and bucks tradition on her quest to become a fully realized Avatar in a world where benders are under attack. 

Got this press release from Dark Horse today! From a fan perspective, this is really exciting. Nickelodeon hasn’t really ever successfully marketed A:TLA Merchandise, especially since the previous license holder refused to market or make toys of any female characters.

I also have to admit I still get a kick out of Dark Horse’s complete willingness to embrace A:TLA as set in “a fantastical Asian world.”  Take that, Paramount Pictures!

Also: plushies.

DARK HORSE DELUXE TO PRODUCE MERCHANDISE BASED ON THE HIT NICKELODEON TELEVISION SERIES, AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER AND THE LEGEND OF KORRA!

 NEW YORK-Feb. 19, 2014–Dark Horse Comics and Nickelodeon are expanding their incredibly successful publishing partnership to include a wide range of Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra collectable items.  These brand-new products ranging from figures to plush will debut at International Toy Fair in New York February 2014, and will be released in May.

This new program extends the success of the certified best-selling Dark Horse art books and graphic novels, based on the work of series creators and executive producers Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, into the realm of collectable products. 

A full list of products in development include: limited-edition statues, figurines, and busts, as well as, featured plush, drinking glasses,cups, coffee mugs, coaster sets, magnets, playing cards, badges, pins, lunch boxes, sculptural pins, among other items.

Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra are some of the finest animated television shows ever created,” said David Scroggy, Dark Horse Vice President, Product Development. “We feel a strong responsibility to bring forward the creators’ vision as accurately as possible in the style they have established, and we are excited to bring these products to fans.

 About Avatar: The Last Airbender

Launched in February 2005, Avatar is an animated comic adventure set in a fantastical Asian world.  This epic story follows the journey of twelve-year-old Aang, a reluctant hero who must lead the fight against the evil Fire Nation to restore balance in his war-torn world. The world is divided into four nations: Water, Earth, Air and Fire. Within each nation is an order of masters who possess the ability to manipulate their native element. They call themselves Waterbenders, Earthbenders, Airbenders, and Firebenders. The most powerful bender in the world is the Avatar, the spirit of the planet incarnate.

About The Legend of Korra

Launched in April 2012, The Legend of Korra is an animated adventure series, from the creators of the highly-acclaimed Avatar: The Last Airbender, that follows a 17-year-old headstrong and rebellious girl named Korra who continually challenges and bucks tradition on her quest to become a fully realized Avatar in a world where benders are under attack. 

Got this press release from Dark Horse today! From a fan perspective, this is really exciting. Nickelodeon hasn’t really ever successfully marketed A:TLA Merchandise, especially since the previous license holder refused to market or make toys of any female characters.

I also have to admit I still get a kick out of Dark Horse’s complete willingness to embrace A:TLA as set in “a fantastical Asian world.”  Take that, Paramount Pictures!

Also: plushies.

Reblogged from aquietrevolutionary  3,225 notes

aquietrevolutionary:

racebending:

nayobe:

bitchtones:

the legend of korra does women so dirty.

desna and eska have a mother and the fact that she’s so inconsequential is treated like a joke

asami is a prop who is disrespected by everyone around her and no one cares

ginger is assaulted by bolin but he still gets rewarded by her affection at the end

katara has every last drop of personality sucked away from her and shows up to i don’t know make atla fans feel sad

lin’s competence and characterization is fucked with just to prop up mako as the greatest cop ever in the history of everdom

women aren’t the majority movers and shakers in the plot the men are

women don’t have strong relationships to one another and if they do they aren’t given any importance in the plot

korra herself has a decent arc but that’s not enough for me

i don’t want to see one well developed female character i want to see numerous well developed female characters and this show can’t even do the minimum

ugh

Everything here I agree with. But what if that’s how the time period is? The world is becoming modern and it’s sort of close to ours. Even here was had a time where women were treated with disrespect and being objectified, somewhat close to that time, even today.

I know these types of things wasn’t shown much in atla, in fact, the women of atla were dignified and broke all stereotypes to show how strong women can by their own will, but I don’t know.

The “what if that’s how the time period is?” argument needs to be thoroughly debunked.   Not because this is a fictional world and the creators can choose to create whatever characters they want and give those characters whatever significant roles they want, but because it’s completely “off” as an argument, anyway.  

As you note, even today and in the past women have been treated with disrespect and objectified.   But that doesn’t mean women didn’t play important roles in history.   Women continued to work with what agency and social capital they had and played proactive roles in determining their fates.  It’s history makers who have done us all the disservice of pretending that women don’t do anything important when they are marginalized.  This is something that Avatar: The Last Airbender actively subverted by showing characters like Katara, Toph, Yue, and Ursa making decisions even if they had more limited options than the men in their world.  

While writing Avatar: The Last Airbender the writing team was able to take a close look at their story and rewrite two character concepts so that  Katara was not the only woman character in the series.   They changed the concepts of Toph and Azula from boys to girls and added characters like Ty Lee and Mai.    The writers could have been just as thoughtful with The Legend of Korra - Spirits.  

For example, they could have revised the story so that Senna was the heir to the Northern Water Tribe, and Unulaq her younger brother.   In Spirits, we never understood why Unulaq wanted to depose Tonraq.   If Unulaq’s older sibling had been Senna, a callback could have been made to the consequences of Katara’s actions at the North Pole in A:TLA.  The regressive gender politics of the historical Northern Water Tribe would have been a believable motivation for Unulaq stealing the right to rule from an older sister and first woman heir to the water tribe.  Senna fleeing to the South and the South’s desire for independence would have paralleled how Kanna fled to the South in A:TLA.   Senna could have been engaged in the rebellion storyline as a powerful waterbender.   Instead, we see Tonraq leading an all-male Southern Water Tribe rebellion while Senna stays out of the way, and the conflict between Unulaq and Tonraq echoes the Water Tribe brother conflict that we saw play out in Book 1 with Tarlokk and Amon.  

Another option the showrunners could have taken, but did not, was to make President Raiko a woman instead of a man.  This could have illustrated an interesting change in leadership and gender politics in Republic City (going from a Council that only had one woman on it to a woman president.)    The role this character played could just as easily have been filled by a woman character.   Instead, we get President Raiko and his First Lady, Buttercup, who is depicted as easily charmed by Varrick in contrast to her wiser husband.   After being kidnapped, Buttercup doesn’t show up again when Raiko is doing his tactical surveillance (when Bolin brags about his heroic antics, it’s about saving the President and not the President and the First Lady.  At least Joo Lee does a thing.)

It doesn’t make sense that Katara would not be deeply engaged in negotiating the political situation between the two Water Tribes.   And why not let her be proactive in the fight.  Master Waterbender Katara trained two Avatars in waterbending and was likely instrumental in helping Aang negotiate diplomatic situations as partner to the Avatar.   The argument that she is an “older adult who is retired” doesn’t make sense— King Bumi was 100 years old and still a diplomat and fighter.   Actually, it would have been easy to substitute Katara in any of Tonraq’s scenes without greatly impacting the plot.  (Katara even has an established history of fomenting rebellions!)

It’s not the “time period.”   It’s the writers’ choices and decisions.   There were a lot of options available to them.

Good commentary above, but I’d also like to make the point clear that there’s a difference between IN-UNIVERSE disrespect and side-lining of women, and NARRATIVE disrespect of women.

The first would make the time period issue a legitimate point, because women WERE treated poorly in that time and did have fewer options available to them. Strong and complex women still exist and still take proactive action to determine their own fate, but exist in an environment which works against them, which is inherent in the story itself.

However, the OP is talking about the narrative disrespect of women, which is, essentially, that the writers and direction of story-telling, on a meta scale, actively work against the women in their story. The women get less screen time, their plot and character arcs given less importance, their characterization relies on pre-existing stereotypes in the audience’s mind, and their relationships are less developed than those involving men. In this case, it’s not just the universe they live in disrespecting these women and working against them, it’s the very fabric of the story itself, and the choices the WRITERS make which limit the potential they have to carry their own plots via their own actions.

This is an interesting and important distinction to make.

Reblogged from nayobe  3,225 notes

nayobe:

bitchtones:

the legend of korra does women so dirty.

desna and eska have a mother and the fact that she’s so inconsequential is treated like a joke

asami is a prop who is disrespected by everyone around her and no one cares

ginger is assaulted by bolin but he still gets rewarded by her affection at the end

katara has every last drop of personality sucked away from her and shows up to i don’t know make atla fans feel sad

lin’s competence and characterization is fucked with just to prop up mako as the greatest cop ever in the history of everdom

women aren’t the majority movers and shakers in the plot the men are

women don’t have strong relationships to one another and if they do they aren’t given any importance in the plot

korra herself has a decent arc but that’s not enough for me

i don’t want to see one well developed female character i want to see numerous well developed female characters and this show can’t even do the minimum

ugh

Everything here I agree with. But what if that’s how the time period is? The world is becoming modern and it’s sort of close to ours. Even here was had a time where women were treated with disrespect and being objectified, somewhat close to that time, even today.

I know these types of things wasn’t shown much in atla, in fact, the women of atla were dignified and broke all stereotypes to show how strong women can by their own will, but I don’t know.

The “what if that’s how the time period is?” argument needs to be thoroughly debunked.   Not because this is a fictional world and the creators can choose to create whatever characters they want and give those characters whatever significant roles they want, but because it’s completely “off” as an argument, anyway.  

As you note, even today and in the past women have been treated with disrespect and objectified.   But that doesn’t mean women didn’t play important roles in history.   Women continued to work with what agency and social capital they had and played proactive roles in determining their fates.  It’s history makers who have done us all the disservice of pretending that women don’t do anything important when they are marginalized.  This is something that Avatar: The Last Airbender actively subverted by showing characters like Katara, Toph, Yue, and Ursa making decisions even if they had more limited options than the men in their world.  

While writing Avatar: The Last Airbender the writing team was able to take a close look at their story and rewrite two character concepts so that  Katara was not the only woman character in the series.   They changed the concepts of Toph and Azula from boys to girls and added characters like Ty Lee and Mai.    The writers could have been just as thoughtful with The Legend of Korra - Spirits.  

For example, they could have revised the story so that Senna was the heir to the Northern Water Tribe, and Unulaq her younger brother.   In Spirits, we never understood why Unulaq wanted to depose Tonraq.   If Unulaq’s older sibling had been Senna, a callback could have been made to the consequences of Katara’s actions at the North Pole in A:TLA.  The regressive gender politics of the historical Northern Water Tribe would have been a believable motivation for Unulaq stealing the right to rule from an older sister and first woman heir to the water tribe.  Senna fleeing to the South and the South’s desire for independence would have paralleled how Kanna fled to the South in A:TLA.   Senna could have been engaged in the rebellion storyline as a powerful waterbender.   Instead, we see Tonraq leading an all-male Southern Water Tribe rebellion while Senna stays out of the way, and the conflict between Unulaq and Tonraq echoes the Water Tribe brother conflict that we saw play out in Book 1 with Tarlokk and Amon.  

Another option the showrunners could have taken, but did not, was to make President Raiko a woman instead of a man.  This could have illustrated an interesting change in leadership and gender politics in Republic City (going from a Council that only had one woman on it to a woman president.)    The role this character played could just as easily have been filled by a woman character.   Instead, we get President Raiko and his First Lady, Buttercup, who is depicted as easily charmed by Varrick in contrast to her wiser husband.   After being kidnapped, Buttercup doesn’t show up again when Raiko is doing his tactical surveillance (when Bolin brags about his heroic antics, it’s about saving the President and not the President and the First Lady.  At least Joo Lee does a thing.)

It doesn’t make sense that Katara would not be deeply engaged in negotiating the political situation between the two Water Tribes.   And why not let her be proactive in the fight.  Master Waterbender Katara trained two Avatars in waterbending and was likely instrumental in helping Aang negotiate diplomatic situations as partner to the Avatar.   The argument that she is an “older adult who is retired” doesn’t make sense— King Bumi was 100 years old and still a diplomat and fighter.   Actually, it would have been easy to substitute Katara in any of Tonraq’s scenes without greatly impacting the plot.  (Katara even has an established history of fomenting rebellions!)

It’s not the “time period.”   It’s the writers’ choices and decisions.   There were a lot of options available to them.

Reblogged from locsgirl  3,225 notes

locsgirl:

bitchtones:

the legend of korra does women so dirty.

desna and eska have a mother and the fact that she’s so inconsequential is treated like a joke

asami is a prop who is disrespected by everyone around her and no one cares

ginger is assaulted by bolin but he still gets rewarded by her affection at the end

katara has every last drop of personality sucked away from her and shows up to i don’t know make atla fans feel sad

lin’s competence and characterization is fucked with just to prop up mako as the greatest cop ever in the history of everdom

women aren’t the majority movers and shakers in the plot the men are

women don’t have strong relationships to one another and if they do they aren’t given any importance in the plot

korra herself has a decent arc but that’s not enough for me

i don’t want to see one well developed female character i want to see numerous well developed female characters and this show can’t even do the minimum

ugh

Don’t forget Senna.  Korra’s mom, a waterbender AND a healer who learned under Katara’s teaching, and so far she’s only been shown sitting or standing around and looking sad about Tonraq, and most of the time she’s in the background or not present at all (Tonraq’s officially announced as Chief and she wasn’t even there).  My ship didn’t even get to be shown sailing so much, which is why they barely have any art. =(

When Raava piped up and reminded Korra that she was the Avatar while she was stuck in that crack, I screamed “it’s passed the Bechdel test!” while pulling on my jowls and knitting my brows.

Reblogged from bitch-media  3,769 notes
bitch-media:

Avatar: The Last Air Bender [sic] was great because it was incredibly thoughtful for a childrens show and gave the avatar Aang a lot of big issues to work through. There were love stories, but they evolved over time and didn’t take up all of the screen time. With Legend of Korra, it feels like the writers decided that now that there’s a girl at the center of the story, the show has to turn a high school gossip session over who-kissed-whom. Instead of spending time on character development, Legend of Korra mires its characters in absurd, round-and-round fights over who gets to date one another.
—from "Legend of Korra is Getting Ridiculous." 

B*tch Magazine advocates for less romance in Korra…

I think Korra has a lot of potential. She’s not a perfect “Mary Sue” character: She’s stubborn, doesn’t always listen to others, and likes to solve problems by force. She has a lot of trouble connecting to the spirit world, makes mistakes, and often ends up apologizing to people. But the show’s focus on romance is not giving her enough time to work through her issues. Instead, she is only ever working on dating. It seems like the writers feel that a show’s audience—even for a children’s show—can only relate to a woman through her love story. And that’s just not true. So let’s please have Korra and Asami ditch Mako, develop as people, and save the world together. Thank you. 

bitch-media:

Avatar: The Last Air Bender [sic] was great because it was incredibly thoughtful for a childrens show and gave the avatar Aang a lot of big issues to work through. There were love stories, but they evolved over time and didn’t take up all of the screen time. With Legend of Korra, it feels like the writers decided that now that there’s a girl at the center of the story, the show has to turn a high school gossip session over who-kissed-whom. Instead of spending time on character development, Legend of Korra mires its characters in absurd, round-and-round fights over who gets to date one another.

—from "Legend of Korra is Getting Ridiculous." 

B*tch Magazine advocates for less romance in Korra

I think Korra has a lot of potential. She’s not a perfect “Mary Sue” character: She’s stubborn, doesn’t always listen to others, and likes to solve problems by force. She has a lot of trouble connecting to the spirit world, makes mistakes, and often ends up apologizing to people. But the show’s focus on romance is not giving her enough time to work through her issues. Instead, she is only ever working on dating. It seems like the writers feel that a show’s audience—even for a children’s show—can only relate to a woman through her love story. And that’s just not true. So let’s please have Korra and Asami ditch Mako, develop as people, and save the world together. Thank you. 

Reblogged from cylaramblesaboutkorra  171 notes

cylaramblesaboutkorra:

joemerl:

Are we not going to talk about the Racebending in tonight’s Korra episode?

Now, I’m sure Bolin is a great actor, but he is of Earth Kingdom and Fire Nation descent. He has no business playing a Water Tribesman, and I’m sure there are plenty of fine Water Tribe actors who would jump at this role.

Seriously, Varrick—these are your own people you’re selling out. You should know better.

As someone else already pointed out, it looks like the film Varrick is making is a parody of Nanook of the North, a real ‘documentary’ about the Inuit people back in 1922. The difference is that the person who made Nanook was white exploiting the real life Inuits while in LoK it is Varrick of the Southern Water Tribe making a false movie about his people using Bolin…who is not Water Tribe at all. It’s an interesting twist and I am interested if that plot thread goes anywhere.

Reblogged from inbetweenthelineart  3,766 notes

inbetweenthelineart:

the ridiculous treatment of women in LoK’s narrative has gotten to the point where I think about amazing shows that treated their female characters so damn well but were for some reason or another canceled, and I almost break down crying because I’m. so. angry.

I’m angry that Asami is only there when she’s convenient for the narrative. She’s not a character, she’s a prop. Do we get to see her inner conflict resulting from last season? No! Do we get to follow her emotional journey as she struggles with the tarnished company her father left behind? Nope! She doesn’t even come up with the idea on how to save it, it’s given to her by a male character who seems to have overtaken her importance/role in the story.

I’m angry that Mako is framed as the victim when the women in his life (his boss and his gf) “act irrational”, yet back when he was doing the exact same things, we were supposed to sympathize with HIM.

I’m angry that with a business man who is almost on the level of Tony Stark in this world, the women who should be his Pepper Pots in every sense of the word is mostly silent and submissive, simply going along with whatever he says without question, occasionally with a little quip, but never seems to exist for much else. Ya know what would have been REALLY great? How about the hilarious, delusional businessman role be played by a WOMAN, and her personal assistant was the man? I’d sure be down for that!

I’m angry that a teenage girl who could have been a compelling, interesting character as the dry, dark cousin of the Avatar, has literally served no purpose other than to be “the crazy girlfriend” to one of the poor, defenseless male characters, and for comedy at that. Oh, and her brother has had far less dialogue and screen time than she, but showed more humanity and depth in his one line this episode than she has ever shown thus far. 

Read More

I hate to find myself nodding in agreement with so much of this critique because I want so much to support Legend of Korra as it is one of the only shows on television to have a woman of color as a protagonist.  At the same time, there is so much that is cringe worthy, problematic, or flat out misogynist-supporting in the narrative and characterization of the women in this series to mar it’s progressiveness.

inbetweenthelineart notes that “we have seen next to no female police officers, metalbender cops, Triad members, members of the Northern troops, or members of the Southern resistance force. In ATLA, while background characters were still predominately male, we were still given glimpses of female prisoners of war, female guards, and female soldiers. Why has this diminished so much? Shouldn’t gender progress (especially in the Water Tribes thanks to Katara) have blossomed to the point where the number of women is nearly equal to the number of men?”  

Beyond the glaring disproportion of women in important roles in the story (from Tonraq to Unulaq to Varrick to Raiko, all of the new political movers-and-shakers introduced in Season 2 on screen are men), the most recent episode’s characterization of the “erratic spurned woman” really reinforces the all-male writing team’s difficulty developing women characters.  

Yeah, the “woman scorned” is a pretty common TV Trope, but this is what we saw in the last episode:  Bolin squealing in terror when reminded of spurred Eska’s rage—rage so murderous (and also directed at another woman, Korra) that her father and brother have to temper her wrath by reminding her that they need the Avatar alive.  We saw Mako dumping Korra at work and her emotionally reactive destruction of furniture.  She is the producer-described “strong female protagonist” so we see her yelling and disruptively flipping tables at her ex-partner’s workplace (a police station of all places.)   We then see his supervisor (the only woman in the office) reacting to the damage by remarking that Mako got off easy…because when Tenzin rejected her she did even worse to Air Temple Island (a religious site and Tenzin’s home.)  If these behaviors were committed by male characters the narrative would likely frame them as signs of abuse (even with our society’s tendency to romanticize this stuff) but on Legend of Korra, when  the women are abusive, it’s part of the show’s humor.  

When angry women are funny, when abusive behavior from women directed towards men is framed as funny instead of terrifying, this depiction underscores sexist attitudes towards women and their agency in general.   [I’m reminded of the popular Korean movie My Sassy Girlthe titular woman character is emotionally abusive towards her hapless and bewildered boyfriend, but the audience is supposed to find this endearing (she’s sassy!) and harmless (she’s a girl!)]

It just makes me wish for the more nuanced depictions of the women and girl characters in Avatar: The Last Airbender.   I can’t see Katara from A:TLA kicking over a table over being dumped or Toph taking her anger out by rampaging across a sacred island just because of some boy.   In the series and in the continuation comics, Mai confidently calls Zuko out on his nonsense without hi-jinks designed to bring out audience chuffles.    The only character from A:TLA that presented with this extreme degree of emotional dysregulation was Azula— smeared make up, brutal physical violence towards her environment, emotional abuse towards her loved ones—and written in a way that the audience did take her, her feelings, and her inappropriate expression of them seriously.

When women characters in Korra behave erratically and abusively after they are rejected by men, and the narrative prods us not to take them or their inappropriate behaviors seriously… it’s cliched writing and it’s (intentionally or not) sexism-reinforcing writing, 

Reblogged from dongbufeng  6,026 notes
bryankonietzko:

korranation:

Comic Con alert!
Check out this gorgeous poster of Korra and Wan, made exclusively for New York Comic Con (via Comics Alliance)
Then, tell us what questions YOU want answered at the Korra panel, where we’ll also be screening a brand new episode of LoK :)
Respond in the comments with your question for Bryan, Joaquim, Janet Varney (Korra) or PJ Byrne (Bolin).
What question do you want answered?!

This poster of Avatar Wan and Korra is what we’ll be giving away and signing at New York Comic Con. This one took a village: The rough was drawn by Joaquim Dos Santos and me; the cleanup was done by Christie Tseng, Angela Song Mueller, and Christine Bian; and I did the color. I’m really happy with how it came out, and I think it might be my favorite poster that we’ve ever done. Hopefully the printing goes well…

bryankonietzko:

korranation:

Comic Con alert!

Check out this gorgeous poster of Korra and Wan, made exclusively for New York Comic Con (via Comics Alliance)

Then, tell us what questions YOU want answered at the Korra panel, where we’ll also be screening a brand new episode of LoK :)

Respond in the comments with your question for Bryan, Joaquim, Janet Varney (Korra) or PJ Byrne (Bolin).

What question do you want answered?!

This poster of Avatar Wan and Korra is what we’ll be giving away and signing at New York Comic Con. This one took a village: The rough was drawn by Joaquim Dos Santos and me; the cleanup was done by Christie Tseng, Angela Song Mueller, and Christine Bian; and I did the color. I’m really happy with how it came out, and I think it might be my favorite poster that we’ve ever done. Hopefully the printing goes well…

Reblogged from chicagoartnerd  4,496 notes
chicagoartnerd:

frezned:

bryankonietzko:

ktempest:

bryankonietzko:

The Legend of Korra is coming to New York Comic Con!
It’s just like San Diego Comic-Con, minus the hyphen! It has been a long time since we made it out to a convention other than SDCC, and we know that fact bums out a lot of non-SoCal/SoCal-accessible fans. We wish that we could venture out more, but even just prepping for and visiting San Diego once a year takes a lot of time out of our jam-packed production schedule, so traveling even further for conventions is usually not an option. But we’re going to make it happen anyway for NYCC, and we’re really looking forward to it!
Unfortunately Mike can’t make it, but Joaquim and I will be joined by some special guests at the panel Saturday, October 12th at 11:00 am. Lots of cool stuff in the works for the presentation. We’re putting together a signing on that Saturday too, so I’ll update with more info when I have it.
See you East Coasters soon!

Someone please bring up that thing about how there are no women leaders and why isn’t Katara head of the Water Tribe. Please.

I can answer these for you now. There are women world leaders in the Avatar world during Korra’s present: Zuko’s daughter is the Fire Lord, and there is an Earth Queen ruling the Earth Kingdom.
As for Katara, there is no separate chief in the Southern Water Tribe: both tribes are officially ruled by a royal descendant (currently Unalaq), residing in the Northern Tribe. Prior to the Hundred Year War, I think there was more of a link between families in both tribes feeding into this ruling family, but the tribes have drifted apart and the chief residing in the North isn’t much more than a figurehead to the South. For the Southern Tribe, we always imagined there is a sort of “Council of Elders,” consisting of women and men, who jointly govern the South. I can imagine Katara takes part in that council, and I can also imagine she isn’t interested in being the chief of both tribes anyway.
While we’re on the subject of world leaders, I saw a comment on my dashboard after the Barnes & Noble signing from someone who was dissatisfied with the fact that we didn’t continue the Equalist plot in Book 2 and wrote something to the effect that we were just keeping the bending oppressors in power and sweeping the plight of the oppressed non-benders under the rug. This is definitely not the case. Our idea was that the Equalist revolution forced the United Republic Council (Tenzin included) to face the fact that the majority of the population was not being represented. As a result, they disbanded the council and held open elections, and Raiko, a non-bender, was elected as the president of the United Republic. Looking back, I do think we could have made that clearer, but I think we were probably trying not to bog down the premiere episode with what we refer to as stuff that’s getting too “Trade Federation-y,” since there was plenty to pack into that episode as it was. 

I was like “you could’ve worked this into the plot” reading the whole thing exactly up until the words “trade federation” and I immediately 100% switched to “yep good call”

The problem with that is visibility matters. So it’s awesome that there are women leaders in Korra’s world but if we never see them, and only hear one sentence mentions of them from time to time that is problem. Cause Lin is in a position of power as Chief of Police and now Asami owns Sato Corp but they are the only women in public positions of power that we see regularly. That’s why I think people are asking if there are any women world leaders, because so far we haven’t seen any. 

chicagoartnerd:

frezned:

bryankonietzko:

ktempest:

bryankonietzko:

The Legend of Korra is coming to New York Comic Con!

It’s just like San Diego Comic-Con, minus the hyphen! It has been a long time since we made it out to a convention other than SDCC, and we know that fact bums out a lot of non-SoCal/SoCal-accessible fans. We wish that we could venture out more, but even just prepping for and visiting San Diego once a year takes a lot of time out of our jam-packed production schedule, so traveling even further for conventions is usually not an option. But we’re going to make it happen anyway for NYCC, and we’re really looking forward to it!

Unfortunately Mike can’t make it, but Joaquim and I will be joined by some special guests at the panel Saturday, October 12th at 11:00 am. Lots of cool stuff in the works for the presentation. We’re putting together a signing on that Saturday too, so I’ll update with more info when I have it.

See you East Coasters soon!

Someone please bring up that thing about how there are no women leaders and why isn’t Katara head of the Water Tribe. Please.

I can answer these for you now. There are women world leaders in the Avatar world during Korra’s present: Zuko’s daughter is the Fire Lord, and there is an Earth Queen ruling the Earth Kingdom.

As for Katara, there is no separate chief in the Southern Water Tribe: both tribes are officially ruled by a royal descendant (currently Unalaq), residing in the Northern Tribe. Prior to the Hundred Year War, I think there was more of a link between families in both tribes feeding into this ruling family, but the tribes have drifted apart and the chief residing in the North isn’t much more than a figurehead to the South. For the Southern Tribe, we always imagined there is a sort of “Council of Elders,” consisting of women and men, who jointly govern the South. I can imagine Katara takes part in that council, and I can also imagine she isn’t interested in being the chief of both tribes anyway.

While we’re on the subject of world leaders, I saw a comment on my dashboard after the Barnes & Noble signing from someone who was dissatisfied with the fact that we didn’t continue the Equalist plot in Book 2 and wrote something to the effect that we were just keeping the bending oppressors in power and sweeping the plight of the oppressed non-benders under the rug. This is definitely not the case. Our idea was that the Equalist revolution forced the United Republic Council (Tenzin included) to face the fact that the majority of the population was not being represented. As a result, they disbanded the council and held open elections, and Raiko, a non-bender, was elected as the president of the United Republic. Looking back, I do think we could have made that clearer, but I think we were probably trying not to bog down the premiere episode with what we refer to as stuff that’s getting too “Trade Federation-y,” since there was plenty to pack into that episode as it was. 

I was like “you could’ve worked this into the plot” reading the whole thing exactly up until the words “trade federation” and I immediately 100% switched to “yep good call”

The problem with that is visibility matters. So it’s awesome that there are women leaders in Korra’s world but if we never see them, and only hear one sentence mentions of them from time to time that is problem. Cause Lin is in a position of power as Chief of Police and now Asami owns Sato Corp but they are the only women in public positions of power that we see regularly. That’s why I think people are asking if there are any women world leaders, because so far we haven’t seen any. 

Reblogged from seekingwillow  4,496 notes
seekingwillow:

jhenne-bean:

blueeyeslikethesea:

bryankonietzko:

ktempest:

bryankonietzko:

The Legend of Korra is coming to New York Comic Con!
It’s just like San Diego Comic-Con, minus the hyphen! It has been a long time since we made it out to a convention other than SDCC, and we know that fact bums out a lot of non-SoCal/SoCal-accessible fans. We wish that we could venture out more, but even just prepping for and visiting San Diego once a year takes a lot of time out of our jam-packed production schedule, so traveling even further for conventions is usually not an option. But we’re going to make it happen anyway for NYCC, and we’re really looking forward to it!
Unfortunately Mike can’t make it, but Joaquim and I will be joined by some special guests at the panel Saturday, October 12th at 11:00 am. Lots of cool stuff in the works for the presentation. We’re putting together a signing on that Saturday too, so I’ll update with more info when I have it.
See you East Coasters soon!

Someone please bring up that thing about how there are no women leaders and why isn’t Katara head of the Water Tribe. Please.

I can answer these for you now. There are women world leaders in the Avatar world during Korra’s present: Zuko’s daughter is the Fire Lord, and there is an Earth Queen ruling the Earth Kingdom.
As for Katara, there is no separate chief in the Southern Water Tribe: both tribes are officially ruled by a royal descendant (currently Unalaq), residing in the Northern Tribe. Prior to the Hundred Year War, I think there was more of a link between families in both tribes feeding into this ruling family, but the tribes have drifted apart and the chief residing in the North isn’t much more than a figurehead to the South. For the Southern Tribe, we always imagined there is a sort of “Council of Elders,” consisting of women and men, who jointly govern the South. I can imagine Katara takes part in that council, and I can also imagine she isn’t interested in being the chief of both tribes anyway.
While we’re on the subject of world leaders, I saw a comment on my dashboard after the Barnes & Noble signing from someone who was dissatisfied with the fact that we didn’t continue the Equalist plot in Book 2 and wrote something to the effect that we were just keeping the bending oppressors in power and sweeping the plight of the oppressed non-benders under the rug. This is definitely not the case. Our idea was that the Equalist revolution forced the United Republic Council (Tenzin included) to face the fact that the majority of the population was not being represented. As a result, they disbanded the council and held open elections, and Raiko, a non-bender, was elected as the president of the United Republic. Looking back, I do think we could have made that clearer, but I think we were probably trying not to bog down the premiere episode with what we refer to as stuff that’s getting too “Trade Federation-y,” since there was plenty to pack into that episode as it was.

See you there!

Breaking the rule of Show Not Tell since the universe was young.

___
I’ve been trying not to say anything about and trying and just - NO. Breaking up a council of equal representation instead of putting on say two non-bender members (who could have been chosen via general elections) to have a single president is not only a very USA idea, thus Western idea as to the solution to having democracy having to look a certain way.
It doesn’t change the possibility of imbalance of powers.
Look at OUR current reality; look at the US disenfranchising people; look at Mako threatening a non-bender with burning his face off and I’m to believe come election time that SOMEHOW, things will work out fair? That there won’t be enthusiastic benders ‘promoting’ their candidates via threats? Implied sly or outright?
I’m to believe having a single head of state as a vulnerability in such a universe; where before one had to try and control an ENTIRE COUNCIL if one wanted to push things through - is a better state of affairs?
I’m meant to conclude that tribal councils on the whole are inferior to a single president and call that progress and improvement?
Miss me with that ish.
All it does it show an incredibly lack of knowledge on the realities of the oppressed within a dominant oppressing system.

Making a sweeping institutional change that provides a veneer of progress without addressing the underlying issue seems exactly like something a bender-dominated government would do.    (At least, we see that reflected in our own histories and our own stories.)
In that sense, I totally see the Council of representatives patting themselves on the back and saying “yeah see, we made it fair, so why are nonbenders still complaining, you have a President who represents you now, don’t you?”  without taking into account history or systemic oppression.  
Everything you speculate on—the bender intimidation, manipulation of President Raiko, the risky consolidation of power in one elected individual (in a six month span?)—is (to me) believably occurring in the political underbelly of Republic City.    The verisimilitude lies in the fact that groups with privilege often do all of these things and then “call it progress and improvement” with a complete lack of knowledge on “the realities of the oppressed within a dominant oppressing system.”
The trade-off is supposed to be that when these inequities are replicated in a fantasy setting, it is supposed to be thought provoking and allow the viewer/consumer to be able to build insight and critique on both the fantasy world and our own world. It becomes problematic if the creators are unable to recognize the complexities or the oppression as they replicate it on screen.  
tl;dr -   I’m okay with the idea of the Republic City Council hastily reorganizing and the resulting non-bender president and calling it progress, Equalist problem solved, because that seems like a realistic move for a government that ruled for so long without recognizing such a glaring imbalance in power.  I am uncomfortable if the writers of Korra believe this along with their fictional characters—because changing a dressing is not the same as healing a wound.

seekingwillow:

jhenne-bean:

blueeyeslikethesea:

bryankonietzko:

ktempest:

bryankonietzko:

The Legend of Korra is coming to New York Comic Con!

It’s just like San Diego Comic-Con, minus the hyphen! It has been a long time since we made it out to a convention other than SDCC, and we know that fact bums out a lot of non-SoCal/SoCal-accessible fans. We wish that we could venture out more, but even just prepping for and visiting San Diego once a year takes a lot of time out of our jam-packed production schedule, so traveling even further for conventions is usually not an option. But we’re going to make it happen anyway for NYCC, and we’re really looking forward to it!

Unfortunately Mike can’t make it, but Joaquim and I will be joined by some special guests at the panel Saturday, October 12th at 11:00 am. Lots of cool stuff in the works for the presentation. We’re putting together a signing on that Saturday too, so I’ll update with more info when I have it.

See you East Coasters soon!

Someone please bring up that thing about how there are no women leaders and why isn’t Katara head of the Water Tribe. Please.

I can answer these for you now. There are women world leaders in the Avatar world during Korra’s present: Zuko’s daughter is the Fire Lord, and there is an Earth Queen ruling the Earth Kingdom.

As for Katara, there is no separate chief in the Southern Water Tribe: both tribes are officially ruled by a royal descendant (currently Unalaq), residing in the Northern Tribe. Prior to the Hundred Year War, I think there was more of a link between families in both tribes feeding into this ruling family, but the tribes have drifted apart and the chief residing in the North isn’t much more than a figurehead to the South. For the Southern Tribe, we always imagined there is a sort of “Council of Elders,” consisting of women and men, who jointly govern the South. I can imagine Katara takes part in that council, and I can also imagine she isn’t interested in being the chief of both tribes anyway.

While we’re on the subject of world leaders, I saw a comment on my dashboard after the Barnes & Noble signing from someone who was dissatisfied with the fact that we didn’t continue the Equalist plot in Book 2 and wrote something to the effect that we were just keeping the bending oppressors in power and sweeping the plight of the oppressed non-benders under the rug. This is definitely not the case. Our idea was that the Equalist revolution forced the United Republic Council (Tenzin included) to face the fact that the majority of the population was not being represented. As a result, they disbanded the council and held open elections, and Raiko, a non-bender, was elected as the president of the United Republic. Looking back, I do think we could have made that clearer, but I think we were probably trying not to bog down the premiere episode with what we refer to as stuff that’s getting too “Trade Federation-y,” since there was plenty to pack into that episode as it was.

See you there!

Breaking the rule of Show Not Tell since the universe was young.

___

I’ve been trying not to say anything about and trying and just - NO. Breaking up a council of equal representation instead of putting on say two non-bender members (who could have been chosen via general elections) to have a single president is not only a very USA idea, thus Western idea as to the solution to having democracy having to look a certain way.

It doesn’t change the possibility of imbalance of powers.

Look at OUR current reality; look at the US disenfranchising people; look at Mako threatening a non-bender with burning his face off and I’m to believe come election time that SOMEHOW, things will work out fair? That there won’t be enthusiastic benders ‘promoting’ their candidates via threats? Implied sly or outright?

I’m to believe having a single head of state as a vulnerability in such a universe; where before one had to try and control an ENTIRE COUNCIL if one wanted to push things through - is a better state of affairs?

I’m meant to conclude that tribal councils on the whole are inferior to a single president and call that progress and improvement?

Miss me with that ish.

All it does it show an incredibly lack of knowledge on the realities of the oppressed within a dominant oppressing system.

Making a sweeping institutional change that provides a veneer of progress without addressing the underlying issue seems exactly like something a bender-dominated government would do.    (At least, we see that reflected in our own histories and our own stories.)

In that sense, I totally see the Council of representatives patting themselves on the back and saying “yeah see, we made it fair, so why are nonbenders still complaining, you have a President who represents you now, don’t you?”  without taking into account history or systemic oppression.  

Everything you speculate on—the bender intimidation, manipulation of President Raiko, the risky consolidation of power in one elected individual (in a six month span?)—is (to me) believably occurring in the political underbelly of Republic City.    The verisimilitude lies in the fact that groups with privilege often do all of these things and then “call it progress and improvement” with a complete lack of knowledge on “the realities of the oppressed within a dominant oppressing system.”

The trade-off is supposed to be that when these inequities are replicated in a fantasy setting, it is supposed to be thought provoking and allow the viewer/consumer to be able to build insight and critique on both the fantasy world and our own world. It becomes problematic if the creators are unable to recognize the complexities or the oppression as they replicate it on screen.  

tl;dr -   I’m okay with the idea of the Republic City Council hastily reorganizing and the resulting non-bender president and calling it progress, Equalist problem solved, because that seems like a realistic move for a government that ruled for so long without recognizing such a glaring imbalance in power.  I am uncomfortable if the writers of Korra believe this along with their fictional characters—because changing a dressing is not the same as healing a wound.

What would you like to see addressed in an article on motherhood, gender, and sexism in the Avatar franchise?

I have a review copy of the last part of The Search from Dark Horse (which talks about what happened to Zuko’s mom) and initially I was just going to review that for Racebending.com…but lately I’ve been thinking of expanding the review to be more all-encompassing of depictions of motherhood, gender, and sexism in the series (or in the fandom?)    (Particularly after a fellow fan at the Barnes and Noble event asked Bryke if we’ll see more women characters in Book 2 since most of the new ones are men.)

Thought I’d float this idea out here for discussion with other tumblr users:   

What topics would you like to see addressed in an article on motherhood, gender, and sexism in the Avatar franchise?

    hernamewaswritinwater asked
    I heard someone argue that white people doing martial arts is cultural appropriation. White people doing kung fu in movies and the whitewashing of martial arts in hollywood can be very offensive, but I don't see anything wrong for a white girl to learn a martial art for her own use if she is respectful. So my question is- is a white person learning a culturally specific activity (a dance, a martial art, music, etc) a form of cultural appropriation?

    Answer:

    I think it’s important to note that when we talk about “culture” we are not necessarily talking about race or ethnicity.   Culture comes in many forms!   (Just think about how people in cosplay culture are reacting to the new Heroes of Cosplay television series.   Or how some geeks feel about this certain popular sitcom about geeks, created by people who aren’t geeks…)

    Martial arts are a form of culture but that does not mean they are necessarily exclusive to any race or creed.  Nowadays, most schools of martial arts welcome anyone who is willing to learn.   Generally there is an expectation that you will take the art seriously and respectfully. 

    An excellent example of this comes from the background of the Avatar: The Last Airbender series.   The creators knew they wanted to incorporate Asian cultures into the series…and they really could have gone about doing this in a number of ways.  Bryan Konietzko writes on his tumblr: ”Rather than merely copying moves from movies, Mike and I wanted to tap into the martial arts for the show on a deeper level, so we knew we would need an expert.

    After Bryan had been in my class for some time, he mentioned to me that he was an animator. My reply was in the realm of “that’s nice”. I was teaching in my backyard to only a few students after closing my second storefront school in ten years of teaching. I tend to avoid most new students and leave them to my assistants until they have internalized the basics. Los Angeles is home of the waiter / actor, so when some chatty student starts in with a “Hollywood moment” my loss of interest quickly follows.

    Most people have a lot to say about wanting to learn the martial arts, but are very short on actually practicing it. I am big on the practice of gung fu and short on just standing around talking about it. Bryan was the type of student who practiced. He caught my eye and I began to teach him some of the closed door techniques (in traditional martial arts we have public students and close students or CLOSED DOOR). 

    Later again he mentioned to me he was involved in a TV production of some sort and asked if I would possibly be interested in working on a show he was developing. I had worked in Hollywood for years as an actor, stuntman, and production flunkie and left it behind never to look back.

    I liked Bryan because of his dedication and told him I’d be interested to see storyboards of the action sequences. I was blown away when I finally saw them. The characters were Aang and Zuko engaged in a fight for the pencil test. The framing of the action is what caught my attention. I am a big fan of martial arts movies and I have worked as a second unit action director on many films, so I know what I’d like to see in a gung fu film and I said to myself “this kid gets it!” 

    I said yes.

    - Sifu Kisu in an interview with Avatar Spirit.net

    Rather than simply appropriating from martial arts culture, the creators of the series respectfully engaged with people from that culture,  diligently built trust and experience with the culture—and in this case, Konietzko fully immersed himself in and became a part of that culture.  

    The first example I can think of, regarding cultural appropriation of martial arts, is of a cheesy dojo I overheard some of my friends poking fun at.  According to them, this place has totally commercialized martial arts.  Anyone can buy a belt, none of the instruction is done in the original language (instead taught in English using corny, orientalizing names), the decor looks straight out of stereotypical Hollywood, etc.  So you can see there’s a big difference between these two examples and the approach as outsiders to a culture.

    Another example that I’ve been thinking about lately is the practice of Yoga in the United States.   This is an interesting editorial about cultural appropriation and yoga.  

    While many people appear uncomfortable when it comes to talking about cultural appropriation, yoga furnishes a textbook example; westerners lift something from another tradition, brand it as “exotic,” proceed to dilute and twist it to satisfy their own desires, and then call it their own. While claiming to honor the centuries of tradition involved, what they practice is so far from the actual yoga practiced by actual Hindus that it’s really just another form of trendy fitness, covered in New Age trappings. 

    In 2010, the Hindu American Foundation launched a “Take Yoga Back” campaign to address some of these issues, reaching out to educate people about the origins of yoga. Their campaign is designed not to tell people to stop practicing yoga, but to get people thinking about its roots.

    To answer your question, an individual’s approach to a culturally specific activity certainly can be culturally appropriative, but it doesn’t always have to be, because it is about your approach and engaging with different cultures and peoples in a respectful manner.