I’m a huge fan of the world of Avatar. I loved every moment of The Legend of Korra series and loved Korra as a character. She was complicated in ways cartoons, or characters in general, typically aren’t. Her problems were not simple, many of which were self-created. Her journey was internal first, and external second. I’d take a long breath and tell you why I love Korra so much, but Joaquim Dos Santos does it so eloquently in his introduction. I’ll leave it for him to tell you. This final volume of the series’ art collections from the creators Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, along with Joaquim Dos Santos, is a beautiful celebration of their creative process and love of the characters they’ve created.
From page to page, there is beautiful art, side notes of inspiration, story board panels, alternate character designs, anecdotes, really excellent original art, thought processes and reasons why certain decisions were made – it’s a glimpse into the world behind the world that they’ve created, and at 188 pages, it’s pretty comprehensive. Fleischer, Miyazaki, and WWI are all things that pop up in the typed descriptions.
The hardcover is 9”x12” which is perfect to set on a table top to grab people’s attention, which is what a book like this is for. If you love it, you want people to know. Personally, for books like this, I prefer slightly bigger than perfect, cause I really want people to know I love it. We’re fanboys and fangirls and we’d ask for wall size, but reality sometimes is an unwelcome friend. It boils down to a nerd being picky.
The Avatar world, as a reader and creator, grabbed me deeply and will probably never let go. A book like this is inspiring, hearing about how difficult it was sometimes, how daunting, and yet the pride they take in their work is enough to make me flip over to another word document and work on my own stuff, which I’m just about to do. So, I’ll leave it at this. The Art of the Animated Series – Book Four: Balance is definitely worth the buy if you are a fan of the series, and Christmas isn’t that far away.