Michael Dante DiMartino Interview

 

Mike DimartinoThis week on the Writers of Fantasy podcast my guest is Michael Dante DiMartino; he is a writer, artist, and perhaps most famously, the co-creator of Avatar the Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra!

He is also the author of a new fantasy series, Rebel Genius!

We talk about building characters, worlds, themes, and more besides. Check it out as we delve into Avatar and more!

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Legend of Korra Comics: Irene Koh Interview

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Legend of Korra Comics: Irene Koh Interview

The Legend of Korra is back! We spoke to Irene Koh, the artist behind Turf Wars, the upcoming graphic novel trilogy. The first graphic novel trilogy continuing the series, written by co-creator Michael Dante DiMartino, is coming out this month.

Irene Koh is an illustrator from Seoul, now living in Los angeles. She received her BFA in illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design and has worked for Dark Horse, DC, Marvel, IDW, Oni Press, and Stela.

If you read Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or Batgirl, you might have seen her work before.

But we are here to talk about Korra! So let’s get started! Spirits, elements, martial arts, and maybe a bit of Korrasami?

lokturfw-4– For those who might not have heard yet, can you tell us a little bit about how you got the job on the Korra comics?

I’d been joking for years that I’d be a perfect fit for the comic, as a bisexual Asian martial artist and avid Avatar fan. After Brittney Williams dropped out of the project, a friend of mine was offered the gig, to which she referred me instead.

I drew a few test pages, and now here I am, almost done drawing Part Two.

– There have been a lot of artists who have worked on both Avatar and Korra, do you have any favourites that informed your own style? 

The key art people on staff (or at least the ones whose work I can readily find on the Internet) have been great to look at. Not necessarily for style’s sake, since I was asked to draw the book in my own style, but for movement.

Animation folks have totally different way of approaching movement and character acting, and there’s a lot of great tricks I picked up just studying their work. Specifically, I looked at Steve Ahn’s work for action, and Ki Hyun Ryu’s amazing, expressive faces.

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Rebel Genius by Mike DiMartino – Review

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Rebel Genius by Mike DiMartino – Review

I am a great fan of Mike DiMartino’s work on Avatar the Last Airbender and the Legend of Korra. His book, Rebel Genius, is a solo effort and I approached it with great expectations. Will it live up to those standards? Can Rebel Genius mark the beginning of a new, great young adult series?

The Background

dimartinoIt is difficult to approach this book without making reference to DiMartino’s creative history. His background writing for Avatar and Legend of Korra went hand in hand with his working relationship with Bryan Konietzko.

Between the two of them they developed an incredible world, deep and complex characters, and some unbelievable visuals.

I had often wondered what each member of team ‘Bryke’ brought to the table in Avatar, so this solo effort appealed to me as the chance to see just that.

I will try to treat this book on its own merits rather than making continuous references back to Avatar. But that is difficult for one so familiar with them, and so I will limit my commentary on that. After all, DiMartino has seemingly gone out of his way to distance Rebel Genius from Avatar in a few instances.

Where Avatar was based mostly on near and far eastern culture, history and mythology, Rebel Genius is much more of a Renaissance-inspired world. Moreover, the magical system is less based on martial arts and more on artistic talent and imagination.

That being said, there are still some similarities. There is an evil overlord, much like Fire Lord Ozai; there is a suppression of certain magical abilities, and there is a ‘villain’ who may or may not turn good in the end.

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Avatar: North and South – Part 1 Review

North and South 1.pngThe Avatar the Last Airbender comics are back with North and South Part 1! This review will not contain spoilers, so feel free to read on if you haven’t yet had chance to pick it up.

With the new Legend of Korra comics being pushed back to 2017, many fans will be filling the void as they wait with the Avatar comics. This is not going to be difficult as North and South is already shaping up to be an intriguing and complex installment that fans can pour over for months.

While Avatar Aang deals with the problems in the Fire Nation, as explored in Smoke and Shadow, Katara and Sokka head home to the South Pole to see how the Water Tribes are getting along. They are met with some surprises as their home is no longer quite how they remember it, and their father has a new position of authority. But these changes do not go unchallenged, and cultural clashes are already brewing, foreshadowing much of what we saw in Legend of Korra book 2.

The artwork has taken a massive step forward over the last few volumes, and this installment is no exception. The Gurihiru artists have outdone themselves once again, managing to realise what might have, in less adept hands, have been a very bland landscape into something dazzling, filled with depth and detail.

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