Legend of Korra follows the title character, the new Avatar who came into being after Avatar Aang passed away. After being discovered as a child, Korra is essentially raised in a White Lotus compound, training to hone her abilities as the Avatar. While she’s straightforward and brave, she has a somewhat limited understanding of the world, and when she travels to Republic City to learn Airbending, she’s pulled into a struggle she may not be quite ready to handle.
In the short run of the first season – Book One consisted of 12 episodes – was enough to gain a following among returning fans from Avatar: The Last Airbender and new fans alike, leading to the premiere of the second season, Book Two, set to run at 14 episodes.
One remarkable aspect of Legend of Korra is the art accompanying it, including the detailed backdrops and the careful attention paid to lighting in the animation style. The Legend of Korra: The Art of the Animated Series Book One: Air showcases these and other aspects of the show in one glorious hardcover edition from Dark Horse Comics.
The 184-page art book was released in July 2013 and contains work by many of the people who worked on the show – including Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, the show’s creators – including tons of sketches and other pretty things every Korra fans find themselves drooling over. For me, the most drool-worthy images are landscapes – but for others, it may be one of many other things in the book.
While my review copy was a digital version rather than print, it’s easy to see how well the art – a mix of development sketches, finished work, and finished sketches – would translate to a physical book, and just looking at every two-page spread at the beginning of each section makes me salivate with anticipation.
One of my favorite things about the world of Avatar, both the original series The Last Airbender and the new series The Legend of Korra, is the facial expressions, especially the comedic ones. In the Early Development section, development sketches show not only fascinating concepts for Korra’s character design, but also a plethora of the hilarious facial expressions that originally drew me in as a member of the audience. From random extras to Tiny Korra and even including the show’s animal companions, the diversity of expression in the book is fantastic.
For architecture or history buffs, the Welcome to Republic City section features images and a little bit of discussion of the inspiration behind the buildings, structures, and overall look of Republic City, a setting very different in feel from its predecessor’s settings. Other beautiful landscapes are found throughout the book in nearly every section.
Retailing at $34.99, this book – like many art books – is a bit pricey for the average geek, but it would make an excellent gift for a fan of the Avatar universe or an awesome collection piece, especially for those of us who don’t have the Book One DVD on-hand.
Feliza Casano is the founder and editor in chief of Girls in Capes and writes for all sections of the web magazine. Follow her on Twitter @FelizaCasano.