Hi there, I'm Rachel. I'm a 21 year old college graduate (I can finally say that!) who majored in computer science and math and I'm hella nerdy. I'm probably the biggest Avatar fan you will ever meet. I blog about my life, Avatar, Dragonlance, books, Jewish things, vegetarian things, and super cute animals (especially bunnies!) I love making new friends, so please message me if you want to talk! ^_^

On romance in Korra, and why fans are actually upset

Okay, I need to complain about part of the latest interview:

There’s also continuing interest in whomever Korra is dating. Diane Pangilinan ‏@twinklelydy asked “do u have any plans for developing Korra’s love life?”

Konietzko: It seems to me that people are uninterested in that. They get completely angry when we have fun with the teen romance stuff. I don’t know. I’m going to leave that alone.

It may seem a little weird that people would be interested in a cartoon character’s dating habits, but I think some fans do really care.

Konietzko: This is my new theory. Fans are more interested in imagining relationships between a myriad of pairings. But they’re profoundly disinterested in seeing any of those things manifest themselves on the show. So who knows, whatever. Mike and I as writers, we wrote it the way we found it to be entertaining, and that struck a chord with some, but maybe not with some others.

Okay, I’m not going to lie. It really upsets me that this is what they think.

The fans love shipping. To pretend that they don’t because they were upset with how the romance is written in Korra is completely missing the point.

I think there are two main problems with romance in Korra, and they have to do with

1) Plot balance and relevance and

2) Objectification of female characters

Fans also don’t want the romance to overshadow the main plot. That was a big problem in Book 1. I would not have had nearly as much of a problem with the love triangle in Book 1 if it hadn’t taken screen time away from the equalist plotline, which it clearly did because the ending was rushed and there was a lot that was unresolved. The romance balance was great up through episode 3, after which everything went to hell. I love Asami a lot, but it would have been better if she was introduced as something other than Mako’s love interest. I don’t mind Asami and Mako having a relationship, but I do mind Asami being defined by her relationship to Mako. They could easily have introduced Asami in another way and then worked the romance in later.

Also, there was a huge problem in Book 2 with the treatment of women as romantic objects and nothing else. This was blatantly obvious with Ginger, but it also happened with Eska. Ginger was my biggest disappointment with Book 2: Bolin kissed Ginger without her permission, royally pissed her off, only to have her magically fall for him in the end? She played literally no other role in the storyline other than to be Bolin’s plaything, and that bothered me. Why didn’t she have more of a backbone? Why couldn’t she slap some sense into Bolin and tell him that not every girl is magically going to love him and that he doesn’t have the right to kiss her without her consent? She started to tell him that but not only did he not listen, but she seemed to just forget her disgust with him which seemed really shallow. Her character was just so irrelevant that I don’t know where to begin.

Then we have Eska. Why did she have to treat Bolin so badly? Why did the romance have to be her only relevance to the plot? She was honestly so unnecessary that it could have just been Desna and it wouldn’t have changed anything about the story. Couldn’t she have done more? There were some great examples of romantic subplots in A:TLA that did this perfectly. Example 1: Yue. She and Sokka had a thing, but she was also a strong, devoted leader of her people who made her own decisions and put her responsibility above romantic feelings. Example 2: Mai. She was in a relationship with Zuko, but she was introduced as a friend of Azula’s and her character dynamic involved a lot of tension with her family, with Azula, and yes, also some romance. But she was not a romantic object. There are plenty more, but you get the idea. So far the only woman in LoK that isn’t defined by who she is dating is Korra…and that’s kind of sad.

If any of the creators see this, I want to be clear that I am a huge fan of Korra and I love the characters and the story. I will never love a series more than A:TLA and I have been closely following Korra with much enthusiasm. But I think it is important to not discount what the fans are saying. Sure, during A:TLA a lot of the fans complained about not seeing “their ship” but that is not what the complaints are about with Korra from what I have seen. The important thing I’m trying to say here is that just having a female protagonist does not mean the show is progressive or feminist, and that when writing a romance, keep in mind that the female characters are people and need to be complex.

Tl;dr Romance is fantastic as long as the female characters involved have agency and plot relevance and are not defined by their involvement in romance.

korranation:

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!

East Coasters, can’t wait to see you at New York Comic Con in October! Lots of good stuff in the works :)

Question to Bryan if you see this:
Will you and others be there on Friday or Sunday for signings?
I have to miss Saturday (and therefore the panel) because of personal reasons but I’ll be there the other days. Just wondering if I should get my hopes up…

korranation:

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!

East Coasters, can’t wait to see you at New York Comic Con in October! Lots of good stuff in the works :)

Question to Bryan if you see this:

Will you and others be there on Friday or Sunday for signings?

I have to miss Saturday (and therefore the panel) because of personal reasons but I’ll be there the other days. Just wondering if I should get my hopes up…

b-homestruggle:

Holy shit…Bryan? Sorry for the typo, too lazy to edit

Can we take a moment to appreciate the Avatar creators?

bryankonietzko:

This is my good buddy Asher in the world’s greatest Momo costume. I’m glad I finally got to see him wearing it, while it still fits him. Hopefully next year we’ll finally get Lisa to dress up as June, the design we based on her. That will be as “IRL” as it gets.

So cute!

bryankonietzko:

This is my good buddy Asher in the world’s greatest Momo costume. I’m glad I finally got to see him wearing it, while it still fits him. Hopefully next year we’ll finally get Lisa to dress up as June, the design we based on her. That will be as “IRL” as it gets.

So cute!

Happy Bryke Appreciation Day!

Thank you Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko for all your wonderful work and creations!

bryankonietzko:

I was planning on doing this sketch a few weeks back, but I just got around to it tonight. Il Kwang at Studio Mir did a fantastic job designing young General Iroh, in my opinion. I saw a funny “CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR FACE” post after he showed up in the end of episode 110. I say, “CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR HAIR, SIR.”

Have I mentioned that the Avatar creators are perfect human beings?

bryankonietzko:

I was planning on doing this sketch a few weeks back, but I just got around to it tonight. Il Kwang at Studio Mir did a fantastic job designing young General Iroh, in my opinion. I saw a funny “CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR FACE” post after he showed up in the end of episode 110. I say, “CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR HAIR, SIR.”

Have I mentioned that the Avatar creators are perfect human beings?

michaeldantedimartino:

bryankonietzko:

Hello, everyone! I wish I had some time to draw something new for the blog, but I’ve been buried in all sorts of work. So in an effort to post something related to the Book 1 finale this Saturday, here is the rough concept for the press art I posted last week. It might be interesting to those of you who like to see this sort of process work.
I have some more specifics on our San Diego Comic Con activities to share:
WHAT:  The Legend of Korra Comic-Con PanelWHEN: Friday, July 13 from 11:15a – 12:15pWHERE: Ballroom 20WHO:  Co-creators and executive producers Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, Joaquim Dos Santos (co-executive producer), Janet Varney (Korra), David Faustino (Mako), P.J. Byrne (Bolin), Seychelle Gabriel (Asami) and Andrea Romano (voice director).  The panel will include an in-depth discussion of Book 1 and a live performance by the voice actors.WHAT:  The Legend of Korra Comic-Con Signing WHEN: Friday, July 13 beginning at 2:30 p.m.WHERE: Nickelodeon booth 
I’ve been told that Ballroom 20 holds 4300 people, so just get 4300 people to hold your places in the Game of Thrones line for Hall H, and pop over to Ballroom 20 for a spell. Among other things, Andrea is going to lead the actors in a live table read of some key scenes from Book 1. We’ve never done that sort of thing at a panel, so it should be really fun. ***Remember: The actors are not the characters, so be nice to David. He isn’t Mako. He just plays one on TV.
Which reminds me, I caught wind that there was a brutal war in the fandom this week. In lieu of me having time, let’s all just pretend I drew a really funny comic about that and posted it just now. And we laughed. And it brought us joy. And the fandom hugged it out.

Cool sketch by Bryan along with more details of our Comic Con panel.

And once again I wish I lived close enough to go to SDCC.
Mike and Bryan, if you are reading this, please consider coming back to NYCC! I didn’t get to go last time you were there.

michaeldantedimartino:

bryankonietzko:

Hello, everyone! I wish I had some time to draw something new for the blog, but I’ve been buried in all sorts of work. So in an effort to post something related to the Book 1 finale this Saturday, here is the rough concept for the press art I posted last week. It might be interesting to those of you who like to see this sort of process work.

I have some more specifics on our San Diego Comic Con activities to share:

WHAT:  The Legend of Korra Comic-Con Panel
WHEN: Friday, July 13 from 11:15a – 12:15p
WHERE: Ballroom 20
WHO:  Co-creators and executive producers Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, Joaquim Dos Santos (co-executive producer), Janet Varney (Korra), David Faustino (Mako), P.J. Byrne (Bolin), Seychelle Gabriel (Asami) and Andrea Romano (voice director).  The panel will include an in-depth discussion of Book 1 and a live performance by the voice actors.

WHAT:  The Legend of Korra Comic-Con Signing
WHEN: Friday, July 13 beginning at 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: Nickelodeon booth

I’ve been told that Ballroom 20 holds 4300 people, so just get 4300 people to hold your places in the Game of Thrones line for Hall H, and pop over to Ballroom 20 for a spell. Among other things, Andrea is going to lead the actors in a live table read of some key scenes from Book 1. We’ve never done that sort of thing at a panel, so it should be really fun. ***Remember: The actors are not the characters, so be nice to David. He isn’t Mako. He just plays one on TV.

Which reminds me, I caught wind that there was a brutal war in the fandom this week. In lieu of me having time, let’s all just pretend I drew a really funny comic about that and posted it just now. And we laughed. And it brought us joy. And the fandom hugged it out.

Cool sketch by Bryan along with more details of our Comic Con panel.

And once again I wish I lived close enough to go to SDCC.

Mike and Bryan, if you are reading this, please consider coming back to NYCC! I didn’t get to go last time you were there.

I’m really exhausted right now, and I’ve been a bit stressed but…

I wanted to let everyone know I got my Korra Nation poster today!! It’s amazing. This is the first ever thing signed by Mike and Bryan that I’ve ever gotten. I’m going to get it framed. =)

Bryke are my heroes. It’s amazing to finally have something signed by them!

captainimprobable:

bryankonietzko:

–Wow! Thanks, everybody! I’m really glad you like the art.

–Ha ha, some people just see what they want to see, I guess. Korra is not wearing Mako’s scarf, nor his jacket. Look more closely at her costume, and Mako’s.

–The finale on June 23 is the Book 1 finale (episodes 111 & 112). But first, episode 110 airs this Saturday, June 16! Get the collective body ready.

–We just finished up the mix of episode 112 this evening. Just a few finishing touches left to do on the picture, then that’s a wrap on Book 1. WOO HOO! These 12 episodes took two really tough years to make. I really wish that meant we had a break now, but sigh… (See below). Thanks and congratulations to all the awesome, hardworking people on the Korra crew!

–Book 2 is happening, and is 14 episodes long. No, I don’t know when it comes out. REALLY, I DON’T. But no, it won’t be another two years from now, as we are already in production on it (that’s the brutal thing about TV, the schedule overlap). So all I can say, and it is the honest truth, is that we’re working really hard on it!

–I’m hungry.

Thank you so much.  For everything.

Also please go eat something.  I worry.

I’m Amazed!

bill-rinaldi:

That none of you have figured out the voices for the Two Chi-blockers that find the empty tram car, one of who is referred to as the sassy chi-blocker.. I thought you guys would be freaking out..

Any clue?

EDIT: It’s not Me or Sifu Kisu…

It’s Bryke!

Bryan and Mike…..

And of course Bryan is the sassy one…

And by of course I mean he would love to play that character, not that he is sassy..

This is why the creators of Avatar are perfect human beings.

bryankonietzko:

Late night Lieutenant

bryankonietzko:

Late night Lieutenant

bryankonietzko:

Yeah, I know. This photo is stupid. Ironic B-boy posturing is rarely amusing to me, but I came back from color correction to find the studio empty, closed early for Memorial Day weekend. I put this hat on Kevin Coppa’s puppet, and one thing led to another…
RANDOM END-OF-THE-WEEK MUSINGS
–Sorry, it is true that there is no new episode airing this weekend. But a new Korra will be on next Saturday, June 2nd. And it’s a doozy. A REAL DOOZY. In the meantime, Nick.com wanted me to let you all know they made a playlist where you can watch the first seven episodes online, in case you need to catch up, or convert friends, family, babysitters, family pets, etc. Here’s the link: http://at.nick.com/Lv4P9O
–As some of you may know, Korra has been the number one show with teen audiences in the U.S. for some of these first seven episodes. As previously mentioned, I don’t put too much stock in ratings, but this is mind-blowing to me. How is a Saturday morning “cartoon” beating out prime time network shows like American Idol, Glee, The Voice, and Family Guy with teen audiences? We’re all surprised, honored, and baffled. My guess is that the 12-year-olds who were growing up on Avatar are now 16-year-olds, and Korra has sort of aged up right along with them. Whatever the reason, thanks!
–Mike and I love you guys, but we don’t take requests. We make the best show we can, telling the stories we want to tell, and then we put it out there in the world. By the time you guys see it and have “all the feels” and/or get all mad at stuff, we are working on something far, far ahead of that. It may not always go the way you want it to, but at least it is honest art, straight from our hearts. And a lot of these reactions may turn out to be knee-jerk ones in the long run, once you see where the stories and characters go. I’d rather do that than make some watered down “design by committee” thing that attempted to please everyone. If it were up to the majority of the audience, we’d probably have a show where Tahno and the Cabbage Merchant play beach games on Ember Island for 500 episodes… In short, as you guys say, I REGRET NOTHING.
–This is funny, but it never happened. I’m vegan.
–And lastly, my favorite quote from Mike this week, commenting on a cool, momentous shot from the Book 1 finale, addressing the whole fandom: “GIF that and put it on yer Tumblr.” HA!
Have a great, long weekend!
Love,
Far-from-perfect-Bryan

You, sir, are a perfect human being.
And a vegan? I didn’t know that, but kudos to you!
(Shall we redo the meme with Bryan putting hummus on a bagel? Anyone? Guys?)
Anyway, I can’t wait until next Saturday! Actually, I can, because I know how much work you put into it and I’m sure it’s worth the wait! ^_^

bryankonietzko:

Yeah, I know. This photo is stupid. Ironic B-boy posturing is rarely amusing to me, but I came back from color correction to find the studio empty, closed early for Memorial Day weekend. I put this hat on Kevin Coppa’s puppet, and one thing led to another…

RANDOM END-OF-THE-WEEK MUSINGS

–Sorry, it is true that there is no new episode airing this weekend. But a new Korra will be on next Saturday, June 2nd. And it’s a doozy. A REAL DOOZY. In the meantime, Nick.com wanted me to let you all know they made a playlist where you can watch the first seven episodes online, in case you need to catch up, or convert friends, family, babysitters, family pets, etc. Here’s the link: http://at.nick.com/Lv4P9O

–As some of you may know, Korra has been the number one show with teen audiences in the U.S. for some of these first seven episodes. As previously mentioned, I don’t put too much stock in ratings, but this is mind-blowing to me. How is a Saturday morning “cartoon” beating out prime time network shows like American Idol, Glee, The Voice, and Family Guy with teen audiences? We’re all surprised, honored, and baffled. My guess is that the 12-year-olds who were growing up on Avatar are now 16-year-olds, and Korra has sort of aged up right along with them. Whatever the reason, thanks!

–Mike and I love you guys, but we don’t take requests. We make the best show we can, telling the stories we want to tell, and then we put it out there in the world. By the time you guys see it and have “all the feels” and/or get all mad at stuff, we are working on something far, far ahead of that. It may not always go the way you want it to, but at least it is honest art, straight from our hearts. And a lot of these reactions may turn out to be knee-jerk ones in the long run, once you see where the stories and characters go. I’d rather do that than make some watered down “design by committee” thing that attempted to please everyone. If it were up to the majority of the audience, we’d probably have a show where Tahno and the Cabbage Merchant play beach games on Ember Island for 500 episodes… In short, as you guys say, I REGRET NOTHING.

This is funny, but it never happened. I’m vegan.

–And lastly, my favorite quote from Mike this week, commenting on a cool, momentous shot from the Book 1 finale, addressing the whole fandom: “GIF that and put it on yer Tumblr.” HA!

Have a great, long weekend!

Love,

Far-from-perfect-Bryan

You, sir, are a perfect human being.

And a vegan? I didn’t know that, but kudos to you!

(Shall we redo the meme with Bryan putting hummus on a bagel? Anyone? Guys?)

Anyway, I can’t wait until next Saturday! Actually, I can, because I know how much work you put into it and I’m sure it’s worth the wait! ^_^

benditlikekorra:

bryankonietzko:

I “performed” this “dance” for video reference of this kid in episode 302 of Avatar, “The Headband.” I rarely shy away from making a complete ass of myself in the name of fun, so I thought I’d share this with you guys. This was taped back in 2006, but I think my back still hurts.

THIS MAN IS LITERALLY PERFECT. ;LASKDFJ;LKSADFJ

The Avatar creators are amazing people!

atla-lok-fan:

Nothing can stop him…

Haha, this is hilarious!

bryankonietzko:

It seems like on Tumblr you can’t reblog an answer to a question from someone’s ask box (or at least I’m too old to figure out how), so I’m reposting this from my good friend, Korra Book 2 director, and cantankerous old fart, Colin Heck. The screengrab below is from me, another cantankerous old fart. Now excuse me while I go email Warpaint:
Dear Warpaint,
I can’t wait for your new album. I hear Flood is producing it. My body is not ready. I have too many feels. I know you are still working on the album, but please send me all the chords and lyrics right now. MUST. HAVE. NOW. K, thanks. 
Lurv,
Bryan XD

Bryan why are you so amazing?

bryankonietzko:

It seems like on Tumblr you can’t reblog an answer to a question from someone’s ask box (or at least I’m too old to figure out how), so I’m reposting this from my good friend, Korra Book 2 director, and cantankerous old fart, Colin Heck. The screengrab below is from me, another cantankerous old fart. Now excuse me while I go email Warpaint:

Dear Warpaint,

I can’t wait for your new album. I hear Flood is producing it. My body is not ready. I have too many feels. I know you are still working on the album, but please send me all the chords and lyrics right now. MUST. HAVE. NOW. K, thanks.

Lurv,

Bryan XD

Bryan why are you so amazing?