Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Avatar: The Last Airbender
is probably my favorite cartoon series in my adult life. I've always been a sucker for elemental powers, so I probably would have watched it even if it wasn't great. But this cartoon was a breath of fresh air. It was original and very well written. All of the characters are entertaining and the story takes you on an imaginative adventure through a fanciful world. Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, both, could use more cartoons like The Last Airbender.

I made a list of Asian characters I considered drawing as part of my tribute to Asian History Month and
decided to Jezz up the Avatar himself as a reminder that despite the casting in the upcoming movie, Ang is as Asian as any other big eyed, Manga-ish cartoon character.

I've done more than my share of ranting about how racist it is to cast Asian and Inuit influenced characters with white actors and make the bad guys - Arab. So, I'm going to say something from a different head space. I'm hoping the Last Airbender's message about war and friendship is what influenced the casting and racial rewrites. M. Night Shyamalan doesn't have a very good record of making good movies or even thinking that deeply about them in the first place, but still I can hope. Better to hope than to walk around angry about a bad director's stupidity, hehe :)

I hope you enjoy my grown up Avatar: AAng. You will be seeing more him in my work.
Happy Hump day, folks. Have a great rest of your week.


  1. Awesome!!!!!
    Ang in meaty version!!!!!

    I agree with Avatar, it was a cartoon unlike any other in the modern TV (it was a serius cartoon for all ages)

    I am gonna see the movie but th only M. Night Shyamalan movie i liked soo far is the 6th sense, i CANT see how he can make an Avatar movie xD

  2. Thanks Devil!

    Yeah, the Sixth Sense is the only good movie I can associate with Shyamalan. The strange thing is that all of his other movies are similar. Sixth Sense is so different that I question if that movie is really a product of his work.
    But anyway...I will see the movie too but will not pay to see it as part of my participation in the boycott. Mwahahahaha!

  3. Oh wow you drew Aang in his Avatar state!

    I'm glad to hear that someone else isn't comfortable with the very racist casting. Or rather it's not racist in a negative "We hate such and such" kind of way...but in a sloppy manner. Like the casting director didn't even try to find a native american child or an asian children to fill the roles.

    Avatar was such an enlivening show (I will ALWAYS remember that one episode before the finale where that town put on a play about the Avatar and his journey. I thought it was so chic and intelligent to engage the fans with fond memories that...I was very taken with it.)

    And I didn't know HE was the director...

    So now I know its just because he's probably one of those people whose seen the show but isn't a hardcore fan enough to understand the nuances of the series. Because Avatar isn't about super special battles, which I fear is all he saw.

    Still your Aang is awesomeness Jezza, you rocked it.

  4. Thanks, Jubell.
    It is so funny. I was just talking about that very same episode with the Boys Meet Heroes guys. I loved that episode. It was such an original way of recapping.

    I've been re-watching the series a lot lately and came to another realization. The voice actors delivered such awesome performances for such well developed characters, that acting them out in a live action is going to be a big challenge to live up to the characters the fans love.
    Hopefully the casting won't matter if they can deliver the characters as well. Hopefully Saka will be just as funny, Aang just as carefree and silly, and Momo is as silently adorable.