Because fans should be critical, too

…But I’ll Be Back (Again)

My God, it’s really been over ten months since my last post!

What could I have possibly been doing all that time that didn’t involve updating this blog on a regular—if not frequent—basis? Has life finally gotten the better of me so that I can’t see the use in yet another re-evaluation of Avatar: the Last Airbender and/or The Legend of Korra (especially when so many others out there have taken that burden upon themselves)? Is my mental health such an issue that I’d rather wait until I had it under complete control than continue writing out of fear that the blog would de-rail into another emotional train wreck?

Or did my enthusiasm for Avatar simply fade away as I’ve gotten older and grown more accountable to my responsibilities as an adult?

To that last question, the answer is absolutely not. If anything, my appreciate for Avatar—as well as my relative disdain for Korra—continues to grow as time goes on. As an animation lover and a sucker for plain old good storytelling in any medium, Avatar has thoroughly secured its place in my heart and imagination.

I never planned to be away from this blog for so long (let alone without warning or without any updates on my state of mind or when I’d be back), and all I can do is apologize to those who remained loyal and checked up on this blog every now and then for something new. My negligence is inexcusable, especially since I continue to receive new comments and messages every month.

On the plus side, however, these past ten relatively Avatar-free months may have given me the proper distance and clarity needed to give this retrospective idea another shot. That said, it won’t be a continuation of the retrospective I’d already started. No, I’ll have to start from scratch again, from episode one, with current insights and citations.

However, since starting from the beginning won’t necessarily mean on a weekly, episode-to-episode basis. I’m not certain what my schedule will be (or if there’ll even be a schedule), but I have an idea for the format: this time, instead of going in strict chronological order from Avatar to Korra, I’ll simply review them both at the same time, starting with the two-part premieres of both series and ending with their respective multi-part finales. Of course, this parallel reviewing style won’t yield perfect results, since Avatar contains sixty-one total episodes, while Korra has fifty-two. However, with a little maneuvering, this could work pretty well, especially if, like me, you’re privy to the idea that Avatar only got better as it went along, while Korra only got worse. In that respect, such parallel reviewing could be extremely illuminating.

Don’t expect to see any of this to take root until the beginning of 2017. As of now, this is the only project I’ll have in the foreseeable future (that Frozen project, for instance, has been put on the back burner). In the meantime, I’ll be doing as much preliminary work as I can, including gathering and listening to/reading interviews, any behind-the-scenes stuff I can find, notable opinions from other Avatar writers, etc.,etc.

This time we’ll get it right. No question.

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9 responses

  1. Ian

    OH WOW, I didn’t even notice it had been as long as it had! But… hey! Glad your back man! Can’t wait for more insightful discussion on my favorite show that you’ve always provided 🙂

    On a serious note, how have you been personally? I don’t need and specifics but just wanted to make sure that all in all you’re ok.

    December 21, 2016 at 1:21 am

    • Hey, Ian! Really glad to see you’re still with me!

      I’ve been good. Rough patches here and there, but I’m getting back in my zone. It’ll have a very positive impact on my incoming posts.

      How about yourself? Is life good? How’s school?

      January 11, 2017 at 2:30 pm

      • Ian

        Glad to hear things are going well for you!

        School and work keep me pretty busy but thankfully I have great teachers and good friends to help me enjoy both. Other than that, I’m still growing in my personal faith as a Christian, and still not getting tired of watching Avatar: The Last Airbender! A show that Ive found only keeps getting better!

        I think mostly because regardless of knowing every plot event, Avatar’s characters consistently remind me of real people, and it always feels like you’re not just watching a cast of kooky characters but a cast of real people who change and all get emotional moments that can resonate with anyone.

        Regardless, can’t wait for the first part of your retrospective! Any idea of when that should be released, or cant say?

        January 11, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      • There’s no set goal yet. I’m still in research mode while at the same time pondering a new style in which each episode analysis is open to revision based on dialogue between myself and readers, as well as any new information I come across while scoping the Internet for interviews, production notes, etc. It sounds like a chaotic process, and that alone scares me, but that may be a sign that I’m onto something interesting.

        I’m glad to hear that school is going well, and especially that you’ve got a great support system of friends and teachers. That’s very important. It also does my heart good to know that you’re serious about your faith. That’s increasingly rare in this day and age. Personally, I’m Agnostic, but that’s starting to change, largely thanks to discovering the works of Prof. Jordan Peterson (who has become something of a modern-day hero, at least for me). I’d recommend checking out some of his numerous Youtube lectures (before the bastards try to take them down!).

        To paraphrase something said by Peterson about the Harry Potter series, perhaps Avatar got the archetypes right, which accounts for its rewatch value and its emotional resonance. I would be interesting to compare Aang’s journey to Peterson’s definition of the mythological hero in his “Maps of Meaning” book, but that’s way beyond my intellectual capabilities. I doubt Peterson ever watched Avatar, but we can rest easy knowing that he hates Frozen. 🙂

        January 11, 2017 at 5:24 pm

      • Ian

        Well if you dont mind me asking, in what direction are you leaning out of agnosticism? Towards a faith or towards full on atheism? If its the ladder then just know I LOVE talking about anything relating to the Bible, God, etc!

        I will definitely look into the guy! I did a google search on him and his book and he sounds like an interesting guy

        January 11, 2017 at 11:12 pm

  2. Rosemont

    It’s nice to have you back. Do you think you’d still go for another blog dedicated to animated works in general in the future?

    December 26, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    • Absolutely. That blog will be much more impressionistic and less formal than I intend for the new Avatar retrospective to be. I was thinking about starting off with my thoughts on “Moana,” which I liked quite a bit.

      January 11, 2017 at 2:29 pm

  3. Rosemont

    By the way, I think you might find this article surrounding Korra and the new SW films interesting:

    https://comicsverse.com/modern-female-protagonist-part-1/

    January 15, 2017 at 2:16 pm

  4. Rosemont

    You might also like this link about the kind of environment that led to the creation of a bland story like Frozen:

    http://www.theyorker.co.uk/comment-and-politics/columns/stumble-rabbit-hole-recent-decline-disney-features/

    February 13, 2017 at 7:59 pm

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