Thursday, April 24, 2008


Avatar: The Last Puppet Bender

I love the internet. Used to be, if you weren't able to attend a convention, you missed all the convention-only announcements and previews and such like. Now, just wait a day or two and they turn up online.

As I've said before, my love for Avatar: The Last Airbender is all out of proportion. It's developed into the most skillfully wrought, entertaining, complex, and subtle adventure series for kids ever to appear on American television (and I'd put it up against the best from Japan in a heartbeat). With worldbuilding on par with the best epic fantasy novels, it's appeal goes far beyond the kids to which it's ostensible targeted. Which isn't to say that it doesn't connect with the kids, as well. Check out the photos from the panel at NYCC last week to see the face of a real and growing fandom.

And for that same panel, Kevin Coppa created the following bit of puppet-based wackiness. Here's how Coppa describes it:
Created for presentation at the 2008 New York Comic Con Avatar Fan Panel, I slapped this skit together with a short deadline mostly taken up by building the puppets.

It's just after episode 311's cliffhanger and Zuko is about to catch up with our heros! If you like & know about Avatar, you'll get the humor. If you don't... Probably not. XD

But hopefully you can still get a kick out of the puppet craft.
I can't imagine this making much sense to anyone who doesn't watch the show, but the puppetry is quite charming, even so.

If you've not checked out the show itself, I recommend it highly to any fan of fantasy, animation, or anime. There's an obvious Miyazaki influence to what the creators are doing with Avatar, but the syncretism between the Asian cultural influences and the American storytelling has produced a truly unusual product. The third and final season is about to come out on DVD (though the last three episodes have bafflingly yet to air), and the first two seasons are available in boxed sets.

I've not (yet) checked it out, but an independent source has convinced me that I need to add Avatar to my Netflix queue, and so I have. :)
You won't be disappointed!
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