Our Dark Horse Book 2 “Art of the Animated Series” hardcover is out today! I’m thoroughly pleased with how this book came out and super proud of all the talented artists whose work is inside. It is 40 pages longer than the previous volume, and we finally got the printing dialed in right, so none of the paintings are too dark this time around. I had fun working with Ryu on the beautiful cover art (which was originally our SDCC poster), and with my buddy Stephen who did the book design. You can check out an 8-page preview over on Dark Horse’s website here. I hope you enjoy it! Come and get one signed by us at New York Comic Con if you can!
MD: Korra’s story in Book Two was about humans moving beyond their ordinary abilities, and becoming something extraordinary. When she loses her connection to the past Avatars and her Avatar spirit, Korra looks deep within and forms a new connection with the cosmic version of herself. In Hindu philosophy, there is a concept called atman, which is defined as the “innermost essence of each individual” or “the supreme universal self.” This is my interpretation of what Korra sees and becomes when she meditates. The giant blue cosmic Korra is a visual representation of her inner essence. BK: When Tim Hedrick was hired as a writer on the original Avatar series, he was under the assumption for a while that when Aang went into the Avatar state he grew into a towering giant version of himself. The rest of us had a good laugh at his expense, but none of us would have thought back then that years later, that is pretty much what we would do with the next Avatar! I think Tim felt vindicated at long last. And I think he was right, as giant spirit Korra became a favorite Book Two design for me. I simplified her design and changed her proportions to give her a more ethereal spiritual appearance. Concept and designs by Bryan Konietzko and Angela Song Mueller. Color by Sylvia Filcak-Blackwolf.
Rewatching the Book 2 finale, one thing I noticed is that Vaatu exclusively addresses Korra as Raava, not by her name, or even as the Avatar. He dismisses Korra the person as insignificant, assuming her status as Raava’s vessel to be the most important thing about her identity.
And yet, in the end, it is Korra who defeats Vaatu and Unalaq, stripped of Raava yet connected to her own spiritual energy. Korra the Avatar is not the one who saved the world from ten thousand years of darkness, Korra the human is.