Avatar: The Last Airbender

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Name: Avatar: The Last Airbender
Abbreviation(s): ATLA, A:TLA
Creator: Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko
Date(s): February 21, 2005 – July 19, 2008
Medium: cartoon
Country of Origin: United States
External Links: official site, wikipedia, IMDB profile
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Contents

Avatar: the Last Airbender is an American animated series that takes place in a world where four elements (water, air, earth, fire) govern all magic ("bending"). The plot concerns Katara and her older brother Sokka, who discover a boy frozen in polar ice. This boy, Aang, is the last (and lost) Avatar, a title that describes his superior connection to all four bending elements. The three children embark on adventures to stop the imperial expansion of the Fire Nation and bring peace to all the nations on the map.

In 2010, a live action adaptation of the series was made. See The Last Airbender for more information about the film.

In 2010, a sequel series to ATLA was announced. See The Legend of Korra for more information.

The Fandom

See also Avatar: The Last Airbender Fandom Glossary.

A signature feature of the show is its animal species, almost all of which are hybrids of real-world animals, like ostrich-horses and otter-penguins. Appa, Aang's steed and companion, is a sky bison, a six-legged flying buffalo. It is never explained where he gets the six legs from. His other animal companion is a flying lemur named Momo.

Appa is a source of great affection within the fandom, and he and Momo are the only characters from the show who got made into plush stuffed animals.

Ships

Almost all of the pairings in this fandom are referred to in portmanteau format. Hence, Zuko/Katara is called Zutara, and its fans Zutarians. The funny permutations of name-squishes are not to be underestimated.

The creators, often referred to in the fandom by the portmanteau Bryke (Bryan + Mike), have a reputation for actively teasing the shippers. In an Avatar edition of Nick Mag Presents magazine, to help explain ships, they included a heart that said Momo + Appa = Moppa[1].

Fan communities

Many Avatar fans are on DeviantArt, so there are a number of clubs:

Some of the artists involved in the production also have DeviantArt pages, for example Giancarlo Volpe who worked as illustrator and director on the series[2], or the fan and storyboard artist Rufftoon, who also put up samples of their official Avatar work alongside with their unofficial fanart.[3]

Starting in early 2012, several people involved in the production created Tumblr accounts and used them to communicate with fans, for instance co-creator Brian Konietzko [4], voice actor Dante Basco[5], and martial arts consultant Sifu Kisu[6]. Avatar fans are very active on Tumblr. Some well-known fannish accounts include:

There are also Avatar communities on LiveJournal and Dreamwidth:

Fanart:

Multimedia & Vids:

Icons:

Crafts:

Cosplay:

Fanfiction:

Stamping:

Leaking incidents in which fans were involved

Fans of Avatar: the Last Airbender were involved in several incidents of unreleased canon material being published online, most notably the first part of sequel comic Avatar: the Last Airbender - The Promise and parts of the first episode of sequel animated series The Legend of Korra.


Resources

References

  1. Nick Mag Presents, Winter 2006 (September 2006), issue 18, page 40.
  2. Giancarlo Volpe's DeviantArt page
  3. Rufftoon's DeviantArt page
  4. Brian Konietzko's Tumblr
  5. Dante Basco's Tumblr
  6. Sifu Kisu's Tumblr
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