July 22, 2012 by Colin Solan
Filed under Animation, Anime, California, Comic Books, Comic-Con International, Con Reports and Photos, Movies, Other, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Television, Top Stories
One of the big draws of this year’s Comic Con International was The Legend of Korra, Nickelodeon’s highly anticipated sequel to the popular cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender. With the first season recently concluded, Korra fans swarmed Comic-Con for panels and signings to grill the creators, artists, and voice over actors for hints to what may befall the new Avatar and her friends in the upcoming season. Series creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko hosted a panel on Friday to reveal some details and animatics from the new season, titled “Spirits.” They were joined by co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos, voice director Andrea Romano, and voice actors David Faustino (Mako), P.J. Byrne (Bolin), Seychelle Gabriel (Asami), and Korra herself, Janet Varney. Many fans (including your intrepid reporter) were unable to get into Ballroom 20 for the panel (possibly because of all the Browncoats squatting. for the Firefly panel immediately following) but never fret because naturally the panel has been posted to the internet.
A signing followed at the Nickelodeon booth, upon which convention staff required tickets to be handed out to cut down on lage, aisle-blocking crowds. Unfortunately this news came down first thing that morning meaning everyone at the panel missed out and many people who expected a first-come, first-serve signing. The giveaways posters featured either the cast of Legend of Korra or adult renditions of the original cast of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
The following day saw the Avatar Legacy Fan Panel which played to an overflowing audience and hosted special guests Bobby Rubio (Avatar: The Last Airbender, Pixar Studios, Alcatraz High), freelance concept artist DJ Welch (Dark Kenjie), Kevin Coppa (Puppet Benders), Gurihiru Studios artists Chifuyu Sasaki and Naoko Kawano, and voice actors Dante Basco (Prince Zuko, General Iroh II) and Mae Whitman (Katara). Festivities included a martial arts demonstration by series consultant Sifu Kisu, a costume contest, and a live reading of the Dark Horse comic The Promise featuring Basco and Whitman reprising their roles as Zuko and Katara respectively and a lucky fan very aptly steping into the role of Avatar Aang. Big thanks to organizer Avatar_Mom for putting the whole thing together.
After that was a signing at the Dark Horse Booth with DiMartino, Konietzko, Dos Santos, Gurihiru, and series director Ki Hyun Ryu. This one was ticketed as well but that fact had been well advertised beforehand. Even so the long line was packed and shuffled around by Dark Horse staffers. By all indications the Korra fanship is growing and Nickelodeon, Dark Horse, and Comic-Con itself would be well-advised to take that into consideration when assigning them panel space and accomodating signing lines.
Legend of Korra and Avatar: The Last Airbender co-creator Bryan Konietzko announced exciting news on his tumblr about the panel he, fellow co-creator Michael Dante DiMartino, and several cast and crew members will host at Comic Con this year:
Hello, everyone! I wish I had some time to draw something new for the blog, but I’ve been buried in all sorts of work. So in an effort to post something related to the Book 1 finale this Saturday, here is the rough concept for the press art I posted last week. It might be interesting to those of you who like to see this sort of process work.
I have some more specifics on our San Diego Comic Con activities to share:
WHAT: The Legend of Korra Comic-Con Panel WHEN: Friday, July 13 from 11:15a – 12:15p WHERE: Ballroom 20 WHO: Co-creators and executive producers Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, Joaquim Dos Santos (co-executive producer), Janet Varney (Korra), David Faustino (Mako), P.J. Byrne (Bolin), Seychelle Gabriel (Asami), and Andrea Romano (voice director). The panel will include an in-depth discussion of Book 1 and a live performance by the voice actors.
WHAT: The Legend of Korra Comic-Con Signing WHEN: Friday, July 13 beginning at 2:30 p.m. WHERE: Nickelodeon booth
I’ve been told that Ballroom 20 holds 4300 people, so just get 4300 people to hold your places in the Game of Thrones line for Hall H, and pop over to Ballroom 20 for a spell. Among other things, Andrea is going to lead the actors in a live table read of some key scenes from Book 1. We’ve never done that sort of thing at a panel, so it should be really fun.
***Remember: The actors are not the characters, so be nice to David. He isn’t Mako. He just plays one on TV.
Nickelodeon offers an Exclusive First Look at the new series The Last Airbender: Legend of Korra at Comic-Con International on Saturday July 23rd from 4:00-5:00pm: — Creator team Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos, supervising producer Ki-Hyun Ryu, and composing team Ben Wynn and Jeremy Zuckerman give an exclusive sneak peek at the continuation of this element-bending saga. Moderated by Megan Casey, executive in charge for Nickelodeon. Room 6BCF
Avatar fans can share their love of the show at a fan panel on the same day from 11:00-12:00pm in the Santa Rosa room with guests John O’Bryan, Ian Graham, Kim Miranda, Kevin Coppa, and Booter-Freak.
NICKELODEON GREENLIGHTS NEW SERIES FROM THE CREATORS OF THE ANIMATED TELEVISION HIT AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER
Series Creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko Bring Fans a New Adventure in the Avatar World, The Legend of Korra
BURBANK, Calif. – July 21, 2010 – Nickelodeon, the number one producer of television animation in the world, has greenlit a new series from the creators of the hit animated TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender, it was announced today by Brown Johnson, President, Animation, Nickelodeon and MTVN Kids and Family Group. The new series The Legend of Korra (working title), from creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, will premiere on Nickelodeon in 2011, continuing the evolution of the animated franchise and its mythology. The original series was the inspiration for the Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies live-action epic adventure, The Last Airbender, which has already grossed more than $115 million at the box office to date.
“Mike and Bryan have imagined a compelling new story inspired by the Airbender mythology that they so brilliantly crafted when the TV series began,” Johnson said. “This new avatar is not only a girl, but also hot-headed, independent and ready to take on the world.”
The Legend of Korra takes place 70 years after the events of Avatar: The Last Airbender and follows the adventures of the Avatar after Aang – a passionate, rebellious, and fearless teenaged girl from the Southern Water Tribe named Korra. With three of the four elements under her belt (Earth, Water, and Fire), Korra seeks to master the final element, Air. Her quest leads her to the epicenter of the modern “Avatar” world, Republic City – a metropolis that is fueled by steampunk technology. It is a virtual melting pot where benders and non-benders from all nations live and thrive. However, Korra discovers that Republic City is plagued by crime as well as a growing anti-bending revolution that threatens to rip it apart. Under the tutelage of Aang’s son, Tenzin, Korra begins her airbending training while dealing with the dangers at large.
Launched in February 2005, Avatar aired for three seasons on Nickelodeon and was ranked among the top five animated properties on television among boys, 2-11 and 6-11 (2005/2006). During this time, the series reached a total of 21.7 million total viewers (persons 2+), including 8.8 million kids 2-11 and 6.3 million kids 6-11*. Currently, Avatar: The Last Airbender is the number one program on Nicktoons among tweens. (Source: *Nielsen Cume Data – July 2008, Live + 7 day, 6 min. qualifier.)
Avatar: The Last Airbender was created and executive produced by Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko.
An award-winning filmmaker, DiMartino was a director at Film Roman for six years, working on the prime-time animated series King of the Hill, Family Guy and Mission Hill. During his tenure there, DiMartino animated and directed the short animated film Atomic Love, which has gone on to screen at festivals across the country including Sundance and the Los Angeles Film Festival. It also aired as part of the Nicktoons Network Animation Festival.
Konietzko began his career in animation as a character designer at Film Roman for Fox’s prime-time series, Family Guy. He soon moved to the post of assistant director for two more Film Roman shows, Mission Hill and King of the Hill, working beside animation director DiMartino. Konietzko then became a storyboard artist and later an art director for the Nickelodeon animated series Invader Zim.
The new Avatar series will be produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studios in Burbank, Calif., and is co-executive produced by Joaquim Dos Santos.
Nickelodeon, now in its 31st year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products online, recreation, books and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 100 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 16 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com.
Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B).
July 16, 2010 by Colin Solan
Filed under Animation, Anime, California, Collectibles, Comic Books, Comic-Con International, Convention News, Movies, Other, Science Fiction and Fantasy, Sports, Television, Top Stories, Video Games
The network will roll out a custom-designed booth with a giant interactive video screen where attendees can view videos of Nickelodeon shows and the agenda for each day. Renovated retail space and an interactive flip book activity for attendees will showcase a variety of Nickelodeon show-branded photo opportunities for attendees.
SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, The Penguins of Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda and Fanboy and Chum Chum costume characters walking around the convention floor and taking photos with fans. More comprehensive consumer products will be on display, with special premium giveaways and kid and adult products available for purchase.
The Penguins of Madagascar and Kung Fu Panda Panel (2:30pm – 3:30pm) — Room 5AB
â€¢ Screening of the half-hour Penguins of Madagascar special, “The Lost Treasure of the Golden Squirrel”
â€¢ Q&A with The Penguins of Madagascar’s Tom McGrath (Skipper), John DiMaggio (Rico), James Patrick Stuart (Private), Jeff Bennett (Kowalski), Danny Jacobs (King Julien), Kevin Michael Richardson (Maurice), Nick Filippi (director) and Bob Schooley and Mark McCorkle (executive producers)
â€¢ Overview of Kung Fu Panda with a sneak peak of rough animation and screening of two completed interstitials
â€¢ Q&A with Kung Fu Panda’s Peter Hastings (executive producer), Bret Haaland (supervising producer), Randy Dormans (supervising producer) and Gabe Swarr (supervising director)
SpongeBob SquarePants Panel (10:00am – 11:00am) — Room 6A
â€¢ Break-down of the steps that go into the making of one 11-minute episode
â€¢ Screening of episode from the SpongeBob SquarePants anthology, “Legends of Bikini Bottom”
â€¢ Q&A with Tom Kenny (voice of SpongeBob), Paul Tibbitt (executive producer), Vincent Waller (creative director), Steven Banks (head writer), Kenny Pittenger (layout supervisor), Tuck Tucker (supervising storyboard director), Luke Brookshier (storyboard director), Andy Clark (background painter) and Andrew Overtoom (animation director)
Fairly OddParents and T.U.F.F. Puppy Panel (11:30am – 12:30pm) — Room 24ABC
â€¢ Sneak peek of the Fairly OddParents half-hour special, “Love Triangle”
â€¢ Information and tease of the one-hour special and live-action Fairly OddParents TV movie
â€¢ Screening of a five-minute clip reel from T.U.F.F. Puppy
â€¢ Q&A with T.U.F.F. Puppy’s Butch Hartman (creator), Ray DeLaurentis (story editor), George Goodchild (art director) and Dave Thomas (producer)
Fanboy and Chum Chum Panel (3:00pm – 4:00pm) – Room 25ABC
â€¢ Presentation of unaired footage in addition to main title and read-through with talent.
â€¢ Q&A with Fanboy and Chum Chum’s Eric Robles (creator/executive producer), Steve Tompkins (co-executive producer), Jason Meier (CG supervising producer), David Hornsby (voice of Fanboy), Nika Futterman (voice of Chum Chum), Jeff Bennett (voice of Mr. Mufflin), Jamie Kennedy (voice of Kyle), Candi Milo (Lupe)
Sunday 7/25 (Kids’ Day):
Nickelodeon Screenings (10:00am – 11:00am) — Room 6DE — SpongeBob SquarePants,
Fanboy and Chum Chum, Fairly OddParents and The Troop
The Troop Panel (10:00am – 11:00am) — Room 7AB
â€¢ Q&A with Tommy Lynch (executive producer), Jay Kogen (executive producer), Max Burnett (creator), Greg Coolidge (creator), Andrew Hill Newman (writer), Harry Hannigan (writer), Shawn Simmons (writer), Karen DiConcetto (writer) and Rochelle Zimmerman (writer)
CREATOR/CAST APPEARANCES & SIGNINGS AT THE NICK BOOTH:
Avatar: The Last Airbender (1:30 – 3:00pm) – Mike DiMartino (creator/executive producer), Bryan Konietzo (creator/executive producer), Joaquim DosSantos (director), Ki-Hyun Ryu (character designer)
The Penguins of Madagascar (4:00 – 5:30pm) — Tom McGrath (Skipper), John DiMaggio (Rico), James Patrick Stuart (Private), Jeff Bennett (Kowalski), Danny Jacobs (King Julien), Kevin Michael Richardson (Maurice)
Nicktoons & NFL’s Guardians of Core – Coach Norv Turner and Linebacker Shawne Merriman from the San Diego Chargers (TBD)
Yo Gabba Gabba! (10:00am – 12:00pm) – DJ Lance Rock
The Fairly OddParents (1:00 – 2:30pm) — Butch Hartman (creator), Ray DeLaurentis (story editor)
The Troop (3:00 – 4:30pm) – Nicholas Purcell (Jake), Gage Golightly (Hayley), David Del Rio (Felix)
Fanboy and Chum Chum (5:00 – 6:30pm) — Eric Robles (creator/executive producer), David Hornsby (voice of Fanboy), Nika Futterman (voice of Chum Chum), Jeff Bennett (voice of Mr. Mufflin), Jamie Kennedy (voice of Kyle), Candi Milo (Lupe)
Dora the Explorer (11:00am – 12:30 pm) – Caitlin Sanchez (voice of Dora)
BOOTH ACTIVITIES, GIVEAWAYS & PRODUCTS:
Giveaways: Limited edition posters for various Nickelodeon shows; The Last Airbender prize pack giveaways: costumes, Appa plush, manga-art t-shirts; Nicktoons branded trading cards; Nick branded flip books
Products on Display and Available for Purchase:
â€¢ Home*: Art cells from Art You Grew Up With for Fanboy and Chum Chum, Avatar, Invader Zim, Fairly OddParents and The Last Airbender
â€¢ Publishing: Avatar series coffee book, The Last Airbender prequel manga and movie adaption, Avatar series cine manga
â€¢ Toys: Air Master toy demos from Spin Master, The Last Airbender action figures, Dora “We Did It” doll, Ultimate Air Master
â€¢ Apparel: SpongeBob t-shirts (adult and youth), Fanboy and Chum Chum t-shirts*, The Last Airbender t-shirts: Manga art for adult and women skus* and graphic style for kids, The Penguins of Madagascar t-shirts (adult and youth)*
â€¢ Home Video: Avatar collectors’ box set, Invader Zim’s Season 1 and 2, SpongeBob Squarepants’ “Triton’s Revenge”
â€¢ Video game: The Last Airbender
*Comic-Con exclusive products