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Question: Would you prefer novels as part of the expanded literature of Avatar?
Yes, in conjunction with the comics. - 21 (44.7%)
Yes, replacing the comics. - 10 (21.3%)
No, stick to just the comics. - 8 (17%)
No, only the shows. - 8 (17%)
Total Voters: 47

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Author Topic: Would you prefer novels?  (Read 11046 times)
Avatar Epsilon
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« Reply #25 on: Sep 17, 2013 04:49 pm »

I'm not sure how I feel about a novel. While the comics do have their share of problems, I still like them a lot and one of the reasons is because I like looking at the artwork. The art is one of my favorite things about the show as well and I feel my enjoyment would be diminished if there were novels. It just wouldn't be the same if I couldn't see it.
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« Reply #26 on: Mar 03, 2014 02:51 am »

Gurihiru's art is fantastic. I have only read bits of novelization of Avatar. IMO, the realm of novelization could be the best potential for the most mature Avatar stories, and they could easily work around the comics/show and cost a lot less to produce.

But the novelizations I've read a bit of seemed deliberately targeted at younger readers, and even were just re-hashes of the cartoon. Even then, they developed the characters more by actually showing their internal thoughts and reactions to events, which is really cute and neat. In many other fandoms, novelizations were a great way of expanding characters and lore for the older crowd. I could easily see the same happening with Avatar, but I feel like Nick is oblivious to the fact that a lot of Avatar's fandom is beyond the teeny-bopper demographic. So it seems unlikely -- heck, it's been a challenge just to see music get released, and we're only just this year going to finally get official merch that isn't just kid's toys (Dark Horse is releasing a line of merch including statues and stuff). So there may be hope, but it will probably rest in Dark Horse more than Nick, is my guess.
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Loopy
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« Reply #27 on: Mar 03, 2014 06:31 pm »

John Jackson Miller would write a great ATLA novel, and he does a lot of licensed stuff. (He also writes great comics, so I wouldn't mind if they just handed the entire ATLA franchise over to him.)
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guyw1tn0nam3
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« Reply #28 on: Mar 04, 2014 11:43 am »

I think if people want good art, they should just beg Bryke to make concept art books. The comics didn't really have any impressive art.

In fact, I feel like that might be an okay compromise. Just don't make comics. Make concept art books (I imagine it wouldn't be so hard to compile) and commission a novel series or something. Iono >__>
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« Reply #29 on: Mar 04, 2014 12:42 pm »

 Novels could be interesting. I'm always keen on official fan continuity pieces, be they audio plays (which I'd love to see) or indeed novels- just depends on what they'd really bring to the table. Might be wise to actually focus on other aspects of the Avatar continuity, maybe ala the Star Wars works? (not saying they're all great, just that that kind of utilisation of an expanded universe could be cool.)
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« Reply #30 on: Mar 04, 2014 08:21 pm »

I think if people want good art, they should just beg Bryke to make concept art books. The comics didn't really have any impressive art.

In fact, I feel like that might be an okay compromise. Just don't make comics. Make concept art books (I imagine it wouldn't be so hard to compile) and commission a novel series or something. Iono >__>

That's how Dinotopia happened.

It was awesome.
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Avatar Epsilon
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« Reply #31 on: Mar 05, 2014 01:56 am »

The comics didn't really have any impressive art.

Speak for yourself. I like it.

Quote
In fact, I feel like that might be an okay compromise. Just don't make comics. Make concept art books (I imagine it wouldn't be so hard to compile) and commission a novel series or something. Iono >__>

Why can't we just have both? Have the comics continue Aang's story and then we can have novels cover other time periods in the universe like Kyoshi or something like that.
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D3stiny_Sm4sher
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« Reply #32 on: Mar 05, 2014 03:52 am »

I guess I care too much about the established characters and want to see their full lives developed further via novelization -- but I'm sure I'd be JUST as happy and satisfied by other time periods, new characters in the same world, etc. in novel format, as long as they are fleshed out well!
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guyw1tn0nam3
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« Reply #33 on: Mar 05, 2014 07:47 am »

The comics didn't really have any impressive art.

Speak for yourself. I like it.

I thought it was implied that I speak for myself. I don't see anything impressive by...a very normal art style with very normal coloring with very normal backgrounds, with very normal character designs, etc. etc. @___@

Quote
Quote
In fact, I feel like that might be an okay compromise. Just don't make comics. Make concept art books (I imagine it wouldn't be so hard to compile) and commission a novel series or something. Iono >__>

Why can't we just have both? Have the comics continue Aang's story and then we can have novels cover other time periods in the universe like Kyoshi or something like that.

Because the comics are really really....not good. T_T; Also, because I don't think Bryke are drowning in pools of money, they'd have to make a decision.

Again, I don't really prefer a novel, because I don't trust anyone to write a decent ATLA novel that'd entertain me. But I'm saying it would take a really really...big mistake...to have something be not as good as the current product we have.
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Nausicaa
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« Reply #34 on: Mar 08, 2014 08:17 pm »

Personally, I'd rather not have Avatar novels. Partly because describing bending battles through text could easily end up badly. And also because the text itself would most likely be simplified to make it more accessible to young readers, which can be quite dull if you're out of that age range.

Though, I'd like to see a story about Kyoshi one day, and wouldn't mind too much if it was a novel.
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« Reply #35 on: Mar 09, 2014 02:23 pm »

That's why I advocate Matt Stover as the ideal writer of Avatar novels. He's a practicing martial artist, and I can attest that he's really good at translating that into written fight scenes. And he's certainly very good at working adult sophistication into his stories, outside of stuff like violence. His Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor novel for the Star Wars franchise isn't any more violent than the movies, but it's a very mature and satisfying read.

Of course, I can't imagine Nickelodeon getting Stover to work for them. So, yeah, your concerns are very valid.

Still, the fantasy genre is all about sword fights and brawling, these days, with plenty of magic warfare, so there are lots of people who could at least manage the martial arts sophistication of the current comics. "Aang threw a whirlwind!" and all that jazz.
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« Reply #36 on: Mar 18, 2014 09:00 pm »

That is a good point about the action stuff -- maybe that's exactly why I'm not as much into fantasy these days. Action bores me compared to character interactions. When you can marry both together, then things get really interesting. And that's something Avatar did very well, using its very aspects of action/'magic' (the mechanics of its fantasy world) towards the ends of character development and world building.

I write lots of fantasy fiction, including Avatar-inspired stuff, but I usually stray away from action. IMO it kind of defeats the purpose to write prose with lots of action. Visual mediums are better suited for action scenes, so prose/novels would be better suited for character development, drama, more cerebral stuff. Not that one shouldn't feel free to do both, it's just my personal preference and makes more sense to me. On the other hand, prose can go into minute details within a second's breath that would be very difficult to express in a visual medium without wasting time. Or, you end up with the anime/manga problem where fight scenes take too long because everything is being explained constantly.

Avatar has a lot more going for it than martial arts magic fight scenes, after all. I am consistently more entertained by the characters than their bending, and it's entirely possible to write stories about said characters, incorporating the bending aspects as world-building and occasionally for action, all while making something that the target teen audience can "get" while having extra layers for older audiences.

The only prose novels I've read so far that were published based on Avatar were indeed at a lower literacy level than 'adult,' but even they shed some nice nuggets of insight by focusing on characters thoughts/feelings/opinions of events in a way that a TV show can't quite convey.

Still, the expanded universe Star Trek/Star Wars stuff is a great example of what we COULD see in Avatar, as both of those series, especially Star Wars, are appropriate for all ages. In the same way we get kiddie-oriented spinoffs and merch with Star Wars, we get the more older-audience niche material, too. Avatar could be the same way, but Nick is probably still blind to the fact that much of its franchise's audience is (or was) adults or older teens.
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Loopy
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« Reply #37 on: Mar 20, 2014 08:46 pm »

That is a good point about the action stuff -- maybe that's exactly why I'm not as much into fantasy these days. Action bores me compared to character interactions. When you can marry both together, then things get really interesting. And that's something Avatar did very well, using its very aspects of action/'magic' (the mechanics of its fantasy world) towards the ends of character development and world building.

I write lots of fantasy fiction, including Avatar-inspired stuff, but I usually stray away from action. IMO it kind of defeats the purpose to write prose with lots of action. Visual mediums are better suited for action scenes, so prose/novels would be better suited for character development, drama, more cerebral stuff.

Clearly, you haven't been reading anything with some really good action in it.

I'm of the opinion that action scenes can be just as expressive of character and story as a dialogue, or even an internal monologue. It's way more expressive than smut. Properly done action flows just as easily as dialogue, and uses the nature of the medium- text, POV, lack of budget- to create something that can be even more personal and hard-hitting than the sound and fury you get in movies.

That's why I'm so adamant that I want a certain kind of author to write Avatar books, and why I won't shut up about Matthew Woodring Stover. He gets it, and writes some of the best action scenes I've experienced in any entertainment medium.
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« Reply #38 on: Mar 20, 2014 11:06 pm »

That's why I'm so adamant that I want a certain kind of author to write Avatar books, and why I won't shut up about Matthew Woodring Stover. He gets it, and writes some of the best action scenes I've experienced in any entertainment medium.

That would be wonderful.
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guyw1tn0nam3
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« Reply #39 on: Mar 22, 2014 09:51 pm »

Well written prose about action can be infinitely more orgasmic than watching a cool action scene in a movie.

But that's just my opinion. Don't mind me, as usual. Roll Eyes
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« Reply #40 on: Apr 11, 2014 10:48 pm »

I'm torn.  as a large appeal of this franchise is visual and thus hard to translate to engage with the same appeal going with a novel.  BUUUT I feel some of the aspects of the story and setting and characters need the exposition enabled and introspective and perception aiding aspects of literature.

I think a hybrid might be better But the DH style seems the best though maybe with more writing and annotations or something with each release.
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« Reply #41 on: Apr 14, 2014 10:33 pm »

I'm torn.  as a large appeal of this franchise is visual and thus hard to translate to engage with the same appeal going with a novel.  BUUUT I feel some of the aspects of the story and setting and characters need the exposition enabled and introspective and perception aiding aspects of literature.

I agree in part. The visuals, especially the smooth and flowing fighting choreography, were and still are a large part of ATLA's appeal. The difficulty in translating those situations into the more formal prose of a novel is largely dependent on finding an author who can write these types of scenes. It's a tall order, and I think the majority of authors involved in producing supplementary material for popular franchises are not capable of doing this. Of course there are some out there, but I haven't had the experience of reading their work. Believe me, I think an Avatar novel series could excel in giving us further characterization with elements that don't work well in animation or comics, but in the end, without a writer skilled in translating exciting fight scenes on the big screen to engrossing prose on paper (a full, play-by-play would just be laborious to read), a potential novel would flop.

The sheer amount of fan fiction gives me some hope that Avatar could succeed in book form and generate a significant amount of interest, provided it's in the hands of a good writer and Mike and Bryan consult closely with him or her. Hopefully we could get something that aims for a middle ground, all-ages audience instead of one extreme or the other, like young adult literature.
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guyw1tn0nam3
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« Reply #42 on: Apr 16, 2014 03:12 pm »

^

There's a few great fanfiction in the Avatar community that usually satisfies my appetite. I think the big problem with a novel is finding not only the author but the topic of the story, because at this point most of the most crucial aspects in the 70 years span between ATLA and LoK are going to be covered by comics, and I'm curious as to where exactly a "novel" could fit in.

Because a lot of other potential topics are covered....in decent amount of depth, by various other fanfiction writers in the community as far I see.
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Avatar Epsilon
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« Reply #43 on: Apr 16, 2014 04:08 pm »

If there ever is a novel it should cover a different time period. A past Avatar or something.
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« Reply #44 on: Apr 16, 2014 04:09 pm »

Maybe show Koh stealing Noatak's wife face ?
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« Reply #45 on: Apr 16, 2014 06:21 pm »

I'd also love to see minor characters from ATLA expanded and given something to do. Instead of having them randomly cameoing in the comics and further adventures of the gAang, why not expand the world and let them try their own stories?
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« Reply #46 on: Apr 16, 2014 06:31 pm »

You should really be in charge of the comics, Loopy.
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« Reply #47 on: Apr 16, 2014 06:37 pm »

I'd be fired after they see the sales numbers for John Jackson Miller's 'Sokka & Mai: Sarcastic Blades' ongoing.
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« Reply #48 on: Apr 18, 2014 07:51 pm »

I think the big problem with a novel is finding not only the author but the topic of the story, because at this point most of the most crucial aspects in the 70 years span between ATLA and LoK are going to be covered by comics, and I'm curious as to where exactly a "novel" could fit in.

Granted, I'm not as well-versed in the entire breadth of fanfiction as most others here, but I think that shouldn't limit the topic of a potential novel or comic. I do think there are some things post-ATLA and prior to LoK that could be covered well in a novel; for one, I'm not so pleased with the portrayal of the immediate postwar era; the consequences of Zuko's ascent to the thrown, the EK-FN tensions, and the Yu Dao crisis. A lot more could have been done to play up the conflict between the jingoistic old ways of the Fire Nation and the new philosophy Zuko was trying to introduce, and just how difficult that change would be for FN society.

If there ever is a novel it should cover a different time period. A past Avatar or something.

I'd also love to see minor characters from ATLA expanded and given something to do. Instead of having them randomly cameoing in the comics and further adventures of the gAang, why not expand the world and let them try their own stories?

These spots are where I think there is the most potential for EU novels. What we saw in ATLA was a microcosm of the Hundred Year War, so many more stories exist to be told in that century. That's decades worth of military campaigns, and a very useable setting for character dramas. Jeong Jeong's exploits in the Fire Navy and the ensuing personal dilemma, Iroh's campaigns up to the first siege of Ba Sing Se. Or you could go back even further and expand the lore around Kyoshi; there's Chin's War, the unrest in Ba Sing Se (a story about the formation of the Dai Li and the exploits of its agents could fit here), or the founding of Kyoshi Island and its Warriors. /wishlist

The foundation is there. All that's needed are the right people and the demand.
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guyw1tn0nam3
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« Reply #49 on: Apr 18, 2014 08:38 pm »

Right, but what I'm saying is that now that the comics are considered canon, it'd be difficult to rewrite over them as novels and say "Hey! We know you didn't like this comic, so here's the alternative." :/
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