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Author Topic: How much time has actually passed in the comics?  (Read 1645 times)
Runamuck
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« on: Dec 09, 2015 11:12 am »

Since this is a question that keeps popping up from time to time when the comics are discussed I thought it might be an idea to have a thread dedicated to discussing this.

It’s a bit easy to lose track of time in fiction if you aren’t being told approximately how much time actually passes, but it does appear like the Avatar comics are giving hints towards how long there is between the various trilogy’s.

In The Promise we first have the time skip where the Harmony Restoration Movement progresses for a year without any major incidents. Most of the events in The Promise take place in the time of about a week, Smellerbee gives tam Avatar 3 days to fix the problem, and Zuko slept for 4 days.
The Search, flashbacks aside, starts a period of undetermined time after The Promise, but I doubt that it has been particularly long, since they are still trying to figure out how Yu Dau’s government will function in the future. The actual search for Ursa starts a week later. The actual search for Ursa appears to take 4 days, with Azula storming off at the end of the third.
It gets a little complicated with the two next trilogy’s, as the happen somewhat parallel to each other.
Smoke and Shadow start off weeks after The Search, as Zuko mentions when he and his mother talk about Azula. The scenes with Ukano and the New Ozai Society take place over 3 days, day one where he sees the Kemurikage, day two where he is giving a speech (this is the same day where we see Team Avatar again), and day three the day of the attack. The Yu Dao inauguration, and therefore the start of The Rift takes place 5 or 6 days later, a week after the day before the attack as Aang mentioned when they left. Tom-Tom is kidnapped a month after the attack.
Yangchen’s Festival takes place the day after the Yu Dao inauguration. Aside from the final festival it appears that the rest of the events of The Rift happen in a single day, two days at most. The final festival, the spirits’ friendship festival, happen 3 months later, or about 2 months after Tom-Tom was kidnapped in Smoke and Shadow.
Rebound happened a couple of months ago according to Mai in Smoke and Shadow.

So, I guess, to the best of my math, about half a year has passed after the time skip at the start of the comics.

On a side note of comic related math, I guess Kiyi can at best be 5, maybe 6, years old.

So, does anyone else have any estimates or guesses on how much time has passed in the comics so far?
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Loopy
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 09, 2015 07:11 pm »

According to Gene himself:

"We started our story immediately after the end of the show and then we skipped a year. And from then until now it’s probably a year or two out from there. We’re about two years out from the original show. We have about 68 years of work left."

I don't think the art reflects the passage of time (except for Tom-Tom), so I'd be more into the six months that you figured, but Gene himself seems to think that we're roughly 18 months into things.

(Credit: Fieryfurnace)
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Clowngoon
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« Reply #2 on: Dec 09, 2015 09:45 pm »

So at this point the Gaang's ages should be what 15, 15, 17, 18, 19? I don't see it.
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Freedom153
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 09, 2015 11:15 pm »

According to Gene himself:

"We started our story immediately after the end of the show and then we skipped a year. And from then until now it’s probably a year or two out from there. We’re about two years out from the original show. We have about 68 years of work left."

I don't think the art reflects the passage of time (except for Tom-Tom), so I'd be more into the six months that you figured, but Gene himself seems to think that we're roughly 18 months into things.

(Credit: Fieryfurnace)
That's a f**kload of comicbooks. >_>

So at this point the Gaang's ages should be what 15, 15, 17, 18, 19? I don't see it.
I think it's most likely because, if they make the characters change appearance too much, they might lose a portion of their audience. Plus, obvious depiction of puberty (Sokka gets a for real beard or smaller one like he has in TLOK flashbacks, or Aang has Aacne) would bring up the question of why such things are only being referenced and not talked about, or part of the character's struggles.
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Runamuck
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« Reply #4 on: Dec 10, 2015 02:23 am »

Well, that statement from the interview seems to be a little at odds with itself. But it wouldn’t be the first time that a statement from an interview about the world of Avatar should be taken with a grain of salt.

Well, my estimations were rather conservative, but 1.5-2 years since the end of the show seems fine to me. If its 2 years since the time skip, that seems like a bit too much.
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Clowngoon
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 10, 2015 12:52 pm »

So at this point the Gaang's ages should be what 15, 15, 17, 18, 19? I don't see it.
I think it's most likely because, if they make the characters change appearance too much, they might lose a portion of their audience. Plus, obvious depiction of puberty (Sokka gets a for real beard or smaller one like he has in TLOK flashbacks, or Aang has Aacne) would bring up the question of why such things are only being referenced and not talked about, or part of the character's struggles.
Why would they lose some of the audience? Just because they're growing up? I like a franchise that ages its characters to add a little sense of realism in a fictional universe.
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Freedom153
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 10, 2015 01:26 pm »

I'm no expert on the comics, but it was my understanding they had a kid target audience more in mind, and I have heard that some kids have trouble relating to older protagonists.

It's a fairly weak explanation as to why the Gaang hasn't aged visually all that much - anyone have a better one? I don't like the lack of aging either... but there's got to be some explanation. It certainly doesn't look like the Gaang has aged much, like you originally pointed out, Clowngoon.
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Avatar Epsilon
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« Reply #7 on: Dec 10, 2015 06:06 pm »

Eh, I think every character looks a little older except for Toph. She's the only one who hasn't really changed since the show. I mean, it's only been a year and a half. There shouldn't be that drastic of a change. Book 4 of Korra took place 3 years after three and the main cast didn't look all that different except for a change in hair styles.
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Clowngoon
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« Reply #8 on: Dec 10, 2015 06:21 pm »

I'm no expert on the comics, but it was my understanding they had a kid target audience more in mind, and I have heard that some kids have trouble relating to older protagonists.

It's a fairly weak explanation as to why the Gaang hasn't aged visually all that much - anyone have a better one? I don't like the lack of aging either... but there's got to be some explanation. It certainly doesn't look like the Gaang has aged much, like you originally pointed out, Clowngoon.
They have a kid demographic? For a comic that's supposed to take place after the original, you'd think they'd bump up the demographic more. After all, if you miss the core show, there'll be some things you won't understand.

Eh, I think every character looks a little older except for Toph. She's the only one who hasn't really changed since the show. I mean, it's only been a year and a half. There shouldn't be that drastic of a change. Book 4 of Korra took place 3 years after three and the main cast didn't look all that different except for a change in hair styles.
In Korra's case though, they went from late teens finishing puberty to young adults. At least for Sokka and Zuko, their "Old Friends" appearance should be kicking in if they're really 18 and 19.
« Last Edit: Dec 10, 2015 06:24 pm by Clowngoon » Logged


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« Reply #9 on: Dec 10, 2015 07:04 pm »

Eh, I think every character looks a little older except for Toph. She's the only one who hasn't really changed since the show. I mean, it's only been a year and a half. There shouldn't be that drastic of a change. Book 4 of Korra took place 3 years after three and the main cast didn't look all that different except for a change in hair styles.

Well, LoK's cast was already older, weren't they? However, Aang finished the cartoon at 13 years old, and now he could be as old as 16; that's when most of the maturation occurs in males, so I'd expect him to show heavy change. Likewise for Toph. I'd include Katara as well, but she's more of a border case. Sokka and Zuko, though, I don't think would change much.

As I think about it more, though, I'd expect that kind of passage of time to be reflected in the characterization as well. The Rift's depiction of Aang and Toph's rivalry does not feel like it's between a pair of 16-year-olds.
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« Reply #10 on: Dec 10, 2015 07:15 pm »

Quote from: Freedom153 link=topic=24298.msg2463531#msg2463531 date=1449772001
[quote author=Avatar Epsilon link=topic=24298.msg2463534#msg2463534 date=1449788789
Eh, I think every character looks a little older except for Toph. She's the only one who hasn't really changed since the show. I mean, it's only been a year and a half. There shouldn't be that drastic of a change. Book 4 of Korra took place 3 years after three and the main cast didn't look all that different except for a change in hair styles.
In Korra's case though, they went from late teens finishing puberty to young adults. At least for Sokka and Zuko, their "Old Friends" appearance should be kicking in if they're really 18 and 19.
Sokka's 'old friends' appearance is just a small beard. He could grow that out in a month or something. I don't see a reason for it having to show up this early on. He's already a little more muscular in the comics then he was in the show.

And I mean, they are what...late 20's in the 'old friends' poster? They have a good decade before they get there.

Well, LoK's cast was already older, weren't they? However, Aang finished the cartoon at 13 years old, and now he could be as old as 16; that's when most of the maturation occurs in males, so I'd expect him to show heavy change. Likewise for Toph. I'd include Katara as well, but she's more of a border case. Sokka and Zuko, though, I don't think would change much.

As I think about it more, though, I'd expect that kind of passage of time to be reflected in the characterization as well. The Rift's depiction of Aang and Toph's rivalry does not feel like it's between a pair of 16-year-olds.

Fair point about LoK's cast being older.

Pretty sure Aang and Toph are closer to 15 though...not sure if that would be a big difference. Aang has also gotten noticeably taller. Yeah, he still has a baby face...but it's not like that doesn't happen for some people. It also just might be the nature of Avatar's animation style to keep characters looking more or less the same facially if they are around the same age. For instance, in the Western Air Temple flashback, 13 year old Zuko looked more or less the same as 16 year old Book 1 Zuko; he was just a little smaller. Facially though, he was very similar. If there wasn't a huge look change to Zuko from 13-16, there shouldn't be one for Aang from 13-15.

I do get where you guys are coming from but Toph is really the only one who I feel like hasn't changed. We are only a year and a half to two years out from the show; it'd be a little weird if they had more drastic differences going on imo.

As for it reflected their characterization... I can't really argue on that. Although, LoK revealed that Toph more or less stayed a brat, I would expect some more maturity from Aang in The Rift.
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« Reply #11 on: Dec 10, 2015 09:28 pm »

Zuko and Sokka actually should be going through a huge change right around now. Especially considering both are still short, yet we know that as adults they were both fairly tall.
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Runamuck
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« Reply #12 on: Dec 11, 2015 04:03 am »

It’s often a bit tricky to see how characters are aging in fiction, but with a proper yardstick it is actually possible to tell that the characters in Avatar have aged a bit.
The best thing to compare the kids to would probably be some of the adults who haven’t grown. If you compare the kids in Crossroads of Destiny to how tall Iroh is and how tall they are compared to Iroh on the first page of The Rift it becomes clear that most of the kids have grown quite a bit in the time that has passed. Except for Toph, who is still really short, but it appears that she has been hit by puberty a bit to as she’s… not as flat as she used to be….
Zuko has also grown a lot, he may be taller than Ursa by now, and he is starting to look more like a young man than a big kid.
Even Mai has grown a fair bit, as she is now a little taller than her mother. And it’s not all just her hair.
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Clowngoon
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« Reply #13 on: Dec 12, 2015 01:26 am »

Quote from: Freedom153 link=topic=24298.msg2463531#msg2463531 date=1449772001
[quote author=Avatar Epsilon link=topic=24298.msg2463534#msg2463534 date=1449788789
Eh, I think every character looks a little older except for Toph. She's the only one who hasn't really changed since the show. I mean, it's only been a year and a half. There shouldn't be that drastic of a change. Book 4 of Korra took place 3 years after three and the main cast didn't look all that different except for a change in hair styles.
In Korra's case though, they went from late teens finishing puberty to young adults. At least for Sokka and Zuko, their "Old Friends" appearance should be kicking in if they're really 18 and 19.
Sokka's 'old friends' appearance is just a small beard. He could grow that out in a month or something. I don't see a reason for it having to show up this early on. He's already a little more muscular in the comics then he was in the show.

And I mean, they are what...late 20's in the 'old friends' poster? They have a good decade before they get there.
Sokka's muscles were pretty inconsistent in the show sometimes. Some had him well defined while others had him lanky, but I see what you mean. They don't have to have any facial hair since they could just shave it when they want (which we've seen in Tales of Ba Sing Se.) However, at age 18 and 19 respectively, I'd expect to see less childlike faces and lot closer to their adult heights. Imo, it seems both Sokka and Zuko got the least change after Toph when comparing them in the Promise and SAS. As a matter of fact, it seems they made Zuko look younger compared to most of his Book Fire appearances.
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« Reply #14 on: Dec 12, 2015 02:55 pm »

I think the childlike faces has to do with the art style more then anything because even the adult characters tend to look like they have younger faces compared to what they should have (resulting in a rather unsettling look for Iroh Shocked)
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