The co-creators of the hugely popular animated shows Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra announced their upcoming projects earlier this week. The duo is not collaborating, at least for the moment, and each is creating his own new story. These stories will also be novels and graphic novels rather than a TV series or film. However, both are still fantasy tales targeted primarily at a Young Adult audience.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bryan Konietzko revealed that he is working on a graphic novel series titled Threadworlds. It is a sci-fi story set on a planet that shares an orbit around its sun with four other worlds. The protagonist, Nova, is a young girl who enjoys science and wants to explore the secrets of her universe. While the story will of course feature action and adventure, Konietzko does hope that it will inspire girls who are passionate about science to stick with it.
The first pieces of art that have been revealed are beautiful, as to be expected. The primary race also appear to be non-human, something that I think is easier to portray in a visual format. I also like graphic novels that take full advantage of the medium by showcasing things that can’t effectively be described in a traditional novel, and it looks like Threadworlds will do just that.
The first installment of the story is set to release in 2017, which is a ways away, but at least it’s something to look forward to.
Michael DiMartino will actually be working on a traditional novel series, though he says that it will also contain some art. The series is called Geniuses, and it is set in a fantasy world similar to Renaissance Italy where art is magic, and gifted artists are protected by a living muse known as a genius. However, the ruler of the world thinks that geniuses are a threat, and he is attempting to destroy them. The protagonist, Giacomo, must work in a secret studio where he can learn to harness the magical power of his genius.
This sounds very similar to Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials setting in a lot of ways, though with more of a focus on the concept of art as magic rather than on any kind of religious statement. I’m hoping that the details of the world will create more distinctions between the two settings, but I do like the idea of the magic system, which feels very unique.
DiMartino said that he wanted to write a story with an artist hero because he found very few fictional stories with an artist as the protagonist. So while his co-creator looks to inspire future scientists, DiMartino appears to want to inspire fledgling artists by giving them a world and a story where someone who shares their interests is the hero.
The first book in the Geniuses series, The Creature and the Creator, will be released in the fall of 2016, a little over a year from now.