This is the first time in 4 years that I wont be able to go to SDCC and Im feeling the urge to go cry in corner. But I know other Avatar fans will have a great time at the Art Book signings and the panel announcement of Legend of Korra!
As for my own convention experience this summer, I have to say that the panel we hosted at AX was one of the best Ive been a part of yet and I want to thank everyone who came out & made it so much fun!
First though, I have a ton of video clips to share with you! The first being the new Puppetbenders video that we premiered at the AX panel:[link]
If you were at the panel, you may notice this edit is a little different than what was shown. Thats because I always intended the puppet interviews to (mostly) run together as if theyre part of a real TV program. So it has a whole new opening along with the old Katara interview from back in April added after Sokkas. Even if you dont care to watch Katara wax old about her cat-hair knitting techniques again, be sure to skip ahead in the video to the 7:57 mark to see a brief preview of which character is going to be interviewed next!
If you want to see the original preview edit we showed at AX, a YouTube member managed to film it & post it along with my quick introduction here:[link]
If youd like to see the majority of the panel in super-shaky, hand-held-camera O-vision (hey I know how that goes, its tough to get a good angle if youre stuck in the back) head over to this YouTube users page and check out the seven part video they posted of it here: [link]
Even if you dont feel like viewing the entire panel, the one clip I really think you should all check out is this one: [link]
In it, Giancarlo reads from a text message sent to him from Mike & Bryan to all the Avatar fans. Byran thanks everyone warmly for our dedication to the series after all these years and Mikes message after that is
Well, pure Mike DiMartino.
Another great clip I recommend seeing is Johannes presentation of the crazy hy-jinxs that the staff used to descend into while waiting hours on end to do their storyboard pitches:[link]
So hopefully even if you couldnt be there, these will help you catch some of the highlights.
By the way, I have a personal anecdote to share that proves just how awesome Avatar fandom is. Avatar_Mom and I were given a huge room at AX with seating for roughly 700 people. We were kind of worrying how empty it might look if even only 200 (still a very respectable number) showed up.
To have a look at how many people were lining up, I took out Puppet Zuko and wandered up & down the hall surrounding the panel to see how long it was stretching. Little did I know it wasnt just stretching- It was winding itself in circles to make room for all everyone.
In fact, I think some people were getting nervous about not being able to get in since even though I was just making my way up & down the line for fun talking to people, I think several folks thought I was trying to cut in and started yelling at me, Get to the BACK Puppet guy!
No worries, I know all about line rage & cant stand cutters either.
While we were worried about the room not being filled, we should have been worrying the exact opposite because YOU ALL filled that room past capacity. I dont know if people were turned away or not (I really hope not) but all 700 seats were FILLED and there were people standing in the back!
If it sounds like I'm bragging, I suppose I am. After all, I'm pretty darn proud to be in a fandom that still pulls huge crowds together over a show that hasn't been in production for years now!
And youve got to understand this was all on the night the wretchedly awful Last Airbender movie was premiering! This show is simply fantastic, its fandom is one of THE most dedicated & fervent ever, and seeing that turnout once again made me realize that. Especially since I silently feared wed have bottles being thrown at us thanks to M Night Shyamalans butchery.
There were some things that I know didnt go super smoothly and I apologize for that. We got started late since AX hadn't scheduled any time beforehand to allow people to come in and take their seats and as we learned, it takes a good 20 mins+ to get 700 people into a room and settled! So we started getting kicked out of the room a little early which regrettably forced the Cosplay contest to be rushed and sadly killed the opportunity for a Q&A with our guests. But we learned a lot from the experience and well make needed adjustments for the next panel Avatar Legacy puts on. Weve just never had (or expected) a panel this big before! Well be ready for it next time.
So to wrap up, allow me to thank our special guests from the staff for coming out & participating.
To Giancarlo- I couldnt say it at the time, but dude I loved how you stayed glued on stage & autographed books for everyone even when we were being kicked out by the Con staff with a broom.
The creepy hentai panel after us deserved a delay IMO.
To Michael- Thanks for taking the time out of such a busy Thursday to do the panel. Ive said it a million times, but dinner was AWESOME and thanks for showing me how to properly eat dumplings.
To Johanne- How do I keep this short? I could write pages about what a wonderful person you are. You always make the people you meet feel like a million bucks.
To Avatar_Mom- The work you put into scheduling and making these panels happen makes my head spin. They also make a lot of people very happy, myself being one of those first in line.
I could write a lot more, but I'm sure this is enough already. We all know the movie was terrible so Ill spare everyone my detailed rants about it for later. For now, Id rather bask in the warm glow of knowing the animated series fandom will live on healthily despite it. While I got to see a lot of friends & familiar faces from years past at AX, I also noticed that a whole new generation of fans are taking the lead and showing up in force. Makes me feel kinda old but happy to know that people will still enjoy this fandom well after Im gone
Just dont let another Shyamalan near the franchise again please.
LEGEND OF KORRA ANNOUNCMENT:[link]
P.S. Sokka ran into his ex, Lady Gaga again on the show floor at AX (see the latest Puppet video)! He pretended to be too cool to care, but I think I heard a sigh escape his diminutive, plush mouth...