CBR Interviews Gene Yang on Avatar: The Rift

07/17/2014 3:34pm



CBR TV: Gene Luen Yang on “Avatar: The Rift” & His First Superhero

Acclaimed “Boxers & Saints” cartoonist Gene Luen Yang visited the CBR Tiki Room at WonderCon 2014 in Anaheim to chat with CBR TV’s Steve Sunu about his latest adventure into the world of “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” Yang talks about beginning work on “The Rift,” the third series of “Avatar” graphic novels he’s writing for Dark Horse, making the transition from fan of the animated series to steward of its characters and the challenge of bridging the gap between the series and its followup, “The Legend of Korra.” Yang also discusses his other comics work, including his Eisner nomination for “Boxers & Saints” and his first foray into creating superhero comics with “The Shadow Hero,” a collaboration with artist Sonny Liew that revives a forgotten Golden Age hero.
On finally being able to focus on the character of Toph: “The Rift” is the third of these miniseries that we’ve done, and the second one, “The Search,” was all about Zuko finding his mom. So early in the stages of writing that book we discovered that Toph really didn’t fit very well in the storyline. It was a difficult decision to make because Toph has really become one of my favorite characters. When I was watching the show I loved Zuko; Zuko was my favorite. The complexity of his character I think mirrors a lot of the struggles that all of us go through and the choice between good and evil. After I started writing this book Toph really took over my heart.
I think Toph is just easy to write. I feel like I close my eyes and I can hear her yelling at me. I think that Mike [Dante DiMartino] and Bryan [Konietzko] and their writing team really created a very strong character, and a very memorable character, and a character that almost writes herself. So when we started on “The Rift,” one of the dangling threads from the original show was what happened with Toph and her parents. They never reconciled — we never saw the reconciliation, so that was something that we wanted to deal with in the comics.
Acclaimed “Boxers & Saints” cartoonist Gene Luen Yang visited the CBR Tiki Room at WonderCon 2014 in Anaheim to chat with CBR TV’s Steve Sunu about his latest adventure into the world of “Avatar: The Last Airbender.” Yang talks about beginning work on “The Rift,” the third series of “Avatar” graphic novels he’s writing for Dark Horse, making the transition from fan of the animated series to steward of its characters and the challenge of bridging the gap between the series and its followup, “The Legend of Korra.” Yang also discusses his other comics work, including his Eisner nomination for “Boxers & Saints” and his first foray into creating superhero comics with “The Shadow Hero,” a collaboration with artist Sonny Liew that revives a forgotten Golden Age hero.

On finally being able to focus on the character of Toph: “The Rift” is the third of these miniseries that we’ve done, and the second one, “The Search,” was all about Zuko finding his mom. So early in the stages of writing that book we discovered that Toph really didn’t fit very well in the storyline. It was a difficult decision to make because Toph has really become one of my favorite characters. When I was watching the show I loved Zuko; Zuko was my favorite. The complexity of his character I think mirrors a lot of the struggles that all of us go through and the choice between good and evil. After I started writing this book Toph really took over my heart.

I think Toph is just easy to write. I feel like I close my eyes and I can hear her yelling at me. I think that Mike [Dante DiMartino] and Bryan [Konietzko] and their writing team really created a very strong character, and a very memorable character, and a character that almost writes herself. So when we started on “The Rift,” one of the dangling threads from the original show was what happened with Toph and her parents. They never reconciled — we never saw the reconciliation, so that was something that we wanted to deal with in the comics.

See the video interview and read the rest of the article at Comic Book Resources!


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