By Arturo R. García
If you saw Part I yesterday, you saw that the Black Panel, traditionally held on Saturdays, had made its’ way to the Friday morning line-up. Luckily, more panels have stepped up to fill the POC void on Saturday, and Sunday looks to be book-ended by some interesting stuff. Not that we’re too biased. The line-up is under the cut.
By Guest Contributor Ay-leen the Peacemaker, cross-posted from Beyond Victoriana
Avatar: The Last Airbender (A:TLA) is easily one of the best US-created animated shows in the last ten years, and not just because I consider it a great example of Asian-inspired steampunk (though it helps). In terms of steam-worthiness, A:TLA not only creates what Asian steampunk could look like, but it places its steampunk technology within a cultural and political setting that speaks about technological development’s relationship with empire-building and the ramifications of global warfare.
Pretty complex for a children’s show that aired on Nickelodeon. But its depth of storytelling, detailed world-building, and strong characterization attests to its wild popularity across all age groups.
There are other assessments of the world of Avatar: the Last Airbender (A:TLA)–particularly Jha Goh’s article on “Kyriarchy in Avatar: The Last Airbender – Perpetuating & Challenging Oppression & Imperialism” and the Tor.com roundtable re-watch–so I highly suggest you go to them for a more highly detailed reading of the series as a whole. So instead, I’ll answer the question: Why do I think steampunks should watch Avatar: The Last Airbender? Warning: spoilers for the series after the jump.
by Guest Contributor Angry Asian Man, originally published at Angry Asian Man
There was a lot of uproar last month when it was announced that M. Night Shyamalan’s movie adaptation Avatar: The Last Airbender would star a lot of pretty white people, with no Asians in sight. The animated Nickelodeon show takes place in an Asian-inspired fantasy realm. Hollywood, of course, is a Caucasian-inspired fantasy realm.
The controversy hasn’t really died down. Avatar fans are still angry. And one of the movie’s actors, Jackson Rathbone, who will play Sokka, seems to think he can easily pull off playing Asian with just a new hairstyle and a tan: ‘Twilight’ Star Jackson Rathbone Hopes To ‘Show His Range’ In ‘Last Airbender’.
Due in theaters in summer 2010, “Airbender” has already begun to face a bit of controversy over the casting of white actors like Rathbone, Ringer and McCartney to play Asian characters – a concern the actor was quick to dismiss. “I think it’s one of those things where I pull my hair up, shave the sides, and I definitely need a tan,” he said of the transformation he’ll go through to look more like Sokka. “It’s one of those things where, hopefully, the audience will suspend disbelief a little bit.”